How to build a million-dollar empire - CNBC Africa

How to build a million-dollar empire

Special Report

by Ancillar Mangena, FORBES AFRICA 0

Multi-award winning business coach and author, Mac Attram, shares advice on building successful companies.

Life was tough for Mac Attram growing up in Ghana. While being raised by his grandmother, he slept cramped in a small room with five others and walked 20 yards in the dark for a toilet. Poverty forced him to be responsible at a young age.

When opportunity arose, he moved to the UK where he later worked for ten years in leading positions. He quit his comfortable job for entrepreneurship following a disagreement with a manager. It was a risk.

“I had just got married, and I had a wife, and a big mortgage.  My friends thought I was mad to leave, but I could not ignore the tug of entrepreneurship any longer,” he says.

Today, he is a leading business growth expert and millionaire. He has developed and sold several profitable companies. He has awards as additional proof of his success.

Attram shares tips and secrets to building a successful business.

10 tips for building a million-dollar brand?

  1. You need to have a good idea because everything starts with an idea.
  2. Test the idea or opportunity.  This is important.
  3. Find out if there is a demand for your product or service.  There is no point in bringing it to market if there is no demand. 
  4. Create the product or service to meet the demand
  5. Define your primary niche, which are those people who know that they want what you are offering. 
  6. Define your secondary niche.  This is those who are not aware that they want what you are offering.  For example, my primary niche is business owners with a turnover of up to £5million.  My secondary niche is corporate companies who require team training for their staff teams. 
  7. Keep testing.  You should test everything in your business. 
  8. Start to systemise what you do.  Your systems are your business, so you need to have robust business systems and measure everything. 
  9. Build your championship team.  Every million dollar brand needs a team.
  10. Optimise your business. Keep training your team, keep on improving systems.  Optimisation will help you to grow a million dollar brand.

What do you attribute your success to?

A willingness to take risks.  A willingness to do whatever it takes to the job done, as long as it’s legal, ethical and moral. Having the right people around me and continuously developing myself has also made me successful.  I have over 30 years of experience in martial arts, and this has helped me to be disciplined and focused.  The right mind-set is everything.  

 What sectors do you think Africans should be investing in?

I think Africa needs to look at its huge natural reserves and put in the right infrastructure to capitalise on this.  We can do this by working with the right partners, and putting the necessary legal framework in place. I also think that we need to use technology to make lives better; whether it is through the internet, mobile hardware or telecoms.  There is a vast amount of opportunities available to us.

What are your most valuable business lessons?

Continuously developing myself has helped a lot.  This is in terms of my mind-set and my character. Reading books on other successful people has been essential to my business growth and success, because everyone needs mentors in the physical sense and through reading. Partnering with the right people has been another big lesson.  You need to partner with people with the same values.  In the IT company that I set up, I had two business partners.  One stole from me, and the other just disappeared.  You can’t get excited about every business opportunity.  You should think about who you partner with.

What personal traits can break a business?

Choose the right businesses that matches your personality. A lack of discipline can break a business.  This includes a lack of financial discipline, a lack of integrity, and a lack of discipline and trust within your team.

What daily things would you advise someone trying to build a brand do or say every day?

I would encourage people to say affirmations to themselves daily, as success starts in the mind.  Use empowering language, and tell yourself that you can do it every day. 

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