By Alexandra Bazuaye
Forget what you see on social media, entrepreneurship is not a walk in the park. It takes a lot of giving, reinventing, managing, losing and keeping at it. It requires a conscious and consistent effort to succeed at whatever business you venture into. The great thing is that entrepreneurs through their SMEs are very important because they are catalysts for development and they contribute immensely to the GDP growth which is just what our Nigeria needs in trying times like this.
So if you are an entrepreneur, here are 10 tips to guide you as you journey through the exhilarating world of business:
- Have a mentor: Honestly, you do not need to tread this path alone, so it is advisable to have mentors who will guide and support you when necessary. Business gets frustrating so it is necessary to have a well-versed, go-to person who you can depend on when the going gets tough.
- Put in a structure: Most businesses start out as a result of passion. While this is a great thing, it is important to have a structure. Get registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), have policies put in place, corporate governance structure, good financial statement and a great business plan.
- Feedback Mechanism: It is not enough to just churn out innovative products and services, it is also vital to research into your customers’ needs to know how best your product and service can meet product demand. Research will also provide ideas for new products and service development.
- Value your staff: You may not have a wide array of people working with you, but investing in the people you work with helps you implement your vision.
- Customer Service is King: There is nothing as put-offish as a brand with horrible customer service. Ensure you and your team are courteous, friendly and relatable with your customers. Purchase goes beyond the product/service, the people and point of contact matter a lot more.
- Financial management: Let there be a clear distinction between your money and the business’s money. Enable mechanisms for proper financial accountability to aid you in calculating your profits and losses. Additionally, you should consider mutual funds and money market funds as investment options for your business.
- Social Media: This is where everybody is, your customers inclusive. Get a grip on social media, know how to converse with your clients on it, as well as effectively marketing your products and service. Also ensure your business is mobile-friendly as over 60% of people access the internet using their phones.
- Networking: Your network is your net worth. Get to know more people and more businesses. Connect with people more, stay updated, be aware of opportunities, trainings and events, create partnerships, attract investors, and overall increase your visibility. These are some of the benefits networking affords you as building relationships is key in the 21st
- Review: Always retrace your steps and review your choices, options and business. Taking an introspective step enables you highlight loopholes, foresee problem areas, and enables you address them in good time. Reviews also help with projecting your business as a proactive one.
- Kaizen: This is a Japanese business philosophy which means continuous improvement. Never stop learning, unlearning and relearning. There is always something new out there. Improve your skill sets and garner more. Learn how to do things that relate to your business and industry as a whole. Ensure you never become outdated, and keep hard at being the best in whatever you do.
Now go and conquer that business!
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