Monday, 25 June 2012


You had been advised in business to start small, no matter how small, just start. Is there a problem with this approach? Yes! Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong starting from a point to grow your business, but starting well is better. Does it mean starting big? No, it means starting small but running the business with the same principles successful businesses strive on. Principles like good book keeping, effective and efficient in managing tasks, punctuality and commitment to service. Whatever you need to make your potential clients or customers to take you serious, do it.  

It sounds weird, but you are setting a standard for your business. This is an area were most SMEs default when managing their business. Don’t wait to grow big before you create a culture for your business. Successful businesses excel on principles that create a standard for their businesses.
Starting your business well helps you to
  1. Be focused on the big picture
  2.  Create the discipline that is obtained in the corporate world in your business.
  3. Set a culture that will sustain the company to maturity 
  4.  Helps you to look at your business beyond you
As your business grows, you can expand as you desire. Always bear in mind that the business world is a jungle where only the smart survives. So, if you want to be taken seriously, you must manage your business the way professionals will do.


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

How much is your decision worth?

Good managers who earn high wages are paid to make good decisions for the company. What is considered their worth is actually the worth of their decisions; this is because good decisions earn more. When people trust a leader, they simply trust his judgments. People come to believe in them because of previous decisions that yielded positive results.
Today, relying on guts and instincts for your decisions can be very disastrous. It does not only waste your resources, but are prone to fail.  And when you fail several times in making good decisions, your decisions lose value. You need an evidence/objective based system to boost the credibility of your decision making.
Here are a few tips to help you boost the worth of your decisions:
  •   Gather relevant data
Always support your claim with relevant data. Any decision you want to make that cannot be sufficiently supported with evidence, is likely to lose its credibility. For instance, if you want to make an investment decision, you may want to look at the previous and current performances of the business, those managing it, and their capabilities etc.
  • Make the connections
When you have gathered the relevant data, check to see if there is any connection linking them up, does it follow a logical sequence? At this point, cause-and-effect reasoning plays a vital role. Can the excellent performance of a business over the years be attributed to good management, or are there other factors to look out for? There has to be a relationship between the various data collected.
  • Research, Research, Research
Explore the world around you, ask questions, and observe happenings in every situation. The information you gather from these exercises can boost the worth of your decisions. So far, conducting researches is still the best means of bridging the gap between what is known and what is not known. Never stop researching, it guides your decisions
A systematic decision making process can help you to achieve a valuable and worthy outcomes. Make your decisions count.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


I was watching the formal opening of one of Apple’s shop in china, and I was surprise how customers can love a brand so much as to travel thousands of miles just to be the first to experience the grand opening. Initially, it did not make a lot of sense to me but when I saw the passion and the love they have for Apple and its products, I knew it wasn’t just the quality of the product but the kind of customer experience the company has created.
For me, that was another level of brand loyalty. Having your customers love your company and product, and above all, going home with that experience they can’t get from anywhere else is they whole essence of business. And it starts from making the customers satisfied.
When customers love you, they stick with you, brag about you and will be ready to defend you no matter the situation. To achieve this,
  •          Create a company culture that revolves round your customers
  •          Pay attention to their needs
  •          Proffer solutions to their problems
  •          Build a quality customer relationship.
·         Create a quality customer experience. Give them a reason to come back.
Having a quality product and a compelling marketing campaign is not enough, anyone can do that. The customers want a relationship and an experience with you. They value that more that just the product. That will make your customers fall in love with your company and product

3 Es banks look out for in a Business Plan

7 years ago when I learnt how to prepare a professional business plan, I considered it a major key to business success especially for start-ups. Today, having helped a lot of people prepare one, and having failed in business before even with my ‘wonderful’ business plan, I now have a new perspective about business plan and why banks may not give you credit as a starter.
1.      Evidence:
They want prove that what you are bringing to the table works, they don’t want to experiment with their money.
2.      Expansion:
Most banks want to give you money to expand i.e. build on an existing business not to start up. For a business that has not been tested, you will need to convince them beyond reasonable doubt that it will work.
3.      Experience:
They want to make sure you have the required experience to compete favorably in the market. They would like at least 6 months experience before they can part with their money.
Fund providers prefer you starting up first before coming up with a business plan.
So before you design a formal business plan, start and see how far you can go. Even top entrepreneurs in the developed world never had a written business plan at start up. Try managing the business for at least 1 – 3 months before approaching banks for a loan.

No Magic with a formal Business plan

“Does a business plan really work for start-ups?”  I doubt. Most fresh starters see a good business plan as a key to success. Unfortunately, a study has shown that there is no relationship between a business plan and revenue. Meaning a good business plan does not necessarily guarantee a successful venture.
Most top American and European entrepreneurs never had a business plan at start-up but had a complete idea of societal need, the market, their target audiences, their product and a ‘compelling discipline’ to take action, and for me that is the best business plan. That is why I recommend these for fresh starters,
  1. Have a mental plan or an outline of your plans
  2. Take that step to find out who your audiences are, and what they need
  3. When you do, sell, sell, sell.
Action comes first; writing down every detail may never get you on your feet, take actions to keep your business desires burning. Does it mean the business plan concept’ should be discarded? No, but if you are serious with starting a business, you need ‘business planning’ more than you need a ‘business plan’. Writing a business plan before you start, can quench that burning desire, but you can start with a clear roadmap of what you want your business to be, and as you grow, you can have a written business plan.
What do you think about the relationship between business plan, and business success?


You may have a very good character or a wonderful personality, but all of that could be rubbished if other people perceive you as being otherwise. That means you can’t influence them positively, because the position you occupy in their mind is an important element of influence. This is one secret great businesses use to keep their consumers connected to them. When people can’t identify what you are living for or standing for, they disconnect.
You have many behaviors that sum up to form your personality, and these individual behaviors that make you, appeals to different people. And since we cannot please everybody, we go for a character that truly speaks of our person. According to Witness Lee our character is our very person.
       There are various approaches to positioning your personality.
(1)   The informational approach: Providing information on what is most unique about you to others. You know yourself better and only you can point out that distinctive feature you want others to know about you.
(2)   The symbol approach: This is the use of images or symbols that represent or say something about the personality you want to portrait. For instance, Union bank using the stallion to depict strength and reliability.
(3)   The comparison approach: This is stressing your personality superiority when compared to that of another person.
Make it a duty to point out that unique feature you know others will need to know about you.