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Success Story- Ladi Delano

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How This Nigerian Built a Billion Dollar Business By Age 30

We live in a piece of the existence where a person without conventional education is viewed as an uneducated who has nothing to offer the corporate world.

Despite the fact that there is adequate evidence in Nigeria that not only formal education can bring accomplishment throughout everyday life, most Nigerian guardians/parents demand that their wards must get formal education. Some go similarly as picking a course of study for the child. What’s more, they do this without thinking about the child’s ability/inventive tendencies, or possible learning disabilities that will keep the youngster from exceeding expectations in the field of study, and numerous different elements.

The Igbo business framework in Nigeria is adequate evidence that knowledge and skill can be passed to someone else and imbibed outside the school hall viably and proficiently. Thus, the framework has attracted global enthusiasm because of its significant level of achievement.

While conceived of a well off foundation, this is the example of overcoming adversity of Ladi Delano, a youngster who, on account of learning incapacities, couldn’t make progress in the proper training framework, yet went to head a billion-dollar business by the age of 30.

Here’s the manner by which he did it:

Who Is Ladi Delano?

Ladi Delano is the prime supporter and President of Bakrie Delano Africa (BDA), a billion-dollar joint endeavor with Bakrie Gathering, Indonesia.

Born in 1983 to Nigerian parents, Ladi Delano experienced mellow dyslexia and deafness in one ear. This made education hard for him and simultaneously, hampered his advancement in school, where he needed to drop out in light of the learning troubles presented by these incapacities.

Regardless of these difficulties, Ladi Delano transcended his incapacities to begin an alcohol business in China called Solidarnosc Asia, a Chinese mixed drink organization that made Strong XS, an excellent brand of vodka brand which he later offered to an adversary alcohol business for over $15 million by the age of 24.

Ladi Delano’s Story: The Start

Ladi Delano was brought up in Britain. He can call him a full-blooded Brit with his accent, yet he is as much of a Nigerian as any other Nigerian. His granddad, Isaac Oluwole Delano, was a Yoruba writer who assembled a word reference of his native language. Notwithstanding experiencing childhood in London, Delano’s Yoruba is a long way from decrepit.

Delano alludes to his parents as uncelebrated yet truly great individuals who did their absolute best to give quality education to their children. Some may call it luck while some may perceive that what others call luck is really the hard work and penance of his parents which may be disparaged whenever alluded to as “luck”.

Ladi Delano has consistently had his eye seemingly within easy reach. In his mid-adolescents, he requested two years’ pocket cash from his mom to purchase a couple of sets of modest planner boots to offer to his classmates. At 19, he sold to universities.

His First Achievement

Ladi Delano attributes a great deal of his prosperity to his parents who he said gave up everything to give their children opportunities in life. One such headstart was in business, Delano’s dad was a corporate official and a MBA lecturer. They spent so much time dissecting and analyzing organizations, seeing how they work and how various products go to the market.

The road may have been sufficiently bright, however hardship hide around the bend. While in secondary school, Delano found that he experienced gentle dyslexia and deafness in one ear. Learning turned out to be increasingly troublesome and school turned out to be less engaging. In spite of this, with the assistance of additional exercises, Delano made it to a top university on a day he portrays as superb. The curiosity before long wore off and the scholarly world turned into Delano’s foe. In his second year of a political science degree, he decided to leave school.

Delano’s choice didn’t go down well at home, yet there was no halting him. At any rate, the university had planted turning him into a business person.

In the wake of leaving school, he wandered into business enterprise, offering vocation guidance to students, he tried getting recruiters to publicize their organizations to the graduates, and setting up m-trade retail platforms where students could make purchases with their cell phones. This failed within six months where he lost thousands of dollars that he had borrowed.

The Rise Of His Alcohol Business

Delano had consistently had an interest in Asia. His dad’s family home had a Bruce Lee poster; one of the London homes the family lived in was in an overwhelmingly Japanese region and he had figured out how to utilize chopsticks at a youthful age.

Along these lines, with an obfuscated personality and almost no cash, Delano took off to make sense of life in Asia.

Delano ventured out from Thailand to Malaysia to Hong Kong, all in eight months, before joining his family in their new home in Chicago.

In the US, the time had come to get a new line of work. He called films, record stores, and retail chains. His parents urged him to go back to school. He discovered that he would not like to work in a departmental store and this drove him to call each investment firm around. Following three weeks, he got a temporary position in Merryl Lynch.

After some time in Merryl Lynch, Delano moved to London where he and some of his friends chose to wander into the alcohol business. Out in the city of London, a vodka unrest was occurring; Delano and his mates needed to supply the shots.

After around eight months, Strong XS vodka was prepared. Delano went from bar to bar in London for a year, selling the new beverage from a basin. While people were getting to know the brand, the business was just bittersweet.

They were making sales however because of the significant expense of working together, which incorporated the enormous aggregates of cash they were spending on advertising, the business wasn’t just encouraging. After certain counsels, they took their business to the Asian market, China explicitly, where they thrived and rose to authority over half percent of the market. At that point the worldwide monetary downturn hit the business hard and they needed to offer it to their greatest rival for around $15 million.

By the age of 22, Ladi Delano had established a top-selling alcohol organization. Numerous dollars and a couple of hard exercises later, Delano couldn’t be surer of himself. You may pick extravagant words to depict his business astuteness, yet one will get the job done: characteristic. This is the narrative of a conceived businessperson.

The Billion Dollar Move

In April 2012, Ladi Delano concluded that it was time to come back to Nigeria. He perceived that Nigeria has a ton of possibilities, with 60% of the populace younger than 35 years and an adolescent joblessness rate sitting at 43%. What’s more, with this information, he arranged a consortium of high total assets families and some venture capitalist in the private equity space to put resources into Nigeria.

With a promising consortium of financial specialists, Delano came back to Nigeria. The skill shortage provided another thistle in his delicate side. Delano looked for a partner to bridge the gap: Bakrie Group.

Bakrie Group is perhaps the biggest conglomerates in Indonesia. Through a joint endeavor with Delano, the Bakrie Group invested $1 billion in over five years in the mining, agricbusiness, and oil and gas ventures in Nigeria.

Ladi Delano’s Entrepreneur Journey

From London to Chicago, to China and West Africa, through alcohol, mining, and land ventures, it has been a crazy ride for Ladi Delano, yet you and I can say, he has just begun.

In conclusion

A key characteristic each business person must have is the capacity to settle on extreme choices and remain by them. Ladi’s story shows a young man who was eager to confront his shortcomings and ascend above them to turn into a gigantic achievement.

In spite of being from a wealthy home, his story is brimming with high points and low points, yet without surrendering. Determination and coarseness are critical if a business person is to make progress in their undertakings.

 

Sustaining Your Business

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Every company wants to grow their business, yet few know how to sustain it for the long-term or look beyond the next quarterly or yearly report. Growing a business requires the right intellectual capital, carefully selected strategic partnerships, and products and/or services with strong marketplace demand. Beyond these fundamentals, sustaining growth requires a strong operational foundation – to reduce the risks to the business over time.
What approach would you take that will help your business to continue to grow at an exponential rate?

Few questions to ask yourself.

– Are you transactional or transformational in your business approach?
Transactional entrepreneurs are the ones that just want to seal the deal, take their profit and move on while transformational entrepreneurs are the ones that values relational capital. They build relationships and the customer becomes a loyal clients who keep coming back to make orders.

– Are you tactical or strategic in your business approach?
Been tactical is doing the right things while been strategic is doing things right.
Been tactical is placing process above results but been strategic is prioritizing results above process.
To think strategically, you ask yourself and team the following questions;
– What can we do to dominate the market
– What can we do to become a threat to our competitors

– Are you an African Impala or a Lion?
Impalas are fantastic jumpers. They can leap as far as 33 feet (10 meters) and as high as 10 feet (3 meters) but an African Impala will never jump until he sees where he is going before taking a step. So many business people are like African Impala, they will never move until they know where they are going to land.
Before your business can grow and sustain its momentum, you must take action in support of the following points to assure your company builds a strong foundation for long term success:

1. Top Talent
Without the right people, a business can’t grow and it certainly makes it difficult to sustain momentum over time. Business is about people and without the right people a business can’t grow and mature. Oftentimes, this requires an organization to refresh its talent pool in support of the organization’s business model and the unique needs of its clients.
When next you are hiring for your business, please consider this 4 Cs:
i. Hire base on Culture
ii. Hire base on Character
iii. Hire base on Communication
iv. Hire base on Competence

2. Prospecting the right client
Entrepreneur is no longer just a business term anymore, it’s a way of life. You must always embrace an entrepreneurial attitude to see and seize the right opportunities – especially those previously unseen or that others don’t see at all. This is why you must embrace an entrepreneurial spirit when prospecting the right clients –to assure the business not only grows, but sustains itself over time.

3. Sound Decision Making
Problem solving is the essence of what leaders exist to do. As leaders, the goal is to minimize the occurrence of problems – which means we must be courageous enough to tackle them head-on. We must be resilient in our quest to create and sustain momentum for the organization and people we serve.

4. Don’t be Afraid to grow
To sustain growth, you must have the mindset of embracing risk as your best friend. The moment that employees are not encouraged to share their ideas and ideals, it becomes difficult to take ownership of the needs of the business – and the marketplace quickly begins to pass you by.
Sustaining growth requires you to share your momentum with others. It demands that you have the best interests of others on your team, and colleagues throughout the organization, at heart.

9 steps to adding zeros to your net-worth
1. Have a great product/service
– A great product must be a solution to a problem that customers has
– A great product must be a natural extension of your clients comfort
– A great product must have the ability to generate money
– A great product must be scalable

2. You must be strategic and not tactical
3. Create multiple source of income
4. Marketing and Branding
5. Know your numbers
6. Spending vs Investing
7. Right team, right culture
8. Better, faster, more efficient system
9. You must have a coach

Reasons why entrepreneurs don’t succeed
i. Excuses
ii. Indecision
iii. Lack of coaching
iv. Over analysis
v. Greed
vi. Procrastination
vii. Fear of failure
viii. Fear of success
ix. Lack of money
x. Worried about other people’s opinion
xi. Not taking action

Secrets to Success in Business
1. Mental toughness
2. Maximize your strength
3. Take action/Execution
4. Time and energy management.

The End

Activating Your Business Idea

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Now that you have a business idea, what is the next line of action? How do you activate your business idea? Once you have a business idea that you are really passionate about and you already have the leading in your spirit to start, the next thing to do is to take action. To activate your business idea simply means to take action.

Procrastination can be very dangerous. Experts advise that you implement whatever business idea that you have within 24 hours. Once it’s more than 24 hours, the fear factors (i.e lack of capital, procrastination, lack of knowledge about the business et cetera) will start showing up. For entrepreneurs, it is often easier to come up with a variety of ideas for new businesses and more difficult to actually implement those concepts. A business concept is a bridge between an idea and a business plan.

It focuses one’s thinking so that the entrepreneur can identify the specifics of his/her proposed venture. Converting an idea into a business concept requires thinking about how the product or service will be sold and who will buy it, the benefits of the product or service, how it is differentiated from similar ones, and methods of delivery.
So, to activate your business, let’s look at the following points.

1. Develop a Business Plan
This is very critical step in starting your own business, unfortunately, it is most of the time ignored by aspiring business men. Your business plan is your business road map. The business plan basically comprises of the following;
– Executive summary
– The description of the business.
– The market strategies
– The competitive analysis,
– The design and development plan;
– The Operation and management plan
– And the financials.

Your business Plan should answer the following questions
· What is your business goal?
· Who are your target market?
· What technology will you apply?
· What is your business goal?
· What differentiates your business?
· Is there a large enough market segment that will value this difference?
· Is the thing that differentiates your product defensible?
· What is your business model?
· How will you raise start-up funds?

2. Access to start-up capital
You need a start-up capital. It is great if you have the funds needed, but even if you don’t, that should not stop you, there are many viable options to raise funding for your business. X-ray the different options and activate the one that is most feasible for you and raise the needed capital.
Raising capital to start own business is one major challenge that deters many from joining the league of entrepreneurs. There are however many options which if pursued strategically can still yield the desired funds, below are some viable options you can explore.

i. Personal savings
Personal savings is one good way of raising capital to start a business especially for someone who is presently in a paid job. This is a great idea because when you start your business with personal savings, it makes you actually your own boss as you are not answerable to any investor or bank.

ii. Family and Friends
Raising Capital from friends and family members is one very viable option of raising capital for your business. This may come as a gift, an interest free loan or loan with interest; in whichever form it comes, it may be easier to access than from banks. One advantage here is that the conditions and expectations from your friends and family will not be as stringent as that of the banks and other finance houses.

The entire funds you need may not come from one person, if you need for example a hundred thousand naira, you can make a list of five friends/family members that can give you twenty thousand naira each; or 10 persons who can give you ten thousand naira each.
Don’t be afraid or shy to ask especially when you have a good and viable business plan because these friends and family members will be proud of you when you succeed and will be glad they helped you or invested in your business.

iii. Bank Loan
Bank loans are still a major source of funding for most businesses, though getting loans from the traditional banks to finance a new business can be very difficult. Getting funding from banks can be challenging as most banks have tightened their lending policies. The banks’ major concern in all these is to safeguard the depositors’ funds and make some profit, by ensuring you can pay back both the principal and the interest that will accrue.

iv. Angel Investor
Angel investors are high net worth individuals who provide funds for start-ups in exchange for equity in the start-up businesses. An angel investor can be a wealthy friend, relative or church member who is convinced on the prospect of your business and decides to invest his/her money in your business and taking up part ownership of the business.

v. Venture Capitalist
Venture Capital is a type of funding for start-up or companies at early stage which are seen to have high growth potentials. These funds are provided by private investors who exchange this funds for equity in the company being funded.

vi. Crowdfunding
This is the practice of raising money for business from large number of donors who typically give small portion of the total sum. This is normally done through an online portal or events designed for the purpose.
Some popular crowd funding sites include, Kickstarter, Crowdfunding for everyone, Indiegogo, Crowdrise, crowdfunder, rockethub etc.
There are still many other method or means of funding your startup business that we may not be able to talk about right now. You can do Franchise, supplier credit, sell of tangible assets and many more.

3. Decide on your business legal structure
– Sole Proprietorship – This is a type of business entity that is run and owned by one person. There is no distinction between the owner and the business.
– Partnership – this is where two or more people share the liability and profit of a business venture.
– Private Limited Company – is a separate legal entity from the owners. Below are some conditions for registering a private limited company in Nigeria, this may vary slightly from one country to another.
– Must have a registered office in Nigeria
– The company name must not be identical to any other company already registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
– There must be at least two shareholders who are above 18 years
– The company must have at least 10,000 authorized share capital
– Public Limited Company- differs from private limited company in that it may be quoted in the stock exchange.

Register in line with the laws of the land. It may be best to get a lawyer to guide you especially if it is a limited liability company. This conditions and procedure varies from one country to another. In Nigeria, you need to register with the corporate affairs commission (CAC).

4. Have an online presence
This cannot be overemphasized. Having an online presence can give your business global relevance. Open a social media account for your business name on all the most important social media platforms. Get a website for your business.

5. Build your team
You need a team to build a successful business. This is very critical to your success. So review your needs and mobilize team that will drive your business. Like the popular saying, “if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go as a team”

6. Drive your business
After all the above have been done, get to work and execute your plans, nothing good comes easy. You need to work the talk. Set milestones, monitor and measure progress. Review strategies and adjust where necessary.

You have planned, now the plan must be followed with action to achieve the desired goal.

The End

Generating A Business Idea

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Business means a person’s regular occupation, profession or trade.
Idea means a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action.

A Business Idea is a concept that can be used for financial gain that is usually centered on a product or service that can be offered for money. An idea is the base of the pyramid when it comes to the business as a whole.

Every great product starts with an idea. One of your greatest assets as an entrepreneur is the liquidity of your ideas. Average entrepreneurs monetize existing ideas. Great entrepreneurs reinvent the future with their ideas.

Those who dare to build the future need to think differently and dare the impossible. They take leaps of faith. They hypothesize around real and imagined pain points. They simulate the future by optimizing the present. They see things in a different way. They act.
In Africa, limited resources and numerous pain points emphasize the need for innovative startup ideas. African entrepreneurs need to create products that address everyday problems in the continent. The most valuable product ideas are not necessarily the most complicated. They just need to solve a problem that either a lot of people are willing to pay for or some other organization are willing to pay a lot of money for.

It doesn’t take a genius to come up with great product ideas, though. You just have to be observant and be human. Here are ways to break your conventional thinking and call up the light bulb moment:

1. Take note of things that annoy you
What annoys you? Is it city traffic or the stress of finding an apartment? When you think about the list of things you wish were different, the chances are those things also annoy other people. Keep a list of those things and find solutions that will make them better.
Keeping a journal is great for recording ideas. It also is a great way to structure and develop ideas. The only thing worse than not being able to come up with an idea is, not writing down a great idea when you get it. Because 99% of the time, you’ll forget it and then beat yourself up for it. There are numerous tools online that can help you with this such as Evernote, Google Keep or One Note. Keeping a few spare sheets of loose paper in your wallet or purse is a good idea, too!

2. Identify customer needs
The best products are the ones with existing customers. Find out the solutions people are currently looking for, then build a product around that.
The fundamental ethos of lean startup methodology is to find products for your customers and not to find customers for your product. Spend significant time to identify unfulfilled needs of a specific customer group. You can get an idea from their complaint. Build up on these complaints, and there is your business idea. Learn to read other users comments or complaints on any social platform that you have access to.
A good way to identify this is by reading customer reviews of existing products on Amazon, eBays etc. You’ll get a good feel for what people care about, their concerns, wishes, and interests about a product. And you may also hear a great idea or two in the mix. Build on the snippets of conversation you overhear to create a story and let that story lead you to a brilliant idea.

3. Get inspiration from a new environment
Visiting a new place is a great way to identify new opportunities. Traveling gives you the chance to observe the many differences between cultures. Such experiences can open your mind to new ways of providing value.
You might find out a different service or product that would be in great demand back home. There’s a whole big world out there of great ideas that aren’t yet in your market. If you see an idea you love in your travels, you can take it back home and give it a new spin that specifically addresses the needs of your market or community. Even if you don’t find inspiration, traveling will help take you out of your surroundings and refresh your system.
Inspiration can also come without travelling. Drive a new route to the office, try a new restaurant for lunch, take public transport, take up a new hobby, work in a different place, or listen to a different kind of music. Not only will it get you to think differently, you’ll meet and connect with new people—which is a great way to find great new ideas.

4. Become inquisitive
Start being interested and involved in what is going on around the world. Find minimum 30 minutes a day to read popular blogs, news portals or watch hot news.
Learn about startups that are launched and start growing.
Becoming aware will not take too much time but can help you to know a lot about different industries and innovations.

5. Read more books
Reading is one of the most effective ways to unlock new ideas from other people’s thought. It easier to get access to knowledge through written content than ever before in human history. Take advantage of that. The more you read and learn, the better you will become at putting together seemingly unrelated concepts.
Continuing to talk about the role of books, I should stress that good book is a great source of inspiration and getting knowledge. Reading can show you where to start! Books can help you to learn many lessons, give new business ideas and understanding how to implement them.

If you are a starting entrepreneur, here is the list of books I would recommend you to take into account:

– “Startupreneur” by Ebenezer Dare
This book is design to help you learn the process of starting a business, what are the requirements? What are those basic necessary things you should know as the chief operating officer of your named organization, information they say is key to everything in life. You can get the book on Amazon by searching for the name or the name of the author and/or you can contact me directly for the book. It is in e-format.

– “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries
It is a required book for every entrepreneur, especially if you are going to build a digital product or a service. It describes how to launch successfully in the atmosphere of total uncertainty.

– “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose” by Tony Hsieh
I cannot describe in two words how inspiring this book is. It tells the story of author’s growth from idea to building a corporation through the concept of happiness. If you haven’t read this book before, do it ASAP.

– Definitely, “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
You will learn how to generate ideas and make them unique, rather than compete with existing markets.

6. Socialize outside of your circles
Hanging around the same friends can get you in a fixed way of thinking, leaving you generally uninspired. Take advantage of myriads of social and professional networks that are available online.
There are times when you are so close to a project that it creates a mental block for new ideas. Bringing in a fresh perspective can make all the difference. The refreshing perspectives new people give you will help you generate new thinking and possibly one new idea or two. Get someone who is not familiar with your project to ask you questions about it.

Get new experience. Try something new you never experienced before in your life. This can help you generate ideas. When a person gets in unusual conditions, new feelings and emotions received evoke creativity. Switch your mind from everyday routine to something new you always wanted to try. New atmosphere will make your mind to think about all pluses and minuses, find problems that need to be solved.

7. Find gaps in an existing product
You can get an idea by looking at what other people are doing. Here you do not copy other people’s product ideas but see what improvements you can make with it.
Find gaps. These could be a product as well as geographic gaps. Identify existing gaps in an established market is a good way to generate business ideas.
Netflix founder built a successful and profitable business by identifying an obvious gap in an existing market. The story of Netflix vs Blockbuster has been one of my business inspiration of all time.

8. Meditate
It’s hard to come up with great ideas when your mind is crowded. Research shows that business leaders come up with better insights and breakthroughs when they are in a more meditative and relaxed state of mind. Meditation encourages divergent thinking which allows people to come up with the greatest number of possible solutions to a problem.
Create a quiet haven for your mind.

In conclusion

Commit to two hour-long sessions every week and you may find new ideas coming through. Don’t be afraid to be outrageous. Sometimes it takes being unreasonable to make anything innovative.

Six Ways To Conquer Inconsistency

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set goal, make plan, work, stick to it, reach concept presented on blackboard with color notes and white chalk

In this post I will be sharing practical ways to remain consistent with your goals.
Let’s walk through this together.
What has been consistent with majority of us has been inconsistency and I must say same has happened to me too. Now I am fired up about accomplishing a task and half way through it, I am completely out of track. I have always wondered why inconsistency was so common and so cheap, and then I realized that self will never allow you do those things that bring you closer to your dreams. That is why I have the saying that states “the first enemy of you is you, if you can get rid of self then you have destroyed your major enemy”.
Here are the 6 practical steps which can change inconsistency to consistency;

1.Discipline
This has to do with being able to abide to certain rules. You don’t have to be all hard on yourself by setting unrealistic goals. You can start from the simplest things such as sleeping /waking up time, exercise time, study time, chatting time, TV time, gist time and I could go on and on because the list is endless. Try to create a time table for each day and try doing that before a new day starts.

2.Seek inspiration
Continually read about successful people and how they were able to become successful. This will help keep you inspired to remain on your toes because success is not cheap. Locate people who will inspire you, read up their biography and make sure you follow them on their social media handle. This will help you know that there is nothing extra ordinary about them just that they went the extra mile and they remained consistent.

3.Mind your company
The company you keep has a life lasting impact on you. Do well to keep the company of serious and goal orient minded people. This type of company of friends will always inspire you to remain on your toes. Remember the saying “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are” and I say “show me your friend and I will tell you where you are going”.

4.Now mindset
The major brain behind inconsistency is laziness and procrastination. Most times we push what is for now to later and later it never gets done. Whenever you feel like doing what is for now later, speak loudly to yourself saying “I have to do it now not later”. This works for me a lot because I believe in the saying “be careful what you say to yourself because you are listening”.

5. Reward your wins
Naturally as humans we are motivated by reward. For every week or day as the case might be that you get to pull through with your plans, you should give yourself a nice treat by getting something nice for yourself. It could be clothes, shoes, bags, wrist watches e. t. c. or you could probably treat yourself to a nice place. If you are a person who is addicted to taking a particular food or drink every day, you could tell yourself that “if I don’t finish the outlined task for the day I am not entitled to take that bottle of drink or whichever as the case might be”.

6.Have a purpose
Having a purpose will help you define your action. That purpose will serve as a drive to keep you committed to achieve your goals.

I hope you found these tips insightful? Will also love to get more tips from you; just drop your comment in the comment section. Thanks for reading.

 

 

Written By: Prisca

So You Think You Have a Business Idea? Read This First

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Business ideas are possessive.

Your heart beats faster whenever you think of it, and you often can’t find any sleep at night as your imagination runs and your mind explores the idea. If any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.

This is often the experience that kicks off the journey for most entrepreneurs.

While this feeling is great, it’s arguably responsible for the failure of many startup businesses.

Before you lunge forward to register that company, rent office space, build a beautiful website, or hire any employees, you need to set your emotions aside and apply the simple logical analysis I’ll share with you in this article.

I call it the “3M” filter.

It’s a simple analysis any entrepreneur can do, that will save you a ton of wasted time, money, energy, stress and tears.

The first “M” is about “Me”
When most people think about a business idea, it’s often about the amount of money that can be made, the impact and number of lives that could be positively touched, or the fame that could come with a ground-breaking innovation.

Interestingly, we often don’t think about ourselves until it’s a tad too late.

There may be a lot of money to be made in the restaurant business, but are you willing to give up your evenings, weekends, holidays and time with family for the business?

That breakthrough social impact idea you have could change a lot of lives in rural communities, but are you willing to travel around the country to those rural areas and work with them?

Are you willing to give up your comfort zone? Are you genuinely interested in helping poor people?

So, before you go ahead with that idea, ask yourself these questions:

Can this business meet my personal needs of time, money, impact, comfort and freedom?
Do I have any knowledge, skills, passions, interests, experiences or contacts that are relevant to this idea?
Will I stick with this business if it goes the next 12 months without making any money?
Until you have satisfactory answers to these 3 key questions, you may be setting yourself up for frustration and failure if you go ahead to take on that business.

The second “M” is about the “Market”
Most people who start a business believe they’re offering something of value to the market and customers will pay for it with little persuasion.

This assumption is often wrong in reality.

According to a study by CB Insights based on a post-mortem of over 200 startup businesses that failed, almost half of them (42 percent) failed because there was no market need for their products.

These are all entrepreneurs who were convinced they had a great idea and went ahead to start a business. But the market proved them wrong.

The truth is, unless you have mastered the art of reading people’s’ minds, you really cannot tell, 100 percent, that there is a market for your business.

Before you take that leap, here are a few important questions to ask:

What does the market really need or want?
What do they like and dislike about the existing products, services and offerings in the market?
Is the market small or large?
Is it made up of established and fierce competitors?
And the best way to get credible answers to these questions is to actually go out there and ask questions. Don’t sit in a comfy chair and assume. Go out there and ask, and see things, for yourself.

The third “M” is about “Margin”
If your business is for-profit, then it’s very likely you have decent expectations to turn a profit.

The thing is, not every business idea becomes a profitable business. What I find is, in reality, costs are often much higher than we planned for, and the revenues are often lower than we estimated.

They may look really good when they’re ideas, but squeezing out a profit in real-life may require high trading volume, economies of scale, efficiency or very technical and specialized skills.

So, after your business idea has passed the first two filters, it’s important to start making estimates of your costs and revenues.

How much could be required to make, market, sell and deliver the product?
If your cost estimate to make the product is N100,000, would you still make a profit if that cost is actually higher by 50 percent, or 100 percent?
These are hard questions no doubt. However, they’re best answered now than later when your money, time and energy are on the line.

So, you think you have a brilliant business idea?
The 3M filter I’ve shared with you in this article is a deliberate approach that transforms an idea, dream or vision into a real and ready opportunity.

Credit to www.smallstarter.com

Nigeria’s MDaaS Global Raises $1 Million in Equity Funding

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Nigeria’s MDaaS Global raises $1 million in equity funding, reports Ventureburn. The company, a healthtech, builds network of diagnostic and primary care facilities to provide convenient, high-quality, and affordable healthcare. It works under the brand name BeaconHealth, through which it builds and operates tech-enabled diagnostic centers in clinically-underserved communities, starting in Nigeria. The diagnostic centers offer radiology, cardiology, and lab services and are located in the neighborhoods where the patients live, emphasizing patient experience above all else.

MDaaS Global, a Lagos-based medtech startup that builds and operates diagnostic centres in Nigeria, has raised just over $1-million in equity funding, reveals a US Securities and Exchange Commission filling made yesterday (1 April).

The filling states that up to 12 investors were involved in the round which commenced on 15 March. According to the filling the total offering amount was $1 580 062, while the amount sold was $1 055 496, with $524 566 remaining to be sold.

It is not clear if the startup still intends to raise the remaining amount of $524 566.

MDaaS Global was founded in 2016 by CEO Oluwasoga Oni, CFO Genevieve Barnard Oni, supply chain manager Joe McCord and Nigeria country manager Opeyemi Ologun.

Why Securing Your Website Is Important

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Let’s start with the basics: What is SSL? An SSL certificate encrypts the data that goes from a user’s computer to the target website and back. Every time a user enters information into your site, SSL makes sure it can securely travel from their browser to your web server.

What does this mean for website owners? Websites communicate with their customers to share information, and so that they can buy products or services safely with you online. Without getting overly technical, adding an SSL certificate creates a safe connection for those kinds of activities. The most important thing to grasp about SSL is that anything that needs to be secure online should under the protective umbrella of an SSL certificate.

You might have gone to some lengths to bolster your site security but without SSL, it’s unlikely to be enough. Website are free to operate online without an SSL certificate, but you must ask yourself whether you want to take the chance that yours is susceptible to hacking? Probably not.

It was once sufficient to depend solely on basic antivirus software and firewalls for the protection of your business and home computer. That’s no longer the case; today’s users are bombarded with malware. Securing customer trust and confidence should be up there with the most critical factors to consider for anyone operating a business online.

Consider the motivation behind any external party getting hold of your visitors’ data. Their intention won’t be good; it’s most likely their purpose is to manipulate the information or use it for identity theft. As such, the onus is on the website, or online business to take active steps to counter these measures, in a effort to look after these customers. In doing so, you’re ensuring continual confidence in the use of your web services, higher customer retention and, more importantly, the reduction of data theft.

To sum up, an SSL certificate is more than protect your transactions and your customers’ private information. It will also help to build trust between you and your customer base all the while making your business more reputable.

Do you have a website you want to secure? To secure your website, click here

How To Avoid Your Emails Going To Spam

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Have you ever had one of your emails marked as spam? According to statistics, 80% of all sent emails are spam. As a result, spam filters are becoming stricter and even legitimate emails can end up in spam. There are some steps you can take to ensure that all your emails are being delivered into the inbox. But firstly, let’s discuss what the spam filter is and how it works.

What is a spam filter?

Even 5 years ago, the idea of the spam filter was something new and its work wasn’t checked enough. The spam filter is like a searching system, that scans the emails. If some suspicious material is found, the email ends up in junk .

How does the spam filter work?

The information that the filter looks for can be divided into three categories:

Where the message came from:

Anti-spam organizations have created special network lists, which are called RBLs . Spam filter checks such lists for the IP, that the message was sent from. If the IP address matches one on the list, the spam score of the message increases.

Who sent the message

Using email headers spam filters check if the email was sent by a spam engine or by a real sender. Every email has an unique ID, but when the spammers send mass emails, they all have the same ID.

What the message looks like

Spam filter analyzes the body and the subject of the email. Strings, which can be identified as spam are ‘viagra’, ‘buy now’, ‘lowest prices’, ‘click here’, etc. Also, it looks for flashy HTML such as large fonts, blinking text, bright colors and so on. A lot of spam filters compare the whole text to the amount of suspicious words. So, for example, if your email is long, it will not be identified as spam because of a few suspicious words.

There are several things you can do to improve your email delivery:

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information.
  • The email should be identified as an ad if that is what you are sending.
  • The recipients should have information about your location.
  • Include unsubscribe link.
  • Do not use too many special symbols, especially at the beginning or in the end of the sentence.
  • Check the formatting. If it is possible, avoid different colors of the fonts.
  • Do not use shortened URLs. Those are often used by spammers to hide their real URLs
  • Add text version of an email. When you send HTML emails, include a text version of the email.
  • Test email with spam checkers like https://www.mail-tester.com/ where you will send your email to the specified address and then check your score.
  • Check your IP and domain in blacklists. If your IP or domain is blacklisted you should whitelist it or contact your email service provider before sending emails.
  • Be careful with the images. It is recommended not to send emails with images only. Make sure you have no less than two strings of the text to every image and your images are optimized. Avoid some types of attachments like .exe, .zip, .swf. It is okay to use .jpg, .gif, .png and .pdf.
  • Do not purchase email lists. It is common practice to purchase lists of potential clients. However, a lot of email addresses in such lists are not correct and your IP/domain can get blacklisted for mass mailing very fast. It is better to send individual emails to real people. Check your how your emails are delivered. You can create different email accounts with popular email providers like Google, Yahoo and so on and send test emails to them.
  • Send the emails to your clients on a regular basis and instruct your recipients on how to whitelist your email address.

Why You Should Consider Enterpreneurship

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There are loads of reasons why many people consider entrepreneurship and why you should too. To some, it may be passion while to someone else it could be something else. The economy could be the reason why someone wants to start a new business or become an entrepreneur, to you, it could be that you want to become your own boss, it may as well be that you want to be free from the 8 to 5 work style, other factors includes autonomy, opportunity, being responsible to the society, necessity, accidental among others.

What type of business do you go into?

Before going into any business, you must do your market research, have a basic knowledge of the industry you are going into.

There are three things you need to run a successful business.

Capability: You must possess the ability or power to get things done, you must be willing and determined.

Strategy: You must have a business plan. A business plan of action that is designed to achieve a long term or overall aim.

Capital: When we talk about capital, it does not only refer to financial capital although this is a key factor, but you also need relationship capital, knowledge and human based capital.

The following reasons outline why you should consider entrepreneurship

Freedom

Everybody loves freedom, if you ask people why they want to become an entrepreneur, their response will be I want to be free especially if you have been involved in a 9 to 5 job for long. For many people, the idea of doing what they want to do is most compelling reason to take the risk and run their own business. And it is true, having freedom in life and career does make a huge difference.

Time and Family

Although many people believed that by been an entrepreneur, they will have more time for themselves but I bet you may be wrong, as it will require more time for you to grow your business than the usual nine hour jobs out there but however, you can control your time and determine your work hours which will give you freedom of time and allow you to spend more of it with your family.

Control

For many people, the sense of security and freedom that comes with the ability to control your own work is the major reason why they want to become an entrepreneur.

Accomplishment

Do you have specific goals in life? If yes, becoming an entrepreneur might help you to accomplish those goals than a normal career job.

Being your own Boss

Many people are tired of been maltreated by their boss and even tired of going home every month with a salary package that is like a drop of water when the money coming in to the company’s account is like a gush of water. Moreover, if you are your own boss, you can do things your own way, you can make your own decisions, take risks and decide your own fate.

Autonomy

Running your own business allows you to be in charge of your own destiny. It also helps you to avoid getting stuck in the rat race. For many people, running their own business lets them have a self-fulfilling career.

Impact

Many people who work for other companies truly want to work hard and help that company to succeed, but few ever have the opportunity to climb up the ladder and get to that stage to have such an impact. When you run your own business everything you do will directly impact the company which can be very rewarding.

Opportunity

Being an entrepreneur opens up a whole new world of opportunities for you. You will have the opportunity to do anything that you want in life, this means that you can choose to spend your life making the world a better place, and you can live and determine the kind of life that you want. Very few career choices can be very rewarding.

More Money

You can determine your financial worth by being an entrepreneur. But let me quickly state here that if you want to make money very quickly, you might consider working for other companies because having your own business may not bring immediate monetary rewards, you will have to put more effort and consciously grow the business before you can start enjoying the monetary benefits that comes with owning your own business.

If you need more information on why you should consider entrepreneurship and what are the things to know and note when starting a new business, you can order for my ebook titled STARTUPRENEUR on www.ebenezerdare.com/store

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