Tallulah Doherty-Adetona chats with Audu Maikori on Building Sustainable Partnerships To Strengthen Your Brand in this Smartpreneur Live.
Audu Maikori is a Nigerian lawyer, entrepreneur, social activist, public speaker, and creative industry professional. He is the co-founder of Chocolate City Entertainment. Maikori has served as a judge on numerous entrepreneurship and innovation competitions both locally and internationally.
He is a fellow of the Nigerian Leadership Institute (NLI), Life Fellow, Guild of Artistes and Poets (GAP), and Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chartered Portfolio Management Nigeria
Maikori is also a public speaker and has traveled widely to speak on entrepreneurship and youth development.
He became the face of the ‘Enough is Enough ‘ campaign back in 2010 after an unpleasant encounter with the police, he was also vocal about the southern Kaduna killings.
In this session, Audu Maikori shares his business journey, securing and maintaining partnerships and so much more.
On partnering with people outside your circle
I think each partner must get a lawyer to define terms and conditions. The lawyer will lookout for things that you do not pay attention to. Most people do not want to talk about dissolution. What if your partner does not like the business anymore? What happens if the new wife of your partner doesn’t support the business and has to leave the business? Do you sell the shares to a third party, to a competitor? These are areas that lawyers are best equipped to handle. Underlying that is having an open and frank conversation with your partner(s) about where you are going.
These conversations must happen regularly because things change. In five years’ time, you will not be the same person you are today. Your priorities, what you focus on, the environment may change. Think of how businesses have changed due to COVID-19, between 2020 and today. Imagine your partner can’t work with changing times so what happens to the business? I’ll say get an attorney, have a clear conversation, and let the attorney help you fashion out what you want.
On getting people who have complementary skill sets in order to build a sustainable business
It is a tough one but there are some basic things that you can do. Consider what you are trying to portray. People talk about branding but it isn’t just about the logo or message, it is about everything you do on a daily basis, the things you do even unconsciously. More importantly, your brand will be linked to what you’ve achieved over time. So once someone connects with your thoughts then you can work with that person. But truth is that there is no assurance. A person might be great with certain operational skills but might be terrible with people. Depending on the type of business you do, you need to find out the most important skills.
On Chocolate City’s partnership with Warner Music Group and how local brands can secure partnerships with international companies
If you want international partnerships, begin to act like you are international, structure your company properly, keep records, it doesn’t have to be perfect but just keep records. Try to fulfill your obligations and build a reputation, not just mere branding.
Consistency is very important. Some people want to be stars overnight with a million followers in a day. That is not the real world. The real followership is hard consistent work, talking the talk, walking the walk every single day. When you fall, you apologize, pick yourself up and rebuild. When you do that, over time, people will begin to vest confidence in you and after a while, it is your works that will speak for you, not the brand. Think of yourself as doing and not just saying.
Watch the session here for Audu Maikori’s take on partnerships and business longevity, online visibility to attract the right deals, how to recognize a serious business negotiation and so much more.
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