Timeless Advice for Manufacturing Businesses – A Review of Adebola Adefila’s Profit
Book Title: Profit
Author: Adebola Adefila
Publisher: Cgnature Creativemedia Ltd
Year of Publication: 2019
Number of Pages: 215
There is nothing new about the challenges manufacturers face, especially in Nigeria’s uniquely tough business clime. Quite often, the issues include difficulties with access to finance, power supply, raw materials, and skilled workers. But what is most mind-boggling, in Nigeria, is that government is constantly adding new regulations that could have negative implications on production and make it harder to be profitable.
Manufacturers must ask the difficult question: Am I making money? Am I incurring unnecessary costs? Why start a business and not make profit? All these questions and more are tackled in Adebola Adefila’s book, Profit.
Adebola Adefila comes from a family that has a history of business ownership – their passion is manufacturing. Who better to explain the challenges and possible solutions for a manufacturing business?
It’s clear from the very first pages that Adefila is an expert on the topic; however, the decision to write this book came from her brother and her desire to see businesses thrive.
Raised in a generational family business, Adebola worked with family from a young age and had an intimate knowledge of the family enterprise as she grew up. One thread that runs through the book is her dealings with suppliers, vendors, customers, employees, government agencies and her learnings along the way.
She explains loans and investments – the latter is not to be confused as gifts when given by friends or family. Funds gotten from other people could be gifts, loans or an equity investment in the business. Each has positives and negatives, and each should be recorded in writing, in some cases a detailed agreement. It’s true that readers are given tips on the ins and outs of running a manufacturing business in this book.
She points out that employees are your company’s No 1 assets. Adefila has a lot of stories to support this fact in the book. One of the most compelling, yet thoughtful stories is that of the sales rep with good marketing skills but bad reporting skills. The book shows, above all else, that today’s successful business leaders must be more “person-focused” and be able to demonstrate empathy.
Adefila talks to some successful people in the manufacturing business in Nigeria and Ghana in the book and packs the work with wisdom and personal vulnerability. Adefila wants younger manufacturers to learn and follow the lead of these successful entrepreneurs.
Of course, all businesses have competitors and most times, an entrepreneur is thinking of how to attract customers. How can you beat your competition, especially the giants? The suggestion by the author that you must learn to use tact in introducing new products into the market since too much noise can be bad for your business is dicey. If so, how do new customers get interested in their products?
She also adds: “There are things the government can do to make the operating environment conducive for businesses.” Adefila laments a system that is not willing to help make the production of goods easier in the country. The challenges of the business keep on creeping up on the reader, though it doesn’t feel as if the author is trying to scare the reader.
By the end of the book, only one conclusion seems obvious: Those who take in Adefila’s advice will be ready and in the know of the challenges in a manufacturing business and will be prepared to take action as needed or quite likely never go into the manufacturing business.
About the reviewer
Titilade Oyemade is a business executive in a leading organisation and holds a degree in Russian Language. She’s the convener of the Hangoutwithtee Ladies Event and the publisher of Hangoutwithtee magazine. She spends her weekends attending women conferences, events and book readings. She loves to have fun and to help other women have the same in their lives. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Social: @tiipree