In one way or another, you are or have ever been a money lender, whether knowingly or unknowingly. You could have lent at a profit or interest-free, but either way, you must have faced similar challenges to collect that money from the person you lent it to. It gets worse if you lent that money interest-free, because that means if you have to put in any extra costs to recover that money, like involving the police or courts of law, it’s an additional cost on your end. It’s more or less adding an injury to an insult. At least, if it were lent at an interest rate, you could console yourself that, first, you probably took a business risk in anticipation of some profits, but also, probably through the different recovery means, you may perhaps recover the costs employed in the recovery process.
This gets interesting if you lend to a relative or a close friend, because not only do you stand a chance to lose the money lent out, but you also stand a chance to lose a friendship or have an enmity with a relative. With a friend, you can afford to call it quits and have hopes of getting other friends, or even better friends, who are able to at least honor their words, commitments, and individual obligations. But for a relative, it might be way more than meets the eye. We are talking about family and blood, where you cannot wake up one morning and disown or break off a blood relative. You are in more chaos than you bargained for, and like the proverb goes, you can’t participate in the monkey dance if you are not ready to bear the mud-sliding that happens in the dance. So, you got yourself into the mess, or better said, you behaved yourself into the mess, so you actually have to work yourself out of it. You may not be able to pray yourself out of it or even behave yourself out of it. It is real work! So, you have to work yourself out of the mess. With a friend, you may perhaps not cross each other’s path as often, but with a relative, you’ll most likely meet at family functions and meetings, among others, and you cannot avoid it. So, it’s advisable to trade with them very carefully. The easy approach would be to just write off the debt and be out of it, but sometimes the amount in question is too much to just write off. So, you have to employ all means to recover it. And in any case, if you are in the business of lending, how many loans are going to be written off before you get out of business?
The best way to lend money is to do so in accordance with the law. If the law doesn’t favor the modality under which you are lending the money, then just either give it away or don’t lend it at all. Better still, through experience, I have come to learn that you can ably contribute for a friend or relative on a certain cause for which they have come for a loan, especially when you realize that giving them the loan might not be a wise decision to make. Given Jonakee’s experience in lending of over 12 years, we have encountered all sorts of clients, friends, workmates, and relatives, ranging from those who assume that if you don’t come through for them, the sky will fall on earth and we shall all end up dying, to those who take it as your responsibility to bail them out, posing that you actually have equal obligations as they do, in a situation they knowingly or unknowingly got themselves into. This gets more common when they learn that you can actually give loans in less than 12 hours. The assumption is such that you keep chunks of money in a safe and you just pick them out and give them as and when the need arises, not knowing that there are procedures that you are meant to go through to access any money from the company account, even when you are the CEO of the money lending business or company.
I usually share with a number of colleagues I mentor in the money lending business that, as the owner, CEO, or head of the business, you should be separate and your personal money and the business money must not intersect or kiss, because, if they do, before you know it, they’ll give birth to a child that you didn’t anticipate, let alone plan to give birth to. Such a child could be a business failure, a business closure, theft, and mismanagement from even your own staff, because if you do it scorn-free as the head of the money lending business, your subordinates will also learn that it’s not as bad to pick money from the company account, so long as there is justification or dire need for it. Before you know it, someone starts spending money at source, after collection from the clients, before banking it, and then you find yourself and your business or company in a mess. Much of the time, it is we who put ourselves in such a mess by building and espousing a culture of “theft” in our businesses and starting to command staff not to do as we are doing, not knowing that staff learn more from what we do than from what we actually tell them to do.
So, it is important that if you want to run money lending as a business, you, as the leader of the business, be exemplary, not cut corners, and command the rest of the staff not to cut corners. Build a culture of knowing that if any staff collects money from the clients, they only have a maximum of 6 hours to deposit it on the company account, and they should deposit it without fail. You and the staff should actually sign a procedural document to that effect. I remember during our nascent years of our money lending business, a number of land deals and car deals would come through from friends who came to learn that we had some money in cash, so anything that needed instant liquidity, we were their go-to guys. I bought a number of unplanned plots of land and vehicles, all in the sense that I could actually resell them as and when the company ran short of money or as and when I wanted to. To most, they ended up becoming my personal cars, which I even sold for way less than I bought them, let alone the amount I could inject into their repairs and spare parts, yet I used company money to acquire them. This should be avoided as much as you can. Your business money should be so separate and different from your company money. You should have different bank accounts, and if you are not disciplined enough, assign one of the staff members to initiate the transactions on the company account, and you should only approve the already initiated transactions on the company account, whether for loans or any expenditure. You can actually instruct and authorize one of your staff members to inquire and find out any justifications for the transactions that happen on the company account.
Most people think money lending is about giving out money and giving it out quickly, but there is more to that than meets the eye. There are lots of principles and considerations you have to undertake in order to start and grow such a business. It further requires a lot of discipline; otherwise, you will close it or collapse it by yourself.
Furthermore, it is important to have your loan steps and procedures written down. You may think you understand your procedures very well, and you can actually implement them very well without writing them down until you shock yourself by breaking some of the procedures or even your staff by breaking the procedures you least expect to be broken. You have heard of the adage that experience is the best teacher, but not in the money lending industry. In this industry, experience is one of the costliest things you can ever lean on, so you cannot afford to learn by experience unless you want to get out of business in a matter of months. Write down the procedures that should guide all your staff on what to do and how to do it, so that in the event of any anomaly, there are some corrective measures and standards against which to measure themselves. You cannot correct something for which you don’t have a standard. A standard is a yardstick to assess whether you are on the right track or not, and you correct yourself accordingly.
Last but not least, beware that not everyone out there wishes you well. We are operating in a world where your failure is someone’s celebration, so assuming that everyone is praying and wishing you the very best is misplaced thinking. This explains why someone that you even take to be a friend or relative can line up for you as a fraudster to get you out of business. Someone spends sleepless nights planning and thinking of how they can get you out of business, and you wonder whether it’s not the best alternative to use their time and their mind to generate ideas for making clean money. So, as Donald Trump says, prepare for such people by having unbendable procedures in place because, if you know you are going to bend or break those procedures for the so-called special people or clients, then you are better off not putting them in place at all.
In a nutshell, money lending is one of the most profitable and helpful businesses if done the right way. Most people have negative words and sentiments about money lending and think that it’s not a good business. I tend to disagree with them because, if done well, money lending can help a client keep in business, close a profitable deal, or honor a certain local purchase order (LPO) or invoice they wouldn’t have honored if we didn’t exit. It is important to understand that we exist to do bridge financing; whereas a bank or a microfinance institution can tell you to come after a month, we can fund your project or business deal in a matter of hours. That gives us an edge and makes us relevant in such an economy. Indeed, several money lenders have not been doing it the right way, but there are also money lenders who are doing it the right way, with the target not being to defraud clients of their money or property but rather to support them and grow with them. Putting “beef” aside, that is why Jonakee Holdings Limited (JHL) exists. We are here to serve you. We strive daily to create tomorrow’s billionaires.