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How To Start a Consulting Firm

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Today, I will be discussing the key steps to starting and managing a consulting firm in Nigeria successfully. Rest assured that this guide will equip you with a basic understanding of what it takes to start your consulting firm.

First, as a consultant, know that companies will need you to guide them in management skills, specialist knowledge, and strategic planning, to enhance or rectify some facets of their businesses or lifestyles.

You should take into consideration that to be a consultant, you must consistently seek knowledge and improve your expertise. This is so because consultancy is a business that depends largely on knowledge, personal skills, and experience.

Possessing the above qualities will make you an expert that is sought after in your chosen career. Also, you will get endless demands from different categories of people seeking your services. Individuals, start-up businesses, and already established businesses will constantly request for your professional services.

The services of a consultant are required in all aspects and sectors of the economy, such as banking, education, health, science, fashion, entertainment, and others.

Consulting Firm

Inside a Consulting Firm in Nigeria

What Does Consultancy Mean?

The job of a consultancy business is to give professional service to every individual business or company that seeks management skills, expert knowledge, or strategic planning to improve the condition of their businesses or lifestyles. In addition, consultancy businesses extend their services to start-up entrepreneurs that need advice on how to launch, manage, and grow their businesses efficiently.

Presently, the demand for consultancy business in different industries has soared. This development has prompted experts in various fields to start their respective consulting firms. Unfortunately, some of those who claim to be experts in this industry are unqualified. As a result of their inability to deliver their promises, they lose clients, close businesses, and eventually return to the labor market seeking other opportunities.

To be successful in the consultancy business, you must imbibe the culture of smart and hard work. The factors that will keep you going in the industry are passion, discipline, commitment, motivation, and of course, an unquenchable thirst for skills and knowledge. The above-mentioned qualities separate the wheat from the chaff in the consultancy business. These are the steps to take to be successful in your consultancy business.

1. Choose an Area of Specialization

In your quest for starting a consultancy business, you must be an expert. Even if you are a professional in different fields, you must identify a particular niche to specialize in. What aspect of the business would you like to consult on?  Often, retirees or experts who are out of jobs start consulting businesses. So, you can also start your own.

2. Acquire the Essential Knowledge

It is very important to improve yourself by acquiring the requisite knowledge and skills before starting a consulting firm. Without sufficient skills or knowledge, a consultancy business may not make a headway.

Clearly put, if you lack the requisite qualities stated earlier, never venture into a consultancy business so as not to harm your clients’ businesses. This is the most important point that you should strictly adhere to. All other points are secondary to this.

3. Network With Other Experts

Building a strong network is crucial to starting a consulting firm, so ensure you have one. A large network will enable you to get consistent requests from clients.

4. Have a Well-Designed Business Plan

This step is also a vital element in starting your consulting firm. Make sure you identify and outline a clear and realistic plan in a written form. This process will help you to foresee the growth of your business and appraise the feasibility of your idea. Also, it will make your plan efficient and manageable. You can also use your business plan to attract investors. This is the exact point where you build a solid foundation for your firm. Meanwhile, it is advisable to submit your business plan to a person that is more knowledgeable than you to assess it and guide you through to avoid any possible pitfalls.

5. Register Your Business

Before you launch your consultancy firm, make sure you register the business and comply with the statutory requirements guiding your industry.

Abide strictly by these regulations that could otherwise cause a problem in the future. The step involves creatively choosing a befitting and simple business name that your prospective clients can easily remember.

6. Have an Office

As a budding businessman, you don’t need a gigantic physical structure to run your business, especially when you can use online platforms to your advantage. So, the absence of physical space should not deter you from launching your consultancy firm. With your online tools, such as a website, an email address, and a social media account, you can kick off your consultancy business.

Take the opportunities offered by social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to create your brand and attract prospective clients to your business. Either you have a physical office or not, the importance of social media in promoting your business can never be overemphasized. Before setting up your office, you can hold business meetings at parks, malls, or eateries whenever you need to meet your clients in person.

7. Promote The business

Now that you have set up a consulting firm, you need to go out there to attract clients. Advertise your business using word of mouth. Print and share complimentary cards, and use other offline and online promotional methods.

Conclusion

Like any other business, launching a consulting firm in Nigeria is not an easy task. However, having sufficient information about the business can make a huge difference.

This article discussed the key steps to starting a consulting firm in Nigeria. If you can implement the information shared here, you would be able to become a successful business consultant within a short time.

Cheers! See you in my next article. Don’t forget to drop your questions if you have any. I will be glad to help you further. Thank you.

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Ekemini Ekpo is a professional Blogger, Research Analyst, Internet Marketer, and Tutor. He is passionate about Business, Investment, Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Personal development.

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6 Tips for Small Businesses Before Making a Business Partnership

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The next line of action an entrepreneur especially someone running a small business considers to boost his/her business is partnership. This is because the main goal of every business is to make money and business partnership can offer a great deal of that.

Starting a business gives the business owner the power to choose the people he/she is willing to work with. Making the right business partnership decisions has the potential of escalating the profits and scope of a business almost overnight. However, partnering with individuals, brands or companies without the proper guide or information do not guarantee 100% profit.

There are things you should take into consideration before you go into business partnership (s). These things can make or break your business hence it is important to take note of them ahead of time.

I implore you to take your time and consider the points I am about to share with you if you truly value your business and intend to maximize your business partnership(s) and get full returns on your investment.

Useful Tips Small Businesses Should Consider Before Going Into A Business Partnership

  1. Be Clears With Your Motive(s).

When you are starting a business partnership, it is important that you have thorough understanding of your reasons for going into the business.

You should clearly define your motivation for the business venture which is to say what you hope to get out of the relationship. There should be a clear reason behind your quest for business partnership instead of running the business alone. Is it to increase your business’ income, to add more value to your products or to reach out to a greater audience?

You must have a firm reason behind your need for business partnership and why it is necessary. Be clear about your motivations or intention behind the partnership and make it clear to your prospective business partner. This will help to steer your small business partnership in the same direction.

  1. Choose A Partner With Complementary Skills.

You can’t have a partner that has the same strength as you. You have to double the power of your startup team right off the bat. For example, a shy tech expert who wants to start an Internet business would do well to find a partner with sales, marketing, and people skills. This way, both partners can focus on doing what they enjoy and are good at. So, partner someone, a company or a group with skills that are complementary to yours.

business partnership

Business partners dialogue how to move the business forward.

  1. Discuss the Long-Term Vision of the Business With Your Partner.

You have found a complementary partner, what next? Strategic business partnerships are in many ways like a marriage, and both parties must be committed to the growth and long-term development if it’s going to work. From the onset of the partnership, express your expectations and sign contracts with one another so that trust is established.

  1. Define The Job Roles Of Each Partner.

Having strategized and established a vision for the business, you proceed to discuss roles differentiations between you and your business partner(s). That is, what roles will each partner play? This is a keen move to eliminate any confusion on what each partner’s duties will be.

A business partnership is bound to fall apart soon after it is formed when one partner believes the other should be performing certain tasks other than the ones he or she is performing.

To avoid this confusion, prepare a written document with your partner stating the roles each individual plays so it can always be referred to when the need arises.

  1. Devise A Way to Measure Each Partner’s Contributions.

There will be times when partnerships experience stress and at that time one party may be tempted to assume that the other party is not pulling in the much-needed weight. To avoid mounting resentment, define clear and objective performance indicators from the beginning to measure each of your contributions to the business’s success. This way, if one or the other of you fails to meet up with his/her end, you can have a level-headed conversation based on facts instead of feelings and thoughts.

  1. Make Provision For The Demise/Exit of a Partner.

What happens if one partner is deceased or wants to leave the partnership? To manage these situations you need a buy/sell agreement document.  This establishes a method by which the partnership interest can be valued and the interest purchased either by the partnership or individual partners. In addition, it will do you extremely good to develop an exit strategy. Like a prenuptial agreement, an exit strategy should clarify what will happen to the business’s real and intellectual properties should the partnership come to dissolution.

Conclusion

Great businesses are founded on great partnerships. But great businesses can also be destroyed by bad partnerships. Small business partnerships can be harmonious, mutually beneficial relationships that help propel a business forward. You should endeavor to choose a business partner just as carefully as you’d choose a romantic partner. This could be someone you spend the rest of your life working with, so don’t go into it loosely.

Have you analyzed these tips? If you have carefully done that, you can finally say “I do” to that business partnership and go ahead to execute it.

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4 Reasons Why Your Website Is Not Making Money In Nigeria

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With the increase in online transactions in Nigeria today and increased internet coverage and usage, it is expected that the average website in Nigeria should make a sizeable amount of money daily.

However, this is not so.

Most websites these days still operate like traditional offline businesses with a beggary look and operation. Rather than serve as a cash-spitting machine for the owners, most websites in Nigeria take more money from the business than they give. This makes it appear like owning and operating a website in Nigeria is unprofitable and mediocre endeavor. It is not supposed to be this way.

If you are an entrepreneur in Nigeria with a website which is not making money or as much money as it should, this article is for you. Read this to the end to find out the 4 reasons why your website is not making money in Nigeria and how to fix it.

The 4 Key Reasons Why Your Website Is Not Making Money in Nigeria as It Should and How to Reverse This

1.     Your Homepage is Not Friendly, Lacks Call-To-Action (CTA) Features

The reason why most websites don’t make sales (as much as they should) is the lack of an attractive, enticing, welcoming, and customer-friendly homepage. If your website cannot ignite a visitors interest to do business with you (on the first, second or third visit), don’t expect to make (much) sales from it. Your website can bring you money if you can influence your visitors buying decisions as soon as they land on your website.

Even if visitors to your site don’t buy on the first visit, at least your homepage should have an offer (i.e. a lead magnet) to wet their appetite and convert them into subscribers who may likely buy in the future. This is how most smart businesses make money from their websites. If your website is not designed this way, the chances of you making money from it are very slim.

To fix this, kindly redesign your homepage with clear Call-To-Action (CTA) button or form with an offer to collect visitors information for (email) marketing and re-marketing. Doing these will greatly improve sales and income from your website in a short time.

Why Your Website Is Not Making Money

Why Your Website Is Not Making Money and How to Reverse This

2.     You Are Not Selling Anything!

Damn it! How can you expect money from your website when there is nothing on it for someone to buy? When it is not clear that you are selling, how and why do you want people to give you money? When you are not selling anything on your website, it suggests that you don’t need money and people won’t force money on you.

So, if you need money from your website, sell something on it. In fact, sell things! You don’t have to create everything you sell. You can sell other people’s products and earn commissions ding so if your product is not yet ready. This is called affiliate marketing. You may incorporate an ecommerce section on your website to sell a physical or electronically deliverable product (related to) on your niche.

3.     You Are Promoting Too Many Things Too Soon

A website may be well-designed but lacks an orderly sales sequence. This will leave visitors to your website confused and overwhelmed. You can’t expect a new visitor to your website to buy all your products at once on one page, in one day.

Who does that?!

This is the bad marketing practice. Doing this makes the visitor a victim of offers’ overload and he/she may leave angrily without making a purchase.

Rather than commit this marketing felony on your website, place single and unique outstanding Call-To-Action messages on your website pages. This will help your visitors to make a quick buying decision.

4.     You Are Selling Features Not Solutions (Benefits)

An entrepreneur’s primary responsibility is to sell benefits not features. However, many websites waste too much time on preaching about the features of their products and pay little to no time talking of the benefits.

That’s stupidity!

No one wants to buy your shiny shoes because it’s shiny without solving a peculiar need. But anyone will buy your shiny shoes if he/she perceives the benefits it has compared to other shoes.

So, sell solutions not features; let the visitor know why he/she should buy what you sell and why that should be done immediately. You may include urgency in your sales’ copies to incentivize your prospects to take prompt action. Beside doing so in writing, you may go a step further to place a timer on the offer’s page to boost urgency in the prospect.

That’s how smart website owners make money from their websites.

So…

The question now is, “are you smart enough to take your piece of the cake from the market?”

Or, are you still doing things the old-fashioned way and expect your website to make sales without positioning it to do so?

The reason why your website is not making money as it should is because you have been doing so many things wrongly with or without you knowing it.

Now you know; the ball is in your court. Go back and apply the pieces of advice I just shared with you in this article to your website and watch it make you money in a matter of days.

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4 Reasons To Use Email Marketing in Nigeria for Your Business

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Are you a business owner in Nigeria looking for an effective and low-cost means of communicating with your customers and clientele? Try Email Marketing! Email Marketing in Nigeria can allow you to sell your product or service to your customers through direct marketing.

Also, with Email Marketing you can inform or remind your prospects (i.e. subscriber) of the availably of a (new) stock. The main advantage of Email marketing over other forms of marketing like social media marketing is that it drives sales without having to spending so much after the initial setup fees and maintenance fees.

To profit from Email Marketing in Nigeria, you need to first of all build an email list of your customers. This will help you gain your customer’s unique information – what they like to buy, how often they buy, when they like to buy and how likely they are to buy what you have.

Besides, with proper email marketing, you can gain information on your customer’s purchasing strength, their demographic information, tastes and dislikes. You will use this information to sell to your customers whenever there is the need to do so.

This article explains in detail the reasons for using Email Marketing in Nigeria.

Email Marketing in Nigeria

Email Marketing in Nigeria for for Business Growth

Why You Need Email Marketing in Nigeria for your Business

1.     Email Marketing Can Help You To Identify Your Customers Or Prospects Unique Needs

With an email list of your customers, you can determine your customer’s preferences and specific by sending them an email requesting for feedback. Based on the feedback, you can know if the product you have in mind to sell will actually sell. Email marketing is an information providing tool that decides the success or failure of your next product. The beautiful part is that you do this at almost no advertising cost to you besides the initial and recurring maintenance fees.

2.     Having An Email List Reduces The Cost Of Your Marketing And Business Operation

I have mentioned twice in this article that email marketing is comparatively cheaper than other forms of marketing like digital marketing. This is because it is true. Besides, it is always available to you to use compared with hiring an employee or office assistant to run your marketing.

While an employee will fall sick, need a break for holidays, demand employee bonus or insurance, Email marketing does not. It is always there for you at no additional avoidable expenses. So, if you are looking for a way to reduce your cost of marketing and do away with some of the troubles of human labour, try Email marketing.

3.     You Can Sell/Rent Your Email List

Leave your local business for a moment and think global. Do you know that individuals and big corporations are currently looking for businesses with harvestable PDI (public domain information to work with? Yes, this is true. Email marketing is one of the most-sought after PDI tools. If you have a list of thousands or millions of targeted buyers on a given niche which investors are willing to buy, you can sell (or rent) this and make huge profits doing so.

4.     Email Marketing Can Give You International Connections.

You can connect with multinationals and internationals globally and expand your business reach seamlessly. Multinationals are looking for effective email lists to source domain information about customers whenever they are entering a new business terrain. They are always glad to connect and pay a juicy sum to whoever has a promising email list. The question is, will that be you?

5.     Effective Email Marketing Can Help You to Make Quality Business Decision Quickly

Why I say it helps you to make the best decision on time is that with your email list you can get buyer’s feedback and leverage this anytime of the day. This is a follow-up to what the first point I mentioned which discussed the customer information acquisition aspect of email marketing. This one discusses one of the key benefits which is the ability to make quick business decisions based on the information you gathered from your customers in your list.

Knowing what informs your (potential) customer’s choices and why they purchase more of a particular product is vital to a business’s growth. But that’s not the best part. The best part is having this information almost immediately to make the best decision quickly!

Growth in business is a function of quality, timely decisions. The more quality decisions a business makes and on time, the more it is likely to experience tremendous growth. This is made possible by email marketing.

Some of the outcomes of prompt business decisions which email marketing in Nigeria can give you are:

  1. Improvement in your business’s overall manufacturing strategy
  2. Improvement in the production capacity (input and output) of your business.
  3. Reduction of your business’s turnover time.
  4. Determination of a better profitability margin for your business.
  5. The use of better machinery, tools, advertorial, etc. in your business

Conclusion

Email marketing in Nigeria has many benefits and this article has explained them. If you want to give and gain more from your customers and prospects, then go for Email marketing. It always helps. Yes, it does.

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