Category Archives: Business support related issues
Making a living as an entrepreneur/self-employed/independent consultant doing business in Nigeria, you could save yourself thousands of wasted hours and much frustration and avoid countless blunders, including journeys down blind alleys, while you struggle to learn how to promote your products or services, and develop long-term client relationships. Earning livelihood through either full or part time business can be void of continuous struggles. Struggling with sales is almost the norm for most small business owners in Nigeria talk more of business growth. You can decide to put a stop to your business struggle and learn what it takes to be outstanding and become continually accessible to your potential clients and target market.
To help you build a successful and rewarding business as a freelance/entrepreneur/business man or as an extra income venture by providing you with the necessary tools and know how to apply them to start and build a successful business.
Who should attend?
Are you considering running another business by the side while you are in that job?
Do you have a business idea you have probably previously tried-out but currently in a job and don’t like your boss?
Are you working with people whom you just do not care to be around?
Are you dissatisfied with your current income?
Do you feel underpaid?
Do you feel your potential is not currently utilised?
Do you prefer to always work at your best time and set your own fees?
Are you concerned about taking the big plunge of going into your own full-time business?
Do you want to make your income regular, running a sustainable business?
Or are you on your own but struggling with business without growth?
If your answer is yes to any of the questions above, then this training is for you!
Venue: Suite 29-30, 2nd Floor, Crossway Plaza, 3-5 Charity Road, New Oko-Oba, Lagos
Time: 10:00am – 04:00pm daily
For Enquiries, call Rose on 0815 851 2247 or Dapo on 0802 826 2309
What to expect
Day 1 – Wednesday 19th July, 2017
- Learn practical techniques on how to get clients using six direct and ten indirect marketing methods.
- You will be taught how to write business proposals, sales pitch and other marketing contents effectively as sales tools.
- One-on-one session with top-flight business consultants.
Day 2 – Thursday 20th July, 2017
- Be exposed to a proven business model to increase your profitability.
- How to research.
- Opportunity to build your advisory network.
Other perks include:
- Free handouts- 30 ways to increase your leadership effectiveness;
- 7 ways to attract followship,
- 7 ways to take charge in a crisis or high-risk situations,
- 7 actions to develop your charisma,
- 4 ways to build leadership self-confidence,
- 5 action steps to motivate those you lead, and
- Free bespoke proposals.
NB: The event fee of $20 (approximately N7,500) is chargeable for each day of the event.
Payment can be made to:
Bank Name: FCMB
Account Name: Mayowa Odunnaike
Account Number: 0033344019
Once payment is made, proceed to fill the form below to register for the event.
There are many different kinds of reports that you might have to write. Most professions have their own kinds of reports such as business reports … lab reports … research reports … academic reports and so on. Knowing how to write them well is valuable at the workplace or at university and beyond. This is because the report format is a useful and widely accepted way of structuring information.
Knowing how to structure a report and get the information in the right place can cause concerns relating to:
- Which section should this go in?
- How do I lay out my report?
- What goes in the discussion?
- What headings does a business report have?
This new series of posts on report writing answer these questions by showing you how a report structure can be a communication tool as opposed to an imprisoning set of rules. If you consider the purpose of your report and the needs of your readers, you can be confident that your structure will fulfil these needs, and each section of your report will do the correct job.
Reports are formally structured and communicate the findings of an investigation in a clear, logical way.
Your investigation may be a scientific experiment, a site visit, a series of observations, research into a process or procedure … but whatever different types of investigation you do as part of your job/assignment/contract/project, you will need to report
- what you did
- how you did it
- what you found out
- why your findings are important.
The content and structure of your report are determined by the needs of your audience and the purpose of your report … but how do you know who your audience is and what they want?
Read the brief!
Reports normally have a brief, or a set of instructions, telling you the requirements of your investigation.
In a work situation the brief may be set by your clients in which case is the clients’ request or by your manager, and they expect you to follow it! At university your brief is most likely set by your tutor … and they also expect you to follow it!
You will get the crucial information you need from reading your brief carefully. Even a short brief contains a lot of information about what you are expected to do. Your brief tells you about the investigation you are carrying out, but you also need to know the essential requirements of your assignment, such as:
- word count
- referencing style
- deadline for handing in.
In addition to this, read your assessment criteria or client’s request perimeter – these will give you valuable information about what you need to demonstrate in your report and what you are expected to fulfil with respect to the ‘learning outcomes’ or ‘work quality’ as the case may be.
The next couple of posts will further demonstrate the purpose and readership of reports, how to find the information your readers need, the role that each section plays in communicating this information, how to present your information visually … and how to communicate all this concisely!
No matter what industry you operate in, no matter how wonderful your products and services may be and no matter how long you have been in business, getting your items in the hands of those who need them and are willing to pay the price is one major challenge that many businesses face. What worked last year might become ineffective today due to the dynamic nature of our environment. Not to be mindful of competition is to operate in the realm of naiveté. Here are a few tips that will help you keep the sales coming no matter what.
1. Understand that selling is an art that can be learnt by anybody. There is really nothing like a born salesperson, all sales strategies can be learnt. When they are properly applied, the results are obvious. But also know that becoming a great salesperson is not an overnight success neither is it a one-off achievement. It is a skill that needs to be polished and improved upon on a regular basis.
2. Your target market must be well defined and you must understand where to find them. You must also understand their psychology: how they buy, when they buy, where they buy from, who makes the buying decision, how they prefer to pay and how much they are willing to pay.
3. Selling is about communicating, connecting and influencing. Selling is about building relationships period! People buy from people they like and what this means is that you must build rapport with your prospects before pitching your ideas to them. You need to show that you care and it is in doing this that you are able to identify the real needs of your prospects. A salesperson is a consultant who probes, diagnosis and recommends the right fit for identified problems.
4. You must have your elevator pitch handy. You should be able to tell a total stranger what you are about in thirty seconds without boring, confusing or irritating them. Your sales pitch needs to be captivating, it should be able to arouse curiosity and ultimately it should be able to get you audience.
5. Don’t fail to ask for the sale. Pay attention to your prospect’s body language and let it guide you on when to ask for a sale. Never ask for a sale when the body language indicates that there are things that need to be clarified or when there’s an obvious resistance. Ask open questions to understand the reasons for objection and deal with the objection before asking for a sale. Your job is to influence the decision but the prospect reserves the right to make the decision.
POSTED BY: NOELA UGWU
What are the components and elements of marketing? Pricing is one of the most important. Price setting involves consideration of many aspects of the market, including cost of production, competition, market condition, and quality of product. Promotion Planning is another component. Learn about the key components to marketing success.
- Consumer behaviour
- Marketing management
- Marketing research
- Marketing strategy
- Marketing mix
- Product management
- Promotional Planning
Consumer behaviour is the study of consumers and the processes they use to make purchasing decisions. It attempts to understand the decision-making and motivational processes of buyers, either individually or in groups, by studying characteristics such as demographics and behaviour.
It also tries to assess influences on the consumer from groups such as family, friends, reference groups, and society in general. Often focus groups are used in the study of consumer behaviour.
Marketing management is a business discipline which deals with the application of marketing techniques and the management of marketing resources and activities. Marketing managers are often responsible for influencing the level, timing, and make up of customer demand for their product.
The role of a marketing manager can vary significantly based on a business’s size, corporate structure and sector .In a large consumer products company, the marketing manager, or brand manager, may act as the overall manager of their product.
Marketing research is the process of gathering information to identify and study marketing opportunities and issues. Researchers generate and evaluate marketing activities, monitor marketing performance, and improve understanding of marketing effectiveness.
Marketing research specifies the information required, and designs the method of collecting information. It manages the data collection, analyses results, and communicates the findings and their implications.
Marketing strategy is the development of a strategic plan to deliver the targeted marketing objectives for the brand, product or company. A key objective of marketing strategy is often to keep marketing in line with a company’s mission statement.
Marketing strategies underpin the marketing plans designed to achieve marketing targets and objectives, which usually have measurable results. Marketing strategies are often developed as multi-year plans, with a tactical plan outlining and targeting specific actions to be accomplished in the current year or period.
Marketing strategies can often be dynamic and interactive. They are partially planned and partially reactive to the market. The strategy will consider internal factors such as the marketing mix, performance analysis and strategic and budgetary constraints.
It will also consider external factors include customer and competitor analysis, target market analysis, evaluation of the technological, political, economic, social and cultural environment.
Once analysis of internal and external is completed, a strategic plan can be developed to identify business alternatives, establish goals, determine the optimal marketing mix to attain the goals, and plan implementation. The plan will include monitoring progress and a set of contingencies to react to problems in the implementation of the plan.
Marketing mix has four elements -product, pricing, promotion and distribution. This can be summarised as ;-
Having the right product in the right place at the right time and at the right price.
Marketing Mix Modelling
Marketing Mix Modelling can be used to determine the optimum marketing budget and allocate it across the marketing mix to achieve the defined strategic goals. It can also be used to allocate spend across a portfolio of brands and manage brands to create value.
Pricing factors include cost of production or delivery of a service, market place, competition, market condition, and quality of product.
Pricing per unit may be based on factors such as a fixed amount, quantity deal, promotion or sales campaign, turnover discount, payment or credit terms, specific quote, tender price, shipment or invoice date, and many others.
Price setting involves consideration of many aspects of the market.
For basic commodities such as food, price will be based on cost plus margin.
For products at the luxury end of the market, more consideration will be given to the value that consumers place on an item. Scarcity is often manipulated to drive price up.
The expected life cycle of the product will be a factor.
What value do customers place on the products or services?
What are the company pricing objectives?
Should we use profit maximization pricing?
Should there be a single or multiple pricing?
Should prices vary country to country? Are there local taxes?
Should there be quantity discounts?
What are competitors charging?
Should we use a price skimming or a penetration pricing strategy?
Are there any legal restrictions – retail price maintenance, price collusion, or price discrimination?
The price floor is determined by costs.
The price ceiling is determined by demand factors such as price elasticity
The price level selected should achieve three things:
- Meet the financial goals of the company and ensure profitability
- Be realistic -Will customers buy at that price?
- Support a product’s positioning and be consistent with the other variables in the marketing mix
Product management is a marketing role that deals with the planning, forecasting, and marketing of products at all stages of the product lifecycle. The main focus is on driving new product development.
The product manager is effectively the general manager of a product or group of products. The role consists of product development and product marketing with the objective of maximizing sales revenues, market share, and profit margins. The product manager is often responsible for analysing market conditions and defining features or functions of a product.
Promotion Planning is one of the Components of Marketing .It can include special offers, incentives, advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, and public relations. A promotional mix allocates budget and resources to each element.
A promotional plan can have a wide range of objectives, including new product launch, sales increases, market share acquisition, creation of brand equity, positioning, defence against competitor pricing, or creation of a corporate image.
There are three basic objectives of promotion;-
- To present information to consumers-educate and inform.
- To increase demand.
- To differentiate a product.
There are different ways to promote a product in different areas of media. Promoters use internet, TV and radio advertisement, websites, special events, endorsements and newspapers to advertise their product. There may be a special offers, discounts or competitions.
Marketing is about effective communication of your product to the public. And if you get your communication right, then your customers will make new connections, and their behaviour will become buying behaviour. Marketing Management is defined by the American Marketing Association as “the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals”.
Marketing creates the environment in which sales can operate. It is everything that a company can do to reach and persuade prospects, to make them aware of the product and the brand. Marketing can be defined as the activities you use to reach and persuade your prospects that you are the company for them. It’s the message that prepares the prospect for the sales. It consists of activities such as advertising, public relations, brand development and marketing, viral marketing, and direct mail
Wikipedia says that Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers for the purpose of selling the product or service. It is a critical business function for attracting customers.
Marketing create prospects or leads for sales to follow up. Marketing and Sales departments work closely together to give the consumer a joined –up message and ensure the company can deliver what it promises. Both functions are necessary and mutually dependent.
For most businesses, sales and marketing is the key problem if it is not working. Everything else can be fixed, even if you have to throw resources at it, but if the product is not selling, then the business is in trouble.
Marketing Is the Ultimate Driver In a growing business. No other aspect of your business can give you such high returns, so quickly, as a new marketing campaign.
The public are fickle and it is very difficult to predict accurately the response to a marketing campaign. By the same token sometimes an apparently small tweak can bring amazing results, causing sales to leap.
Sometimes you don’t have to increase your budget, you can spend the same amount of money, but just by changing a headline or strapline, bundling a new offer, or changing a design detail, you can alter public reaction to the product.
To take advantage of this very powerful area of leverage, and use it to grow your business and make more profit, you must understand what marketing is, how it works, and how to do it.
Marketing theory holds that the key to successful business is to be more effective than competitors in integrating marketing activities toward determining and satisfying the needs and wants of target markets.
Marketing theory has four pillars: target market, customer needs, integrated marketing, and profitability.
Target market Companies need to select the best markets to work in. Most products will not perform effectively in every market.
Customer needs Effective marketing finds and satisfies customers’ needs and wants.
Integrated marketing occurs when all the departments in a company work together to fulfil customers’ needs
Profitability Marketing managers aim to provide value to the customer and profits to the organization. They evaluate the profitability of all alternative marketing strategies and decisions and choose the most profitable decisions for the long-term survival and growth of the firm, and to achieve its business objectives.
Some marketers draw a distinction between responsive marketing and creative marketing. A responsive marketer finds an existing need and fulfils it. A creative marketer discovers and produces solutions the customer didn’t ask for but to which they enthusiastically respond to; The products that you did not know you needed until they were marketed to you!!
Marketing personnels watch the response customers have to their marketing and branding, and see what the message means to their customers. They aim to manage the customer relationship.
In marketing it is vital to test and measure, test and measure. Every time a variable is changed, the result needs to be evaluated, and what does not work needs to be discarded, and what does work needs to be built on.
There are many components of marketing, each with a clearly defined role. We will consider each of them in turn in the next post.
Likely causes of failure include:
- Owner may have gone into business for egotistical personal reasons rather than in pursuit of a clear opportunity.
- No formal business plan, with the business simply reacting to events as and when they occur. Proper planning should lead to effective resource allocation, the definition of clear and realistic targets and appropriate prioritisation.
- Expectations may be unrealistic
- The error may be a focus on short-term profits at the expense of creating sustainable value for the long term.
- Risking under-investment in marketing and promotion.
- Company may become over-generalised, trying to compete in too many markets rather than focusing on one or two as the category leader.
- It may be that company simply cannot grasp what is needed to aspire to sustainable competitive advantage in the longer term.
- Failure to understand and react to change: customer behaviour, competitors’ innovations and unforeseen initiatives, macro-environment.
- Failure to manage cash flow:
- Spend cash before it is flowing positively
- Having a capital structure carrying too much debt
- Inadequate cash reserves
- Poor credit arrangements
- Managing debtors ineffectively
- Managers lack of financial awareness and responsibility
- Irresponsible personal use of business funds
- Poor inventory management, with working capital tied up unnecessarily in fixed assets.
- Poor forecasting may lead to unsatisfied demand.
- Controllable costs may be allowed to increase without challenge.
- Unnecessary over-investment in fixed costs
- Failure to prepare contingency plans to address volatility in company’s uncontrollable costs.
- Poor performance monitoring and defective budgetary control systems.
- Maybe the owner is just a jerk whom staff, suppliers and customers will not wish to support wholeheartedly.
- Poor management at the top of the organisation will bring down the company. “Entrepreneurs who treat the company as their own personal piggy-bank without paying proper heed to sound financial governance are often behind their business’ demise” (Wickham and Wilcock 2013). For instance,
- Owner-managers can fail to delegate, and try to go it alone without seeking professional external advice- or worse, they may seek uninformed help or financial support from friends and family.
- Owner-managers may tolerate inadequate, inexperienced or downright poor management because it is cheap and compliant.
- Owner-managers may be unable to attract and retain the right talent.
- Owner-manager’s overconfident decisions and failure to recognise his strengths and weaknesses.
- Business owner may experience ‘burn-out’ due to loads of tasks or be subjected to family pressures and other life distractions.
Chances of success will be improved if companies pay heed to the following:
- Develop a business plan
- Obtain accurate financial information about the business in a timely manner.
- Profile the target customer.
- Profile the competition.
- Go into business for the right reasons.
- Do not borrow family money and do not ask the family for uninformed advice.
- Network with other business owners in similar industries.
- Remember someone else will always have a lower price.
- Realise that consumer tastes and preferences change.
- Become better informed of the resources that are available.
How you should treat your business and what to expect from it all depends on your perception of what it is to you. In practice, owner-managers perceive their business in two major ways; offspring or livestock. Seeing your business as your offspring and treating it as such will go a long way in determining it survival and how successful it will become. Unfortunately, most small businesses are being managed or treated as livestock rearing rather than child-rearing.
For instance, 8 out of 10 small business owners in Nigeria are raring to invest, expand, grow and make profit in a very unrealistic manner without allowing sufficient time for the business to grow. Livestock rearing is short term and the focus is on the gain rather than a long term enduring love relationship a parent has for his child. Someone says “Your business has to be in your heart and your heart in your business.” And also remember that the secret of success is in the constancy of purpose and not in maximising immediate gains.
There are 5 basic things that are expected of you as a good parent:
- Have a plan for your child;
- Provide your child’s needs;
- Invest sacrificially in your child;
- Give necessary care and attention to your child; and
- Ultimately, love your child and make allowances for shortcomings with time.
When you fail to plan, then there is no direction! So as they say, you are planning to fail. You would not expect significant return from your investment in your child until after a reasonable age at a stage when the child is expected to have become fully independent. So also should you not expect from your business. Do not be raring to reap so fast from the business at its teething age. There is time for everything.
Make provision for the health needs of your business as you would for your child. Self-medication is not the best; a medical professional is not a luxury but essential for your child’s health, so also is a business consultant to your business. Make provision for professional fees!
As your child needs food to grow, so also does your business need a ‘balanced diet’ of 5 classes of ‘food’ which are:
- Business awareness and promotions to constantly attract the customers that matter;
- Staffing to recruit talents to remain productive and relevant in the market;
- Working capital to take care of operational expenses;
- Good management of resources, competences and capabilities; and
- Constant monitoring and maintenance of company’s infrastructure.
Twitter and Facebook and Blogs..oh my! YouTube and LinkedIn and Amplify…oh my! Are you wondering how to fit all the pieces of the social media puzzle together? Are you feeling overwhelmed before you even get started?
Social media doesn’t have to be overwhelming, you can keep it simple…yes, simple! There’s all the talk about social network sites, all the technical programs available, all the tools, all the applications, and there’s video…it goes on and on. Where do you start and where does it all go? How does it all fit together?
When starting with social media you’ll need to define your objectives, define your target market, and create your strategy. In other words, define what it is you want to accomplish by using social media (your objectives), who do you want to reach (your target market), and how you are going to accomplish those objectives (your strategy).
Do you want to become the “go to” dentist in your area? Maybe you want to become “The” cosmetic dentist in your area or want to grow your practices email list. Just what is it you want to accomplish?
Your objectives, target market, and strategy become your plan of action.
Once these pieces are together you’re ready to start filling in the rest of your puzzle…choosing your social networks. To do this, you’ll need to be clear on your target market and familiar with which social networks they prefer to use the most.
Let’s put this in perspective: If you are on Twitter and your target is on Facebook, you aren’t going to accomplish anything…you’re not where your client is…see the importance? You want to go where the “eyeballs” are…be known and be seen where your target market is.
Just like your regular puzzle, you add one or two pieces at a time. When choosing your social networks, start slow with one, possibly two, of the network pieces. Many like to start with Facebook or Twitter and a blog. As you get comfortable with these pieces, you have the option to add more pieces to your social network. But the key is finding and working within your comfort level.
Whether you’re putting together a 500 piece puzzle (a couple of networks) or a 2000 piece puzzle (most of the networks) keep working and soon your social media puzzle will all be together in one good fit!
An efficient way to endorse products and services and drive traffic to websites is to set up and maintain a dynamic presence on the public networking websites. This is changing the whole idea behind internet marketing approach. A lot of hard slog, knowledge and tolerance are required for any flourishing public network marketing.
The societal network websites are basically online community where people meet, share their thoughts and also communicate. The nature of any business determines the way to approach the marketing strategy. Following are different methods which can be very helpful for any social or public network marketing.
Blogs or websites have proven to be the most influential ways for the public network marketing, as compared to other methods. Blogging is not only an amazing way but also a facilitator of many other services along with marketing for business. It proves to be quite helpful in communicating with all the clients. Personalized blogs and websites is a very important aspect of public network marketing. It will add to the value of services that one is providing and gives a professional impression also.
Customers/users of your products
Another very intelligent approach towards network marketing is to incorporate the view from the previous clients. They can share their experiences regarding the products that one is dealing with. The older clients can very effectively convince the new clients by sharing their familiarity for the services provided. This is the strategy adopted by OLX.
Social Network Websites
Famous social network websites like Facebook, Twitter can also be employed to enhance the sales. Such websites can prove to be the finest podium for any form of online marketing.
Another useful way for online marketing is to present some free report. Interesting and appealing facts can be included in such free report and hence people will be coerced to opt for one’s marketed business.
Nothing can be as awarding as giving away free sample/template. This can result in huge turnout but care needs to be taken regarding as to who gets the free samples. It is always good to set up some criteria.