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Business/Entrepreneurship Education Entrepreneur

HOW TO PRICE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES.

No matter how philanthropic you are, the realities of running a business will jolt you into the reality that in business, profits must be made. Besides maximizing resources and some other tips to profit greatly in business, proper pricing is one, if not the biggest deal in maximizing profits.

Pricing involves putting the accurate monetary value on your products or services. Contrary to popular opinion, both extremes of pricing bring on negative effects to the brand or business.

An overpriced good will eventually be bought by the producer and his family while an underpriced good will raise nothing but doubt in the heart of potential buyers. So, it is highly essential to get the pricing right. Here are some factors to consider in pricing your products;

TARGET MARKET

One important thing that determines pricing is the target market, the market segment your product or service caters to. A good understanding of your clients, their pain points, and possible financial situations are getting half of the job done. A “supposed” luxury product that is shabbily priced or produced is definitely on its way to doom.

COST OF PRODUCTION

Next to the target market is factoring in every cost of production. Service-based businesses are more likely to fall into the error of wrong pricing owing to this. The fact that a skill comes easily gives no right to be priced inappropriately. Ensure that the material costs, labour costs, and overhead costs are properly considered before pricing.

Also, weighing the value of your product or service offers concerning the price tag is as important as staying in business. This exercise is one that requires a high level of objectivity which must be acquired at any cost possible. 

VALUE PROPOSITION

Business is all about giving and receiving value and that should inform every move. If the value and experience you offer is a far cry from the price tag, it definitely will not do well in the market and if it does by chance, the success is definitely not sustainable.

MARKET COMPETITION

Studying the market and competition is also very important. Humans are generally products of influences, so is everything associated with serving them. Even in cases where your product or service is the leading voice in the market, having a proper view of the market and possible competition will help inadequate positioning for proper sales.

Furthermore, listening to the customer’s view cannot be overemphasized. After all, they are the ones who will purchase the offerings. Having their opinions about your pricing is highly essential.

CUSTOMER BEHAVIOUR

Finally, it is good practice to watch the sales behaviour from previous price changes. It is wisdom to put things in proper perspective using the instrumentality of retrospection. Looking back at the customer behaviour from previous price changes can help to make accurate conclusions on price changes.

At the core of every business is satisfying needs and making profits, those two should work hand in hand.

Categories
Business/Entrepreneurship Education eLearning

GRANT AND PROPOSAL WRITING 101

Resources will always be needed in running a successful venture. This can be gotten via grants or investments – either way, you will be required to write proposals or pitches that clearly describe your brand and all you hope to accomplish. Below are 7 guidelines for writing successful proposals –

Storytelling is key

You must be able to show what you plan to do using easy to understand stories. You must also be willing to tell your brand or Organization’s story in a very compelling fashion.

Whoever is reviewing it should be able to grasp the service you’re providing and how the grant would be beneficial. Be very clear about what the proposal says.

Don’t fight the numbers

You need to use the numbers, scratch that, you need to use the right numbers! With the right statistics, you can easily convince anyone about the viability of your product or idea.

Do so easily with numbers and write it in a way that can be easily understood. For example, which of these two statements are easier to grasp?

In two months, $18bn from 37 states were stolen due to corrupt practices by state governments.

In two months, 20 Tertiary universities, 37 Primary schools, 37 Primary Health Care centres could have been built if $18bn wasn’t stolen by state governments.

No lies

Investors, donors, especially the serious ones who want results for their monies can spot when what is being pitched is certainly a fluke. Also, avoid using words or statements like “this technology is the best way to optimize your data”.

That’s a lie! It’s not the best, “Xi Chi” in Tokyo is probably doing a lot better. And both you and the investors know it. Don’t say things you can’t achieve just to impress the recipient.

Well thought-out product

Your product certainly has to be well thought out – many times, some people assume they can get by with doing a sloppy job. Think through your idea very well and get others to look at it with fresh eyes.

Ensure it makes business sense before sending off for an application. The last thing you want is to be blacklisted as an unserious fellow or organisation.

Don’t take rejection personally

Failure or rejection is part of the game, embrace it and be prepared for it – the truth is, your idea won’t be the best all the time and you must be willing to accept this fact wholeheartedly.

Some other times, you simply didn’t write clearly enough to convince the investors or your numbers don’t make business sense.

Either way, you want get all positive feedback from all the opportunities you applied for. Take that to the bank.

Your books are important 

Sometimes, what cuts some people out of opportunities is the absence of good financial records. No matter how small you are as a business, keep good records. Excel, Quickbook etc are pretty great Apps to take stock of what’s happening in your business.

Why this is vital is simply because they wouldn’t want to trust you with N100m if they are not convinced you had previously managed N10m successfully.

Start early

Avoid the rush hour, don’t wait for the last minute, prepare in good time for your proposal. Don’t start a few days to closure except under peculiar circumstances. Take your time to put your best foot forward and it would pay off.

I hope you found this useful.

Keep making impact, keep telling the stories of the good work being done, and make some money while doing so.

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Business/Entrepreneurship eLearning Entrepreneur

5 PLACES TO FIND VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS

The use of virtual assistants has become very essential and not just an affordable luxury especially with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are independent contractors rather than employees which makes it easier to engage their services at a reduced cost for the business.

In the previous blog post, we have exhausted the reasons why an entrepreneur should engage the services of a virtual assistant and in this blog post, we will be highlighting 5 top places to find virtual assistants.

Virtual staff finder

This company will find out your needs and personally match you to a virtual assistant that they think will be the best fit. It is this personalized service that sets them apart. They have a thorough 5 step process which includes – signup, outsourcing, testing, interviewing, and hiring of virtual assistants tailored towards your business needs. 

Upwork

Upwork, a US-based company, connects businesses of all sizes to freelancers, independent professionals, and agencies for all their hiring needs. Upwork is an undeniably efficient platform to find professionals.

Upwork prides itself as “the premier freelancing website for top companies to hire and work with the world’s most talented independent professionals”.

Do you need quality talents in Web and mobile development, data science/analytics, writing, creative design among others? You definitely can find your virtual assistant here.

Viva Virtual

This site is ideal for the entrepreneur looking to jumpstart their business. They offer skilled assistants in bookkeeping, social media, branding, graphic design, web design, and more. Choose the skills you need of a virtual assistant and you can find your preferred combination here.

Fiverr

It is an Israeli online marketplace for freelance services. It is dubbed the largest marketplace for online freelancing services. Looking for a relatively affordable virtual assistant, Fiverr is one of the best sites to get one.

It was originally named Fiverr because you guessed it, tasks cost $5 to get done. Now you’ll see a wider range of pricing depending on the level of difficulty of the task and what extras you need.

Vasumo

Whether you’re a beginner entrepreneur, a growing company with employees, or just a very busy individual, Vasumo has a plan to fit your needs. Their assistants are trained for over 3 months in a wide variety of skills and have a minimum of 3 years of digital marketing experience.

We hope you found this very useful. We would love feedback. Kindly send an email to theklasroom@gmail.com

Categories
Business/Entrepreneurship Education Entrepreneur

FIVE REASONS WHY YOU NEED A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT.

JOB TITLE: A NIGERIAN ENTREPRENEUR

JOB DESCRIPTION : Logistics Person, Personal shopper, Content Creator, Customer Relations Officer, Accounts Manager, Delivery Person, Ad manager , Business Developer, Social Media Manager.

QUALITY: Must be able to handle all different jobs at once and give a 100% to each effectively. This is despite all the hurdles that come with starting and growing a business in Nigeria. 

SALARY: Really depends on if you’re able to pull this off, if PHCN is on your side and how much naira is to dollars. 

Honestly, would you apply for this job?

I wouldn’t. I don’t think you would either. However, somehow there is an upscale of entrepreneurship over the nine-to-fives. 

While, I am not discouraging you from being an entrepreneur because let’s face it, being your own boss is pretty cool.

However; it is a lot of hard work and you should not have to do all of this on your own. Only when you are alive and well can you be the entrepreneur of your dream.

My job here is to help you see the reasons why you should seriously consider getting a virtual assistant.

A virtual assistant is someone who provides administrative assistance especially to entrepreneurs; From digital marketing to scheduling appointments and managing personal errands, you can make a virtual assistant do anything.

Besides the fact that you are one person doing the job of ten people, here are five reasons you need a virtual assistant.

YOU SAVE TIME

For an entrepreneur, time is money. Scratch that, time is more than money. As you must already know every second count and sometimes 24 hours is barely enough to do all you need to do.

Getting a virtual assistant is a life hack to making your 24 hours 48 hours and even more. This helps you focus more on the core of your business.  

PROFESSIONAL OUTSOURCING

Make no mistake, virtual assistants are not merely personal assistants. That too, but more than that, they are professionals.

Professional content creators, Customer Relations Officer, Accounts Manager, Delivery Person, Ad- Creator, Business Developer, Social Media Manager. So instead of being a jack-of-all-trades, master of none, you hire masters to handle your business.

Don’t let assumptions get the best of you, affordable virtual assistants are depending on your budget

EFFECTIVE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 

As an entrepreneur you are constantly saddled with endless tasks and doing them all will spreads you thin, decrease your productivity, and even worse, affect your revenue generation negatively.

This would ultimately make you frustrated and oblivious of why you started the venture in the first place. You don’t want that to happen.

Hiring a virtual assistant can help you manage your business more effectively as the innate workload of an entrepreneur on you is considerably reduced. 

YOU SAVE MONEY

You read that right. Outsourcing is one way to save money on operational costs.

By engaging the services of a virtual assistant, you can save expenses on things like office space and equipment, additional furniture, computers, stationery and lots more because a virtual assistant works from a remote location. 

It might seem like a lot of expenses hiring these professionals, but it’s probably all in your head. It is worth it.

STRATEGIC DIRECTION

A lot of entrepreneurs spend more time in their business than on their business. 

They want to expand the business but get tied down by too many operational or routine tasks that can be delegated.

Having a virtual assistant makes delegation so easy this affords you time to focus on the strategic direction of the business.

    Click here to see where to find virtual assistants

Categories
Education

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER IN CHOOSING A CAREER MENTOR.

A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser. In building one’s career, business or life generally, there would certainly be the need to learn from someone who seems to have got it figured out to a certain extent or at least is achieving what you have in mind and more. 

What are your career goals & aspirations?

This cannot be overemphasized. This will help define the focus of the mentor-relationship.

Some people have painted this picture of a mentor who gets to help solve all their problems, everybody has problems.

There are no messiahs out there. While there are people who can help in certain areas, there is not any one individual who has it all figured out in every ramification and can help you figure all that concerns you. You need to have goals. 

Also, read books, acquire knowledge in every way possible, and then spend time reflecting on who you are and what you want out from life. 

What do you need a mentor for?

What this means is before you even start searching out for a mentor, you should at least have a picture (regardless of how faint it appears) of where you are heading to.

It is important to note that a mentor would guide you on a journey – he/she isn’t necessarily supposed to help you find what you want to achieve. So, again, what do you need a mentor for?

Have you identified areas you need more guidance with? If yes, then we can move to the next point of consideration. 

Who is best suited to help you achieve those goals?

When you have figured out what your career goals are and clarified your need for a mentor, you can then begin the search for people who can be best suited to guide you.

A simple example of this fact is – for obvious reasons, you can’t ask a serial failure in business to mentor you in starting a multi-million venture or someone who has never run a business! 

You might argue that such a person has a lot of experience. But an individual who hasn’t failed forward like John Maxwell taught in his book “Failing Forward: How to Make the Most of Your Mistakes” should not be someone you are hoping to mentor you. 

So, you need to carefully search who can help you. And remember, this person doesn’t have to be God! Or Barack Obama, or Aliko Dangote. 

Does that person seem to have time and interest?

This is very crucial. People are busy and it is very understandable, but you must be certain that this individual you would like to mentor is also willing to create some time to do so.

This could mean monthly or quarterly check-ins just to be sure you meet your agreed goals and can provide a good level of guidance as needed. 

This mentor should be interested in you and your goals. You would agree that it doesn’t seem plausible to have someone who doesn’t believe in you and your goals guide you in how to achieve them.

Again, you wouldn’t know until you reach out. Find his/her email and send a sweet mail – shoot your shot! 

Mentorship is not one-way traffic. 

You need to have something to offer! You should not assume that because someone chooses to mentor you, you simply fold your arms and relax. You should find avenues to be helpful to the mentor.

Reach out, ask what you help him or her review. 

Of course, this doesn’t have to be something beyond your reach or something that breaks the bank, but just be valuable in any little way. 

Was this helpful?  let us know , send a mail to theklasroom@gmail.com

Categories
Business/Entrepreneurship Education

10 APPLICATIONS T0 IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY.

Productivity is shown by results and if you are not getting results you might be having productivity problems and this blog post will help you set that straight.

You need to be disciplined to be productive and you can build that discipline over time.

These applications will provide the training and discipline you need, let’s get right into it. 

Todoist

First on the list is Todoist, it’s great because you can create different projects and separate your life into different categories.

It is very easy to get tasks Into Todoist, that probably it’s the killer feature.

So, instead of typing in the task, it has a fantastic echo integration that aids voice recognition. Easy does it!

Google calendar

Just like Todoist, you can create different calendars for different areas of your life.

Also google calendar is full-featured and available on practically every platform but being able to do this and visually separate every area of your life is awesome. 

Click up

Click up is a project management app and you need it when you are dealing with a team or working on so many parts of a project which Todoist can’t properly cater to.

Although it’s a little bit hard to get tasks into the system as opposed to Todoist.

 But for the lack of the click quality, click up makes up for that in the flexibility of the number of features it has.

You can also create different hierarchies which are useful when you working with a company or a big project.

You can have listed tasks within those projects, sub-tasks, you can assign people to tasks, and a whole lot more.

Evernote

Evernote is a note-taking app and the writing experience on the application is great.

The number of different types of data you can quickly get into Evernote it’s a killer feature.

You can take a picture of anything, record a voice note, and lots more than a notepad does.

Scrivener

This is a long-form writing application. If you have to go on a trip or somewhere where taking your personal computer would be burdensome then Scrivener is the application for you. 

It has a ton of different features. It makes the process incredibly easy; it is also great for the planning process.

What’s more, you can zero in on specific sections of your writing, and to finish it off it also has a lot of great export options.

Habitica

If you have bad habits or you want to build new ones, this is the application for you.

It has a party system where you can actually party with friends and go on quests together with friends to challenge one another. It creates very powerful accountability.

If you fail to do your habits on a specific day then the dragon is going to damage everyone in your party and that’s a great motivator to get all your habits done every single day.

Toggl

This is an active manual time tracking application that keeps a tab on the number of hours that you need to spend on several applications.

Rescue time performs similar functions as Toggl however It will keep track automatically of how much time you are spending on particular applications and categorize you spend as either productive or non-productive.

Be Minded

Allows you to commit yourself to a goal to do more of something or less of something and it allows you to put money on the line.

It is all about keeping track of data you can hook it up to other applications like Todoist.

Freedom App

Reliably blocks potential distractions from websites daily. It is also the most convenient of website blocking application. You will find all your blocks and schedules from a universal dashboard. 

Google Drive

It is a cloud sync application that Syncs all your files into a specific folder in the cloud and also keeps them synced and up to date on all your devices. Which is very important.

Google drive is great because it has the best pricing, you get 15GB for free and if you need more space you can get 100GB for $2 a month which is a good bargain compared to its other competitors.

You also get access to google office which includes google docs, google sheets

All these applications can help with your workflow and improve your productivity but to make more significant improvements you need to ensure that you effectively use them and not just download them.

Categories
Business/Entrepreneurship Entrepreneur

TOP 10 INVESTMENT PLATFORMS IN NIGERIA

Investment is the real deal now, it used to be savings but not anymore.  I am sure you must have seen so many adverts in the middle of watching your favorite show on YouTube where they are always talking about making money while you sleep.

The way to do that is to invest your money in the right platforms, below are some low-risk platforms in Nigeria:

Mutual Fund

This is when a group of people put their monies together individually and then hand it over to a fund administrator who invests it in something on your behalf.

The fund administrators are professionals and they know the right things to invest in. This takes out the stress of trying to decipher which investment is good and which one is not.

Mutual fund investment is very popular and very safe. The average return is between 12% and 14%. You can invest in mutual funds with a minimum of 5000 naira. You can leave the funds there for as long as you want

There are also different kinds of mutual funds depending on how much risk you can take. Some examples are Stanbic IBTC, FBN Quest, and ARM.

For mutual fund investment the likelihood of your investment reducing in value is low, it might not appreciate a lot but it will.  It is important to get clarification from the asset manager. 

Treasury bills

Investment in treasury bills is similar to borrowing government money. When the government wants to borrow money to fund a project, they issue treasury bills.

For treasury bills, there is the primary market and the secondary market. The secondary market is more popular among individuals and you can invest from about N100,000.

A lot of banks offer treasury bills. You just have to walk into the bank and get. It is similar to mutual funds in the sense that it is a sum of monies from individuals, it is also very safe.

Also, treasury bills are usually within a year, there are some for 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and up to 1 year.

Bonds

There are two types of bonds that the government issues these are federal government bonds (FGN) and federal government savings bonds. The savings bonds come out on the first Monday of every month, they are usually out for about a week so you get to invest in them.

The FGN Saving Bond is a bond issued by the debt management office (DMO) on behalf of the federal government of Nigeria. The bond is targeted at retail investors and it guarantees quarterly interest payments and payment of the principal at maturity.

Bamboo

Bamboo gives unrestricted access to over 3,000 stocks listed on the Nigerian stock exchange and U.S. stock exchanges, right from your mobile phone or computer. Bamboo makes it very easy to invest and trade in Nigerian stocks.

It is for Nigerians who want to diversify their investments. The Naira fluctuates so much that people are always looking for how to invest in a stronger currency.

Agro Partnerships

Agro partnerships is a simple and secure collaborative platform that enables you to engage in profitable agribusiness opportunities from the comfort of your home.

You can invest in farms, trade-in commodities, and count your profits in no time. It sells out so fast and it has a high rate of return. It also encourages the use of referral codes.

Farm Agric

Farm Agric has a community of investors who earn returns of between 11% – 20% on their initial capital used in sponsoring farms. However, the return is not as high as Agro partnerships but it’s good enough, and although the percentages are lower than the Agro partnerships there are many more options.

Piggy Vest

With piggy vest, you can invest on the go with up to 25% returns, 6-12-month duration. Finally, you can access pre-vetted low-medium risk primary and secondary investment opportunities easily with any amount you have.

No hidden fees/charges. Thorough due diligence and pre-vetting on all investments are carried out for maximum safety.

 Cowry wise

Cowry wise makes it possible for anyone to invest any amount in Nigerian mutual funds and get returns. They have automated savings, but now they also have automated investing. With their Systematic Investment Plan (SIP), you get to invest a certain amount of your income periodically.

Wealth.ng

Wealth.ng offers you investment options, with competitive returns, across a wide range of asset classes. You can get hands-on and manage your investments yourself or fund your account and they can make sound investment decisions for you with automated investing.

Either way, they are always on hand to guide you through their dedicated support team especially reserved to help you with investments advice, inquiries, and requests.

I-Invest

i-Invest is the first-ever app that enables you to securely purchase and manage Treasury Bills, Eurobonds, and Equities from your mobile device.

All investments are held in safe custody by a licensed securities custodian which protects all investments. They are protected by the Securities & Exchange Commission.

For a beginner you start with a money market mutual fund or a guaranteed mutual fund, they have low risk and low return. However, the ones with the best returns are Agri-tech investments.

Finally, it is important to note that the major thing about investing is patience, that’s why a lot of people don’t invest because they are impatient. Remember, the patient dog eats the fattest in bone.

Klasroom is not sponsored by any of these investment platforms and will therefore not bear any responsibility on investment actions or failed investment taken by recommendations from this blog post.

Categories
Business/Entrepreneurship Education eLearning Entrepreneur

HOW TO SEND COLD E-MAILS THE RIGHT WAY.

Cold e-mails may not work for you like cold calls but if you want results you have to send cold emails the right way. Sending a cold e-mail is like going on a first date.

What most people do wrong is being too direct and expecting results from their first cold e-mail and that’s equal to going down on one knee and proposing on the first date, that’s awkward.


According to Wikipedia, a Cold e-mail is a personalized, one-to-one message targeted at a specific individual. It aims to get into a business conversation with that individual, rather than to promote a product or a service to the masses.

Do your research


Don’t push for a meeting if you have not done a thorough research to know if the client you are vying for is a great fit.

You shouldn’t just compile a list of people you perceive to be great prospects and send them all generic e-mails. That’s like spraying bullets without hitting the target and that’s an absolute waste of time.

Here are some basic things to research, the general size of the company; how much they do in revenue, who is in position to make the decisions; the job title of the person you are going after in the company, and so on.


What’s also important to do is to not make assumptions, do the work to discover who your ideal customer is; and go for them.

Make the subject line specific.


If you don’t want your e-mail to come across as spam and end in the trash then the first line of the cold e-mail should be very specific. This should be followed up with an honest and non-generic compliment that is specific to the business.


Put yourself in their shoes.


To send cold emails that get responses you must think about the cold e-mail as a recipient.

We have all received cold e-mails in the past, most of them being too vague and self-indulgent, going on and on about who they are, what they do, and closing the e-mail with a vague promise about additional revenue.


The real question here is, would you give your e-mail a second glance if you received it from another company or client.


Offer value


A message tailored to fit the recipient and a visual representation of a proposed value will most likely start a conversation.

People are mostly narcissistic and the more you can put them in an e-mail, talk about them or show them what you can do for them, the higher your chances of getting a response.

Make the e-mail tailored towards their needs. By telling them something they already know is true, speak it as an expert, and tell them the solutions. Sound human rather than robotic.


No pressure sale


The goal of a cold e-mail is not to close a deal. It’s to find out if the prospect is fine for you. Tools like LinkedIn sales navigator will help you find leads; you can put all of these criteria into a search, list them, and contact them.

What you can also do is to create a lead magnet that will serve as bait and ; sprinkle the e-mail with good humor. E-mails with good humor tend to have more open rates.

Also connecting this with the customer’s pain, the solution including a call to action and making this very clear is also very vital.


Have a follow-up method.


Some people believe that their product or service is so great, that anyone should take a meeting with them. That is incorrect, you still have to present it in a way that creates value for the target. A good cold e-mail will always require good and spaced follow up.

What have you been doing wrongly as regarding cold e-mailing? Let us know.


Categories
Business/Entrepreneurship Entrepreneur

5 ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS YOU MUST HONE

First, it is important to note that entrepreneurs are not born, entrepreneurship is a process, where you open your heart to knowledge and learn entrepreneurship skills needed not just for success but for survival. Also, it is no longer news that more businesses fail than they succeed.

The world bank just released its ease of doing business 2020 report[1]  and Nigeria’s ranking jumped from 146 to 131 which is positive, still it is undeniably true that running a viable business in Nigeria is still as hard.

It is therefore pertinent that the Nigerian entrepreneur is also as tough as nails and adequately equipped with the entrepreneurship skills needed to thrive. In no hierarchical order here are 5 skills you must hone to grow and scale any business venture as an entrepreneur.

Selling

The single most important skill any entrepreneur must learn is sales, I don’t care if you are an engineer or a mechanic. It is the most critical skill you will learn as an entrepreneur” – Vusi Thembekwayo.

You can’t skip the skill as an entrepreneur and as much as it is critical, it is not that complex. The art of closing a sale or selling can be learned!

In business, you are either selling a product, a service, or both. This is the crux of any business, if a business does not sell, it would be forced to fold up. This is why the ability to sell, is one every entrepreneur must hone.

There are tons of books by renowned salesmen that you can feast on, materials by Tom Hopkins and Brian Tracy for starters. Practically, you must designate times during the week when you focus on selling or on closing a sale.

Time management/focus

As an entrepreneur, there will always be a ton of things to do but time won’t stop, she will slip through your fingers like sand. This is why you must prioritize your tasks and treat the most important and urgent tasks first. Having a to-do list is great but that won’t get the tasks done  Here’s why time blocking is important, it will ensure that your list is realistic and aid time management. Time management will stop somebody else’s emergency from becoming your emergency.

If you are constantly fighting procrastination then you should read eat that frog’[2]  by Brian Tracy.

Communication

As an entrepreneur you must have a clear vision of where your business is heading, who your business serves, the values your business stands for, your company culture, the list goes on. However, what is more important is effectively communicating information timely to the appropriate stakeholders through the most effective means.

You need to know how to communicate with the people you are working with, your customers, your vendor etc. An important part of this communication is listening. You must also pay attention to their body language as much as what they are saying, for this reason carrying out a survey and getting feedback is important, this could be through emails, phone calls, physical meetings, or virtual meetings. For in-depth and practical communication skills you should read, ‘how to win friends and influence people’ by Dale Carnegie

Negotiation

In the world of business, everything has a price tag and, in most cases, you can determine the price if you hone the skill of negotiation. If the negotiation skill is possessed by the management of the firm along with key employees of the firm that deal with customers, vendors, partners, and investors including the other stakeholders; it can save a lot of money for the firm elevating the profits. Hence, the skill of negotiation is a must for job aspirants to get good job profiles. Negotiating is like chess and you must know how to play.  To gain insight into this skill you should read the book, ‘Never split the difference [3] ‘by Chris Voss

Willingness to learn

As you step foot into the oceans of entrepreneurship, the winds of new knowledge can sway you in different directions but it’s important to fight that overwhelming feeling and take things one step after the other as fast as you can. You must be willing to learn fast and change your mindset and knowledge when it’s obsolete. This is why you must be committed to your continuous personal development as an entrepreneur or you risk losing touch with the industry pace, market competition, and eventually the growing  concern of your business. Take courses on klasroom , read books, read the news, engage in conversations, attend business seminars and you will in time become a powerhouse that would position your business strategically for the future.

Which of these skills have you honed? Which skill do you need to polish?

Categories
Business/Entrepreneurship Education

HOW TO KEEP PROPER FINANCIAL RECORDS.

One of the major reasons why small businesses fail is lack of proper financial record keeping and cash flow management. Do you keep proper financial records for your business? Do you do it yourself or do you delegate that function. Either way, it is important that a small business keep track of it’s financial records. This is also called book keeping.


Book keeping is the process of tracking all your financial transactions so you can see exactly where your business is spending money, where your revenue is coming from, and which tax deduction you might claim.

Why financial records are important?

It helps you catch more tax deductions. When you categorize all the transactions you take on, you will be able to see which one of your expenses are tax deductible so that nothing falls through the
cracks, without proper book keeping you’ll forget about one off deductions like lunch with a client which is deductible.


It can also help you get a business loan, If you are applying for small loans from financial institutions, they would want to see financial statements.


It will help you catch financial mistakes. It will help you keep a close eye on all the transactions in your business, like bank errors, transactions debited twice and sneaky subscription fees for services that you forgot to cancel.


It also gives you a clear picture of where your money is going, it will help you to budget better and you will also understand your cash flows to see what is an expense versus is payment for a loan.

You’ll also be able to track how your company is growing over time and what months are busy or slow, this will help you plan for the future.

Separate your business and personal expense.


You want to make sure that your business and personal transactions are defined, it has to be clear. what your business is earning, spending and what the bottom line is. Separate bank accounts for business and personal finance.

how to keep proper financial records


Choose between single entry or double entry.


Double entry systems match where your income comes from with where it is going . It means that you’ll record every transaction twice, your debits and credits should always equal each other, that’s how you know that your financial records are in order or balanced.

While single entry is essentially for keeping transactions as they happen, it’s less robust. However it can be used for simple sole proprietors with no inventory or self employed persons.

On cash basis, you only record it when you receive it, on accrual basis. As a small business you should probably adopt the cash basis method depending on your kind of business. But if your business is more complex; if you generate large revenues and manage large assets, you probably
need to use the accrual method.


Choose a bookkeeping system

You can either do it manually using a system like excel or an accounting software such as QuickBooks, Zero , Wave and other simple software You will pay a monthly fee for the software.


Categorize transactions

You should do this to know what you are spending on. To keep your receipt digital, you can use; receipt bank, ever note, shoeboxed etc. This would ensure that no record is lost and that they are adequately catered for.


Make it a habit.

Book keeping is not the most exciting thing but if you do it consistently you’ll have smart insight into you financials every month of the year and you will save yourself a lot of time and headaches during tax season. Keep the records as you go and not just try to patch things up at the end.


Keeping your business’ financial records as an entrepreneur will help your business’ position and growth at the same time. It can be daunting and time consuming, however, doing a cost-benefit analysis to decide which works for you and for your business is the sure way to go.