Money Making Machines: Hospitals

Relax.  Considering this as a start-up may seem intimidating but you would be surprised how easy it is to set up a hospital in Nigeria. Don’t worry about your lack of credentials.  You don’t have to have a medical background of any kind.  Hospitals are founded on the backbone of astute entrepreneurs who understand that there will always be sick people – and they will pay anything to get better.

It doesn’t have to be as grand as John Hopkins and UCLH, or as big as LUTH.   You could open a hospital in your back garden.  All you need are the basics to start with: cotton wool, syringes and a few beds.

Use the attraction of a higher pay to lure overworked, frustrated doctors from government hospitals.  If you can’t afford such a salary, employ third-rate medical school graduates who are struggling to get a job elsewhere.

Put ‘specialist hospital’ in the name to gain the public’s trust so they are more likely to subscribe to your services.  Whatever you do has to be specialist.  This would justify the extortionate costs.  Of course no one would ever be sure what your specialty is and  you really don’t need to have one.  It just makes the hospital seem……special.

Much like schools, anything foreign is good.  So, go the extra mile to find a white or Indian doctor from somewhere.  Make sure they are always about so that patients can see them and feel their lives are in good hands.  You know how difficult it is to trust Nigerian doctors these days.

Not all patients are equal.  Some will bring in more cash than others.  Ignore aged clients because they have lived their lives and are old enough to die.  It is best to focus your energy on youthful patients who have a longer life of hospital visits and bills ahead of them.

There are never too many scans and tests.  Think about the Domino’s Pizza strategy.  You call in to order just a medium pepperoni supreme and you end up paying for a drink and a side to go with it.  Likewise, by playing on fears, always look for opportunities to suggest more unnecessary tests and medication to patients.  Make the offer irresistible and charge for each service, naturally.

Lastly, like all businesses: no money, no service.  However, in emergency situations: no money, die.

 

Image | Outside a hospital ward |Source: Nigerian curiosity

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Money Making Machines: Church (Revisited)

Money Making Machines: Part 3

Now that your eyes have been opened to the great opportunities there are in the church industry, perhaps you are hungry for more advice on going further from initial baby steps to the expansion and dynamic growth of your empire.  This business undoubtedly merits another treatment as it is so lucrative that once you get it right, you are set for life.  Do not underestimate the automatic respect and overwhelming financial benefits that sprout from becoming a pastor.

If you do go into the business, one key principle you would need to understand is that you cannot go it alone.  Develop an army of worshipping assistants who would do things for God but absolutely anything for you.  They must be neat and suited but not as handsome as you.  These personal hallelujah boys are essential for your public image and elevate you to a god-like status. The more of them you have in your arsenal, the more members you would capture. Loyalty begets loyalty which ultimately translates to more cash.

However, do not let building membership be your only focus. Bear in mind that you want to make good money wherever possible.  Another move that seems to boost profit is competition.

You cannot expect to compete with an uninspiringly average name.  Make sure you devise a promising name – both for you and your church –  so that just by saying it, one feels a sense of greatness and accomplishment.  Strive to become a household name.

Establish your business to be neck and neck with similar – if not identical – churches in the area.  It is common knowledge among churchgoing circles that no matter how indistinguishable two churches are, they are different.  It is not strange to count more than six churches in less than a minute drive down a Lagos road or three churches in one building.  The more churches there are, the sweeter the contest.

You could even let the competition itself be your main source of income – not membership but Sunday attendance.  Consider concerts which depend on nightly ticket sales rather than fan clubs.  Instead of cultivating patrons, reserve your energy and resources for the periodic spectator.  Budget for well-known musical acts and comedians and don’t forget to advertise mercilessly.  Visitors would come from far and wide giving you access to more and more bank accounts.

Lastly, buy expensive things and show off your luxury.  In all you do remember this central truth: The more wealth a pastor acquires, the more wealth the pastor attracts.  Nigerians love rich pastors.  When they see you rocking Armani or cruising that Hummer it gives them hope that one day they too would make it, and hope leads to dumbfounding generosity.

Be sharp, innovative and charming, and soon you would have your own private jet.

Money Making Machines: Education

Money Making Machines: Part 2

Friends, don’t wallow in depression about the future!  Here is another bright idea to consider as our breadwinner, oil, grieves a massive pay cut.

This is a nation of 180 million inhabitants with a growing middle class.  So, there is an increasing number of parents who are seeking to saddle their children off to institutions.  Why not start a school?

It would be easy to buy a house or building from the endless sea of civil servants – who have not been paid in months – that are selling off their properties for less than market value.  You don’t have to wait for the hole in the floor to be fixed, for that bush full of snakes to be chopped or for the plumbing to work well – or at all – before the first session commences.  Parents would see these petty inadequacies as discipline and rugged training for their children.  If everything is sound and proper, children would grow up spoilt.  However, after the first session and you decide to double the tuition fee, things would have to be finished up and you would need to acquire expensive-looking teaching equipment that no one knows how to use to impress potential clients.

Foreign! Foreign! Foreign!  Everything you do must be anything but Nigerian.  Speak with a foreign accent when engaging with parents – preferably British.  The more convincing your accent, the more fees you can charge.  By the way, you could always make clients pay in dollars because of its higher value and stability against the naira.  May I share another secret with you?  Putting the word ‘international’ in the name of your school propels its status by 200%.

What you teach them in this school doesn’t really matter.  Nigerian parents don’t care much if their kids learn anything valuable, as long as they come home with an A or distinction.  It is the certificate, not content, that we are concerned about here.  So, begin to think about the side income that would come from parents for a pass or the extra they would donate for an A.  If the rarer-than-Halley’s-comet inspector does show up and make a fuss, you could always slip something into their hands.  They too must be struggling in these tough times.

Don’t have the capital to do any of this?  Have you considered writing a textbook?  Only God knows how much Ugo C. Ugo has made from selling us over 20-year-old past question papers that tell us Pluto is a planet.  Again, no one cares about content.

If you own a church, capital is no problem at all.  In fact, why not start a for-profit university as an extension of the business?  Use financial support from your congregation to fund the construction of the campus and acquisition of other resources.  Then charge an extortionate tuition fee so that even your church members can’t afford to send their children there.  They won’t be annoyed.  Everyone knows education is just for the rich.

 

Image | Source: Flickr

Money Making Machines: Church

Money Making Machines: Part 1

If you’ve been wondering how to ‘make it’ in Nigeria, this series humbly suggests a few ideas to get your imagination going.

In these days of economic strife where the country’s much beloved oil is approaching worthlessness and with austerity measures suffocating us, setting up a church is a great idea.  We are all in desperate need of relief and encouragement.  Not a Christian?  No problem.  With dedication and a smooth charisma, your prosperity is assured.  Nigeria is an ever-ripe market for the commercialisation of the Gospel.

Look around you, see how many churches there are and how well-fed their pastors look in comparison to their congregation.  Don’t worry, there are never too many pastors or churches. Somehow the congregation will come from somewhere – whether drifters from another church or first time churchgoers, they will come.  Initially, profit may not be as high as other professions but with strategic planning and an innocent smile, business will boom.  Importantly, revenue will skyrocket in hard times.  You are guaranteed to have a brand new suit finer than the knock-offs and hand-me-downs your congregation wears and an endless flock of potential spouses.

You would need to learn how to project your voice and harness your nasal resonance in order to give your speeches.  Crescendo to really grab attention then a slow motion diminuendo for lasting effect.  You want whatever you say to shock people into motivation.  Give them what they want to hear.  Tell them that their success will come soon – in fact tell them that they are already rich.

Don’t worry about doctrine.  Testing and prodding is highly unlikely as long as your sermons make people feel more positive about the future.  If any doubt does arise in the heart of a member, they would soon remember how ‘moving’ and ‘helpful’ your motivational speech was for their latest venture.  Also, tell them that T. D. Jakes or Pastor Adeboye said it and all doubts would ease.  It would take a dedicated nemesis to go through the thousands of sermons these pastors have preached to confirm your guilt.  Be on your guard!  Those individuals do exist. There are always people who dream of becoming the senior pastor and are looking for the slightest opportunity to poach your company.

Remember, loads of dancing and loud singing!  Not only does this help relieve stress but it means more cash in the offering basket.  Do specify the minimum amount that should be dropped in the basket because breakthrough is money-dependent.  Tell them that their presence at the numerous ill-scheduled church programmes is compulsory and have a collection at each of these events.  They may lose their jobs for attending instead of working but who cares?

In a short while, you would have developed a steady congregation that worships you and a bank account that’s never empty. If you are successful in the complete bewitchment of your audience – and some intelligent people have accomplished this ultimate high – you would be more revered than God.