Making the Best of your Holiday Season as a 9japreneur

The holiday season is here again and most people feel like kicking off their shoes and relaxing after a full year of hard work. However, this is not usually going to be the case for entrepreneurs….Mmmm…9japreneurs alike. I must tell you that the holiday season is a very good time to give your business a great leap.

Depending on what kind of business you are in to or what stage of development your venture is, the holiday season is usually a good time to win new customers, re-strategize on the business model and structure or generally take stock of what went down during the year. Basically, make sure you target each holiday season to give a lift to your beloved venture. Remember that there is a little feeling of difference in the air at this period and you and your team may also view things differently.

For instance, i attended a gym/spa opening somewhere around Surulere, in Lagos, Nigeria on 23rd December. It was a good time to start off such a business as friends and colleagues of the owner were invited to the opening by word of mouth without incurring any advertising costs. Opening discounts were offered until the 31st of December for the different services offered. This is a good means of attracting and retaining new customers, in addition to keeping the venture strong in 2012.

Some great tips you can work with for giving your business a leap this holiday season include:

1        Have a honest debrief session with yourself and your team to understand the things you did right and those that  were wrong. This will help to develop your areas of strength and improve upon weak areas.

2        Make a list of your complete customer base and endeavor to send them a Thank you note or Season’s greetings card. Put a personal touch to each card or note. You will be surprised at how much they will remember you in the coming year.

3        Start thinking of giving your business a visible online presence. If you do not have a website, build one. If you already have one, improve on the content and make it very user friendly.

There a several other great tips you could use out there. Since I like being very practical, I would implore you to try out these three for a start before December 31st. See how it works and contact me for more tips or create a discussion around them in the comments section.

 

Happy Holidays

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Leverage the power of the Internet to boost your start-up

For a start, let us review some mind boggling statistics relating to internet – desktop and mobile – penetration in Nigeria.

As we speak, the country has over 43 million internet users, about the largest internet penetration in Africa. Nigeria is among the top three countries that uses opera mini in Africa and about 80% of all adults have mobile phones today. In conservative terms, it means you can cast a very wide net to target your products and services at over 50 million Nigerians, especially if your product appeals to the mass market.

By utilizing this internet power within Nigeria and across Africa, you can move your business to the next level.

Be in the face of potential customers by having an online presence

The very first step to building an online presence is to create a good website for your business. Free resources for websites include gnbo.com.ng and yola.com among others. These sites offer you ready made templates that can help you create a professional looking website within minutes. With as little as NGN 2,000, you can get customized domain names and up to 10 e-mail addresses on that domain.

The next step is to ensure that you keep your site alive, interesting and engaging. Infuse your site with new content related to your products and services at least twice a month. You must understand that customers will always remember a dynamic website that offers new things at every visit. Create a newsletter for your products and integrate links to social networks into your website. There is so much you can do to keep your website engaging, and we have mentioned just a few here.

Two 9japreneur run businesses that have greatly fascinated me within the internet space in 2011 are Dealdey and Wakanow. These start-ups are currently changing the face of e-commerce in Nigeria. Hopefully, I might run the profiles of the faces behind these businesses sometime in 2012. Apart from the exposure these companies gain from the internet, they have positioned themselves strategically as the link between buyers and sellers of products and services at unbelievable good prices.

Every 9japreneur must understand that creating a great product is very important and non-negotiable. Convince yourself that you will always buy that product and refer it to others. After this is done, then the power of the internet can take your product/service across the world without much stress. Top tips for keeping customers happy with a great product can be found here.

Apply these tips above for a start and see how it works for you. Visit back for more great tips next week.

Are you a 9jaPreneur???…Think Innovation

Hello there,

Are you proudly Nigerian? Do you run a small business of your own, function as a freelance professional in your field, or employ a number of people in your company within or ouside the shores of our great country, Nigeria. If so, I think you qualify to be called a 9japreneur. 9japreneur, a word coined by me simply means an entrepreneur whom is desirous of making profits from his or her business, while also improving the situation of our country and its citizens.

Personally, I believe that people with great business ideas have a great role to play in the transformation of the Nigerian economy. We will really need to draw into our inner selves to unleash that level of creativity that allows you to provide a revolutionary product at the least cost, while delivering great value. 

My aim, for a start using this blog as a medium, is to get 9japreneurs to think together, forge partnerships, brainstorm and deliver the much needed economic change to make our country a true giant of Africa and the world at large.

On a weekly basis, I will come up with tips, case studies, stories and all forms of creative writing that will inspire 9japreneurs to improve themselves, their businesses and also the people around them. Feel free to make comments and also inform me of topics you will like to read about. I will surely oblige you within a month.

Let me leave you with a saying that goes thus “BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE”….

Check back here regularly for great 9japreneurship tips….Cheers