I can't count how many times I've met entrepreneurs (myself included) who feel like they must make a certain amount of money before they decide to formalise their business operations. After losing out on a couple of major jobs, I respected myself and re-branded. Why? Because just like you would never go shopping without a list, you should not be in business without a plan!! If you have made even one hundred thousand naira profit from your business idea, I implore you starting this weekend to take the following actions:
1. Register your business - Look for a lawyer and register your business. Did you know cannot access certain funding and opportunities if your not registered with CAC? Now you do so go find a good lawyer and register your business.
2. Brand your company - You can carve a niche for yourself as a consultant in your field but today start thinking about the services you want to provide Nigeria within the next fifty years and create a business name and logo. Hint: if you're stuck, go online and check out names/logos of companies doing what you want to do so you can create generate ideas in order to create your own unique brand
3. Create a business and marketing plan - You will not succeed if you are jack of all trades unless you are a handyman. Decide on at least one service you'd like to do. Research what is available already in the market and find a way to do your thing differently. When this is done, create a 5 year business and marketing plan. Learn more about doing this here https://www.dropbox.com/s/0r93sfygdd5yudb/BUSINESS%20PLAN%20FORMAT%20003.doc
4. Hire at least an intern - I have learnt the hard way that I can not be in ten places at once but you don't have too. Starting today, keep your eyes open for a young woman/man that can help you achieve your goals and objectives who is waiting to serve or just finished school. Set aside a stipend each month to cater for them and build a weekly plan of action for them. Hint: don't think you must do 9am - 5pm and kill your intern in the name of saving a naira. If you need them to work 12 hours a day, stick to that and work out a plan that is right for your business and interns. If you'd like help setting up an internship programme, please feel free to write me at email@example.com
5. Use your smart phone smartly - you may not be ready to get a website but you can open a twitter account or group on your blackberry.
6. Get a mentor - find someone who is not risk adverse and beg if you have to so that they will find time in their busy schedule to provide you advice and listen to your problems. Even if this happens for 2 hours a month, if you receive sound advice, it will make a big difference before the year runs out.
Ok readers, these are my top six tips for ensuring you increase your profit and build your business within the next seven months. Follow them and I guarantee success! If you need any help, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great evening everybody!