Email list - cfagbata

Creating An Email List For Your Small Business

Email is the most popular medium of communication on the web in our world today.

People value their email inbox a lot because of the handful of information connected to it and it is more private than other social media platforms.

Email list building has always been a major topic in online marketing circles.

According to a study done by the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing can give your business a whopping 4,300% boost in investment.

This is a number that social media cannot, even, match up to. Marketing is a lot easier with a quality mail.

Importance Of Email Listing For Your Small Business
The level at which your business is does not matter, but you must find a way to convert the relationship between you and your clients into a one-on-one relationship; more of a customer service relationship.

You may already have clients who know about your product and services, but if they do not have a way of maintaining their relationship with your business, you may be losing your customers to competitors. In order to keep up this kind of relationship:

You cannot rely on social media alone: Social media is not as assured as the email. Using a social media handle to dish out information, may not reach all of your clients, but with your email, you are assured that your message got to your target audience.

Because you are connecting with them through your inbox, directly to their inbox, which is their most guarded place on the web, they will surely receive it and give it the required attention that it deserves.

Enlarge your email list: The more people you have on your email list, the more the people who receive information about your products, services, and solutions, which is most likely to increase your sales.

When you grow your email list, your business stops being stagnant. When you interact with prospective clients at events, try as much as possible to exchange contacts, which includes their email addresses, with them and add them to your email list.

The email list is deeper than you think: When you have access to a larger contact list, you are in control of how you communicate with them. You get to know your clients better.

You know which of your products, services or solutions interests them, the most and you receive feedback from them about their likes and dislikes.

It helps you to make better decisions in launching new products, services, and solutions, as well as creating relevant content on them.

Tips On Building Your Email List
Below are some of the tips you can adopt for your Email list:

Rock your website: Make your website attractive enough for people to check through, so that, they will know about your products, services, and solutions. Let them know what they will gain by using your products, services, and solutions and signing up or subscribing to your email list.

Maximize your social media platforms: Make sure that you appear on every social media platform. We have varieties of them and remember that your clients have alternatives that they can fall back on if you are not presenting yourself to them as their first choice.

Advertise your company, products, services, and solutions regularly on all your social media platforms.

Get help from friends: Inform your friends about what you do; they can help you to market your products, services, and solutions to people around them that are your potential clients.

Empower the clipboard: Have a clipboard with you, wherever you go. This can encourage people to sign up for your mailing system. Be sure to tell them the advantages of signing up.

Go paperless: This makes you look organized and makes it easy for you.

Email listing is a better way of growing your business. It is a wrong notion to assume that, social media platforms, is the new trend and only place where everybody wants to opt for and seeing email marketing as archaic.

The truth is that we cannot, even, access our social media handles without our emails, in most cases. True, social media has its place, but it has not caught up yet with email, in terms of marketing power.

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Win $30,000 in NESCAFE’s Get Started Project

Late last year, NESCAFE gathered 10 bloggers in Accra, Ghana for the Get Started Conference which was the start of the planning process towards ensuring that the 2015 #GetStartedAfrica project turns out to be the best ever.

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So the big question is do you have a dream that can make the difference in Africa? It’s time to stop dreaming and make a move to share your ideas with NESCAFÉ and you just might be the lucky winner of $30,000.

This competition is open to folks between ages of 18 – 30 living in Central and West Africa.

Truth, is that I wish I had more of this sort of opportunities when I was much younger 🙂 anyways I don’t qualify to enter for this but am happy that I get a chance to participate as an influencer.

5 Golden Rules to Get Started

These are the rules of the game as enacted by NESCAFE so do your best to abide by it or you get disqualified.

1. Your dream must not be of material benefit to oneself.
2. Your dream should focus on one of these categories: Technology,
Arts and Culture, Community Development, Environment or Health.
3. Your dream must have an action plan.
4. Your dream must start something big for you and people around you.
5. Make us fall in love with your dream and we’ll help you to get it started.

All you need to do to be part of this project is to drop your dreams and ideas here.

Wishing you all the best!

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CFA speaks on Social Media Success at the IBM Women Enterprise Challenge

CFA speaks on Social Media at the IBM Women Enterprise ChallengeCFA speaks on Social Media at the IBM Women Enterprise ChallengeCFA speaks on Social Media at the IBM Women Enterprise ChallengeCFA speaks on Social Media at the IBM Women Enterprise ChallengeIt is indeed good times for Nigerian women most especially female entrepreneurs. First is the YouWin for Women by FGN (read 3 Success Tips for the YouWin Nigeria Program) and now the Enterprise Development centre / IBM Women Enterprise Challenge.
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A few weeks ago, I wrote How IBM Nigeria is supporting Small Businesses after I attended a project management class organized by IBM in another worldwide initiative tagged “IBM Service Grants.” A program designed to apply IBM’s resources to specific projects and programs that fall in their areas of interest. It was organized in conjuction with FATE Foundation.

IBM has chosen to play a critical role in the growth and stability of the real sector of our economy by investing both time and resources to train, educate, empower and mentor 50 female entrepreneurs.

About the IBM Women Enterprise Challenge

The Women Enterprise Challenge is a mentoring program powered by IBM and supported by Enterprise Development Centre of Pan-African University. The objective of the challenge is to mentor 50 female entrepreneurs for three months using the SME Toolkit and other skills sets provided by the assigned mentors. The three months mentoring will lead to a grand finale where all the mentees will be celebrated.

Agenda for opening day of the IBM Women Enterprise Challenge

I am particularly happy that the focus for the opening day is Social Media, a critical aspect of today’s digital media world.

9.00 –10.00 — Registration / IBM FILM
10.00–10.30 — Breakfast
10.30-10.40 — Welcome Address by Taiwo Otiti, IBM Country General Manager
10.40- 1050 — Welcome by IFC – SME Toolkit / Social Media by Chijioke Nworka
10.50-11.00 — Overview of Women of Enterprise Challenge by Remi Abere
11.00-11.30 — Introduction of Participants / Mentees
11.30-12.40 — Marketing through Social Media by Peter Evota
12.40-1.10 — Optimizing Social Media for Business Success by Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr.
1.10 – 1.30 — Introduction of IBM Mentors
1.30 – 1.40 — Closing Remarks / Questions
2.00 pm     — Lunch

Again let me use this opportunity to commend IBM and IBMers for doing their best to grow the real sector of our economy.

100 Chevrons, MTNs, Globacoms will make little or or no difference to our economy, if we want real growth then we had better started supporting the real sector.

Do you think this initiative is commendable? Please share your thoughts below!

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Internet Marketing Business - Google Trader

Google Trader and How to Launch Your Own Internet Marketing Business in the Next Few Hours

In the next few hours, you can have your own internet marketing business in place with no kobo down.  Thanks to the move made by Google to launch Google Trader in Nigeria.

internet marketing

As an enthusiast of Google services and tools, I cannot do without making use of something Google in a day and, therefore, I am so pleased to write about the launch of Google Trader in Nigeria with a view on how you can to jumpstart your own internet marketing business with it.

First, about Google Trader…

Google Trader is a web/mobile phone platform for buying and selling products and services by individuals and business owners. It also serves as a website where employers and job seekers can close deals on their needs.  It is, therefore, an online place where people can freely get connected to achieve their business or job-search aims.

The Google African blog points out that the main purpose of creating the Google Trader “… is to make posting and searching for products, services or jobs a simple, fun and engaging experience.” The platform has already been launched earlier in Uganda, Kenya and Ghana.

The internet marketing Work-from-Home Side of Google Trader

Since Google Trader is a connection point, you can, therefore, get the targeted customers you want for your chosen type of internet marketing business. As already mentioned above you can start your internet marketing business in the next few hours.  This is assuredly pointed out because the only thing required by Google is that you must sign up with Gmail (the Google email service platform).

On your own part, you must have decided what internet marketing service or product you are to launch using Google Trader if you must have your online business in the next few hours. 

How to Launch Your Own Internet Marketing Business Immediately

I recommend that you go to the website and browse the categories there to have a feel of the job leads, products and services Nigerians are offering. Figure out how to post your internet marketing product or service starting from the “Post a Listing” menu on the website.

It is noted that the design, so far and as claimed, is the simplest of all classified ad websites in Nigeria.  As it is very easy to post on, you do not need to be a highly techy person before you work out your online marketing business with Google Trader.

As soon as this website was launched, it was as soon as many of the marketers started being slack about the way they promote their products and services.  Generally, many of the slackers are those that are not educated about internet marketing and, perhaps, they just felt good about joining something becoming raving on the internet.  They appear as having lack of knowledge regarding marketing with classified ads.

If you are new to internet marketing or promotion of products and services on classified ads website, you must be ready to start learning about it now.  If you do not learn necessary internet market practice and you launch your online business with Google Trader just straightaway, the business may not bring you in many months even a small amount of money that can buy you a lunch.

Honestly, it is nice to see that Google has provided a simple and easily-operated channel with which more and more Nigerians can make money online.  Unlike in Uganda and Kenya, using  mobile phones to buy and sell on Google Trader in Nigeria is yet to be enabled.  I trust Google. The mobile aspect will also be launched in Nigeria.

I will provide you with special informational pieces on product and service promotions with a focus on Google Trader and I hope I will be able to share my money-making experience in using Google Trader as one of my internet marketing platforms.

CLICK HERE to go Google Trader.

To your success.

small business finance mistakes

4 Small Business Finance Mistakes to avoid

The purpose of this post is inform you about some small business finance mistakes to avoid at all cost.

It is advisable to note these small business finance mistakes so you are aware whenever they start becoming evident in your small business. The wisdom here is to gain the understanding and eliminate them immediately they start.

1. The Top of the list of small business finance mistakes is having No Monthly Bookkeeping.

Irrespective of the size of your business, inaccurate book keeping creates so many issues that will certainly affect cashflow, business planning and decision making. It is understandble that most small business avoid costs by all means, but keeping proper books should be regarded as an

small business finance mistakes
small business finance mistakes

investment rather than a cost. I say this because I have a 1st hand knowledge of the damage that can be done, if a small business owner avoids proper and regular book keeping. If you are still struggling, I suggest you outsource the book keeping job to a relatively young accounting firm rather than employing an accountant.

This is one of the small business finance mistakes that can actually crash any business whether big or small.

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2. Among the Small Business finance Mistakes is having No Projected Cash Flow.

If you don’t keep your books, you won’t know where you have been and if you have no projected cash flow then you have no idea of where you are headed. Small businesses often disregard these sort of advice and operate without keeping their books on a monthly basis, talk less of having a projected cash flow and what happens next, the small business starts dying gradually until it reaches a crisis state before the small business owner seeks a small business coach who will come perform some sort of miracle.

Let me point out that it is important that your projected cash flow remains both realistic and motivating, so as to avoid any form of discouragement.

3. Inadequate Working Capital is one of the Small Business Finance Mistakes

Think about it? Will this blog be functional if money was not paid to the hosting company? or would you be reading this if you didn’t get on the internet by paying your ISP? That is the way the world works, just because you have a great idea does not mean it will fly without some funds to do a few things before the big break.

This also means that no amount of book keeping or cash flow projection will grow the business, if you don’t have adequate working capital to run the business. That is why it is advisable that you create a cash flow forecast for the business from inception. Entrepreneurs are known to be overly confident so they start off believing all will be well, but for a vast majority of people it does not just work out – I am guilty of this also, I have started a couple of businesses that failed and one of the small business finance mistakes I made was that I assumed that investors will come around in no time, boy was I wrong?

Do your research and you will find out how inadequate cash flow will ground any small business. Fate Foundation advises that you should have between six to 12 months of the cash needed to run the proposed business.

4. The Last of the small business finance mistakes, is having No Financing Strategy

Well, I know this point is a bit controversial because some people have this mindset that it is “evil” to use other people’s funds for business so they won’t start a business with a financing strategy in place. Personally, I have no issues with running a business on borrowed funds as long as the vision and mission of the business is intact.

Here are 2 key reasons of having a financing strategy in place

  1. It can serve as contigency funding incase of the unexpected
  2. It can support present and future cash flow requirements.

It is very easy to assume that finance will show up when needed, well you might be wrong. It is far better for a small business owner to have a financing strategy than not to have one. Irrespective of the reason not having a flexible financing strategy in place is indeed one of the major small business finance mistakes.

That said, a credible and workable financing strategy may not be possible if any of the other 3 points above is absent and the reason is simple, they are all building blocks for a financially sound and stable small business.

Avoiding these small business finance mistakes will help take your business to the next level.

business

Do you really understand the meaning of Business?

One question I ask people a lot is Do you really understand the meaning of Business?

Based on the responses I get I can conclude that everyone have got their ideas of what they think a business is. Let me summarize what great business teachers particularly Robert Kiyosaki and Michael Gerber of the e-myth fame say; a business is not a business if it does not have systems.

See there is no way you can run a business without systems. If your business needs your daily presence to survive then quite honestly you are not running a business yet, so the challenge before you is to start putting in place systems that will ensure you business grows bigger and better. If you don’t yet have a business of your own, I’ll be discussing how you can start a business that have got solid systems setup for you to succeed. Meet me at Charvid Eatries, Rd. 13, House 3, 1st Avenue Gwarimpa FCT, Abuja. 08037502472, 08024958013 on the 26th of Feb. 2011 by 12pm and 4pm. Click here to see details of Ibadan, Lagos and P/H events.

really understand the meaning of Business?” width=”236″ height=”180″ /> Do you really understand the meaning of Business?

My goal is to help you move to the B and I side, if you are still in the E and S side. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to leave your job or source of livelihood to be in business – systems make all the difference.

Let me know how I may be of help.

Do you really understand the meaning of Business?

Steps to Starting a Small Business

4 Steps to Starting a Small Business and to Becoming your Own Boss

Starting a Small Business should be done with diligence and careful planning.

Starting a small business or a big business requires that you become motivated (and remain), determined and should have the sufficient knowledge in the proposed business so as to succeed. Anything less than this, then you are in the process of starting a small business with relatively high risk.

starting a small business

However, if you have all these essential characteristic and adequate money as capital to start your little venture, then you will need the 4 steps to starting a small business to guide you in achieving your goal and will ensure that you do not somehow overshoot your entire purpose and opportunities.

So here are the 4 steps to starting a small business that hopefully will become your master plan in creating your presence in the business world.

  • Know the right Business for you – Opportunities are everywhere and hence finding the right business that suit your needs and one that can ultimately bring you the income you needed to sustain all your basics needs and lifestyle are very vital to your goal.
  • Create a Business Plan – Any business requires a proper planning and research to know the feasibility of the business you want to venture into. In addition, the right business plan can give you the perfect idea if your capital will suffice. Do not start a business, no matter how small if your capital is not a sufficient amount to cover everything you may need and to sustain the operations for 3 months.

Note that in starting a small business, the first 3 months is a crucial time as it can be the determining factors if you will succeed or not.

  • Get the Capital You Need – Every business requires the right capital. So finding that capital is important as well. The fact that every business has a different start-up need, then the fund can be different for everyone also. Never assume that the investment of your friend or acquaintances is the same as yours, if your businesses are not similar.
  • Name is Vital – A business name is essential since it will be the one that will set you apart. The name must convey what you want your customers to know about your service and products.
  • Business Structure – Structure is important and must not be set aside. A corporation, single or sole proprietorship and partnership have a different taxes and liability that all future entrepreneurs must know. To know the right one for you, research the pros and cons of each business structure.
  • Set-up a Good Accounting System – Many companies and business owners, particularly those in the sole proprietorship and partnership failed in their businesses because they fail to separate the personal and business aspect of their finances.

Please let me know if you learn something or have implemented any strategy after reading Steps to Starting a Small Business.