The Smartpreneur Live session themed: “Building Strong Business Networking Skills as an SME” featured entrepreneur, Founder of Made Men Music Group and politician, Ubi Franklin who discussed the value of establishing meaningful relationships in business.
Ubi Franklin is a music artist manager, politician and Entrepreneur. He is the founder of the record label Made Men Music Group (Triple MG).
In 2017, Ubi Franklin launched the ‘Ubi Franklin Startup fund’, a platform to fund existing business ideas and plans. Through the fund, he has supported several businesses in Nigeria with startup capital and funds.
In 2016, Franklin was named City People Music Awards’ Music Manager of the Year. In July 2017, he launched Instant Pickup, an online service that offers instant home pickup and delivery of laundry. He also launched Instant Apartment, an online platform that offers luxury apartments for rent same year. In October 2018, he launched Instant Ryde, an online taxi service in his home town Calabar, Cross River state and Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
In 2020, Ubi Franklin was appointed as Special Adviser on Tourism by Cross River State Governor Benedict Ayade.
Opening the live session, host Tallulah Doherty-Adetona stated that networking is one of those underrated skills but plays a pivotal role in achieving business success.
Joining the live session, Ubi Franklin emphasized how building relationships has helped in strengthening his career, adding that networking is also instrumental to making profit in business and must be taken seriously. “Managing relationships is very important to me especially for business” said Franklin.
Speaking on the reason some are scared of networking, do not understand the concept or how to go about it, Franklin said: “Networking with people is simple. Know your onions, have something to offer”. It is important to know the value you can provide to people you meet. Even if they’ve accomplished so much, there is something you have that they need. Leaning towards benefiting from others alone will not help. Your interactions will be successful when it’s a win for you and the other person.
Also, cut down the negatives in your life and always apologise in order to maintain meaningful connections. It’s not advisable to be in the bad books of people. It’s a small world and you never know how, when or where this could affect you when meeting new people.
On the other hand, in some cases, mentors and top personalities are not willing to associate with new players because of past experiences. People need to do better when given the chance.
According to Franklin: ” A lot of people have disappointed many over the years because you open a door for somebody and they go there and mess up all your contacts. They say people don’t support people because sometimes, when you open the door, they try to break the concrete you’ve laid for the future. This is why some people are scared to introduce one to another. The reason why it’s so difficult for some people to thrive is because some of us have been burnt.”
He said some have managed to get the required connections to take them to the next level but along the way they become selfish and greedy. They even go as far as ensuring that no one else gets support.
Ubi Franklin also touched on business exit strategies and business planning to accommodate the ever changing policies in Nigeria.
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