Launching new product - cfagbata

Common Obstacles That You Might Face, When Launching Your New Product

Many obstacles stand in the way of entrepreneurs when they are trying to bring a new product to the market.

It is a real challenge when launching your new physical product.

Do you need to deal with the challenges that face the launch of a new product?

This article is for you, to point out the gray areas, in product launching.

Product Development

For a complex technological product, its physical development requires different fields of input.

A number of entrepreneurs, lack the adequate skills to develop new products, though, you would rarely find an individual, with the complete skills for product development.

Designing a new product, most times, takes a team of product developers.

These days, entrepreneurs have unlimited access, to resources, especially, from freelancers.

You may not have the luxury of a team of developers, but professional freelancers, are at your disposal, for you to use.

Failure To Implement Market Feedback

Rather than jump into the full version launch, you can make do with the demo version, by releasing it, into the market.

Get feedback from your target market and fully implement the comments, into your original version.

Since a lot is spent on developing a physical product, you ought to get your priorities right.

You could sell your product on your website, or, do a crowdfunding campaign.

Prototyping: Start with the prototype version of your product. It is often cheap and simple to maintain, then, gradually, you move to the final version.

You may also prefer, dividing the aspects of your product, into two distinct prototypes.

The first part, demonstrates the functionality of your product, while the second part is, the one that shows the shape factor of your product.

Finally, you have a merger of two prototypes and at this level, you should be close to your final product.

Moving From Prototype To Manufacturing

Getting to have a functional prototype, is a step in the right direction; nevertheless, your product is still far from market readiness.

Never underestimate the implications of costing and timing, of your mass production.

Rather than creating your own factory to manufacture, simply pay a contractor to manufacture your product.

Though it may be quite difficult to get this done, you, therefore, need to find your way around a manufacturer, who trusts you enough, to have an agreement on, amortizing these costs.


Featured Image: revpart

Thought leader - cfagbata

Becoming A Genuine Thought Leader In Your Industry

Who is a thought leader? The thought leadership lab defines it as, informed opinion leaders and the go-to people, in their field of expertise.

They are trusted sources, who move, to inspire people, with innovative ideas; turn ideas into reality; know and show how to replicate their successes.

The concept of a thought leader is based on the ability to establish authority, in your field, or, industry, so, as to influence those following you, as a leader.

This process does not need to be faked, as it can be done in an authentic manner, to obtain your potential audience.

Professionals and entrepreneurs, for a chunk of their time, go after business opportunities, close deals and follow up on clients.

No doubt that all these, are part of the daily pursuit, for an average entrepreneur, nevertheless, having your customers and potential customers, seeking after you, with all manner of consistency, is a sign that, they are willing to be part of your entrepreneurial journey.

Rather than chasing the next big deal in your business line, being a thought leader, makes you an authority and gives your brand positioning.

Here are three things you need to understand about the journey of a thought leader.

Showcase Your Authority

Your audience and potential customers, may not have the luxury to see, or, hear you, all the time.

There are channels that you can utilize, for exercising your authority.

You can be interviewed on a podcast, write content for large publications, with tons of readers, create social media content that points back to your blog.

With so many channels available, you can set, build your position, as a thought leader.

Following through on these channels would aid your visibility.

Produce Expert Content

Customers like, trust, then, buy from you, provided you are an expert they know.

This journey starts, when you make it a habit, to give value to your audience, through content creation.

Creating expert content, in your niche industry, establishes your authority and would make, even, your potential audience, or, customers, crave for more and eventually, they tend to buy your product, or, engage you, on a bigger scale.

As a thought leader, your content ought to address certain pain points, deliver opportunities and discuss strategies that, your audience/customers can employ, to arrive at desirable results.

You could make this journey easy for yourself, by creating a content plan, for a proper organization, as this would help you, with your scheduling and promote efficiency.

Scale Strategically

Having established your foundational elements in place, you could, then, go a step further, in scaling your thought leadership. The more the scaling, the more your visibility gets enhanced.

You ought to have a strategic plan that you can leverage to scale. Knowing the right steps to take, with what you have established, is key.

The idea behind thought leadership, is about creating value and at the same time, earning more visibility.

Asserting your presence, as a thought leader online, could just be an advantage, for you to influence tons of people, via the internet. You would end up, having followers and customers alike.


Featured Image: Cottoncpa

Koro Sidibe

Koro Sidibe: My Nescafe Get Started Mentee wins $30,000

The journey started last year when Nescafe invited a couple of African bloggers for a brainstorming session that held in Accra, Ghana – you can read more about that meeting here.

KOROTOUMOU SIDIBE
Nescafe Get Started Africa 2 Winner

This was simply the start of the Get Started challenge 2!

Shortly after this unique meeting, entries for the challenge opened and about 2,000 ideas were submitted, all of them in the areas of technology, health, social enterprise and environment. Entries were received via the Nescafé Get Started Africa website.

At the end of the voting process, 4 finalists were selected representing 4 different Africa countries and one of the finalist is Korotoumou Sidibe, from Mali, who had a pretty interesting idea which is to build a food processing plant and help reduce food wastages in her home country. The Getstarted team assigned her to me to be coached and prepared for the final presentation to the judges.

The Mentoring Process

Koro Sidibe Win
A Coach or Mentor is Important!!!

Koro & I got to work soon after the introduction and thank God for modern technology, we didn’t have to wait until we met physically – we started by exchanging a couple of emails and then used Whatsapp as well. This we did for a few days before we finally met physically in Ghana for the final preparations.

My Strategy

Koro, already had a good idea but I understand (and always say) that people who make it in life are not necessarily the smartest but those who can convince others to believe in what they had to sell, so that was simply the basis of my sessions with Koro.

Here are some of the tips I gave her:

  1. Change your Affirmation: Koro had a lot of doubts about her ability to present convincingly (considering the fact that she is French-speaking and I wanted her to present in English), so I had to change her negative affirmations to statements like “I am the winner” “I can do it” “I am super smart” etc. I remember her trying to resist but I was firm and happily she accepted and continued in that flow.
  2. Speak with confidence: I told her one of the simplest ways to achieve this is to slightly raise the  pitch of your voice (don’t shout)! She did exactly that and during her presentation everyone was starring at her in amazement and I smiled 🙂
  3. Tell your Story: I had to ask her to bring in some of her background in a story format and I went further to guide her how to deliver those aspects.
  4. Stir up Emotions: Yes! I had to tell her to add some emotions in her conclusions. Men, keep thinking it is their world and for this, I laugh out loud – any smart woman out their can actually pull through easily if properly coached. It’s not about seduction, it’s about influence!
  5. Believe in yourself – you can do it: these were my last words to her before her presentation and she sure did it. At the end of her presentation, I was almost certain she would win the $30,000 and I even said it to the hearing of everyone 🙂

Meet the Influencers
Acknowledgements

  • All praises goes to God Almighty for the grace and wisdom to be an influencer.
  • The team at NESCAFE & Now Available Africa deserve to be mentioned for putting together a fantastic challenge. Kudos guys!
  • I can’t forget all the awesome bloggers that ensured this challenge got the mentions and mileage it deserved. They made it interesting all the way.
  • Congrats to Koro for having such a fantastic idea and being teachable – made my work easier!
  • Finally, a big thanks to Lanre Olusola, one of Africa’s most influential coaches who taught me some coaching skills at the OLCA – I bagged a life coaching certification from his Academy and its been very helpful.

Final thoughts: I’d sure serve as an executive, exclusive coach to a few selected sharp minds in the future but for now I am learning as much as I can!

mentor and mentoring

Feedback from Ezekiel Solesi, CEO of LIMBsimple after 2 hours of Mentoring

A few weeks back I got a request from a young man who requested to have a meeting with me. I decided to grant him audience something I usually don’t have the luxury to do because to my busy schedule.

Accepting to see this young man was a huge sacrifice to me. Well he did not disappoint me because he was prepared. How do I know? He took out time to write with his iPad as we interacted. I love the fact that this guy is in his twenties and so full of passion and energy, he reminds me of my younger days 🙂

ezekiel solesiAllow me to introduce Ezekiel Solesi, CEO of LIMBsimple, a prolific author, insightful speaker and a serial entrepreneur. I truly admire his swag and approach because it is very similar to mine, so it was no surprise after exchanging pleasantries, he went straight to tell me a bit about himself, his accomplishments so far and his mission, summarized as;

  1. To learn
  2. To leverage
  3. To collaborate

I was blown away with his simple and straight forward requests because others would go; I need your help to get a job, please borrow me money or how can I get a free website or how can you help me go my business online? Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these requests but the context might make everything about them wrong.

Remember, you may never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression. (I added “may” because never is not an empowering word).

Since I already sacrificed my time to see him, I decided to pour out my heart into the life of this young man and make it one of the best encounters of his life. Did I achieve that? You wait and see for yourself……..

Here is one promise I usually make to myself and students, you can’t have an encounter with me and not be positively influenced. Except of course there is more to it than the eyes meet. I have lived up to this promise each time I stand before an audience at FATE Foundation or anywhere else.

My Joy…..

Ezekiel Solesi left that brief mentoring session excited and grateful. Thank God for the Internet and social media, he poured out his heart on twitter (by the way you can follow him @Ezekiel Solesi).

Here are some of Ezekiel Solesi’s tweets + lessons after the encounter:

Earlier on, I wrote an interesting post about business partnerships – it is a must read!

I give God the glory that few days to Christmas, he gave me the privilege to sow a seed of greatness (however small) in the life of  Ezekiel Solesi.

How are you spending Christmas? Are you spending it alone having all the fun or making out time also for someone in need?

I sincerely appreciate your love and support. Feel free to use the comment box. Thank you!

Coach Lanre Olusola

A Success Training with Coach Lanre Olusola, Nigeria’s Top Coach

So, how did you end the month of April?

Crying? Whining? Hating? Cursing? Loving? Sharing? Happy? Sad? Lukewarm?

For me, I ended the month of April with a 3 hours success training session with Coach Lanre Olusola organized by FATE Foundation as a way of adding value to the lives of their volunteers (I teach young entrepreneurs how to leverage the Internet).

Coach Lanre Olusola

I must confess FATE has added value to my life for bringing in Coach Lanre Olusola to anchor this event. Although, the theme of the training was “becoming an innovative facilitator,” he spent a lot of time coaching us on various life skills. This is one major reason I admire the coaching profession, as a coach you will always look out for the best in others whether you are in full time or part time practice.

I registered a Coaching site – www.coachcfa.com close to 4 years now and have not really considered making it active. Although, I get mails from a lot of young Nigerians looking to start a career in Coaching, I still have not tapped into that opportunity for a number of reasons but not anymore – Coach Lanre Olusola did pour fuel into the fire already burning in me and only time can tell.

My intention today is to share some of the life changing tips I learnt from him, it’s not like I don’t already know a bit but you see like most humans, I have a challenge implementing the little I already know, (which is the action part) and this is exactly what makes all the difference – not the acquisition of knowledge.

Ok! So, here we go…..

Coach Lanre Olusola reminded us that the greatest skill you must acquire in life, if you hope to become a great facilitator or excellent communicator is “listening skills” I bet like me you have heard this for the umpteenth time but the question is how much of this have you put into practice?

Participants at the FATE Foundation train the trainer event 2012You see, we all love to talk, we all love to be heard and that is where the issue is, who then will listen? So, you see why he stressed the need to sharpen your listening skills.

Consider these…..

Why would God ask us to pray when he already knows all our needs? I bet God Almighty is the greatest listener who loves to listen to us.

Also, the Bible gives so many examples to prove that our Lord Jesus Christ and Apostle Paul were great listeners also – such that each time they spoke or responded, it was very impactful.

During the process of listening you focus would naturally be on the speaker and this will help you in your delivery or response. As a facilitator, when you focus on your students or trainees then you have a greater chance of teaching them more of what they need to learn and not what you want them to learn. Because in the final analysis is not about you but about them!

Next….. Humility to learn

The most flexible in thinking and behavior is the most powerful innovator. You don’t know it all so remind yourself always that you are ignoramus. Make it a duty to learn from someone, some people etc. The day you stop learning, you die……

Humility is critical if you must be an innovative trainer.

Coach Lanre admonished us to learn from our trainees and students. We should not come to class (or in life generally) believing that we know it all. Make it a duty to learn something new from everyone you meet because they might have some information that can make your life better.

The day you stop learning is the day you die

Knowing the difference between truth and true?

Truth is universal but what is true is subjective to perception. If you’re anywhere like me, then you may have to drastically change your mindset and set aside certain personal beliefs, you think are unversal truths that everyone else has to accept.

In other to get where you want to, you ought to discover those beliefs that will take you there and then those that can possibly stop you.

Perception is stronger than reality.

Coach Lanre defined Perception as your internal interpretation and representation of facts. People’s interpretation of existing facts varies. Your perception colours your experience.

Questions to help you gauge your perception

 

  1. What is my angle?
  2. Why do I see things from this perceptive?
  3. How does it limit your facilitation?
  4. What perspectives do you need for balance?

His parting words…..

Did you know the average human processes close to 70,000 thoughts per day? Now can you believe that about 70% of these thoughts are completely negative and dis-empowering questions. Fight those negative thoughts!

Hope this helps? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.