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Business / Top 7 Untapped Businesses In Nigeria by sme360ng: 11:37am On Jun 25
Nigeria remains a land blessed with vast opportunities. Being the largest country in Africa, Nigeria has a huge market that allows easy product penetration. Although plagued with a high unemployment rate and other disadvantages, there are still many untapped businesses that anyone can take advantage of.

These untapped businesses in Nigeria have medium competition but high demand. The advantages of venturing into an untapped business are many. Apart from steady profits in business, you can easily become an authority in your own niche or industry.

To be among the successful SMEs in Nigeria, you must possess the knowledge, skill, and passion. You must be ready to take the risk of pushing the frontiers of your business.

Transportation Business
With the ever-increasing population in Nigeria, the transportation business is ever in need.
People would always need to transport themselves within a city or between states.

The transportation business in Nigeria has evolved. Today, we have BRTs in cities like Lagos. We also have taxis from private companies like Bolt and Uber.
This business has a wide range of opportunities. You can choose to go into Uber driving and move passengers within a city. The great part about the Uber business is that it is flexible.


Transportation is one of the untapped businesses in Nigeria
The transportation business in Nigeria has evolved. Today, we have BRTs in cities like Lagos. We also have taxis from private companies like Bolt and Uber.

This business has a wide range of opportunities. You can choose to go into Uber driving and move passengers within a city. The great part about the Uber business is that it is flexible.

You might also want to consider bus transportation. With this, you can make about 25,000 to 30,000 every week. You could also decide to go into the interstate transportation business, i.e, transportation between states.

Interstate transportation has been a huge success in Nigeria, with popular companies like The young shall grow and CHISCO. Whatever your choice is, you are sure to be at an advantage.

Real Estate
There are no limits to the possibilities available in the Real Estate sector. Real estate is one of the most secure investments you can make in 2021. Unlike the stock market with high volatility, real estate has low risks and keeps appreciating in value.
With the increase in population, people, especially in urban cities continue to scramble for affordable accommodation. From working-class people to married people and even students.
You can invest in Real estate with little or no capital by partnering with already established real estate companies. You can also partner with a real estate company as a realtor and earn a commission.

Freelancing
Freelancing has become a viable business in 2021. There are a vast number of opportunities available in the world of freelancing.
You can start a freelancing business and offer skills like writing, social media management, and SEO services.

Freelancing is scalable and requires no capital. All you need is a laptop, internet and a portfolio of work to show potential clients. You can join freelance sites like Upwork and Fiverr to get started.

Online Tutoring
Online tutoring is one untapped business in Nigeria that you can start today. If you love teaching and you are skilled in a particular subject, you can start teaching people online.

Nigerians are in search of various skills and they want to quickly learn them online. What better way to meet this demand than to start your own online tutoring business? You can set up an online tutoring website like Udemy, where you upload courses for sale.

You can also create groups on social media and hold paid classes for students in need of your knowledge.

Vlogging
Many people are familiar with blogging. But what is vlogging? Vlogging is simply blogging with video. Video content is now highly consumed. This is why skits do so well. You can create video content on any subject of your interest for your audience, upload it on YouTube, and make money from it over time.

Website Design & Management
With the rise of digital services, companies are now in need of a website. A website establishes authority for any business or brand.

Most SMEs in Nigeria now require a standard website to compete in the saturated market. You can offer your website design and management skills to businesses that need them and make money. All you need to start is a laptop and internet service.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/06/24/top-7-untapped-businesses-in-nigeria/
Business / 10 Realistic Ways To Make Money Online In Africa by sme360ng: 1:23pm On Jun 13
Making money online has been on the rise since the start of the global pandemic. You can now sit from the comfort of your home and live out your dreams.

People have said goodbye to the tedious 9-5 lifestyle and embraced the new era of remote work. There are now thousands of jobs and business ideas available online. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection.

Are you in search of realistic ways to make money?

In this article, you will find out ten practical ways you can start making money online today. So let’s dive right in!

Freelancing
This has become one popular way to make money online. You can start your own freelance business and make millions by the end of the year. You can market your skills online and get clients who need your services and get paid for them. There are lots of freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr scattered across the internet. You can bid for projects on these sites and get paid once projects have been completed.

Here is a tip – to become a successful freelancer, you need to build a solid portfolio. A portfolio lets potential clients know what you have to offer and makes you more attractive to clients. Don’t have a portfolio?

You can start by offering free services to clients. This will not only give you a portfolio but also connect you to potential clients. The more you can market yourself, the better your chances of securing a client soon.

Start a Blog
Yes! Old-fashioned blogging is still a great way to make money online. Blogging is evergreen. Now more than ever, people want relevant and relatable content. You can start a blog on any niche topic and start posting content to your audience. You can monetise your blog through Ad promotions and affiliate links. People are more likely to buy from you because they follow your content and trust your judgment. You can also use your blog to build authority, which can help you reach out to top clients and secure attractive contracts.

Start a Youtube Channel
The highest-paid YouTuber in 2020 is 9-year-old Ryan Kaji, securing over 12 billion views. YouTube is one of the biggest search engines in the world. People go on YouTube to take classes, watch movies, take tutorials, and so much more. You can start your own YouTube channel and create valuable content for a specific demographic. Start by focusing on a particular niche topic. Engagingly showcase your content. With consistency, you can grow your subscribers and monetise your YouTube page through Ad promotions.

Translating
If you fluently speak and write at least two languages, this is an excellent opportunity for you. There are many sites online that need the services of a Translator. You might need to take some tests to prove that you are an expert. Any degree or certification is also a plus.

Take Online Surveys
Many firms require personalised feedback for their growth. These firms are willing to pay you for your opinion by simply filling out their surveys. There are many online survey sites online. All you need to do is sign up, get started, and get paid. It is easy to do and can get you good money.

Become a Virtual Assistant
With the rise of remote work, entrepreneurs are now in search of virtual assistants. The services of a virtual assistant go from bookkeeping to organising meetings, writing letters, managing social media, and so on. You can apply for the job of a virtual assistant on Freelance sites like Virtual Assistant Jobs. You can also reach out to entrepreneurs personally and ask if they need a virtual assistant. If you market yourself well, you can get good clients and make money online.

Online Data Entry
If you have a flair for numbers and type fast, this might be a great way to make money online. There are several companies in need of data entry services. You could be required to compile data into a spreadsheet or document depending on the company. It is relatively easy to do and can fetch you good money regularly.

Online Tutoring
This is a massive moneymaker in 2021. If you are skilled in a particular subject, you can offer your knowledge to students online. It is best to have a degree. This way, you can prove your expertise to people who need your services. You can market yourself through social media to build your client base and increase your visibility. There are several online tutoring platforms you can register with to get started.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/06/10/10-realistic-ways-to-make-money-online-in-africa/
Business / Content Redistribution Strategy For Your Business by sme360ng: 12:02pm On Jun 02
According to a SEMrush poll, the biggest challenge of small businesses is cash flow. As a consultant for growing businesses this a bloc, I face all too well.

A couple of entrepreneurs run businesses just to make a profit alone with no continuity plan. We agree that businesses need money to pay for their reoccurring bills. However, if that is what you are looking for when you begin, then you may realize that it takes more.

As a business, you have to observe how to control your cash flow. You also need to focus on products that can bring in cash early enough without being impatient about marketing results.

Strategic Marketing Content
Today’s businesses cannot function without strategic marketing content online. This strategic marketing is a function of what many marketers call content redistribution across several platforms.

It is your sole job to ensure that your business content is everywhere. If you don’t put in the work but expect that your Instagram account only or blog will drive all the traffic will only lead to an early collapse.
To start distributing content then you need to understand how to repurpose content to be consumed on different platforms. A content that has been designed for Instagram only can be used on TikTok, LinkedIn, and even Twitter. What is needed is to organize how you write to the audience on this platform.

A colleague in the industry tried to describe Twitter and LinkedIn when he said “short story long” and “long story short”. This means the content for these platforms has to follow certain rules for it to be consumed and engaging. You must understand this when you start your content redistribution.

Employing or getting the services of a consultant is not enough for content distribution. You must take it personally into your own hands by making sure it is available everywhere and anytime. The growth you are seeking must be about the amount of work you are putting into your business. I want to rank first and be the best in the industry doesn’t happen overnight.

The big question now is how can you redistribute and get results
There are three ways to redistribute content. It can be earned, paid, or your media outlets.

Paid content redistribution:
This can be through the use of paid ads like pay per click on Google. You can also use influencers by paying them a sum to share your content with their audience. Social media adverts on Facebook to promote your content are also included.

Owned channel:
This is your blog, newsletters, social media platforms, and website that your business owns. These channels can be used for promoting your content.

Earned content redistribution:
These are retweets from fans, prospects, and even Facebook shares or LinkedIn company tags. People who follow and enjoy your content are mostly in charge of making sure others see it as well.

To get started you need to create the right type of content that gets redistribution or share like:

Blogs
Newsletters
Infographics
Case studies
White papers
Podcast
Videos
How to guides etc.
The selection of content type will depend on the industry. For instance, if you operate in the fashion industry, you can start with how-to videos. For example, How to style your dress for summer or the rainy season, how to apply makeup and lotion, etc.

Real estate businesses can thrive on housing reports showing the amount of investment, the rate of turnover, and a host of housing information. This would also help you strategize your content creation process.

Pratical evalution of content distribution
Now that we understand what to do as a business or an entrepreneur. It is time to document our plans having them written down.

If the goals are to have 100 shares, 500 follows and clicks. All these have to be documented to ensure we get all our desired results. We also have to analyze the channels or content that are not working and phase them out for underperforming. The content that is performing can be re-integrated into the content plan.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/06/01/content-redistribution-strategy-for-your-business/
Business / 6 Ways Africa Small Businesses Can Access Grant 2021 by sme360ng: 12:17pm On May 25
Businesses, irrespective of their scales, need adequate funding to thrive. The sad part, however, is that accessing these funds can be challenging for business owners. This is mostly true concerning small businesses, as investors are often skeptical to invest in businesses with high risks.
Despite the difficulties African small business owners face when trying to raise funds for their businesses, there are still several options they can explore. One of them is grants that are specifically structured to help small businesses. Yes, you read right.

There are some small business grant options you can take advantage of in 2021.

In this post, we will be taking a quick look at six of them.

What is a Business Grant?
Business grants are funds awarded to business owners that need them. Business grants aim to help enhance business growth. Unlike loans, you are not saddled with the responsibility of looking for ways to pay back business grants because they usually have no strings attached.

Business grants are typically provided by Trusts, Foundations, Corporations, and Governments. Since you are not required to pay back grants, you don’t have to worry about interest rates either. Also, small business owners are not required to give up equity in return for a grant.

Way cooler than loans, right?

Small Business Grants for Africa SMEs
As stated earlier, accessing funds, especially grants, can be challenging if you don’t know where to look. This is why we have put below a list of 6 small business grants you should look into in 2021.

Keep in mind that these grants are not arranged in any particular order:

1. SeedStars World
One of the best selling points of SeedStars Africa it is specifically structured to help small businesses owned by Africans and in Africa.

SeedStars World is an organization that actively helps raise funds in form of grants to businesses in over 53 countries under the continent of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. SeedStars Africa is an arm of this organization that is aimed at helping Africa SMEs with the funds they need to thrive.

SeedStars grants are only accessible to the participants of their annual Business grant competition. This competition is aimed at rewarding the brightest and most compelling emerging markets and young business owners.

The Africa arm of this organization aims to help Africa businesses, support and build Africa online businesses, and fund Africa’s web and mobile tech startups.

2. Shared Interest
If you are a young entrepreneur in Africa, Shared Interest is one of the best grant options you can look into. The organization was established in 1990. Shared Interest focuses on providing funds for food producers, farmers, and artisans in developing countries despite being situated in England.

The organization has huge investments and satellite offices in major Sub-Saharan Africa nations like Peru, Kenya, Ghana, and many more.

Shared Interest has over 9000 investors who help the organization finance businesses by investing $1000 or more per investor. This grant is specifically targeted towards small businesses in developing countries which includes Sub-Saharan Africa countries.

3. Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Program
The TEF grant is aimed to provide about 100,000 aspiring entrepreneurs in Africa with an opportunity to benefit from a large financial pool. This $100 million financial pool aims to reduce the unemployment rates in Africa by providing over 1,000,000 jobs in the continent.

This, they look to achieve by raising funds for SMEs that will provide job opportunities for others.


Tony Elumelu Foundation is known to have contributed about $10 billion in 10 years, to Africa’s economy.

The organization was founded by Africa billionaire entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu. TEF does more than provide funds for SMEs in Africa. It also provides mentorship programs and annual training to help small businesses thrive.

Continue reading here... sme360.ng/2021/05/24/6-ways-Africa-small-businesses-can-access-grant-2021/
Business / Entrepreneurship: Break New Grounds by sme360ng: 10:56am On May 24
Entrepreneurship comes with several challenges, some are harsh, and others are rewarding. Trying to create a new path in a non-existent or poorly structured industry is even more difficult. Statistics show that many businesses fold up within the first year of operation. This is why this edition is focused on helping entrepreneurs to “break new grounds.”

Click here for more... https://www.sme360.ng/product/sme360-may-2021-edition-break-new-grounds/

Business / How To Identify New Market Opportunities For Your Business by sme360ng: 10:42am On May 20
To discover new market opportunities means to discover products or services that are potentially needed by consumers and are not being supplied by competitors.

A successful entrepreneur must keep an eye on market openings and adopt innovative ways to grow their startup. Pursuing new market opportunities is one way to stand out from the competition, expand your business, and increase revenue.

However, not all opportunities will have a positive impact on your business. Pursuing every market opening that comes your way can be dangerous to your business. It can lead to mismanagement, lower your team’s productivity, and ultimately hurt your ROI. You must know the company vision and evaluate your team’s capability to expand into new markets.

SMEs in Africa must understand how to identify new market opportunities that are worth pursuing. But how do you distinguish between market opportunities that are worth pursuing and those that aren’t?

The answer isn’t far-fetched. Carry out market research!

Explaining Market Research?
Market research reveals the attractiveness of new market opportunities before you invest in them. It involves collecting data and evaluating how your product or service will fare in new market territories. This will help you understand consumer habits, behaviors, needs, and purchasing power.

It will help you understand your competitors’ impact in the industry and how you can cause a disruption in the industry for the growth of your business. How can you go about analyzing a market? Here are 5 ways to identify new market opportunities to grow your business.

Let’s dive in!

Identifying New Market Opportunities
1. Study Existing Consumers
You can identify new market opportunities by simply studying your existing consumers. Listening to them can give you an insight into their needs and expectations. What are your consumers saying? Do they have any special needs and expectations? What is their feedback?

Identifying consumer needs will help you to know what products or services to offer in the future. Let’s say you sell baby products like diapers, toys, baby food, etc. you might want to ask, “What other products can I introduce as these babies get older?” You might want to introduce school bags or lunch boxes for kids. Studying your current consumers will help you spot potential market opportunities and identify products that are related to your business and valuable to your consumers.

2. Study the Competition
Studying your competition is just as important as studying your consumers. Do you want to diversify or introduce new products? Studying the competition can give you an upper hand in the market.

A study of their successes and failures can go a long way in discovering new market opportunities. What products/services are existing players offering? What products are they not offering? Are there gaps that your product can fill? Digging up this knowledge can help you spot the right market opportunity that can lead to the growth of your business.

3. Study International Markets
Your search might go beyond the local market and into the international market. Look for needs in other countries that are similar to the ones you have in your local market. Check for consumers who have similar or higher purchasing power as in your local market.

Several advantages come with going global. Some of which are higher revenue, talent acquisition, new investment opportunities, amongst others. Before branching out internationally, you will need to do your research on the country’s economy and what legal responsibilities you have. You may also need to hire more employees.

4. Study Societal Evolutions
Society keeps evolving and this can affect consumer preferences as well as their purchasing power. Consumers will always tilt to businesses or brands that meet their needs no matter how loyal they are to you. Studying societal evolutions will help you stay on top of consumer patterns and help you strategize on how to meet consumer needs.

Understanding changes in society and how it affects consumer needs will reveal new market opportunities for your business. For example, in today’s world, consumers are tilting towards environmentally friendly products like recycled packages. In countries like China, consumer needs are tilting towards luxury products.

5. Use Social Media
The impact of social media on business and marketing cannot be overemphasized. Social media can be used as a platform to get unedited opinions right from your consumers. Observing trends and discussions can help you understand what your audience thinks and needs.

You can engage with your audience one-on-one by carrying out polls, surveys, and studying feedback about your product and your competitors. This will help you understand their pain points and how to address them.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/05/18/how-to-identify-new-market-opportunities-for-your-business/
Business / Advantages Of Starting A VTU Business In Nigeria by sme360ng: 4:56pm On May 14
Ever considered starting a VTU business? A few years back, the well-known way of loading a phone with airtime or credit is by buying a recharge card. Then load it on your phone with a USSD code. According to NCC, we have over 165 million active GSM LINES in Nigeria as of September 2018.

Nigerians spent 767.23 billion Naira on airtime in three months by a study conducted between November 2018 and January 2019. With that kind of active customer base, accessibility is usually a major issue. This is why these users are leaning towards a more convenient way of topping up their airtime.

We now have a new innovative and more effective approach to VTU Vending. This has taken care of the demerits of the orthodox way (SIM loaded VTU) of vending Virtual Top Ups. However, with digitization, came the need to evolve the traditional way of Airtime Recharge, Data Bundles, Utility Bills like Electricity bills, and Cable subscriptions. The VTU way involves a vendor digitally crediting the phone directly. There are no hassles over card or USSD code.

The customer will receive a direct alert telling him his phone has been recharged. Before we delve more into the benefits of a VTU business. Let’s get to know what a VTU is:

What’s a VTU?
VTU is also known as Virtual Top Up. Virtual top-up is a digital way of selling airtime or credit automatically. VTU is different from the traditional way of recharging which involves a recharge card or a USSD code.

Virtual Top Up, therefore, is a digital way of selling airtime credit automatically. It involves providing data bundles, (MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9Mobile) recharge cards, TV subscriptions, and others with any amount you have in your bank account. When the transaction is completed you will receive a message that your line has been credited.

Apart from the fact that VTU offers convenience, it is easy to start. The first step is to have an internet-enabled phone. The phone can be 2 or three depending on the number of services you want to use. Then download the VTU application, where you can credit airtime to a third party.

The materials needed:

PC or Smartphone
Mobile Banking App or Debit Card (ATM card)
Google Drive App
And the Virtual Top Up Vending PACK.
Advantages of VTU Business
The VTU business is easy to start which is a huge benefit. Here are some other benefits of starting a VTU Business:

The good thing about the VTU business is that you can do the vending business without essentially having any CERTIFICATE, COMPUTER, HUGE CAPITAL, or necessarily having a WEBSITE/BLOG. Yes, it’s that easy. It all can start with just an Internet-enabled smartphone.
Starting a VTU business is not capital intensive. Unlike most businesses, VTU mobile application business does not require a very huge capital. The good thing about starting a VTU business is you can begin with a capital as low as N1,000 – N7,000.

VTU business can be done anywhere, even from the comfort of your home. It does not require full operational staff. It can be an independent-owned business managed by you. There is no need for an official residency unless you are looking to expand and take it to the next level. Or if you want to create an impression so you can attract more customers you can rent a shop. If you are looking to have a physical location, ensure you choose an area that enhances the profitability of your business.

Also, a VTU business does not require you to have large equipment to effectively do it. It is a very smart way of doing business because you don’t even need to carry paper or recharge cards. You only need to have a smartphone, where you can conduct your business and credit third parties. You can either possess ei 2-4 phones to put all the SIM cards inside.

A VTU is very lucrative. As a VTU Reseller on Mobile Airtime NG`, you get at least a 3% DISCOUNT on your airtime purchase. So, let’s say you only sell just a VTU per day, this means you get 3% in 2 days (how can a vendor sell one airtime daily? this is really the worst case! Airtime recharge is bought daily). You will also earn a daily dividend: You will be earning from the recharge & data subscription of your direct and indirect down lines for life.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/05/13/advantages-of-starting-a-vtu-business-in-nigeria/
Business / How To Set Up Your First Marketing Team As A Small Business by sme360ng: 10:31am On May 10
Setting up a marketing team is no small feat, especially for startups. You have probably heard the popular saying “people cannot buy a product that they don’t know about”. This statement emphasizes the importance of effectively marketing your products, as this is an essential lifeline for business sustenance. To do this, you need a regular update on marketing trends. As well as a strategy and execution to leverage available information to grow your business.

As a business owner, you are likely to come to the realization sooner or later that “Marketing is a team sport”. Irrespective of your education or range of skills, the set of activities needed to effectively market your products require the combined effort of a team of skilled professionals. So how do you set up your first marketing team as a small business? What skill sets do you Lookout for? And how can you combine them to achieve your first milestones?

What are your marketing needs?
Most businesses share similar marketing needs when starting. It often comes down to creating awareness for the new business and its products among potential customers. Then leveraging data gotten from these to keep refining its strategies until complete product-market fit is achieved. Then pushing further beyond for growth. For most new businesses, this has to be achieved within a limited budget while aiming to get maximum returns on investment.

How to set up your first Marketing Team as a Small Business (5 Key Roles)
Figuring out your marketing needs is the first step to setting up your marketing team
These returns are not always in the form of revenue or customers, as it is for the Sales team. Rather they could be other parameters that play a role in supporting sales. They may include other valuable metrics like application downloads, platform sign-ups, leads generated, website visits, community members, engagement, event attendance, and more.

Setting up your marketing team for your small business comes down to identifying and recruiting team members with the skills to achieve this.

Key roles and skills to onboard on your first marketing team as a small business
Content writer /storyteller:
A content writer is someone who effectively expresses your business ideologies in the form of writing. This is usually done across digital channels like blogs, emails, social media, online advertising channels, etc. A skilled content writer is very essential to your marketing team because they help to craft your product stories in a way that your audience in each channel can connect to them. Persons to be hired into this role must be skilled at

a. Human psychology and understanding how to trigger people towards a set of goals.



b. Researching topics related to your industry (combining online sources, interviews, and studies)

c. Writing clear marketing copies to promote your products and services.

d. Preparing well-structured drafts using Content Management Systems.

e. Making their content visible online through optimization for searches.

f. Hands-on experience with Content Management Systems (e.g. WordPress)

Some other roles your content writer may temporarily stand in for include content marketer, market trend analyst, copywriter, scriptwriter, and PR officer.

Digital marketer:
As the world constantly heads towards full digitization and internet-based activities. Digital marketing is an important skill set to source for when setting up your marketing team, irrespective of its size. It offers a less expensive alternative to customer acquisition and retention with precise customer targeting and measurable results.

A skilled digital marketer understands the algorithms and nuances of different digital channels and how to use them to generate leads and build brand awareness. Your digital marketer should be able to work seamlessly with the rest of the marketing team to ensure that all online activities complement offline efforts


Feature
Start Up
How to set up your first Marketing Team as a Small Business
Chima Ezeokoye by Chima Ezeokoye
May 6, 2021
1
Setting up a marketing team is no small feat, especially for startups. You have probably heard the popular saying “people cannot buy a product that they don’t know about”. This statement emphasizes the importance of effectively marketing your products, as this is an essential lifeline for business sustenance. To do this, you need a regular update on marketing trends. As well as a strategy and execution to leverage available information to grow your business.





As a business owner, you are likely to come to the realization sooner or later that “Marketing is a team sport”. Irrespective of your education or range of skills, the set of activities needed to effectively market your products require the combined effort of a team of skilled professionals. So how do you set up your first marketing team as a small business? What skill sets do you Lookout for? And how can you combine them to achieve your first milestones?

What are your marketing needs?
Most businesses share similar marketing needs when starting. It often comes down to creating awareness for the new business and its products among potential customers. Then leveraging data gotten from these to keep refining its strategies until complete product-market fit is achieved. Then pushing further beyond for growth. For most new businesses, this has to be achieved within a limited budget while aiming to get maximum returns on investment.

How to set up your first Marketing Team as a Small Business (5 Key Roles)
Figuring out your marketing needs is the first step to setting up your marketing team
These returns are not always in the form of revenue or customers, as it is for the Sales team. Rather they could be other parameters that play a role in supporting sales. They may include other valuable metrics like application downloads, platform sign-ups, leads generated, website visits, community members, engagement, event attendance, and more.

Setting up your marketing team for your small business comes down to identifying and recruiting team members with the skills to achieve this.

Key roles and skills to onboard on your first marketing team as a small business
Content writer /storyteller:
A content writer is someone who effectively expresses your business ideologies in the form of writing. This is usually done across digital channels like blogs, emails, social media, online advertising channels, etc. A skilled content writer is very essential to your marketing team because they help to craft your product stories in a way that your audience in each channel can connect to them. Persons to be hired into this role must be skilled at

a. Human psychology and understanding how to trigger people towards a set of goals.



b. Researching topics related to your industry (combining online sources, interviews, and studies)

c. Writing clear marketing copies to promote your products and services.

d. Preparing well-structured drafts using Content Management Systems.

e. Making their content visible online through optimization for searches.

f. Hands-on experience with Content Management Systems (e.g. WordPress)

Some other roles your content writer may temporarily stand in for include content marketer, market trend analyst, copywriter, scriptwriter, and PR officer.

Digital marketer:
As the world constantly heads towards full digitization and internet-based activities. Digital marketing is an important skill set to source for when setting up your marketing team, irrespective of its size. It offers a less expensive alternative to customer acquisition and retention with precise customer targeting and measurable results.

A skilled digital marketer understands the algorithms and nuances of different digital channels and how to use them to generate leads and build brand awareness. Your digital marketer should be able to work seamlessly with the rest of the marketing team to ensure that all online activities complement offline efforts.



Persons to be hired into this role must be skilled at one or more of these;

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Content marketing
Social media marketing
Pay per click (PPC)
Affiliate marketing
Native advertising
Marketing automation
Email marketing
Online PR
Sponsored content
Inbound marketing

Some other roles your Digital marketer may temporarily stand in for includes Growth manager, product manager, PPC specialist, marketing strategist, marketing automation specialist, and customer retention manager.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/05/06/how-to-set-up-your-first-marketing-team-as-a-small-business/
Business / Funding Resources For Small Businesses In Nigeria by sme360ng: 7:59am On May 05
Small businesses need funding resources to survive. As an aspiring entrepreneur or small business owner, one of your foundational priorities should be to provide key solutions to specific problems. You should also aim to meet the demands of your target customers. However, there is only so much that can be done without the required funding to set things in motion. Without an adequate amount of funding, businesses might not be able to position themselves effectively for opportunities and even attract a wider audience.

When it comes to securing funding, there are various structured and unstructured platforms/sources that could be of benefit.

The following are just some of the funding resources that a business owner can leverage for success:

· Personal financial sources
The first set of funding resources are those that are tied to the business owner personally. At the very basic level, the following are some tips to maximize personal funding resources.

a) Get a job that will sustain you financially:
As opposed to being idle and plotting a way to get that bank loan to start up your business, why not try to get a side job? In a country like Nigeria, you do not necessarily have to be independent before starting up a business of your own. In the same vein, you might very well need to get a job and work for a few years. This will help you gather enough money to fund that business idea you have.

b) Personal savings:
An entrepreneur often invests personal money to start up or maintain an already established business. Personal savings is the most utilized method of generating capital for small and medium-scale businesses. After creating a good business idea and plan, you can reduce your expenses to save up for the capital. The capital will be used to kick-start your business.

Currently, in the country, several online banking platforms offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to invest in personal savings. Another great reason why your savings is one of the first funding resources to leverage is that it communicates your commitment towards your business affairs in the long run.

c) Financial assistance from family and friends:
Another method of raising funds for your business is through family and friends. Family and friends who are in support of your business idea can give you the financial push you need to set off. You may need to persuade them into lending money to you. It is, therefore, important that your reputation and integrity should precede you and help in gaining their trust.

Financial support from family or friends can be cheaper and quicker when compared with a bank loan or even getting a grant. Its terms of repayment, these people may be more flexible and you don’t need to wait for an extensive period to obtain required funds.

· Grants and Business Angels
Sometimes, you may find it difficult as a small business owner to fund your business sometimes. Even with so many family members and friends around, funding your business can sometimes be difficult. Other times, it may not just be the amount you need to get things going.

During situations as these, a business grant can prove very effective and attractive. Grants are funds given to a person or a business organization with no requirement for repayment. Through grants, you can establish and develop your business without the difficulties of repayment as with a bank loan.

You can also acquire funds from a business angel. A business angel is a wealthy and independent individual who provides funds for entrepreneurs to start up or expand their businesses. Otherwise called an angel investor, a business angel offers financial aid to entrepreneurs with creative and promising business ideas. Acting as a mentor or guide, the business angel invests their time and could also provide networking opportunities for entrepreneurs as required.

· Bank of Industry (BOI) and similar organizations
Bank of Industry in Nigeria provides long-term financing aids to the industrial sector of the Nigerian economy. Small, medium, and large business organizations that are after expansion or diversification can seek loans from this industry. However, you will be required to go through certain processes to prove that you are committed and credit-worthy. Having no record of unpaid loans, you must demonstrate your capacity to repay loans.

You can access the Bank of Industry by:

(1) Writing an application letter

(2) Filling a BOI questionnaire, and

(3) Submission of a questionnaire and other required forms.

There are also similar organizations within your industry that can provide loans or offer investments to businesses that need funding to scale their operations.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/05/04/funding-resources-for-small-businesses-in-nigeria/
Agriculture / Building The Right Business Culture For Your SME by sme360ng: 9:31am On Apr 30
You need the right business culture for your brand to thrive. Building a business is more than just the numbers. It is about building a brand. Most SMEs don’t put this into consideration at the early stage of developing their business. However, every SME needs the right business culture for increased productivity eventually.

Your business culture speaks for you and your business even when you’re not there. It defines how work is being done in your enterprise and how you relate with your employees. It also highlights how your business relates to customers.

The culture of a business remains with the customer even long after they’ve purchased the business’s products. Also, your business culture will determine the kind of partnerships you’ll undergo. It will also determine the kind of partners you will consider.

Contrary to what most entrepreneurs think, having a business culture is not for the big companies alone. It isn’t even for the Silicon Valley dwellers. It is what every business, big or small, needs to increase. See a business culture as the character of your business.

When building the right business culture for your SME, there are a few things you should consider. You have to determine what the character of your business will be; the identity of your business for outside your products.

Building The Right Business Culture For Your SME
Here are a few tips to get started in building the right culture for your SME:

Define your business’s purpose and values
The purpose of your business is a very broad subject that needs to be analyzed. You and everyone working with you need to understand these concepts before you can have a business culture. Start with Why. Why are we existing as a business? What is the major reason we are existing? Then go to What.

What are we doing? What gap are we filling up? How will our absence be felt if we didn’t exist? What will that absence look like? Now that we are here, what is our existence doing differently in the business world? What solutions are we providing? Then move on to Who.

Who are we? Who are we reaching out to? Who are our top priority customers? Who are the people we exist to serve? Then consider Where.

Where are we now and where are we going? What does the future look like for us? What message do we want to leave for posterity? Is there expansion in our plans? Are we resolving to be local, national, or global? Where are we heading to?

Consider the core values you want to work by
This is something you’ll have to determine yourself, especially as a leader or lead entrepreneur in the business. Common business core values are integrity, boldness, honesty, accountability, and customer experience.

You can browse through the major core values and choose the ones you want your business to live by. This will largely determine your business culture. Also, it will show in your customer and employee relationship.

Physical and practical steps are also involved in developing a business culture
The purpose and core values of your business will be evident in real-time. It will be evident when you begin to relate with your customers and your employees. Events, seminars, fairs, should be organized and tailored specifically to push the company’s culture.

This will show in the way you plan such events. It will also show how the events took place, and the message emphasized. Furthermore, your business purpose and core values will be evident in the souvenirs shared, and so on.

These things, however small they may seem, are there to drive the message of your business culture, to let people know what you are about. These are the practical steps born out of your business’s purpose and core values.

Re-strategize your hiring process
Hiring the right kind of people for your company is not only about the heaviness of their resume. You need people who see where you are going and how you want to get there and are ready to work with you. Your core values should influence your hiring process greatly. Employees should have your core values or be willing to adopt them as they work with you.

Remember that your business culture is your SME’s character. Hence, your employees’ character also matters a lot and should be considered in your hiring process. The wrong set of people can modify your business culture negatively and push a different message to the customers.

Constant reminders of what you are doing
Lastly, when building a good business culture for your SME, you need constant reminders of what you’re doing. Hence the need to go physical. Let there be stickers and posters around your company’s workspace that speak about your culture, your core values.

Let employees have souvenirs they use every day that remind them of the character of our business. This is very important as it helps everyone to keep the message of your business to their heart at all times.
Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/04/21/building-the-right-business-culture-for-your-sme/
Technology Market / 5 Best Budgeting Software For Smes In Africa by sme360ng: 8:59am On Apr 29
What is the best budgeting software? Before we discuss this, let’s explain what a budget is. A business budget is a plan that helps to keep companies on track with their financial goals.

When business owners don’t use a budget, they’ll struggle when cash flow problems occur. Cash flow shortfalls will make it difficult for businesses to operate in a normal manner. Budgeting is the basis for all business success. The tech world has responded to this by releasing a lot of financial tools to lend a hand.

What is a Budgeting Software?
Budgeting software is a specific program that small businesses use to manage, track, and forecast their business budget. It should have strong reporting capabilities that allow users generate and manage financial statements like cash flow reports and profit and loss statements.

An online business budgeting software is a must-have for many businesses, freelancers, and accounting professionals looking to automate their business financial tasks. From tracking expenses to running reports, the right budgeting software can increase your business’s efficiency and streamline your workflows. The small business budgeting software differs from the personal budgeting software. This is because the former comes with different features for business needs.

The best budgeting software also comes with additional features such as payroll processing or payroll services. With so many different solutions to choose from, SMEs in Africa and beyond can find the budgeting tool that best fits their business needs.

Top 5 Budgeting Software for Africa’s SMEs
To help you decide on the best budgeting software, we’ve put together the top 5 on the market today. They include:

FreshBooks
FreshBooks is a popular budgeting software for SMEs because it allows you to control your budgets efficiently with their expense tracking system. With FreshBooks, you can create and view estimates during budgeting to curate a purchasing process that suits the needs of your business. You can also organize supplier lists with all the necessary details, design your own budgets, plan project spend, keep track of your inventory and customize your own reports.

There are four versions of FreshBooks: Lite, Plus, Premium, and Select. On the one hand, the Premium and Select versions are for complex budgeting processes and designed for larger businesses. The Lite and Plus versions on the other hand are geared toward self-employed and small to midsize businesses.

The Lite version is the cheapest option and it costs $15 per month. It provides unlimited expense entries, unlimited custom invoices, custom functionality, and much more.

QuickBooks
As far as best budgeting software for businesses goes, QuickBooks has garnered a loyal fan base for all the right reasons. It is one of the earliest accounting packages to emerge and continues to be a strong player. The company updates its product offerings frequently and budgeting is part of that list.

The budgeting module in QuickBooks allows you to create several reports. They include overview reports and comparisons. The comparison reports are further broken down by periods, depending on how you want to view the data. You can also view graphical representations of your budgets.

When preparing your budget, you can enter data manually or use amounts from previous years. As if this is not enough, QuickBooks Online also offers its users a budget wizard, which simplifies the process of creating your budgets. You can align the budget with your company’s fiscal years and view the data by year, quarter, or month.

If you need help to create a budget with QuickBooks, the company has a useful article on the topic. It describes the steps you can take to create your budget properly.

FreeAgent
FreeAgent is an excellent online accounting tool that allows you to keep track of your finances seamlessly. It brings everything together in one place, from invoice and expense management to sales tax and project management.

FreeAgent allows its users to set up recurring invoices which are automatically sent to clients as reminders to make payments. Users can also track expenses by uploading a photo of an expense receipt with the FreeAgent mobile app. Additionally, it offers SMEs a built-in stopwatch feature to manage timesheets and track employee hours.

It offers the functionality to create budgets monthly, quarterly, or yearly. It also provides the option to prefill the data automatically from the current or the previous year in the budget so created. In addition to this, you can even split the budget by class, customer, or location and then specify what class, customer, or location to add to the budget.

The user dashboard provides an overview of key business metrics from a single screen. Business owners can track invoices, estimates, timelines, and project status. Tax timeline features also provide updates and reminders about deadlines and tax dues. You can import expenses by taking pictures of your receipt, or send a professional estimate easily. You can also generate sales tax reports for purchases and sales because this budgeting software is a very user-friendly interface.

Its subscription is priced from $10 per month but you can try out the software for free for 30 days.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/04/23/5-best-budgeting-software-for-smes-in-africa/
Agriculture / 10 Profitable Farming Ventures In Nigeria by sme360ng: 10:55am On Apr 28
Do you dream of starting a farming business in Nigeria? Are you thinking of a profitable farming venture to go into? With a population of over 200 million and hundreds of fertile farmland across Nigeria, farming is one potentially profitable business with a huge market. With basic knowledge and strategic planning, you can start a farming business that will bring you lots of profit.

Here are ten profitable farming ventures that can bring you millions in less than ten years. Let’s dive in!

1. POULTRY FARMING
According to LSETF (2018) statistics, 160 million Nigerians consume poultry products in the country. There is high consumption of chicken and eggs with a huge demand in the Nigerian market. There are so many ways you can profit from poultry farming. You can sell eggs, meat, feathers, chicken dung, and fish feed. You can set up your poultry farm and even rear your chickens and supply them to the market.

2. RICE FARMING
Nigeria is one of the highest consumers of rice in the world and the largest producer of rice in West Africa. Even being the largest rice producer in West Africa, Nigeria still imports rice, being unable to meet up with the demand for rice. This is an opportunity for potential farmers to venture into. Almost all families in Nigeria eat rice, making it an evergreen market. Though rice farming requires a large piece of land, it is one profitable farming venture that is sure to bring you a high return on investments.

3. LIVESTOCK FARMING
This is one of the most profitable farming ventures in Nigeria. With Livestock farming, you can rear animals like cows, horses, sheep, pigs and sell them to make a profit. The cost of just one animal can run in thousands of naira. You can also rear animals for other purposes like leather, milk, manure, and ivory.

4. CASSAVA FARMING
Nigeria is one of the leading producers of cassava in the world. Cassava is also consumed by a large percentage of Nigerians. It comes in a number of products like Garri, fufu, Abacha, etc., and can be grown on all soil types. Cassava is also grown by planting its stems which means you don't need seeds. This can save you lots of money. Cassava is unarguably profitable in the market, with Garri always on demand.

5. FISH FARMING
Though starting up a fish farming business can cost a lot, it is highly profitable. Fish like Tilapia, crayfish, catfish, mackerel and prawn is largely consumed by Nigerians and can be sold at different markets for profit.

6. MAIZE FARMING
This is another farming venture with massive profits. Not only is maize a highly consumed good, but it is also easy to plant and grows very quickly.
The only problem with maize farming is that it is easily prone to pest attacks. However, with effective pest control and insecticides, you can reduce the impacts of pests and grow your maize healthy. You can then sell in bulk and make a profit.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/product/sme360-april-2021-edition-agric-issue/
Business / 7 Online Lending Platforms To Get Small Business Loans In Nigeria by sme360ng: 11:31am On Apr 27
Every business requires funding to start, sustain and scale it and you can raise such funds from online lending platforms.

Most often, many business owners require some extra funds to expand their business. When other sources of funding are exhausted, taking a loan can become another source of interest.

Business owners tend to think that getting small business loans in Nigeria can be very complex. However, with the rise and evolving of the FINTECH industry in Nigeria, getting small business loans have become a walk in the park. You can now access loans easily on several online lending platforms at a quick rate.
These platforms provide digital forms of credits which have fixed interest rates and last for a specified period of time. These loans can be repaid on an installment basis or in full.

Are you thinking of getting a loan to start up your business? Or perhaps you need some extra funds to expand your business to the next level?

Find out 8 of the best online lending platforms to get small business loans in Nigeria. Let’s dive in!

Renmoney

Renmoney is known as one of the leading Fintech companies in Nigeria. With Renmoney, you can access loans as high as N4 million naira with an interest rate of only 4.9%. There are various loan types and repayment plans for various categories.

To apply, you will need to submit a six month bank statement, utility bill as well as a passport photograph. Once approved, (which may tae up to 24 hours), it will be credited into your account.
To get access to higher loans and get better ratings, it is best to repay within the stipulated time period. You can apply on the Renmoney website or call the customer care service to get started with the application process.

Kia kia

Kia Kia is derived from the Nigerian language which means “fast”! And just like the name applies, this digital lending platform is fast and efficient. Kia kia is an online money lender for Nigerian business. Its app gives out small business loans as well as personal loans.

This app also allows savers to lend money at a negotiated interest. It’s interest rate is 3.5% and gives a minimum loan amount of N50,000. You can visit their website to get started with the process. You also get access to a virtual agent available at any time.

Lidya.co

Lidya.co is one of Nigeria’s leading loan companies providing access to finances for small and medium enterprises. With Lydia, you can access unsecured loans between $500 and $15000 with an interest rate of 3.5% per month. Lydia uses its technology to access risks before giving out loans. You can apply online or with a mobile phone and get a response in a few hours if all criterias are met.

Carbon

Carbon is an easy to use online lending platform. It provides short term small business loans to individuals and business owners to help them cover unexpected expenses and meet urgent financial needs.

Carbon offers up to N500,000 without collateral and is available within 1-3 business days. To access a higher credit limit on your next loan, it is important to make on time repayments. You can download the Carbon app to get started with the loan process.

Quick Check

Quick check is one of the best online lending platforms in Nigeria, allowing you to access funds instantly. You can get funds straight into your bank account even if you are outside the country. You can access loans up to N30,000 completely hassle free without any collateral for a period of 15-30 days.

Quick check requires your BVN for verification and security purposes and your bank account for disbursing the loan. Early repayment of loans qualifies you for lower interest rates and higher amounts. You can download the Quick Check app to start your loan application process.

Fair Money

Fair Money is a licensed app that offers quick loans to cover unexpected expenses, business and so much more. With its technology, Quick Check can offer loans quickly and effectively to all it’s customers. Such loans include; personal loans, educational loans, small business loans, and so on.

It requires your BVN and debit card to get loans from N2500 to N150,000. Interest rate starts from 5% to 28% depending on the loan borrowed. It also runs at a duration of 4-26 weeks.

When you repay your loans on time, you get access to higher credit limits and loan amounts. To apply, you can download the Fair Money app and start your loan application process.

Click here to continue reading... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/04/26/7-online-lending-platforms-to-get-small-business-loans-in-nigeria/

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Business / Why It Is Important To Take Your Local Laws Seriously Before Starting Your Busin by sme360ng: 8:39am On Apr 12
Not many SME owners know about the local laws regarding business in their region. Starting a business is undoubtedly exciting. However, the numerous processes involved in getting your business up and running can prove to be challenging- from creating a business name, business plan, understanding the market, amongst other things.

One important aspect that SMEs in Africa must consider is the legal rules and regulations involved in starting their business.

Local laws are laws within a city, town, village or local government. Understanding the local laws within your state will help you create your own rules and regulations within your organisation and help you run your business much more efficiently. It also gives you the privilege to partake of benefits within that locality.

Most importantly, it will help you avoid costly mistakes that can negatively affect your business plans.

Some SMEs in Africa jump into starting up their business without considering local laws and regulations. This has led to cases from paying fines to more adverse cases like a total shutdown of such businesses. Understanding your local laws will allow you to run your business legitimately within that locality.

Areas where local laws are important to SMEs
Business Structure
One of the major things to consider before starting your business is your business legal structure. This will affect how you run your business. Common business structures include sole proprietorship, partnership, public limited liability company and private limited liability company.

Understanding your local laws will help you check for business filings that apply to your business structure within your locality. It will also help you update necessary documents and become law compliant.

Taxation
Paying taxes is important for every business owner. Understanding your local laws and regulations will help you know what types of taxes your business qualifies for.

In Nigeria, every business must register as a taxpayer and obtain a tax identification number. Business names are required to pay personal income tax, while corporate organisations pay companies income tax and withholding tax.

Business Location
It is important to understand your local laws and regulations within your location. For example, in Nigeria, businesses are required to pay a business premises registration levy in the first year of doing business and even a renewal every other year. The rate of fees might vary depending on the location. Your business might also need a permit for other environmental laws like water quality and treatment.

Business license
Understanding your local laws will educate you on which licenses you will need to get for your business. It is important to carry out research to know which licenses apply in your industry. For example, if you plan to open up a restaurant, you might have to register with the local governing body for food standards.

There are institutions and bodies within your state that are saddled with the responsibility of enforcing these laws.

In Nigeria, the government set up a few institutions to monitor and ensure compliance with the requirements of laws and regulations concerning businesses.

These institutions include the Corporate Affairs Commission, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Inland Revenue Service, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, the National Information Technology Development Agency and the Standards Organization of Nigeria and many others. There are also regulations monitored and enforced by local governments.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/04/07/why-it-is-important-to-take-your-local-laws-seriously-before-starting-your-business/
Business / 3 Strategies To Start Your Business With No Funds by sme360ng: 9:44am On Apr 09
It is common knowledge that running a business can be demanding not to talk of starting with no funds. The need for resources to attain business growth and scale demand and supply can not be ignored. Neither can we waive aside the difficulty of accessing funds to run a new business venture. Having stated this, is there a way to maneuver around it?

In this article, we will share some principles to help prime your mindset as a new or intending entrepreneur. Then we will proceed to highlight a few viable strategies you can explore to start your business from scratch with no funds, financial credit, or financial investments?

Pillars of the entrepreneurial mindset
What do we mean by the entrepreneurial mindset? This is a way of thinking that enables you to overcome challenges, be decisive, and accept responsibility for your outcomes. It is a constant need to improve your skills, learn from your mistakes, and take continuous action on your ideas.

Forbes describes the entrepreneurial mindset as a certain way of thinking — it is about how you approach challenges and mistakes. It is about an inherent need to improve your skillset and to try and try again.

This entrepreneurial mindset is held in place by a set of clearly defined characteristics or pillars. These are three we consider most important to help you grow your business without funds.

1. Positivity
Striving to achieve success in business starts with the firm belief that success is possible. Successful business owners often just start. They don’t think about all the challenges that will get in their way. As an entrepreneur, you should tend towards resilient impulsive actions. Your success depends on your ability to execute first and then figure things out as you make progress. Then when you have identified a working formula, repeat it as often as possible.

No venture will get off the ground if you focus on the lists of all the things you don’t have. Instead, make a list of all the things you have and figure out how to use those resources to build your business.

2. Resourcefulness
The ability to look for opportunities and take actions lots of actions is a key pillar of the entrepreneurial mindset. Starting a company is difficult. More so, when resources available in your immediate environment are limited. As a resourceful entrepreneur, you require the ability to see a way where others might see a wall. You are constantly asking the question, “how can things be done better?”

This ability to leverage resources must also transcend your capacity. You need to explore mutually beneficial relationships with others with complementary abilities to drive value.

3. Patience
Things will not always go as planned, it won’t always be fun, and you might not succeed immediately. In harnessing your entrepreneurial mindset through your business execution, you will learn a lot about management, finance, people, and yourself along the way. The key to understanding this is patience.

Patience allows you to be objective in your choices and gives you the ability to focus on the bigger picture. Despite any temporary setbacks, you can plan your resources for achieving your long-term business goals.

What options do you have to start?
1. Get a job:
This might seem counterintuitive to the whole article, but this is borne out of the misconception that entrepreneurship is the polar opposite of getting a job. On the contrary, the entrepreneurial mindset can be leveraged to improve your output as a part of a larger organisation. In the same vein, taking up a role in an organisation can significantly boost your chances of success in starting up your own business.

But how can get a job help you set up your business without access to funds? Here are a few ways;

Taking up a job with a larger organization is a great way to build your business’s initial working capital. A well-planned strategy can also give you the opportunity to learn the skills required and grow your network of potential partners and customers, which you can then leverage when you are ready to kick off with your new business venture.

It also helps you build credibility for your skill sets. This can be very valuable in attracting your first customers based on the trust built while rendering your service as an employee.

2. Start a service business:
In deciding your choice of business when faced with very limited financial capacity, your consideration should be for one which can leverage resources other than money. Resources like time, skill, relationships, etc., are also valuable means of exchange that can be traded with. Service businesses fall into this category because they offer you an opportunity to leverage your skill-set to generate revenue.

There are really no limitations on what kinds of service businesses you can venture into. Almost any activity which has demand can be rendered as a service. While the potential revenue for service businesses vary across parameters like;

– Different types of services.

– Your level of proficiency.

– Quantity of demand available.

– Availability of services.

3. Build a niche Community:
These days influence is a highly valuable commodity. The ability to rally a group of people around an ideology is the determining factor for any brand’s growth and success and can be traded for money. Building a community online requires you to establish an area of focus, choose a point of convergence, attract people who are equally passionate about it by sharing resources valuable to them, and building relationships in the group by driving active engagement. Social media offers a free platform to both build and manage an audience which can then be monetised in one of two ways:

Invite brands with products relevant to your community to promote their products. This offers diverse value to your members and helps to spice up the group.
Leverage your influence to set up and promote your own business to your community members. This allows you to build on the trust equity that has been developed over time.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/04/07/3-strategies-to-start-your-business-with-no-funds/
Business / 10 Networking Tips For Newbie Entrepreneurs by sme360ng: 9:09am On Mar 31
Are you new in the business world and looking for networking tips? This post was written to help you out. Most people consider networking to be an aspect of business that helps you to attract new clients. It is a lot more than that.

Business networking requires you to make connections to individuals that will help your business get better. It is a process that involves establishing mutually beneficial relationships with other business owners and potential customers. Doing this presents your business with several amazing benefits.

Many business owners don’t have the slightest idea of how to go about this. Because of this, we put together these networking tips to help you out.

Networking Tips To Guarantee Success For Newbie Entrepreneurs
No successful business owners got to where they are today by themselves. It was with the help of others. This is what a strong business network can help you achieve. From word-of-mouth recommendations to solving seemingly impossible problems, networking comes with so many benefits. Here are some networking tips for new owners of SMEs in Africa:

Attend networking events
This is probably the oldest trick in the book. How do you expect to establish strong networks without attending networking events? Of course, opportunities to network present themselves daily, but certain local networking events top the list.

Some examples include Chamber of Commerce meetings and meetings for SMEs in your industry. Sign up to bodies that organize such functions. This way, you will be informed of upcoming events and you can plan to attend.

Decide on your networking goal
It is not just about attending every networking event available. You must select the kind of events that you attend since attending some of these events come at a cost. This is why you must decide on a networking goal before you start attending events.

Without a clear agenda, you will end up attending so many events and networking with the wrong people. Instead of doing your business good, you’d be getting the opposite. Decide on what you want your networking efforts to achieve and then set out to achieve your goals.

Offer help to others
This is one of the less common networking tips you’d hear anywhere. Many newbies make the mistake of attending networking events to just solve their problems. As such, they want to ask questions and request help at the slightest opportunity when they attend such events.

While this isn’t bad, it is better to find out how to add value to others first before requesting their help. People will be more open to a relationship with you when you show them what you are bringing to the table. As Scott Roen said, “when you offer others advice, the gesture is likely going to be reciprocated.”

Utilize your off-hours
Many business owners, especially newbies, just want to run into their shells after a long day at work. True, resting after hectic days is a great idea. But have you considered utilizing your off-hours to network?

This is a good way to build your network. It could be at the gym, club, a football game, bar, salon, or any of such places. You don’t have to wear your “serious hat,” just be ready to discuss and make acquaintances. Such relationships will come in handy someday. So, if you are not good at chatting and starting conversations, you better learn.

Learn to use icebreakers
In the previous networking tip, we talked about individuals who find it difficult to start conversations. If you fall into this category, allow us to introduce you to “conversational icebreakers.” It is even possible that you are great at starting regular conversations. However, when it comes to networking events, you crawl back into your shell.

Icebreakers help you start conversations easily. You can build from these to continue the rest of the conversation. Here are some examples:

– Excuse me, can I introduce myself if you don’t mind?

– Are you in town for business or you are from here originally from here?

– What is your motivation for attending this event?

– What part of our discussion or presentation interested you the most?

Employ social media
Many people make use of social media these days as a means of selling their products. You should do the same. However, there is a lot more you can achieve with social media. Have you considered becoming a resource person on social media?

This is one of those scarce networking tips that you can take advantage of. Create industry-related content and comment under such posts from other individuals. You will be attracting individuals in your industry and building your network by doing this.

Reach out to customers
As we mentioned above, networking involves building relationships with both business owners and customers. Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to market your brand. Your customers will do this on your behalf at no cost.

Organize events where you can have one-on-one communication with your clients. It doesn’t have to be at your business, they just need to know that your business is the organizer. Also, organize periodic CSR events as well.

Maintain contact with older connections
The fact that you are building new relationships doesn’t mean that you should ditch old ones. No relationship gets old-fashioned, except it gets toxic. Reach out to your old contacts and make them feel welcome at your business anytime. Such relationships could come in handy when you least expect them.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/03/20/10-networking-tips-for-newbie-entrepreneurs/
Business / Is Market Research Necessary For Your Small Business? by sme360ng: 10:10am On Mar 29
For most small business owners, the market is likened to a huge sea where you row your little boat, throw in your line and hope to catch some fish. It is a highly unstructured and randomised system where hope and luck are the key strategies for success. If you fall into this category and are opportune to know about market research, then you must have asked yourself at some point, “is market research necessary for my small business?”

What is market research?
The first step is to understand what market research is. Market research is the art of testing, tracking, measuring and analysing product ideas to gain valuable feedback from a sample of their target audience. The goal of conducting market research is to gain insight into your product, customer base and competitors.

To equip your business with the information required to make informed decisions. It is especially important when small businesses are trying to determine whether a new business idea is viable, looking to move into a new market, or are launching a new product or service.

Why is market research needed?
The next step in understanding if market research is necessary for your small business is to understand why it is conducted. These include;

● Understanding the customers
Replacing assumptions and a false understanding of your customers automatically boosts your chances of meeting them at the point of their needs. By conducting research, you can create a profile of your average customer and gain insight into their buying habits, how much they’re willing to spend, and which features resonate best with them.

● Finding opportunities
Conducting effective market research can also help you find niche opportunities you might not be privy of. By learning more about your customers, you can gather insights into complementary products and services. Because consumer needs change over time, influenced by new technology and different conditions, you may find new needs that are not being met, which can create new opportunities for your business.

● Know your competition
Let’s face it; you probably don’t know enough about your competitors. More so, what they do better than you makes them appear more attractive to your shared customer base. This is another way to leverage your market research. Adding competitor analysis as a part of your research will help you learn about your competitor behaviour, competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, product offerings and price point. Then you can learn how to position yours to take advantage of their shortcomings.

● Market forecast
Beyond your customers, the local and international community have a direct impact on your business. When customers are in a state of mind which supports their purchase of your business, it can significantly boost your product’s market penetration. You can also face a downturn in sales volume when the public sentiments don’t support purchases of your product and services.

By conducting research with consumers, you can decide whether they are optimistic or apprehensive about the economy’s direction and make adjustments as necessary. A good example is when business owners had to decide on their product focus during the Covid-19 pandemic, as the economic environment was turning negative for some industries.

You will agree that these are essential knowledge points to drive market penetration for your products or services. A well-conducted market research is necessary for businesses of any scale to understand their customers’ needs and serve them.

Read more here... https://www.sme360.ng/
Technology Market / Accelerator For African Tech Startups Opens Applications by sme360ng: 10:45am On Mar 27
The ASIP Accelerator Programme, an initiative focused on early-stage disruptive African tech startups, has officially opened applications for its newest cohort.

Created by Telecel Group and powered by Startupbootcamp AfriTech, this programme is geared to facilitate the growth and promotion of African tech startups in the fintech, insurtech, agritech, eCommerce, healthtech, and cleantech sector.

According to reports, the above-mentioned industry tech startups are referred to as the Internet Economy and are estimated to reach 5.2% of gross domestic product by 2025.

The ASIP Accelerator Programme

Ten applicants will be selected to take part in the prestigious three-month programme.

The programme will provide participants with access to expert-led masterclasses covering a range of topics such as; scaling business fundamentals, fundraising, and more.

In addition, the one-on-one premium mentorship provided by industry experts will further guide participating entrepreneurs to success along with a networking opportunity to connect with venture capitalists and angel investors from across the globe.

Successful startups will receive €15,000 in cash and have access to over €500,000 in exclusive partner deals from leading technology providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, HubSpot, and SendGrid, amongst others.

Participants will continue to receive support after the programme has ended as they will become members of the Alumni Growth Programme, offering access to alumni-only events, deals, and more.

Read more... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/03/25/accelerator-for-african-tech-startups-opens-applications/
Business / Creditable Ways Of Building And Branding Your Business by sme360ng: 8:21am On Mar 26
Think about a brand right now as you read this content; chances are you thought about Apple, Samsung, LG, HP, Tecno, Coca-Cola, MTN, 9mobile, etc. They all have something in common, which is branding. Branding makes a product memorable and leaves a lasting impression. A huge part of their budget has gone into the branding of their products and services. The big question is how businesses like yours can achieve growth with branding.

First, branding is more than the logo, emotional rollercoaster, or message. It is the first thing people think about when they hear your product or service. It is the sole reason you would have repeat or new customers. The truth is most people would not buy from you immediately. That means when you meet potential customers, there are chances that they won’t even remember you after the initial meeting.

This also means that you must be top of the mind for people to remember you. If they think of herbal drinks, then it is yours and only yours that comes up.

This is your number one goal.

We already know from our economy and environment that so many people are or may be doing what you are doing. It won’t be enough to say “we are the best”.

There is also no miracle drug or hack to branding. It takes a series of effort and testing to get the best fit for your business. However, in this article, we would help highlight the key ingredients for branding your business.

Select a Visual Identity
To be memorable, a visual identity is the way to go. This is the tricky part for businesses. As a business, you have to sync your brand personality with the colour you select.

For instance, if you are in the makeup or beauty industry, there are certain colours that your customers will identify with, like pink with a touch of black. Pink represents something nice or sweet.

A grocery or herbal drink business owner will go with a touch of green because it represents fresh, healthy, etc. Colours will increase the rate at which people would remember your brand. To learn more on colours – simply type ‘Psychology of colours in marketing’ on Google.

Select a Brand Identity
People want to know who they are dining with, your awesome home-made body cream may damage their skin forever and no-one wants to put their life in a business’s hand without assurance.

Your customers need something to connect with before they can trust you, which is why you need to tie your brand to a belief system that people can relate to.

To simply put it – why does your grocery company exist. Is it to feed the whole of Africa or to ensure people get their meals faster and healthier?. Whatever it is, that is what your audience will identify with, which in turn would convert them to customers.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/03/23/creditable-ways-of-building-and-branding-your-business/
Business / Creditable Ways Of Building And Branding Your Business by sme360ng: 10:30am On Mar 23
Think about a brand right now as you read this content; chances are you thought about Apple, Samsung, LG, HP, Tecno, Coca-Cola, MTN, 9mobile, etc. They all have something in common, which is branding. Branding makes a product memorable and leaves a lasting impression. A huge part of their budget has gone into the branding of their products and services. The big question is how businesses like yours can achieve growth with branding.

First, branding is more than the logo, emotional rollercoaster, or message. It is the first thing people think about when they hear your product or service. It is the sole reason you would have repeat or new customers. The truth is most people would not buy from you immediately. That means when you meet potential customers, there are chances that they won’t even remember you after the initial meeting.

This also means that you must be top of the mind for people to remember you. If they think of herbal drinks, then it is yours and only yours that comes up.

This is your number one goal.

We already know from our economy and environment that so many people are or may be doing what you are doing. It won’t be enough to say “we are the best”.

There is also no miracle drug or hack to branding. It takes a series of effort and testing to get the best fit for your business. However, in this article, we would help highlight the key ingredients for branding your business.

Select a Visual Identity
To be memorable, a visual identity is the way to go. This is the tricky part for businesses. As a business, you have to sync your brand personality with the colour you select.

For instance, if you are in the makeup or beauty industry, there are certain colours that your customers will identify with, like pink with a touch of black. Pink represents something nice or sweet.

A grocery or herbal drink business owner will go with a touch of green because it represents fresh, healthy, etc. Colours will increase the rate at which people would remember your brand. To learn more on colours – simply type ‘Psychology of colours in marketing’ on Google.

Select a Brand Identity
People want to know who they are dining with, your awesome home-made body cream may damage their skin forever and no-one wants to put their life in a business’s hand without assurance.

Your customers need something to connect with before they can trust you, which is why you need to tie your brand to a belief system that people can relate to.

To simply put it – why does your grocery company exist. Is it to feed the whole of Africa or to ensure people get their meals faster and healthier?. Whatever it is, that is what your audience will identify with, which in turn would convert them to customers.

Select your Brand Tone
Big, Strong, Reliable – that is the messaging tone of a popular Nigerian bank. Banks are expected to be a safe place where people can depend on. This bank’s message communicates to customers, using a somewhat strong message and tone that they mean business.

The messaging from your webpages to your content should have the same tone. If you are a small business in the health industry, your message may want to read “The healthiest place to live”. It is quite informal and casual for a health brand.

Select or Identify your Customers.
Everybody cannot be your customers. I want to sell to everyone is a dream. However, what is realistic is knowing who and where your customers are so that your tactics and strategy can be pulled off with ease. A part of your branding will rely on advertising and marketing, which means you have to know who your ideal customer is.

An ideal customer for a makeup entrepreneur could be a female within the age of 20 – 45, probably with an income of $20 or more. These specifics would even allow you to identify a visual and brand identity that speaks to this audience in particular.

In conclusion, people don’t want to buy from brands they don’t trust. Our job as business owners is to create connections. We know that most people don’t want to be sold to. They would rather have a connection first before they buy, so branding is a process and not some magic wand to create buyers.

Once people feel comfortable with you, they are willing to commit a fee for your services to meet their needs. That is your primary goal in branding through the tools and strategy we have mentioned.

Read more here... https://www.sme360.ng/
Agriculture / How To Write A Poultry Farming Business Plan by sme360ng: 10:57am On Mar 18
Are you planning to start a poultry farming business? If your answer is yes, then you need to write a business plan. Whether you’re starting a small business or exploring ways to expand an existing one, a business plan is an important tool to help guide your decisions. It is essentially your roadmap to success because it will provide greater clarity on all aspects of your business, from marketing and finance to operations and product/service details.

While some owners may be tempted to jump directly into startup mode, writing a business plan is a crucial first step for budding entrepreneurs to check the viability of a business before investing too much time or money. The purpose of a business plan is to help articulate a strategy for starting your business. It also provides insight on steps to be taken, resources required for achieving your business goals and a timeline of anticipated results.

Poultry farming is the commercial rearing of chickens and other birds for their meat and production of eggs. The poultry industry has become one of the most efficient producers of protein for human consumption in response to public concern over dietary fat; poultry has become the popular substitute for beef and other types of meat.

The demand for eggs and chicken in cities has become more prevalent than ever before. The Nigerian poultry industry as at its last survey was estimated at ₦80 billion ($600 million) and comprises approximately 165 million birds and is growing tremendously. From a market size perspective, poultry production in Nigeria amounts up to 454 billion tonnes of meat and 3.8 million eggs per year, with a standing population of 180 million birds.

These statistics clearly show that the demand for poultry products is so high that a huge market has been created for smart entrepreneurs to tap from this. Regardless of this though, many small business owners who run poultry farms often aren’t able to properly articulate why they need business capital from their potential investors or how they intend to use the money once they get it.

One of the best ways you can convince lenders that you will put their money to good use is through a well-written business plan. With a well-written business plan, your chances of accessing the billions in the coffers of private and public institutions are greatly improved. As a small business owner, to write a good poultry farming business plan today, here are the key elements that must not be missed:

1. Company name, logo and Headline
Your company name should appear at the top of your business plan. If you can afford it, get a good graphic designer to design a professional logo for your poultry farming business as well. Do well to describe your company and the business opportunities it will be taking advantage of.
A good headline is compelling. It reveals the company’s mission statement, along with a short description of its products and services. It might also be a good idea to briefly explain why you’re starting your company and include details about your experience in the industry you’re entering.

Avoid needless repetitions here and enumerate your points neatly. Make sure you use strong, compelling and graphic words to describe your company and its business opportunity. Include in your headline the things that will make your company successful (e.g. innovative products, industry experience etc.)

2. Problem(s) your company will solve
Here you have to state the problem(s) that your poultry farming business intends to solve for your target customers. It is always a good idea to think about customer needs and customer benefits as you define your product offerings, rather than thinking of your side of the equation (how much the product or service costs, and how you deliver it to the customer).

The customer needs your poultry business is concerned with maybe new unmet needs in the industry or very simply be a new way of solving an agelong problem in your target market. These concerns could range from making poultry products affordable to low-earning workers who only eat poultry on festive occasions to ensuring that poultry products are well packed and prepared hygienically. Be as specific as possible here.

3. Your company’s solution
In this section, you must explain how your poultry farming business intends to solve the problems your target customers face. The lenders must see clearly what your company offers and how your solution provides a different and unique alternative to what is presently in the marketplace.

This is where you explain why your business stands out from other competitors in the industry and breaks down its strengths, including how it offers solutions for customers and the competitive advantages that will give your business an edge to succeed. For instance, you can specify that your poultry business will make poultry affordable to the masses by reducing the cost of raising poultry by using new feeding methods, practices and feed materials or eliminating the middleman in product distribution by supplying directly to the consumers through the use of e-commerce and community peer sales outlets.

4. Explain your target market
Naturally, the target market of those who are the end consumer of commercial poultry farm produce and also those who benefit from the business value chain of the poultry farming and egg production industry is all-encompassing.

Every household consumes produce from commercial poultry farms, be it chicken or egg. Almost all hotels and fast restaurants sell chicken and eggs. In essence, a commercial poultry farmer should be able to sell his or her chicken and eggs to as many people as possible.

You must be crystal clear about the type of people your poultry farming business intends to serve. Your business plan must be clear on the customers you want to concentrate on, the segment of the populace who will represent your primary market and the segment of the populace your business will actively ignore.

As you identify the potential customers for your poultry business (e.g. average income earners in Nigeria), ensure you get reliable statistics about them. You need to know the number of people who make up your target market and how much they averagely spend each year to address the problem you intend to solve. Do intensive market research here and rely only on credible sources.

5. Your competitive landscape
Whether your goal is to get a clearer picture of your business vision or to secure capital for your poultry farming business, you need to consider your competition. You need to have a good grasp of your competitive landscape, and so it’s best if you make a list of your competitors. Break down industry trends and themes. Show what other businesses are doing and how they are succeeding or failing.

As you list your top competitors, describe or state what makes your solution better or more attractive than theirs. A good poultry farming business plan will present a clear comparison of your business vs your direct and indirect competitors. This is where you prove your knowledge of the industry by breaking down their strengths and weaknesses. Your end goal is to show how your business will stack up. Above all, the numbers should help answer why your business can do it better.

6. Funding needs
If your goal is to raise revenue for your small business, then your business plan must have a section dedicated wholly to funding. In this section, you state the amount of money you want to raise and how you intend to spend the money on your poultry business. If you need funding, this section focuses on the amount of money that you need to set up your business and how you plan to use the capital that you are raising.

For instance, if you intend to raise N1,000,000 for your poultry business, you can further break it down as follows:

Processing Equipment and Machinery— N400,000
Staff & Personnel— N200,000
Birds— N200,000
Feeding Material— N200,000
Be as detailed as possible here.

7. Your sales channels and strategies
Your poultry farming business plan should briefly explain how you plan to get your products or services to market. Your sales strategy must be specific. Break down how many sales reps you will need to hire and how you will recruit them and bring them on board. Make sure to include your sales targets as well.

Are you selling and delivering to your target customers directly through a retail store, website, or catalogue? Do you plan to have a sales team? Do you plan to sell through intermediaries, distributors, dealers, resellers, or others? Identifying your sales channels is important to understand the economics of your business model.

Your sales channels can be outlined to include online stores: where customers can order directly to their homes; peer sales outlets in densely populated areas where customers can buy poultry products from and any other channels you’d choose to sell your products through.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/03/17/how-to-write-a-poultry-farming-business-plan/

Business / 5 Ways To Invest In Your Business This Year by sme360ng: 11:25am On Mar 17
African business owners must see themselves beyond being entrepreneurs. They must learn to see themselves as investors. This would mean that the minimum number of investors in Africa should be the same as the total number of SMEs. Hence, as a business owner, you must look beyond finding innovative ways to sell your products or services.

For your business to thrive, you must find innovative ways to invest in your business. However, finding the right ways to invest in your business can be challenging since every business is primarily focused on getting their business up and running after a devastating 2020.

This is why we have come up with the 5 ways business owners can invest in their SMEs this year:

1. Innovative Marketing Strategies
Businesses (whether large-scale or SMEs) need effective marketing strategies to thrive. Without effective marketing strategies, businesses cannot reach out to their customers or potential clients about their products and services. Marketing is the only way to get potential clients coming through your doors.

So, if you want to see more customers, hence, closing more sales, effective marketing strategies is one area to invest in your business. Marketing helps you to retain your customers and find new ones. This is one of the reasons why SMEs should have a long-term marketing strategy. We recommend that you employ an expert to help you market your brand.

With the world rapidly changing and most people getting more comfortable with shopping online than on-site, it is vital that you pay attention to improving your digital marketing strategies. Working with an expert will save you a lot of time and ensure that you get the value for your money.

Investing in performance metrics is one thing you can never do wrong as a business owner. An expert will help keep track of your business campaigns and tweak them when necessary.

2. Employees Development
The success of your business hinges heavily on your team’s efficiency. If you want your business to succeed and grow, you will need to invest in employing people that are passionate about your business. Also, making adequate investment in your employees’ growth or development will help your business grow and succeed. Hence, as a business owner, you must make your employees feel important and help them realise that they have a future with you.

The best way to enhance business productivity is by building a more efficient workforce. One of the ways to do this is by creating the kind of business culture that only attracts hard-working people. Creating a system that rewards hard work, and as your business grows, you can create benefit packages for your employees.

Hence, one of the keys areas to invest in your business this year is your human resources. This department will also ensure that your employees get the right training they need to enhance their efficiency.

3. Legal Protection and Insurances
Lots of SMEs overlook the need to invest in legal protection and insurance. This often comes to most business owners as the last thing to do or, in some cases, not even on their to-do list. However, it is almost impossible to protect your business from a financial crisis without legal protection and the right insurances.

If your business is services-based, professional indemnity insurance is one of the things to invest in your business. If you run a customer service business such as a consultant firm, professional indemnity insurance will protect your business if your customer decides to sue you due to poor advice. This form of insurance will cover the legal cost implications of this kind of lawsuit.

There are tons of business insurances, and investing in the right ones will ensure your business’s survival when the need arises.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/03/17/5-ways-to-invest-in-your-business-this-year/
Business / Access Up To N25 Million Targeted Credit Facility For COVID-19 by sme360ng: 9:12am On Mar 16
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduces a stimulus package to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented disruptions to global supply chains, sharp drop in global crude oil prices, turmoil in global stock and financial markets, massive cancellation of sporting and entertainment event, lockdown of large swaths movements of persons in many countries, and intercontinental travel bans/restrictions across critical air routes across the world.

These outcomes have had severe consequences on households’ livelihoods and business activities, resulting from drop in global demand, declined consumer confidence and slowdown in production.

In this respect, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) as a stimulus package to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who is Eligible?

Households

Households with verifiable evidence of livelihood adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Microenterprises

Existing enterprises with verifiable evidence of business activities adversely affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

SMEs

Enterprises with bankable plans to take advantage of opportunities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The process is easy.Submit applications directly to NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) with clear evidence of the opportunity or adverse impact as a result of COVID-19 pandemic

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/03/12/access-up-to-n25-million-targeted-credit-facility-for-covid-19/
Agriculture / All You Need To Know About Fish Farming In Nigeria by sme360ng: 9:03am On Mar 16
Fishes naturally live in rivers and other natural water bodies and so fish farming (also known as pisciculture) refers to the entire processes involved in the rearing, breeding or artificially transplanting fish for commercial purposes. More often than not, this entails the building of earthen, fish tanks or ponds, the fertilization of the pond, the careful stocking of the fingerlings in the freshwater and their careful feeding till they grow big enough for sale.

Fish farming in Nigeria is booming for several major reasons. For one, Nigeria has an estimated 12,478,818 hectares of inland water and some 741,509 hectares of brackish water, most of which are suitable for aquaculture. For another, fish is relatively cheaper than meat here and is so well-loved that about 41% of our total animal protein intake is obtained from fish products.

The fish market in Nigeria, therefore, is not to be trifled with. There are various species of fishes to be farmed here. Still, most of the species of fish are not suitable for fish farming business in Nigeria, either because of their nature, their low demand in the fish market, the non-profitability of their species, or all of these reasons.
If you’re new in the fish business, you probably want to know as much as possible about the fish farming business in Nigeria. It is always a good business decision to first investigate your market, understand the demand, price, your competitors and how you`ll outsmart them. All these will influence your decision as per, where to situate your fish farm, the cost and the likely profit.

So whether you’re planning to start a small scale fish farming or gigantic commercial fish farming in Nigeria, all you need to know to get started can be summed up in the following guidelines:

1. Location
Do you want to start your fish business on a small scale, or would you rather go big?. This is an important question to answer because it will give you the best idea of where your ideal business site should be. In the Nigerian fish farming industry, location is everything.

If you’re starting a small scale fish farm, you may decide to start in your backyard with a tank, but if you’re going big, you would have to buy or rent one or few fish ponds (earthen or concrete ponds) outside your home. How close is your location to the nearest market? How far is it from your ideal customers?

Whether you choose to start big or small, you need to select a good land area and get this right; you can either buy it or use your land. Take into consideration your future plans for your business. Size is important here because it will help you grow and expand your business in the near future. Big enough also means enough fish to farm.

Also, select a place with high-quality soil. This is because the soil’s quality directly affects the quality and quantity of the fish you get. The soil should also have no or little rocks. Your ideal soil for fish farming should contain a minimum of 20% clay. If possible, go for land that is relatively level because this will mean that your fish farm will not be easily flooded. This will also help in preventing dirty water from getting into the bond.

2. Good Water Supply For Your Fish
How important is water to a fish? Fishes by nature do not survive outside water so it’s fair to say that a good water supply for your fishes is just as important as oxygen is to you. Successful fish farmers in Nigeria know that the constant supply of good water makes a huge difference in this industry. Unreliable water supply (regardless of how clean) translates into low production, poor growth and poor quality of your fishes so before you commit, ensure that your farm is sited in a place with uninterrupted sources of fresh and clean water.

Also, understand that what we humans consider “Good Water supply ” might be harmful to your fishes. For instance, most Nigerians drink government treated water in their homes, but such water could be poisonous to the fish because of the chemicals used to treat the water for human consumption.

Your intending fish farm’s size determines the quantity of water needed, but its quality should always topnotch. If you’re starting a small scale fish business, you may be comfortable with a nearby well. However, you’re starting fish farming in Nigeria as a big business venture; then, you’ll need a strong well, your borehole or even a strong water storage tank.

3. The Right Pond or Housing For Your Fish
Your fish needs a comfortable place to live. A fish pond, or fishpond, is a controlled pond, artificial lake, or reservoir ttocked with fish and used in aquaculture for fish farming or is used for recreational fishing or for ornamental purposes. The more natural and comfortable your fish pond is, the better for them.

In Nigeria, fish pond sizes vary, and their costs vary, depending on your environment and your business needs. The pond design is equally important. The design however, depends on the type of species that you want to rear.

Regardless of the species you want to rear, you must ensure that the water flows in and out of the fish ponds constantly and at the right rates. The reason for this is simple: if the water flows out too quickly, favourable algae from your ponds can be flushed out, and this can adversely affect the fish. If the water is retained for too long in the pond, it may result in oxygen depletion, leading to unhealthy fish.

It is therefore important to always monitor the level of water in the pond. Cover all the inlets and outlets properly to keep away insects and predators. Spaces should also be left in between your ponds to serve as feeder roads.

If you’re just getting started here, my advice would be to visit fish farms around you as possible before constructing your ponds. Visit successful fish farmers and ask them as many questions as possible. The people already in this business in your neighbourhood will give you the best advice that can be useful to you in that environment because they already operate within your vicinity.
4. Deciding The Right Species of Fish For You
This can be a challenge for any potential fish farmer because there are so many different types of fish species. These various fish species thrive best under various conditions (climatic and otherwise) and so in making this decision, there are many factors that should be well thought-out, which, if not taken into consideration, would adversely affect the success of your business.

In the Nigerian fish farming industry, the two commonly farmed fish species are tilapia and catfish. Tilapia is a freshwater fish that is very easy to keep. It grows fast, reproduces rapidly, does best in warm water and takes approximately two years to mature sexually. Tilapia fishes are also relatively easy to feed because they feed on phytoplankton and algae (which can grow naturally in the pond)

When considering fish farming in Nigeria, tilapia is an ideal investment for you. When farming tilapia fish, earth ponds are the most preferred for commercial fish farming. In addition to the availability of consistent water supply and favourable soil, when farming tilapia go for a location with enough sunlight for your pond; this will facilitate the growth of algae.

In some cases, tilapia multiplies too fast. Pay attention to this because if unchecked, it can result in overpopulation which will, in turn, give rise to food competition amongst your fishes and eventually lead to the stunted growth of the weaker fishes.

Asides from tilapia farming, if you want fish that you will harvest quickly, catfish farming is the most appropriate for you. Its demand in Nigerian markets is very high, and there are many species of catfish to choose from. They require little effort, and even though big ponds are ideal here, they can be comfortably reared in ponds of any size.

Like tilapia, earth ponds are also the most preferred for commercial catfish farming in Nigeria. Catfishes grow quickly and feed on readily available foods such as rice and soybeans, making them a stress free investment that is very profitable.

5. Getting Healthy Fingerlings Or Juveniles
You can start your fishpond with some fingerlings or juveniles from a reputable dealer. To provide you with more context here, fry is the development stage of fish immediately after the larvae stage, at an age of less than a week.

Fingerling is the development stage of fish following the fry stage and continuing into the first three to four months of life. Yearling is the development stage of fish following the fingerling stage and lasting until approximately one year of age. While the juvenile stage lasts until the fish is fully grown, sexually mature and interacting with other adult fish.

Most fish farmers in Nigeria prefer to buy juveniles because this saves them the headaches of high mortality rates rampant in fingerlings. If you decide to go this route as well, I would advise you to seek out fish reputable fish farmers so as to avoid getting an unhealthy juvenile.

Continue reading here... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/03/12/all-you-need-to-know-about-fish-farming-in-nigeria/
Business / Developing A Marketing Plan For A Small Business by sme360ng: 10:26am On Mar 15
Even though you run a business yourself or with two to five employees, it is a no-brainer to have a marketing plan that drives business growth. Some businesses think of marketing as cost-oriented when, in fact, with proper planning, your business can get twice the budget after proper execution.

To get started, we have to define what a marketing plan is. A marketing plan gives you an overall view of your marketing strategy for months or a year. It forces you to get realistic with your outcomes, as-well-as your business goal in mind. For instance, if your sales goal is to sell 5000 shoes by the end of the third quarter.

To reach this goal of 1000 shoes, how many customers would I need to close 1000 shoe sales and at what rate do I close? This means if I have 1000 customers; how many of this 1000 would buy – and if only 100, that means our close rate is 10%. What this means is that your prospecting lead goal would be 10000 to make a sale of 1000.

Now that we understand this mathematics. We can use that to develop our strategies towards getting this 10,000 people that will give us our 1000 sales of shoes.

Steps to help you develop a marketing plan
Do market a survey:
This is where you do your SWOT ANALYSIS. Businesses analyse their strength, weaknesses, opportunity, and threats. It allows you to have an objective observation of the system of your businesses.

Investment plan:
The investment plan you make will be based on your observations from your SWOT analysis. This serves as a guide to not spend too much on a business operation that is already working or not part of your business goals.

Set your marketing goals:
A better way to set your marketing goals will be to make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reliable and, Timebound). For instance, a smart goal can be to have 100 prospects for your books within two months.

Know your target:
The whole world cannot be your market; neither can everyone buy your product. If you sell beef – you have to know not to sell to vegetarians. That means you need to know what they do, where they are, and their interest. These are factors that determine your audience.

Strategy to employ:
Now that we understand our marketing plan, what tactic should we use to achieve these goals. For instance, should we start with a Freemium plan where customers pay a certain fee and get into our club, after which they then pay an extra?

Execution plan:
This is a part of the plan where you need to understand your task and your action plan within a specific time. As a business, know when a plan is to be executed or what time it is to be completed.

As a business, you can design a template that works for you on a Microsoft excel sheet where you input in action points and figures to direct yourself or your small team towards reaching its goal.

A brief like an executive summary can also be drawn up in a file or online documents. This is where you describe what you want to achieve for the year, the major key determinants as well as financial numbers. This always means anyone who would be reading your brief would understand – what exactly you want to do and how.

Continue reading... https://www.sme360.ng/2021/03/13/developing-a-marketing-plan-for-a-small-business/
Business / Building A Thriving Community Around Your Business by sme360ng: 12:19pm On Mar 13
Do you have a new business and you are seeking ways to build a thriving community? Starting your small business and getting it from having zero customers to your dream number is not an easy feat. Many people rise as entrepreneurs, but only a few remain in the industry after a long time. Only a few get the desired numbers for their business and customer base for those who remain.

One of the major ways to grow your business and make sure you remain standing in the entrepreneurial industry after a long time is community building. Building a community around your business is like having a family around what you do. They are your first line of customers, your free publicity. Every business that wants to thrive and be successful needs a bustling community behind its products and services.

Most small business owners never get a thriving community because they go about it the wrong way. Here are a few steps you can take to build your community.

1. Start With your Team:
The common saying that goes – use what you have to get what you don’t have is very applicable here. You don’t need to look far to start your community. Start with your team members. They are your first set of community members. Make them understand that they are not just working with you to make money but also building a business with you, a brand that people can associate with. If you can get your team on board, then you can begin to extend your tentacles outside of your business to other people outside.

2. Introduce your Customers and Investors to more:
Most traditional customers and investors are not used to being part of a community. They mostly just buy their desired products and return whenever they need more—the same thing with investors. As a small business owner building a thriving community, it is your job to let them know that they are part of something bigger. Let them know that your business is not in a hurry to collect their hard-earned money but somewhat interested in knowing them on a deeper level so they can better be served.

Customers like to feel special. They want to know they are just another name on your balance sheet. They want to be convinced that they are more and that they matter to you. As a small business owner, it is your job to ensure that they feel this way. And this is done by adding them to your community, which brings us to our next point.

3. Use Social Media:
This is perhaps the most important point here. Community building is more of an online activity than anything else. Create social media accounts for your business. Use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms. These will go a long way in pushing your business forward and not only that.

It will also help in building your community. When you get customers and investors, you can direct them to your social media pages to engage there. You can even encourage them to post your product on their social media and add a nice caption. When they do this, you share it and encourage your other customers to share. This is how to build a thriving community.

Continue reading here, https://www.sme360.ng/2021/03/13/building-a-thriving-community-around-your-business/
Business / All You Need To Know About Fish Farming In Nigeria by sme360ng: 8:49am On Mar 12
Fishes naturally live in rivers and other natural water bodies and so fish farming (also known as pisciculture) refers to the entire processes involved in the rearing, breeding or artificially transplanting fish for commercial purposes. More often than not, this entails the building of earthen, fish tanks or ponds, the fertilization of the pond, the careful stocking of the fingerlings in the freshwater and their careful feeding till they grow big enough for sale.

Fish farming in Nigeria is booming for several major reasons. For one, Nigeria has an estimated 12,478,818 hectares of inland water and some 741,509 hectares of brackish water, most of which are suitable for aquaculture. For another, fish is relatively cheaper than meat here and is so well-loved that about 41% of our total animal protein intake is obtained from fish products.

The fish market in Nigeria, therefore, is not to be trifled with. There are various species of fishes to be farmed here. Still, most of the species of fish are not suitable for fish farming business in Nigeria, either because of their nature, their low demand in the fish market, the non-profitability of their species, or all of these reasons.

If you’re new in the fish business, you probably want to know as much as possible about the fish farming business in Nigeria. It is always a good business decision to first investigate your market, understand the demand, price, your competitors and how you`ll outsmart them. All these will influence your decision as per, where to situate your fish farm, the cost and the likely profit.

So whether you’re planning to start a small scale fish farming or gigantic commercial fish farming in Nigeria, all you need to know to get started can be summed up in the following guidelines:

1. Location
Do you want to start your fish business on a small scale, or would you rather go big?. This is an important question to answer because it will give you the best idea of where your ideal business site should be. In the Nigerian fish farming industry, location is everything.

If you’re starting a small scale fish farm, you may decide to start in your backyard with a tank, but if you’re going big, you would have to buy or rent one or few fish ponds (earthen or concrete ponds) outside your home. How close is your location to the nearest market? How far is it from your ideal customers?

Whether you choose to start big or small, you need to select a good land area and get this right; you can either buy it or use your land. Take into consideration your future plans for your business. Size is important here because it will help you grow and expand your business in the near future. Big enough also means enough fish to farm.

Also, select a place with high-quality soil. This is because the soil’s quality directly affects the quality and quantity of the fish you get. The soil should also have no or little rocks. Your ideal soil for fish farming should contain a minimum of 20% clay. If possible, go for land that is relatively level because this will mean that your fish farm will not be easily flooded. This will also help in preventing dirty water from getting into the bond.

2. Good Water Supply For Your Fish
How important is water to a fish? Fishes by nature do not survive outside water so it’s fair to say that a good water supply for your fishes is just as important as oxygen is to you. Successful fish farmers in Nigeria know that the constant supply of good water makes a huge difference in this industry. Unreliable water supply (regardless of how clean) translates into low production, poor growth and poor quality of your fishes so before you commit, ensure that your farm is sited in a place with uninterrupted sources of fresh and clean water.

Also, understand that what we humans consider “Good Water supply ” might be harmful to your fishes. For instance, most Nigerians drink government treated water in their homes, but such water could be poisonous to the fish because of the chemicals used to treat the water for human consumption.

Your intending fish farm’s size determines the quantity of water needed, but its quality should always topnotch. If you’re starting a small scale fish business, you may be comfortable with a nearby well. However, you’re starting fish farming in Nigeria as a big business venture; then, you’ll need a strong well, your borehole or even a strong water storage tank.

3. The Right Pond or Housing For Your Fish
Your fish needs a comfortable place to live. A fish pond, or fishpond, is a controlled pond, artificial lake, or reservoir ttocked with fish and used in aquaculture for fish farming or is used for recreational fishing or for ornamental purposes. The more natural and comfortable your fish pond is, the better for them.

In Nigeria, fish pond sizes vary, and their costs vary, depending on your environment and your business needs. The pond design is equally important. The design however, depends on the type of species that you want to rear.

Regardless of the species you want to rear, you must ensure that the water flows in and out of the fish ponds constantly and at the right rates. The reason for this is simple: if the water flows out too quickly, favourable algae from your ponds can be flushed out, and this can adversely affect the fish. If the water is retained for too long in the pond, it may result in oxygen depletion, leading to unhealthy fish.

It is therefore important to always monitor the level of water in the pond. Cover all the inlets and outlets properly to keep away insects and predators. Spaces should also be left in between your ponds to serve as feeder roads.

If you’re just getting started here, my advice would be to visit fish farms around you as possible before constructing your ponds. Visit successful fish farmers and ask them as many questions as possible. The people already in this business in your neighbourhood will give you the best advice that can be useful to you in that environment because they already operate within your vicinity.

4. Deciding The Right Species of Fish For You
This can be a challenge for any potential fish farmer because there are so many different types of fish species. These various fish species thrive best under various conditions (climatic and otherwise) and so in making this decision, there are many factors that should be well thought-out, which, if not taken into consideration, would adversely affect the success of your business.

In the Nigerian fish farming industry, the two commonly farmed fish species are tilapia and catfish. Tilapia is a freshwater fish that is very easy to keep. It grows fast, reproduces rapidly, does best in warm water and takes approximately two years to mature sexually. Tilapia fishes are also relatively easy to feed because they feed on phytoplankton and algae (which can grow naturally in the pond)

When considering fish farming in Nigeria, tilapia is an ideal investment for you. When farming tilapia fish, earth ponds are the most preferred for commercial fish farming. In addition to the availability of consistent water supply and favourable soil, when farming tilapia go for a location with enough sunlight for your pond; this will facilitate the growth of algae.

In some cases, tilapia multiplies too fast. Pay attention to this because if unchecked, it can result in overpopulation which will, in turn, give rise to food competition amongst your fishes and eventually lead to the stunted growth of the weaker fishes.

Asides from tilapia farming, if you want fish that you will harvest quickly, catfish farming is the most appropriate for you. Its demand in Nigerian markets is very high, and there are many species of catfish to choose from. They require little effort, and even though big ponds are ideal here, they can be comfortably reared in ponds of any size.

Like tilapia, earth ponds are also the most preferred for commercial catfish farming in Nigeria. Catfishes grow quickly and feed on readily available foods such as rice and soybeans, making them a stress free investment that is very profitable.

Click to continue reading, https://www.sme360.ng/2021/03/12/all-you-need-to-know-about-fish-farming-in-nigeria/

Business / 6 Female Entrepreneurs Changing The Face Of Nigerian Business by sme360ng: 8:05am On Mar 10
The March Edition of SME360 Magazine focuses on celebrating female entrepreneurs in line with International Women’s Day. As a result, we were privileged to interview 6 amazing female entrepreneurs running their businesses in Nigeria. In this post, we provide you a summary of each of these interviews.

Renee Chuks – Aldente Africa
Renee Oluwaseun Chuks is the co-founder of Aldente Africa, a hospitality and food product development company. This company seeks to serve humanity through food and food product development.

There are several product offerings by this company including “Aldente Premium Fresh Pasta.” This product is manufactured from local crops. It prides itself as the first gluten-free pasta and noodles brand in Nigeria and Africa owned by Africans. The company also runs several other projects including the Umami Center for Culinary Arts located in Lagos

Despite being registered in 2017, the business made its big hit during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Renee recounts the need to eliminate GMO food products as the motive behind this business. The unique selling point of Aldente African is producing food from locally grown food crops. Another factor that contributes to their uniqueness is the fact that the products are 99% handmade.

The major challenge they have encountered is raising funds as a female-owned outfit. Thankfully, bodies like Shecluded have been of tremendous help. Her advice to budding female entrepreneurs is to focus on achieving their business goals. In her words, “International Women’s Day helps to solidify the strength of women and how much power we have once we come together.”

Omobolanle Odelana-Ogbamola – Moogbams Feedmills, Tripplemos Smoked Catfish, Mobpackaging
Omobolanle Odelana-Ogbamola is a mother of 3 girls and also manages 3 businesses. She holds a Master’s Degree in Managerial Psychology from the University of Ibadan as well as other certificates. Over the years, Omobolanle has stamped her authority on the Nigerian business scene as a staunch businesswoman as well as a philanthropist.

She started Moogbams Feedmills in 2013 because of her passion for agriculture, one she developed while working in the bank. Her other business ideas all branch from this idea. She sees her focus on the post-production stages of the value chain as her unique selling across the three businesses. As such, she has carved a niche for herself by producing top-quality feed that is packaged attractively.

ome of the challenges she has faced include fraud, unavailability of power, and lack of access to funds. While the business could have shut down from these, her passion for the business and having God on her side kept her going. In rounding up, she encouraged female entrepreneurs to learn to reset, restart, and refocus. Here’s what she had to say about International Women’s Day, “It is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change, and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by women.”

Temitayo Amushan – Motoya Kouture
Temitayo Amushan hails from Modakeke-Ife in Osun State. She is a single mother of a beautiful daughter and also the founder and creative director of Motoya Kouture. Her fashion brand focuses on designing exquisite wedding dresses, bridesmaids’ dresses, reception dresses, and clothing for special occasions.

Temitayo has been in business for about 10 years but she set up Motoya Kouture only 5 years ago. According to her, she began this business after helping a friend out with her wedding wear. She regards credibility and integrity as her business’ unique selling points. Temitayo regards stigmatization of Nigerian brands as the major challenge she has faced in growing her brand. Another challenge she has faced is raising funds for the business.

Click to continue https://www.sme360.ng/2021/03/09/6-female-entrepreneurs-changing-the-face-of-nigerian-business/

Business / Essential Financial Habits You Should Have As An SME Owner by sme360ng: 9:50am On Mar 09
Every business owner must display certain financial habits for their business to succeed. Leaders have key characteristics that set them apart from other people. In the same vein, successful entrepreneurs tend to have a lot of similarities, and these features are many times, which make them successful in the first place. As an SME founder, you cannot afford to do things the way others do them.

You simply cannot afford to do things as you’ve always done. You have to inculcate essential financial habits to ensure that your business is successful in the long run. Your ability to adapt and adopt these habits greatly impacts the chances your business has at success. Not only will you outperform other small businesses, but you’ll also stand out and make a difference. Some of the most important financial habits to have include:

Have a Budget and Stick with It
A budget represents an expectation or estimation of your business results. It includes how much you hope to make in your business, and also how much you’ll be spending, investing, and so on. Often times, it provides a financial roadmap to guide you carefully to the attainment of your business goals.

Budgeting is something done in advance, say ahead of a month. You should set a budget on the first day of every month, estimating how much income you hope to receive that month and how much you’ll spend on your expenses to have a sense of direction for your earnings.

Every business owner must display certain financial habits for their business to succeed. Leaders have key characteristics that set them apart from other people. In the same vein, successful entrepreneurs tend to have a lot of similarities, and these features are many times, which make them successful in the first place. As an SME founder, you cannot afford to do things the way others do them.

You simply cannot afford to do things as you’ve always done. You have to inculcate essential financial habits to ensure that your business is successful in the long run. Your ability to adapt and adopt these habits greatly impacts the chances your business has at success. Not only will you outperform other small businesses, but you’ll also stand out and make a difference. Some of the most important financial habits to have include:

Have a Budget and Stick with It
A budget represents an expectation or estimation of your business results. It includes how much you hope to make in your business, and also how much you’ll be spending, investing, and so on. Often times, it provides a financial roadmap to guide you carefully to the attainment of your business goals.

Budgeting is something done in advance, say ahead of a month. You should set a budget on the first day of every month, estimating how much income you hope to receive that month and how much you’ll spend on your expenses to have a sense of direction for your earnings.

It will also show you the deliberate things you need to do to earn more and guard your funds against impulsive spending. A budget does not end after being prepared. It also requires that you review your performance on the budget at the end of the month to ascertain how close or far it is to your reality.

Did you overspend? Did you miss out on important projects? By reviewing your budgets, you create an accountability system for you and your small business to be held by. This will help you make better decisions next month, knowing what works and what does not.

Review Your Finances Regularly
When investing in stocks, bonds, or even mutual funds, it is normal to choose to be nonchalant or passive about your investment and the volatility of your investments’ value. However, when running a business, you simply cannot choose to be nonchalant.

Every occurrence needs to be carefully assessed and top on that list to assess your financial performance regularly. Depending on what kind of business you run, review your business at the end of every season to know where your business is at and how you can get it to where you need it to be.

To continue reading, click here https://www.sme360.ng/2021/03/05/essential-financial-habits-you-should-have-as-an-sme-owner/

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