If anyone predicted to me 10 years ago that I would own an online brand today, I would have told the person to go back to sleep. That is how hard it would have been for me to have believed that it was possible to own a profitable brand online. But today, my story is different and so is my perspective and that’s why I’m committed to sharing the gospel of possibilities with as many as are open to hearing them.

Building an online business is easy once you set aside every limiting belief and are ready to do what’s required of you to set the ball rolling.

As we are rounding up 2018, I know many new businesses will be springing up and I’ve decided to share based on my own personal experience and the experiences of many that I’ve worked with as well. As you read, I want you to know that I wrote this based on the premise that you already have an idea of the business you want to do online. If you are still struggling with which idea to pick from multiple ideas, then you should read this prior to proceeding.

If you already know the business you want to start online and are interested in knowing how to start, this is for you.

The first thing you should do before you float an online business is to determine the group of people in the marketplace that you want to sell to. This is the starting point and you should not gloss over it. I have worked with hundreds of women who do not like going through this process simply because they think it’s “stress” and they end up coming back to do it. It is better to get things right by laying the right foundation than to realize several years down the road that you are building on a faulty foundation. I have written several articles about how to decide on who and who not to sell to. You can check this out if you still need clarity on this aspect.

Once you decide who you want to sell to, you must determine if they really need what you plan on offering and also find out if they are willing to pay for it. You do this by conducting a market research. Your research can be informal or formal. Doing a market research before you hit the market with your offering can be a gamechanger and a life-saver.

Having been an entrepreneur for a long time, I can tell you that what we mostly think customers need doesn’t always turn out to be what customers need. The results of your research can help you greatly by providing you with valuable insights that will help you serve your audience better. In terms of being a life-saver, this can happen when the results of the research show that what you intend to offer is not exactly what the customer wants. That alone can save you from wasting money.

Let’s assume that you are certain the marketplace is ready for your idea, what’s the next thing you should do?

The next thing is to identify which social media platforms you want to join. The three most popular platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Depending on your type of business, you may also consider creating accounts on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ etc accounts. That being said, be careful so you don’t stretch yourself too thin.

I normally suggest to my clients to pick three platforms and select one of the three as a dominant platform. This selection should be based on where your target audience spends most of their time. Once you select your top three platforms, you should set up your accounts using the same username across all platforms. In picking a name, pick something most people will easily remember. Avoid underscore or a name that does not speak to the essence of the business you intend to do. The content of your platform should be straight to the point. Avoid ambiguous words that will make people confused about what it is exactly you are doing. I have seen some descriptions that required me to pick up a dictionary to look up the meaning. Do not let this happen to you.

Once you are done with setting up your account. The next thing is branding. Don’t let the name branding scare you and do not think it’s too early for branding especially when you are low on budget. There are tons of free resources you can use that will help you look like you mean real business. Branding is very essential and it starts with your logo, colors, designs, pictures, etc.

If you are low on budget, just head on to Canva and get your logo done for free. Go to Pixabay, Unsplash or Pexels to get nice pictures and bingo, you are ready. You can use Canva to create beautiful cover photos that you can use on all your social media platforms.

If you want to take things to the next level, start a blog as well. A blog is not as techy as it sounds and it’s something you should consider if you want to gain credibility and build authority as an expert. If you want to set up your blog or website, here’s a perfect tutorial I created just for you.

Lastly, craft your launch day message and create awareness among family and friends about your new business. Ask them to follow you, like your page and share the good news with their own family and friends as well. This will help you spread your message farther and help you expand your sphere of influence.

Are you a business owner? What steps did you take when you were about to start your business? If you are yet to start your business, what specific questions do you have about starting an online brand? Please leave a comment and share this post with a friend!

 

Ideas rule the world, they say, but why are people still running from pillar to post? I ask because, for most women, including myself, ideas have never been a problem. Instead, knowing which ideas to choose and which ones to drop at a point in time, is a major problem among women entrepreneurs. I was once like that too; my head is always buzzing with seemingly great ideas which I couldn’t seem to let go.  The result? Stretching myself too thin and not achieving any tangible results. I have since learned how to deal with the problem without letting go of my ideas. Call it, “win-win”. Yes, I love winning and today, I’ll share with you how you can go from having multiple ideas to gaining clarity in 5 easy steps.

  1. Adopt an idea bank: In the past, each time I had a business idea, I was quick to implement on impulse. This means, each time a seemingly great idea comes in my head, within hours, I would have implemented it without thinking it through. Does this sound familiar? My rationale for acting that way was: An idea this great cannot be allowed to slip under the carpet. It took me long to understand that, not all ideas need to be implemented, especially when they do not align with my current goals. But once I understood that there is no wisdom in implementing ideas on impulse, working hard and then getting intangible results, I decided to start doing things differently. One of the things I did differently was adopting an idea bank. An idea bank is a place where I can drop my ideas without the pressure of having to act on them or having the feeling of loss if I don’t act on them. It’s where I can drop my ideas knowing that they are safe and I can always go back to retrieve. This has worked in my favor in more ways than one and it gives me confidence knowing that my ideas are not lost.
  2. Conduct a SWOT analysis on your top three ideas: Whether you are a new or seasoned entrepreneur, conducting a SWOT analysis on your ideas before implementing them will help you make an informed decision before losing the sight of the shore and finding yourself in the middle of the deep blue sea. SWOT analysis is an acronym which means “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.” Why is this important, you may ask? A SWOT analysis forces you to think through your ideas properly before taking a dive. Of course, there’s no way one can think about everything that will happen in the future, but conducting a SWOT analysis on your top three ideas will let you know which idea has the least barrier to entry and for which you can quickly gain your footing as you try to build a profitable brand. You’ll also have the confidence of knowing that, after picking one idea, the remaining two ideas will be kept safe in your idea bank.
  3. Proceed by all means: There’s something called “buyer’s remorse” which simply means a buyer changing his or her mind after showing interest in making a purchase or even after making a purchase in some instances. It has happened to me severally: I want something so bad and then after few hours, days, or even weeks, I don’t want that thing anymore. If it’s something I can return, I end up returning it. This happens for several reasons which I am not going to address here but I love the analogy because it helps me reiterate the importance of proceeding by all means. As humans, our initial excitement about anything eventually wanes off or even if it doesn’t wane off, we experience moments of “deep and rise” like waves of the ocean. This is life but for you to win at anything you must be willing to give it all it takes. Do not allow your initial excitement about implementing a great idea wane off because of temporary delays or setbacks. Instead, push yourself and make sure you implement.
  4. Stay on “course”: One of the hardest things to do in life is “staying on course.” If you are not disciplined enough, the chances of veering off course are as high as drinking water after a 25-mile marathon. There are plenty of things that will happen and it will make you justify your veering off course. Slow sales, not enough customers, bad economy, peer pressure, lack of contentment, life issues, etc. But if you do not have the discipline of staying on course, you will continue to make moves with no tangible results to show for it. One thing that really bothers me is when I see smart people who are seemingly struggling to make ends meet. It tells me that being smart in academics does not mean you’ll make smart choices in life.
  5. Have the right attitude: This is one topic I can speak about the whole day because I see a lot of entrepreneurs with very limiting attitudes. Limiting attitudes can come in different shapes or forms, but the common thing about attitude is that it comes from within. This means it can be controlled or uprooted and replaced. Why is having the right attitude a big deal when it comes to gaining clarity? It is because attitude is everything! I do not need to repeat that but to reinforce my point, I’ll repeat; attitude is everything! It takes the right attitude for you to get your ego out of the way and listen to wise counsel. It takes the right attitude for you to trust the process. It takes the right attitude for you to understand that sunshine comes after a storm. And it definitely takes the right attitude for you to treat your customers like eggs that should not slip off your hands. Adopt the right attitude today!

As you can see, none of these five steps is rocket science and it’s the reason why people fail to implement them. However, because you have taken time to read, I trust that you’ll begin to take the steps you need to take so you can succeed in business and prosper in life.

Which of these steps resonate with you the most? What is currently stopping you from living your dreams? How have you been dealing with your multiple ideas? Share your thoughts with me in the comment box below.

 

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways for keeping in touch with customers and prospects alike. It also is unarguably one of the most effective forms of marketing that exist out there. There’s something so special about email marketing than other forms of marketing have not been able to match and that’s why if you are an entrepreneur and you currently do not put email marketing as a priority, you are simply leaving money on the table.

 

That being said, I know how hard it is to use email marketing. The pain of building a list, knowing what to write and the amount of time needed to put everything together can be discouraging. I’ve seen many entrepreneurs tell me that they’ll rather spend time building their followers on social media rather than spending time building an email list. I do not entirely agree with this strategy most especially because social media is a rented lot which means you do not have control over the data of the followers. Also, most people on social media are easily distracted by several other things vying for their attention on their timelines as opposed to when they open up your newsletter via email.

 

With all these obvious benefits of using email marketing, if peradventure, you are still dragging your feet because of the extra work you think you’ll have to do, I have good news for you that might help you decide to take a leap. Relike is an app developed by a French Startup, Ownpage and it has been said to be a great way to get started with Email Newsletters.

 

The app automatically extracts your latest Facebook post from your page and gives you the opportunity to convert that into an email marketing campaign within a few minutes. It also gives you the option of selecting your most popular posts or any other post of your choice. In addition, the app allows you to choose between several templates, create a database of email addresses including importing email addresses from other platforms and giving you the opportunity to choose the time and day you want to send out your posts. Now, I’, sure you are thinking, this is so good, what’s the price tag.

 

Interestingly, Relike is free if you send less than 2,000 emails per month and you only select basic features. You can get on the Relike website here for more information and let me know what you think.

 

Thank you for reading! I would love to hear from you. Have you heard about the Relike App before now? How would you rate the app’s performance? Please leave a comment. Also, if you found this piece valuable, kindly share with others.

 

My online blogging history dates back to 2012 when I was an event planner. I loved sharing the Nigerian culture with the world so I created a blog via the Blogspot platform created by Google. Back then, it was not an easy task to blog as there was no “Blogspot” app for mobile. This meant that before I could post anything on my blog, I needed direct access to a computer.

Few months into my blogging journey on Blogspot, I heard that I could create a free website on Wix. I remember spending an entire month figuring out how to create beautiful website pages using the pre-made templates. In the end, I managed to create something that looked decent however, the domain name was too long and I knew it was only a matter of time that I would need to get my domain name.

In the end, I did sign up to get my preferred domain name but I still was not satisfied. There was something about Wix that’s so limiting and I wanted the flexibility of being able to fully customize my blog.

I managed to use Wix for about six months until I finally decided to migrate to WordPress. If you are an entrepreneur and you’re looking to start your blogsite or website, I would definitely recommend you start with WordPress, if you have the funds.

[Here’s a perfect step-by-step tutorial for you if you want to start your own WordPress blog]

If you don’t have the funds, you can still start with the free WordPress which also has an app, however, there’s still one thing lacking. You can’t build a dynamic website with your WordPress app.

The app lets you write your blog posts, upload pictures and do basic things, but you can’t edit or work with themes or templates straight from your phone. You’d need a computer for that. Even when you have a computer, it still does not mean you can easily build a website especially if it’s not your area of expertise.

How then do you go about it?

Thankfully, there’s now an app that you can use in building a functional website straight from your phone. Other than the fact that you can use this app straight from your phone, you do not need any prior experience in coding. The app is called “Onuniverse“.

With this app, you can create stunning fully customizable website straight from your cell phone in 5 minutes or less! How cool is that?

Other than building a website, you can also use it to create a landing page for your products or even share curated information about your past, current or future events.

The best thing about this app is you can use its basic functions for free. To get rid of advertising and to have your own customized domain name you pay an additional $2.99 respectively.

[Attend THE POWER WOMAN EXPERIENCE IN GREATER PHILADELPHIA]

And oh, the app is only available to iPhone users and it’s definitely worth checking out if you’ve always wanted to build a professional looking website or landing page without having to retain the services of a professional or having the knowledge of coding or needing a computer.

Check it out right now and be on your way to showcasing your brand the way your audience wants it.

Thank you so much for reading! If you found value in this write-up, kindly share with others. Also, feel free to leave your comments or ask questions below.

P.S. Did you know I wrote a revolutionary book titled UNEQUALED? This is the #1 book that teaches you how to build a profitable brand online. It’s available in print worldwide. You can get it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, on my website and from major distributors worldwide. Get your copy today and be on your way to building an unequaled brand!

Also, I invite you to join me for #OnpointBizChat this Saturday via my Facebook Page. This is where I share loads of business wisdom to help you build a profitable brand online. If you’d like to work directly with me, click HERE.

I once read a book (pardon me, I forgot the title) in which the author opined that “money is under your foot, you just have to know how to find it.”

By this he meant, the money you desire to earn in your business is within reach and all you need is to know how to get it. This concept is not hard especially when you understand the underlying principle of success in business and ultimately in life. So you may be asking, how do I find the money? Or better still, what steps do I need to take to find customers who will pay me? There are several steps to take, but today I will share three steps you need to take in order to get customers to pay you over and over again.

[Related: How to Retain Customers in 5 Easy Steps]

First, spend time where your prospects can be found. This means you need to define those who are most likely to buy from you ( and by that I mean your target audience) and then research where and how they spend their time and go and meet them there. This is very important especially when you are new in the market. The mistake I see a lot of people make is believing once they set up a business, all there is to do is to fold arms and the customers will come. It does not work that way.

In business and life, proximity is power. The more time you spend with your prospects, the higher the chances of them trusting and liking you to the point of wanting to give you their money in exchange for the value you offer.

Second, once you meet your customers where they are, you need to make your voice heard and engage them in a conversation. I’m always taken aback when I see people lurking in groups instead of engaging or attending a networking event and staying in one corner. Keeping mute doesn’t help you to get your voice heard.

Marketing is about visibility. If you lurk around or keep mute, no one would remember you no matter how great your products are.

Third, showcase your expertise. We are in the information age and everybody knows something about everything. However, if you want customers to give you their money, you need to know everything about something. By that I mean, stop being a generalist, be a specialist.

Customers want a specialist, not a generalist. They want someone who can get the job done like none other.

Once you pick your area of specialization, showcase your expertise,  be available when needed and serve others as best as you can.

Thanks for reading! Do you have an area of specialization? Please leave a comment and share this post with a friend. 

The world is growing and expanding as a global village at an unprecedented rate, all thanks to the magical social media that connects people who are thousands of miles apart at the click of a button! This golden opportunity continues to open doors of opportunities daily to millions of people across the world. You could be in China and have 90% of your client base in Japan and you could be physically located in the United States and have daily meetings with your team members across the world in real time. With all these advantages that social media offers you, it also comes with its own baggage.

Baggage? Yes, social media has its own baggage which you need to avoid like a plague if you must reach your intended destination. The baggage that social media comes with is that anything you post on social media is ARCHIVED for life. In other words, it cannot be undone. No matter how hard you try, even after you delete it, there’s a record for it somewhere. As a business owner who wants to reach the intended destination, you must be a step ahead so that you are not haunted later in life by your own actions.

In order not to be caught in a web of social media baggage, here are three things you need to avoid like a plague.

1. Ranting: It is amazing that many people now see social media as the place to rant. They rant for everything from their business to their personal relationships to the spiritual life. While it may seem harmless at first, have it at the back of your mind that ranting no matter how justifying it may appear to you does not result in anything beneficial. The bible says in Proverbs 12:16 (Good News Translation), “when a fool is annoyed, he quickly lets it be known. Smart people will ignore an insult.” I know sometimes it’s hard not to vent and that’s why it’s important to surround yourself with people who are matured and can provide you with wise counsel when you feel you’ve been wronged or when you’re deeply hurt. For example, in my #OSBSElite group where I mentor women entrepreneurs, we have provided a secure environment where members can express their frustrations without the risk of being judged.

2. Engaging in frivolous discussions: I might not personally know you but I am probably right that the reason you are reading this article is that you want to learn how to grow your brand profitably. Engaging in frivolous discussions online do not add value to you in any manner, shape or form. When you write, let your words be whole and modest because not only are people watching, they are also screenshotting your conversations. Do not be deceived by “closed” or “secret” social media groups. Everything you write is archived for life. People will do business with you based on what you write. Onpoint Success gained prominence based on what I write. I have had lots of people tell me they found me after reading my write-up or comments. Prior to commenting on an ongoing discussion, ask yourself, “are my words whole?” If you can’t answer yes, keep moving until you can put great words together.

3. Being Inactive: Now, this might sound counterintuitive most especially because I said whatever you post on social media is archived for life. Yes, it’s true but it’s also not an excuse for staying inactive on social media. You cannot be inactive and yet expect to be relevant. If you want to be relevant, you must have a voice that defines who you are and showcases your value to the world. In a breakfast meeting I attended recently, the speaker shared about strategic positioning on social media. This means your social media profile must reflect your destination. This means your profile must reflect the future you want. Stay active on purpose and be a high-quality individual.

Thank you for reading! What other things do you think need to be avoided on social media like a plague? Please leave a comment. If you found this piece valuable, kindly share with others.

 

There’s no faster way to rise in business than having an exceptional mentor. You could read all the business books in the world, attend every seminar or even go to a business school, if you do not have a mentor who will guide you through the early days, you would find out sooner or later that you are investing lots of time into personal experience which you could have gotten for a fraction if you had a mentor. That being said, not all mentors are exceptional and if you want to fly rather than crawl, you must choose an exceptional mentor. How do you know the difference between an exceptional mentor and one who isn’t? It is by their attributes. There are certain attributes associated with an exceptional mentor and in this article, I have listed 5 attributes of an exceptional mentor. This does not mean these are the only attributes of an exceptional mentor, but it does mean that your mentor should have these attributes before you can think of him/her as exceptional.

Okay, so before I delve right in, I will like to share the definition of a mentor according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a mentor is defined as a trusted counselor or guide.

This means that at the basic level, your mentor must be trustworthy (meaning when you share your business details, it should not become the topic in town) and must be a guide. When a mentor is your guide, they simply help you navigate your path helping you avoid pitfalls that they have fallen into and ultimately helping you arrive at your destination faster than you would by yourself.

[Read: 3 Remarkable Lessons I Learned About Building a Brand from Zero]

Now let’s explore the 5 attributes an exceptional mentor.

  1. Your mentor must be available: an exceptional mentor must not be too busy, he/she must be available to attend to your needs. There should be a regularly scheduled time where you meet and rub minds
  2. Your mentor must multiply: when I say “multiply,” I mean your mentor must not only be satisfied in having you as a follower, he/she must be committed to equipping you to mentor others as well. There’s no
  3. Your mentor must be willing to learn: yes, while it is true that an ideal mentor is someone who has yielded results, he/she must continually commit to learning. The fastest way to becoming irrelevant is by failing to learn continuously.
  4. Your mentor must open doors for you: Good mentors teach you the “what,” but exceptional mentors will open doors for you. Your success is their priority and they are willing to bring you into their circle by opening doors for you and introducing you to those who might need your services. If your mentor is too busy to give you a shoutout, share opportunities with you or even too busy to share your posts on occasion, then your mentor is not exceptional.
  5. Your mentor must help you rise: This is the ultimate of all. One of my quotes, “mentors are like yeast. They help you rise faster”, succinctly captures this. If you have a mentor and your life is not better for it, it’s time to look elsewhere.

If you must choose a mentor, you must choose wisely. It is not enough that your mentor bears results, it is more important that they can help you bear results as well. Mentors are simply invaluable and when you have an exceptional one, the least you can do is to express your gratitude and not take the opportunity for granted.

If you are a mentor, do you do these for your mentees? If you are a mentee, does your mentor have any of these attributes? Share with me below and then go and appreciate your mentor!

Have you ever been in pain? Have you ever thought of turning your pain into purpose by writing a book? Would you like to walk in purpose and live a life of fulfillment? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Oluwatosin Arodudu might be someone you need to meet. But before you get excited about all the possibilities ahead, why not meet read about her first and learn how she found her sweet spot in blogging and book publishing company.
 
 MEET OLUWATOSIN
 
 Oluwatosin Olajumoke Arodudu (aka OOA) is the founder and CEO of Hadar Creations, an online book publishing brand which serves emerging authors that do not want to go through the excruciating pain of book publishing. She is a lawyer, holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wales Institute. She also holds a LL.M from the prestigious Humboldt University in Berlin Germany. In addition to these, she is a child and women advocate, an author, arbitrator, a mental wellness expert, negotiator and mediator. 
 
 
 
As an author who has had her own share of the complexities of book publishing, I can truly say having someone like Oluwatosin get in the game is a welcome relief!
 
 
On how she found her sweet spot in the book publishing, Oluwatosin had this to say:
 
 
“I was going through a dark path and time. Nothing was working and my desired job was not forthcoming. All the jobs I did in Nigeria aside banking were all unfulfilling and filled with all sorts of issues. Some of those jobs were also laced with sexual harassment which left me feeling hopeless to the point of quitting.
 
 
After a while, I decided to travel to the United Kingdom for my MBA in 2011 and then got married to my darling husband whom I was courting before I traveled out of Nigeria for my MBA program. Armed with an MBA, I thought it was going to be an easy breeze when it comes to searching for a job and after applying to several companies with no success, I found myself back in the Nigerian job market.
 
 
As my job hunt was ongoing, God cooked up a surprise and my husband was offered a job in Germany which led to me having to join him there. 
We were excited at our new lives, but still, I found it hard to land a job. I applied to my choice places repeatedly and all I kept getting was “nothing.” Soon enough, I began to feel I was jinxed and my hope and faith began to fade away before my very eyes.
At some point and while pregnant, I decided to learn the Deutsch language so I could at least add value to myself while still remaining somewhat hopeful.
Few months passed and God blessed me with a beautiful baby. I was thankful but I still wanted a job badly.
 
 One day I applied for a position and passed the online test which was said to be a breakthrough by the Human Resources (HR) personnel of that organization after six years of joblessness. I felt “victory at last!” and started planning childcare and all sorts when I received an email from the HR that I was not the right fit for the job.
My whole world collapsed right in front of me and I wept uncontrollably! My tears were as though a flowing river that just rebounded after winter.
I cried to the point that when my husband saw my state, he got scared. It took his encouragement and wise counsel for me to stop crying. 
 
 The following day, while my baby was asleep, I was in deep thought amid tears wondering what I could do with my life. I was not ready to watch my life slip away just because I couldn’t land a job and in the split of a second, I heard a soft whisper that said, “START BLOGGING.” “Blogging?” I asked repeatedly with no one to answer. 
Blogging was not my problem because I loved writing. My problem, however, was not having an understanding of how I can be successful as a blogger.
I decided to follow through with what I heard in the whisper because I knew it was a divine instruction. I researched, bought a domain name, created a WordPress account and that represented the beginning of a fulfilling blogging journey for me.
 
As a blogger, I was inspired to write about social issues I previously did not like to write or talk about. I also began a Facebook campaign with some women titled “Today’s Woman.” It was a campaign to enlighten the society about who a Today’s Woman is. Her passion, fears, challenges, perspective etc., and I also guest blogged for Bella Naija, a popular Nigerian website and blog. From being a blogger I became an author of three powerful books in 2017.
 
These books were an outlet for me to actually attain my purpose. In them, I shared my hidden pains which helped me heal faster so I could walk in destiny. It was from publishing my own books that I got the vision of becoming a publisher to help other authors bring their books to life without having to go through much stress.
 
 
I birthed Hadar Creations not just for fun, but as a motivational and inspiring publisher who coaches authors and inspire them to unlock their treasures in order to walk in purpose.”
 
 
On what difference Oluwatosin brings to the table as a publisher, she had this to say:
 
 
“What makes me different from other publishers is that I help writers turn their pain and hidden thoughts as a result of the culture of silence into gain. I help them tap into their well of creativity in order to birth their books.”
 
In addition to these, Oluwatosin started an exclusive Facebook Group for writers which have a tagline “Building a tribe of writers and thought leaders that will change their part of the world.”
 
 
On what she hopes to have achieved in five years, she had this to say:
 
 
“In the next five years, I would love to have raised prolific writers and authors whose work would be a force to reckon with. I would love to have given lots of people, most especially women a voice so they can change their community and also inspire others. Overall I would love to have published more than 200 books, mine inclusive before or by then.”
 
Oluwatosin is indeed a force to be reckoned with even as she’s about to release her fourth book titled IDENTITY, working to get her book, “The Deep Blue Sea” into Nigerian secondary schools and universities and also currently working on four manuscripts of soon-to-be authors.
 
 
Though her hands are quite full, she still has the capacity to serve more people all over the world. Check out her website, buy her books and if you believe you have a book in you, join her Facebook Group and engage her to explore ways in which she might be of service in helping you turn your “author” dreams into reality!
 
 
Thank you for reading. We hope you were inspired by reading Oluwatosin’s story. What struck you the most as you read her story? Care to share? Leave a comment below.
 

No one can build a profitable brand without getting to the point of having to recruit extra hands that will help you move your startup from ordinary to extraordinary. Late last year, during a conversation with one of my mentors, what was supposed to be a 30-minute session turned out to be 2 hours because we were discussing the all-important topic of things to look out for during the hiring process. For your startup to move from good to better or from ordinary to extraordinary, you will get to a point whereby you’ll need extra hands to make your dreams come true.

Identifying the need for an extra hand is the easy part but knowing when and who to hire isn’t. As a growing startup, I’ve had to make tough choices in hiring people as well and that’s why today I’ll like to share some hiring tips that have helped me up till now even as I continually evolve.

 

  1. HIRE ONLY SELF-MOTIVATED INDIVIDUALS

When you think about hiring, you must watch out for self-motivated individuals. The greatest mistake you can make is hiring someone you’d have to pump up every day. A self-motivated individual is one who is ready to take full responsibility and thrust himself or herself into the task of moving the organization forward. As a growing company, the least headache you need is having to motivate your employees on a daily basis. Motivated individuals are those who need minimal instructions, take things as theirs and are committed to seeing you succeed. They understand the simple fact that honor comes as a result of giving selflessly rather than receiving. Organizations that have gone from one person to national or multinational corporations were built by getting self-motivated individuals on board.

2.  THE PERSON MUST OWN THE VISION

As a CEO or someone at the helm of affairs, one of your responsibilities is to ensure that anyone you bring to your startup must be ready to own the vision. What do I mean by this? They must see your organization as their own and be willing to give it their best to see it succeed. But how do you make someone own the vision?

You do so by casting the vision and empowering the individual to take ownership for execution. This will make things easier

3. YOU MUST BE WILLING TO WORK FOR THE PERSON

Isn’t this supposed to be the other way around?

Let me explain this part to you. I watched a video that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook was featured in and one of the things he mentioned in the video when asked to share tips about how Facebook hires the best of the best even in the earlier days, Mark said, he doesn’t hire people that can work for him, he only hires people he can work for if the tables were to be turned around. This is profound wisdom to me because it simply means, when I hire someone, they must have the characteristics of someone I can work for. Whatever characteristics you’d want in someone you can work for should be the characteristics of someone who can work with you. This helps to get the job done because that person would have the same mindset as yours

4. FIRE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE

Sometimes, you might think you’ve hired the right person based on the exceptional performance they put up during the job interview but by the time they start working with you, you’d realize it was just makeup.  When you use makeup to cover your imperfections during the day, the truth will come home to roost at night after you’ve washed it all off. What then do you do?  Keep “making things up”? No! if you truly want to build a profitable brand, once you find out that you’ve hired the wrong person for the job, you want to fire as fast as possible so you do not try to keep on filling a basket with water.

5. HAVE A BACKUP PLAN

As an entrepreneur, you must have a backup plan and always be prepared. This is another highly relevant tip I got about hiring at a training session for entrepreneurs I attended for 3 years. It’s been three whole years but it still rings loud in my ears. Our host at that time had been in business for 17 years and she had experienced all kinds of people over the years. She shared how employees stole an entire database of customers and ran away with it and also how she had to pick herself back up from the ground to rebuild. It was indeed a bitter experience for her and she’s had several bad encounters as well so at the end of the training she had this to say.

“Always know your next hire”.

What did she mean by this?

If you have an all-important position currently held by someone and you cannot afford not to have that position filled at ALL times then you must actively groom someone else to take over or always have someone else at the back of your mind that can fit into that role perfectly should in case the person currently holding the position decides to leave without notice. This will help you prevent an unnecessary halt in operations or anything that could adversely affect your business.

Overall, as a Christian, I believe you must pray. No matter how hard you try, only God can give you the wisdom you need in picking the right people that will help you move your startup from ordinary to extraordinary.

Thank you for reading!  What other tips would you like to share about hiring? Please leave a comment and share this post with a friend.

If tomorrow, you meet Bill Gates in the elevator or get a call from Warren Buffet asking you to pitch your business, will you know what to say?

In business, there’s nothing as sweet and as magical as when you have the opportunity to present your business to someone and you’re able to describe what you do with so much clarity that causes the other party to take action.

I don’t know about you but when I first started Onpoint Success, I had trouble explaining how exactly I could help small business owners succeed. I knew what I was doing. However, finding the right words that will make others take action was so difficult. It got to a stage whereby when people ask me “so what is Onpoint Success all about?”, I just respond by saying, “you won’t understand” or I look for other ways to end the conversation as quickly as possible. Then a few months later, I enrolled in a training themed “Effective Presentations” in which I learned about the art of pitching. Since then, I have committed myself to learn how to perfect my pitching skills.

[Read: 10 Reasons Why No One is Reading Your Posts on Social Media]

As a business owner who wants to build a profitable brand, you must commit to continuous improvement and one of such improvement is being able to capture the attention of your audience at any given time.  You don’t know when opportunity will come knocking so you have to be prepared. I remember in 2016 during a conference I attended with some top sale experts, I earned a standing ovation for the best pitch/introduction. We were asked to introduce ourselves, our business and what we do and through that opportunity landed a deal to train employees at an organization.

That leads me to the question, if you meet Bill Gates in an elevator or you get a call from Warren Buffet asking you what your business is all about, will you be able to describe with clarity while also using the keywords that will allow them to gain deep insights as to what you do?

As a small business owner, one of the ways you can prepare yourself ahead of opportunities and building a profitable brand is by being able to communicate what your business is about with clarity to other people.

How do you introduce yourself to others when they ask you “what do you do?” or when they say “tell me more about your business”? Do you just introduce yourself randomly without coherence or are you being intentional about it?  Do your pitch make you stand out?

Let me work you through the steps.

First, there are majorly two types of pitches namely short-form and long -form. Short-forms are pitches that are usually 2 minutes or less while long forms are greater than 2 minutes. Whether you are developing short-form or long-form, the most important thing is for you to include pertinent details that will strike a chord in the person you are pitching to.

[Read: Dreaming of a Website? Here’s How to Create One in 5 Minutes or Less]

When you develop your pitch, include your name, the name of your business and describe what your business does.

When I teach my clients how to describe their business to others, I recommend taking the following steps:

For short-form pitch:

a. State your name and the name of your business

b. State your target audience

c. State the need you identified in your target audience and how your business will solve the pain they currently experience

d. State the SPECIFIC benefit(s) your target audience will gain as a result of doing business with you.

*Please note I highlighted the word SPECIFIC. The more specific you are, the higher the chances of getting a callback, an appointment, and the deal.

A type of a short form pitch is an elevator pitch which is usually pegged at 30 seconds. In 30 seconds, you must clearly state the pertinent details of your business.

For long-form pitches, you include everything in your short-form pitch and then delve into more details about the following:

a. why you started the business (you need to support this with concrete facts if you are pitching to investors or potential partners

b. state how you are different from the competition

c. describe the channels through you make money or intend to make money from the business

d. describe how you communicate or will communicate with your target audience

e. share your summarized financial projections or how you intend to become profitable

 

Lastly, don’t forget an opportunity most times don’t give advance notice of when, where, and how. It can meet you at the mall, in the cafeteria, on a plane or even while using an ATM machine. It can come at any time of the day and the least you can do is to be prepared. Also, remember to bring your business cards with you everywhere you go because sometimes all you have to connect with someone is 5 seconds.  And in such cases, your business cards though small can be the difference between barely surviving and greatly thriving.

 

Thanks for reading! Did you learn anything from reading this article? What other ways can one develop or prepare a pitch? Leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.