Ideas To Run Your Small Business Successfully
All over the world, the rate of failure of small business start ups is generally alarming, going beyond 90% in many countries. The cause of this can be traced to a number of factors, including lack of in-depth knowledge of the business and inadequate preparation.
I had an interview recently with a successful small business owner in Nigeria who shared with me what has made him to succeed in his business, in spite of the enormous challenges of running a business.
His name is Prince Adeniji Jayeola, the founder of Nijis Divine Ventures. He began his business when his job with First Bank of Nigeria, one of the big banks in Nigeria, came to an end in 2001. With N300, 000 and lots of determination he started a Business Centre Business in a small shop in Ketu, Lagos state with his wife. Today, that business has grown in multiple of millions of Naira with 12 staff on its payroll.
Here are his Business Success Capsules:
small business success – Prince Adeniji Jayeola
Get Prepared For The Business
Adeniji was not caught unprepared when his employment with First Bank Of Nigeria came to an end. For a long time before then he had been studying business from the numerous business books, magazines, and newspapers that he ensured he didnâ€™t miss. He knew he would be going into business for himself one day, and when his job was cut, it was the right time to put his knowledge to work.
Give Good Quality Service At Profitable Price
Your success in business depends on how you run it. If your business is cheap, it means you too are cheap. If you add value to your service and you increase your price, your customers will definitely come. I was the first to charge N5 for photocopy in the whole of Ketu, others were doing it for N2 or N2.50. I looked at my cost, I cannot be working and not be able to break even. I had to increase my price.
If my machines are not okay, I call my engineers who I have agreement with yearly to fix them. If they canâ€™t be fixed, I replace them. So I give quality service to my customers. And now my competitors are following my steps. Many of those who were doing it for N2 or N2.50 have since closed shop.
Donâ€™t Set Up A Business For Other People To Manage
Some people establish business and keep other people there to manage it for them while they are probably working for money else where. They believe when they have opened a shop and keep someone there money will start coming in â€“ this is a lie. You have to be there. If Iâ€™m not here, my wife is here to keep an eye on things. Though you cannot monitor things 100%, but you will be able to detect and stop fraudulent activities of bad staff before your business is ruined.
Apart from been able to effectively monitor the activities of staff, your presence and attention to your business will enable you to have a first hand knowledge of your industry, your operational cost in relation to profitability.
small business success – Nijis Cafe
Advertise Your Business
I believe strongly in advertisement. Again, I was the first person in Ketu to use banner to advertise his business. I will go all the way to Ikeja, Ikoyi, etc, just about any where I see a fine banner to ask them how I could get one. My business has been greatly impacted by advertisement.
Believe In Yourself
If you believe you will succeed in any business, you will definitely succeed, even if people try to discourage you from it. As long as you know what you are doing, you will succeed.
People told me it would not pay me to venture into Cyber CafÃ© business when I wanted to start it, but I knew I would succeed, and Iâ€™ve been able to surmount the odds and Iâ€™ve succeeded in it.
Be Caring To Your Customers
We are very conscious about customer service. We attend to our customers speedily and respectfully. I caution my staff never to ague with a customer, because it affects me and our reputation. Of course, there is no way some customers will not be annoying, but I tell them to ignore it, since it is their patronage we need. We have to pay our bills, and itâ€™s customers who help us to do that.
small business success – another view of Nijis Cafe
Be Patient With Your Staff
There is no way you wonâ€™t have one or two fraudulent staff, but you will have to be patient in deciding to fire them. However, if their activities are serious enough to collapse your business, you have to let them go.
Donâ€™t jump Into Any Business Without Researching It First
Some people just collect their pension and put it into a business simply because the see other people doing it that seem to be successful. They donâ€™t do their research to know the cost of running the business and the possible revenue the business can generate. The end of such business is usually failure.
Advice For People In Paid Employment
If you are still working for money and you have interest in a particular business, I will advise you to be buying shares instead of setting up a business and putting someone there to man it for you. The chance is that they will ruin the business, even if they are your relations.
Ensure you buy shares with your money, no matter how small it might be. By the time you are ready to quit paid employment to start your business, or if you lose the job, you can sell off the shares which would have appreciated and have something to fall on to start your business.
Be Prepared To Face The Challenges Of Starting Up In Business
It is not always easy to begin business newly. First of all, you will need to learn how to operate in the world of business, where you are the one to generate the cash to keep yourself, your family and your business going. You will have to erase from your mind those free allowances, items, etc, that you were usually given at your former place of employment â€“ you have to begin life afresh!
This may not be easy, but if you have a good partner as wife or husband, things will definitely be okay. They will understand with you and help you to put your finances in good shape. I have a good friend and partner as a wife and that is why I could succeed.
You Must Keep Your Business’ Records
You must keep record of all your spending, so that you will be able to keep your cash flow healthy. We have a box where we drop the receipt, the remains of recharge cards we used, or the list of any item, such as food stuff, bread, bought each day. At the end of the month, we bring them out and sort them into different categories, such as Business Expenditure, Family Expenditure, etc, and we record them in their respective books. With this practise Iâ€™m able to monitor my spending to keep my cash flow in good health. If you donâ€™t have this kind of record you will be spending more than you are making and you will not know until it is too late.
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