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How To Become A Better Entrepreneur in Nigeria

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how to become a better entrepreneur

The world’s economy is plummeting, and the needs of its people are skyrocketing.

Entrepreneurship is the single most powerful agent people currently used to beat all odds and not only keep their heads above water, but to also live their lifestyle of choice.

Everywhere you turn, there are start-ups being created, in agriculture, tech and IT, networking and trading, etc. Some of those thriving, while many others are failing.

According to reports, a whopping 90% of all new businesses fail. That’s a lot of failures for people that held high hopes for them and their businesses.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that there are some factors that cause these massive failures, the majority of which are linked to the lack of entrepreneurs trying to become better at what they do.

how to become a better entrepreneur

How to become a better entrepreneur in Nigeria

In this article, I will show you 12 ways to become a better entrepreneur so that you can keep your business afloat, prevent it from failing and live a good life.

1. Always Make a Plan

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you need to learn and apply proper planning before starting the business, and while at it.

In order to plan properly, decide what you want to achieve, how far you want to grow, and how well-known you want your business to be.

You should find answers to these before starting the business:

  • What kind of service are you providing?
  • What problems are you solving?
  • Who are you helping achieve their dreams?
  • How do you want to achieve all these?
  • How do you get the capital for your business?
  • How much would it cost you in time, money and manpower to make all these come to life and make you money?

If you’re able to answer all these questions, you’re on your way to creating a business plan.

Carry out a market survey/analysis and leave no stone unturned. There is no way you are going to become a better entrepreneur in Nigeria if your foundation, that is, how you started is faulty.

So, you must make a plan and start on a sound foundation if you must get better in the business and become a better entrepreneur in Nigeria. How you start matters and how you start determines how far you would go in the business.

2. Learn to Persevere

Everyone agrees that entrepreneurship is no easy task. It requires resilience and a tough skin to manage a business. Many challenges will come your way, many times you’ll feel like giving up because things aren’t going as planned, and you’ve slowed down in money making.

Take deep breaths, do the best you can to curtail the situation. Put in your very best to provide solutions to these problems, without overwhelming yourself and your staff.

The decision to become a better entrepreneur in Nigeria is more mental than physical.

You have to train your mind and brain to persevere and be resilient to whatever challenges come by.

If you fail to do this mind-training, don’t be surprised to see your business dwindling by the day.

Be patient and get your mind well-trained to surmount any obstacle that may come your way in this business, for in the end, it’s all worth it.

3. Be Creative

Make your products as unique as possible. Make them stand out against your direct competitors. Think of new problems to solve with your product. Make a name for yourself in the minds and homes or offices of people.

Create new products if need be, just to help satisfy your clients.

There are companies out there that started out doing one thing, but looked for other ways to solve people’s problems and keep their clients coming. Be this industrious.

Creativity does not fall from the skill; you have to make effort to develop your creative self. This could be by networking with others in your line of business, going for expos, workshops, seminars and watching others do the same or similar business as yours. That would give you an idea of what to add or subtract from your business to make it stand out from the crowd.

4. Be Decisive

As an entrepreneur, you need to be able to make quick and effective decisions for the growth of your business. Take the pain and make the right decision every time you’re faced with options.

Deal with problems as soon as they arise, and avoid procrastinating. Make the right decision, even if you’re in a hurry. Take everything into account and pick what’s best for your business. A stitch in time, they say, save nine.

5. Take Responsibility

Things will go wrong, as is bound to happen now or later. When this happens, do not play the blame game: there’s enough blame to go around if we’re going to be honest. Take responsibility, learn and make amends where possible.

The earlier you accept your shortcomings, the easier it will be for your business to bounce back and not receive the shock.

6. Take Risks

Try new things. Take bold, scary steps. Leave your comfort zone. With great risks come great rewards. Put your very best into what you do and make sacrifices that you know will better your business.

Successful businessmen and women know the value of risks. They can go as far as losing their present job and financial security just to make their businesses work.

7. Place Value On Your Product

We all know the best of products, even if they have numerous other competitors. Their products have left a mark on our minds that we unconsciously opt for them anytime we’re in need.

As a business person, your services should be able to meet your clients’ needs in a way that no other business does.

Create value around your product that encourages your customers to help you spread the word, even without asking them to.

8. Be Disciplined

There’s no successful business today that hasn’t been built with discipline and diligence. Time management is an integral part of successful entrepreneurship.

The busiest and most successful of entrepreneurs have time to read books, grow, learn, attend to other personal affairs and still bring something good to the business table.

They have mastered the art of managing their lives and businesses so well that they can successfully have a personal and business life.

As an entrepreneur, you need to hold yourself to a certain standard, and do all that you can in avoiding the pitfalls of indiscipline.

Your business is counting on you. You can’t afford to be oblivious of the importance of time.

9. Cultivate A Habit of Positive Thinking

Your biggest failures will come from how you really feel about yourself and your business. Do you doubt yourself about the success potential of your business? Are you sure that if you put in the work necessary, and with God’s blessings you will reach where you are planning to? Doubting yourself has never produced good results. So, you must avoid it.

Remember that you can do whatever it is that you put your mind to, and that the sky is your limit. There’s so much you can do if you fought negativity and focused on the positives. Do not bring down your business with your constant doubts and negativities.

Focus on your business, build on your strengths, and aim very high. Work hard and see your business flourish.

10. Define Your Business’s Vision And Goals

You really can’t go anywhere if you don’t know where you’re going. If you don’t know what you want your business to achieve in the short and long run, you have most likely prepared it to fail right from the start.

Draw out a plan that will take you and your business to your desired promise land, and be diligent enough to take the right steps towards it.

Create a motivating tag line for your business. This tag line would/should remind you and your staff of your business’ goals and aspirations every day. It will always keep you and your staff on toes.

11. Be Smart and Alert at all times

The hardest tasks don’t produce as many results as their smarter counterparts. Working smart means that you provide solutions to problems without overloading yourself or your staff, and all the while making money for yourself.

As an example, look for smart solutions to problems around you, like those of inadequate transportation in schools, lack of ATM points in a community, poor or low quality water supply, and so on.

Technology has made life very easy for us. Apply them wherever you can to help make your business easier than it would have been without it.

Save yourself a lot of stress by applying critical thinking and problem-solving techniques in your business.

12. Be Consistent and Work Hard /Smart

The most consistent efforts, even when they’re very small, produce the most effective results. Being a successful entrepreneur requires this slow and steady spirit.

When we are inconsistent in our efforts, our businesses take the proverbial one step forward and two backwards. No reasonable progress can be achieved with inconsistency. Your businesses will suffer for it, and will take a lot of unbearable responsibilities to get it back on track.

As an entrepreneur, set goals to be achieved in milestones (or chronological order) to serve as your guide and ensure you do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.

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Ekemini Ekpo is a professional writer, blogger, and internet marketer. He is passionate about engineering, business, investment, entrepreneurship, finance, and personal development. When he is not managing web projects, he handles academic research writing and data analysis for individuals and organizations.

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A Brief Analysis Of The Nigerian Paint Industry

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For decades, Paint manufacturing companies have long been in operation in Nigeria, mostly as subsidiaries of foreign paint companies. As time passed, however, indigenous paint industries sprung up and completely bought over the shares of these foreign firms and continued to expand with every passing year. Several technological advancements have been witnessed since then, with the Nigerian paints industry contributing a significant quota to Nigeria’s economy and employment scheme.

The existence of paint manufacturing companies in Nigeria dates back to as early as the nineteen sixties. Recently, there has been a high demand for paint due to the increase in construction of buildings for private and commercial purposes. This factors thus makes the paint industry a profitable one to invest in.

An Analysis of the Nigerian paints industry

A Brief Analysis Of The Nigerian Paint Industry

A Brief Analysis Of The Nigerian Paint Industry

It has been estimated that the about 128 million litres of paints are consumed in Nigeria within a year. In the year 2012 alone, the Nigerian paints and coatings industry was estimated to be worth about $200m. this grew to about $218m by 2013, signifying an estimated 9.01% growth rate.

There are two major components of the Nigerian paints market. Lack of sufficient access to funds and technical imbalances needed for the production and management of industrial coatings constitutes a major yardstick for distinguishing between the industry players. The first sector is the organized sector which comprises of companies possessing sufficient capital and efficient distribution system.

The second sector is the decorative paint sector, which houses both the organized and unorganized players. This component does not need advanced technological inputs. With a good governmental backing, it is quite easy for new entrants into the Nigerian paint market to thrive in the system.

This sector is dominated by about 5 key companies, each of which’s annual revenue is estimated to exceed $7m, with several other small and medium-scale companies scattered across the country.

So, as it stands, the decorative sector of the Nigerian paints industry accounts for about 60% of the total sales volume and/or value. The industrial coatings segment of the market, on the other hand, is said to constitute about 40% of the total sales volume and 29% of total production volume.

As Frost & Sullivan report, in 2012, the decorative paints & coatings sector of the Nigerian paints industry was said to possess a significant synergy with the real estate industry and estimated at 71% of the overall volume of coatings and pains in the country.

Nigerian paint industry Regulatory Bodies and Associations

The regulatory body for the paint industry in Nigeria is the standard organization of Nigeria (SON).

They are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that all manufacturing industries in Nigeria are duly certified, their products are safe and guarantee maximum consumer satisfaction through compliance with government policies.

SON encourages healthy competition amongst manufacturers and also give room for continuous improvement on quality of manufactured products.

Paint Industry Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMA)

Asides SON, another regulatory body in the paint industry is the PMA. PMA caters to the welfare of the Nigerian paint industry. It is headed by a chairman and serves as a voice as well as a monitoring body for paint manufacturers in Nigeria.

PMA caters generally for issues bothering on productivity and development of the industry. In 2016, an exhibition was commenced which now holds yearly.

The exhibition which is centered on annual raw materials, equipment and painting show held on the 23rd of October and was tagged “PMA Nigeria Coating Show”.

The event had exhibitors from the United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, Turkey, South Africa and India in attendance. The major aim of the exhibition is to develop strategies on how to handle the issue of high cost and scarcity of raw materials for local production which is a major challenge faced in the industry and to promote paint Technology by sourcing for local contents.

PMA (Paints manufacturers association of Nigeria) functions collectively with SON (standard Organization of Nigeria) to guarantee an acceptable global quality standard for manufactured products.

Challenges and Prospects of the Nigerian Paint Industry

These include:

1)     NEGLECT BY THE GOVERNMENT

The paint industry is one of the most neglected in Nigeria. There are no incentives provided and routine checks are not always carried out. This, in turn, puts a restriction on the percentage of the paint industry’s contribution to the gross domestic product of the country.

Also, the lack of an efficient regulatory system increases the emergence of new industries which lead to a decline in the standard of products manufactured.

2)     ACCESS TO FACILITIES

This can be said to be a major limitation for investors in the industry. These facilities include: constant power supply, access to funding, unavailability of raw materials, lack of proper facilities for certification and test purposes.

Prospects of the Nigerian Paint industry.

These include:

1)     QUALITY CONTROL

Due to the effort of the Paint Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the standard organization of Nigeria, the quality of paint produced has improved tremendously.

2)     HIGH DEMAND

The increase in demand for paints is as a result of the increase in building construction in the country which has also helped the sustenance of the industry.

LIST OF PAINT INDUSTRIES IN NIGERIA

Paint industries in Nigeria include:

  1. Premium paints,
  2. Dulux Paints,
  3. Meyer paints, Berger paints,
  4. IPWA,
  5. Nigerian German Chemicals,
  6. African Paints
  7. CAP Plc.

I hope we have made your search complete.

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How to Pitch Your Idea to Investors in Nigeria

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Are you an entrepreneur in Nigeria with a business idea that you want to pitch to investors? But you don’t have the finance to invest in the business and the only option left is to look for investors in Nigeria who would love to invest? Read this simplified guide to learn how to pitch your idea to investors in Nigeria in a professional way.

You see, Nigeria is a country with many people with money that don’t know what to do with it. A large chunk of these people will be very happy to invest their money in places that will bring them maximum profits or a good return on their investment. Having the opportunity to meet this class of people (i.e., angel investors) to share your business idea with is one problem.

Here’s what you should know…

You see, it is one thing to have a good business idea, but a completely different thing to know how to pitch it to potential investors. You need the skills of how to convince potential investors within minutes to invest in you, because if you don’t know how to do it professionally, investors won’t be able to understand what you’re trying to relate with them or how best to help you.

The importance of rehearsing your pitch is one thing I can’t stress enough in pitching potential investors in Nigeria. As an entrepreneur, you might think that you know your business in and out, and that when it comes to pitching it to investors, it will be easy just like singing the National anthem (is that even easy?). Well, this is not always the case most times. Cases abound where entrepreneurs freeze in front of investors while pitching, and ramble on and on. Many entrepreneurs don’t put the same effort they used in preparing their business plan to pitching their plan to investors. As such, you should take the time to acquire the needed skills of business idea pitching to pitch your business idea to investors in Nigeria with ease.

How to Pitch Your Idea to Investors in Nigeria

How to Pitch Your Idea to Investors in Nigeria

How to Pitch your Idea to Investors in Nigeria.

1. Start with a story, end with your solution

If you can relate your story to the problem you are solving in the market place, then do it. Nothing engages people better than a good captivating story. Start your pitch with a story that will catch your audience or investor’s attention, the complaint and address it to how your business idea will be the solution to the problem in your story.

So, don’t just keep talking about the problems all day, pitch your idea by showing potential investors how your product or service will solve the hungry market’s problem. Make it easy for the investor to understand how you plan to execute the solution with your idea.

2. Niche down to the exact market you are targeting.

Every product, service or business idea has a specific market it is made for. Don’t lie to investors saying that your product or services is for everybody on earth. It is too broad. Everybody is no market. Tell your investors the market needs your idea is meeting.

3. Analyze Your competitors

A quick analyses of your potential competitors is very important as every business has a competitor even if the competitor is located far away in another continent. Tell the investors how different your business model or approach to solving the problem is from that of your competitors and how much market share you are likely to take if your idea comes to the limelight through their support.

4. State the exact amount you need

Don’t beat around the bush about the exact amount of money you need to fund this idea. Tell investors the exact amount of money that will be required to fund the business idea to success, as well as how much have been invested (if any). Also, give a detailed breakdown of why you need the exact amount you have stated and the intended outcome of the money too. You can do this using slides, charts, tables, diagrams, etc.

These are few tips to know on how you can pitch a business idea to investors in Nigeria. I hope with this  information, you have gained clarity on how you can pitch your idea to investors in Nigeria. Go ahead and put it into practice.

If you have any questions on this topic or a related on, let me know in the comments box below.

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5 Ways to Spot Exceptional Employees in Nigeria

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The Nigerian labor market is very flexible with a skilled, low labor cost, highly motivated, and productive workforce. High level of education and efficiency are common factors for spotting exceptional employees. Besides, exceptional employees are easily self-motivated and self-managed.

Another important factor used for distinguishing an exceptional employee is the personality of the employee. This informs why some people are more successful at work than others? Travis Bradberry of Forbes magazine stated that following a research done around 2016, it was concluded that the key to exceptional performance is in the personality of the employee. Bradbery (2016) stated that the results indicate that “78% of leaders consider that personality distinguishes great employees, much more than cultural adjustment with 53% and even the skills of an employee (39%)”.

However, the qualities that the leaders pointed out as part of the personality are those of emotional intelligence. Unlike personality (which never changes), emotional intelligence can be transformed and improved. So executives don’t need to look for employees who have these skills. His duty, and also that of the company, is to help the entire team to enhance their emotional intelligence to become exceptional.

In essence, a typical team does all of its planning to achieve goals, with minimal intervention from management. Exceptional employees are also known to be healthily self-critical, with a willingness to learn and a commitment to making improvements both in production and performance.

It is clear, therefore, that the key indicators of exceptional employee are high level of education, efficiency at work, self-motivation, self-management, great personality, and emotional intelligence.

However, how can we see these playing out to determine how exceptional an employee? How does one spot the level of education, efficiency at work, self-motivation, self-management, great personality, or emotional intelligence of an employee? It is by observing if the employee has the following characteristics before and after employment.

Exceptional Employees in Nigeria

Spotting Exceptional Employees in Nigeria

5 Ways To Spot An Exceptional Employee.

 Exceptional employees may be spotted using the 5 indicators below:

(1) The Employee Is Willing To Delay Gratification.

Exceptional employees work outside the range of job descriptions. Rather than expect recognition or compensation to come first, they move forward in their work, confident that they will be rewarded later, but they don’t worry if they aren’t.

(2) Exceptional Employees Tolerate Conflict.

While exceptional employees don’t seek conflict, they don’t run from it either. They can maintain their composure while presenting their positions calmly and logically.

(3) Exceptional Employees Are Focused.

Exceptional employees are not distracted by grumpy customers or disputes in the office. Rather, they know how to detect the important issues and that is why they stay focused on what matters.

(4) An Exceptional Employee Is Judiciously Brave but Courteous

An exceptional employee is willing to speak up, ask a difficult embarrassing question, or challenge an executive decision. Besides, an exceptional employee chooses the best time to do act and thinks before speaking.

(5) Exceptional Employees Control Their Ego

While the ego is part of an exceptional employee’s drive to constantly improve, they never overdo it. An exceptional employee admits when he/she is wrong and agrees to do things differently with or without correction.

Becoming an exceptional employee is a skill, an art that can be learned and practiced to efficiency. One of the ways to become an exceptional employee is to establishing open and trustworthy lines of communication with the management and co-workers.

Besides, the Human Resources (HR) department has a role to play in the building of an average employee into an exceptional employee. Rather than dismiss below average or average employees, the Human Resources (HR) team can deploy technology to improve their integration with the entity’s values. In this sense, e-learning, for example, can have great value in developing courses that convey to that person what it means to work in that company and what it contributes to society.

Another mechanism that may be used to is improve an employee’s performance is proper mentoring, that is, involving some of the people with the best reputation and knowledge within the organization to protect and accompany the toxic worker, giving them advice and offering advice whenever they need it. In this way, individual attitudes can change, although care should be taken so that it does not in any way cloud the relationship between the company and the staff.

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