Tag - Entrepreneurial Education

Secrets of Leadership : 9 Traits of Effective Leaders

Traits of effective leaders. I can bet this has crossed your mind on several occasions. It won’t be surprising you stay up late asking what makes business leaders so effective?

 

Steve Jobs’ effective leadership took Apple to where it is. Elon Musk took SpaceX and Tesla to its heights. Likewise, Mark Zuckerberg took Facebook global and Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos made it huge.

 

“When you were made a leader, you weren’t given a crown; you were given the responsibility to bring out the best in others”. – Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric.

 

Thence looking at these successful entrepreneurs something about them jumps right at you. You realize they have the traits of effective leaders. You look at yourself and wonder if you have those traits as well.

 

Also it’s no secret that a business or an organization needs an effective leader to succeed. However, don’t beat yourself up thinking you don’t have these traits. You do. The traits are buried within, you only need to look deep within to bring them to the surface.

 

Traits of Effective Leaders

I can tell you for free that if you have the following traits be rest assured you have what it takes to effectively lead your minions.

 

  • Motivational and Self-motivated

This leader influences you and gives you a strong reason to act or accomplish something. Likewise, they are motivated to do or achieve something due to their own enthusiasm and interest, without pressure from others.

 

Traits of effective leaders

 

  • Empathy

This is the ability to understand and share what another is feeling. The capacity to place oneself in another’s position. In addition they are personable, have high emotional intelligence and very compassionate.

 

  • Visionary

An effective leader has unique and original ideas about the future. With imagination he makes wise plans for the future. Also, empowers others.

 

  • Self-reflection

Equally important is self-reflection. This trait allows you to have serious thoughts about your character and actions. It gives you the ability to combine instinct (intuition) with facts. And such leaders are willing to learn.

 

  • Dauntless

An effective leader is fearless and determined. Confident, poise, courageous and stares down the naysayers. He hangs in there even when others around him say it can’t be done.

 

  • Adaptability

Being able to adjust to new conditions no matter the circumstances. Effective business leaders know how to drive through failure and make it work.

 

  • Excellent Communication Skills

The traits of an effective leader entail the ability to write and speak in clear and simple terms without compounding issues in time of crisis.

 

Traits of effective leaders

  • Creativity

The use of imagination or original ideas to create something new that adds value. It could be in terms of product, services or the standard of operating the organization.

 

  • Ethics

This trait entails the moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour most especially in a business environment. How do you comport yourself as a leader? Are you worthy of emulation? Or do you let everyone in your fold run wild?

 

There are different styles of leadership. No two leaders are the same, but the traits of an effective leader are the same across board. These traits aren’t necessarily inborn but they can be developed. Growing these traits takes you closer to being an effective business leader.

 

Additionally it takes an effective business leader among other things to make a business succeed.

Business idea is not a business opportunity

A Business Idea Is Not A Business Opportunity: The Difference

A business idea is not a business opportunity. Have you heard this before and thought well it can’t be true?

As a business owner or aspiring business owner repeat this to yourself for emphasis:

A business idea is not a business opportunity.

There are differences as you will see in a minute.

But first

What Is A Business Idea?

Every successful business starts with a powerful business idea. When establishing a business the first step is having an idea. Which anyone can come up with. So not just any idea but a promising one.

The characteristics of a promising business idea are:

  • Innovative – Has it been done before or are you improving on what’s been done?
  • Unique – What’s the USP (Unique Selling Point)? How’s it different from the competition’s? Does the value differentiate yours from your competition’s?
  • Problem solving – What problem does it help the customer solve? What does the client benefit?
  • Profitable – Will it earn money? Will it cover the costs and more? It has to be profitable on the long-term.

Business idea is not a business opportunity

  • Market – Is there a market for it? Are you creating a market? Will your created market willingly accept and adapt the idea? A promising business idea must offer a product or service that would be accepted by a large market.

Business Opportunity

The opportunity to make income as a business owner. It’s an existing and well packaged business investment that allows the buyer to profit from a business idea.

Elements of a business opportunity

  • A need.
  • The means to fulfill the need.
  • A method to apply the means to fulfill the need.
  • A method to benefit.

A business idea is not a business opportunity except it has been proven to make profit. Because an idea is just an idea till there’s return on investment (ROI). Then it evolves into an opportunity.

Though business ideas are innovative no one will continue to sponsor a money losing venture.

A business idea is not a business opportunity till it’s able to answer the following questions:

  • Will the product or service add significant value (benefits) to the end user?
  • How many people will buy the product/ service?
  • Will the business be profitable? Is there an apparatus in place to ensure the business breaks even and also makes profit within 12 months – 36 months?Business idea is not a business opportunity

 

  • Do you have the money to start and operate this business? Because the capital invested must be realistic and affordable for you.
  • Does it have the potential for residual income?
  • Does it have a low level of liability risk and high level of returns?
  • Will the business idea fit into the four basic capital factors: human capital (the staff you employ, skills and abilities you acquired during your career); sociological capital (your networks and support groups); psychological capital (your attitudes, values, opinions and beliefs); and financial capital.
  • Are you ready and willing to drive the business to success? You must be very enthusiastic.
  • Will it improve with time?
In Conclusion

Reading through this you have seen a business idea is not a business opportunity. Rather a business idea evolves into an opportunity.

So how does a business idea evolve into an opportunity? Through conducting market research on your idea, feasibility study, writing a business plan and working with a business team to ensure its success.

Do share your thoughts in the comments. 

Does Knowledge Come At A Price? Think Remarkable Results For Your Business

As an entrepreneur does knowledge come at a price?

What do you think is a fair price to pay for knowledge? What’s the highest monetary value you are willing to exchange for knowledge that will improve your business?

How far would you go to acquire knowledge that will boost your business? Or will you continue to do things as you have always done without results?

You are probably wondering why I’m asking these questions. Well I had an experience that got me thinking and prompted me to ask.

Does knowledge come at a price?

A friend called me to say his cousin started fish farming without prior knowledge and needed my help. So I asked to speak with him.

Does knowledge come at a price

He handed the phone to his cousin and a conversation ensued between us.

I asked him what the problem was. And realized that without experience of any sort he got into fish farming. He had managed to rear them for four months and had sold a portion.

He didn’t even know he was meant to have a scale to measure the fish for sale. Thence the guy that bought it capitalized on his ignorance and cheated him.

Likewise he was feeding them wrongly, using the size of feed that wasn’t age appropriate and he didn’t know fish was sold per Kg. Amongst other things he didn’t know.

I gave him some nuggets to acquaint himself with the basics. The major problem required I get to his farm to see things for myself and tell him what he could do to solve the problem.

Because his farm is quite a distance from me I asked he pay my transport fare and also buy me lunch. Since I will be at his farm for a while answering his questions.

Does Knowledge Come At A Price

He thanked me for the free info I had given him saying it was enough to turn around things on his farm. And he would keep experimenting as he had been doing previously. With the hope he will eventually get things right.

I was marveled because his previous ways had cost him some loss running to thousands. Rather than give me less than a tenth of it he was willing to incur more loss.

He wasted resources trying to do fish farming without prior experience when he could have just paid a consultant/ experienced person to learn the basic stuff.

Madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

So I respected his decision and minded my business.

I later realized I had given too much information for free. I guess it’s because I was doing a friend a favour.

He preferred his money going down the drain to paying for my services. So it got me thinking that does knowledge come at a price?

How much are you willing to pay to acquire knowledge for your business success. And wouldn’t you rather save some money while still seeking knowledge the right way?

Would you rather choose to let money go down the drain playing guessing games or would you pay a fair price for knowledge?

I would love to read your thoughts in the comment section.

Sick And Tired? Here Is My Hack To Deal With Entrepreneur Anxiety

As an entrepreneur at one point or the other you have to deal with entrepreneur anxiety.

Business and entrepreneurship has always been my thing. Right from elementary school I just wanted to buy and sell.

I bought sweets\ candies to resell. I wrote stories and got a boy to draw cartoons for me which I sold.

Though I didn’t sell much while in secondary school I did a lot of trade by barter. If I had or could do something I gave it in exchange for what I needed.

In the university I sold everything from costume jewelry, self-made beaded jewellery, G-strings, cosmetics to clothes. I encouraged my male colleagues to buy gifts for their female friends and relatives so they could buy something from me. I just sold and sold.

My National Youth Service Days (NYSC) weren’t left out. I didn’t stop selling. I even sold my personal stuffs for the right price when people expressed interest in them.

Here I was thinking I will definitely go into business after getting my degree. Hence my being a serial entrepreneur.

But reality hit me hard when I moved back home after my NYSC. My parents were on my case to get a real job and start earning.
I tried all I could to convince them to let me do business to no avail.

So four months later I started working but I couldn’t continue my business due to pressure from the job.

And that’s when the anxiety first started due to the stress of juggling my business with a job.

I realized I had to deal with entrepreneur anxiety.

Deal with entrepreneur anxiety

Finally after four years of being an employee I’m finally doing my own thing. My parents are still on my case though but I’ve grown a thicker skin.

People say I’m lucky doing my own thing forgetting I’m carrying quite a heavy burden on my shoulders. I’m performing several job roles to reduce cost as a small business.

I’m in the agriculture sector which means I don’t make an income regularly like everyone else.
It doesn’t mean I don’t pay bills in the period I don’t earn (business and personal).

Likewise there have been times I didn’t even earn my cost price talkless of profits due to things beyond my control.

But I keep trudging on because I can’t afford to give up. And I just deal with entrepreneur anxiety that these situations cause.

Also I get rejected and turned down after pitching to a client. There are days I just roam the house in my house wear devising means of how to get out of my latest rut. So yes it gets real.

This is the life of a full time entrepreneur.

As an entrepreneur people see you out there looking good but don’t know your struggles.

Deal with entrepreneur anxiety

I can’t even vent to my own parents when I’m crossing certain hurdles because they will say “didn’t we tell you to get a real job with security?”

But I finally learnt how deal with entrepreneur anxiety. It was hard at first but I kept going at it.

I can’t say I’ve fully gotten over it but it’s under control these days.

And these are the steps I took to get there:

How I Deal With Entrepreneur Anxiety

• Identify and Acknowledge

I had to consciously identify what the problem was and admit it was anxiety. At first it was scary to admit. But I understood eventually that I had to acknowledge the problem to overcome it.

• Prioritise and Plan

Prioritising my goals in order of importance helped to lessen the pressure. I plan my days ahead now and it helps tremendously.

I do the most important things first and I answer the most important mails/ messages first. If it’s not urgent I leave it for another day.

• Boycott Thinking Entirely

These days I avoid thinking entirely when I have a business related issue. I simply blank out. This was quite hard to do initially but with meditation, prayer, music, happy-ending movies and dance it got easier. I try to be mentally tough to deal with entrepreneur anxiety.

• Break Issues

Break down issues into lumps and goals into chunks. Have a go at it one after the other. Set goals daily. Now I set my goals into tasks I can accomplish daily.

• Celebrate Small Victories

And accomplishments. Be grateful. Also keep a journal (write them down). I celebrate every milestone no matter how small it seems and it really helps.

Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas said in a CBS piece that studies consistently show that people who keep a gratitude journal are 25 percent happier than those who don’t.

The people who had the gratitude journal showed increases in happiness, reductions in stress, reductions in vulnerability to physical symptoms, such as headaches.

While Wood et al examined gratitude and well being in the context of personality style using a sample of 389 adults.

In this study, gratitude was strongly linked to well being.

Thereafter the researchers concluded that gratitude has a unique relationship with life satisfaction.

• Take Breaks

Step out of isolation. Interact with friends and family. Break the cycle of work. If you are a solopreneur share office space at least for some days in the week. I’m simply saying come up for air.

• Accept Failure

Failure is bound to happen at some point but I have learnt to accept it and not dwell on it for too long.

• Seek Support

Talk a lot about the problem to people you trust that truly understand (not pretend to understand). I have a friend that I share my entrepreneurial journey with. I can vent all day and she listens without complaining or judging. But when I’m done I feel so much better.

Dealing with entrepreneur anxiety

• Decide To Enjoy The Journey

Consciously enjoy the entrepreneurial journey you have embarked on. Learn life lessons. These past few weeks have been tasking but I’ve taken it as a learning phase. It’s made me improvise and make wise money decisions.

• Eat Healthy And Exercise

Without overemphasis healthy foods and exercise just have a way of calming me down. It’s helping me greatly to deal with entrepreneur anxiety.

Deal with entrepreneur anxiety

• Use It

Finally use the anxiety to motivate you to take action as at when necessary. Now I approach anxiety as a motivator to do and achieve more.

As an entrepreneur you have to deal with not having a steady stream of income knowing fully well you have bills to pay.

These things don’t wait for you; they will steal your sleep, appetite, cause depression and suicidal thoughts etc except you nip it in the bud.

Sometimes you feel like all your efforts won’t pay off and other times you feel you can take on the world alone.

Working all hours of the week, lots of rejection, competition to outsmart and pile of bills to pay all contribute to anxiety.

You need to deal with the anxiety before it deals with you. Because it trumps creativity and as an entrepreneur you need a strong creative game to survive.

These are the things I do to deal with anxiety. Do you do other things asides these to conquer anxiety? Please let’s discuss.

Entrepreneur Anxiety: 13 Unsually Sad Similarities Between Romance And Business You Need To Know

No entrepreneur will deny the existence of entrepreneur anxiety. We may just pretend to not be affected by it.

So here I am writing about something else entirely and a funny thought crossed my mind.

I compare starting and being in a relationship with doing same in business.

And discovered the similarities between starting/ being on an entrepreneurial journey and a romantic one.

What do they have in common you ask? It’s simply anxiety.

Perhaps you have a meeting with a likely investor. Or you mixed up the data you took to the meeting with your most important client.

Or you are tackling a difficult situation that has lingered for way too long.

All these can cause entrepreneur anxiety.

As an entrepreneur, you can relate to these things. The downs and turns of the entrepreneurship rollercoaster leaving you with the feeling of anxiety for most part of the journey.

Perhaps you just asked this fine chick out that seems to be way out of your league. Or the man of your dreams walked up to you and you missed it.

Maybe your love interest dumped you for someone more exciting compared to you.
Or you woke up to a nagging lover. It could also be a communication gap.

Entrepreneur anxiety

Most people won’t tell you the friction between them and their partners when they were in the “getting to know each other” phase.

Neither will they tell you the challenges involved in maintaining that relationship.
Just as most of your entrepreneur friends won’t tell you the challenges they face(d).

They only paint you rosy pictures of entrepreneurship. Hence why you decide(d) to venture into it.

You are solely responsible for your actions in your marriage. Likewise you are solely responsible for your actions in your business.

Being an entrepreneur can be hard, stressful and lonely. This is exactly how some people feel in their relationships.

Entrepreneur Anxiety: The Similarities.

  • Starting Out

Whether you are entering a new romance or starting a business in an unfamiliar terrain. There’s always that fear of not knowing what lies ahead.

Hence you are always asking questions and second guessing every decision taken.

  • Small Things Matter

Just as recording every small victory is important to boost confidence. It’s just as important to appreciate every little thing your partner does.

  • Delegate

Doing too much will overwhelm you. Learn to delegate tasks to employees for the sake of your psychological health.

Likewise in relationships learn to shed some load off your chest and concentrate on building the romance.

  • Leadership

In a romantic relationship the man is the leader. Though I’m not talking about a master – slave relationship. But a mutually respecting relationship.

Ditto for business. The entrepreneur is the leader of the organization. And his actions/ inactions can result in entrepreneur anxiety.

When the leader isn’t effective the followers are pointless which in turn creates anxiety for the leader.

Hence it’s the leader’s priority to get the right people on board.

  • Value

What’s being brought to the table? Same way you ask what’s this lover of yours going to add to your life you ask what’s your business partner or investor going to add to your venture.

  • USP (Unique Selling Point)

What makes your business different from everyone out there? The customer should look forward to what unique thing? Why should your spouse be with you and not some random man/ woman?

  • Depression

Depression, despair, mood swings and suicidal thoughts. These happens to some people either when their heart gets broken or business takes a major downturn.

Entrepreneur anxiety

  • Lack of self confidence

A heart break or a major financial downturn always tells on self confidence. It shreds you of all positivity. It holds you back from being your happy-go, lucky self.

  • Confrontation

You would have to confront issues with your love interest. Same as your clients.

Though some people are afraid of confrontation; it’s unavoidable. This is a major cause of panic attacks and anxiety.

  • Choice

Choosing a partner. As a man you get to meet delectable ladies everyday and you are wondering which really qualifies as your mate. And that’s if she’s also going to be interested in you too or if she isn’t taken already.

In like manner in business before approaching investors you need to know if they believe in your line of business and if they will buy into your vision.

Also will that friend/ stranger agree to being your partner? Do you even have the same values? So many questions to ask.

These uncertainties can also cause some people entrepreneur anxiety.

  • Communication

How effective is your communicating skills? How well do you pass messages to your spouse or business partner/ employees without causing unnecessary chaos, fear and resistance?

Entrepreneur anxiety

  • Money

Often referred to as the root of all evil. It causes despair in relationships likewise it induces entrepreneur anxiety too.

A lot of couples have parted ways due to money issues. Similarly a lot of business partnerships/ deals had the life snuffed out of them.

  • Separation/ Divorce

You can’t talk about relationship anxiety without these. In fact some people don’t want to marry just for the fear of divorce.

In similar fashion some people dread going into business or partnerships just for the fear of having to part ways and the plethora of issues that accompanies it.

These are just a few of the causes of entrepreneur anxiety. Either directly or indirectly these can cause entrepreneur anxiety when not properly managed.

In Conclusion: Entrepreneur Anxiety

The similar causes of anxiety are communication, choice, not delegating, not taking note of small victories and separation/ divorce.

Also depression, lack of self confidence, money problems, confrontation, value, leadership, unique selling point and starting out.

Entrepreneur anxiety

I realised entrepreneur anxiety is real and unavoidable at some point. You just have to deal with it and get moving.

It’s easier to deal with if you enlist help.
What we can do is try to reduce it so it doesn’t get the best of us.

Can you think of some other similar situations between being an entrepreneur and being in a relationship that cause anxiety? Please share.

Bill Gates On Lazy People: They Increase Your Company’s Growth

Bill Gates on lazy people: I choose a lazy person to do a hard job.

Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.

Prior to now I had always related to this statement by Bill Gates on lazy people from afar.

There was really no experience for me to relate to it deeply till recently.

Personal Illustration About Bill Gates On Lazy People.

I came back from Sunday service waiting for my friend who was meant to pay me a visit.

And having waited for 3 hours whilst calling severally without response I concluded he wasn’t coming. Probably the distance and traffic had gotten to him.

I decided to carry on with the business of the day. Checking my fish ponds I noticed the water was quite dirty and smelly (quite unusual).

This was a result of me being pissed that we didn’t have electricity for almost a month now. And the fuel bill for the generator was skyrocketing (in thousands).

You can imagine using the generator everyday to change the fish pond water.

So I decided to manually change the water using buckets to fill the ponds up.

But first it needed cleaning and flushing.

I was contemplating all these in my head whilst also feeling sleepy when I heard a knock at the gate.

Bill Gates on lazy people

Feeling sleepy

Alas it was my friend bearing gifts ofcourse. He said he wasn’t picking his calls because he wanted to keep me guessing if he’ll really show up.

We go in and I allow him rest. After catching up on things I took him to the pond side.

His first comment was the pond’s water is dirty so we let out the water.

Saying nothing I went in and changed into my work clothes. I entered into the pond to scoop out the residue at the bottom.

Had to do that to make the pond cleaner since there’s no using of hose to flush the residue out.

To say my friend was shocked is an understatement. He stood there looking at me in amazement as I pranced around in all that dirt.

While I looked at him in pity because he was dressed in his Sunday’s finest with tie and all. There he was thinking how’s he supposed to help this girl.

The next thing he uttered caught my attention. He said you know I’m lazy and this task seems hard. But what’s the easiest way you think we can achieve this?

And right there it clicked. I remembered what Bill Gates said about lazy people.

Bill Gates on lazy people

Lazy Person

I said to him you are the type of person Bill Gates would love to hire.

We brainstormed and arrived at the easiest way to do the job.

I thanked him profusely and he left hours later. Not without making him something to eat ofcourse.

Afterwards I kept thinking for two days straight how to get the job done even faster and at a cost effective way too.

Which I eventually came up with. (Yay)

In Conclusion: Bill Gates On Lazy People

Bill Gates wasn’t lying when he said he will always employ a lazy person to do a difficult job at Microsoft.

Because a lazy person will always figure out an easy and fast way to do it.

Surround yourself with smart lazy people. They are efficient in cutting time cost and resources.

They always think of how to automate everything and even manual processes.

Thereby increasing your company’s growth.

Do you have any lazy people stories or experience to share? Please comment. 

 

Innovative entrepreneurship

The Ultimate Guide To Innovative Entrepreneurship

The word innovative entrepreneurship has become a cliché but we can’t stop talking about it.

Sounds like an irony, right?

Have you ever wondered what’s Innovative Entrepreneurship?

Are you one?

Do you know the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship?

Let’s start with what innovation is.

To innovate simply means to introduce new ideas, products or methods of doing things.

Therefore innovative entrepreneurship is when new ideas, products or new ways of doing things are introduced into a business.

Subsequently for efficiency and increase in productivity.

In other words it means provision of solutions.

Additionally it provides an entirely new solution as never been seen or improving on old solutions to achieve better results than previously.

For example a bluetooth earpiece that automatically increases volume when it’s moved closer to the device.

Or decreases the volume of a device when it’s moved farther from the device. (Assuming someone hasn’t done this already).

Likewise innovation in entrepreneurship is a tool to become highly competitive not a destination.

Innovation in Entrepreneurship

You are probably wondering what’s the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship.

We will get to that in a minute.

But briefly innovation is the wheel that propels entrepreneurship.

Another question is are all entrepreneurs innovative?

Here are some characteristics of innovative entrepreneurship:

  • Enhances

Significantly the performance of what it’s used with/ for is increased. It adds value.

It enhances the performance of a product, company or industry. Imagine life without Google search or Apple.

  • Disrupts

Disruptive innovation causes a dramatic turn in products, methods or services.

They raise the bar and metamorphose existing markets or establish new ones. It’s also a catalyst.

  • Eliminates

An innovation eliminates the old method of doing things or the old product once it catches on. If not totally then almost totally.

For instance the first IBM personal computer made.

  • Opportunistic

An innovation recognises the gaps in the market/ industry and fills it.

To emphasize it identifies what’s lacking and modifies it. Sees the gaps as opportunities and grabs it.

  • Advantageous

An innovation is always an improvement upon the existing one (always at an advantage).

Example is the advantages of the Whatsapp messenger over the traditional SMS.

  • Compatible

All innovations seamlessly fit within the sector they are meant for.

For example Instagram works perfectly for professionals in the Arts and Entertainment Industry.

  • Observable

An innovation is easily and readily observable to the user. The innovator makes it so to encourage adoption from early users.

Notably early users are known to evangelize for an innovation. Else what’s an innovation without adaptors.

Innovative entrepreneurship

Innovation in Entrepreneurship

Now that you can identify innovation who’s an innovative entrepreneur? And do you think all entrepreneurs are innovative?

There are no sufficient words to define an innovative entrepreneur.

Rather I will cite some characteristics of innovative entrepreneurs:

  • Visionary

An innovative entrepreneur sees things that most people don’t.

Even when others say it won’t work; they don’t give up.

  • Risk Takers

They venture into things that have never been done not minding the outcome. They are well aware of the risks but still go ahead.

  • Don’t Have A Box

Great minds think out of the box; innovative entrepreneurs don’t even have a box.

  • Education or Training

Very versed in their craft.

They acquire formal/ informal training to enable the separation of relevant and irrelevant information while creating/ developing.

  • Patience

An innovative entrepreneur doesn’t mind how long it takes. He will keep testing his innovation.

His end goal is to ensure the innovation does what it’s meant for effectively.

Hence several trials. There’s never a finished product. Improvements will always be made.

  • Proactive and Persistent

They create or control situations; they don’t react. Thus they exploit opportunities.

  • Prudent

Despite being risk takers innovative entrepreneurs are more careful and organized.

Everything is well accounted for and documented.

Innovative entrepreneurship

An Innovative Entrepreneur

Thus this leads us to the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship. And the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship.

Innovative Entrepreneurship:  Relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship relies on innovation for sustainability.

A simple way to look at the relationship is entrepreneurship needs innovation just like we need air.

Innovation is seeing what is needed and creating it. In essence infusing something new or improvements with the old.

It could be an idea, product, model, method or a service.

While entrepreneurship entails turning a great idea into a business opportunity.

Understanding this simple analysis helps us understand better the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship.

Which is imbuing new/ better ideas, products, services, methods or process into a business to give it an edge. An extra shot at sustainability and profitability.

Entrepreneurship begins with innovation and survives on innovation.

While innovation feeds on creativity and unbelievable thinking.

To innovate doesn’t always mean
inventing something new.

It could also mean changing and adding values to an existing idea, product, method or a service.

Everything above leads to the crux of this post. Which is the role of innovation in entrepreneurship.

Why is innovation so important to entrepreneurship?

  • Agent of Change

Innovation sees the problems in entrepreneurship and solves them. It changes the game.

  • Increases Competition

Due to the improvement innovation provides there’s an increase in competition between entrepreneurs.

To provide what exactly solves the customer’s problems.

  • Increases Efficiency and Profitability

Innovation is synonymous with increase in efficiency hence increase in profits.

  • Increases Opportunities

Innovation leads to discoveries which create opportunities. Thereby allowing more people gain entry into the industry.

  • Sustainability

Furthermore innovation ensures continuity and sustainability.

  • Restores Growth

With innovation comes growth. Growth of the business and market.

  • Identity

Being creative creates an identity for the entrepreneur and the organisation.

Conclusion

In summary innovation isn’t necessarily making something new. It could also mean adding something new to an already existing product, service or process.

Simply to make it more efficient thereby increasing productivity and in turn increase profitability.

Consequently innovation is what gives you an edge over your competition as an entrepreneur.

Not all business people are entrepreneurs. But when you become innovative then you become an entrepreneur.

Innovative entrepreneurs challenge problems and they draw inspiration from different ideas to solve a problem.

In conclusion they continually observe and ask thought provoking questions. Which results into what the world sees.

Do you have more information on innovation in entrepreneurship? Feel free to comment.

Entrepreneurial decision making process

This Is The Entrepreneurial Decision Making Process You Need To Know For Success

Do you feel like the entrepreneurial decision making process is complex? Here’s a breakdown.

As an entrepreneur it’s essential you have a working entrepreneurial decision making process.

To avoid making several fatal mistakes.

As much as you want to learn from your mistakes; it’s better to save time and money by not making too many.

Others have made enough to learn from.

Consequently you can’t operate at full capacity as a business unless you consistently make good decisions at the right time.

And also implement them effectively.

In addition remember that your customers make decisions as well.

A decision is a determination arrived at after consideration of some options. That’s according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Hence in simple words a decision is what you choose to do out of several or few options.

Entrepreneurial decision making process

Entrepreneur Making A Decision

For example you need to choose from several options a location for your business. You pick the one that contributes positively to your business growth.

The decisions we make take us from point A to point B. It’s what takes us from the before to the after. To a positive outcome. And what separates success from failure.

You are where you are in life because of decisions you took over the years.

Therefore as an entrepreneur you would need to take calculated risks via your decisions.

Most noteworthy is your entrepreneurial journey entails 4 decision types which we have covered.

Remember don’t take risks without doing a proper situation analysis using the SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)

The entrepreneurial decision making process is one of the most important processes you will undergo as an individual and for your business.

Hence it’s quite necessary as an individual since it’s mostly your responsibility to make decisions about everything affecting your business.

Though the effect of these decisions vary on the business; you still need to make sure you take the best decision(s) at every stage.

“The intellectual equipment needed for the job of the future is an ability to define problems, quickly assimilate relevant data, conceptualize and reorganize the information, make deductive and inductive leaps with it, ask hard questions about it, discuss findings with colleagues, work collaboratively to find solutions and then convince others.”Robert B. Reich

Entrepreneur Dialogue

Identifying the four components that are instrumental to the entrepreneurial decision making process is key.

They are:

1. Context.

This can also be referred to as the problem at hand. What needs to be decided upon.

2. Objectives.

What do you hope to achieve with your decision? Ensure you apply logic.

3. Alternatives.

Consider as many options as possible but ensure you don’t overdo it to avoid confusion. Make sure you have as much data as needed.

4. Criteria.

This involves considering your business values. The decision that matches your business values best wins.

Being an entrepreneur will cause you to wear different hats.

Hats like Tech needs to reach a conclusion on a major update or Finance on resources allocation.

Therefore you need to ensure you make the best choice(s) for every hat you wear.

And the best decision emanates from an entrepreneur decision making process that works perfectly.

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Recognize the problem

Whenever a decision needs to be taken it means there’s a “problem” (an issue at hand).

Ask questions like what’s the problem and what’s the best way to solve it without creating more problems?

Furthermore identify where you are and where you ought to be.

What’s the goal (purpose) of the decision in your business?

While considering if there’s a timeframe to it. You don’t want to be too late.

Also don’t just ask your staff ask your clients too. They have tons of info for you.

Step 2: Analyze the problem

Once you identify the problem(s) the next step in the entrepreneurial decision making process is to gather appropriate information on the problem.

As much as you can.

Likewise get information from within your business, published studies, online data from credible sources and materials from experts.

Also not forgetting everyone with stakes in your business.

Sometimes you have to deliberate on more than one issue at a time.

Notwithstanding don’t be overwhelmed just arrange your priorities right.

Step 3: Define And Analyze Plausible solutions

Your accurate analysis of the problem will help when brainstorming on every possible solution.

This step also involves you, your staff, every stakeholder in the business and experts.

Thoroughly consider everyone’s suggestion before discarding it.

And choose options that provide a long term fix to the problem.

Step 4: Select the best solution.

Select and evaluate the best decision.

What are the consequences of your chosen solution?

Would it solve the problem without generating additional problems? While being cost and time effective.

Does it align with the mission, vision and values of the business?

What does your gut also tell you about this decision? Trust your gut.

Also this step involves you choosing the best option based on the information available.

You should appoint an administrator at this point. So they are in charge when you aren’t there.

Finally for this step you need to spell out the Who, What, When and How of the chosen decision to all the players involved.

Step 5: Execute Your decision

The next step is to put your decision to work.

Because making a decision without implementing is hogwash.

What if you carry out a decision and it doesn’t work as planned?

Then you go back to Step 3 armed with the lessons you learnt to pick the next best decision on your list.

On to steps 4 and 5. Or to step 1 if there’s a change in data and conditions. More like a rinse and repeat.

This step also includes follow up and feedback.

In summary having an entrepreneur decision making process will ease things up in your organisation.

Subsequently when your staff know they don’t have to fight while making decisions they will relax.

I once worked at a firm where the Lease, Recovery and Internal Audit Units were always at loggerheads due to too much bureaucracy.

I could literally feel the tension in the air and it was bad energy.

Therefore identify the critical positions of your company and fill them up with people who are capable of making the best decisions. Without prejudice, at the nick of time and without wasting resources.

Are you using a different set of steps to make your entrepreneurial decisions? Please share in the comments.

4 Entrepreneur Decisions You Should Make To Be Successful

Entrepreneur decisions should never be overthought else you will never make headway.

In every success story, you will find someone who has made courageous entrepreneur decisions. — Peter F. Drucker.

As (aspiring) entrepreneurs what decisions are you struggling to make?

Entrepreneur Decisions

Crossroads in Decision Making

When I started catfish farming I used imported feed for the first 3 months then finish with self formulated feed. Overtime the cost tripled due to the exchange rate.

I had to decide if I would stick to either the imported, local or self formulated based on the results I got.

The price of the imported is now cut throat, the local also because they import additives and are competing with the imported. While the mill where I compound my self formulated feed also jacked their prices.

I had to decide which to stick to for costs cut.

I’ve had to make decisions as this and much more as an entrepreneur.

One of the characteristics of an entrepreneur is the ability to lead. And being a great leader entails the ability to make good decisions at the right time.

Entrepreneur Decisions

The decisions you make as an entrepreneur varies from stage to stage of your entrepreneurial journey.

1. The Launching Decision.

2. The Turning Point/ Pivot or Persevere Decision.

3. The Tipping Point or Delegation Decision.

4. The Letting Go or Succession Decision.

Which I further explain:

• The Launching Decision

You have a book of ideas tucked away somewhere. You feel it can solve a problem and also provide you some income.

This is the first of all the entrepreneur decisions you will make. Which is to become an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur Decisions

Choices in Decision Making

You will need to decide if you want to leave paid employment or be a part time entrepreneur. This decision also entails others such as:

1. Is your solution a product or service?

2. Is there a market for it?

3. What’s your pricing strategy?

4. What’s your Unique Value Proposition (Unique Selling Point)?

5. You also need to decide on your Mission & Vision Statements, Tagline, Logo, Company Culture, Goals and Objectives.

6. What’s your customer acquisition strategy?

• The Turning Point/ Pivot or Persevere Decision.

This entails the decision you make to take your business to the next level.

The results of testing your idea will determine if you pivot or persevere. Also if you will continue being a solopreneur or if you will expand.

Expanding is one of the most strategic entrepreneur decisions you will make. It involves stepping out of your comfort zone at the right time.

Thereby culminating into decisions such as increasing product or service options, job benefits, hiring new staff or outsourcing jobs, job role and payment.

And determining new location and market’s interaction with your new product/ service.

You also need to decide if the internal workings of your business can sustain the expansion and if it’s not just a flash in the pan.

Also consider if your brand, market and price strategy aligns with the expansion? These are questions that will also lead to more entrepreneur decisions.

Entrepreneur Decisions

Strategy in Decision Making

A good example of this decision is the example I gave in the introduction of this post. I had to decide to cut costs so I can remain in business. It involved looking into my budget, cost and price strategy.

• The Tipping Point/ Delegation Decision.

At this point you have to decide to stop working in the business but on the business.

Prior to this you should have built a dependable team that can work in the business while you work on it.

Most entrepreneurs find it hard to delegate certain duties to others.

But you have to else you won’t have time to perform more leadership roles and generate ideas that can grow your business.

• The Letting Go/ Succession Decision

This is one of the most emotional entrepreneur decisions you will be required to make.

Letting go in business mostly refers to succession. What succession plans do you have in place? Is it your child(ren), family member, a staff or an outsider?

And other times it could mean a business gets acquired if no succession plan or it’s doing badly.

You have to decide if you want to remain in it or cash out after it’s acquisitioned/ merged.

This also includes:

1. Determining how much your business is worth.

2. Is the business still financially viable for you?

3. How much will you sell it?

4. Will you be retained or bought out?

5. Does the new owner(s) have the same vision as you?

In summary if you are the indecisive type partner with someone that doesn’t shy away from making decisions.

Because being an entrepreneur revolves around making decisions. And making them in time for that matter.

Conclusion

Being an entrepreneur involves being able to recognize a problem and solve it timely using the best possible solution.

Also the environment within which business is done evolves on a regular basis therefore it requires taking business decisions.

Are you ready to make these decisions? What other entrepreneur decisions have you made?

As (aspiring) entrepreneurs what decisions are you struggling to make?

I would love to hear from you in the comments!!!

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.