Tag - Growth

Economic Recession

What You Should Know About Economic Recession

You are probably thinking the impact of economic recession can only be negative. What good could come out of this seemingly dead-end situation?

You feel the economic recession is getting worse; no respite in sight. Various private companies especially banks are downsizing their staff strength.

People are losing jobs in every nook and cranny of the country. From the public to the private sector. And you are probably wondering what could you benefit from an economic recession.

Just some days ago I was listening to the radio; a lot of people called in to lament on loss of jobs and not being able to provide the basic needs of their family.

have learnt that in life it depends on how you decide to view every situation. It can either be positive or negative. Choose sides wisely.

In every bad there is a good. It is times like this that inspire great men to provide solutions. Times like this are meant to be an eye opener and propeller to greatness. Hence times like this birth life changing ideas. You do not just think outside the box you remove the box.


Economic Recession

Take Away The Box

High time we realized that the number of graduates we churn out yearly cannot be accommodated by the labour market. Also the quality is quite questionable.

While I was an Assistant Admin Manager I received many job application letters that were poorly written. To think they were written by graduates.

When there is an economic downturn there will be a huge backlash because employers do not increase worker’s pay neither do they create more jobs. Instead jobs are lost on a large-scale.

Advantage of Economic Recession

The positive impact of economic recession is entrepreneurship (innovation). Though it is the innovative never-say-die that will take the bull by the horn.

Be warned do not take this route if you are looking to blow (get rich overnight). It is not a get rich quick scheme. If you are looking for that try baba ijebu (lotto) or betnaija (sports betting).

You are probably thinking entrepreneurship is not for you. You do not have the funding and a myriad of other problems you are conjuring up in your head.

Before you write yourself off being an entrepreneur answer these five (5) questions:

  • Do you love that job you are presently slaving away at right now? Do not be shy; no pretense here. I mean do you seriously love it to death?
  • Would you want to do it 50 years from now?
  • Is that job guaranteed if all hell breaks loose?
  • Do you dread Mondays or you cannot wait to get to the office?
  • Do you have time for your family and loved ones?

If your answers are not I love my job to death, I see myself doing it 50 years from now, The job is guaranteed, I always always look forward to Mondays and yes I spend a reasonable amount of time with family and loved ones then you need to dump your boss before your boss dumps you.

The first people hit by economic recession are the ones that solely rely on paid employment.

To determine how ready you are to be an entrepreneur take this short test:

  • Identify what you love doing.
  • What would you do lovingly and willingly without pay?
  • Would you love to do 20-50 years from now without getting bored?

Hopefully your answers to these questions should be the same or close. Note your answer should be a product or service that meets a dire need or solves a problem.

Congratulations! You have an interest.

Economic Recession

These steps below will guide you:

  • Solve one problem at a time so you do not get overwhelmed. Bear in mind that a Jack of all trade is a Jack of no trade.
  • Brainstorm on how you can commercialize this interest of yours.
  • Can you bankroll this venture of yours? If no can you convince people (friends and family) to invest? For expansion overtime can you convince investors they will get their money back? How viable is the business? Nobody wants to invest in a dead-on- arrival kind of business.
  • In terms of finance also think about partnership. Can you join forces with like minded individuals who share your vision?
  • Do you have any form of experience in your chosen field or do you need training?
  • Do you have a well written and carefully analyzed business plan? A plan existing in your head will never get executed neither will anyone fund it.
    Ensure your business plan is tight proof. Let investors see the potential in your business without your explanation. Your explanation should be a bonus.
  • Determine what sector of the economy you will operate in.

These are sectors you can never go wrong with.

  • Agriculture: Food industry (Processed or Unprocessed) and Livestock.
  • Real estate (Properties)
  • Service provider industry
  • Information Technology
  • Fashion

These sectors are the summary of man’s basic needs. Most definitely someone somewhere will at one time or another need one or two of these. Do you get my drift? The trick is to be ready and right there when the need arises.

Recently I got a message via WhatsApp if I knew anyone that could supply fresh catfish. I immediately replied yes. And voilà that was how I got one more customer that eventually became a repeat customer.

I need to warn you though being an entrepreneur is not a walk in the park. Entrepreneurship can get scary quickly but be rest assured FEAR (Face Everything And Rise) is what you need to push you to succeed. In no time with consistency you will stand out.

Learn During Economic Recession

Attend motivational talks, training, read books, talk to successful entrepreneurs, learn more about the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and discipline yourself.

Also talk to entrepreneurs that have failed at a business or two; it helps you to not repeat the same mistakes they made. With time you will discover that the successful ones had also failed at some point.

Not everyone has the guts to be an entrepreneur but those that brave it will create more jobs thereby alleviating poverty and cushioning the effect of the economic recession.

Permit me to add this caveat emptor; If you are not a diligent employee you cannot be a successful entrepreneur. Old habits die-hard (sometimes they never die).

At this stage no individual should ask what has the country done for me rather you should ask what can you do to for the country.

Do you have honest reasons to complain about your job? Can you provide a solution to a problem? Do you have people skills? Or do you have leadership skills? Also think you can revolutionize the economy? If you answered yes to all the questions asked then embrace entrepreneurship.

Do you know more positive impact of economic downturn? Do you know of more ways you can help with the present economic situation? Kindly join the conversation.

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

matters to customers

What Matters To Customers During Purchase Decision

As an entrepreneur have you ever asked what matters to customers in their decision to buy your products?

It cannot be overemphasized that you are in business because of your customers. Therefore it is of the essence to ask yourself what matters to customers while they make the decision to buy from you.

It is all about the customer’s experience whether you sell products or services.

Knowing what your customers consider important in their thought process to make a buy puts you a step ahead.

Customers pit businesses against one another during their decision making process. If you are privy to what goes on in their black box (head) then you can better satisfy them. This helps you to know your customer and what they want.

Once you get a handle on things it translates into more happy customers, more patronage, more repeat customers and of course more income for you.

Being able to identify what counts to buyers will keep them satisfied and coming back for more.

Why would a customer choose your product over your competitor’s?

A customer’s purchase decision is influenced by certain factors. Knowing these factors and working with them will give your business an edge over your competitors.

These determinants should be taken into consideration during production and marketing. It will enable you think like your customer would.

  • Product Features

The customer wants to know the product quality, features, benefits and durability while deciding if to purchase from you or your competitors.

You should take time to analyze the features and benefits of your product. If it is an App list features like app-lock, battery saver, save data etc. Then explain benefits like the App can lock other Apps, analyze battery status and reduce data usage while browsing.

Knowing the benefits of your product makes the customer aware of the immediate gain they would enjoy by using your product.

Endeavor to make your customer understand that a product’s features will not benefit them if it is not effectively put to use.

  • Competitive Price

The customer considers if your product is affordable, if it is in the range offered by your competitors, if it gives value for money spent and if is cheap to maintain on the long run.

Nobody wants to spend unnecessarily more than they should. They want to know they got the best bargain there is around.

  • Technical Direction

The customer considers what direction your product is going technically, is there room for improvement and updates.

In the case of gadgets what counts to your customers is the specifications, speed and how easy it is to set up.

Also will the product still be relevant in the future with all the innovations in the tech world?

While I was shopping for an Android phone despite the highest Operating System (OS) being Android 4.4 Kitkat I kept searching for a phone that would upgrade when a higher OS became available .

Over the years I upgraded it to Android Lollipop OS without buying a new phone.

Guess I saved myself the headache of phone purchase for some time.

  • Marketing and Product Strategy

Customers want to know if you offer support during and after sales and what kind. Do you offer phone support? Can they reach you over the phone if they have issues without making a trip to your office?

Is there warranty and for how long? What happens after the warranty expires?

They also want to know what plans you have in place for long distance customers. Are there support centers they can go to if they have issues with your product? If none can they send the product to you and who bears this extra cost?

  • Vendor Stability and Predictability

Customers take into consideration how stable your business is. They also consider the fact that they can predict the availability of your product.

It also matters to customers if they should trust your product and if it is of good reputation. What other customers have to say about your product.

Reviews play a huge role here. Share your product reviews everywhere you can; on your website, blog, Facebook page and in your advert message.

Share your good and bad reviews as well but make sure you respond promptly with solutions to bad reviews.

Sharing the bad reviews passes a message that you appreciate the customer’s patronage and their opinion.

When you focus on what matters to customers while they mull over the idea of buying from you or your competitor it helps you create a precise advert message.

A precise advert message speaks to a targeted audience with answers to their questions as to what a particular product can give them. This convinces them that you know and have what they need.

A customer does not just want to be pitched rather a customer wants solutions to problems. If you think like your customer would while deciding to buy a product you have more chances of winning over that customer.

Kindly help add value to more people by clicking the social media share icons below.

understanding customers

Understanding Customers: 5 Keys To Creating Customer Experience

The formula for knowing what customers want is understanding customers.

Understanding customers enables you to anticipate their needs and expectations thereby providing excellent customer experience.

Have you ever wondered why a customer that patronized you once or twice disappeared into thin air? Simple! They felt misunderstood. They did not connect with you in the few times they dealt with you.

Understanding customers is what turns them from a prospect to a buying customer and finally to a repeat customer.

As an entrepreneur it is essential you understand your customers so as to build long lasting relationships. Your success basically depends on how much you understand and know your customer.

To better understand your customers it is ideal to do a needs vs value segmentation. Identify your customer’s needs, determine the needs you have met, needs you could not meet, why you could not meet the needs and what value you have been able to add to your customers. Group them into met and unmet needs thereby allowing you to ask questions like why you did or could not meet their needs.

As an entrepreneur you should acknowledge that the lifeline of your business is the customer so it pays to invest in understanding your clients; not just for the financial gain but for the customer’s satisfaction.

Understanding customers entails the 5 W’s. The Who, What, Where, When and How.

  • WHO

Who is important? You need to determine who you are in business for; it is imperative you know that you are in business for your customers. When you comprehend this singular fact it will drive you to ask questions as regards who patronizes your business. Questions like their names, location, what they do for a living, who their customers are, their likes and dislikes etc. These answers will unravel who your customers are.

Understanding Cuctomers

  • WHAT

What are their choices? What would they prefer you gave them? What are their problems? What solutions do they need you to provide? Would they prefer quality to quantity, do they want your product as it is or do they want an improved version or would they prefer subscription (prepaid) to pay as you go service?

As a fish farmer that packages and sells smoked fish I had a firsthand experience of this. Initially I reared the fish to get so big in size which meant I packaged four pieces in a bag. Overtime I asked what they would prefer. Sales increased when I packaged smaller sizes of six to eight in a bag. I felt quality was selling bigger fishes but the customers preferred smaller sizes. Moral is find out what your customers actually want; do not assume like I did.

Realizing this would help you understand how to better meet your customers at the point they are. If there are substantial amount of people in each group you can package your products to meet the demands of each group thereby leaving you with happy customers.


Where do your customers buy from? Have in mind that the answer to this question would help you deduce who your competitors are. Which makes this a win-win situation for you and your customer. Knowing your competitors would help you understand why your customers are going to them and what they have that you do not have. If you are able to decipher why they patronize your competitor you can fill in the gap as to what they really want.

  • WHEN

When do they buy? How often do they buy? Is their purchase daily, weekly, monthly or seasonal? Knowing your customer’s frequency of purchase helps you prepare in advance for their next purchase thereby making you proactive. Customers love that.

  • HOW

How do they buy? Do they buy in bulk or in pieces? Do they pay you as soon as they buy or do they need some time before they pay? Are they Loyal customers, Regular customers, Occasional customers or One-off customers? The customers’ buying habits says a lot about what they feel about your product and business.

To better comprehend your customers speak with them; you can also use surveys and questionnaires. You will be amazed at what you will discover. That was how I discovered they would prefer smaller sizes of fish at the same package weight and amount.

You can also have your sales people get testimonials on video if you cannot personally speak to all your customers. This will capture their body language which says a lot.

In all understanding customers means you take into account the Who, What, Where, When and How. Knowing these will help you discern how your customer reasons; believe me this is your gateway to success as an entrepreneur.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view” Harper Lee (American Author)

“There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it” Charles F. Kettering (American inventor)

In summary understanding customers is what guarantees the continuous existence of your business in the harsh waters of business.

If you have employed other strategies in understanding customers kindly share them with our readers in the comment section.

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customers want

7 Things Customers Want From Your Business

Customers want different things and people have various reasons for patronizing the companies they do business with.

The reasons vary from wanting to satisfy a friend to looking for quality at a fair price though reasons like these do not run deep.

There have been instances where customers suddenly leave the company they have been doing business with for years to patronize another company. Certainly they have their reasons for that. Any customer decides to or not to do business with a particular company because there are certain needs the customers want the company to meet.

68% of the time customers that ditch a business do so because their expectations were not met. For business growth find out why your customers left your business, if they say you did not meet their expectations apologize and ask exactly what they expect of your business.

Never be too comfortable with the clients you have instead always strive to improve on your retainability skills.

Customers prefer businesses going above and beyond their expectations so it always makes sense to under promise and over perform.

There are expectations general to all customers and there are personal expectations but to satisfy these needs you need to know them.

“Customer service has never been so important, yet many firms seem to have lost sight of their customers’ needs, argues customer service consultant” Derek Bishop.

One of the things customers want is customer service. It entails how you treat the customer before, during and after sales.

Do you listen to them when they come to you? Do you empathize with them? Do you send a thank you mail? Do you call or mail them on their birthdays and anniversaries? Do you wish them happy holidays? Do you conduct surveys on how you can better serve them? Answering these questions will further endear your clients to you.

Good customer service entails you knowing your customers, what they want and treating them like a VIP (very important personality).

Your clients are expecting your products to meet their needs and add value to their lives one way or the other before they consider spending their hard earned cash on your business.

They also expect you to be skilled at the service you provide. They expect your product to do exactly what you said it can do.

Customers ultimately want gratification and satisfaction. They need to have that feeling of profit after spending on your business.

Great products and services, speed, courtesy, competence, commitment and understanding make up what customers consider as satisfaction for money well spent.

Clients want to know your business is stable, they do not want to be disturbed by the inner workings (policies and procedures) of your company or the economic situations. They just want to know they can count on you to always provide solutions to their problems.

They need to know you know what you are doing. They want to trust you as an individual and they also want to trust what your business stands for.

Customers expect to be appreciated for patronizing you. If you ask me this is non-negotiable because they could have taken their business to a thousand and one places but they chose you.

You should always think of ways to appreciate them for their patronage even if it is not regular. You can consider options like sales, coupons, referral bonuses etc.

Customers want to be heard, they want you to listen and they would like you to consider their opinions on the products and services you render them.

They want to be involved in the process of buying from you or services being rendered to them. They desire extra attention which makes them feel like a part of the family.

They desire to have a personalized relationship with you. They want you to know their names and they will remember you for it.

Customers want results not excuses which is why they came to you in the first place. They do not want to know how hard it was for you to get results rather they want to know you will achieve results.

Your ability to achieve results quicker will propel them to spread the word on your behalf. It will win you loyalty.

Conducting surveys will help you know the specifics of what your customers want. If you already know or have an idea what your customers want do share with us in the comment section.

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Challenges Entrepreneurs Face

Challenges Entrepreneurs Face In Our Clime

Are you prepared to beat the challenges entrepreneurs have to deal with in our clime? Do you have the grit to succeed despite all odds?

A lot of people feel entrepreneurship is a walk in the park but on the contrary you need to be prepared for the inevitable. Every niche of business has it pitfalls but ample preparation increases your chance of survival. This entails knowing beforehand that there are challenges entrepreneurs deal with and having a plan to conquer every challenge while being flexible to change plans as the situation arises.

This article is not meant to scare you from living your dream as an entrepreneur rather it is meant to prepare you. As an aspiring entrepreneur if you have the characteristics needed to be a successful entrepreneur you will definitely overcome the challenges entrepreneurs in this clime share in common.

Different challenges are synonymous with different climes but listed below are some of the most common challenges faced by entrepreneurs in our clime:


This is one of the most common challenges entrepreneurs in every niche deal with. How liquid is your business? Is there readily available finance for your business? Are your friends and family willing to support with cash and necessary resources? Do you have willing investors ready to commit their resources to your business? If you can successfully answer these questions then you are already a step ahead. It is advisable to have a cash reserve before the business kicks off because things do not always go as planned in business. You can raise funds by working part time and solicit funds from people that share as much enthusiasm for your business as you do. Cut unnecessary costs by doing as much of the work you can yourself, employ freelancers when starting out so you do not pay salaries for long and when the bucks start rolling in do not go on a spending spree rather reinvest in your business because it takes months to years for a business to balance out expenses such as operating costs, salaries and miscellaneous expenses. A lot of businesses have packed up due to not adequately preparing for this.


How viable is your business? Apart from doing something that you love ensure you are providing something that people will buy into. It is one thing to provide goods or services it is another thing for them to be purchased. If they are not purchased that is time, effort and resources gone down the drain. The right business is a business that you have passion for, that delivers quality and also adds value to your consumers.


This is the next hurdle to cross after knowing the right business to engage in and ensuring there is steady cash flow. The amount of time it takes to do this can put you off and the number of people that fall into scam traps all in the name of trying to fast track the process involved is increasing by the day. Imagine going to CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) to do the registration and you are told to go make payment at the bank before coming back for the forms. Some people buy forms from people outside the building who sell at double the price without guarantee on the authenticity.


As a new comer in any industry it requires time to find customers and retain them. The industry is already saturated with all sorts of promises to customers and customers have committed themselves to certain offers most especially since people love to do business with who they know. Attracting these customers and getting them to do repeat business is one of the common challenges entrepreneurs face due to the offers they have been enjoying in terms of prices, customer service, commissions, quality of products and services. It is imperative to look at what the competition is already doing and do something they are not to attract customers. Distinguish your business by adding value.


This is one of the challenges entrepreneurs need to deal with but do not take cognizance of. They get caught up in the daily operation of the business instead of continuously thinking of new ways to do things or new unique business ideas that can set them apart from the rest. It is best to entrust the daily operation to a manager and do the thinking the business requires to get to the next stage or level as you are the one with the blueprint for the business.


It is a common challenge in our clime for people to write you off as soon as you make your intention of setting up a business known. They start telling you how unqualified you are and stories of failures they know. This was my major challenge for years; the people I had high hopes in never supported me either with kind words or financially until I finally decided to start despite all odds. Now I advice people to only seek advise from entrepreneurs because the people that say it is not possible are most likely not entrepreneurs. They are afraid to leave the security a 9 to 5 provides. It is also rare to find a group of people you can brainstorm with except you are surrounded by exceptional people so be watchful the kind of people you attract. Ensure you attract people of like minds.


These are very common challenges entrepreneurs have to deal with  in our clime due to the unstable economic situation and a select few dictating market conditions. We have seen businesses pack up as soon as the government changes baton due to either the new policies not favoring them or them not being in the good books of the new boss. I once got a job along with some people in a Parastatal but lost it because a new boss was sworn in; you can do the math as regards how many businesses that were cut off also. Corruption is a pain in the ass of businesses these days because it allows some unqualified businesses rob the qualified ones thereby reducing their chances of survival. If politics will have a say in your business ensure you have a wide network range; be neutral and play nicely with all the sides. Directly or indirectly this allows you to continue in business no matter the side in power.


Most new businesses do not see the need for having a lawyer because they feel it is one more expense they cannot afford not realizing it is even costlier not to have one on your payroll. Also it is important to have a financial expert that can advise as regards taxes to avoid being over taxed. The tax adviser is to ensure you pay what is commiserate with your business’s income and personal income thereby increasing your profits over time.


A lot of potentials have been thwarted due to sentiments. It is either a friend or family member saying you cannot do it or it is you looking at the present economic situation and writing yourself off. The best time to start is now. Once you start the rest of the journey becomes so much easier. Someone succeeds does not automatically translate to your success and someone fails also does not mean you will fail. It all depends on how far you are willing to go.


Due to the race for profits a lot of entrepreneurs end up partnering with unscrupulous entities. Do not be in a haste to make profit; slow progress is progress so ensure you check out the track record of whoever you decide to partner with. Can you take them for their words? Will they run the business if you are not there as they would if you were on ground? You are the face of the business not your partners so their actions bounces off on you thereby making your integrity questionable. If your customers have need to question your integrity it will reflect in their patronage.


It is a challenge these days to have loyal employees; everyone wants to be where the grass is greener. Not to blame anyone but a little loyalty goes a long way. To get your employees loyalty you need to know it cannot be bought, treat them like family and make each one know that their contribution is appreciated that way they do not sell you out to your competitors. Ensure your employees are team players, pay them what is commiserate to their input and make sure you reward outstanding performance. I once worked at a company where the management kept promising the sales reps commissions but they never got it, overtime a lot of the sales reps left and became competitors taking along the customers they brought. Therefore be slow to hire and quick to fire.


In our clime the banks make it very difficult for small and medium businesses to procure loans. Asides the high interest rates they have a list of requirements which most likely a business just starting out will not meet. Imagine asking a small business owner for a landed property that has a C of O (Certificate of Occupancy) which is very expensive to procure as collateral. Asides their requests the bureaucracy wears you out. In our clime we do not have angel investors unlike the developed countries and the few that decide to support your business financially are only out for the kill neither does the government support businesses with loans. If you are borrowing read and digest the terms and conditions; if you do not understand get someone who does to avoid being cheated out of your business.

These are the most common challenges entrepreneurs have to deal with in this clime to succeed. Do you feel I have left any out or have you any personal experience feel free to drop them in the comments.


Business Failure Yardstick
Business Failure Signs

Business Failure Signs

In every clime the first five years make or mar a business. This is the period that determines if the business will succeed or not. Not until few months to the final melt down do entrepreneurs realize the business is going under and start scrambling to save it meanwhile the business failure signs had been there forever.

A business does not just collapse suddenly; there are signs but most entrepreneurs ignore the signs while most do not even recognize these signs. If these signs had been taken into consideration and dealt with early on the chance of survival would have been higher.

What are these business failure signs and how do we know a business is heading towards closure?

It is a general belief that entrepreneurs have it easy; no they don’t. A lot goes into making a business stand the test of time. There are economic, social, financial, technological and psychological factors that affects the continuity of a business. A perfect or almost perfect blend of all these factors increases the survival of a business.

It is of the essence to recognize the most common and visible signs of a failing business before doomsday so as to decide whether to pivot (change the direction of the business) or persevere (stay the course but make necessary changes to enhance the survival of the business). For further understanding of Pivot or Persevere I recommend you read the Lean Startup book by Eric Ries. You can get it here.


  • Poor cash flow management. Cash flow is the life blood of a business; if not properly managed sends the business crashing. There is a big problem when you do not know when and what to spend on or save.
  • When your clients have nothing positive to say about you or your business and cannot even refer you.
  • Your clients constantly get excuses instead of results.
  • When the satisfaction of the entrepreneur(s) comes before the customer’s.
  • Whether a business is non-profit or not one of the entrepreneur’s motivating factor is profit; if at most after a year the business is not making profit or breaking even there is a problem.
  • As an entrepreneur if you do not love what you do; how do you get people to buy into your idea thereby sustaining the business?
  • When a business lacks in innovation and unique ideas it is gradually dying.
  • When your employees have low morale; employees are the internal customers, satisfying them goes a long way in determining how well they satisfy the external customers.
  • A business set up by greedy entrepreneur(s) is headed for the rocks.
  • When an entrepreneur constantly ignores the market trends and his competitors.
  • The negligence of an entrepreneur and his management is a recipe for business failure.
  • When the growth rate of a business is slow and the parties involved are not driven to proffer solutions to the problem.
  • Expansion without focus: Before expansion a business should focus on one thing. After it succeeds in that one thing it can diversify into other areas.

The points listed boils down to the factors listed in the diagram above. Failure to properly put them into consideration while planning would eventually lead to a business failure. Avoiding these loopholes increases the chance of a business surviving.

Do you feel we have left out helpful tips as to how to identify business failure signs please feel free to drop them as comments.

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