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How To Build A Strong Business Network: The Things That Matter

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Strong business network

How To Build A Strong Business Network: The Things That Matter

Strong business network

Having a strong business network provides you with opportunities for learning, collaboration, exposure and growth that can make all the difference. A strong business network provides you with credibility when seeking to partner with the business. The more influential your business network is, the more likely it will be for prospective partners to do business with you. Whether you like it or not, the level of your business network has a direct or indirect influence on your business success. So, as an entrepreneur or startup founder, you need to build a strong business network consciously.

See: How to find investors for your business

In this article, you will be availed with business networking tips and techniques that will grow and improve your business. So, if you have been thinking of how to build a business network, then you are in the right place. The aim of this article is to provide you with relevant tips on how to build and create a strong business network. You need to learn how to network your business if you wish to build a successful business. The business networking tips and techniques listed in this article will help you and your business en route to success.

Tips On How To Create Strong Business Network

  •       Start with the people you know

Often times, your greatest undoing might be hesitation to strike a conversation with people. The easiest way is to start with the people that you know because it will be easier to initiate a conversation with them. In business, if you can’t talk, then there is a big problem for you and your business. Those in your business line and colleagues are a very good place to start as well. These set of people will back you up and also add a level of credibility to your business. You can’t build a strong business network without interacting with people around you.

Become part of alumni groups or other groups

No matter the level or size of your business network, it certainly will be larger had you incorporated all the peer groups you have been part of all through your life. You can become part of your high school alumni, college alumni, or your sports team alumni. Remember that the aim is to build a strong business network, so you mustn’t lose sight of that. If you discover that these groups do not exist, then you make the necessary arrangements to create them. With social media, you can track down anybody and creating a group is very simple, and then you can invite people to join.

You can also join some LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your business growth.

  • Create offline business connections

You need to develop ways to meet and network with new people in your quest to build strong business networks. Social events are perfect avenues and opportunities for you to build a business network. The trick here is your ability to recognize these opportunities and utilize them judiciously. You must learn to treat networking and social networking as you would a normal and meaningful relationship. At events, you can initiate conversations by asking questions like

Read: How to start a business from scratch

  • How did you hear about this event?
  • What are the things on your reading list

With the above questions, you can get the person you are talking with to open up and start talking about themselves.

Build and develop your relationship and communication skills 

In your bid to build a strong business network, you need to enhance your communication and relationship skills. Before you can get ahead in your career, you need to improve your skillset and industry knowledge continually. You need to constantly evolve and improve your ability to relate and convene with others. There is no need for an expensive relationship if you cannot communicate effectively or nurture relationships.

When you learn to make a conscious effort to improve your communication skills, it will have a significant impact on you.

  •       Effectively work on the sidelines

Building a strong business network is never about taking or stealing the spot. You can learn to work on your gestures, the way you talk, smile, and your charisma. Your goal should be to create a good impression on the industry leaders, thus making yourself visible. So, learn how to utilize opportunities to make yourself known to the people that matter.

You can get a professional business mentor

If you have the financial capacity, you can get a business or networking coach. This affords you the opportunity to learn from someone who has been there before and understand what it takes to build a strong business network. You might want to discard the idea, but I will advise you to hear from those that have been coached so that you can get to hear their testimonies. You shouldn’t be shy to seek help as the Ben Franklin effect can work perfectly in your favour.

Ensure that you are relevant in your network

By keeping abreast of your industry trends and doing your homework makes you more useful than others in the industry. For instance, if you are in the network of a tech enthusiast, staying up to date with the happenings in the industry can positively increase the value you add to the network.

Conclusion 

Building a strong business network is essential to your success as an entrepreneur in the industry. There is no man, no matter how great that can succeed in isolation. So, you must understand that building a business network is essential to growth.

You can share your thoughts about this topic as I will be glad to hear them. Kindly make use of the comment box provided below.

 

 

 

 

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Visionary, and Passionate entrepreneur who believes that greatness lies not in what you see, rather, it depends majorly on how you see. I'm that diligent and determined guy that sees things very differently. Let's make a difference people.

How To

Making The Best Out Of Your Aquaculture Business

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Undoubtedly, the fish supply in Nigeria today is not enough to go round hence the reliance on foreign supplies by the government and local investors. Fish form a critical part of the daily routine of most Nigerians, it in demand at all seasons and is sought after by people of all pocket sizes. Hence, investing in lucrative Aquaculture businesses at this time is not only thoughtful but timely. This article covers the steps involved in starting and running a profitable Aquaculture business in Nigeria.

The deficit in fish supply in Nigeria presently opens the door for a smart investor to exploit the huge potentials in this untapped market. Investing in Aquaculture is lucrative for many reasons (1) locally grown fishes are comparatively cheaper and (2) locally grown fishes command much patronage across the country. Besides, the marketing side of the business is comparatively cheaper

Why Aquaculture In Nigeria?

There is hardly a tribe in Nigeria that does not consume one kind of fish or the other or that does not eat at fish in one form or the other. This means that for an over 200 million people who eat fish, you can never go wrong starting an aquaculture business. The market for making profits in aquaculture in Nigeria is huge! Besides, compared to starting other agro-businesses like piggery, poultry farming, snail farming or crop farming, starting a fish farm is comparatively cheaper.

When you add the availability of a ready market to the low startup cost, the viability of this business may hardly be questioned. But that’s not all. If you are someone who wishes to start at a medium-large scale, you may easily get loans and grants for this business. The government through its instrument like The Bank Of Industry (BOI) and The Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) have made adequate provisions to support people interested in agribusiness of which Aquaculture business is among.

Commercial, microfinance and agricultural banks across the country have also keyed into this idea. Hence, getting the funds needed to run a viable Aquaculture business would not be much of an issue.

With this in mind, I guess you want to know the steps for starting an Aquaculture business in Nigeria today. Here they are:

Steps For Starting An Aquaculture Business In Nigeria

Making The Best Out Of Your Aquaculture Business

Making The Best Out Of Your Aquaculture Business

1.      Step 1: Write an Aquaculture plan

Develop a good aquaculture business plan is one of the first things you have to do when planning to start your fish farm. This, of course, would come after your feasibility study or market survey of the business. For more on what feasibly study entails, please check this guide. Your aquaculture business plan will provide you with the needed guidance on how to start, manage and make profits in your fish farm.

2.      Step 2: Pick A Suitable Fish Farm Location and Farm Size

If you are just experimenting with the business, buying a plot of land for this venture is not wise. The sensible thing to do is to plan the business according to your budget and experience level. So, for a start, you may use a small space at the back of your house and study the business as it unfolds. As you gain more insight about the business, you may upscale.

However, if you are an experienced fish farmer, it is ok to go big but even at that, you have to trade with caution when you are entering a new market terrain. Things may not always go in your favour; you might lose even with your wealth of knowledge and experience. Anything can happen!

Whatever the cases, ensure that where your fish farm is sited is secure, easily accessible to the target market, and fenced around.

3.      Step 3: Choose the Types of Fishes You Want to Grow

There are many options to choose from. You may grow Tilapia, Cat Fish, and/or Salmon (a.k.a Mackerel). The list is endless. You may find out more about the different breeds of fish online or with your local Fingerlings stockiest.

4.      Step 4: Buy Your Fingerlings, Juveniles and Stock Your Pond

Fish is breed as either Fingerlings or Juveniles. While Fingerlings are finger-sized, day to 1 week old fishes, Juveniles are 4 to 6 weeks old fishes. You may breed any of these categories of fishes although the often recommended and readily available ones are the Fingerlings. Fingerlings cost between N20 and N40 naira each while Juveniles cost between N40 and N80. These prices are subject to change. Please, confirm with your Fingerlings and Juveniles stockiest or local farmer for the actual prices.

5.      Step 5: Construction Your Pond

Fish lives in fish ponds. So, you need a fish pond for this business and they come in three types namely Earthen, Concrete, and Plastic ponds.

  1. Earthen Pond

As the name suggest, this is a fish pond made of earth or mud. The soil used for constructing an earthen fish pond should have at least 20 to 25 percent clay to enable it to retain water easily. The pond may come in any form or shape however most people prefer it in the rectangular shape.

  1. Concrete Pond

Just like the name suggest, Concrete ponds are made with concrete which is a mixture of sand, cement and gravel. You may construct it yourself if you have the know-how or engage the services of an expert to do it for you. The height required is 4 to 5 coaches of blocks (i.e., 4 to 6 feet deep) while the length required is10 by 12 feet. The construction should be properly done with an efficient drainage system to prevent harm to the fish.

  1. Plastic Pond

Besides being the cheapest type of fish pond, it is the easiest to get and is best for people just starting out in the business. Plastic fish ponds are readily available in the market. All you have to do is buy them according to the shape and size that you need, place them where you want to and introduce the fish therein after filling with a sizeable amount of water. Viola! Your small fish farm is up and running. If you cannot find the plastic ponds, simply buy plastic tanks such as GeePee tanks or any other large size container and use it to rear your fish.

6.      Step 6: Get Adequate Water Supply

To run a fish farm successfully, you must never run out of clean water supply is this is the very material on which fishes thrive in. You need to empty the pond at intervals else the fishes may choke and die. This means water must not be in short supply at any time. If you can’t dig a borehole, dig a well.

It is not advisable to use chemically treated water or rainwater as this may be harmful to the animal. The best water for rearing fish is natural water so that the fish can have the feeling that they are in their natural habitat. This way, they grow better and faster.

7.      Step 7: Feed Your Fishes (Feeding Ration)

Commercial aquaculture business thrives on synthetically produced fish feeds. There are many varieties of fish feed to choose from but the popular are Aquafeed, Raanan, and Livestovit.  You have to feed your fishes at least twice daily.

Besides the regular fish feed, fish vitamin supplements are essential for viability and maximum growth of your fishes. You should provide the animals these fish vitamin supplements to diseases off and keep them healthy.

While changing the water in a fish pond often is recommended, avoid doing do immediately after feeding to avoid vomiting.

8.      Step 8: Sale after Maturity

Once your fishes are ripe for sale, you need to find out the current selling prices of the fishes in the market. You can find this out by doing a market survey for prices. Your target market includes B2B like schools, churches, restaurants, bars, hotels, clubs, companies, and supermarkets. You may also sell to direct consumers who may buy in wholesale or retail. Either ways, you make profit!

A good practice is to inform your prospects few weeks to the availability of the product so that they may be ready to buy once it’s available for sale.

Factors That Can Affect Growth of Fish, Possible Problems in Aquaculture and How To Solve Them

Heredity, water quality, feeding rate, disease, and environmental factors (climate, air pollution, pests, etc.) are some of the common factors that may affect fish growth. Common possible problems in aquaculture include competition from other fish farmers, local fishermen, high cost of feed, issues with theft, and trade union issues.

You will find it difficult to prevent or at least mitigate these problems if you lack the required knowledge and experience in aquaculture business. That is why I recommend that anyone starting a business of this sort first learns the business thoroughly before setting out.

You may gain the required knowledge for running a profitable aquaculture business by undergoing apprenticeship under the supervision of an expert fish farmer for at least 3 months. During this time, you will learn the basics and also gain the needed experience in this business.

If you choose to study materials online, read books, study documentaries and start a fish farm with that knowledge, it’s still fine.

What I recommend is that you start the farm under the supervision of an experienced fish farmer and consult him/her although your journey in the business till you are firm enough to run the business on your own. That way, you will avoid unnecessary loses in the business.

To complement this, find out and attend seminars related to this business to gain traction of the latest developments in the business.

Conclusion

You may go into aquaculture at any scale – small scale, medium or large scale. It is up to you and your capital. However, whatever the mode of operation you choose, there is always an opportunity to make decent turnaround from the business. You can scale up/down as you gain more insight (and income) about (in) the business.

This article considers the basics of Aquaculture business and explains the steps for achieving a significant success in this business.

Possible Problems in Aquaculture

These include :

Bad Farm Site

Good location is necessary for a business to thrive. Ensure you set up in an easily accessible location.

Climate

As much as possible control the water temperature in the pond. A rise in water temperature can affect the survival rate of juveniles, egg production and reproduction rate, an increase of your fish farm.

Competition from Local Fishermen

You can curb this by getting whole buyers like hotel managers,  restaurant owners etc. to buy from you because local fishermen sell at low prices.

Disease

Diseases are a major threat to aquaculture, ensure you look out for any signs of sickness such as loss of appetite, sluggishness, discolouration, etc. and employ the services of a Veterinary doctor when necessary.

Important Things To Note.

  1. Attend seminars to gain knowledge from aquaculture experts.
  2. Make water available in abundant supply.
  3. Practice spot feeding to avoid water pollution.
  4. Purchase healthy Fingerlings and Juveniles.
  5. Replace water after two or three days with fresh water
  6. You can also join fish farmers associations to share ideas.
  7. You can obtain Agric loans from the government to expand your fish farm business.

This article will on this website go a long way to help you and your friends. Share it across on social media.

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How To Tame Economic Hardship and Insecurity In Nigeria

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It is not enough to know that times are hard. You need the know-how on how to get out of hard times and harsh economic conditions. Yes, times are hard in Nigeria, and so is it elsewhere. Amidst the hard times, people still survive. The question, therefore, is, “how?”. That is, how can I survive in Nigeria despite the harsh economic and social climate? That is what we are here to find out. Come with me, let us walk this walk together.

In this discussion, I will show you about 5 simple, yet trusted ways to survive the hard times in this country. But before I get into the details, please realize one thing, and that is the fact that nowhere is like home. Nigeria is a land blessed with enormous potentials for success.

Anyone with the dexterity of a hustler and a die-hard commitment to succeed who succeeds here can succeed anywhere. So, sharpen your mind to conquer the hard times here, so you can stand tall and face the world. The survival quest is a mental game, it is a game of the mind. Once you win your mind, you win everything.

So, come on, let us win this monster called hard times in Nigeria.

How To Tame Economic Hardship and Insecurity In Nigeria

How To Tame Economic Hardship and Insecurity In Nigeria

Make Wise, Calculative Financial Decisions

Since you are knowledgeable of the present hard times in Nigeria, as indicated in contemporary economic and social realities, there is, therefore, the need to make calculated decisions, especially as touching matters of finance. The decisions of today, no matter how minute and seemingly insignificant, that will decide how far you will go tomorrow.

There is something called the scale of preference, against which you rank your needs from the most pressing to the least important. This scale could be a mental painting or a jotting on a paper which shows what should come first and what should follow in the quest to satisfying your needs.

You could arrange your scale of preference on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or daily basis. It will really help you in the area of financial management and decision making. Create one right now if you’ve not gotten any yet. It will really help you deal with the attitude of impulse buying.

Value Every Money That Comes To You

There is need to be conservative with spending. Every denomination and pay counts. However, the money gets to you, value it. No denomination is valueless, so valueless that it cannot buy something, no matter how small the product or service is. Careless spending should be avoided as fast as possible.

There is no such thing as more money in the bank, hence room should be opened for spree-spending. Do not put your money in a bag filled with holes by going into things like gambling, betting with huge amounts of money. Every kobo counts. So, value every money that comes to you.

Save More And Spend Less

Develop the attitude of saving more and spending less. Yes, everyone loves to spend, but not everyone loves to save. But when you save money, you are securing yourself and your future from impending disaster. The best time to start saving money and spending less is now.

Saving is an attitude that must be cultivated or grown with time, especially for those who are not used to it. It takes away the false sense of security and gives you hope of a secured financial status.

The mentality of squandering all before the next salary comes should be incinerated. The salary, of course, may not come again, or even if it comes, may be delayed. So, what do you do when things unexpected happen? You fall back on your savings. What happens in a situation where you did not have any savings? You will experience a double version of hard times. That is why it is advisable to develop the attitude of saving for a secured future.

Keep Off Late Night Movements

Knowing very well the nature of Nigeria’s terrain, especially at night, it is inadvisable to engage in any form of business during the dark due to the activities of the men of the underworld during such times. It is very risky to flaunt this directive, given its negative repercussive effect. Late night meetings and transactions should be avoided, while jobs and offices should not be so far away from the home, to avoid the chances of returning home very late at night.

Keep Off Late Night Movements

Steer Clear Of Areas That Are Security-Breached

Try as much as possible to steer clear of security-breached parts of town or city. This includes conflict areas, areas prone to kidnapping and armed robbery, violence etc. such areas exists in every town. So, try and find out by asking around. Be vigilant. Do not take laws into your hands.

Take The Security Of Your Home Very Seriously

Take it upon yourself to guard your home vigilantly. Beware of assumptions. That you’ve not been robbed before is not a guarantee that armed robbers will not come visiting one day. What if they come? Where you have put security measures in place against their visit, you have nothing to worry. This includes having police and other security agents’ contacts, alarm systems, burglary-proof doors and windows, protectors, movement and crime detectors, as well as CTVV cameras.

Do A Careful Examination Of Commercial Vehicles Before You Board Them

Safety, especially when it comes to commercial transportation cannot be relegated to the background. As is commonly said, “it is better to be safe than sorry”. So, before you board any vehicle, take your time to crosscheck the vehicle especially the occupants. If your spirit or intuition does not tally with what is going on, kindly desist from it. shine your eyes very well before you board any bus.

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How To Start Short Code Business in Nigeria

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But if not short code business, then what else would sell faster to a country with over 200 million people? Here, we have more than. In this statistic, a large fragment or proportion of the population send and receive. This makes short code business the preferred business destination, given the large and ready population. Our detailed and well explained guide on How To Start Short Code Business in Nigeria.

At present, over 150million Nigerians own or make use of GSM phones which are capable of sending and receiving text messages in the form of Multimedia Messages (MMS), and/or Short Mobile Messages (SMS). A Short code message is a subset of SMS. Short code are numbers shorter than full numbers which can be used to address wireless SMS and MMS messages from mobile phones or fixed lines. E.g. 33383 (Nigerian Communications Act, 2003)

How To Start Short Code Business in Nigeria

Why Start Short code business?

When you receive a short code message and you subscribe to the product/service prescribed in the message, a percentage of your fee goes to the service providers while the remainder goes to the third party (individual or business entity) who initiates and provides the service. That is the business of Short code business.

If you are considering a viable business to start or another line of business to go into with good returns on investment, then go for Short code business. In this guide, I take you through the business of short code business – steps to the business in Nigeria and how to make good profits from it.

Categories of Short Codes

Below are the 2 main categories of short codes:

  1. Shared or associated short codes:
  2. Dedicated short codes:

Shared or associated short codes:

In Shared or associated short codes are short codes, multiple brands pull their resources together to setup and finance the short code service. The profits from the business are then stared according to an agreed sharing formula.

Small business owners who cannot bear the running costs of short code service may subscribe to this service as it takes the burden of financing the entire project off the shoulders.

Dedicated short codes:

Here, individual brands own and manage the short codes and are cater to the starting, running and maintenance costs and fees of the short code service.

Forms of short Codes.

Short codes can be used in the following ways:

  • Text to win promos: here, the user is required to text a particular word to a certain 4,5 or 6 digits number to stand a chance to win a prize. e.g. Text Chelsea FC to 33842 for a free ticket to watch FA cup final at Emirates. Or Simply dial *5966# to get started on the Prudential Zenith Hospital cash plan today. T&C applies.
  • SMS Voting: These are short codes are otherwise referred to as “opinion polls” and are mostly used for on social or political causes. i.e., Text “Ahmad” to 1887 to vote “Ahmad Chinedu”
  • Mobile Banking: These short codes are used for carrying out financial transactions.
  • Social Surveys: just like SMS voting, social surveys short codes are used by experts like researchers to elicit public opinion via social surveys which data is used to validate or falsify research studies.
  • Health Tips: Short codes are used to share information on health tips.
  • Prize draws
  • Business and Financial tips.
  • Validation of pinsg. ATM pins, Mobile token etc.
  • Charity donation

Reasons Why Short Codes Are Preferred

Short codes are preferred because

  1. The numbers are easy to remember.
  2. Short codes engage prospective customers
  3. They aid sales.
  4. They provide authentic data for a cause – research, politics, social opinion, etc.

Profitability of Short Code Business In Nigeria:

Short code business is without a doubt very highly profitable. Imagine what you stand to gain if 2 to 5% of the number of GSM subscribers in Nigeria (over 150 million people) subscribe to your offer through short code service. You could be earning millions in a matter of days.

How to Start a Short Code Business in Nigeria

The steps are outlined below:

1.                  Create a Business Plan:

Just like any other business, you need a business plan. This will helps you to chart the course of your business effectively. If your business is registered, your business plan should have your business name and a detailed documentation of the strategies you intend to implement to make profits and sustain the business.

3.                  Follow the Rules of the Business:

The Nigerian Communications Act 2003 documents the rules and regulation governing Short codes business in Nigeria. Endure you study and abide by the tenets of the business and contained in the Act. Failure to abide by these rules may result in serious consequences.

4.                  Define your Target Audience:

Just like there are different kinds of short codes, there are different categories of customers which a short code business targets. Your choice of audience should be determined by the kind of information you intend to disseminate.

5.                  Choose your unique keyword:

When choosing Keywords, go for ones that are easy to remember and I related to the idea you intend to convey in your short code messages. Your keyword must lie between the 4-11 characters.

6.                  Choose your short code setup company:

There are many short code setup companies in Nigeria to choose from. You are free to choose any one of your choice. However, the popular ones include supreme short codes guarantyshortcode.com, and online advertisingng.com.

Things to Consider Before You before choosing a Start a Short Code Business Company In Nigeria:

Undoubted, there are several short code setup companies in Nigeria to choose from. However before you choose a company, endeavor to check for the following:

  1. The terms and conditions, price of the setup company and network operators as well as
  2. Setup company’s Conflict resolution portfolio/strategies should any issue arise in future.
  3. Quality of information provided by setup company and network operators.
  4. The level/quality of service provided by the short code company.

Extra ways to Make More Money From Short Code Business in Nigeria

Another way to make money from short code business besides the percentage royalties you earn from users subscription is to use the subscribers numbers for bulk SMS business. Here, you may choose to resell the subscribers contacts to third parties or use it to market your products.

Nigeria Short Code Business Marketing/Profitability Tips

  1. Market your short code business aggressively
  2. Put in place efficient customer care/support system to attend to subscribers issues
  3. Share relevant information to help your subscribers maximize the benefits of your service.
  4. Invest your time into building this business.
  5. Leverage the income streams your short code business provides to grow the business or supplement your startup capital with.

Conclusion

Friend Nigeria’s business climate is generally turbulent, somewhat complex and highly competitive. It could be daunting to start and sustain a credible business in Nigeria if you lack the proper clue in business management. That is why I recommend prospective business owners to have some knowledge of business management to augment their skill base. To reap great benefits from this business, a sound understanding of the target market is very important. Go into business for the right reason – to meet a need and prepare to surmount all hurdles that may spring up. With the right mindset and strategy, you can start and run a profitable short code business in Nigeria today.

This article is just a brief on what short code business entails. I invite you to do your own detailed research on the business to find out more.

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