Why Calabar Businesses fail

Idy ‘Hyper’ Ekpa
A Calabar entrepreneur named Idy ‘Hyper’ Ekpa has taken to his Facebook wall to highlight why 80 per cent of startups in Calabar struggle to survive.

He wrote:
 Calabar startups are unarguably struggling to stay alive. I run one so I know how hard it is to survive in an environment perceived to be a 'dull' town. Here are a few reasons why we are just hanging in there:

1. We don't dream big:
This is by far the real reason we seem to be growing really slowly. We are limited by the notion that we cannot attain the highest goals unless we move out of Calabar. I don't care if this is true or not, I've seen a few businesses become great from Calabar meaning I can attain my highest goals here.

2. We don't believe in ourselves:
We somehow feel like we are too small to do great things. We think little about ourselves and this stops us from excelling. It's important to believe in your abilities. You might not be the best yet but you are better than many others.

3. We price too little:
Calabar businesses have one of the most ridiculous prices in the world. We really need to be bold enough to price what you are worth. I once told a client that I would charge her N7500 for a job and she said "No, let's make it 20k ". It was embarrassing. It was the first time my customer was the one increasing my price. I guess she saw more value in me than I saw in myself.

4. We are scared to take our business to the next level:
We don't understand risk. Every business takes it. Sometimes, we are limited by the uncertainty of whether people would accept us if we change what we are already. This kind of attitude keeps us in the same spot for years.

5. We are complainers:
We complain about everything stopping our businesses from growing instead of working to solve them. Oh! The taxes are too high. Ah! There is no money in this town Eh! I don't have an office. Work yourself around these obstacles and spend less time complaining.

6. We compare ourselves to others:
 He's own is better because he is in Lagos. He is from a rich family. He trained in the UK. We spend much time counting reasons why the next person has an upper hand over you instead of counting what you have now. Just like we all have the best and most beautiful mothers in the world, no one else is better than you unless you say he is.

7. We lack collaboration:
 Up till now there are no associations for fashion designers or photographers and many other genres of business in Calabar. We talk ourselves down instead of talk about how we can collaborate and grow faster. Everyone wants to take all the glory but with collaborations we can achieve more.

8. We don't stick to the plan:
Calabar people are trend followers. I've always believed in following trends but in many cases you have to stick to one plan and work through with it.

9. We do too many things:
Knowledge is never wasted so it's good to learn as many skills as you can but more importantly it's critical to apply them one at a time. People must know you for one thing first, especially when you are starting. You can always expand and add the others as the years pass.

10. We are chasing money instead of greatness:
 I've chatted with lots of people who just chase the money. They don't spend time improving their selves and networks. They just want to make money. Learn your craft first, be the best and you would not have to chase money, money would chase you.

We must learn to believe in ourselves and then build ourselves up to a point we cannot believe. Set goals and aim beyond it. Think big... even in Calabar!