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

THE NIGERIA OF MY DREAMS

“The dreams of yesterday (past) are the hopes of today (present) and also the realities of tomorrow (future)”. With this wise quote which I strongly believe in and always live true to its words when dreams are vigorously and positively pursued, as I hope my dream Nigeria becomes a reality before the middle of the next decade.

Some of the credentials of my dear country, Nigeria, include being the “giant of Africa”, blessed with top-notch human resources, world’s seventh and Africa’s largest producer/exporter of crude oil, unrivalled world over in terms of abundance of food crops and mineral resources, most populous black nation in the world, geographically immune from major natural disasters, a land of tropical rainforests, fertile soils, lenient weathers, lush green savannah grasslands, breathtaking landscapes etc. and the list goes on and on.

Unfortunately, this much is yet to fully impact positively on the wellbeing of her citizens and the country as an entity thus representing a situation which is a far cry from my DREAM NIGERIA. The Nigeria of my dreams is one where every child can access quality education at least up to secondary school level, where every household can afford adequate housing, feeding and clothing, where unemployment and corruption is reduced to the barest minimum, one where public office holders truly hold offices in trust for the people, where every positive thought can be brought to reality in good time, where merit and respect for the rule of law is held sacrosanct.

This is to mention a few as the picture of my dream Nigeria cannot be fully painted here by words.  In my strongest belief, the panacea towards a better and even better Nigeria is positive change in all aspects of our National life. A step change in the orientation of all citizens (both the leaders and the followers) through a re-evaluation of our value system is highly important. Honesty, Integrity and hard work should be respected and rewarded instead of idolizing money-bags and those with connections regardless of how they are made.

Conscious efforts by every Nigerian to do the right thing at the right time in his/her own little corner will definitely place the country on the path to greatness.  Doing all these and even more will make our blessed heart of Africa a much better place to live in, assure a hopeful future for millions of Nigerian children, give greater hope to the multitude of virile youths abound, rekindle memories of the good old days in the mind of the elderly and above all BREATHE LIFE INTO THE NIGERIA OF MY DREAMS.  These, and an even better picture, I keep dreaming and hoping of in quest for a greater Nigeria.

The Art of Discipline – A Critical Ingredient For Success

Guess what…Sometimes we really need to be reminded of those things we already know in order to put it into practice in this fast paced world which is currently filled with several distractions. Enjoy this little piece on DISCIPLINE.

In my journey through life, I have noticed that the word “discipline” in title case above is a very essential ingredient towards achieving goals and being successful in life. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the noun Discipline is “a form of training that molds, corrects or perfects the mental faculties or moral character”. Take note of the key words correct, mold or perfect which are pointers to success.

This principle can be effectively applied in all aspects of our lives in order to achieve success, be it in the search for a job, in a weight loss program, or while preparing for an examination. In this regard, it is also synonymous with consistency as you have to continue with that training form over time in order to achieve success. It is common knowledge that “little drops of water makes an ocean”. That is due to the consistency of the drops, which eventually leads to an accumulation.

In essence, if you wish to achieve success in life, you need to be really disciplined. The best way to achieve this is by analyzing your objectives, breaking it down into small tasks which can be completed in relatively short periods. Then assign time lines to these tasks and stick to them religiously. This is where the disciplinary principle really comes in, as you have to follow up and complete these tasks within specific time frames.

Remember that the only time you can really lay claim to is NOW…Yesterday is gone forever and tomorrow is only an expectation, which you are not assured of. Your time to make an impact is NOW. With discipline, everything is possible. The world is yours. Take it.

Why did I start this???

Hi Friends….and Foes alike…

I have always wished to own a blog…..Blogger, WordPress and the likes made it easy by creating platforms, but I have been guilty of procrastinating. Welcome to my blog anyway…and beware of PROCRASTINATION in all you do.

Be The Boss aims to encourage you to be on top of your game in all things you do….In your personal life, your career, touching people’s lives, making money, getting good deals and all the rest…

Guess what… I am starting this blog at a village location where internet is slow, work pressure is hectic and other constraints stare me in the face. But I have decided to find TIME out of NO TIME to give birth to this blog. In essence, my lesson for us today is to do away with Procrastinating.

A great man once said “Never leave till tomorrow what you can do today”.

Let our cruise begin