Here Are 4 Facts You Should Know Before Seeking Finances

Are you struggling with finances? Ever thought of seeking finances at any lending institution? If yes, what was the outcome? Well … many lending institutions extend their financial gratitude by offering finances to businesses. Your persistent request for finances essentially keeps the banks in business

But why do your businesses fail to land finances? Where do you go wrong?

Now, here’s a short story about my experience while seeking finances at a lending institution back then:

 “While running a small startup business back then, I experienced some financial shortages. So, I decided to seek finances to take care of my escalating expenses. With every word I uttered, I created this enchanting vibe that was more convincing to the financiers. In the eyes of the lenders, the ideas were great, but they weren’t satisfied yet. So, they offered to pay a visit to my premise to have a glimpse of what I do for business. I landed the cash and the rest was history.” 

How then do you set yourself in the right books of financiers’?

Many businesses especially small businesses and startups shy away from seeking finances to the lending institutions or venture capitalists due to reasons that are best known to them. They’d put off the idea amid fears of being turned down.

Why then do they shy away?

The moment you detest yourself from seeking finances, it might be that you’re not ready for financing. Your approach might be feeble or not convincing enough to invite the financiers on board. In the business circles, the odds of winning finances get higher once your financial plans and business plan are in order. But winning the hearts of financiers’ does not come easy. You must work on the best pick-up lines to convince the lenders.

So, what should you do before seeking finances?

1. Develop a winning Business Model and Plan

As a business owner seeking finances, do you have a business model or a business plan?

The idea of developing a winning business plan and model is not negotiable. There’s no way out about it. You have no choice but to build a bold and in-depth business plan. Make it impressive that the financiers will have no choice but to offer you funds. But then again do you know what a business model or plan say about your business?

For some people, it sounds familiar, while for others, a concept that needs clarification. What then is the difference between the two?

A business model asks the question “what,” while a business plan asks the question “why.”Quite a clear distinction, right?

Think of it this way — you’re in the kitchen ready to prepare this special meal. You have all your ingredients ready and the recipe at hand. The recipe will guide you in preparing the special meal. Now, the recipe hypothetically represents your business plan whereas the special meal your business model.

What do I mean by this?

A business model elaborates your cash flow valuations, revenue streams, sales volume projections, COS, OPEX among others. Without a business model, you’d be operating in a vacuum. All these deliverables offer the platform for your business to operate on. Learn to build a model that outlines the true picture of your financial position.

A business plan unveils how you plan to achieve those deliverables. If for instance, you offer photography studio services, you’ll theoretically have the following:

  • number of customers per day
  • studio days per customer
  • the number of studio days available per month.

These will essentially give you the studio days sold per month. In another word your billable sales volume projections days per month.

Remember, both your business plan and model offer full-proof confidence not only to you but even to the lenders.

2. Recruit a capable and qualified management team

In your business or organization, what do you make of your management abilities? We often count on the capabilities of our experienced management teams to get results. We’d not trade on anything else but competency, transparency, and accountability.

The moment you hire a highly qualified management team, your odds of landing finances gets higher. You not only create a positive vibe amongst the financiers while seeking finances but also trust.

If you feel you lack the relevant experience in the field of hiring, you’ll need to gather a team of partners or mentors to fill the gaps in your knowledge.

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Related: Everything You Need to Know About Hiring the Right Employees in Your Business

Here a case scenario of Iceland regarding mismanagement during the financial crisis

“When the financial world crisis hit the world’s economy in 2008, Iceland was strongly hit hard. Before the banking crisis, Iceland ranked as one of the richest countries in the world. It was almost a Dubai of the North. A small nation on the edge of the arctic circle, there was this feel-good-factor amongst its society. Just like that, everybody could afford to travel abroad, live a lavish life, interest rates were cheaper as money was available. But all that vanished in thin air after the financial crisis.” 

For the record: 92 percent of Iceland banking sector came tumbling on the floor.

What happened to Iceland was purely political and grand mismanagement. There was a lack of transparency and accountability on financial management point of view.

3. Having a credible track record on spending

How would you describe yourself when it comes to spending? How would you fair when you look back on your track record on spending? But does it matter on how you spend your money? After all, it’s your money!

As much as money is at your disposal, lack of financial discipline may grind your business to a halt. A greater majority of businesses sleepwalk to the next financial crisis. They’d set unrealistic financial goals that lead them to spend more than what they generate.

But what do lenders look for when it comes to spending?

In the eyes of the lenders, your business presents them with a litmus test. By any standard, they’ll want to know that your business can repay your debt before extending you a loan. Like any other investor, they’d want to know that any money disbursed will be spent responsibly, especially if they’re anticipating returns.

Exercising financial discipline is not easy. But giving it a try is a glimpse of painting a beautiful picture to the financiers. Here is the thing — learn to cultivate a healthy financial profile and maintain a high business credit score. Then follow the best practices to upgrade your credit score: like paying all your bills in full and promptly and regularly checking your credit reports for anomalies.

As numbers don’t lie, there would be enough full-proof of your credibility. An impressive financial history positions you for the financing your growing small business needs.

“In the business world, sometimes the hardest thing isn’t coming up with innovative ideas but knowing which of those ideas are worthy seeking financing.”

4. Creditable financial plan

What better way to find your direction than through a Google map. But, do you stop and take a hard look at the entire network of Google map? The images resemble a large web of interconnectivity of routes spread across a platform. The network shows how to move from point A to point B, in other words, a directional plan.

Just like a Google map, financial plan is equally important.

I believe one way to sabotage yourself from landing finances while seeking finances is not having a financial plan. Lenders, especially angel investors would want to see how you’re planning to use the money. When putting their money on the line to fund a startup, they’ll trade cautiously.

To clear the uncertainty, they’d need to know the sustainability of your venture and how wisely you’d use their resources. Now, to have it work to your advantage, draw a financial road-map. The road-map should project exactly how you’d get from point A — where you and your resources at now — to point B, where you wish to be within the next one to five years.

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While you do that give out an in-depth, detailed plan of your estimated business expenses, or how much capital it’d take to lift your business idea off the ground. Additionally, how much it’d cost to keep your business going, in other words — your operating expenses. The facts are out there, all that is remaining is you seeking finances before your business goes into oblivion.


I’d like to know what you’ve done to get ready before seeking financing? Would you share any fact that I might have missed out?

Is there any topic you’d like me to write about, do share that with me in the comments section below?

 

 

 

 

 

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Everything You Need to Know About Hiring the Right Employees in Your Business

Do you have the right employees? Are they the right match?

Getting the right employees is an uphill task. The process of hiring might be tiring and demanding. On certain occasions, you’d get it all wrong and start over again.

Whether you’re a sole proprietor or a company, there’re things you need to know about hiring the right employees.

They might be things you’ve applied or need to employ.

Why is it important to have the right employees?

Would you like to know how to get the right employees? How to make a quick turnaround approach to hiring?

You’d think it’s impossible, but it’s not.

Employees are a true representation of your business. They’re ‘the image’ of what you offer to the public. They’ll occupy our brainwaves every single day. More often, entrepreneurs tend to ignore the power they possess, forgetting that they’re the safe-passage to success.

We’ve all graced employment at some point. And if not, hired someone.

Why do we hire them?

You might as well decide to go it alone, right?

But we’re often left with no choice but to hire.

Here is everything you need to know about hiring the right employees in your business.

1. A mirror of yourself.

Everyone is born with unique traits. Our distinct characteristics define our true identity and could determine our next level of success. The moment we drift away from our true self, we limit the smooth sailing to our destination.

But is it possible to have an individual with similar unique traits that you possess?

Now that I’m not a physiologist, I leave it at that point.

My interpretation is that human beings can possess traits that can be natured. Individuals only need to fancy their chances and have enthusiasm flowing through their veins. What better way to learn than giving an account on your capabilities.

What I mean by that is that when hiring an employee, try to look for traits that resemble what you believe. Individuals who mirror more about your dreams.

Sound interesting?

Successful people attract a huge following. It could be from their closest family members or any other person across the world. By any chance, we shouldn’t overlook their success stories but buy into their ferocious achievements.

Learn to hire individuals that can replicate your aspirations and goals. Don’t look at the hiring process period (longer) or cumbersomeness. Focus on hiring the right people.

2. Real-change agents

When you venture into business, you don’t take chances. You either make it or break it.

Your level of growth will squarely depend on the approach you chose to adopt. The battle is like a wrestling bout where the best fighter comes out triumphant. And if you thought that perseverance only belongs to the most successful ones, then you better not read on.

How would you describe yourself, if asked? Are you a change agent’ and/or a ‘game changer’?

Well…a true change agent is a champion of change, known to make it happen and love every second of the process.

A significant majority of people may not fall in this category. A real change agents comprise less than 10% of all individuals.

You might consider this important trait.

Why?

It’s because the business world is changing every single day thanks to advance digital technology. And with that, entrepreneurs are left with no options but to toe the line of transformation. Once the window of technology advancement opens, many storms in just not to be left out of the bandwagon.

How then do you spot a true real change agent?

Like a lion roaring in the wilderness to announce its presence, change agents usually make themselves known. They possess high-energy, rarely paranoid about the future and initiator of change on their own. They ask a lot of questions and are always curious.

3. Doers rather than Thinkers-Learners rather than critiques

Do you always want your business to be on the first lane?

If yes, then it time to look for employees that are doers rather than thinkers.

Why do I say so?

Every successful story has some enthusiastic forces behind it. The initiator would buckle up and roll up their sleeves and set everything rolling. They’d think through on what they’re getting into and where they’d want to be before making that bold move.

Imagine the many times they told you couldn’t do it, that you were not fit to follow that line of business. But you never stopped even though you felt discouraged. Before you decided to go for everything they said you couldn’t have.

I can see a nod!

Not everyone possesses that creative mind, but many choose to learn and perfect their skills. Learning is about self-willingness strongly backed by choice. An inner feeling that burns within you that can’t go unnoticed.

The moment you zero down to employees who candidly consider taking that stronger move to do things rather than critique, the more it’d be beneficial to your business.

Of course, the final words are vested squarely on the owner; it shouldn’t be difficult to separate the chaff from the wheat and make the right choices.

As an entrepreneur, do what you can with all you have, whenever you are day-in, and day-out.

For the record, I am an employee of my business and still on a learning curve. The right employee gets the best of themselves without even struggling.

So, get it right from the beginning and save yourself the hassle!


I’d like to know how to come up with your current employees. Was it difficult or you had to go that extra mile?

Is there any topic you’d like me to write about, do share that with me in the comments section below?

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons Your Small Business Will Fail (And How to Avoid Them)

Do you want your small business to flourish? Do you know you can avoid some of the common mistakes people make?

Why would you allow yourself to fail after coming this far?

Is it that you haven’t cultivated enough managerial skills, or you possess less financial muscles?

Running a business can be frustrating and exhausting. Sometimes you may have ideas but cannot wade through the sea of hurdles. Many have tried and succeeded, while others have failed.

When I first ventured into business two years ago, I employed the knowledge gained from my accounting profession. I’d manage the procurement, the sales, and the petty cash, and my mind worked relentlessly to stay afloat.

Everything seemed running smoothly, so I thought, but my inexperience couldn’t make it stand.

It’s not that I chose to fail, but I couldn’t bail myself out.

So, would you like to know some of the reasons your small business will fail and how to avoid them?

If yes, then read on.

1. Choosing not to learn from your mistakes.

Do you fear to make mistakes? And is it right to make mistakes?

Well…whether you’re a perfectionist or not, making mistakes is inevitable.

With your two-fisted marketing strategy, you’ve remained competitive amongst your challengers.

You’ve learned when to make calculative moves to launch your killer marketing strategies. You’re familiar and understand your consumer well.

However, you wonder why customers are complaining about the quality of your products. Why they seem to return already bought goods or the price disparity.

Then you begin tracing back the records, doing an audit, trying to find out the problem at hand.

But you realize is not that you weren’t aware. You simply ignored.

You might even consider this as the first mistake: not admitting that you’re ignorant.

Yes.

So how do you avoid not learning from your mistake?

Do you know how? I’m not very sure, either.

But here is the thing, some mistakes can be avoidable.

Begin by asking yourself why you’re in business in the first place. While you do that, go ahead and admit that you have a problem.

Don’t try to create excuses for yourself. Make a point of handling any issue as soon as it occurs. What could be a better way than listening to your inner voice when something is amiss?

Yes.

Learn to pay attention to the voice within. Take note and never buy time while tackling customers’ criticisms. There is more than meets the eyes when you get negative feedback from your consumers.

Check out Could Your Customers be the Most Valuable Asset You Never Knew You had?and get some insight about customers.

2. Choosing to remain within your comfort zone

How would you feel driving a brand new SUV? I can imagine the feeling.

Breathtaking!

Right…?

How then would you feel driving your usual hatchback outdated Charlotte?

Normal if not comfortable, I bet?

Then why should you continue dancing for the same tunes?

When you decide to do things the same way you’ll always get the same result.

The amount of work you’re putting in determines the outcome.

Explore the untamed waters that you’ve never tried before.

Your doubts of today could limit the fulfilment to your next big opportunity.

Get entangled with the fearless.

“The day you take a step outside of your comfort zone is the day your world will change.”—Steven Aitchison.

What you believe in is not always the answer to your problems. Because once you believe that your current position is Okay, you’ll never reach where you might have been.

What I mean by this is that if you decide to remain within your comfort zone, you’re less likely to influence your success but attract stagnation.

So how then do you avoid being in such a position?

In this day and age, anyone can storm into prominence. But without determination and consistency, it’s a pipe dream.”

You’ll get a round of applause when you succeed and a pat on the back when tried but failed. But when you don’t try at all, no compliment at all.  There’s no gain in sitting pretty in your prime position and expect any positive change.

All you need to do is disengage yourself from that state and look beyond your shoulders. It could sound scary, but it might be a good thing to try.

Half the most successful entrepreneurs in the world are risk-takers. They’re never afraid to dive into the unknown waters. They’re always curious about what’s across the next river and over the next hill.

Every time they strive to do the unthinkable. Always believe themselves as winners, to slay the unimaginable and if they lose they learn from it.

If you can only emulate such enthusiasm and determination, you’d make a bold statement moving forward. And before you know it, you’re off your comfort zone.

3. Always trying to achieve great things within a short span

Ever felt filled up with a lot of enthusiasm that you’d want to burst out and achieve great things? You have these great ideas with plenty of options to exploit.

And you start to wonder: how on earth would I work out all these ideas within the shortest time possible?

And you’d get off the blocks to make a significant mark amongst your equals.

In the past, I’ve always found myself in a similar position. I’d always strive not to be second fiddle in any situation. Breaking from the ordinary to create an opportunity that will achieve the best.

Is it okay to think of great things?

But how often do you stop and think that the small things you do could sky-rocket your brand into stardom?

And how do you avoid such a situation?

The sooner you realize that self-growth is tender and achieving great things doesn’t come easy the better. Don’t be surprised if you don’t achieve it in the end.

The most important thing is starting with the small wins. Understanding what you can do in the short-run before looking at long-term goals.

Learn not to be entangled in the feel-good factor bubble and embrace the true reality.

You could learn to be patient before you make a move and do what you can with all you have, at every chance you get.

4. You’re not sensitive to customers’ needs

Most fashionistas are a strict adherent of their clients’ requirements. They’d be held hostage with the nitty-gritty details laid out by their clients.

They’d only feel satisfied if their clients are satisfied. In that way, we’d agree that there are sensitive to their clients’ needs.

The secret ingredient of a successful business is the customer. They keep you going even at that point where you feel disoriented.

So, how do you avoid it?

As you negotiate to market your brand and enchant more customer with your incredible offering, take note of their behaviour. Learn to think from the customers’ perspective. Try not to be rigid and loosen up because my interpretation is that it all about personality.

5. You’re obsessed about growth (but fail to innovate)

Have you ever been to Silicon Valley? I haven’t yet, but from what I’ve seen on the internet, it must be sensational.

Silicon valley represents a monumental symbol of technological transformation.

By any standard, we believe in steady growth and would defend any attempt to undermine its ascendancy.

But often, we find ourselves fixated with that same growth we so desire. And we forget that growth without innovation is not tangible growth.

As mentioned earlier, Silicon Valley has embraced innovation to its core. They have shown the world how innovation can change the entire architectural and infrastructural outlook. We can’t divorce growth and innovation because they go together.

Up until the 21st century, the world business development was stagnating.

Shortly after the invention of the internet, the rule of the game changed especially branding.

Now, social media marketing has been on the center stage of top-notch marketing for both small businesses and large organization.

How then do you avoid entrapped in this situation?

The argument is that innovation is expensive, and it boils over to spending many resources. Quite the contrary you don’t have to spend much on innovation. You only need to use what you have at your disposal.

In the post How to Grow a Business with No Money, you’ll read on how the barrier between business growth and having no money can be bridged. Check it out!

Set up your growth strategy, see to it that you’re not going over your limits or you might come crashing down.

Learn to be creative, have fun, and it will eventually translate into reality.

4 Things You Should Give Up If You Want to Be a Successful Entrepreneur

Imagine meeting Bill Gates or Warren Buffet? What’re the very aching questions would ask them?

Well…lots of questions, but one thing for sure would be about their success stories.

The road to success is rough and ragged. If you know what you’re up to, you may fall by the wayside.

Yes.

Because most of us only see the tail-end of their stories but never get to know the journey to that success stories. Many of us including myself want a successful life, but it comes with a price tag.

“In today’s world, I believe that anyone can be successful it only requires determination.”

How can you know you’re on the right path?

A mole knows its path around even though it’s partially blind. It possesses high senses; it never loses its tracks.

Knowing you’re on the right path, begins with the small wins you make with yourself. Success is something you attract by the person you become. You might go through hell but keep on going.

Success does not become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.

Here are 4 things you should avoid if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.

1. Avoid mediocrity

“Mediocrity is the worst enemy of prosperity.”—Henry Ford.

The facts are, mediocrity is a recipe for stagnation and failure. You should battle mediocrity by putting off any thought of it at all cost. Shield yourself from individuals who sip mediocrity like a cup of hot coffee’ and live by your principles.

How does mediocrity lead to failure?

The one thing you should avoid is ‘time wasting.’

Why?

Because time lost will never be recovered. Mediocrity leads to a lot of time wasting. Identify and steer clear of individuals who’re time-wasters. Strive to become better.

Remember if you have plenty of time at your disposal, something is not right.

2. Avoid the Know-it-all Syndrome

We go to school to learn, and whatever we learn we put into practice. The experiences we go through during the learning period gives us the knowledge to overcome the challenges we encounter.

We eventually develop what I would refer to as the Know-it-all syndrome.  Now that we have overcome the worst, we think we know a lot. Get out of that syndrome. Listen to other people’s opinions or ideas. Pick any idea that would benefit your business.

Don’t act smarter than the people that surround you. Show humility and always learn from the best.

Remember, mistakes will always be part of your journey. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from them.

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” –Dale Carnegie.

 3. Stop saying NO to openings

How often do you say No to an opportunity? Do you something think back and say, ‘wait a minute that was a brilliant idea I just dismissed?’

We sometimes say No to opportunities that would be helpful to our businesses. Because we think that our ideas are still the best than any other idea, we miss out on other openings.

“In today’s world, women have learned not to play hard-to-get towards men.”

Why?

Because they know that a good man is hard to come by when they get one they waste no chance.

Learn to listen carefully and analyze situations critically. Try something new that you’ve never tried before. It’s never too late to be what you might have been.

The worst thing in life is never trying an opportunity while you had a chance to do so.

4. Avoid going it alone.

By the time you’re reading this last point, you probably know what to do to be a successful entrepreneur.

Success will never come knocking at your door nor shall it follow you like a shadow. You must find it. That’s the bottom line.

“The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.”—Phil Jackson.

If you think that you’re smart enough to go it alone, then you’re bound to fail.

As bloggers, we’re always on a learning curve every single day. We consult from the best among the blogging family.

What I mean by that is that you need to look for an individual who shares the same dream as yours. Work through the steps moving forward. Two heads are better than one.

You never know when a good idea might lead to a better idea.

“Some people have better ideas than others; some are smarter or more experienced or more creative. But everyone should be heard and respected.”—Jack Welch.


I’d like to know what other things you should give up if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.

Likewise, I do want to know about some of the mistakes you’ve made that derailed your success.

Lastly, is there any topic you’d like me to write about, do share that with me in the comments section below.

 

Could Your Customers be the Most Valuable Asset You Never Knew You had?

Do you want to increase your sales?

Well, you have the answer right at your disposal.

Your LOYAL CUSTOMERS!

Yes.

By building a relationship with your customers, you create a connection. That connection is so valuable.

Do you believe that the customer is always right?

Well…over 90% of you would say, YES. But is it true?

Does it mean whatever a customer says will always be right?

To be honest with you, some customers are bad for business.

Yes, they are.

Those that demand for just anything—making your work even harder than it should be.

I’m afraid If you’re not careful, you might end up your customers’ slave.

“Imagine having this one abrasive customer calling your customer service line all the time. The customer complains about everything from your customer services, terms of services, to your location. I mean, a bad taste to your business.

What do you do? Do you heed to their demands or ignore them?

As much as we value our esteem customers, their demands shouldn’t sidetrack our main goals. When we bump into such customers, we should learn how to handle them before we fall into their traps.

Just because we say that the customer is always right’ others are plain wrong.

However, customers are the key to our businesses success. Without them, we stand a chance of running into losses or even shutting down.

So, do you know that your customer is the most valuable assets?

If you only thought that your idea is more valuable than your customers, then you’re wrong. While chasing your vision, remember to include your customers in that vision.

When you know your customers well enough, you get to understand their changing behaviours. Then you adjust according to their behaviours.

Your business is about your customers.

Whether you’re a one-day startup or existed for decades, you need to watch and listen to your customers.

Why?

Some entrepreneurs underestimate the potential that their customers can bring to their businesses. Here are some of the reasons.

1. They determine the market’s changing needs and wants

To be a successful entrepreneur, you must adapt to the customers’ continuously changing needs and wants. Failure to do so, you’re bound to lose out to your rivals.

If you thought that attaining customer-loyalty is simple, then think again. Establishing a healthy customer-loyalty is complicated. If you haven’t started, brace yourself for a rough patch.

The process involves spending a lot of resources researching on the products, customers tastes, and preferences as well as the latest trends in the market.

How do you get to know their needs and wants?

Start by getting a one-on-one contact with your clients. You can create a social media Facebook page about your product or service. Or a blogging site about what you offer as a service. Engage with your clients, comment on their conversations.

Ask them what changes they’d prefer made on the services or products.

Pay attention to their dissatisfaction. Adjust based on their feedback.

And if you don’t have any loyal customers yet, don’t wait for them to come to you. Go after them. Network. Layout a master plan to woo them on your side.

2. They inform you about the performance of your competitors

How best can you know the performance of your competitors?

Through the customers!!

Right.

If a customer feels that a competitor’s product or service is better than yours, he’ll go for it. That act of opting for your rival’s product is a warning sign to you. A sign that there’s something your rival is doing that you’re not.

Through them, you gather information about what you opt to do to win them on your side.

Which alternative approach can you employ?

You can send out one of your employees to access your competitor’s product or service. When you get that helpful information, you can make the right changes.

It might sound snoopy, but it cost you nothing to use that approach. The point is that nobody will accuse you of any foul play if you deliver a unique and better service (product) from ideas borrowed from your competitor.

Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop.” –Jeffrey Zeldman.

3. They determine your level of growth

The level of growth in your business is relative. It might depend on several factors depending on the industry. But one factor that’s obvious is the customers.

Ask yourself how Facebook or Google has grown over time. It’s because of their huge customers base.

It is only people who will build your business. Never take your loyal customers for granted.

How do customers determine your level of growth?

Whether you have no idea or struggling to find one, it’s clear that you have a clue. Winning your customers’ trust is difficult and retaining them is far more complicated.

Your esteemed customers always give you something to ponder. They will always be your business. Whenever you had good sales and increased profit margin, it’s means you’ve made some progress.

That progress is courtesy of your esteemed clients.

But think of it this way: if football fans decided not to attend the matches, where will the players get the motivation to play football?

From their manager or teammates?

No!

The fans are the customers while the business is the team. They go together.

4. They are your security

It’s scary, isn’t it? Sometimes even frightening.

To have no one to call whenever you’re in trouble. You see as if the world is against you. And you ask yourself so many questions with no answers.

Imagine waking up to find your business destroyed to the ground by arson. The only thing you could rescue is your coin bank. Nothing is left for you but not hope.

So, what do you do?

The way to get started is never giving up but starting from where you are.

What is the answer to your problems?

Your loyal customers will always act as your security. The relationship you’d built with them is the same that will propel you back on your feet.

How do you do that?

Make it well-known to them about your situation. Use your social media platform. Seek their support. They’ll surely come running to your rescue.

The cold truth is that it might not be an easy road, but the end will justify the means.

“Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say thank you to everyone you meet for everything they do for you”—Brian Tracy.


I’d like to know how your customers (followers) have positively helped your business.

Is there any topic you’d like me to write about, do share that with me in the comments section below?

 

How to Grow a Business with No Money

What do you do when you find yourself with no money but want to grow your business?

Do you panic or relax and think?

Many would panic, while others would strategize on the next plan of action.

The sound of it might make you wonder how this is possible, right?

Throughout my accounting profession, I’ve always believed that without money things can’t move. Companies would seek bank overdraft to sustain their financial obligations. They literally couldn’t operate without liquid cash.

Starting a business is not as simple and growing it without money is a nightmare. How will your financial responsibilities be met with no money?

More often, I come across this common question—like how do I start a business with no capital?

Well…the question is rather an excuse, and a way of shifting blames.

Why?

Because we often look for avenues to point fingers at and forget our main purpose of starting the business in the first place. If you have the idea and the drive to succeed money shouldn’t be an issue.

Consider working on the main idea first moving forward.

Are you aware that it is not impossible to start a business with no money?

Feeling a bit puzzled and curious at the same time, here are some of the ways you can grow your business with no money.

1. Ask for advance payment

Letting your terms of payment known to your client is crucial. Your customer can be a huge benefit to your business growth.

“You don’t build a business; you build people…and then people build the business.” –Zig Ziglar.

 

When you build a relationship with your potential customer, you stand a chance to grow. Ask for payment upfront. It could be 50% of the payment or whatever agreement you may reach.

Alternatively, you may try offering incentives on early payment. Have a plan and stick to the plan. For instance, send your invoices at least a week before.

You might as well show up in person and politely seek for payment.

With the advance payment method, set up an automatic payment system. Customers can automatically send their payments. Electronic bank transfer and credit cards make it even easier for faster payment.

Nothing will cost you if you ask your clients to pay upfront through these methods.

2. Seek for potential co-founders with money

You don’t have to stick to your principles all the time. Get out of your way and seek immediate help from others who have the money. Searching for a potential co-founder with money is one alternative way.

How can you get one?

We all would want to work with someone we can trust. Not only that, someone who can grow our business. But that does not come easy. It might cost you time and money.

Do you think convincing a potential co-founder would come easy? Some will outrightly reject your offer. Don’t beat up yourself but continue knocking at their doors. You never know which opportunity would come calling.

Here are several means of searching for potential co-founders.

  • Former coworkers
  • Business networking events
  • Family, friends
  • Past business partners.

3. Go public.

It could be you’re silent about your business. You’re trying to play catch up, but it’s not working.

Why don’t you go public?

What I mean by this is that let your business known to your closest friends, mentors or family members. Create time to explain to them what the business is all about and what you want to achieve.

By telling people, your odds of getting help goes up.

Some renown companies such as Apple, Mattel, Google, and Disney started in garages.

Yes.

What if they remained silent? The idea would have gone into oblivion.

No one cares how you started or the number of times you’ve failed. People are concerned with what you’re offering, so let them know.

Be confident, be consistent and you’ll eventually gain confidence from others.

4. Start offering a service

Think of any service you can offer. It could be what you’re good at or what anyone can do.

“Which services can you start with no money?” you ask.

They range from

  • Cleaning services
  • Repair services
  • Counselling
  • Instructors
  • Uber drivers
  • Babysitting,
  • Copywriting
  • Graphic designing

All you must do is get your sales skills ready and start searching for openings.

While you do that, remember to stick to your initial business idea. The service your offering could be your side hustle.

The bonus point is that you’re gaining another skill—marketing skill.

The money you make from your services could be used to finance your business growth.

5. Keep your current job

One common mistake that people do is quitting their jobs without proper preparations. You put yourself on lots of financial pressure whenever you do that.

Your current job gives you a soft landing whenever things don’t work.

I wrote about 5 Signs You are Ready to Start a Business here.

Many people always opt to start a side business while working. Until that point you feel your business has stabilized enough to stand-alone, then you can make that final decision.

Growing a business is complicated. Your attitude will determine how far your business can grow.

They say ‘Once beaten, twice shy’ for a good reason… here’s why!

Back in 2016, one of my closest friends decided to quit his high paying job to start a business. He used part of his lump sum to invest in his new venture. According to him, he saw it right that the moment had come and grabbed that chance.

The decision was a huge gamble which unfortunately never worked. All the expectations and optimism went to the drain. My friend had no choice but to get back to job hunting.

As luck would have it, he was able to secure one after a lot of struggles. He learned his lesson but promised to approach the idea differently next time around

So, what should you do?

You might get hooked up in the same excitement but remember to CONSULT widely before making that bold move. Always listen to your instinct.

Have that attitude of a man who risks and leaves his country for another with no idea of what he’s going to do there.


I’d like to know how you grew your business with no money and if you have some learning lessons to share.

Similarly, I do like to know some of the mistakes you made and how you fixed them.

Finally, if there’s any topic you’d like me to write about, do share that with me in the comments section below.

5 Signs You are Ready to Start a Business

Many including myself always ask this question. But more often, the answer varies from one individual to another. Some would say, yes, while others would disagree.

Do you know content writing is business? Yes, it is.

Before, I began writing I had no idea where to begin. Though in the beginning, I felt that I wasn’t ready, I just started.

The process didn’t come easy as I consulted from one blogger (still consulting) to another to get the momentum.

Each person knows their abilities and limits. Your instinct will always speak louder than your thinking. If you’re not ready, you’re not, and it won’t happen.

But the moment your innermost feeling tells you, you are ready, then nothing will stop you.

Starting a business begins with an idea. An idea brought about by the desire to solve a need. It could be that you had been struggling to find a solution to a problem or a colleague got stuck about something.

At some point in my life, I got into animal feeds business. I saw a need and the need was quality animal feeds. Farmers in the remote areas found it hard to access quality animals feeds due to poor road networks.

It is when we decided to produce the products and delivery to their farms.

In this time and age, anyone can start a business. But not everyone succeeds.

 

So, how do you know when you are ready to start a business?

If you were only starting a business because a friend or family member is starting one, then you’re bound to fail. You think that you’re bright enough to pull off any idea and work it through, then it won’t work.

Just like you don’t have any clue whether you know or don’t know, the same case applies to me.

Yes, starting a business is not simple. And yes, it’s hard. And yes, most of you will shelve that idea the sooner you realize it’s complicated. But several of you will persevere, while a bigger number will throw in the towel.

 

  1. You’re passionate about the idea

Passion is a trait that is not taught from any business school but comes from within. The sooner you realize that whatever business idea you have echo well with feelings, the better. Something that you passionately cherish works out without much effort.

Even though people do say that hard work and persistence pays, the odds favor those who go for things they mos Continue reading “5 Signs You are Ready to Start a Business”

What’s the Big Deal about the Internet of Things and Software as a Service (SaaS) to small retail businesses?

Today, the small retail businesses are struggling to catch up with the emerging application technologies. Some are hanging on the balance while others are holding on their tight budget to compete with the rest.

The rise of the Internet of Things and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications is real and, therefore, retailers have no choice but to adopt them one way or another.

Statistical evidence from back in 2015 indicates that there were approximately over 14.5 billion connected gadgets and the number will rise to over 29.9 billion by the year 2020. The world of advanced technology is closing in and it’s poised in the coming years as the nerve center of business enterprises.

Meanwhile, as businesses strive to remain competitive within their niche, they face common problems that are related to security vulnerabilities, privacy, low performances and integration issues.

In fact, this would practically mean a considerable change in their pricing model leading to an interruption of their normal traditional operations.

The choice of whether to invest in these two applications can be challenging as they slowly penetrate the market with their new developments.

But why should you go to the Software as Service (SaaS) ERP way?

What are some of the benefits derived from investing in SaaS as an entrepreneur?

And what is the big deal about the Internet of Things that you might want to invest in to transform your approach to business operations?

Let’s dive into each of the applications and find out how they might benefit your small retail business.

#1. Internet of Things

Before we discuss further the Internet of Things, we should expand on its meaning. According to researchers, the Internet of Things is considered a stretch of the current modern Internet consisting of ‘a credible and self-structured network of linked, recognizable and physical objects.’

The physical objects apply implanted chips and microprocessors to enable connectivity.

The success story behind the Internet of Things is thanks to the burst and rise of Virtual Reality, data analytics, and Amplified Reality. For that reason, the retail industry has tremendously grown in leaps and bounds from perfecting the in-stock shopping experience to purchasing process and logistics issues.

When I first read about the Internet of Things, I held the thought literally—like how do machines connect to each other—and sensors and hardware gadgets communicating regarding their circumstances and locations? Quite interesting!!

Though it might often appear sophisticated, IoT has penetrated the retail business industry impacting it in a bigger way! Internet of Things combines (AI) innovative technology and goes even deeper with regards to automation which is a huge impact to the business world.

Small businesses that have embraced IoT can leverage on the real-time data emanating from the sensors to identify when a product is about to run out of stock or the number of purchase made in a day from customers.

A renowned company like Amazon has optimized its supply chain management by the installation of the smart robotic system “Kiva System” (over 14,000) to enhance efficiency in its picking processing.

The system has minimized Amazon’s picking overheads by over 15% to 35% by establishing an ultimate supply chain management process. Continue reading “What’s the Big Deal about the Internet of Things and Software as a Service (SaaS) to small retail businesses?”

Revealed: 13 Unique Online places and How They Could Impact Your Small Business.

You may have done everything right in your business and feel you are ready for action!

But you’re thinking- how do I get my business needs out there to the public?

In case you haven’t heard about the online directories, consider yourself lucky reading this post.

For those who have dealt with online directories, you know what am talking about, right?

But then again, it not just about placing your business needs online.

It’s about submitting your business information to the relevant online directories.

In case you’re wondering what benefits, you’ll get, let me put you into perspective.

By listing your business, you get the following benefits:

  • Attract huge traffic to your business.
  • Receive customers reviews.
  • It’s a source of referral websites.
  • It’s a huge influence on your business in search engine results.

To help you figure out which way to go, here are 15 places your business shouldn’t miss out:

1). Google My Business

Most entrepreneurs and layman are aware of Google.

Google is a search engine that’s common. So, by setting your business in “Google My Business”

directory, your needs are seen worldwide.

Think about customers assessing your business information just by the click of your business name.

Amazing, right?

This online directory allows you to:

  • Post photos.
  • Offer discounts.
  • Answer clients’ feedback.
  • Access to your exact business location via mobile app (Google Map).

2). Bing

How would you relate Bing to my business needs?

Well, one-way customers using Microsoft search engine to access your business is through Bing.

The advantages or benefits of using Bing is:

  • You can add multiple business locations.
  • Post photos.
  • Add Videos.

By pressing Yelp, you’ll be able to view your prospects customers’ reviews.

3). Yahoo Local

If I wanted to list my business for free, I would go for “Yahoo Local.”

Of course, they do charge extra for premium services. But, you’ll enjoy the following:

  • Cross-listing across Yahoo’s network.
  • Easy-to-use tools for measuring search performance and impressions.

4). MerchantCircle

You might be out there seeking for some local publicity. It could be a new startup or small business.

This online directory might suit you well. You only require adding some basic information about your business and respond to reviews. Again, this directory allows you to:

  • Use coupons or newsletters and event postings.

5). Foursquare

Foursquare is an online directory you’d want to consider if you’ve huge followers on Twitter.

Ideally, this is what it does:

  • Let users’ check-in tweet and comment on their experiences.
  • Share their experiences via other social media platforms.
  • As a businessperson, you can make deals via your Twitter handle.

6). The Business Journals

Are you a business person who separates their services in different brand segments? Segments like:

  • Complimentary premium
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold

With each segment listed above, you can place different prices tags. The highest segment, of course, having the highest price. The Business Journals is the directory that can offer such benefits. The moment you create the business listing, you’ll enjoy:

  • Over 8 million searches a single month.
  • Online shoppers.

7). MapQuest

Now, for those who would like their clients or customer visiting their physical business premises.

And have one-on-one contact with their clients, MapQuest is the right online directory.

With MapQuest, your local clients will:

  • Use web mapping service feature to access your premises.

8). Citysearch

Your business featuring in partner networks such as Urbanspoon or Expedia is a bonus.

When you list your business in Citysearch:

  • You enjoy a free listing service.
  • Your prospects will access your business via Citysearch mobile app.
  • Enjoy fun welcome messages from viewers all over the city.

9). Yelp

I know you would agree with me that getting quality reviews from your clients is awesome.

Because Yelp account makes it better for you to:

  • Create deals with your loyal customers.
  • Send messages to your esteem clients publicly and privately.
  • Track down your business trends.

10). Kudzu

You’re in home renovation and repairs business solutions. And you want to get clients into your business.

Kudzu is the solution to your problems. Here is why you may choose Kudzu:

  • Over 92% of customers are homeowners.
  • Offer some of the feedbacks on business solutions.

11). DexKnows

Imagine you’re at your desk and tracking your rankings and testimonials.

Or, generating an in-depth information report analysis about your business credibility.

DexKnows allows you to:

  • Engage with your prospects
  • Evaluate your integrity through client’s feeds.

DexKnows is one directory you don’t want to miss out.

12). Manta

Manta, an online directory that attracts huge traffic.

You only need to list your product or service on your business profile. This directory allows you to:

  • Upload your business logo or photos.
  • Use paid business optimization package to upscale your unique features.

13). Yellowpages

You can create a listing on yellow pages and enjoy advertising and online payment options.

The reasons are, Yellow pages:

  • The platform uses a mobile phone book version.
  • Uses an online interface directory

Conclusion

With listing your small business on these online platforms, you stand a chance of showcasing your product or services to the whole world.

You don’t have to spend much, instead work with a small budget and a stipulated marketing plan that upscales your business success.

 

4 Little Known Ways to Increase Your B2B Sales (Even if you’re a Small business)

Have you ever thought about how to win new customers? Or which strategy to use to achieve the same?

Probably yes or no, right? Winning customer loyalty is not that simple. For you to do so, it means developing a B2B sales plan that intensifies your conversion rates.

How do you achieve that?

Here are some of the little-known ways by which you can grow your B2B sales plan.

1). Find out about your competition using social media platform.

We all agree that people use social media in all manner of ways, from interaction to a business transaction.

As a business person, it’s important to understand your niche. Get your facts right about the demographics, marketing trends, consumer behavior and most of all your competitors. For starters, research more on your competitors. Who are the competitors in this business, large or small, new or old? What are the strengths or weaknesses of each competitor? Therefore, as businesses indulge in social media platforms, these are some of the things they should consider. Make it a point of following up any new development in your niche. It could be a new technology or new policies.

2). Always differentiate yourself from your competitors

Companies is an industry tend to have unique products or offer exclusive services. The global market is enormous, and competition is stiff. Product differentiation pits companies against one another and creates fair competition. Product differentiation provides something to ponder about by competitors.

Just as important, product superiority makes your business stand out. Don’t compromise on quality. Build your product branding right from the start, one that can stand against any other. Sometimes, businesses fail, because they’re not sensitive to the market demand. Customers buy products or go for services where they feel there is value added. They compare from one business to another and go for the best. Consider being on the look-out always.

3). Work with your prospects needs.

Let’s be honest with ourselves here, though.

Business owners are in business to solve a need. And the quicker they solve these problems, the better.

So, cut the chase with long speeches and sales fluff and start looking for right solutions. To be on the safe side, learn to set and explain solutions in less than a minute. Yes, think of a high-value proposition that allows your prospects to decide its worthiness.

B2B companies know that a larger customer base means a longer existence. Get to know what exactly customers are saying about your products. Take customer relations analysis and find out their behavior. What are they saying about your competitor’s service or product? More so, engage in a one-on-one conversation with them, though, might sound creepy, and critically scrutinize them. How best can you know unless you inquire?

4). Form business-associates.

The larger organization has perfected the art of mergers, acquisitions, and associations. They go as far as forming business associations within the same industry. This partnership is beneficial especially when complimentary goods or services are involved. Moreover, other organizations go as far as co-branding their products. Co-branding aims at strengthening their alliance. Public advertising within the alliance enables new sales referrals that benefit both companies. Now, organizations have realized that they cannot work in isolation, they need to complement each other, somehow. An early definition of their intention makes it easy for them to set their next course of action.

Remember, you might be walking to your next path of success. It’s just a matter of having that mindset–a mindset that clearly sets you to that success. You simply have nothing to lose by following the four little known ways to increase your B2B sales.