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Archive of ‘Business Women’ category

Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Mentor

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Throughout the process of starting a business, from thinking of an idea to actually opening your doors for business, seek out help to ensure your success!

Mentors can provide guidance, wisdom and direction and with a wise application, that can sure lead you to success.

During the first few years of your business’s life, you will need a mentor…someone to turn to for advice and support.

A mentor is someone who has been there before…they are experienced, successful, and can provide critical guidance to help you make an informed decision with your business.

A mentor is almost similar to a business investment; research has shown that 70% of business owners who were mentored double the survival rate of non-mentored businesses.

As a business owner, you can decided to use family members, friends and colleagues as mentors although when selecting a mentor, you have to be sure that you select someone who can provide the right kind of information and guidance at the same time.

Finding a Mentor

Below are some ideas on finding and working with a mentor for your small business

Try utilizing our connect category that allows you to find a mentor in any field of endeavor.

Mentors can be successful family members or members of the business community you admire or aspire to become. Look within your network – whether you have admired a business owner from afar, or know someone in your previous employment that you respect and value for their business insight; you have nothing to lose in approaching and asking these individuals if they would consider being your mentor.

A mentoring relationship is unique and can be a valuable resource for you and your business. There are no specific rules for developing a mentoring relationship; however, you should respect each other’s contribution to the mentoring relationship, and recognize when you need to change the relationship, move on, or step it up.

Mentoring requires communication, so try to find a balance between being too demanding and respecting your mentor’s boundaries.

LinkedIn is also a good place to find a mentor, you can search among your connections to see if there is anyone doing anything similar to what you are already doing or what you intend to do. Send a message to them and provide a good reason why you want them to be your mentor.

When people know that their insights will be valuable, they never hesitate to share.

 

 

 

6 Steps to Creating the Perfect Business Plan

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Many new entrepreneurs are intimidated by the formality of a business plan or put off the process until they need a loan.

Many business planning experts will stress that you don’t need a lengthy plan to launch your business.

Instead, try developing your business plan as a succinct, living document that you revisit and update as the market and business conditions and opportunities evolve.

Don’t just create one and abandon it somewhere, a business plan is not a dead document, it is a living document that needs to be constantly updated.

Some helpful tips to consider as you create the perfect business plan

Define Success: All business planning should keep real goals in mind. It’s about achieving what you want. Define your own version or understanding of success succinctly and start from there.

Focus: You can’t do everything and you’re not credible when you promise everything to everybody. Focus on a well- defined target market, and understand who isn’t in your market. Also, concentrate on a well – defined product offering.

Create meaningful steps: Strategy without implementation means nothing. Make it real with dates, deadlines, tasks, and measurements you can track.

Manage the planning process: The initial plan is just the beginning. What makes the real difference for your business is managing the implementation of the plan, keeping the planning process alive, reviewing progress towards goals, watching for changing assumptions, and revising your approach.

Break up your plan into mini – plans: In addition to your overall business plan, try creating mini – plans for areas of your business such as sales, marketing, and technology.

Re – visit these plans monthly, if not weekly. Keeping it simple not only makes the planning process easier, it makes it more likely that you will stay true to your plan in the year ahead.

 

How to Choose the Right Business Structure

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Araba Slider

As you near the point of starting and registering your business, one of the first decisions you have to make is how to legally structure your business.

The most common options for small businesses are a sole proprietorship, or a limited liability company. It’s very important to understand each business type and select the one that fits with your situation and objectives.

The type of business you create determines the types of applications you’ll need to submit. It will also affect the liability you have as a business owner and the taxes you will need to pay.

Here we will focus on the most common three business structures for small businesses: sole proprietorship, partnership, and Limited Liability Company (or LLC).

Popular Small Business Structure

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the simplest and most common structure chosen to start a business. It is an unincorporated business owned and run by one individual with no legal distinction between the business and you, the owner.

You are entitled to all profits and are responsible for all your business’s debts, losses and liabilities.  Because you and your business are one and the same, the business itself is not taxed separately -the sole proprietorship income is your income.

You do not have to take any formal action to form a sole proprietorship. As long as you are the only owner, this status automatically comes from your business activities. In fact, you may already own one without knowing it. If you are a Make Up artist or a Hair Stylist, for example, you are already a sole proprietor.

Partnership

A partnership is a single business where two or more people share ownership. In general, each partner contributes to all aspects of the business including money, property, and labor or skill. In return, each partner shares in the profits and losses of the business equally.

Because partnerships entail more than one person in the decision – making process, it’s important to discuss a wide variety of issues up front and develop a legal partnership agreement.

This agreement should document how future business decisions will be made, including how the partners will divide profits, resolve disputes, change ownership (bring in new partners or buy out current partners) and how to dissolve the partnership.

Limited Liability Company (a.k.a., LLC)

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a flexible form of enterprise that blends elements of partnership and corporate structures.

LLC is almost like the guy that meets in the middle. It is a situation where a person’s financial liability is limited to a fixed sum, most commonly the value of a person’s investment in a company or partnership. If a company with limited liability is sued, then the [claimant]s are suing the company, not its owners or investors.

In Nigeria, you have to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission before you can create any of these business structures.

 

The Big Idea

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The BIG IDEA3 Araba

Trees started out as seeds, mighty men were once tiny fetuses in the womb, everything starts from something. Whether it’s how to wash faster or buying foodstuffs without going to the market, your big idea cannot and should not be dismissed.

I know there are a lot of voices in your head saying that you shouldn’t take the first step, believe me, all entrepreneurs hear those voices too and the only way to can silence them is to take the first step, dream big and act.

Today is the day, the most important day of your life, the day you have chosen to kick start your business, nothing and no one can stop you.

The Big Idea has been birthed and here at Araba, we will help you nurse and grow that idea. This I promise.

Welcome.

‘Jumoke Adekanye

How to Lock Down Your Business Idea

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The BIG IDEA

It can come anytime, anywhere, while you are at the Salon getting your hair done or cooking in the kitchen, it can even happen while you are answering the call of nature in the Toilet. The big idea can come only once in a lifetime, that is why you have to lock it down as soon as it shows up.

I am going to share five easy steps to help you lock down the big idea because your journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur starts now.

Pen It

As soon as it lights up in your head, pen it down. Either you save it on your phone or write it in a book, ensure that it’s written down. Records are the most efficient way of reminding ourselves about our goals and aspirations. Even if you forget it somewhere assuming that you cannot act on it at that time, believe me, one day you will run into it again and this time, you might be able to act on it. Over the years, I have kept many journals and each carries one business idea or the other. Some I have shared with people who appreciate such innovation and some will forever remain in my journal.

Share

They say sharing is caring but the sharing in this case is leaving feelers and knowing what people think about your big idea. In fact aside from your close personal network, be a bit discreet, your aim is to know if it’s a feasible idea. You might not even let the cat out of the bag completely; you can paint scenarios and see the responses you get. That’s why you need a mentor, in an ideal situation, your mentor is the best person to discuss your business idea with because he or she will inspire you.

Observe

The bible says nothing is new under the sun that is why your idea might be novel and archaic at the same time. Whatever it is new or not, you might realize that someone or a group of people are already doing the same thing and yours might just be a modification. Seize the opportunity, reinvent the wheel, let customers know that yours is the better deal.

Research

No, it’s not a 900 page thesis, its online and offline walking and surfing around to know what is obtainable out there. For example, I want to start selling eggs within my community and I don’t know how to preserve fresh eggs. I need to do some online research on this topic and also ask poultry farmers how they do it. Google, never underestimate the power of google. Ask questions, people might laugh at you but who cares, when the money starts rolling in, they will be amazed.

Take a Step

Take a step, one step + one step + one step is all you need. It’s a different thing to have an idea, it’s another thing to take steps in actualising the dream. A quote reads ‘Either I find a way or I will make one,’ hustle, find a way, make one, one step is all you need.

Do You Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur

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NOWss

Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding experience.  It offers numerous advantages like being your own boss, setting your own schedule, and making a living doing something you enjoy.

But entrepreneurship also comes with its own challenges, becoming a successful entrepreneur requires sound planning, creativity and hard work, and it also involves taking risks, because all businesses require some form of investment, usually time or money.

Here are characteristics of successful business owners

Innovation and Creativity: The first step to starting a business is to come up with an idea or concept. It takes innovation to develop a product or service that brings value to customers that they can’t get elsewhere.

Persistence and Resiliency: Businesses, like all things, take time to grow. Very few people will produce mass amounts of profit within just weeks or even months of being in business. There will be things that you fail at, even if your business is successful.  Inevitably, some projects fail for a variety of reasons poor planning, competitors offering better options, market timing or other factors.  To be a successful entrepreneur you need to learn and grow from your mistakes to move forward.   You must be able to live with uncertainty and overcome obstacles that you didn’t anticipate.

Flexibility:  Even the most well thought out business plans will change along the way.  Changes in the market, technology, and customer tastes are going to happen and they’re out of your control.  Your ability to be flexible and respond to these changes will be the key to your business’s survival.

Passion:  As you’ve probably realized, entrepreneurship is not easy.  If you are not passionate about what you’re doing, it will be much harder to persist through all of the challenges that come your way.  Your customers will also notice, it’s harder to sell something you’re not passionate about yourself. You have to be passionate about it.  Otherwise it’s not worth doing.  Owning your own business is not easy and it’s not going to make you rich quick.  You’re going to be in it for the long haul so it’s got to be something you love.

Other characteristics that are helpful to an entrepreneur are persuasiveness, self confidence, and being visionary.

 

A Quick Guide to Finding the Right Business Idea

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Word!

Word!

Do you already have a business idea?  Coming up with a business idea is the first step to entrepreneurship.  Consider these questions.

What are your interests.

Most times the best ideas come from doing what you enjoy most which is why personal passions or hobbies. Do you have a special talent or skill that could be an idea generator? Even minor interests can lead to innovation.

What do you have to offer?

What do you have to offer the world, ask yourself what aspects of your work do you do well and what you don’t do so well. Knowing what you can offer and in which areas you excel are essential to building a business. It is the key ingredient when creating a strong foundation.

What do you want?

What is your end game, one of the most important considerations when planning a business is pinpointing what you want to get out of it. Whether it’s making money, working with and creating something you’re passionate about, or just being your own boss it’s important to know whether your business idea will give you the life you want.

What are the current market and consumer trends?

Successful entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for new opportunities in the market. While these ideas don’t always have to stem from what you already do, it certainly helps if you can combine what’s hot with your existing know how, expertise, or passion in life. Your Fashion design skills can spring into Ankara bound books business. Explore the current market trends and keep innovating and refining yourself.

 

 

 

20 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

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Everything in life starts with an idea

Everything in life starts with an idea

So you’ve got what it takes to be an entrepreneur, cool. Now, ask yourself these 20 questions to make sure you’re thinking about the right key business decisions:

1. Why am I starting a business?
2. What kind of business do I want?
3. Who is my ideal customer?
4. What products or services will my business provide?
5. Am I prepared to spend the time and money needed to get my business started?
6. What differentiates my business idea and the products or services I will provide from others in the market?
7. Where will my business be located?
8. How many employees will I need?
9. What types of suppliers do I need?
10. How much money do I need to get started?
11. Will I need to get a loan?
12. How soon will it take before my products or services are available?
13. How long do I have until I start making a profit?
14. Who is my competition?
15. How will I price my product compared to my competition?
16. How will I set up the legal structure of my business?
17. What taxes do I need to pay?
18. What kind of insurance do I need?
19. How will I manage my business?
20. How will I advertise my business?

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