Tag - entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips: The Instructive Guide

Every relationship needs trust building tips but seeing we are entrepreneurs let’s focus on entrepreneur trust building tips. This is not to say you can’t apply them to other types of relationships you are involved in. It might just need a little tweak.

You are probably wondering why the title says instructive guide for entrepreneurship trust building tips.

While simple they are quite elaborate.

Four kinds of relationships are essential to the success of your entrepreneurial journey.

Accordingly relationship with employees, clients, investors as well as suppliers and outsource providers.

The foundation of these relationships is “Trust”. As earlier emphasized in Trust and Entrepreneurship.

These are the days of entrepreneurial surge due to technology advancement and more people seeing the need for innovation. Therefore leading to the “entrepreneurship boom”.

As a result there’s a struggle to win customers, gain investors, keep the best employees and retain lovely suppliers.

Furthermore trust plays a huge role in successfully achieving all these.

The idea of trust may seem hard for people who have never come in contact with it in any of their relationships.

Not to fret; this article will provide you with entrepreneur trust building tips.

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips – Employees

• Reward efforts, promote at when due and encourage your staff.

• Another tip is genuinely care about your employees.

• Pay salaries and bonuses at when due. I had a boss who promised Sales Reps commissions. In over a year I spent there he never paid. Not even once. He lost the trust of his employees. They left, set up the exact business and poached his customers.

• As a business learn to endure mistakes from your employees though correct them professionally.

• Treat your employees with respect thereby gain their trust.

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips – Customers

• Ensure all your sales/ service points are working properly, updated regularly and they all have the same information.

• Existing/ Intending customers need proof that you are genuine hence testimonials. Therefore use every opportunity that presents itself to showcase testimonials from customers who bought.

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips

Customer Testimonials

You see what I did there? That’s some of our customer testimonials.

• Ensure your Customer Service is prompt and effective.

• Always surpass customer expectations; never go below their expectations.

• Your products/ services should be exactly what you said in the description. Sometime ago I ordered a handbag online, when it was eventually delivered the leather had peeled. The seller never signified that in the description. Of course I returned it and she lost my trust.

• Ensure your payment process is transparent.

• Your products/ services should be readily available.

• At all times offer value and strive to meet and surpass deadlines.

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips – Suppliers and Outsource Providers

• Stick to the terms of the contract.

• Provide good work conditions.

• Communicate effectively; avoid surprises.

• Ensure everyone understands the terms of the contract to avoid conflict.

• When you get delivery of your supplies ensure you pay at when stated in the contract. If you can’t pay inform them ahead.

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips – Investors.

• To each his own; let each investor understand what they stand to gain from investing in your venture.

• Be sincere. Don’t tweak the numbers. If business isn’t going as projected at any time; let them know.

• Pay whatever percentage was agreed on. Don’t cheat them out of their investments.

As you have read It’s not so hard to build trust.

Essential trust building ingredients are openness, sincerity, truthfulness and straight forwardness.

To be trusted you need to be trustworthy.

No one will gift you their trust. It’s very expensive.

In conclusion you should earn the trust of the people you will be in an entrepreneur relationship with. When earned it’s hard to lose but when lost it’s hard to rebuild.

Please share in the comments other tips you know entrepreneurs can use to build trust in their business relationships.

Entrepreneur Creed

Entrepreneur Creed : 10 Tested Ways To Be A Focused Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur creed: The guiding principle on your journey to being a successful entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur Creed as written by Thomas Paine.

I do not wish to be a kept citizen.
Humbled and dulled by having the
State look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk
To dream and to build.
To fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole
I prefer the challenges of life
To the guaranteed existence

The thrill of fulfillment
To the stale calm of Utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence

Nor my dignity for a handout.

I will never cower before any master
Nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect.
Proud and unafraid.

To think and act for myself
To enjoy the benefit of my creations

And to face the world boldly and say
This, with God’s help, I have done

All this is what it means
To be an Entrepreneur.”

         Thomas Paine, 1776

You can’t talk about being an entrepreneur without referencing the “Father” of the entrepreneur creed; Thomas Paine.

Entrepreneur Creed

Thomas Paine

A creed simply defined is a set of beliefs that guides the actions of a person or group.

Entrepreneur Creed is a bunch of ethics you live by as an entrepreneur.

I can’t promise you a safe sail on the waters of entrepreneurship but I can guarantee that following this entrepreneur creed to the letter will save you from going under.

Here are 10 important tenets to guide you on your entrepreneur journey.

1. Pick a business, stay focused and understand it. Know it in and out. Conquer it before branching out.

If you keep trying you will get the honey from the bee

2. Understand your clients. Know what they buy from you and why they prefer yours.

3. Hire professional managers. Ensure you have the right people on your bus. They get you to your destination faster. Hire people that are smarter than you.

4. Put in place strong financial and administration controls. Ensure you have an internal auditor.

5. Constantly research the market on pricing. You don’t want to charge way less and you shouldn’t be over board as well.

6. Don’t spend too much money on office space especially if you are just starting. Be street smart.

7. Have a strategic business plan and regularly review it. This is to keep your destination in mind even if you sometimes derail.

8. Keep proper record of every transaction. A dubious customer may act funny. Be prepared. Keep track of every activity.

9. Make sure there’s a job description for every position. Learn to delegate and automate where necessary. Pay parallel to the job description.

10. Set performance milestones for yourself and your team. This is how to measure progress efficiently and motivate. Award the best and keep promises made for outstanding performance.

I once had a boss that promised to pay commissions to Sales Reps. Performance decreased after they realized he made empty promises.

Entrepreneur ethics such as these will make your entrepreneurial journey remarkable.

As an entrepreneur what creed do you live by? Please do tell by joining the conversation.

Factors Affecting Entrepreneurship

7 Factors Affecting Entrepreneurship: Useful Tips You Need To Know

What are the factors affecting entrepreneurship development in our clime?

To discuss the factors affecting entrepreneurship in our clime it is only fair to define entrepreneur and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneur simply defined is a person who organizes and manages a business with considerable initiative and risk.

Also defined as a person who starts and nurtures a small business, assumes all the risk and reward of a given business venture.

The entrepreneur is commonly seen as a business leader, an innovator of new ideas and business processes. Also good at detecting new business opportunities.

Entrepreneurship has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business. It could start as offering a product or service for sale or hire.

Entrepreneurship reduces unemployment and stagnation in the economy. Also increases the competitiveness and growth of businesses.

Hence entrepreneurship development (ED) is the use of entrepreneurial behavior and the dynamics of business set-up to develop and expand an enterprise.

Entrepreneurship development refers to the process of improving entrepreneurial knowledge and skills through structured training and programs.

It aims to increase the base of entrepreneurs in order to speed up the pace at which new ventures are established.

Entrepreneurship development focuses on the individual who wishes to start or expand a business.

It concentrates on growth and innovation. Urging more people to become entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship development accelerates employment creation and translates to sustainable economic development of any society due to entrepreneurs being the driving force of any society.

The success of entrepreneurship in any society depends on a number of factors asides having the attributes of successful entrepreneurs.

Factors Affecting Entrepreneurship

Training Entrepreneurs

The factors are classified thus for easy assimilation.

• INDIVIDUAL FACTORS

These factors directly influence the individual entrepreneur:

– Ability to capitalize ideas

This is the ability to turn ideas into income.

– Creativity and Knowledge

Do you see solutions or do you see problems? Being an entrepreneur entails being able to proffer solutions to problems.

– Opportunities

Do you recognize an opportunity when you see one or do you complain all day?

– Parental Influence and Background

In cases where parents or close relatives are successful entrepreneurs you are easily influenced to tow that line.

– Ability to Plan

As an individual your ability to make plans will help keep you in business even when all seems to be going up in flames.

– Funding

Financing is a big part of being an entrepreneur. Your ability to finance the business and also draw investors in is a big one because the lifeline of any business is capital.

– Hardwork and Persistence

Persistence and perseverance will keep you going after all the no’s you get at every turn. This determines your continuity. Giving up means closing shop.

– Ability to Manage and Minimize Risk

No successful entrepreneur made it without taking risks. How willing are you to take risks? Also how far can you go?

Ability to identify risks worth taking saves time and precious resources.

• PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS

– Need for achievement

Some people become entrepreneurs to prove a point that they can also achieve something.

– Idea Driven

Some individuals are idea filled and always have the urge to experiment. This should be accompanied with the ability to turn the ideas to cash.

– Perception and Motivation

Are you of the perception that you should determine your career path or someone else should?

• ECONOMIC FACTORS

– Market Network

Is there a ready market for your business or you have the ability to create it?

– Capital

Are loans readily available and accessible?

– Labour

What is the availability of skilled and unskilled labour?

– Raw Materials

Are the raw materials readily available or do they need to be imported?

– Industrial and Fiscal Policy

• SOCIAL FACTORS

– Society Values

Finding yourself in a society that believes in and encourages entrepreneurship also affects entrepreneurship

– Social Mobility

Are you presently located in an upward mobile society?

– Security

– Legitimacy of Entrepreneurship

– Role Models

Having successful entrepreneurs as role models is also one of the factors affecting entrepreneurship decision.

– Social Pressure

– Respect and Status

• LEGAL FACTORS

This is the State of Law and Order in every given society and what the law stipulates about any given situation.

– Income Tax Law

What does the law say about income tax?

– Labour Law

What does the law say about hiring and firing?

– Wage Law

What does the law say about the income earned?

• POLITICAL FACTORS

– Political Stability

– Ideology and Policies of Government

– Change in Government

– Government Actions

Actions of the government of the day can either favor entrepreneurs or not. Presently the actions taken by the government in power is not favourable.

– Lack of Government Support

• CULTURAL FACTORS

– Lifestyle

– Values

– Behavior

Conclusion

Factors affecting entrepreneurship either have positive or negative effects. It is their positive effect that contributes to the development of entrepreneurship in any given society promoting economic development. Dependent on the government, society and individual alike.

Do you know more factors affecting entrepreneurship? Kindly join the conversation to share.

 

Unemployment Crisis

Warning! Unemployment Crisis Is On The Rise

Did you see the unemployment crisis statistics as released by The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)?

The latest report released by The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Nigeria’s unemployment crisis worsened in the 1st quarter of 2016 rising to 12.1%.

The population of unemployed Nigerians increased by 518,000 to over 1.45 million.

While the economically active or working age population increased from 105.02 million in the last quarter of 2015 to 106 million by the end of March 2016.

Likewise the actual population of people able and actively looking for jobs increased by 1.99%, from 76.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 78.4 million in the first quarter of 2016.

The NBS said the total number people in full time employment or for at least 40 hours a week, decreased by 528,148 persons or 0.97%.

Unemployment Crisis

Huge Scale Layoffs

Additional 1.53 million economically active persons joined the labour force between January 1 and March 31, 2016.

Unemployment Crisis

No Job Experience – No Job

The number of underemployed or not fully engaged for at least 20 hours during the period, increased by 607,613 persons.

Coupled with that underemployment rate increased by 18.7% (14.41 million) in the last quarter of 2015 to 19.1% in the first quarter of 2016 (15.02 million persons).

NBS opined that the failure of government to meet its target of 1.5 million jobs worsened the unemployment crisis.

Consequently it would have kept the unemployment rate at a constant 10.4%

Entrepreneurs and Unemployment Crisis.

The present economic recession is as a result of a larger part of our population being employees not entrepreneurs.

History always repeat itself. The present economic situation is a repeat of the mid 80’s. Jobs were lost due to the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP).

Entrepreneurs contributed to salvaging the situation. Take a cue.

Having many entrepreneurs in a country ensures enough cash in circulation. Money in circulation translates to developmental projects.

Therefore problems such as high rate of poverty, youth and graduate unemployment, over-dependence on imported goods, Low economic growth and development stem from our inability to breed entrepreneurs.

Schumpeter (1947), who was probably the first major economist to analyze the role of entrepreneurship in economic development, attributed innovation to entrepreneurs. Little wonder we lack innovation.

At all levels we need to call for addition of entrepreneurial education to our school curriculum.

The educational system presently teaches students to be employees and not innovators. Education worldwide has moved beyond that. Ours is just archaic.

I have severally asked how significant what is taught in our schools is. Churning out graduates without creating employment is madness.

Insanity is also waiting for the government to provide jobs with statistics like these.

Presently the challenge is to provide willing young people with support (Finance and Structure) and the environment they need to make their ambitions realities.

In conclusion entrepreneurship will not solve our economic crisis in a flash but it is a step in the right direction.

Time to be an entrepreneur is NOW. Create jobs so you can reduce the numbers of the unemployed in our society.

Become an entrepreneur not a statistic.

PS: Be kind enough to share this article on social media. It starts with you.

 

Ergonomics Tips For Your Workplace

10 Ergonomics Tips You Should Know As An Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur if you do not know these ergonomics tips you are setting yourself up for failure.

Ergonomics and entrepreneurship work hand in hand. Entrepreneurship cannot fully be discussed if it’s not done in conjunction with ergonomics. This said let us dissect these ergonomics tips, its benefits to your business and your loss if you do not take cognizance of it.

As an entrepreneur you need to understand ergonomics and its benefits not just to you but also to your staff and customers.

Ergonomics is the science of understanding human interaction with other elements of a system to optimize human well-being and the system’s performance.

It is also the understanding of how human factors and environmental factors interact.

How the human, equipment and environment fits. The process of ensuring the work environment fits the well-being of employees and not forcing employees to work under conditions that affect their health adversely.

As an entrepreneur ergonomics is necessary to study how the human factor, technology (equipment, furniture, pace of work) and environment (office, work space, market place) suit each other to give the customer the best experience.

They are all interwoven; how comfortable the position you sit at work is, how long you sit at a stretch, the amount of time spent performing each task, how long you stand at a stretch, the position of your desk and chair, the position of the PC or laptop and the level of your productivity.

As an entrepreneur your business is people based therefore it is important to empathize with people (staff, contractors and clients). To ensure that your staff and contractors work under the best conditions which in turn allows them to better satisfy the customers.

Ergonomics Tips For Your Workplace

Ergonomics Tips For Your Workplace

There are a lot of write ups online as to how ergonomics benefits the entrepreneur but I am taking it a step further to say it also affects and benefits the customers. Anything that helps to increase efficiency of staff will have a ripple effect on the customer and business. Benefits such as:

  • Ergonomics increases productivity and efficiency. Also makes you and everyone involved in the business healthy.
  • Ergonomics when applied to your work environment helps you to reduce or totally avoid Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) especially for home based businesses.

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a work related condition in which pains and impairment are caused to the body due to prolonged and             excessive repetitive actions, typically to the tendons and muscles involved.

  • Designing your office ergonomically does not just keep you in good health but it makes you take less time off work thereby allowing you more time to perform tasks. Spending more time to work smartly increases productivity thereby creating satisfactory customer experience.

Most people running a home based business tend to take things for granted and work from their couch or bed forgetting the long term effects of this on their back, shoulder, hands, waist and neck. These ergonomics tips are to help you realize that doing this is wrong on all levels. Rather create a work space in your home.

I have personal experiences as to the work place not being ergonomically arranged. I worked at an aviation services company where I did not sit properly and had to sit for long hours on end.

Before each day ended I would have splitting headaches, eye ache and excruciating back and waist pain. I popped a lot of painkillers to dull the pain.

I reported this often but no solution was provided so each day ended in pains. Overtime I snapped a lot and lost interest in my job.

The funny thing is the company had a Health, Safety and Environment Management (HSE) document but it did not include anything about ergonomics. The questions are how current were they and how concerned about the employees were they?

I also worked at an Agro- allied company where we sat hours on end staring at the computer screen at awkward angles. The result; excruciating pain. I kept looking for a masseuse to straighten me out week in week out.

This company did not even have provisions for HSE (Health, Safety and Environment Management) or a Safety Manager despite being a manufacturing company. No consideration for the well-being of the staff.

As an entrepreneur you should regularly review the work conditions of your staff and contractors to make sure it does not affect their health. Conditions such as:

• Sitting in the same position for more than two hours at a time.

• Handling heavy objects for hours on end.

• Being in awkward positions for more than two hours at a time.

• Performing the same motion for more than two hours at a time.

• Staring at the laptop or PC screen for long hours.

Being ergonomic can be quite expensive for small and medium businesses especially in terms of purchasing ergonomics furniture but on the long run it is quite cheap.

It is cheaper in terms of staff not staying away from work to treat ailments thereby getting more work done.

As an entrepreneur it is left to you to decide if the initial costs of ergonomics in your business is worth it. Though it is important for you to realize early on that it is a long term investment.

For the good of everyone when designing your work space do not let aesthetics be the bane rather focus on investing in the well-being of everyone. Thereby resulting in the happiness of your customers due to buying from a company that has happy staff and not grumpy ones.

You can make changes with these ergonomics tips to ensure this. These 10 ergonomics tips are widely agreed upon by ergonomics experts:

• Learn to take breaks, walk around, stand for a while and interchange the hand that clicks the mouse.

• Make the sitting area quite comfortable. Choose a chair that supports your spinal curves. Sit in a way that allows your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest. Also ensure your thighs are parallel to the floor.

• Ensure the desks are positioned such that your upper arms are vertically hanging while typing at your keyboard.

• Upon returning to your seat after each break alternate your posture so some of the tissue elasticity that protects the joints can return.

• Place the phone on speaker or use a headset if you have to talk on the phone and type at the same. Do not cradle the phone between your head and neck.

• Keep underneath the desk clear; create space for your knees, thighs and feet. If the desk is too low and not adjustable place boards or blocks under the desk legs. Also solve this by raising your chair.

• Ensure the monitor is directly in front of you precisely an arm’s length away. The screen top should be at or a little below eye level.

• Position the monitor so that the brightest light source is to the side thereby you avoid reflections. Use screens of good quality.

• Look away from the computer screen every 15-20 minutes to relax and readjust your eyes.

• Ensure that the computer is not backed by light from a window or bright light.

It will surprise you that little changes as these will tremendously improve your work conditions.

As a leader in the work place it is left to you to educate your staff on ergonomics tips and its benefits. This gives them the assurance that you do not just need them to make you money but you also need them to be healthy while at it. Thereby increasing their confidence in you as an employer. Once you have their confidence as an employer you automatically get the best of them. When this happens you know the rest of the story.

The relationship between ergonomics and entrepreneurship cannot be overlooked. Hence it is imperative you explore it and its benefits.

If you have tried other ergonomics tips that worked kindly tell us in the comments section.

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Saving A Dying Business

How to Save a Dying Business

We have identified what signs to look out for to know if a business is dying but why wait till the business plunges when we can be observant in the daily operation of the business. Even when you see the signs that you have a dying business on your lap it is still not enough reason to pack up shop rather it is a wake up call to ensure all your efforts and resources does not go to waste.

You can still make that dying business a success. Here are some proven tested ways to turn around a dying business before it hits rock bottom.

  • Identify exactly where the business is presently and what it needs. Does it need a face lift or total overhauling? This is when you decide to either Pivot (it could be to change the direction of the business, your marketing strategy, customer care strategy, your customer base, your products and services or your business model. It entails your team identifying what exactly needs to be changed and what it should be changed to for results) or Persevere (continue as you have been doing knowing fully well you are on the right track). I recommend “Lean Startup” by Eric Ries for better understanding.
  • Re-brand your products and services to re-position your business and overhaul the impressions customers have formed about your business.
  • Focus by narrowing down your products and services. Carve out your niche to help streamline your resources and ensure you get one thing right at a time.
  • Revisit your Customer Care practice. You will be surprised at what something as little as Customer Care can do to your dying business.
  • In this period the 20% of your customers that bring in 80% of your business (check Pareto Principle for that) should not be left in the dark as to what is happening. Be open to them, they just might know who or what your dying business needs for that turnaround.
  • Before you come up with a new Business or Marketing Plan seek and re-evaluate your customer’s view on what needs they expect your business to meet because overtime your customers’ tastes will change and you need to change with it if you still want to remain in business.
  • Cut off the bad debts customers, the ones that do not pay on time and the high maintenance cost customers.
  • Ruthlessly cut down costs and unnecessary expenses the business may have incurred over time. Close down the branches that are not generating income.
  • Set up a team to investigate your marketing strategy; change it if the need arises (most likely you will need to).
  • Read and Research everything you can find on your niche of business.
  • Qualification and Management: Are the people in your management team qualified for the job or did they get it on a man know man basis? If not it is high-time you overhauled them and employ qualified hands.
  • Bring in a tried and trusted Consultant to give you a third party view on what needs to be done. This is essential since they will not attach sentiments and immediately see what is wrong with the business.
  • Get a good legal representative if you do not already have one to advise you on every step you intend to take so as not to incur costs by being sued.
  • Motivate your employees; their morale and self confidence could drastically be affected as soon as they start noticing the decline in business. Motivating them will bring back the can-do spirit they once had. At all cost ensure you keep the high performance managers and employees.
  • Communication is key. Make sure you run an open house especially to key players in your business.
  • Lastly if you have done your best and still could not revive the dying business sell it off to more capable hands and try a new idea with the proceeds you make from the sales. The idea is to never give up as an entrepreneur. The big names you hear today made a lot of failures before they made the successful business you know about.