Wednesday, 20 February 2013

If Nike is a Small Business…

When Nike withdrew their sponsorship deal with Oscar Pistorious, I asked myself, how many deals will go wrong with Nike? We have that of Tiger Woods, Michael Vick, Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin, Lance Armstrong and recently, Oscar Pistorius. When I consider all this high profile endorsements, I asked myself if Nike is a small business, will it survive with all the negative publicity from its major endorsements?
Maybe there is something about the endorsement that is working for Nike in spite of the negative publicity that the small business owners may need to learn. But then, if Nike is a small business, will it still continue promoting is business this way? I don’t see a retail store that is involved in so many ‘bad endorsements’, still maintaining such business model and continue to wax stronger except the benefits are higher. 
Although it cost a lot to engage a celebrity, it could also be that more customers are gained when the going is good such that the numbers of losses as a result of ‘Bad endorsement’ deals are insignificant.
No doubt Nike grows its customer based from all these endorsements, but the number of ‘bad endorsements’ are also enough to ground any business. Thankfully, the company has successfully managed its way through the scandals to remain on top of their game. The company seems to have a model that keeps it afloat even when their endorsement goes bad. It seems their decision to pull out, suspend, or continue with a celebrity is dependent on the gravity of the offense.

In marketing, celebrity endorsement is often used to enhance product’s brand image. Though some experts believe that celebrity endorsements only enhances product recall but not sales, studies have show that Tiger Woods’ endorsement of Nike products, which began in 2000, resulted in the acquisition of about 4.5 million customers and $60 million dollars in profit. And maintaining their relationship with Tiger Woods, even after the scandal earned Nike an overall profit in golf ball sales of $1.6 million greater than it would have been without him.

Maybe if Nike is a small business, with all these negative publicity from it ambassadors it would have stopped using celebrity endorsement to promote its brand because of the cost involved.What do you think?

Business Quote for Today

“If things seem under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” Mario Andretti

“The first problem for us all, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.”
Gloria Steinem

“If you don’t make mistakes, you aren’t really trying.” Coleman Hawkins

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Business Quotes

In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins:  cash and experience.  Take the experience first; the cash will come later.  ~Harold Geneen

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.  ~Henry Ford

The absolute fundamental aim is to make money out of satisfying customers.  ~John Egan

Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn't always have to be their top priority.  ~William Arthur Ward

Hire character.  Train skill.  ~Peter Schutz

Professionalism is a frame of mind, not a paycheck.  ~Cecil Castle

Revisiting your Business Vision and Mission Statement

When I studied the reasons behind some failed brands, I observed that many of them altered the value of their Mission and Vision statement. Though on paper, the statements remained the same, but in practice, the corporations were doing something else.
I think this is one of the pitfalls of having a successful brand; corporations are tempted to extend it to other products and services. However, I notice that when such ventures fail, the businesses go back to what the company was originally established to do.
For small businesses, the temptation to drift away from the original vision is also there. There is need for entrepreneurs to revisit those statements and ensure that they can innovate, diversify, and extend their products and services while still maintaining the value promised by those statements.
When you develop a compelling vision about your business, it tells you and the society where the business is headed to. It prepares you for the future such that even when things go rough, you feel challenged to press on. That is why your vision statement should be part of you. You don’t just speak about the vision, you live the vision.
You must communicate the vision as you get more people into your business, and continue to nurture and support that vision every day, in every way.
Don’t forget, your Vision is different from your Mission. Your Mission Statement describes what business you are doing, and who your customers are. It gives your business a focus and a direction because it tells the very essence of your business, and how you will move from where you are to your desired destination. One important element about the mission statement is that if properly drafted, it will be broad enough to allow for expansion, and quite narrow to keep you focused.  The mission statement should,
1.     describe what products you are offering;
2.     list the functions your business performs;
3.     identify your customer;
4.     locate your business within the market;
5.     also state the reason why customers would prefer to buy products and services from you.

There is need as a business owner to revisit your vision and mission statement and ensure you are still on course.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

What has Valentine Got to do with Business

"February is a historically strong sales month for these small businesses and our data suggests the trend will continue this year," said Glenn Goldman, CEO of Capital Access Network (CAN)

No doubt, good lovers look out for this day 14th February to celebrate their love for one another, however, lovers are not the only ones gaining from this date. Research shows that it could also drive economic growth which businesses can talk advantage of.

Some of the economic activities are that young people usually engaged in include hairdressers, gift shops, restaurants and hotels,etc. It is important that businesses take advantage of this date to drive their profits upward.

So if you have missed out this year, wait for another February where you can prepare with this tips from Natalie Burg, on How Small Businesses Can Avoid Mishaps This Valentine's Day


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Why Investors are Rushing to Africa

"Africa is growing: Out of the top 10 most important investment destinations today, six are in Africa. [Among those are] Kenya, Angola, South Africa and Nigeria. There is huge potential right now. Everybody is rushing towards it because Africa now has a more stable political climate than ever before. Furthermore, nearly all developed countries are finding it extremely difficult to grow, but Africa is expected to grow probably at 6% in the coming years" Read more: Business Insider

Athough African is not as developed as the rest of the world, there abounds alot of opportunities waiting to be explored. Unfortunately, foreign investors seems to see what we can't see in our land. They are rushing to tap into what mother Africa has got. Its time Africans begin believing in Africa and the opportunities it holds. 
Each country in Africa has its own advantage, and its time to explore them.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Don’t Go Missing in the Market

When preparing a business plan for fresh Start-Ups, I often ask the following questions:

  • What do you know about the industry you want to enter?
  • Who are the players in the industry?
  • What is the current trend in the industry?

Simple questions you may say, but I have never received a direct and confident response from any of them. Many people are certain that they will succeed in business because they have the money or they are very passionate about what they want to do. However, in today’s ever changing world, money and talent are not just enough for you to be in business, you need a mental compass of where you are going, those that you will be up against, what advantages or challenges you are likely to face so you don’t get swallowed or missing in the market. Only an industry analysis will provide you such information.

Many small businesses are actually missing in the market because they underestimated the need for proper industry analysis. Industry analysis is not about knowing your customers or audience but its about knowing other competitors and what they are doing. A good industry analysis -

  • helps you to identify the un-served market;
  • identifies a segment you can profitably serve;
  • identifies a niche that is tangible;
  • helps sharpen your business focus;
  • strengthens your strategy;
  • exposes the weaknesses of your competitor’s strategy;
  • identifies the best market entry mode for you;
  • tells you what type of pricing method to adopt;
  • makes your product or service significant to your audience;
  • and shows you at what level you can comfortably do business without suffocating.

Unfortunately, many have failed to analyze the industry very well hence their lack of presence in the market, and the struggle to get notice by the consumers. They had no idea of the intensity of the competition they were likely to face, unsure and unclear about the market segment, displayed low quality competitive edge, and more importantly, failed to identify the variables that will best differentiate their business.
You can’t compete in a battle when you don’t know your opponents
You need to identify companies your business cannot challenge yet in the market, and strategically avoid direct competition with them. Understanding your industry, its players, current technology and the industry trend saves you the embarrassment of being in the market and yet no one can find you.

Analyze your industry before you make a move so that you don’t get missing in the market.