Business leaders, celebrities share invaluable secrets to ensuring business growth

By Zion Rufus

To succeed in business and ensure continuous career growth, prominent personalities across the entertainment, technology, finance, and business industries have identified cultivating long-term business relationships as the key to maintaining business growth and a steady stream of loyal customers.

In an interview with MARKETING EDGE, these exceptional icons harped on the need for professionals to prioritize networking and cultivating positive relationships, as they explore innovative ways to expand their businesses effectively and expand their career.

Tobi Fletcher, CEO of Ofada Boy, a popular indigenous restaurant in Lagos, revealed that what he has learnt so far as a business leader is the importance of building strong and lasting business relationships with customers and actively listening to their feedback on a regular basis.

Fletcher explained that utilizing those relationships can help business leaders to expand their network and grow their customer base.

He said: “Nurturing healthy long-term relationships with your customers play a critical role in building customer loyalty, increasing customer satisfaction, and generating repeat and new business. Don’t treat your customers as one-offs. Keep the relationship going and keep the channels of communication open. These activities will help to create a positive environment in which customers feel seen, heard, and respected.”

Popular Nigerian actor, comedian, and producer Onyebuchi Ojieh re-emphasized the importance of respecting people and carrying out business operations with integrity.

“First thing I learnt in my career is that you don’t burn bridges,and respect people,” Buchi told MARKETING EDGE.

“You also have to learn to build healthy relationships. Business relationships are better preserved with integrity because you know in business, once you get it wrong people won’t trust you anymore or invest in you anymore. It’s a small world and it’s really a circle. You will always turn around to meet these people as you grow in your career and at different points in your life. Business relationships must be very sincere, packed with integrity, be a man (or woman) of your word to friends, clients, customers, colleagues, and be open minded. If you want your business to flourish you must also put aside your emotions and sentiments. Sometimes people don’t know where to draw the line,” he continued.

On his part, Lanre Basamta, renowned author and marketing technology expert advised marketing professionals to prioritize people as they could turn out to be incredible advocates for your career and provide you with access to new opportunities that will help you get where you want to be.

He said: “I have worked in 9 organizations across 19 years and each job/role was never applied for. People recommended me for each role and my career trajectory has been placed on the shoulders of a great network of people who have continued to help me.”

Renowned actor, OAP, producer, and 2021 recipient of MARKETING EDGE OAP of the Decade Award Steve Onu(popularly known as Yaw) pointed out that nurturing and growing relationships into something truly authentic, can result in a long-term, mutually beneficial connection.

“Most people in the industry have been able to build up brand awareness and gather meaningful strategic partnerships as a result of healthy relationships they have cultivated over the years,” he said.

Tayo Sowole, a business leader and Vice President of Sales and Distribution at uLesson also re-emphasized the need for prioritizing healthy friendships and networks.

He said in an interview: “One of the things that I think set me up for success is that I always had people by my side who walked the walk and showed me the ropes. I can confidently say that the difference between failure and success early in my career was the quality of coaches I had in my corner.”

Ayodeji Agboola, founder, Akowe App maintained that one of the most important skills a business owner must learn is effective networking.

He notes however: “I don’t mean finding people in your network who can help you, but finding people in your network you can help. The rewards from this are unquantifiable.”

Nelson Oshodi, vice president, growth and partnerships, ADMARP on his part notes that the biggest lesson he has learnt is that people are great assets, and the way they are nurtured determines one’s growth in business and career.



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