Monday, 26 October 2015

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR JOURNAL.: If you have these 10 qualities you will be a succe...

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR JOURNAL.: If you have these 10 qualities you will be a succe...: Entrepreneurs are spicy! Have you ever seen a car with a sticker 'baby on board'? Well, not all the cars with the stick...

If you have these 10 qualities you will be a successful entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is spicy

Have you ever seen a car with a sticker 'baby on board'? Well, not all the cars with the sticker actually have a baby inside. Same way not everyone with a business is an entrepreneur. Most of these business owners may not have anything else to do or they just need the 'business owner' title.

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint at heart. Before you take that first step you need to do a self assessment test to see if you got what it takes. While at it you can also check your personality type here.

Here are some of the major traits and behaviors that make one start and sustain a business venture. Place a tick against each quality you feel you posses to see how many you stuck up.

Competitive Nature
True entrepreneurs are always ahead of the game. They have a competitive muscle and believes everything is achievable. They do not take no for an answer and they are never willing to loose.
When Larry and Sergey came up with the idea of starting google, there were several other search engines. They believed they could build a better search engine than all the others combined and because of their competitive nature, they would not lose to anyone. They for sure did it.
My favorite woman entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran was almost kicked out of the show shark tank even before she could join. The show producer called while she was on her way to the airport to announce that they had hired someone else and they were sorry. But Barbara wouldn't take that and she as since enjoyed 6 years on the show.
Academic research also suggests that entrepreneurs are typically optimists. Surveys of entrepreneurs consistently find that a majority believe that their business has a better chance of success than others in their sector.

An opportunistic mindset.

Opportunities are the heart of innovation and entrepreneurship. A real entrepreneur will see an opportunity in the most unlikely of situations. Have you ever seen an opportunity and believe that u can find ways to profit from them?

Entrepreneurs are survivors. If you are the kind of a person who dies a little every time an obstacle surfaces, entrepreneurship is not for you. Entrepreneurship is for soldiers, the never say die kind of individuals. Like my mother says, if you want to do this you better have 7 lives like a cat (How true is this anyway?). These are the kind of people who will figure out a way to fit a square block into a round hole while everyone else is laughing. Entrepreneurs are fighters!

Real entrepreneurs never ever give up. When failure happens, they sit down re-strategize and start all over again. Starting a business is like an ultra-marathon. You have to be able to live with uncertainty and push through a crucible of obstacles for years on end.
This world is full of nay-Sayers. People will tell you you are crazy, that it cant be done. Look at google founders, You think that anybody really believed in 1999 that two young kids out of Stanford had a shot at unseating Yahoo!. Of course not.

Have ever heard a saying 'do what you love and you will never have to work a single day in your life'? Yeah! This applies to business too. Let your business be a cause close to your heart and you will love being in business. Trust me in business, there will be days/months/years when you don’t make any money, you have no customer and everything just sucks but your passion will drive you to keep pushing forward.

Risk taker
Willingness to take risk. Entrepreneurship is the willingness to risk a lot with the HOPE of success (my definition. hehe..). Every successful business was a risky business at some point. Eric Kinoti started his tent business with only Ksh 6,000 in a single room in Ngara market Nairobi. With the hope of getting where he is today. He never let fear of failure prevent him from achieving his goals.
I’m not talking about crazy risks, but entrepreneurs are people who are willing to start a business on a leap of faith. They don’t wait on the sidelines forever doing “side projects” until the day when they’re ready to start a company. If you aren’t willing to take a shot by going full time on your startup it tells investors you aren’t confident enough in the idea or in yourself.

Entrepreneurs are 'do now' kind of people. They do not wait for tomorrow. Procrastination is not their style. Entrepreneurs are faced with a deluge of daily decisions – much of it minutiae. All of it requiring decisions and action. They cant afford to wait for later. That what separates them from everybody else.

Yes! do not be an open book. hehehe!  Anyway, that not what i meant by unpredictable. I meant be flexible. In the business world, things change by the minute. If you’re going to get ahead in this world you will need to be able to adjust to situation. According to Eric, Lean startup, this will improve the odds of your business success.

Attention to detail
If you’re going to lead an early stage business you need to be on top of all your details. You need to know your financial model. You need to be involved in the product design. You need to have a details grasp of your sales pipeline. You need to be hand on.

As an entrepreneur, organisation is key. Am assuming at the starting stage you cant afford a personal assistant. Hence, you will need to do all the planning by yourself. This will require you to be a bit organised. 

See, its very easy to be an entrepreneur. Most of these things can be learned and the current technology makes it even easier. For example, your 'be organized' problem can easily be solved by a single app. lol! So, go out there and start creating employment (at-least for yourself) and stop blaming the government for youth unemployment.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Have you business online

We are living in a super fast paced world at the moment. Long gone are the days when post office box would matter. Those who attend business cocktails will agree with me that the first question you get when you introduce your business to a potential (customer, investor.....) is, 'Do you have a website?'
According to 2007 by Webvisible & Nielsen, the number one resource people use to finding local businesses are search engines. 9 out of 10 people will search your business name on internet search engines.

So here are some of the reasons why you should consider pitching a tent online and  have an online authority

  Internet is a perfect venue for business.

 Internet has created a new economy, which by its explosive growth and sheer size already changed our perception of traditional way of doing business. Many people now prefer to sit and access their preferred goods or  services from the comfort of their home(or office). This is especially perfect for your business if you are dealing consumer products. 

If you take your online presence seriously, there is no better way to compete with “the bigs.” In fact, it is entirely possible to take a bite out of larger competitors’ volume. Make sure your online presence is all that it can be. Again, there are cost-effective ways to look like you really know what you are doing. Looking established will set you apart right from the start.

Brand Building 
One of the main overhead cost for small business is marketing. I mean people need to know your business and the only way this can happen is if you let them know. So am here to give you the good news, you can do this for very little or no cost. On top of that, with the viral-ness of the web, your message can quickly spread from 1, to 2, to 10, to 100, to 1000 people in a matter of 24 hours.
 Build your own brand and set yourself apart from the those in the same business. Companies like Amazon and Ebay have successfully created domination on areas, where just few years ago traditional brick-and-mortar companies were kings.
 Whether you want to sell products, gain subscribers, persuade followers to a point or sway the hearts and minds of readers to your cause, they’ve got to know who you are in the first place.

Provide better customer support.
Customer support is very important for any business.  Customer acquisition and retention is one of the key factors of business value chain. This is made easier when your business is online as you can attend to your customer and answer their queries anytime anywhere. This means better customer satisfaction and increase of profitability. Also, one of the biggest advantages of online businesses is the ability to do business around the clock. This will increase sales of course.

Low start up costs.

You don't need much investment to have a website up and  running.. There are many low cost tools available today, which can help you create sites from the very scratch. Many business portals allow you to build web sites from templates. You don't have to be a tech guru to do this.  I had learn how to build a website sometime back and i can assure you its as easy as 123(I need a refresher course though). YouTube has millions of videos on how to build a website from scratch. Take advantage of that and do it now.

Social media sites like Facebook, twitter, Tumbler will require 0 capital to start up. 

You don't have to run your entire business over the internet to benefit from online business opportunities. But, i strongly advise you to go live!

Monday, 19 October 2015

3 Major reasons why new businesses Fail

Most wannabe entrepreneurs, (including myself) charge into the marketplace with high hopes of success, but many face crushing disappointment when their businesses fail. According to Bloomberg report, 8 out of 10 startups fail within the first 18 months.

 I quit my high flying job in one of the big Audit firms in Kenya few months ago to venture into business world. At that moment i had two business ideas and my plan was to venture into both. To tell you the truth, i only had minimal planning and a huge hope for success.

I did venture right into the deep end. But,one of the business failed terribly. The other one is still in ICU.

So, i set out to do research on why startups(mine included) fail. Here are 3 of the major reasons.

1. No business plan.

Truth is, if you don't know where you are going, you will end up anywhere. Anywhere in this case may mean fail miserably.
Many wannabe entrepreneurs start their business without a plan and expect it to succeed. A solid and realistic business plan is the basis of a successful business. 
In the plan, you will outline realistic goals for your business, identify what you want your business to achieve and the timelines. Also, identify the strategies you are going to utilize. These are essential for business success.

You can write your own business plan with the help of google.

2. Under funding.

In business, money runs out really fast. When starting any business, you will need money for all of your start up costs as well as money to sustain the business for the first few months of operation. This will mean enough money to run a business until cash flow from operations is positive. Running out of money is as a result of poor planning.
This is the reason why you should have a business plan that you should treat as your business bible. A properly developed Business Plan will tell you exactly how much money you require for start up expenditures and to operate the business until cash flow is positive.

3. Poor business book keeping.

Cash is king! That my rule in business. In the early days of the business, monitoring cash flows is not easy. But that what determines success and failure in business. Number one reason is; if you continue to spend more money than you bring in, you will soon be out of business.
Cash flow is all of the money that you take in each month minus all of your expenditures.
Proper bookkeeping arms you in making all your financial decisions with clarity and perspective. You will be able to know when your cash flow is on a sickbed and you will be able to plan around it.
Treat your books of account as your second business bible after the business plan.

That said, I hope your business all the possible success.

Keep it here for more insight.