Launching and sustaining a business idea is not all flowers and roses, as many think, but with the right mindset and strategies, you can be part of the success rate.
While the idea of starting and growing your own business can be thrilling and super exciting, you must understand that it is a challenging endeavour. Practically anyone can set up a business; all you need is to fill out some paperwork, create a logo and some banners, and offer a legit service or product. However, making your business successful is another ball game entirely. Sustaining a successful small business depends on many factors and requires you to possess a specific mindset. You must be able to apply the right strategies and ideas to specific situations at the appropriate time.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 25 per cent of startups sustain for up to 15 years, while the remaining 25 per cent collapse before the first 5 years. This statistic shows that most entrepreneurs fail to understand what it takes to sustain a business before starting one. Do you want to stand above the fierce competition in the business world and be among the success rate? I bet the answer is yes! Well, this article will explore helpful tips and strategies to make your small business successful.
One common error most people make is starting a business on the product or service they have in mind without researching how well it’ll sell. As you are planning to start up your business, you must understand that your love for an idea of a product or service doesn’t mean people want to buy it.
To avoid failure in your startup, you must conduct in-depth research on the service or product you want to offer with respect to how many people want it in the market. Talking to several of your target customers about your product and analyzing how they feel about it instead of guesswork will give you a clear picture of your business’s likelihood of success. Also, ensure to check out how existing businesses with similar models are doing in the market.
Running a business based solely on your personal values and ideas is why many startups fail today. Yes, you have chosen to offer a product or service with a good prospect; however, a critical factor for your success is to know who your target customers are. Even established businesses that get this wrong usually end up sliding down the slope.
To sustain a successful small business, you must gather enough information about how big your target audience base is and what their features are. For instance, you must know their age range, demographics, and personas. Also, you must know what influences their buying decisions. This will not only help you reach and convert them effectively but retain them even after they become your customers. Remember, a thriving business is one that understands what its customers want.
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While it’s great to consider several other factors, you must understand that the core element of your business is the quality of the product or service you offer. It is one thing to get customers to patronize your business; it is another to offer them outstanding service and a great customer experience. The latter will help convert your one-time visitors into loyal customers.
An essential ingredient to a successful small business in this highly competitive environment is generating enough positive word of mouth. A sure way to achieve this is by offering professional service to your customers. More than brand promotion, your customers singing your praises and turning into your brand ambassadors is one of the most effective ways to grow as a small business.
Every business has competitors, and you should be worried if you don’t find any around you. A lack of competitors in a market may mean a lack of demand for the product or service it offers. Since your primary goal is to ensure that your target customers choose your small business over your competitors, it’s imperative that you stand above them by researching the competition around you.
When you find your competitors, you must find out who they are, their strengths and weaknesses, their customer reviews, and their results. You must also ask yourself which of them stands out and which of them are out of business. This information will enable you to make informed decisions that will keep you above the competition in your market, no matter how fierce it is. You’ll easily be the first choice of your target audience when they find that your business offers more value where others are lagging.
Another common mistake many small businesses make is the lack of proper cash management by spending on unnecessary things. This has sent many small businesses packing in their early days. Cash management is vital, especially when you have just launched your business and have a lot to spend on. Hence, it is important to have a budget for each of your expenditures and stick to it to avoid running into debt.
Here are some helpful financial tips for your small business:
Finally, the most important personal traits vital to the success of your small business are your focus and passion. These will drive you towards achieving your goals no matter what challenges arise. Before reaching your big goals, you need to be satisfied with short-term goals and milestones. Know that sustaining a business is not a sprint but a marathon, so you must be patient.
Also, you must be passionate about your business to make it a success story. You must not for once be distracted from why you started the venture in the first place. Passion will always keep you on your feet. It may take you more time than you might spend working for someone else, and you might even sacrifice fun weekends and vacations, but it will be worth it in the end.
Rome wasn’t built in a day is a saying that applies to your small business. Launching and sustaining a business idea is not all flowers and roses, but with the right mindset and strategies, you can be part of the success rate. Don’t forget to visit Parimatch for a fantastic betting experience.
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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via email@example.com
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By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria losses over $7 billion annually to inefficiency and corruption, a report by the Nigeria project of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) in collaboration with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has revealed.
The report said that illegal charges, rent-seeking and corrupt port officials and circumstances of excessive delay to import and export processes were some of the administrative bottlenecks responsible for such huge losses.
“In economic terms, the private sector and the Nigerian government lose as high as N600 billion annually as a result of administrative bottlenecks and delays at the port and terminals in Nigeria,” it stated.
In the report, challenges of port administration were said to remain a major issue as operators continue to face lingering challenges that include infrastructure gaps, regulatory inconsistencies, duplication of roles by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, high rate of infractions by MDAs, cumbersome cargo clearing processes, multiple taxations and poor state of the roads.
“These challenges, particularly cargo clearance processes and modal transportation have created circumstances of excessive delays to import/export processes, red tape, rent-seeking and corrupt demands, human and vehicular congestion in and around the ports and illegal charges leading to high of business operations.
“Estimates indicate that the economic cost of these inefficiencies to the Nigerian government and private sector is as high as $7 billion annually.
“Broken down, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce Industry, LCCI, further calculates these annual losses to amount to N600 billion in Customs revenues, $10 billion in non-oil export and some N2.5 trillion in corporate revenues, including a drop of 38-40 per cent in industrial capacity,” a part of the report disclosed.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr Emmanuel Jime, said that the Nigerian ports have been classified as the worst in the world due to traffic congestion, safety and security concerns and logistics shortcomings that have plagued the ports.
Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer of the Convention of Business Integrity, Mr Soji Apampa, the convener of the Port Users Conference themed Retooling the Maritime Sector for Stronger Economic Growth, said the that the focus of the MACN Nigeria project is to use the collective action to strengthen good governance, reduce corruption and improve the investment climate in the Maritime sector.
Mr Apampa said,” We achieve this by working with the industry to strengthen compliance with government regulation, stakeholder activism and public vigilance.”
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The federal government has described the economic blueprint of the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 presidential election, Mr Atiku Abubakar, as a “poor version” of the model of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Last week, Mr Atiku, a former Vice President of Nigeria, was in Lagos at an event to explain how he intends to handle the country’s economy if elected as President next year.
The event was organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to provide a platform for candidates of the three major political parties in the race to explain their plans for the economy.
The former VP was the first to use the platform, followed by the former Governor of Anambra State and candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.
The candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Bola Tinubu, is the next to honour the invitation extended to him to reel out his economic plans.
While addressing a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, said the current administration is implementing the content of Mr Atiku’s economic blueprint.
“Let me say, straight away, that the so-called blueprint is a crude attempt at copying all that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has done, especially in the areas of job creation, infrastructure financing, relationship with the private sector, rejuvenation of the power sector, poverty reduction, debt management and the overall management of the economy,” Mr Mohammed told reporters today.
“It is more shocking that an opposition that has condemned all that this administration has done would turn around to weave its so-called Economic Blueprint around the same things that are currently being done by the same administration,” he said.
According to the Minister, the plan by the former Vice President to rebuild infrastructure and reduce infrastructure deficit to boost the economy and wealth creation is what Mr Buhari has been doing since he was elected in 2015.
“Even our worst critics will agree that our record on infrastructure development is next to none in the history of this country. Across the country, we have constructed 8,352.94 kilometres of roads, rehabilitated 7,936.05 kilometres of roads, constructed 299 bridges, maintained 312 bridges and created 302,039 jobs in the process,” the Minister said.
According to him, before 2015, the road budget was N18.132 billion but increased to N260.082 billion in 2016; N274.252 billion in 2017, N356.773 billion in 2018, N223.255 billion in 2019, N227.963 billion in 2020 and N241.864 billion in 2021.
He further said the administration of Mr Buhari has given room for investors to thrive, giving rise to “an unprecedented number of projects, including the 650,000bpd Dangote Refinery, Dangote Fertilizer plant, Lekki Deep Sea Port, BUA Cement, the 5,000bpd Waltersmith Modular Refinery in Imo State; the 2,500bpd Duport Modular Refinery/Energy Park in Edo State; the 2,000bpd Atlantic Modular Refinery in Bayelsa State; the 12,000bpd Azikel Modular Refinery also in Bayelsa; and more.
He said in the area of power, the federal government under the Presidential Power Initiative, partnered with Siemens to deliver 7,000MW in the first phase, 11,000MW in the second phase and 25,000MW in the third phase.
“This will positively impact job creation, boost investor confidence, accelerate economic growth and reduce the cost of doing business. For those who may be in doubt, let me say that this project is a game changer. As you may have read, electricity equipment ordered under the project has started arriving in the country. When they are installed, there will be a major improvement in the supply of electricity across the country,” Mr Mohammed said.
By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc has reacted to reports questioning its corporate governance structure and the N35 billion it seeks to raise from the capital market.
In a statement, the organisation said the money would be used to fund its business expansion, especially the viable investment opportunities it has identified to be of great benefit to shareholders.
The NGX Group stated that these identified viable investment opportunities are in line with its strategic expansion plans, including deepening investments in the existing portfolio companies to ensure high and steady dividend returns, adding that it is on course with its long-term strategy, which will ensure it provides competitive returns for its investors.
“NGX Group would therefore like to assure the investing public that it will continue to uphold the highest corporate governance standards, as it has historically done.
“We are extremely mindful of due process, our records are verifiable, and we are on course with our long-term strategy execution,” a part of the statement said.
The organisation also said it would continue to uphold the highest corporate governance standards with the overriding interest of maximising value for its shareholders.
It explained that the appointments of some of its directors did not contravene any law or governance codes as they were approved by the National Council and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The company noted that the directors were empowered to establish the Scheme further to a resolution of the shareholders at the NSE’s Extra-Ordinary Meeting held on 3 March 2020.
Additionally, the resolution for the allotment of 200,419,990 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each for the operation of a Long-Term Incentive Plan (LTIP) consisting of a Deferred Bonus Plan (DBP) and an Employee Share Purchase Plan (ESPP) was made at the company’s 2021 AGM on September 9, 2021, to operationalise the earlier approval of the establishment of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 2020, it stated.
“Furthermore, it should be noted that part of the approval granted by the shareholders at the 2021 AGM was for half of the total number of shares proposed for the LTIP being 100,209,995 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each to be purchased by employees under an Employee Share Purchase Plan.
“Under the terms of the ESPP, the shares will be offered at a discount of between 15 – 20 per cent of its market price and will be purchased by employees subject to the fixed cap per employee and availability of the pool.
“The other half relates to a deferred bonus under the Deferred Bonus Plan (DBP), which is earned when eligible employees meet set performance standards annually. Neither the DBP nor the ESPP is a gift to the employees. Both are multi-year plans,” the statement disclosed.
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