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small

Start small, but don’t end small

The business world may appear lucrative and eye-catching, but building a small scale business into a giant conglomerate is never an easy task. It involves a whole lot of processes and principles, which many find so tough to implement. 

One of the many advice entrepreneurs are given while venturing into the business world is to start with whatever resources one has. So many business owners who have chains of businesses never started big. 

The first step is to birth that profitable idea into life. Not all ideas may eventually become profitable when implemented. Test run the idea on a small scale using different business tools and confirm if the feedback is positive or not. 

Secondly, draw up a watertight business plan, outlining every aspect of the business and the model to be implemented. If you not too good in the technical areas of the business plan, that can be outsourced. 

The next step is one of the most crucial steps in your journey towards starting that small business of yours. You got to draw up various sources of funding for your business. Personal savings, family and friends, local thrift/cooperative society, money lenders, banks, and donor agencies are some of the options available. In making your choice of where to draw your funding from, wisdom must be applied. 

Finally, having secured funding for your business, ensure you already have all the contacts, tools, and other logistics in place before attempting to kick start the business. A small scale business is like a small car about to undertake a long journey. The car needs enough fuel (finance) to get to the desired destination. A  Good engine with the needed lubrication, proper valve checks. 

Note however that the beginning of every business venture is usually tough and filled with lots of hurdles. It’s not smooth sailing like most entrepreneurs usually find out at the middle of the journey. The most crucial aspect of starting a small business venture is to aim high and avoid staying at the same level each year.

There is always room for expansion as the business starts picking up. Financial institutions are always keen to support a thriving business as long as they’re a mutual relationship when it comes to funding repayments. As we approach the end of the year, let your goal of setting up that small or medium scale investment become a reality.

Accessing Funds for small scale business

Accessing Funds for small scale business

Accessing funds for your business remains one of the biggest hurdles to cross when planning to launch your small or medium scale business. Some do say it takes courage to make your dreams come through. I agree to an extent, but let’s be honest. Without money, your courage will be stranded! Some dreams need not just courage, but money to become a reality! 

That’s why entrepreneurs lookout for initial start-up capital to kick start their dream business. To be honest, there are millions of people out there whose dreams of achieving financial freedom have become stagnant due to the lack of start-up capital. We all need the courage to pursue our dreams, but money is like a fuel to take our dreams to its place of destination!

One of the most difficult stages in turning your idea into a tangible business is that of funding. There are however several sources of funding one can explore and possibly utilize when starting up a business.

Your funds

It makes logical sense to start from home. If you are serious about starting up that business of yours, then you must have worked out a plan about saving up for the business. You can never rely on other sources of funding when you don’t have a dime saved up for the business.

The best bet is to open a savings account and start saving before launching your business. It takes a lot of guts and self-discipline to save up. Try to maintain a certain standard which will require you to save a minimum amount monthly.

Friends and Family

Friends and family are the nearest sources for funding your business. You must have saved a tangible amount of cash before approaching them with the proposal for funding. More than 80% of family and friends would want to know the type of business you plan to start and also how much you’ve been able to save up for the business.

Be ready to answer these and more of their questions. One major drawback with this option is the fact that family and friends may want to interfere with your running of the business when they eventually lend you some funds.

Angel Investors

Angel investors are more like business-minded individuals who look out for potential businesses they can plow their funds into. In return, they get a percentage of share in the business. They are usually involved in more than one business, so if you are looking for a huge capital to start up your business, angel investors may not be the best option for you.

Banks

Banks should be your last port of call. They are generally willing to give out loans as long as they can confirm your business has potential. Be ready to check up on the different banks to compare their loan conditions and the interest rate on the loan.

All banks have their conditions and rate when it comes to granting loan facilities to entrepreneurs. Remember, having a good idea is not enough. You must be able to come up with a workable business idea. These are the things that would be required from you when you approach any bank.

Print out a copy of your business plan and if possible have a slide ready for presentation. The business plan must be practicable because no bank will be willing to invest in any business that may not yield any return on investment.

Creativity can boost your business

Creativity can boost your business

Creativity has always been known to be the soul of business success. Creativity and innovation are twin tools that can help give you an edge over your competitors. Apply imagination and creativity to the challenges that inevitably appear as you proceed towards your goal. History is replete with stories of inventors possessing limitless creativity. Inventors like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Michael Faraday, and the Wright brothers. These great men triumphed by using the power of creativity. 

They experimented with new materials and techniques that seemed foolish to ordinary individuals. For years, they suffered failure after failure, but they never gave up their pursuit and continued to look for that perfect invention. They were humble enough to learn from the idea of the people and adapt it to their project.

Creativity does not involve only creating an entirely new product! Hear what Brian Tracy had to say: “To create a successful product, the product needs to be only 5 percent different from existing products” It involves doing things differently from what others are doing

In the workplace, for example, there is always the place of creativity where employers are given room to create ideas for higher productivity. When there is room to think out of the box and innovate ideas that are implemented, creativity will ultimately blossom and birth more amazing results.

One of the unique advantages of implementing creativity in business is the higher rate of problem-solving. The business world is always evolving with new technology getting introduced yearly and the need for creativity can never be overemphasized. Another amazing thing about creativity is that it brings a sense of fulfillment to the creative minded. When you can come up with a creative idea that ends up been implemented within the business setup, you ultimately get that sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

When creativity is implemented in business, you tend to see huge potentials rather than problems. That is what sets the successful businesses from failed ones. When companies want to innovate, they bring in their team of innovators and they usually go into brainstorming sessions where creative ideas are birthed.

Better teamwork is always encouraged via creativity. When team members are allowed the freedom to think innovatively and their ideas are accepted, this can help boost their self-confidence and create a better working environment that can eventually lead to the success of the business.

entrepreneurs

Business tips for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are always in search of innovations and new solutions to help them achieve success in their business. In this article, I will be highlighting some useful tips that entrepreneurs will find very valuable.

Tips #1

If you’re an entrepreneur, Make sure whatever you’re selling is relevant, useful, and be consistent. People don’t buy just the products but they look out for benefits. You don’t start something one day and disappear the very next day.

Tips #2

The formula for a successful business is: do what you love and love what you do. Turn your talent into a business, not just a hobby. For instance, if you can easily motivate others. You turn your passion for motivational speaking into a business. It is something that can create multiple income streams for you if properly channeled! 

Tips #3

Impressing people isn’t worth it. The more you impress, the poorer you become. The poorer you get, the less they respect you. Stop impressing people by using your little money to buy things you can’t afford and start impressing your future by investing the money instead. Entrepreneurs need capital for investment, not to impress people who don’t even care if you exist.

Tips #4

If you want to double your income and create a new stream of income as an entrepreneur, it may not work the first time. I have tried several ideas in the past and the never worked, but it doesn’t mean those ideas were wrong. You cannot lose by taking action, you only lose when you refuse to work on your dreams.

Tips #5

Building a system around your business is one sure way of ensuring uninterrupted income streams. You can start the process by automating as many parts of your business as possible. Having an online presence, for example, allows you to keep your business open 24/7 without further effort on your part. Modern entrepreneurs have leveraged the awesome power of the internet to increase their business spread.

Tips #6

Building a successful business requires focus. Why? Because that’s how you build momentum. As an entrepreneur, you must remain focused on a particular niche. Don’t get easily distracted by what others are doing. So don’t do multiple things at once. Instead, focus on just one thing, and do it in the best possible way.

As the author puts it: “A scattered focus leads to scattered results.” Business is all about patience. 8 years ago, crude oil was the real deal. Today, lots of investment in that sector has diminished. Those who started web-based businesses 8 years ago are more relevant than ever before. It’s all about focus.

Tips #7

There’s nothing wrong in being a salary earner, but there’s a lot of wrongs if you cant create a plan B from your salary.  Think and make the right choice, because as a salary earner, you can get fired tomorrow or your company can be liquidated. Make your plan B source of income a top priority this year!  A plan B that will grow into another huge income source. Most entrepreneurs started as salary earners and diversified into a business of their own.

Business

Business lessons for entrepreneurs

introduction

Business is always interesting when everything is going according to plans. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go according to plans. Entrepreneurs generally go through a lot before they become established in their chosen business. There are several lessons to be learned along the entrepreneurship journey. These lessons may knock some entrepreneurs out of the race, while others will finish strongly. 

Family and Friends may not patronize you 

Don’t make the mistake of ever believing that family and friends will be falling head over heels in a bid to patronize your new business. The fact remains that, more than 80% of people who will patronize your business will be strangers. People you’ve never met in your lifetime. Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba puts it more succinctly: ” When doing sales, the first people who will trust you will be strangers. Friends will be shielding against you. Fair-weather Friends will distance themselves from you. The family will look down upon you”

A lady who is recently launched a Beauty spa shared her experience. She was shocked to realize that friends wanted to collect some of her beauty products free, but she refused. They went elsewhere to buy the same products at a higher price than what she was offering. It was a bitter lesson she was forced to learn. 

Theory is different from practical 

Don’t be carried away with the beautiful adverts you see on television. When it comes to launching a new business, entrepreneurs should be prepared for a bumpy ride.  On your business plan, everything looks perfect. You are expected to break even within the next 3 years. You are in your 4th year and the business is still shaky. That’s the difference between theory and practical. What you see on the field is quite different from what you see on papers and even on the advert. 

Business is not for the fainthearted.

It’s for those who are willing to brave the storm and get up when reality knocks them down. I once had a friend who was excited about the prospect of opening a new restaurant. In the first 3 months, the business was booming and it all seemed like his plans were becoming a reality. 

In the 4th month, his two gas cookers became faulty and he had to find a way to fix it. It cost him quite a lot to fix. In the 5th month, there was a lull in patronage as some of his customers were no longer coming to his restaurant due to job loss. In the 8th month, He was forced to drop 2 of the 4 staff he had working for him because he couldn’t afford to pay their salary anymore. The lessons he was learning was coming so fast, he was struggling to cope.

There is a clear difference between business and friendship. 

When it comes to business, there should be a demarcation between your business and your relationship with family and friends. You don’t mix both and expect to succeed as an entrepreneur. Treat friends and family as clients and avoid making the mistake of giving out your products to family and friends free of charge due to sentiments. 

 

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