One Man Business - Bridgegap Careers

One Man Business


In an environment where many are without jobs and some are willing to take any available job. There now exist a preference as to whom you would work for.

Most job seekers now ask, “hope it’s not a one man business”.

Why the sudden disdain for ‘one-man businesses in Nigeria? Why does it conjure up fear in the minds of job seekers?

Many countries such as Dubai boost their economy based on small and medium size organizations owned by one man.

What then are the issues with working with a one man business in Nigeria?

Are the issues:

  • Lack of structure
  • Lack of processes
  • Lack of discipline on the boss’s part
  • No define management process

Do employers need to go for specialized training before they start their business? Do they need to learn the art of being a boss? Do they need to develop their interpersonal skills? What do they need really?

Below is a story of a professional who worked in a one-man business…

Emeka was recruited by ABC Group Nigeria Limited as their Group HR Manager with the task of unifying the various subsidiaries in the group to begin to function as one and leverage on their strengths. He was to report to the Chairman but also work directly with the various Chief Executives of the subsidiaries.

Upon resumption, Emeka noticed the lack of processes and procedure within the organization and the general attitude of staff resuming work by 11.30 am instead of 8.30 am in ‘shorts and t-shirts’ on a Monday morning.

The Chairman of the organization was a man in his late fifties, who shouts a lot and makes intimidating people his favorite past time.

The Chairman only approves new initiatives when he is in a happy mood, other than that every proposal is met with a resounding NO or ‘we are not ready yet’ or ‘Am aware of this and that but we will attend to it when I feel there is a need to’

When it was time for Emeka’s appraisal, The Chairman told him, “you go round having meetings without my knowledge and don’t you think there will be push backs if I hear? There is something I am looking for in you that is missing, once I see it, I will confirm you”.

Emeka who was coming from a structured organization was used to conducting meetings with other team members for the smooth running of the department without having the MD in the meeting. He was surprised by the chairman’s statement because he has been reporting details of all meetings to him.

His confirmation dragged for another 1 year before he was fired one morning after he was told by the Chairman that he really had no use for him.

Many job seekers have been faced with being fired for no reason or as someone once said “he was fired because the owner of the business no longer found his face interesting”

What should then be the lasting solution to the problems facing one-man business in Nigeria?

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