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How To Bootstrap A Startup If You Don’t Have Money

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There is a word of wisdom that says; “you use what you have to get what you want” but what if you have nothing, what can you do? Then you improvise! That is what I mean here; steps to bootstrap a startup if you don’t have money to finance it. All that we need has been provided for us, saith the Lord of hosts. What these imply is that all we need to do is to look for ways for ourselves by improvising. Improvisation simply means using whatever can be found to create (or improve) something.

Starting up a business as an entrepreneur requires capital. No matter how small the business might be, startup capital is very important to commence and sustain the business for the mean time before making profit. In our country today, where there are fewer white collar jobs and the government keeps advising youths to get a trade and learn 1 or 2 skills, a lot of young aspiring entrepreneurs have a pool of business idea in their head but executing it is a huge problem due to lack of startup. What then do we do? How do we go about it? As you and I know, man must survive, and begging or steal is completely out of the question in the pursuit of survival.

The answer to the above questions will be answered in this article.

How To Bootstrap A Startup If You Don’t Have Money

How To Bootstrap A Startup If You Don’t Have Money

To solve the problem of having a great and brilliant idea upstairs but unable to execute it, one has to improve or bootstrap. Bootstrapping means supporting oneself or achieving something without any or much external help or assistance. I spoke with an aspiring entrepreneur recently and he explained to me how difficult it is for startups to get bank loans, government grants, and investors to support their business. Therefore, one must source for all necessary support by him/herself. This as you know could be very difficult but it is definitely worth it at the end. It takes a lot of hard work, discipline, and dedication to succeed in business these days but if you can bootstrap, and keep pushing forward, you will be able to elevate your business idea.

In this article, I discuss several ways you to bootstrap your startup when you don’t have money (seed capital) to finance and/or push it to the next level.

11 Ways To Bootstrap Your Startup When You Don’t Have Money (Seed Capital) To Finance It

(1) Get A Co-Founder

This can also be called a business partner. This is someone that has the same interest and skills with you and who can support your business dreams. As the common parlance says “two heads are better than one”. Share your business ideas with this person (your prospective or substantive co-founder) and both of you can contribute money to embark on the business. The person can also share his own idea(s) and inputs with you and this will become a double blessing for you.  

(2) Get A Mentor

Someone who is correctly mentored can hardy fail. So, get yourself a mentor that is experienced in whatever you want to do to help you with basic advice and guides towards success in your business. For example, if you want to do a poultry business, get an advisor or mentor in that business line who will/can serve as your guide or mentor. It does not mean that you should go and hire a paid expert or a coach. No, it can be a friend or close relation who has knowledge and experience in the business line you want to go into. This could be someone who is older or younger than you. The age doesn’t really matter in so far as the person is experienced in whatever you want to do.

(3) Take Advantage of Free Trainings

During the COVID 19 global lockdown of 2020, I sourced online for companies that take free training that can generate money and I was able to get few of them. I took some courses with them without paying a dime yet I can generate a source of income from. For example, I learnt graphic design using my mobile phone and I leant how to make flyers, logos, and basic graphic designs. Now, I generate income from it by designing logo, flyers, and word extracts from webinars and seminars. There are lots of similar free trainings online and offline which you can take advantage of today. Take advantage of as many free trainings available which can help you source for money to finance your startup today.

(4) Develop Financial Discipline

One way you can bootstrap a startup is to learn financial discipline. This will help you to save up money. Eventually, when you start the business you will disciplined enough not to spend your profit first on yourself but on your business for the sustenance and growth of the business. Inculcate an act of saving. It goes a long way in bootstrapping your startup.

(5) Improvise!

When bootstrapping, you must learn or have improvising skills, this will help you to put several things together to create something related to your idea so as to get what you want at the end of the day.

(6) Do It Yourself (DIY)

Instead of hiring people when starting up, it is very important and necessary to try to do things yourself. Learn how to be multifaceted; it will help you to save a lot of money that you would have spent paying for labor. Besides, it helps you to know everything about your business before employing people.

(7) Search For and Utilize SME Available Funding Opportunities

In Nigeria, we have private group of companies or people who give loans to small businesses without any collateral or interest. They give as low as 10,000 naira so as to assist startup and they give reasonable amount of time to pay. They help to ease the burden of looking for capital among entrepreneur. You should consider getting these Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to bootstrap your startup.

(8) Go For Teamwork

One of the basic skills for bootstrapping is teamwork. Get a team to work with. This will help to reduce the burden of working alone. Get people who trust and believe in your mission and vision, people who will not mind working as volunteers, people who are willing to learn, people who are willing to use your idea to sharpen their own idea(s), and/or people who are willing to build from the scratch with you.

(9) Engage in Strategic Planning

All business ideas are always big at the start. When bootstrapping, you must learn to strategize i.e. narrow down your business idea by starting small. If your initial plan is to supply your product to 10 states, you can start by supplying first to your street and then gradually you move to supplying your town. Then, as the business grows, you can start supplying your local government and then to your state. This means that your initial idea has become a reality over time and you have learnt in the process. This involve planning and breaking down of your gigantic business ideas into small, easily realistic and implementable chunks.

(10) Develop A Positive Mindset

These include believing in you, ideas, goals, objective, aspirations and dreams. When bootstrapping, you have to be optimistic and have a positive mindset in order to keep going and also make you standout when people see your passion and consistency and they see you making something out of nothing. Do not look at the risk instead focus on the idea.

(11) Go Digital

Make good use of the internet. The social media, for example, will help you to sell yourself and expose you to people who might love your business idea. It helps you to cover a wider area. I have heard a lot of stories from entrepreneur, how they got investors online who were willing to invest in their business due to what they saw them doing online. There, are several online platforms you can showcase your idea and skills. So, go online and show the world what you got. You never know where your angel investor will come from.

Conclusion

Conclusively, bootstrapping might be difficult at first but it will definitely yield great returns later if done properly. You have to equip yourself with a lot of information so that you can be focused and strategic. Determination and flexibility is the key to a successful bootstrapping. Note that it is just a matter of time, very soon your money will work for you and you will be an employer of labour.

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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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Basic Steps And Requirements For Starting A Dredging Business In Nigeria

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Dredging has to do with the mechanical excavation of sand, gravel, mud and other substances from the bottom of a water body such as a river, stream, creek, lagoon etc. to do that, you need a vessel known as a dredger.

The need for more buildings and other physical structures has made the market for dredging in Nigeria to become a much sought-after one. Of course, there will always be the need to build or construct. So, dredging never dies.

Aside from the construction of new buildings or roads, etc., dredging products such as sand, gravel, rocks, and pebbles are also used to reclaim swampy areas and for the production of construction materials.

Basic Steps And Requirements For Starting A Dredging Business In Nigeria

Basic Steps And Requirements For Starting A Dredging Business In Nigeria

How Does Dredging Work?

Some dredgers are water-powered, and these cuts and sucks up the dredged material, like sand, from the bottom of the waterway by a method which involves a stepping stool that is mounted on the cutter head passing the material via a suction pipe and this sucked via a suction pump via a drifting pipeline up to the shore. When it arrives on the shore, at the dump, is it moved using tipper to the sub-dump where it is piled up, ready for sale or use.

Opportunities Available in dredging commercial enterprise

There are plenty options in the dredging business. Let’s look at some of them below:

1) Dredging:

  1. Channelization of river
  2. Fabrication of dredger
  3. Managing the dredge team
  4. Reclamation and urban renewal
  5. Safety of a dredger
  6. Stockpiles and profits

2) Supply of sand to numerous locations

3) Sand search

4) Environmental impact assessment

5) Hydrographic survey

6) Leasing of dredging workplace tools such as:

  1. Dredger
  2. Excavator
  3. Low bed
  4. Payloader
  5. Swamp buggy

Basics Steps To Starting Dredging Business In Nigeria

Among the many uses of dredging, its use for the building of houses seems to be the most outstanding. Housing, of course, is one of the most basic needs of man. He can’t just do without it, just like food and clothing. Before the advent of the present technologies in building construction, man has always experimented with several materials to meet his housing needs. This ranges from mud, sand and rock, all in an effort to withstand the elements. With time, however, in a bid to get the much-needed solidness and strength for buildings, other materials have been introduced to building technology such as steel and glass.

Given the alarming shortage of residential and commercial buildings in the country, therefore, there has been much interest in the sand dredging industry in Nigeria, all in a bid to cater for the housing needs of Nigerians. Sand dredging is vital to keep the pace with building of homes and offices as well as industrial layouts in all over the country. Therefore, going into it is a great way to earn a decent income.

Kinds Of Dredgers To Buy

Two popular kinds of dredgers are available in the market. They include

  1. The discontinuous
  2. The persistent

The discontinuous dredger burrows and excavates the heap while the persistent dredger burrows consistently, raising and also transporting the dredged materials at the same time.

Types Of Dredgers To Go For

If you wish to buy dredger in Nigeria, go for the types manufactured by IHC as well as ELLICOT. There are more solid, sturdy and durable, although a bit expensive. China-made dredgers are not very strong, although less expensive.

Types Of Dredging Businesses To Do

There is hardly a part of Nigeria where dredging business does not thrive. However, the riverine areas have more market for the business. however, dredging business in Nigeria may be dissected into the following parts or classification systems:

  1. Class A —Dredging Firms only
  2. Class B — for Only Dredging and sand dealer as well as;
  3. Class C – Manual dredgers as alone

Class A – Dredging Firms Only

  1. Application for dredging routed to the Honorable Commissioner Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development.
  2. Installment of the use charge of N50,000 [fifty thousand Naira only] Provides point by point depiction of proposed dredging area.
  3. Provision of the Environmental Impact Analysis Report.
  4. Provide Hydrographic review.
  5. Bathymetric review of the proposed area.
  6. Duplicates of current duty freedom authentication.
  7. An endorsement will be liable to the installment of the accompanying charges:

(an) (i) Payment of the total of N1,000,000.00 (One million Naira) per annum.

(ii) Proof of Ownership or Access to Portable Barges

(b) (i) Payment of the total of N750,000.00 (Seven Hundred and fifty thousand Naira) per annum

(c) (i) Payment of the entirety of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) per annum.

Classification B – Dredging/Sand Sellers Only

  1. Application for dredging routed to the Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development.
  2. Installment of utilization expense of N50,000.00 [Bank Draft] Provide point by point portrayal of proposed dredging area.
  3. Provide the Environmental Impact Analysis report.
  4. Provide hydrographic study.
  5. Bathymetric study of the proposed area.
  6. Duplicates of current expense leeway authentication.
  7. An endorsement will be liable to the installment of the aggregate of the accompanying expenses.

(i) installment of the entirety of N1, 000,000.00[One million Naira].

(ii) Proof of possession or access to convenient freight boats

(b) Payment of the entirety of N750,000:00 (Seven Hundred and fifty thousand Naira) per annum.

(c) Payment of the entirety of N500,000:00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) per annum.

Classification C – Manual dredgers as it were

  1. Application for dredging routed to the Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development.
  2. Installment of utilization expense of N50,000.00 [Bank Draft] Provide point by point portrayal of proposed dredging area.
  3. Verification of responsibility for Edge review and Ecological Impact Analysis (EIA).
  4. Provide an account of dredging procedure to be embraced.

The endorsement will be subjected to the installment of the accompanying expenses:

(i) Payment of the total of N200, 000:00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) per annum.

(ii) Proof of access to Portable Barges.

(iii) Payment of the total of N100, 000:00 [One Hundred Thousand Naira) per annum.

(c) Payment of the total of N50, 000:00 (Fifty Thousand Naira) per annum.

 

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20 Lucrative Small Businesses In Nigeria You Can Start Now

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Small businesses have always existed in Nigeria and are commonly operated in the streets. These businesses have catered to the immediate needs of many as they are easily accessible, hence the increase in the number of small business owners in the country. For many who are having a hard time deciding which to invest in, the list below will be of great help.

20 Lucrative Small Businesses In Nigeria You Can Start Now

20 Lucrative Small Businesses In Nigeria You Can Start Now

1.      POULTRY FARMING:

In Nigeria today, the amount of protein consumed daily is unimaginable, this makes poultry farming a very profitable business to invest in.  Poultry products like eggs, birds are consumed on a daily basis in homes, restaurant businesses etc. Therefore, investing in this business has a good margin for profitability and the best part is that you can start small.

2.      FISH FARMING:

For fish farming, you will need to equip yourself with the right information on how to properly build a fish farm so as to avoid losses. Types of equipment needed are fish ponds, a good supply of water and good drainage system before you proceed to get your fingerlings which will be nursed into the mature fish.

3.      SNAIL REARING:

Snail rearing is another business you can venture into. It requires less capital and snails reproduce at a fast rate. Snails can be reared in homes as they do not smell and are also in high demand in Nigeria.

4.      CROP FARMING:

There are many things that can be done with an unused land and one of them is crop farming. This can be done either on a small scale or on a commercial scale. The population in Nigeria makes farming a profitable investment. Rice, Cassava, yams, maize and vegetables are examples of crops that can be planted because they are in constant demand.

5.      RESTAURANTS:

Restaurants will continue to exist since not everyone can afford to patronize fast foods. As food is an essential for everyone, this business has a tendency to thrive. Bearing in mind that it is accompanied by its own unique stress but with good hands, this can be managed.

6.      CATERING:

Catering is also centered on food. Caterers exist because not everyone has the time to prepare meals for their events. This business is usually done on a contract basis and when handled with professionalism promises lifetime customers irrespective of how much you charge.

7.      CAR WASH:

The basic needs of this business are a very accessible location, a good supply of water, car washing equipment and a good support team.

8.     LAUNDRY SERVICES:

To run my service, you will need a reliable source of electricity supply and other equipment like a washing machine, dryer and pressing irons.

The ability to satisfy your clients will determine how much profits you can turn in.

9.      SOAP MAKING:

Just like food, soap is also in high demand in homes, offices, etc. Get the right knowledge, equipment, excellent packaging and strategic marketing, and you are all set.

10. HAIR AND BEAUTY SALONS:

As long as there are people, there will be salons. Everyone desires to look good and this boost the hair and beauty business. Acquire the skill, set up your shop and let people know about your business.

11. TAILORING AND FASHION DESIGN:

Fashion design requires skill and creativity. You can start small and build your brand with time. Build good relationships with your clients, offer quality service and this can earn you referrals as well as return customers.

12. SALE OF SECOND ITEMS:

Majority of the population in Nigeria buy second-hand clothes, shoes, curtains,  bed sheets etc. which makes this business a very profitable one. You can start with a bale and expand with time.

13. EVENT PLANNING:

Every event requires a planner either professionally or not. Event planners help ease the stress on the client by coordinating events from start to finish. With the right information, software and expertise you can build a good reputation as an event planner.

14. SALE OF ICE BLOCKS:

For areas where the power supply is low, ice block business is a good source of income. Ice blocks are needed on a daily basis by sellers of drinks.

15. TUTORING:

With the current emphasis on vocational training, Parents are in need of tutors to coach their children in subjects and arts like acting, dancing, singing and creative writing. This is an opportunity for everyone with these skills to earn money while instilling knowledge.

16. PARTY EQUIPMENT RENTALS:

This business is capital intensive as you will need to acquire the materials like canopies, chairs, drums etc. This business can be run from the comfort of your home.

17. SUPPLYING AND SALE OF FIREWOOD:

On a daily basis, firewood is used in Nigeria, either by caterers, restaurant business owners etc. Starting a firewood supply business can yield you good profits.

18. SNACKS AND COCKTAILS:

Little drops they say makes a mighty ocean, you can make snacks like puff-puff, bread, cake, meat pie etc. with drinks like zobo and pineapple drink for sale in areas like schools, offices etc. and earn some money daily.

19. OFFICE SUPPLIES:

For workers who are unable to shop for their office needs, you can be the middleman bringing their needs to their doorstep at fair prices.

20. WEBSITE DESIGNING:

Many businesses are moving with the tide and going digital which has led to a demand for web designers. You can acquire the skill and source for clients in need of this service. The internet is a good place to start.

Welcome on board to entrepreneur.ng

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20 Hot Tips to Get More Customers To Patronize Your Business

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If truly you need more client or customers then se this article to get our 20 Hot Tips to Get More Customers To Patronize Your Business. Just as it applies in the normal human scenario and in natural settings in general, it is only realistic for business to experience significant growth over a given period of time. Any business that does not grow is stagnant and in no distant date nor time, will see the exit door. Growth is essential for every business enterprise to thrive. There are variety of ways to achieve growth in a business and these are outlined below

Getting more customers to patronize your business has never been an easy task. But with the right tools, procedures and tips, you can achieve this in a very easy way. Of course, patronage is the life wire of any business, and in order to make any significant profit or remain in the business, the need for more patronage from a large pool of customers cannot be overemphasized.

For any business to remain significant and pull-in the much-needed revenue, it is necessary to get more people, especially new clients to patronize the business. To achieve this, therefore, it is necessary to know the cardinal steps to take in realizing continuous patronage.

In this discussion, therefore, I will be looking at about 20 hot tips which you can deploy to help you get more clients/customers to patronize your business and grow it within a very short time.

20 Hot Tips to Get More Customers To Patronize Your Business

20 Hot Tips to Get More Customers To Patronize Your Business

1.      Hire the Best Staff for Your Business

To grow your business you need the right team with good workable ideas on how to help grow your business. You should hire capable hands who can manage your resources effectively to get customers.

2.      Treat Your Staff Well

It is not enough to hire good staff, always seek out ways to reward, inspire and encourage them with incentives like cash, holidays, promotion, job enlargement, transfer to other departments, training, International travel, etc. This way you are certain that they will render good service to your customers.

3.      Chose a Good Business Location

A good business location guarantees easy access to customers. The location will either give your customers a positive or negative experience. Also, take note of the facilities available for your customers’ convenience.

4.      Close Substitutes for Products or Services

As much as possible try to have everything your customers need in your business, customers love the idea of a one-stop business where they can get the options for things they want.

5.      Quality Products and Discounts

Customers want good value for their money. Give customers excellent products at good prices and discounts and they will revisit your business daily.

6.      Identify Your Customers

All businesses have a specific niche they target. They do not serve everybody, you can grow your customer base by reaching out to your target audience, identify their needs and develop ways to better serve them.

7.      Good Management

A good management team helps to develop innovative ways to attract new customers while keeping old customers satisfied.

8.      Capitalize On Your Strength

Every business has a unique selling point, determine yours and capitalize on it. Market your strengths.

9.      Exceptional Customer Service

Good customer service is needed for any business to grow. Even if your products are top quality, with bad customer service you can perform below-expected results. Get feedback from customers and develop ways to serve them better.

10. Do After Sales Enquiry

Develop a strategy to get feedback from your customers to know or rate their satisfaction level of your product or service. You can contact customers personally to show how much you care.

11. Reward

Customers like to feel appreciated for their loyalty to your brand. You can organize a get-together, an award ceremony or an end of year party to show appreciation to these customers. Ensure you praise them and ask for referrals.

12.

Marketing Campaign

Networking with Industry Influencers

Networking is also a necessity to grow your business, connect with big game players in the industry. That way you can build relationships with them which will foster recommendations for your business.

13. Diversify

The variety they say is the spice of life. Diversity gives your customers the impression that they have choices to choose from when they patronize you.

14. Ask Customers to refer Clients to You.

Referrals are necessary for a startup to grow. Therefore, you can ask satisfied customers to refer clients to you.

15. Marketing Campaign

Marketing Campaigns can be used to create awareness if your brand in the minds of customers. You can do this on your business website using digital marketing strategies.

16. Social Media

Take advantage of social media to advertise your business, use bulk SMS, YouTube videos, Podcasts, Google AdWords, etc to connect with customers. You can also launch a marketing campaign using digital media.

17. Buy Smaller Companies

As your business grows and becomes more profitable, you can seize opportunities to acquire smaller companies in the same sectors as you. That way you can expand your customer base.

18. Technology

In Nigeria, technology has become an essential part of every business. Technology can be used to effectively produce and manage large orders for your products or services.

19. Use Freebies and Incentives:

Freebies have always worked as a powerful marketing tool to attract customers to your business.

dont waste time, this is going to help you and your friends, why not share with them now.

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