What does is it take to be a promising entrepreneur from Nigeria? It takes vision, determination and grit. The Nigerian business climate is not for the faint-hearted and so if you can start a brand from the ground up and the business can stand the test of time in Nigeria, you deserve to be celebrated. This Onpoint Success’s list of the 7 most promising Nigerian entrepreneurs is designed to let you know that the key to success is your ability to not only dream dreams but also to make things happen against all odds. Congratulations to these recipients.

[Read: Yet to Register Your Business? Here are 5 Reasons Why You Should]

Grace Okoli

Grace Okoli, Shanyi Organics                                                 

Grace Chinomso Okoli, a 25-year-old passionate African woman is a serial entrepreneur, God-lover, inspirational speaker, organic enthusiast amongst others.

She hails from Anambra State, Eastern Nigeria and is the 2nd out of 5 girls (popularly called‘The Okoli Sisters’) born into the home of Pastor and Mrs. Okoli.

A graduate of Microbiology from the University of Lagos, Nigeria in 2014, alumni of the Central Bank of Nigeria Enterprise Development Centre in 2016, selected as one of the successful 1,000 entrepreneurs in Africa for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurial Program in 2017 and one of the successful entrepreneurs selected for YouWin Connect in 2017.

She launched her first business Shanyi Organics in January 2016, an organic beauty manufacturing company that focuses on the formulation and sales of hair and beauty care products made from pure, certified organic ingredients, herbs, oils, butter and plant extracts targeted at the Afro textured woman and her family. 

One year later in March 2017, Shanyi Organics was nominated by BelleAfricana ACE Awards as Best Emerging Beauty Brand in Nigeria. In May 2017, Shanyi Organics was nominated by the Afrinikky Awards as The Best Natural Haircare Product in Nigeria. In June 2017, she was nominated by SME 100 Nigeria for the 25 under 25Award in the Manufacturing Category and in November 2017, she was nominated by The Future Africa Awards in the Beauty Category. In July 2018, Shanyi Organics won the 25 under 25 Award in the Beauty Category and in November 2018, she was nominated by HER Network Woman of the Year Award in the Woman of the Future category.

[Read:7 Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Next Networking Event]

Funmi Oyatogun

Funmi Oyatogun, TVP Adventures                                              

Funmi Oyatogun is the founder of TVP Adventures, a travel company she founded in 2016 to offer budget-friendly that all-inclusive itineraries and adventures within explore Africa.

TVP Adventures organizes group tours, custom trips, honeymoons, retreats and other adventures around Nigeria and Africa. It takes care of the hassles of planning for trips, as well as sell adventure travel packages for budget travelers.

TVP Adventures has planned and executed trips to over 50 locations in Nigeria and Africa.

Oyatogun holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado – Boulder and a master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh.

Through her NGO,  Wahamba, she also provides outdoor learning and leadership experiences for under-served teens.

Wahamba has organized two camp meetings for teenagers: the first edition involving teenagers on a slavery tour in the Badagry area of Lagos.

[Read: 7 Ways to Monetize Your Skills]

Femi Aliu

Femi Aliu, MyFarmBase                                                  

Femi Aliu is the founder of Myfarmbase.com.ng where he focuse on using an array of tech tools to solve key problems across the food value chain.

He calls himself a “Techie Farmer” who is passionate about the future of Agriculture and the recent technological trends that anchors Agriculture in the 21st century.

Aliu’s Agtech inclinations includes use of emerging technologies like Blockchain, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Hydroponics and Green House Technology in emerging economies to advance food security in Africa.

He was named top 20 African Youth in Agribusiness in 2017 at the African Agribusiness Challenge and he has graced many global conferences to speak about his passion including TEDxIbara where he spoke about “Smart Agriculture and Technology”, the biggest South-South Tech convergence, Start Confest in Akwa Ibom, the African Youth Empowerment Forum by Afrika Youth Movement, Ghana. His paper on how emerging technologies can power agriculture in Africa was selected amongst top 30 to be published at the African Union in 2018.

He is a Tony Elumelu Foundation mentor, a Fate Foundation mentor, a Google Launchpad mentor and a Nigeria Bottling Company youth mentor amongst many.

He is also a communications professional whose skills and experiences have been put to good use in many global organizations in the UK, Singapore and Nigeria.

[Read: How to Start a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog]

Uju Udoka

Uju Udoka, Lady Painter                                                

Uju Udoka is the founder, Lady Painter.

She is a 2010 graduate of the University of Port Harcourt, where she studied Economics.

The Lady Painter is Nigeria’s first Female Painter offering commercial painting services and providing unequaled painting services for residential and commercial spaces, from 3D Visuals to implementation of the paint design with emphasis on detail and quality.

Udoka left her banking career and started painting in 2015 when she got bored with seeing bland walls in homes and offices. She decided to bring in that wow factor into spaces using paint to make sure that every wall has a story to tell or a statement to make and reflects her client’s personality.

She is passionate about making homes and offices beautiful by bringing walls to life.

Chioma Ifeanyi-Eze

Chioma Ifeanyi-Eze, Accounting Hub

Chioma Ifeanyi-Eze is the founder of Accountinghub.ng, Nigeria’s No. 1 small business accountant; offering an online and retail shop selling professional accounting services.

Launched in mid-2015, Accounting Hub is Nigeria’s No. 1 small business accountant; offering an online and retail shop selling professional accounting services. It brings together a collection of brilliant accountants and consultants offering quality accounting services to Nigerian SMEs. Born out of the need to grow healthier Nigerian businesses, it offers an extremely new, affordable, fast and easy access to accounting and business financial consulting tasks.

Ifeanyi-Eze is the recipient of the 2018 Advisor of the Year award from Sage Partners.

[Read: How to Get Started with Content Marketing]

Olawale Ayilara

Olawale Ayilara, LandWey Investment

Olawale Ayilara started out as an entrepreneur by running a coaching center in Abeokuta, Ogun state in Nigeria, but that business soon failed. He got into printing, business consulting, and even sold food at the annual The Experience concert held in Lagos at some point. They all failed after some time.

At some point, Ayilara even left the country and it was while he was away in South Africa, researching on what he wanted to do, that he decided to get into the real estate industry.

Three years prior to starting his business, Ayilara took time to learn about what it entails. He was providing digital marketing services for real estate firms and he at one time, helped a company increase its sales by N85 M in one month, a landmark achievement for that company, considering how much it had made in the entirety of its existence.

Ayilara decided to bring all his experience into play to start his business – LandWey Investment Limited.

By 2018, the company, which started with 5 employees, now has 42 full-time staff, 370 realtors and 16,000 consultants.

Ayilara has also been passionate about youth development and is the founder and director ofBeyond School Initiative which provides training programs for university students.

He’s an alumnus of Lagos Business School with an MBA from the London Metropolitan School of Business. In 2018, he was named in Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 (Business) list.

[Read: How to Start Charging CustomersWhat You Truly Deserve]

Temitope Ogunsemo

Temitope Ogunsemo, Krystal Digital Networks

Temitope Ogunsemo is the founder of  Krystal Digital Networks, an ICT company that creates software applications for educational institutions in Nigeria, helping them improve their services. The company makes an annual revenue of $3 million(over a billion Naira). My Skool Portal is the company’s product which is a web-based application for School Information Management System designed for proper storage and documentation of school data.

Krystal Digital Networks Ltd currently services about 48% of federal government colleges in Nigeria.

Ogunsemo partnered with Microsoft to provide quality education training resources on Microsoft technologies to help institutions, faculty and staff and its enrolled students obtain the skills needed to reach their academic and career potential through the Krystal/Microsoft Imagine Academy partnership.

KrystalDigital Networks has now commenced IT training program in Twenty-four (24) Unity Schools.

Ogunsemo has a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Ibadan and a master’s degree in Information Technology from the University of Salford.

In 2015, Ogunsemo won the Nigeria Technology Awards (NiTA)’s Best School ManagementSoftware Developer award.

In 2018, he was named in Forbes’ 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa list.

[Read: How to Handle People Who Belittle Your Dreams]

Thank you for reading. Did you find your favorite entrepreneur’s name on the list? Please leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

The marketplace is getting increasingly crowded daily and if you truly want to build a profitable brand in 2019, you must learn how to stand out in the marketplace. If you stand out in the marketplace, it makes business more enjoyable for you because you’ll not need to struggle to get customers.

In the past, standing out in the marketplace was mostly centered around having quality products. While having quality products is a great way to stand out, in 2019, this will no longer guarantee that you’ll stand out in the marketplace.

To stand out, you need to go beyond just having quality products and understanding how the consumers want to be served.

In my business, I continuously focus on ways in which I can stand out in the marketplace, attract quality customers and retain them. If you want to stand out in the marketplace in 2019, here are 7 ways you can go about it.

[Read: How to Attract Quality Customers When You are New to the Marketplace]

  • Put your heart into your business: If you put your heart in your business, it will make you stand out and consumers will notice it. The marketplace is crowded because many people are simply in business for the fun of it. If you put your heart in your business, it will show in the way you market your brand and how you deliver your services to your customers.
  • Do more than talking: A lot of entrepreneurs talk about what they can offer but they do not have the capacity to serve the customers. Standing out in the marketplace in 2019 means that you are willing to do more than talking. It means you must do everything you can to ensure that when customers come calling, you can deliver on your promises.

[Read: How to HandlePeople Who Belittle Your Dreams]

  • Do not bite more than you can chew: The easiest way to go into oblivion is to bite more than you can chew. I fell for this trap at some point in my business life. I offered too many services that led to stretching myself too thin and not being able to meet up with customer’s expectations. Thankfully, I rebounded from that situation with the help of mentors and coaches. If you want to stand out in the marketplace in 2019, reduce your offerings and do not bite more than you can chew.
  • Raise your prices: This is the part that a lot of people are scared of. The reason is because they fear that if they raise their prices, they will losecustomers. This might be true but if you raise your prices and deliver topnotch goods and services, you’ll attract quality customers
  • Incorporate convenience: The average consumers are busy and anything that will make their lives easier, they will gladly embrace and won’t mind paying a little extra. As you think about standing out in the marketplace in 2019, think of ways you can incorporate convenience in the way you serve your customers.

[Read: Here are the Top 3 Reasons Why You Don’t Have Repeat Customers]

  • Be transparent: One of the things that customers look out for in a brand is transparency. If your services are shrouded in vagueness and secrecy,be sure that customers will bypass your brand. It’s not enough to have quality products, your service delivery must be transparent and easily understood by your customers for you to stand out.
  • Focus on the experience: People will forget what you said to them, but they can never forget how you made them feel. In 2019, focus on creating a memorable experience for every customer and watch how they’ll become your mouthpiece.

Thank you for reading. What other way do you think you can stand out in the marketplace in 2019. Please leave a comment and remember to share this post with a friend.

Three years ago, I organized a seminar in Lagos, Nigeria tagged “Passion to Profit” and little did I know that the event will impact more lives than I can ever keep track of.

My idea was simple. I had learned how to profit from my passion with little to no resources and it was time for me to teach others how to do the same.

Planning and hosting the event beyond the borders was tasking but the fruits outweigh the seed and the labor. Till this day, I am still in touch with many of the participants and I have watched them blossom in their respective fields.

Do you have a skill you are passionate about? Have you always wondered whether you can profit from your passion? Well, I have good news for you and that is, profiting from your passion is a real thing. You can be passionate about something and build a profitable it.

Why Passion is Important

A lot of people question why passion is important and I would like to address that before I share the steps of getting started. Passion is important because building a profitable brand or business is an arduous task such that without passion, throwing in the towel becomes inevitable.

I remember when I first started my business, it took me 15 months before I made the first sale. If I wasn’t passionate about my brand, there was no way I could have waited for that long.

Other than this reason, entrepreneurship is filled with a lot of rollercoaster moments such that if you are not rooted in passion, it is very easy to be thrown off the ride. For these reasons and many more, passion is important when it comes to entrepreneurship

[Read: How to Attract Quality Customers When You are New to the Marketplace]

Getting Started

Now that you have decided to start profiting from your passion, it’s time to talk about how to get started. As with every great thing in life, you must be willing to follow the process and give it all it will take.

Profiting from your passion is not something that will happen overnight. It is something that will happen over time. Also, your goals will not be achieved on a platter of gold, it takes sweat, grit and determination. To get started, here are 10 steps you should take that will help you build a profitable brand.

  • Decide on a unique name: The name of your business is everything so you should take your time in picking a unique one. When picking a name, decide on a name that speaks to the essence of your brand and that will be memorable to anyone that “hears” it.
  • Create a business model: A business model is a document that details how your business will make a profit. Knowing how your business will make a profit is very important and you should not skip this process.
  • Register your business: A lot of entrepreneurs skip this stage but it’s important that you register your business as soon as possible. Registering your business makes it official and it also ensures that no other business is using the same name.
  • The last thing you want is building your brand and then when you are ready to register, the business name you chose has been registered by someone else.

[Read: Yet to Register Your Business? Here are 5 Reasons Why You Should]

  • Set up your social media accounts for business: The moment you decide to start profiting from your passion, it’s time to start doing things like you mean it. Setting up your social media accounts sends a strong signal to your networkthat you are ready for business. In addition to this, having these accounts aresure ways of letting those who need your services easily find you.
  • Get professional looking pictures: A picture is worth more than a thousand words. The type of pictures you use on your business accounts sends a message to prospects about the type of brand you are about to do. As you are getting started, be sure to use professionally-looking pictures. My preference is that you organize a professional photo shoot with a photographer that understands branding. If money is a constraint, you can get stock photos from websites like Pixabay, Pexels and even Unsplash.
  • Create appealing graphics: As pictures are very important, so are graphics. Graphicsare not just about creating anything, the key is to create appealing graphics. In the past, I used to recommend getting a graphic designer. However, if you want to get things done fast and save money, there are many apps and web-based tools you can use in creating appealing graphics.

[Read:4 Graphic Design Tools That Will Help You Create Stunning Designs Like a Pro]

  • Create content that will last you for one month: The fastest way to undermine your efforts is to start a brand and run out of content in a short time. If you run out of content, you’ll lose a huge chunk of the target audience you are beginning to attract.
  • Announce your launch day: I see people starting a business without any announcement yet get upset that no one patronizes them. It does not work that way. To profit from your passion, you must get your brand into the sub-conscious minds of the people you seek to serve. Announcing a launch day is a great way to alert people in your network that something grand is coming.
  • Create a special offer: On launch day, you need to give your target audience a reason to tell others about your brand. One way to do this is by creating a special offer that can be passed along. From offering a certain percentage off to waiving fees or offering referral kickbacks, you can create offers that are too good to resist.
  • Launch your business: Once you announce your launch day, start working toward launching your business. You can choose to launch at a physical location or online depending on the type of business and what you are trying to achieve.

Once you follow these steps, you are ready to profit from your passion. Remember that these steps are just the beginning steps and things don’t stop there. You’ll need to continuously market your brand and come up with strategies to not only attract customers, but also to retain them.

All in all, building a profitable brand from your passion is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself.

Thank you for reading. What other step will you take to profit from your passion? Leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

One of the things I love about the 21st century is the opportunity it presents for people to do business beyond the borders. My brand might still be an idea on paper if the internet is inexistent but because of the internet, I have been privileged to build a brand beyond the borders. I have a client base in three (3) continents, four (4) countries and in more than twenty (20) cities across the world and counting.

Would you like to do business beyond the borders as well? It’s possible as long as you put your heart to it and you are ready to do the needful.

One question that I get a lot is, what type of business can do business beyond the border? My answer to that is, most businesses can do business beyond the border. Whether you are a service-based business or you sell physical goods, you can do business beyond the borders as long as you have access to the internet.

[Read: From Idea to Innovation Launching Your Own Business]

To help you get started with doing business beyond the borders, I have listed seven (7) steps below. Following these steps will help you make your dreams of doing business beyond the borders come true.

Put Your House in Order: What do I mean by “put your house in order?” This simply means preparing your business to attract customers from all parts of the world.

How do you prepare your business?

You prepare your business by making sure that the view of your business online looks more like a business than a “joke.” In your online profile, fill out every pertinent information like your mission, email, location, contact information and phone number. Also, be sure to include professional cover photos and maintain active accounts that show that there is a real person behind the brand. Doing this will give people beyond the borders that your business is legitimate.

Get Out of Your Nest: Once your house is in order, the next step is to get out of your nest and start interacting with people who match the description of your target audience. If you want to do business beyond the borders, you must learn how to identify and engage with prospects online. One way to identify prospects is with the use of hashtags on Instagram. Search for hashtags used by people who need your goods/services and start interacting with those accounts.  

Collect email addresses: Now that you are out of your nest and engaging your target audience, it’s time to start collecting their email addresses using email marketing. This way you can ensure that you have their contact info and you can start adding value.

[Read: Follow These 7 Steps and Watch Your Christmas Sales Soar]

Add value: The phrase “add value” cannot be over-emphasized. Adding value simply means you are sharing information with your target audience that they might have otherwise paid for. Adding value is a great way to earn the trust of your target audience and also position yourself as an expert in that field.

Sell: Doing business beyond the borders involve selling. If you don’t sell, then there’s no way your business can grow. However, selling should be done with integrity. You should always “under promise and over deliver” during the sales process so that your customers will not only continue to come, but they will also refer their friends.

Ask for a testimonial:Nothing compares to a testimonial given by a satisfied customer. Suchtestimonial is usually authentic and will help you attract even more peoplebeyond the borders.

Focus on marketing: No matter how great your product is, if no one knows about it, your business will be impacted. If you truly want to do business beyond the border, you must focus on marketing. The type of marketing you’ll adopt will depend on your type of business. The goal is to use a holistic approach that will help you maximize your resources

[Read: How to Attract Quality Customers When You’re New to Marketplace]

Doing business beyond the borders is a possibility if you put your heart to it. Keep learning and keep evolving and with time, you’ll reap therewards of building a business beyond the borders.

Thanks for reading. Would you like to do business beyond the border? Leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

When I started building my brand, I started by telling stories. This was way before I ever realized how much power storytelling had on building a profitable brand.

I share stories about my dreams, accomplishments and struggles. In my mind, I believed that if I share my stories, it would encourage other people to go after their dreams as well.

However, as time began to fly by, I began noticing that the more stories I told, the more engagement I got and the more I converted prospects into clients. Most inquiries usually come from a story I wrote and that’s why I take storytelling seriously.

For this reason, each time I work with clients on a project, I always teach them how to leverage the power of storytelling in building their brands. At first, some people resist the idea but when I explain how powerful storytelling is, they embrace it wholeheartedly.

[Read: How to Speak with Confidence and Present with Power During Your Next Public Presentation]

The Power of Storytelling

If you have not tapped into the power of storytelling in building your brand, you are probably leaving money on the table. If you own a brand and you are wondering what exactly is the power of storytelling, below are 5.

  • It helps you capture attention: For you to build a profitable brand, you must capture the attention of your target audience. One way of doing this is by telling stories. Good stories help you capture the attention of your target audience
  • It makes you memorable: When you tell lots of stories that capture the attention of your target audience, it moves you from being just another person to being a memorable person.
  • It makes people relate better with your brand: When people read your brand’s story, it makes them relate better to you. Now, everyone starts to feel they are connected with you somehow and this drives them to want to do business with you.
  • It increases your reach: The more stories you tell, the more people you can reach and the more profitable your brand will be.
  • It earns you trust: When you tell your authentic stories, people will begin to trust you more and when people trust you, it helps you close more deals.

[Read: Here are the Top 3 Reasons WhyYou Don’t Have Repeat Customers]

Steps to Becoming a Storyteller

Storytelling is not as complex as many people make it look like. It does not require a special skill nor does it require an intellect out of the ordinary. If you are interested in using storytelling as a way to grow your brand, here are some ways to go about it.

  • Be open: Becoming a good storyteller starts from being open. If you are given to hiding every detail about you then you won’t get as far as you’d want.
  • Read stories: Whether you admit it or not, inspiration comes from reading other people’s stories. Therefore, if you want to become a great storyteller, become a great story reader.
  • Keep a journal: If you are just getting started with storytelling, keeping a journal might help you come up with beautiful stories over time.
  • Practice daily: Rome was built daily not in a day. If you want to become a storyteller, practice daily.

[Read: How to Standout and Become Indispensable in the Workplace]

As you begin to use storytelling as a way of building a profitable brand, always keep your focus on your real goal. It is tempting to drift from your goal especially when people begin to connect with your brand.

Always keep your eyes and heart on probably eating truly matter. Any activity that will keep you farther from your destination should be avoided as much as it lies within your power. Storytelling is powerful and when used right, it can help you build your brand profitably.

Thank you for reading. Do you use storytelling in building your brand? Leave a comment below and remember to share with a friend.

The idea of generating passive income was sown in my heart back in 2010 when I read the 4-hour work week by Tim Ferris

At that time, I attended seminars thinking about the direction in which I wanted to go so I didn’t quite grasp the concept fully. In my head erroneously of generating that passive income was not for me. I felt like I needed a sound structure and a business with a huge sum of money to invest before the passive income can kick off.

In 2014, I attended a seminar where I learned about building systems in business for a passive-income generation. After the seminar, I began to take the idea of generating passive income more seriously. I research, read books, attend seminars and events so I could come up with ways to generate passive income in my business.

[Read: Practical Ways of Reducing Your Overhead Costs and Increasing Your Profit Margin]

Monetize your blog

If you do not have a blog, you are giving up your right to generate passive income. If you have a blog and you do not monetize it, then you are working hard while also leaving money on the table. I understand that everyone’s goal is different but there’s nothing like having money consistently flowing into your business.

The easiest way you can monetize your blog is by signing up for Google ad sense. Google AdSense is a program run by Google that allows publishers in the Google network of content sites to serve automatic text, image, video, or interactive media advertisements, that are targeted to site content and audience. These advertisements are administered, sorted, and maintained by Google. They can generate revenue on either a per-click or per-impression basis. 

Write a book

If your goal is to generate passive income, then write a book. I wrote and published my book in March 2018 and every month I get a check from the sales of my book. I only had to write my book once but it has consistently paid me for 9 months now and it will continue to pay me.

If you are still on the sidelines of writing a book, this is the time to get in the game. However, I will admit that book writing is a painful process and also that writing a book does not necessarily mean you’ll sell lots of copies. Despite this, writing a book is an excellent way to generate passive income for a lifetime

[Read:Writing a Book? Here are 9 Steps to Follow to Publish Successfully]

Start a dropshipping business

A dropshipping business is a great way to generate passive income. Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the merchant never sees or handles the product.

The biggest difference between dropshipping and the standard retail model is that the selling merchant doesn’t stock or own inventory. Instead, the merchant purchases inventory as needed from a third party – usually a wholesaler or manufacturer – to fulfill orders. 

Thank you for reading. What other way do you generate passive income in your business? Leave a comment and remember to share this post with a friend.

If you truly want to build a profitable brand, you need tools that will help you boost productivity, accountability and success.

Gone were the days where one could afford to be lagging behind. These days, the competition in the marketplace is extremely high and therefore, you need tools that will help you get the job done. However, if care is not taken, it is very easy to get swamped or lost in the sea of the never-ending options.

As a business owner, what tools do you truly need to build a profitable brand and what apps should you discard?

I have created a list of 17 must-have tools to boost your productivity, accountability and success in business.

Grammarly

This is a proofreading tool that I am absolutely in love with. It proofreads as I write and help me avoid costly grammatical blunders. You should definitely check this out so that you can cut time spent on proofreading by at least 80%.

Todoist

The world is getting noisier daily. As an entrepreneur who wants to get things done, you need a tool that will keep you on track. Todoist lets you create a list of things to do so nothing falls through the crack

Adobe Spark

If you run the major part of your business online, you need great designs. Great designs capture the attention of your target audience. With Adobe Spark, you can create attention-grabbing and sleek designs in less time. This, in turn, boosts your creativity.

Canva

Just like Adobe Spark, Canva helps you design stunning graphics like a pro. Canva is a favorite because it lets you design the graphics straight from your phone.

[Read: 6 Practical Ways to Inspire Creativity]

PicsArt

I love PicsArt most especially because you can use it to enhance your graphic designs straight from your phone. You can create sleek-looking designs in a matter of minutes.

Acuity Scheduling

If you are looking to free up the time you spend trying to book client, Acuity Scheduling is for you. This comes highly recommended especially if you are a consultant and find it hard to charge for your services. Acuity scheduling allows clients to pay you before you meet with them. Awesome!

Unum

If you want a curated Instagram look and feel, Unum is the way to organize your Instagram feed the way you love.

Focus@Will

As the name suggests, Focus@Will reduces distraction. Distraction is one of the reasons people seem to work hard but have nothing to show for it. If you want to boost your productivity in business, this is an app you want to download on your phone.

And.co

This is my latest favorite tool for boosting productivity. If you want to design eye-catching proposals, contracts and invoices, then And.co is the way to go. Just check it out and thank me later.

Trello

When clients hire you, all they want is that you get the job done. And if you are looking for a tool to help you keep track of your work, so you are on schedule, look no further than Trello.

Hootsuite

If you’ve been dreaming of boosting your productivity in business, it’s time to start scheduling your social media content. That way you can free up some time to focus on more income-generating tasks in your business

[Read: How to Use a Holistic MarketingStrategy to Scale Your Business]

WaveApp

This is excellent for sending quick invoices and receipts to customers straight from your phone

EchoSign

This is perfect for signing and scanning vital business documents. It also helps with record keeping.

TrackMaven

I just discovered this app and it helps you optimize your content distribution, identify marketing opportunities Staying ahead of your competition is a challenge, but TrackMaven can help. The app can optimize your content distribution and help you identify marketing opportunities, while also tracking your competitors’ content and strategies.

Expensify

If you don’t track your expenses, you increase the likelihood of overspending. This can really affect your business success. Expensify can help you track your expenses, so you know what to cut and what to keep doing

PayPal

To build a global brand, you need an international payment system. Paypal is a tool you can use to get paid from multiple countries across the world.

DigitalCard

Never lose important contacts again. With DigitalCard, you can have your contacts’information easily accessible.

Thank you for reading. What other tools do you recommend that helps to improve productivity in business? Leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

Let’s take a good look in the mirror. Running a business is right in front of you. You wear all the hats as a business owner and yet YOU are not the most important person! That was hard to hear right? You are the one who is responsible for the everyday running of the whole show… administration, inventory, email, billing and janitor! Just you. Your role as a leader is hard enough but I am here to give you another role in the whole circus – a magician hat.

I have spent 18 years wearing a magician hat. I have successfully built and more importantly, retained my clients for all those years. I have a 96% retention rate of clients and haven’t had the ability to take on a new client for several years. Clients only go when they move away, have scheduling issues or pass on.

Looking back now at how I have managed to do that, I must admit I rely on the power of mirroring. I’ll share with you exactly what I do for my strong retention game!

[Read: How to Start Charging Customers What You Truly Deserve]

You must have the ability to magically transform with each new client you face. You must shift fast, quickly assess the client’s energy and mirror them. I usually see five to six clients per day. With each new client that enters my salon, I have 0.27 seconds to observe and adjust to them. I am a pro at energy reading and with practice, you can be too.

Key things to be aware of:

  • Energy: How do they enter the room or space? Do they open the door softly and close it gently behind them? Do they bound in and rush to great you, not bothering with closing the door?
  • Confidence: How are they interacting with you? Are they looking directly at you? In the eyes? Are they looking down?
  • Body Language: What is their body saying? How do their shoulders look? Up and stressed? Down and arms free and swinging? Are they dressed up? Are they in legging and a tee shirt?

This quick assessment gets easier over time and even helps in your relationships and personal life.

[Read: How to Earn Loyalty from your Current Customers and Turn Them into Raving Fans]

The power of mirroring allows me to shift not only my mindset, but my energy and emotions. If I see a client that is introverted, then I speak to them calmly and slower than my “high energy” self. I will match their voice level and soften my body language. In contrast, if I have an extroverted client, I pull all the energy I can muster and join them laughing, talking fast and using big gestures.

This is exactly why my clients feel comfortable in my environment and keep coming back.

Even though I make it a daily goal to focus on adjusting myself this doesn’t mean I am fake. I am exactly who I am, just adjusting my energy level. It can be draining at the end of the day, but if I don’t have retention, then I’m hustling too hard to find new clients. I strongly believe that it is easier to retain a loyal client than to be on the hunt for a new client.

At the end of the day, I really love getting to know my clients on an intimate level. I am grateful for them and their loyalty to me. By the act of mirroring, I have created a family. You too can!

Thank you for reading. What other ways would you recommend for customer-retention? Kindly leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

There is no way you can reach your business goals without learning how to manage your time properly and that’s why as a business owner, you must be committed to learning time-management skills that will put you on the path of progress. When it comes to being able to manage one’s time effectively, I wasn’t always on top. There was a time in my life when I simply could not account for how I spent my time let alone reach my goals and instead of finding ways to learn how to manage my time effectively, I resorted into a blame game and convinced myself that I simply needed more time.

Over time, I noticed that year after year, I kept falling farther away from my goals and then decided to research about time management. During my research, I came across powerful teachings by the great American Business Philosopher, Jim Rohn who opined in many of his messages that everyone had the same 24 hours daily and the difference in the results was about how we spent our time. From listening to Jim Rohn speak about the importance of being accountable for time spent, I began to experience a new level of time consciousness that helped me to begin to reach my business goals.

As a business owner, if you truly want to reach or exceed your goals, you must learn how to manage your time effectively. Here are 6 time-management tips you can immediately implement and start getting results.

[Read: Starting a New Business? Here are 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid]

1. Listen to something inspirational after you wake up: One of the ways you can learn how to manage your time effectively, get more things done and reach your business goals is by listening to something inspirational daily. Inspirational teachings have a way of charging up one’s spirit which in turn sets you in the right mood for getting things done.

When you listen to something inspirational, you begin to see possibilities instead of impossibilities.

You feel empowered to take on tasks you’d normally avoid or that would have taken you longer to accomplish. Inspirational messages breed creativity, sparks your passion and give you a drive toward spending your time on things that matter.

2. Start your day with goals: If there’s one “time-management” tip I readily offer to anyone who solicits for my opinion on the subject matter, it is that you should start your day with goals. Many years ago, my family moved close to one of my favorite shopping malls. Many times, I visited the mall out of impulse instead of having a real goal. The result? Going back home with shopping bags containing items I don’t need and the more mind-boggling thing is the time wasted on activities that drew me farther from my goals.

If you truly want to grow your business, you must learn to start your day with specific goals in mind.

This will help you prevent distraction or getting involved in activities that are not already in your schedule. The result? You’ll start managing your time better, get more things done and get better results than the average person you know.

[Read: How to Get Started with Content Marketing]

3. Work during your optimal performance time range: In order to manage your time effectively and grow your brand, you must learn to work when you know that your optimal performance is guaranteed. What is optimal performance, in this context?

Optimal performance is when your performance is at its peak.

I believe everyone including you and I have times during a given 24-hour period when we perform optimally. For example, if you are someone whose brain performs optimally at night, you may want to schedule your activities during that time and vice versa. Trying to work at a time for which you are not built for not only waste times, but also it’s a perfect recipe for not getting things done.

4. Spend more time on activities that produce a profit: As a business owner, you are in business to acquire customers and make a profit. Anything outside of that is called a filler. Many business owners waste time, become overwhelmed and do not produce results because they do not focus their energy on profit-producing activities. What do you focus your time on?

Activities like posting on social media that gets you plenty of likes but no customers is an example of an activity that yields no profit.

Responding to customer inquiries in a timely fashion, submitting a proposal to a prospect/customer and giving a sale presentation are examples of activities that produce a profit in a business. Take a look at your business and decide which of your activities produce profit and start spending more time on those activities so you can move closer to reaching your business goals.

[Read: How to Start Charging Customers What You Truly Deserve]

5. Shut down your phone: I wish there was a way I could imprint this in the heart of every business owner I know.

If you want to become a better manager of your time and reach your business goals, you must learn to shut down your phone.

My phone used to be a source of huge distraction for me with the never-ending beeps and notifications that lure me away from doing the things that truly matter. When I noticed how much time I waste pressing my phone endlessly and wandering the internet like a lost child, I decided to start turning off my phone when I am in the middle of completing my most important tasks. For my less important tasks, I leave my phone on but place it on mute (in fact, my phone has been on permanent mute for the last 3 years) and place it face down. With this practice, I have not only been able to better manage my time and reach my business goals, but I have also experienced sanity (for a lack of better word) than ever before.

6. Delegate: There’s nothing that waste time as much as spending time on tasks that could easily be delegated to someone else or even to technology. As a business owner, there’s always a tendency not to want to delegate because of the other person’s ability to get the job done. In the process of trying to do everything yourself, can lead to burnout, ineffectiveness and ultimately, having little to no results to show for the time spent.

 

Thank you for reading. What other time-management tips would you like to share? Kindly leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

 

Christmas is that time of the year where most people have no choice than to spend, spend and spend some more. This makes December, the second month after November when business sales soar. However, if you are not strategic about how to make your sales soar, it might also turn out to be a period of dismal sales performance. I am always amused when I see business owners who always blames the economy for low sales while they fold arms and watch their competitors’ cash in (big). Every business owner, including you, have the opportunity to make Christmas sales soar but nothing will happen if you do not take the necessary steps. If you are ready to watch your Christmas Sales soar, follow these seven proven steps and be on your way to making your dreams come true.

1. Set a concrete sales goal: This is one crucial part a lot of business owners leave out of their strategy yet having a sales goal is the only way you can know how to plan on reaching the goal and more importantly, it’s the only way you’ll know once you reach or exceed that goal. Often times, I have found out that the lack of a concrete goal is the number one reason why many people are not making significant progress when it comes to sales.

This is December, if you want your Christmas sales to soar, it’s time to get to work and set a concrete sales goal.

How do you do this? Take a look at your average monthly sales trend in 2018 and double the average for the month of December. Even if you do not end up doubling your sales, you will exceed your average monthly sales if you follow these steps to the dot.

2. Create a SIMPLE yet compelling deal: Once you set a goal, the next step is to create a simple yet compelling deal. What does this mean? It means that your deal must be easily comprehensible, devoid of complex words/steps and is easily accessible. Why is this important? As much as the Christmas season is the period where lots of consumers spend, it’s also a time of stress.

People are stressed from having to shop for gifts for the special people in their life and if you, as a business owner, can step in and reduce the mental and physical stress of your target audience by creating a simple yet compelling deal, you will win your way into their pockets.

Do not try to promote too many products at a time for it is better to have few products that people will buy in multiples than have many products that make it hard for people to choose and therefore they turn away from your brand. Creating a simple yet compelling deal is the way to go if you want your Christmas sales to soar!

[Read: How to Earn Loyalty from Your Current Customers and Turn them into Raving Fans]

3. Set a pocket-friendly price: Pricing is highly important, and you should put some thought into how much you price your deal if you want your Christmas sales to soar.

Consumers are already overwhelmed but if your deal is pocket-friendly, valuable and convenient, they will buy from you and your Christmas sales will soar.

Also, in setting your price, consider using numbers that are not rounded. For example, it is better to price a $10 gift as $9, $9.99, $9.1 etc. This pricing system has a way f making consumers feel they are not paying full price. and Set a price for your deal such that it’s pocket-friendly and it gives value in exchange for money.

[Read: How to Start Charging Customers What You Truly Deserve]

4. Create catchy graphics: There is high competition on social media so if you truly want people to stop in their tracks and view what you have to offer, the graphic designs you create to promote your deal must be clean and catchy. Avoid putting too many words on your graphics because social media platforms will reduce the reach of such designs. Also, designing graphics with too many words is a fast way for your message to get lost in the sea of words.

5. Do a countdown: A countdown is designed to create anticipation. I am always taken aback when I see business owners sleep and wake up to announce a new deal without “preparing” the minds of their audience.

If you do not do a countdown to your deal, chances are it won’t be known by as many people as you would if you had created some form of anticipation using countdowns.

People love anticipation because it creates an excitement in them and because Christmas is 25 days away, I will suggest that your countdown is set for three to five days. During that time, use the principles of content marketing to draw in your audience and make them long for your deal. On the D-day, if you follow the due process for your countdown, you might be sold out!

6. Promote, promote, promote: It doesn’t matter how great of a deal you have if you don’t promote it, people will pass by your great deal for a deal that’s not even at par with yours and they’d be happy. One thing I have found out with many business owners is that they are full of excuses. Even the bible says, “no man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

I would like to modify that and say that no business owner who starts the process of creating a deal and then fails to promote the deal is fit for profit. If you’ve done the hard work of creating a deal but drop the ball at the last minute or come up with excuses, then it’s impossible for your Christmas sales to soar.

Promotion creates visibility and it is only when your deal is visible that people can buy.

Promote your deal across many social media platforms to enhance your visibility. If you need to spend some money on ads, go ahead and do it as long as you have followed the steps I described above. In spending money on ads, remember to follow the steps of writing an effective ad copy.

[Read: 7 Things That Hinder Success]

7. Ask for cross-posting from your inner circle: One can chase a thousand but two can chase ten thousand. That’s a powerful and relevant statement to what cross-posting can do for your brand.

If you are a business owner and you rely only on your efforts to reach your sales goals, you are simply walking on a tightrope.

If you truly want to see your Christmas sales soar, you must leverage on the strength of your inner circle. I am assuming that you already belong to a community of supportive entrepreneurs who go all out to support your dreams by cross-posting on their platforms when you request for it. Cross-posting is an effective way for your efforts to be multiplied especially because there’s a limit to the number of people you can reach by yourself. Cross-posting is a powerful way to reach new and relevant audiences, maximize visibility and make your Christmas sales soar!

Overall, building a business takes courage and for your Christmas sales to soar, you must have the courage to follow all these steps to the dot.

Did you find this useful? What deal will you be creating? Kindly leave a comment, share this post with a friend and then get to work. Time is of the essence!