It is often said that Ideas are easy; Implementation is hard, this is true. Starting a small scale business is a challenging endeavor and it would be widely agreed upon that there are enough/ample evidence and case studies on business failures.
Fraught with a lot of uncertainties, the promise of a small scale business failing in its development stage is high – according to The Better Africa Report by Weetracker (an African digital media company), the average failure rate for start-ups in Nigeria is 61% from 2010 to 2018. The purpose of this article is to present some insights into how businesses can be guided for lift-off;
1. Refine Your Business Idea
You are thinking of starting a business, you already came up with an idea of what to do or what market to enter. That is great – business ideas are great, and they make us feel like we are on to something; something that we have always been passionate about. Now, you are so pumped to get started right away – which is cool- but this is not the smartest thing to do. It is best to take a step back before going all in. You need to refine and test your idea before you can build a business out of it.
Do a quick research on existing companies in that industry; learn what they are doing and how you can improve on it. Understand the reason behind your idea. It is good to know why you are starting your business – in this process, it may be wise to differentiate what purpose your business serves (personal why or a marketplace why). When you are focused on meeting a need in the marketplace, the scope of your business will always be larger than a business that is designed to serve a personal need.
Next, survey your market place, set up a simple questionnaire to get a better understanding of your target customers – ensure your questions cover the most important things that would make you get a better idea of who your customers are and why you think they would want to buy your products or services.
2. Write A Business Plan/Pitch Deck
This is a very crucial aspect in the early stages of a business. It does not have to be a fancy 100-page document – It could even be in short slides.
The importance of this, however, is to answer the following questions; why are you starting? What makes your idea different? What solutions are you providing? What is your target market? What is your market strategy? How do you make a profit? It is also a good way to present your idea to potential investors.
3. Start Small
We all want our businesses to be successful, with a large customer base and lots of profit, however, you have to learn to walk before you can run – think small, one customer at a time.
Ensure that you can survive the unavoidable itch/hiccups associated with running a small business – recover and learn from your mistakes without incurring a lot of debts. This would help in the successful growth of your business.
4. Register Your Company
You must register with the government to become an officially recognized entity. The law that deals with company regulation in Nigeria is the Company Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and the regulatory body in charge of implementing the provisions of CAMA is the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). To get the step by step process involved in registering, please visit the CAC
5. Constantly Show Up For Your Customers
For anyone serious about growing a successful business, it is exigent to realize the importance of good customer service.
This goes beyond customers always been right; it is about how you treat your customers like family – by not talking down on them or looking for every medium to extract money from them.
It is about going out of your way for them. Delivering value starts by having your customers’ best interest at heart.
The Truth About Time Management: It’s Not About Time
We’ve all heard the expression, “There aren’t enough hours in the day.” In truth, we’ve likely all said it at some point. Time management is a struggle for everybody, but especially entrepreneurs, CEOs, and founders.
Interestingly, some people seem to get more out of our 24 hours each day than others. As author Idowu Koyenikan said, the key to making the most of our hours isn’t time management—it’s life management. People who do it successfully balance the things they love with tasks they need to complete to maintain a well-rounded, satisfying life.
To-do lists or any one of the countless books on time management can help you achieve this balance, but things will eventually fall apart unless you make a habit of productivity—and stick to it. This might mean writing down your top priorities for the day or week, using a productivity app, or creating a plan that works best.
The Truth About Time Management for CEOs
When it comes to time management skills and techniques, business leaders are among the worst offenders. This typically happens because of the nature of leadership positions. These individuals are driven by the feeling that they have to do everything or have all the answers. On average, they’re also responsible for a lot: CEOs work 9.7 hours per weekday and spend 79 percent of weekend days and 70 percent of their vacation days working.
Success doesn’t come from adding countless tasks to your calendar and putting in the longest possible hours. It comes from purposeful, intentional work, which means managing your time more effectively to focus on what matters. To get there, business leaders have to reset their time-management expectations.
Only using productivity tools doesn’t lead to better time management—developing concrete time-management skills does.
How Are You Managing Your Time?
While CEOs and business leaders have countless resources at their disposal, they frequently lack time. Here are four steps to improve your time-management skills and techniques to maximize the time you do have: continue reading…
Why You Should Have A Website And Not Just Rely On Social Media
No one could have predicted just how revolutionary social media would be when MySpace started gaining followers in the early 2000s. Even in 2006, when Facebook and Twitter became widely available to the global population, there were still lingering doubts about its longevity and potential as a profit-making vehicle.
In retrospect, it makes sense: after the meteoric rise and crushing fall of the 90s dot com bubble, it was still very much open to interpretation as to whether this new wave of interactive media would be able to survive (let alone thrive) into the future.
We know differently today.
As of early 2019, there were 4.2 billion internet users, of which 3.397 billion were active on social media.
To put this even further into perspective, consider that, on average, every one of those users owns 5.54 social media accounts and spends 116 minutes a day scrolling their news-feeds or chatting with friends.
And those mind-boggling numbers are still growing. Three hundred twenty million new profiles were created between September 2017 and October 2018, which works out to 10 new social media users every second. This figure alone is almost double the average number of human births per second.
That’s right. Social media growth is outstripping the global human birth rate.
You Do Not Own Social Media
We get it. Starting a Facebook page for your small business when you don’t have much working capital seems like a much smarter option than stumping up for a website. Not only is it free, it can also put you in touch with pretty much everybody you’d like to sell to. If you’re a local-oriented biz you can make a point of highlighting your location or some other specific selling point. Continue reading…