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Competition is getting so intense. You can’t sit down and assume that one strategy will take you through your business all week, and you can’t afford to slumber for a second, on the premise that you topped the pack yesterday, therefore, today, you will, also. Competition is ongoing – it’s more than a marathon, and therefore, requires a far more endurance than any long distance athletic competition. So, you need the strategy to compete with your competitors, and outdo them. In the digital world for instance, it’s become a digital war. Everyday, there are new technological disruptions, and even for the new inventions, there are frequent updates – most apps that were designed a year ago without being updated have been outrun by new ones. The pace at which humanity is developing is quicker than the speed of light – except you constantly adapt, and work harder, you’ll be shoved…

Some days ago,  before putting this article together, I told someone to visit my blog to read a certain article, and then, she asked, ‘What’s a blog?’ In my myopic mind, I thought every literate person in this digital age understands what a blog is, but I was wrong. So, in this little piece of write-up, I am not going to give any technical definition of a blog – I am going to define it exactly the way I see it. A blog is a website containing a personal journal which reflects your area of interest – areas of interest differ for different people. For instance, some people’s area of interest is photography, so they blog about photography. For people like me, it is leadership motivation and personal development, and that’s what I blog about. So, a blog is about expressing your opinions, concerns, passion, talent, or interest in whatever field…

How do I define entrepreneurship? I wanted to look at the technical meanings as introduction to this very valuable subject, but I said to myself, no – no, because, entrepreneurship isn’t a theoretical concept – it is what the eyes see, what the hands feel, and what the tongues taste. If you can’t behold it, embrace it, and relate with it in physicality, it is nothing but an ideology lost in arbitrary world. For this conclusion, I made up my mind that the best definitions of entrepreneurship are the ones that emanate, not from the classroom, but from those that are one hundred percent in the game. How does Ray Kroc, the Founder of MacDonald see entrepreneurship? He said, “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” Scott Belsky, Behance’s Co-Founder, in putting it straight said, “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas…

The importance of identifying a sustainable business idea, with a practical and realistic business plan to support it cannot be overemphasized, especially for a start-up company. Many government and private sector interventions aimed at encouraging young entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses are predicated mainly on a good business idea and a well written business plan with sufficient experience to defend it before a panel of ‘experts.’  But what do we see?  Only few applicants meet the shortlisting requirements and eventually get supported, while many others are frustrated and sometimes even doubt the integrity of the selection process. Consequently, the number that benefit from support programmes are not enough to make the desired impact in the economy.  I can tell you that many business plans are written and submitted to banks and other funding agencies on a regular basis, solicited and unsolicited. These plans, according to their authors, are…

These days, competition is rife amongst a large number of brands. Many homemade brands find it difficult to withstand foreign ones for so many reasons, and for these legion of reasons, local brands are knocked off most of our shelves. As we rely on imports to service our insatiable needs, there is depletion of our currencies and probably, foreign reserves, because we spend the hard currencies filling our shops with what we can produce within, or already producing within. The hunger for foreign goods and the abandonment of local brands further damage our economies and put it in epileptic predicaments. As we tread on this ignorant route, we continuously blame the government for not performing magic in revamping our economies, when in reality; we are prisoners by our own device. There is a perception rumbling in the minds of the citizenries that local brands are inferior to foreign ones, and…

Whilst many businesses are going through challenges of survival and sustainability, others are growing, attracting more customers and making money.   It is interesting to note that difficult times such as we are in presently in Nigeria provide opportunities for new profitable businesses to come up because of new challenges. If you do not deliberately look for challenges and needs to meet, then you may not see opportunities, even the ones knocking at your door. Challenging business environment The business environment is changing and existing businesses that cannot adapt their operations and methods to take advantage of the changing business landscape may not be sustained. In the last few months, there have been several stories of businesses and enterprises closing shop because of lack of patronage and rising cost of input materials.Other reasons why many businesses are not doing well include inability to scale up the business and respond to changes…

Most times, a small-scale business starts with one person who later employs more people to be a part of the business, which could be at the planning stage or before the commencement of business. As an entrepreneur launching a small business, you are often a one-person show. In addition to the actual work of building your business, you are also the receptionist, accountant, marketer, general manager etc. For a small-scale business owner, the issues at the front burner are usually related to finance, marketing, processes and technology. This is understandable. However, the business cannot grow without employees, partners, and collaborators, in addition to clients or customers. If your business has grown to require at least one other person, then you need to understand what to look for in recruiting that person. In this edition I will highlight six tips that small business owners can consider to recruit employees who will…

I have a rucksack that has served me for years, but because it didn’t look attractive, I wanted something that I would carry on my back and everyone would admire. Whenever I went on the tube, I saw some guys with beautiful backpacks, and I felt like having one. One day, I went to a high street and saw a shop with some fantastic looking rucksacks, and I said to myself, “this is it!” Without wasting time, I jumped into the shop and was spoilt for choice. It was so difficult to decide the design I wanted because they were all looking fabulous. After a careful scrutiny, I went for one black colour. My wife so liked it that she asked if she could take it on holidays to Africa, but I vehemently refused as I was so much in love with my new rucksack. Without hesitation, I abandoned the…

Amongst the challenges of a small business owner are ability and discipline to keep proper records of the business. This is not very surprising as we have a culture of not keeping personal records and that is probably why it is difficult to keep business records. A few years ago, I struggled to write down all my monthly expenses for a proper analysis of how I was spending my money. I failed several times before I got it right. I did not have the consciousness to collect receipts or invoices for many of my purchases and expenses because nobody was going to ask me to account for what I spent. This attitude is not good for business.  Books to Keep Bookkeeping simply means writing down all the money that the business receives (receipts) and all the money that it pays out (payments). You need to keep business documents to be…