5 BUSINESS SECRETS EVERY STARTUP SHOULD KNOW IN NIGERIA
5 BUSINESS SECRETS EVERY STARTUP SHOULD KNOW IN NIGERIA In our society, so many dreams and business ideas never get to be successfully launched, because the people involved are most often than not, overwhelmed by the process and clueless as to the specifics involved. Most entrepreneurs have superb business ideas and strongly believe in following their dreams. But in reality, successfully starting and launching a new business is a work in progress as we all have a lot to learn. Still, they are basic essentials which most entrepreneurs may take for granted details which are essential for the success of any startup. Successful entrepreneurs of our time spent years and years of hardwork to reach the peak of their careers today. Wonder how they managed to reach these heights? What goes through their minds? Their business style? Work ethics? You too can be like them, if not better. How? Study their best practices, mistakes and key character traits to emulate them and significantly shorten your own path to success.
I have prepared here 5 business secrets every startup must know to achieve wild success speedily.
1. Get a Business plan.
A good business plan will serve as a guide to decision making during the running of your business. It will be used as a means of communicating with potential investors, partners, allies, employees, vendors and even customers. Preparing and writing a business plan is one of the first step you should take as you launch your business. According to Linda Pinson, author of anatomy of a business plan. ” A lot of businesses fail to write a business plan at all until they get in a ham”.
A good business plan in place will help serve as a master guide to decision making throughout the life of your business. A solid business plan will help you start off strong. Before you start writing, conduct thorough research and get tools that can facilitate the process. ” A good business plan is not just writing about what your vision of your business is”, Pinson says. ” its interpreting it in financial terms that you can measure”. What this implies is that a good business plan should be both quantitatively and qualitatively prepared. You’ll need figures and numbers to back up your plan. These should be precise and accurate. The business plan should be written in a clear and simple language. Start by writing a conceptual part or a positioning statement for your business then move to the financial part, where you’ll be required to provide an accurate breakdown of your financial plan.
” The conceptual or text part of your plan has no validity without the financial part”. You must be absolutely clear on how you want to run your business and your expectations. This should be incorporated into the business plan. What is your vision for your business? As Peter Drucker once wrote, ” Even if you are starting your business on a kitchen table, you must have a vision of becoming a world leader in your field, or you will probably never be successful. What is it that you want to accomplish for your customers? What is it you want to do to improve the lives and work of the people you intend to serve with your products and/ or services? You’ll need a clear vision and a mission statement in place to motivate yourself and your team to do the work and use the very best skills necessary to achieve success in the business.
2. Be Realistic.
When setting goals and financial projections for your business startup, be realistic about. Be careful not to throw yourself at a wild goose chase. Setting unrealistic business goals will certainly send your entrepreneurial venture on a downward spiral. ” one of the most frequent errors made when writing a business plan is overestimating revenues and underestimating expenses”, says Pinson. During revenue estimation, you need to improve revenue estimates by narrowing your target market down to a realistic niche, then interpret revenues and expenses in terms of that market, Pinson advises. Breakdown your target market to more achievable chunks or groups. Start by identifying potential customers, then breakdown to those who aren’t ready to buy, next, slice off those who can’t be marketed to effectively, then cut down to those that can’t afford your products or services, or don’t consider it a need. In marketing, targeting is a very important essential which most entrepreneurs unfortunately ignore. ” A big problem for so many businesses is that they are so desperate and so grateful from anyone who buys from them, they dongo to the next step and ask who they should be doing business with, says Lisa Fortini- Campbell, adjunct professor of management at North Western University’s Kellog School of management in Chicago and founder of Market Research and Consulting firm. The fortini- Campbell company.
So, carefully consider first before throwing money at mass- marketed or wide- reaching advertising, which may not target the audience you need. Identify the value you can provide your customers and how to reach them effectively. The major reason that most startups fail is a poor fit in their markets.
This is a major startup secret for your business success. Pay special attention to marketing. You’ll need to
– first, develop your marketing goals
– second, run a market analysis which include identifying target markets, researching competition and assessing market trends.
– next, prepare a marketing strategy which should your approaches to sales, promotions, advertising, PR, networking, community building, customer service, and other marketing channels and tools.
– finally, develop a plan to implement your marketing strategy, and include benchmarks to determine the level to which you achieved your marketing plans and schedules
A good market analysis should answer the following questions
– who are my target customers?
– what are their needs?
– how will my products and/ or services meet those needs?
– how do I get my products and/ or services across to them?
– who are my competitors?
– what is my unique selling point?
– how does the price of my products and/ or services reflect its value?.
This should help determine your marketing plan. Targeting the right prospects can mean the difference between success and failure in your startup. ” All your future customers are out there buying from someone else now”, says Fortini- Campbell. ” what are they buying?” Who are they buying from? What can you learn about what others are doing?”
Another marketing technique to look at is customer service, ” more small businesses lose customers due to poor customer service than bad products,” Says Fortini- Campbell. Every time you interact with a prospective customer, you are marketing yourself, anytime you help a customer solve a problem, you are marketing. So whenever you qualitatively serve customers. They pay with loyalty and good quality refferals
4. The Name Game.
Naming and incorporating is probably never taken serious. Unfortunately many entrepreneurs realize too late that naming and incorporating is “serious business”. Every business needs a name, and picking a cool and memorable one is the name of the game. ” You want to have a checklist”, says Marcia Yudkin, founder and “head stork” of Namedatlast.com, a Goshen, Massachusetts company.
Here are a few things to consider in naming your startup.
– Think marketing. When deciding on a company name, first decide on the advertising that will drive 90% of your business, will you work with print ads, signage at your location, word-of-mouth, the internet, radio, or maybe some combination for your advertising? ” Depending on your answers to these questions, certain criteria become very important”, Yudkin says
– Scan the competition. Rounding up the names of local competitors will offer you a marker for differentiating yourself
– Get brainstorming. ” Do a brain dump of every possibility that comes to mind”, says Yudkin. Think of words that appeal to your potential customers, and that the competition isn’t using, and also consider the results your potential customers want from using your products or services.
– Check for negative connotations. Some names may sound cool and yet leave potential customers feeling uneasy about your business. Consider every word on your list for negative meanings. You can even run a survey for your list of names, ask family and friends how different words strike them.
– Check for trademarks. Before you put up your company name, ensure it is unique to your business alone. You Dont want to be harassed by a competitor or some other business owner that is already operating legally with your proposed name. ” Before you commit yourself in anyway to commissioning a logo, putting up a website, making signage and so on, make sure the name is legally available.
5. Building a Strong Team.
Finding and working with the right team members during the startup phase of your business is one of the most important aspects of starting a company. Your team members are the people responsible for defining the culture, identity, and core values of your company. Many entrepreneurs are workaholics and try to do everything on their own, which is a very ineffective way of running any new startup. A great business idea is good, but working with a great team is even better. You should hire for work ethic and not just intellect. Surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you is a great idea, but even greater is hiring people who work harder than you do. ” Hiring someone smarter than you is always good advice, but I think leaders of successful companies also hire people who work harder than themselves”, says Don’t Rainey, a General partner with Virginia-based Grotech Ventures. To ensure your startup success, hire people who match your passion and drive for your company’s culture. You should, as a new startup, be able to pinpoint your weaknesses to create a team that counters all of them.