Funding phases - cfagbata

Funding Phases Of A Small Business For Growth

The potential advantage, posed by the rise of SMEs, cannot be over-emphasised, as its expansion, has demonstrated its effectiveness, in reducing the rate of unemployment, as well as, changing the life, of an average citizen.

For instance, to fulfill this potential in a country like Nigeria, a significant number of successful SMEs and MSMEs, must be on the rise, as a major economic driver.

According to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nigeria has, more than, 37 million micro, small and medium-scale enterprises.

Altogether, they result in 84% of job provision in the country, contribute, not less than 48% of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP and also, up to 7% of the total goods and services that, the country exports.

Good numbers right? It appears to be, but there still exists, a great gap, in access, to finance.

A large percentage of these numbers, lack adequate funds, to kick-start their venture.

Why should this be considered a challenge? Many small businesses drop out on their journey, towards scaling, due to inadequate funding.

The average life span, for a small business, is around a decade and the business owner goes through stages of growth.

A fuel that can sustain this cycle is the availability of working capital to keep the businesses running.

SMEs tend to, constantly, push for growth and the provision of needed resources to drive their ventures.

They would require capital, execute their marketing efforts, purchase new equipment and possibly, buy stock for their business.

As stated earlier in the funding business cycle, an average of the 10-year plan is required.

The 10-year cycle can actually be in 3 funding phases, to create flexibility, on the capital required.

Below, are the 3 funding phases:

Phase One

This is the Seed funding phase stage, of your small business and it is, actually, your first three years of starting up.

At this stage, quite a number of businesses, experience high failure.

The source of funding here, most probably, comes from family, friends, goodwill and the business owner’s personal savings.

As an early-stage business founder, chances are that you might have under-estimated the capital required, to kick-start your business.

With this amount of cash at your disposal, you do not exhaust all, unnecessarily.

To complement this, try to get your customer base established, create a significant presence in the market and most important of all, keep a keen eye on your cash flow.

Phase Two

This is the stage you are getting established and ready to build your venture.

Happens after the first three years and you probably now have well-paying customers.

This means more work on your table and a need to get more people onboard your team.

This will require that you will have to pay more, in salaries and probably fund new projects.

In this phase, you would have to make crucial decisions, on how and where, to spend your money, as well as, ranking well among your competitors.

At this stage, you need to be very careful with your financial decisions, as a miscalculated step, can run down your cash flow and send you out of business.

Phase Three

This is the expansion and growth stage, for any small business, it is well expected that you are now focused, on finding funding opportunities, for your business, after like seven years.

At this stage, you have an ecosystem that you can leverage, through partnership and joint venture.

The funding capital of small businesses, usually, differs by industry; therefore, it is, highly essential that you, as a business owner, look out for the right funders.

Beyond seeking an investor for your funding phases, you also need to look out for specific investors that can grant you access, to their networks and a pool of mentors, to help your business scale.

Also read, Raising The First Seed Capital for Your Start-up


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Building A Strong Business Foundation For Your Start-up, What You Need to Know

A strong business foundation is, required for the smooth running, of every start-up.

It is, rather, pertinent, to have your business plan and website ready, to boost your online marketing efforts.

Thinking of commencing a venture, or, you recently signed up, into the world of entrepreneurship, the tips from this article, would prove useful for your consumption.

These steps ensure the creation of a strong business foundation for your start-up:

Get A Start-up Business Plan
Business foundation - cfagbata
Credit: businessnewsdaily

 

For the effective running of a new start-up, the creation of a business plan is, of utmost importance.

The question now remains, how do you create a start-up business plan that would allow an effective operation?

Create A Business Website
Credit: websitetooltester

Starting out on a new venture, much money might not be at your disposal, to create a website.

Your online presence is, however, not negotiable.

You do not, necessarily, require breaking the bank, to get yourself a functioning website.

You could get this done, by testing your UX.

Testing Your UX
Business foundation - cfagbata
Credit: blog.marvelapp

You will need, to factor in user experience, more than just creating a working website for your business.

Your online customers’ experience plays a major role, in the success of your venture.

Testing your UX helps to ensure that, you enable a positive user experience.

It is, also, good, if you can project into the future.

Connect With Your Online Target Market
Business foundation - cfagbata
Credit: novasolutions.ca

Once you have your online presence, through a website and you are connected to social media accounts, the next point of call is, to make connections with your potential customers.

You do not create a website, with no intention of reaching out to a significant number of potential and existing customers that, you are yet to connect with, in a physical meet up.

Have A Customer-Focused Content Strategy
Business foundation - cfagbata
Credit: symbiontgroup

Content marketing is a veritable tool, when it comes to getting the word out, on the value of your products and services.

Many companies factor it, into their marketing plan, however, when creating content, your customers, must be your core focus, as they must be the top beneficiary of your content and not just a mere promotion of your business.

Relationship Marketing
Credit: businessjargons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond the circle of business and the corporate world, maintaining a good relationship is quite as important.

Getting to lock down a great relationship, with both your online and offline customers, creates a sustainable business for you, eventually.

Creating A Community
Credit: onecommunityglobal.org

There is social, before the media, therefore, in the process of creating social media channels around your business, your focus should be on the social aspect of your target audience and these are your customers.

Create a community, within your target audience and customers, solve their quests for challenges and let them know that, you care beyond getting their cash.

TED Talk Shows
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The knowledge-base of any concept is, so, important, therefore, having a knowledge-base of your business type is, important because of the success you will receive from it.

TED talk shows, which, stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design talk shows, enhance you with great insights, from leaders in your industry.

Try the suggested steps out, in running your existing business, or, in starting your new business and watch your business grow in leaps and bounds.

A strong and viable business foundation puts your start-up in a poll position for success.

Small business marketing - cfagbata

Using Tech To Boost Your Small Business Marketing

Reading this article right now, you are probably running a small business and constantly, you are on the lookout for strategies and tactics to boost your marketing efforts.

Having in mind that, you want to carry out your marketing strategies, at a very minimal cost, as much as possible.

You also have the hope of attracting prospective leads, but sooner you come to a realization that the task can be quite daunting.

Ask yourself this question. Have you ensured that your team is more than ready, to handle the challenges of dealing with different sets of clients?

Do not forget that, good business, actually responds to a marketing effort that, affects their touch point.

A number of technologies are, however, available, to assist you in targeting your preferred customer and also obtaining good leads, to sign up.

Let us consider some of these options below:

The Power Of Collaboration: You have got a great strategy that would appear to work, but you need to go a step further, by ensuring that your process is well executed.

The ability of your marketing team, in delivering valuable content, depends on how well-connected the team is.

The team can collaborate with communication apps, like Slack for updates.

Google Drive, can be used for effective work-sharing, while Asana can be employed, for to-do lists and project management.

With good calendar management, using the aid of technology, you ensure that your team members have a schedule, that has gone has planned.

Calendars assist in organizing your sales, so you market your products and services, in the right place.

Getting your team together is a part of an effective marketing effort, which can not be overemphasized.

Email Marketing: Email is still a vital tool, in getting through, to other businesses and your potential customers.

It has been proven, to be the second, most effective medium, for small business marketing, after a social media presence.

There are different email marketing tools, that you can employ, for messaging services.

Some of them can help you, in managing your channels, while delivering the right message to your clients. Craft your messages in a way, such that, you can reach out to different individuals.

Use Analytic Tools: This is useful in tracking customers activities. With these tools, you get insights, on engagement, costing and other factors, that are essential to your marketing team.

Effective use of analytics ensures the usage of data, to make an informed decision.

With technology, one does not need to rely on instincts in driving a small business’ marketing campaign.

Google Analytics, is a great tool, for such insight.

Improved Content: The visibility of your content is not enough. It must, also, catch the fancy of your audience.

Your audience, who are likely to be business owners, would respond well, to marketing essentials, to their current challenges.

In other words, they will respond well to anything that can make their life easier.

Adobe Photoshop is readily available to use, as it gives you the option of editing and creating content, on the go. Your message would appear more relevant when updated regularly.

Getting a marketing strategy that works for a small business is hard work, but, technology is always at your disposal, to make it easy for you.


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FATE Foundation

An Invitation to attend the FATE Foundation 11th Annual Celebration

We are pleased to invite you to attend the 11th FATE Foundation Annual Celebration & Entrepreneurial Awards Ceremony to honour outstanding Nigerian entrepreneurs, and celebrate the 2011 graduands of the various FATE programmes.

The theme of the event is The Price, Prize & Pride of Entrepreneurship.

Please find the details below:

Date: Thursday, December 8th, 2011
Time: 3:00 p.m.Venue: Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos
Guest Speaker: Mr. Adewale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc

Do make it a date with us.

We look forward to welcoming you at the event.

Thank you.

Warm Regards,
Osayi Alile Oruene
Executive Director
1st Floor,
Water House
Lagos State Water Corporation Building,
Ijora, Lagos.
Website: www.fatefoundation.com
07098123371/08023565900
Join us: Facebook: facebook.com/FateFoundation
Twitter:  twitter.com/fatefoundation
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/fatefoundation

FATE Foundation    . . . Producing World Class Entrepreneurs

[box]CFA’s Note: I am proud to be part of FATE Foundation both as an Alumni and a Volunteer, freely giving back to the system. I suggest you attend any FATE Foundation courses before launching out your small business.[/box]

Are you going to make it?

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.