Link

Staying focused is a very essential skill for every one, whether you are a 9-5 worker or an entrepreneur. Usually for entrepreneurs, there is always so much to deal with in the office and in some cases on the home front for those who have a family. The tips in the embedded link can be very useful to help you stay focused when you need it most and achieve your business objectives this fiscal year.

How to Train your Brain to Stay Focused

If your business is currently in the bootstrapping phase, you need to live, eat, drink and sleep these tips as they will form part of the essential ingredient for taking you to the next level.

Have a fruitful and rewarding week ahead.

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Bootstrapping 101

Happy 2013…

Have you always wanted to start a business but find yourself unsure of the best way to proceed? Do you currently hold a 9-5 job, but have that burning desire to start out and become your own boss?

I understand how you feel and have always wanted to write a superb blog on “bootstrapping” because that is what you really need if you are in this situation. Trust me, I have been there before. According to the investopedia website, Bootstrapping refers to “a situation in which an entrepreneur starts a company with little personal capital. An individual is said to be boot strapping when he or she attempts to found and build a company from personal finances or from the operating revenues of the new company”. For me, it can also be that phase when you run your business all by yourself while still working at your regular day job.

Though, I am not ready to give the superb “Bootstrapping 101” class yet, I felt I should share useful bootstrapping insights from this link as it is a really helpful article on the topic; written by an accomplished business owner, Matt Barrie, the founder and Chief Executive at Freelancer.com.

Included here also is a very useful article on bootstrapping that gives you tips on How to find the optimal workspace, the right partner, hire sales people and even contractors.

Let me know your thoughts on this and the key challenges you are facing with bootstrapping today.

What does “9japreneur” mean?

I am currently in New York as an Acumen Fund Global Fellow, undergoing a two month intensive training program that will clearly help me better understand myself as a leader and teach me some of the basics of handling challenges associated with running a Social Enterprise-hopefully. I am enjoying my time here, but have been asked several times what a “9japreneur” means. I have had to explain my thoughts on the term ‘9japreneur’ to these people verbally and decided to also extend this explanation to my reader community, in the hope that we can work together and bring about positive changes in society together through business and otherwise.

Taken from the word entrepreneur, a “9japreneur” simply means a Nigerian (citizen or just resident) who is engaged in any venture that brings him or her profit and/or contributing positively to the society and the lives of people around them. It is an attempt to highlight the positive spirit and attitude within the country with a long term plan to connect entrepreneurs and provide support through activities like bootcamps and investor forums etc.  This definition is not meant to cover people who do business without a conscience, not considering if their activities have negative impact on people or the environment.

Just a little about me, I am an experienced business consultant and an upcoming integrated energy engineer who believes that every man or woman can be successful in their chosen positive venture, make good profits and also benefit the society in the process.

I am gradually growing into a social entrepreneur, using the tips on this blog as a starting point to support the growth of new and emerging businesses across 9ja, Africa and the world as a whole.

Article: Eight Reasons Startup Incubators Are Better Than Business School

Eight Reasons Startup Incubators Are Better Than Business School

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jjcolao/2012/01/12/eight-reasons-startup-incubators-are-better-than-business-school/

Sometimes, I come across some really interesting reads that I feel compared to share with this reader community. I am not against pursing business school dreams, but just feel I should let people have a feel of what options they have, if they are really desirous of starting a venture.

I look forward to the day when we would have a solid business incubator in the key cities of Nigeria. Really wishing and planning to start a launchpad for Nigerian entrepreneurs soon. Just hope everything falls into place.

Africa as a Gun! Nigeria is the trigger

Ever thought about this. Stop wondering about the title and let’s get started.

Turn the African map anti-clockwise by 90 degrees.

The shape becomes a gun and Nigeria is the trigger. In my head or hypothetically, this tells me that Nigeria can be the real Giant of Africa and a hotbed for all things positive. All we need to do is to drive change within ourselves, in our homes and in our societies.

We have the largest market the Africa, almost half the population of the United States, very good weather conditions, very good soils and land across the country, abundant natural resources, smart and hard working people. All these can be used to move the nation to the next level.

Though, we currently lack directional leadership and good infrastructure, but we can start taking steps to change things for the better. Think about businesses that will not only bring profits to you but also benefit the society in general. We can be the real trigger of the world, if we come together and work to achieve a common goal.

Lets think about it, and act to drive positive change within our constituencies.

Cheers

Business Lessons from the US Republican Nomination Race – Free E-book attached

Deear Entrepreneurs and 9japreneurs,

This is February, the second month of the year, telling us that January is gone for good. The year has started on an interesting note with the Republican Party in the US holding elections across the country to nominate its Presidential candidate. I have decided to draw business lessons from the current process on the heels of the wins by Rick Santorium and Ron Paul.

These two seem to have been the laggards in this race, always coming in third or fourth, behind the front-runner Mitt Romney and the Challenger, Newt Gingrich. Basically, this is similar to your competitors in the market place. If Rick and Ron had given up before now, they would never have achieved the wins recorded yesterday. Remember “Quitters never win”  and “Winners never quit”.

According to one website, Santorium whom is a devoted conservative stated that “Wow. Conservatism is alive and well in Missouri and Minnesota,” after his wins in these states. He might never have known if he quit. So, in your business practices, stay resilient, try out new products, marketing plans, business pitches and the like with a risk management mindset.

Develop a plan to attack the market challenger and even the market leader. Come up with innovative solutions that will delight your customers and keep them coming back to you.

As I leave you with these few thoughts, my pre-Valentine gift to my readers is the e-book 9 things Successful People do Differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson

 

 

 

Tips for Managing Risk within your Business Venture

Most often, entrepreneurs and other small business owners think that only large businesses and multi-national corporations should be concerned about the subject of risk management. However, this is a very wrong notion as the impact of a risk exposure can be more fatal to smaller businesses than large ones. Remember that the large businesses have deeper pockets and can afford to write off big amounts as “extraordinary occurrences”.

This week, I wish to share simple tips that can aid with the management of risks faced by small businesses. Generally, risk management refers to the practice of identifying, understanding and mitigating occurrences that can prevent the achievement of business objectives. Thus, the most important thing is to have a clear understanding of what risks your business might face.

Understanding the Risks in your Business

On a general note the key risks faced by most businesses (regardless of size) include operational risks, credit risks, reputational risk and market risk. At a more specific level, this can include employee medical risk, IT risk, travel risks etc. The key to this understanding is to review all possible areas and identify the things that can affect business objectives. This process is referred to risk identification and assessment in the corporate world. “Assessment”, is used here because the business process owners usually go on to assess the identified risk in terms of its possible impact and likelihood of occurrence.

Simple Risk Assessment for Small Businesses

To achieve this in a small business setting, it would help to sit with your overall team, even the janitors and doormen in your employ and go through a structured way to identify all possible risks. Remember, during this process, no risk identified is stupid. After taking down all the possible risks, you can then rate it on a scale of 1-10 via voting to determine the risk impact and its likelihood. Naturally, the high risks will be at the top and vice-versa for the low risks.

Designing Mitigation Strategies

After identification and assessment, the next thing will be to decide which risks (usually the top 5, 10 or 20) to focus on. You cannot focus on all risks and should structure the mitigation process in a way such that the effort to be put in will not be more than the benefits to be derived. This is very key. All members of the team can contribute to suggestions for the mitigation strategies. Though, it is usually helpful if you get an external consultant at this stage, because they are independent and can come up with different and better ways of managing your business risks.

We will be glad to hear your feedback on how this helps and give your further suggestions at a more specific and personal level if you desire.