Starting A Succesful Business: What It Takes

9 Nov

It takes a lot of courage, passion, focus and determination to get any business off the ground to success. People tend to mistake starting a business with going to school to get grades or being sent on an errand. Its far more than that. Every successful business owner has a very long tale to tell about how they started their successful businesses. Not all businesses are going to be successful. Some are just special purpose vehicles to achieve a particular aim while a large majority is to leave a legacy for family,someone or in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson ” to leave the world a bit better”. In any case, starting a business is a different ball game entirely.

Any one starting a business should consider a lot of things. I started a bakery/confectionery and restaurant business seven years ago and I tell you, its not a bed of roses at all. Many businesses have failed because they ignored the little things that count much than the big ones. If you ask me from my experience what are those things an aspiring entrepreneur should care about, i would be glad to offer the following tips.

EXPERIENCE

In order to start a business, a new entrepreneur should endeavor to gain some experience from an organization. When you work in an organization, it exposes you to how it is managed and as part of the team you gain an insight into an organizations’ heart, its written and unwritten rules, business model, short, medium and long term plans. This exposure is sacrosanct. Two things come up after the exposure. You are educated in the art of managing  a business and gain experience in doing so. Business is practical and not taught in any MBA university class. Its also a reason why Mark H. McCormack wrote the book What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School.

EDUCATION

Formal education is still going to play a very strategic role in today’s international business environment. Whatever it is, formal education is still needed in organizations functions namely: finance,personnel(HR), production and marketing. Education makes it easier to hire to hire the right staff for the right position and get the best of performance from them. Education is so dynamic these days that a lot of people find themselves in a very different field or profession apart from what they studied in school.

RESEARCH

Research is the key to understanding any business or industry. It helps you to understand the pros and cons of establishing and managing a business for the long term.Research work exposes you to the impact a business environment has on a business, challenges, risk factors in the industry and long term impact. Research on any business can come in many forms. It can come as a result of your work experience or from someone else experience, a business case study or a  business plan. I cannot over emphasize the importance of research to a new business. Every aspiring entrepreneur needs to do that before embarking on a journey into the business world.

BUSINESS MODEL

There are so many business models out there and you have to choose which one would serve your purpose. All business models are grouped into the following. Organic Growth Model signifies the model that makes use of the internal resources of an organization to expand its business. Acquisition model makes use of buying up other similar organizations to carry out business expansion. As a new entrepreneur, you have to employ a business model that suits your personality. Whether you have enough money or not to start a business, your business model is important.

STAY FOCUSSED

So many new entrepreneurs are carried away by just little success, a reason why so many fail after five years. A new entrepreneur is the focus of the organization and he is the chief architect of the direction of the organization. As a new entrepreneur you have to be vigilant in managing all aspects of the organization and its staff. You are the CEO, CFO, COO and General Manager, reporting only to yourself. You take responsibility for every action of the organization and monitor the activities of staff. This helps you implement every letter of the original business plan.

STAFFING

Every organization is measured by the quality of staff it employs. Its not just a perception but a fact of business life. From the cleaner to the Head Honcho, its very important one employs qualitative staff. Organizations are running away from the cost of training new recruits. Instead , they employ experienced staff to do their job with less supervision. However, the new entrepreneurs business is the best starting point for these recruits who are mainly fresh college and high school graduates who are looking for an opportunity to jump start their career. A new entrepreneur can develop his staff from scratch and his organization can be a reference point in many resumes.

SUPERVISION

Be prepared to lose a lot of sleep. Supervision of experienced and inexperienced staff in a start up is no cup of tea but something else. Supervising your employees helps you know their abilities and weaknesses in order to help get them better.

START UP CAPITAL

A question on every entrepreneurs mind is how much really do I need to get this business started? As a new entrepreneur, your start up capital should be adequate enough to start any business of your choice. Start up capitals also depend on the business model to be employed or according to your business strategy.

PASSION

Passion has no financial value but it is the intrinsic value of any business. As a new entrepreneur, you must be able to put your hearts out to the success of the business. The success of your start-up is your success and you are representative of that success at every given time. You are a reference point anytime the business or start-up is mentioned.

SOCIALIZE

When you socialize, you open dozens of opportunities for yourself and your start-up. You create awareness about your business and get to know a lot of people in and outside your sphere of influence. You are informed of the latest gossip or news about the industry and polity as you meet people from all walks of life.

STORMS

Every start-up will always hit a brick wall no matter how well it is managed. But how you manage to get out of that brick wall defines your future in business.

JOIN A PROFESSIONAL OR TRADE ASSOCIATION

When you start a business, you must make it a point of duty to join a trade association or a professional organization regulating your business. It is important as your organization will be part of any changes made by that trade association which will equally impact on society.

Starting a business is not bread and butter but a refining and defining experience. It’s not for the feeble but bold and courageous and focused.

Thanks for stopping by.

Making Money Online De-Mystified

24 Aug

I have spent my last three months researching on internet marketing and found one reliable one that explained it baby-wise. The Shoe-In Money System by Jeremy Schoemaker was my eye opener to the world of internet marketing and it has motivated me to write this article. Internet marketing is a high risk high reward industry. It involves putting so much hours and cash to work to make your first sale. Read on.

Myths And Realities

Making money online is quite a hassle for the novice. Its either you have keyed into the right program or methodology, strategy or you have invested sufficient time and money to learn from the best and the worst. Worst of all, you lose a lot of money to cheats and swindlers in order to get trapped into another “get rich quick” scheme.Bad!!! The truth is a lot of Internet marketers are just swindlers who want to fleece you of your hard earned money.

The hard truth is no program or method makes you rich overnight. Making it on the internet involves real hard work, research and development of new products and services, methods or improving on an old product or service. Learning from those who have made it and are masters of the trade can impact on the novice. Every internet marketer who has crossed the $1,000 dollars monthly earnings threshold can , has a long tale to tell and can attest to what i am saying here.

Ewen Chia made the breakthrough after three years of sleepless nights and hard work.My mentors Darren Rowse (www.problogger.com) and Jeremy Schoemaker (www.shoemoney.com) can tell you that continuous study keeps them  alive in this business of sharks. Peng Joon (www.pengjoon.com) and a host of others will tell you similar stories. No one program,scheme or method will make you money overnight except you work hard. It takes time for every kind of business (online and offline) to mature.

There are three ways to make money online.

Create And Sell Your Own Product

You can create a new product or service and build a website to sell it. You can create a software, market a song , write a digital book on Amazon kindle or even sell doughnuts. You can even create a forum for your co professionals  such as http://www.warriorforum.com.

 

 

Sell Other Peoples Product

Also known as affiliate marketing is a method where you sell another person or institution’s product or service for fee referred to as affiliate commission. http://www.amazon.com, ebay.com and clickbank.com sell a  large variety of items such as books to electronics. It has a an affiliate program known as amazon associates, whose members earn a commission for every sale done through their links.

 

Online Investments

Where a variety of financial products are sold through online brokerage firms. Shares , stocks, Exchange traded funds and forex (FX) are a some of online investments that can make you rich. Online firms like tdameritrade.com are trusted brokers who have guided a lot of people to make the right decisions on the mentioned methods. Online investments is more sophisticated than the other two and require some very good tutoring before you can jump into the hard waters of world finance.

 

Budget

Let me try to be frank here. I am just new to the world of internet marketing. I am very lucky to come across these two masters,Jeremy Schoemaker and Darren Rowse, who have seen it all. These guys give you the rudiments of the trade first before anything else. The honest truth is you will spend money to earn money as against what you read everyday. Let me analyze a starter’s budget here.

If your business is a long term business then you need a long term hosting plan. Depending on what you do, a three year hosting plan will cost you between $150 to $200 and if you are lucky a promo is holding, then you pay $100 to $120. A wordpress.com blog will cost you $100 annually and for three years its $300. Saving your blog from clones and hawks on Vaultpress.com will cost you $165 annually. If you are into eCommerce then we are talking of spending an amount close to $2,000 to $3,000 using sites like Volusion.com or shopify.com.  I am talking of $1, 000 dollars and above for your start up marketing campaign. So, where is the free lunch novice? How about your advertising campaign? Its harder if you do it yourself but better when you allow the masters to take charge of the marketing. Its their job.

Listbuilding

This is a necessity for every internet marketer. You need to build a large customer base and the best way is to do that is to build a mailing list. You can use aweber.com or a host of others to do that. An internet marketer requires a mailing list to get reactions from and feel the pulse of his clients base. It also allows him to know if the market accepts his products or services or otherwise.

Conclusion

If you think living the internet life is easy, then think twice. It involves a lot of efforts, which takes a lot of time and money to materialise to an earning. It will take me less time to get there because i am using the services and advice of the masters to do that.

Good luck everyone.

 

 

WEALTH CREATION STRATEGIES FOR YEAR 2014 2

3 May

Online Trading in Financial Instruments

Website Designs

Programming

Seminars and Trainings

e-Books creation

Public Speaking

Articles Writing (just like this one)

Book Reviewing

Consulting

Androids

Cameras

Financial Planning

Body and Physical Fitness Trainers

 

Whats Your Best Television Programs And What Do You Learn From Them?

20 Feb

Back From  A Long Sleep

I have been out of circulation for a while and thats as interesting as it can be. I am Short of words and even think the next step I am taking might be right. It Is too long a vacation for a blogger like me. I Have asked myself if I want to make this blog a premium blog or not. I am still baffled. I got out of my shell and decided to do something very different. I have gone from a chronic debtor to a manwho has had the opportunity to restart on a clean sheet life once again. A business deal set me back in thousands and I kept wondering. In any case, i  learned something pretty new and want to learn more of it in the coming months.To most out there its not new. But to me I just found fun and a new way to live life fully. I am adapting very well and hope to be a “guru” soon. I will keep you posted.

The Wolf Of Wall Street

At first I never imagined this audio book that sold millions will be made into a hit movie. I was watching the Entertainment channel and saw those clips from it while having a session with my kids. I summoned the attention of my wife at once and she abandoned cooking for what I had to tell her. She too was surprised to find out that too. I bought a copy of that audio book five years ago and listened to every inch of the five hour plus Compact Discs. It was the story of a young man who did a lot of cover ups to become successful on the worlds’ biggest financial market: the New York Stock Exchange. It was also the beginning of his downfall from grace. Jordan Belfort had all it takes to be successful. A degree from a recognized college and a nice job on Wall Street, admiration from everyone around for making yourself a success in a very short period. But that was just the chip off the iceberg. Then the bubble burst. The lies about success were ripped apart by lawsuits, divorces, law enforcement and others. Belfort is not the first.

The world has seen his type before. Nick Leeson wrecked a centuries old institution by hiding bad trades in Asia for over a decade before he was discovered.Kweku Adoboli,Jerome Kerviel and a host of others have thought our generation a lot of lessons. The first lesson is you must crawl before you walk. No man ever got rich overnight. It took years or decades to build a fortune not being smart.

The second lesson is we have to be careful in our decisions: financial or otherwise. Every little decision has a long term effect, no matter how minute.

The third is we have to curtail our lifestyle. In a period of economic uncertainty, the only alternative is to save more money from what you earn.Save Save Save.

I am hoping that the movie will win an Oscar in order to get the adequate publicity it needs. I also want the fans of that particular movie to learn from the lessons and not just enjoy the action.Its a must see for every aspiring businessman, student and the world at large. Good luck.

My article “Whats Your Best Television Programs And What Do You Learn From Them?” continues next week.

 

 

 

WEALTH CREATION STRATEGIES FOR YEAR 2014

22 Dec

Wealth creation has been here with us over time.We have read so much about it from every age till date and most of us cannot implement the strategies stated in those books. A lot of us find these strategies difficult but experienced people will tell us a lot about wealth creation. The first thing about wealth creation anywhere in the world is it involves a lot of sacrifices along the line.Gaining wealth is the first stage and maintaining that wealth over time is,perhaps, the most difficult stage. Consolidating wealth has always been a dicey affair from every angle you look at it. But the greatest wealth is having the right people around you all the time to implement strategies that can help to consolidate and increase the wealth. From Carlos Slim Helu to Aliko Dangote and the youngest made millionaire on the planet will reveal effect of having the right people manage your wealth or business at any given time.
As we say good bye to the outgoing year in style, lets give a big welcome at the door to the incoming year with a lot of Praises to Providence for seeing us through another turbulent but interesting year. For the next twelve days, I will outline how i gathered enough capital to be an entrepreneur over the period of twenty three years. Some of the strategies I will outline are still in use. Here we go.

STOCKS/SHARESYou can build your wealth using stocks as a vehicle. You can do that by setting aside an amount each month from your salaries and allowances or from windfalls to buy stocks over a period of your employment. They serve as a buffer against the unexpected and have been the proven vehicle for the richest men in the world over the centuries. Your first step is to get a stockbroker. Not just a stock broker but an adviser on equities.However, you also need to research a lot on any companies stocks you want to buy. There are three types of stocks or shares. Income or dividend stocks which you invest in because of a proven track record of annual dividends to shareholders. The other is growth stocks whose prices have increased astronomically over a period of time. The third is a stock that have a mixture of both.

CONSUMER GOODS DISTRIBUTORSHIP
This is the most uncomplicated business model. Consumer goods business has proven to be the shortest and the most effective way to get rich. If you start on a small medium or even large scale and are in a very good business location, there are advantages that are  inherent in the business. You enjoy commissions and licensee agreements that gives you an advantage over others in your business. Producers tend to give commissions and incentives to distributors for their starling performance over the years and that has been the major attraction to this business model. One can grow astronomically with little capital over time.

TRANSPORTATION AND HAULAGEThis is another high profit high risk business. Every one is moving from one destination to another each day. With little capital you can acquire a car or lease it to do this business. If you own one,it gives you an advantage over others. You can start by moving people from short distances and over time embark on the long distances which are profitable. You may enjoy charter services from high end executives who pay more for personalized services. A complimentary card,a short company profile or flyer detailing your services will open new opportunities for you.

 

TEN REASONS WHY MOST PEOPLE VENTURE INTO BUSINESS

8 Feb

Having gone through several books, manuals, articles, listened to speakers speak at seminars and explored the internet, including major social networks to research reasons why many people go into and what they have benefited from doing business over the years. Most of those I came across are those who started business from scratch, who have also garnered much experience from what they do.

1.    FINANCIAL FREEDOM:
 A large percentage of people I have encountered went into business to achieve financial security. Financial security means being free from all financial limitations; to make money as one wishes and not be limited to one source. Unlike a salary earner who is limited to one source, most discovered that with one or more business sources of income, they will attract more sources of finance within an extremely short notice to carry out one or more tasks in their businesses, especially for business expansion.
 
2.    TIME MANAGEMENT:
Time is essential in every aspect of life. Having control over your time is extremely important. Most believe that  time management helps them to organize themselves and their activities from waking up to bath in the morning to sleeping at night and carrying out their business activities within a time frame.
 
3.    PROVIDE SERVICE OR CREATE PRODUCT:
Essentially you can not be in business without offering a product or service that satisfies your audience for a financial consideration. It may be an existing product or service with your unique selling point or an additional input as an added proposition.
  
4.    TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITY:
 Opportunities regularly present themselves in the business environment. They come in form of trade incentives to encourage the establishment of business in or outside your environment. These may have been a strong reason why many people are in business.
 
5.    KNOWLEDGE (LEARNING):
To gain deep mastery of a particular product, process or knowledge. In simple terms, to be a master at what they do. Every successful businessman is a master in his field because his exposure to that product and processes over the years of operating that business.
 
6.    ACHIEVE AND LIVE YOUR DREAMS:
Most people who went into business as an end to a means to achieve their dreams.  Achieving your dreams may include living in a dream house, owning a factory and employing a lot of people, make a lot of money, go on annual vacations to exotic places and be the most sought after individual.
 
7.    PROMOTE AN IDEA:
Your business is about promoting the idea that will bring in money. If an idea is not money generating and not patronized by prospective clients then, that idea is as good thrown in the bin.
 
8.    PASSION:
Build a business around your passion. Studies have disclosed that the most successful people owe their success to their passion for what they do. People in the services industry, such as consultants build their businesses around their passion
 
9.    TO BE RICH:
 Yes exactly. Being rich and undoubtedly happy. Many went into business to become rich and be able to live a comfortable lifestyle. Having a comfortable lifestyle means to be able to afford all the good things that will make ones’ life easy.
                                                                                                    
10.  TO BE HAPPY:
Happiness cannot be bought with money. But having money can make someone happy to an extent. It brings an air of contentment to the individual.
 
Any other reasons why you want to go into business? Your guess.

Whats Your Best Television Programs And What Do You Learn From Them?

8 Feb

On how many occasions have you and your spouse had a misunderstanding when there is a television program or sitcom? I cannot count how many occasions me and Suzy had to disagree. I had to leave the house on these occasions to kill time at the nearest internet cafe or continue reading my weekly novel or book target . I had to buy another television set and cable box for uninterrupted access to watch my programs anytime I want to and made a makeshift study for that purpose.

I am television and movie addict and I don’t hide that fact from those close to me. But i have successfully categorized my programs into three; regular, special and business. Regular programs are news and current affairs programs on national and international major networks especially AIT, BBC, CNN and Aljazeera. Special programs include sporting competitions,travel,latest IT innovations and serial and feature movies while business programs which are produced for everyone in business. So Which one takes most of your leisure time as a novice or experienced employee and accomplished entrepreneur?

I have taken time to study what programs most people watch and I am very surprised to tell you that less than five percent watch business oriented programs. That is the reason for low orientation about business and entrepreneurship amongst youths. Business writers have concerned themselves with how to make most people succeed. But their greatest problem is that very few people want to change the way they think without changing their orientation.

My number one business program is Donald Trump’s The Apprentice. I have been following this series since inception and found it highly educative and interesting. The focus of that program is employee performance and gives you simple tips about how to pass any interview anywhere in the world.

Tabatha’s Salon Take over is one i don’t miss either. Tabatha Coffey, an Australian and hair dresser of international reckoning, takes her trade to reform and change the way modern hair dressers manage their business and gives them simple management tips and guides to do same. Its not just for hair dressers alone.Its also for aspiring entrepreneurs. Her recommendations are mainly modern management methods.

On The Lot is another television show aimed at aspiring film makers. It was produced by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett in 2007. The show’s aim was the ability to generate ideas for film by contestants. Unfortunately the show ended its run in 2007.