If you’ve not been in this shoes, and you own a business in naija I must say – Una Wehdone o.
I wish I could say may it never happen to you. But, knowing fully well that success stories comes with a lot of sides we don’t want to share with the public. I will say, what for it. Its not a curse, its the reality.
What happens when such things come up.
Okay, as a consumer and customer to other businesses, I will say no one is at fault really. Its always a battle of one side vs the other.
Either the client is the one at fault, trying to give the vendor a bad image due to some reasons known to them alone.
You will be surprised, some business owners set customers against their competitors in the name of pulling them down, for them to rise and shine better.
Same way, sometimes it’s the business owners who take up jobs they clearly can’t deliver and call for these unnecessary dragging.
Then we have these instances when no-one is at fault, but the 2 parties just can’t clearly understand and manage the simple situation till it gets out of hand.
Have you been there? What did you do?
If you ask me, oh yeah I have been there and in all occasions, I’ve ensured my part is well delivered to a good level of justification. The clients of course may not accept but I want a case where you hear the story and I can boldly say- I did my part.
I happened to work on a project a while ago which involved a 3rd party organisation. Things happened, clearly out of my control and the affected people were threatening fire and brimstone. I just dey observe, did what I could and left the rest.
Should this push you out of business? Of course NO! You will likely face more troubles, they are the hurdles you cross to get to the top.
Just be fit and good to go. The more you scale, the better you get at managing your business.
Have a productive weekend.
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You will encounter people who ask fro free jobs in the name of publicity and promotions, no doubt. But, the question is – is it okay to keep accepting and giving in to it?
In my early years of starting my fashion business, I met a lot, I mean a whole lot of these people and I will share my personal take on this with you. Take the part that works for you and leave out the ones you don’t want .
There are influencers and celebrities, they do a lot in helping your business grow. As a new business owner, enter this kind of engagement with caution. Except you have a lot of financial reserve and can afford running the business for a while without expecting detailed profit.
Free Jobs mean zero profit, don’t forget. Free Jobs can help you but not at the detriment of the main goal of the business.
Don’t use too many of them in the name of getting famous. You are not the only one they are asking for the same privileges.
The part that baffles me is, the same people wear and flaunt ,they even advertise for foreign brand names all in the name of “I Belong and I wear luxury” – these brands don’t pay them but they’re happy to do free advert why?
These brands took time to grow their products, their brands and they became a name everyone wants to reckon with.
Have you done the same for your business for just 12 months?
What new thing have you added to your business in the past 6 months?
What improvements are you looking at in the next 3 months?
If you don’t have a good product everyone wants to have, the fame will only make your name ring in their ears, give you likes and followers but not paying customers.
In my business early years, I worked with a lot of celebrities and I realised if care is not taken you may keep attracting the wrong audience.
The willing ones assume your brand is for rich people alone. Or they feel they just can’t afford you.
Some assume you must be too busy for ordinary people like them.
On and on.
Learn to say no, if you want your business to grow.
we all know that, One of the constant concerns of business owners is finding customers, and finding new customers constantly. Isn’t that why we are in business? Yet it apperas to be one of the hardest thing to achieve when the business starts.
This problem isn’t just common with new businesses, we are all on this table
You have a good, oh, even great product or service. is that all it takes to succeed? No. There must be people constantly patronizing, they bring the food to the table.
You can apply all the strategies, get active on social media, your facebook page is active, your instagram is popping – and you may even be getting likes; are they coming back to patronize?
Know that, once you start a business, the search for customers will never stop.
how will you find them?
What is Your Plan? they won’t just drop from the skies, you need to set out a plan. and that starts with – What kind of customers are you looking for? define your ideal customer. This will be determined by your products or the service(s) you offer. Who are the people you want to attract to the business? set this all out ,it will be your first guide.
Are you visible? can your customers see you? you can be in lagos and the people who need your products or services are in Abuja. many business owners attach sentiments and emotions to their location, even when they know its not working. Some claim “i’ve been here for long, i can’t just move like that” – What if the market has moved? Are you aware that market moves?
Take advantage of potentials – meet them and interact with them. In simple words – SHoot Your Shot!!! If someone looks like the customer you would want, interact with them on their pages, face to face if you happen to meet them, let them know what you can offer. Do not be scared of making moves – its either you get a Yes or a No and that is part of business.
Advertise – you need to push your business out for the world to see. Adverts vary, which one do you think will work for your business? – the one your audience or target market is more likely to notice quickly. Age range has a thing to do with this – older audience may be on radio, younger ones -on social media – and social media has levels and preferences based on age, social standing etc. Billboards, flyers etc. Just push the business out for the world to see.
Do Promos and Offers that can attract. Take advantage of seasons.
hopefully, you can use any of this or all. Getting customers is not as difficult as it sounds or appears to be, it is all in your hands, stop waiting, make your move today!
One customer is your link to a chain of customers.
click on the video below to hear me speak more on this.
We all get to that crossroad point of not really having a clear idea of what to do, or we have too many ideas and we are there juggling all the pot pourri of options ,looking for the best to pick and settle with.
do not stay too long on the fence, choose a side.
when you have a number of options. what do you do?
lets take a few tips on this today-
know your strength – no matter what you are doing right now, or what you plan to do, you know your own strength. dont let anyone lead you wrongly. even when your friends think you are strong in one aspect, many of us know the real areas of our strengths. this is no time to follow the crowd and ‘wannabelong’. The route to success requires you speaking the real truth to your own self.
in you industry or field, you know the areas you work comfortably at. Stressing yourself by trying to belong, will only kill your zeal. it will make you keep cutting a tree with a dull axe. find your strength zones.
the best key i will drop for you today is – what you want to do vs what the environment needs?
weigh it well.
are you set out to do what you love or what your environment needs.
align your passion to meet up with what is needed where you are, thats your top secret to sales and profits.
Being faced with different options is normal, now sit and decide which one is really needed where you are. Pick on that business first. its those small ideas that sum up to make big millions one day.
and if your dream is to do all, start with one. just make that move or share your ideas with someone that can give you a honest opinion and help you grow.
SHE HAS HELPED HUNDREDS OF ENTREPRENEURS FIND THEIR FEET IN DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES OF THEIR CHOICE. SHE IS A TEACHER, SPEAKER AND TRAINER.
welcome back to ,my blog and i am Aderonke Olubanjo, the Principal instructor of a leading Fashion College in Nigeria, an EDI (Entrepreneurship Development Institute) for the Central Bank of Nigeria under the AGSMEIS scheme, i am also a Unisex Fashion Designer – cap with many feathers right? well, it all started one day and with just one step too.
I get asked a lot of times about how i started, well, i started with just 1 step. when people say they started from zero, i pause to think, really? nah… we just call zero like that, its not really zero, everyone of us started with one step, it could look like nothing to you, but you bet it, its 1.
it could be as small as a decision, an interest, a thought, a plan, a wish or even something you like about someone. That’s your step 1. I started with that step 1 too. if i did, you can too.
If you are thinking about starting your own business now, no matter what field it is, let me just drop some few tips for today.
What practical steps have you taken to analyze the problems in your field? the problems are there, and you will need to look at them critically. How can you solve them? if you only look at the juicy parts of the business, when the cloudy days come, they will shake your stand.
Have you also sat to ask yourself how much exactly you will need to start the business?
if you have a mapped out vision board, this is where it comes to play.
what does your dream business look like? I strongly believe in the “Big Picture” If you don’t have it, your focus might be shifting here and there.
The Big Picture guides your steps as you build the business from day one, it makes the navigation easier.
WHERE SHOULD I LOCATE MY BUSINESS?
let me just say – Where you are wanted / needed.
don’t put your business where the competition is too tight or choky and unhealthy.
You need a good plan that is practicable. not some adopted resources that works for someone abroad, can it work in our own business environment?
Don’t rely on resources alone, can it work where you are?
Are you ready to give it all it takes. the ride has not been smooth and jolly for me, nor any other business owner you know. It takes a lot to start and a lot more to run it.
Your customers are the currents driving the business. Without them, nothing is happening.
This is why you should take them as important as you take the business itself. Having them seems easier than maintaining them, in my years of experience.
They come with their differences, thus, you need to find a way around handling their differences, and not giving your business or yourself more problems. “As much as you try, you cannot keep or satisfy them all – just keep doing your best daily”
Let’s start with this question, if you can answer it, we’re good to go.
Do you know who your clients or customers are?
If you don’t, take a pause and define them first. You don’t want to be shooting at no targets.
Knowing who they are and where they are is one of the steps to growing a successful business.
Let’s assume you now know them, how do you retain them, maintain them and attract more? Let’s dig in….
1. Do you know what they want or need?
What are they looking for?
Don’t sell what you want to sell, sell what they want to buy.
Many business owners are concerned about their plans alone, any plan you make towards making profits without considering your customers, will ne a hectic task. Your business centers around them, rememeber.
In your line of service or products, look around at what others are offering- which your customers have already seen, then look for what might be missing that you can add and attract them with.
If your business isn’t solving real problems for them, they will only keep looking, checking you out without results.
2. VALUE YOURSELF AND YOUR BUSINESS
Making your knowledge look cheap won’t attract customers that will help you add value to it. They will approach you and deal with you the way they see you.
If you dont value yourself, how do you expect them to?
Your confidence should speak with each step you take . Shaky confidence is what makes many good business owners hide their faces and the confident ones with lesser skills will keep showing up and cashing out.
Work on yourself!
3. INCREASE YOUR VISIBILITY
Get your business visible, clearly noticed and seen.
you can have great strategies, great products, not getting it out is like hiding under a canopy or an underground store.
Marketing is not an instant yeast. It grows with continuity and constant development.
Get your business noticed an many platforms – radio, social media, billboards, all search engines you can come by, networking etc.
Your brand identity plays a major role in your business growth. Many things add up to this.
Your name, colours, logo, office space, business card, so many. It depends on how you start it, just start somewhere.
Create some uniqueness for your brand that will get you noticed quickly when you appear.
And remember you are a walking billboard for that business. What messages or information are you passing on when you leave for work, meet people, when they walk into your office, when you post online, etc.
5. QUALITY CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
In business, customer experience ranks your business. Word of mouth advertisement is one of the most effective ways of getting known, and this can only come as a result of quality customer experience.
It births good referral without you paying a dime.
How can they have that experience they want to share with the world with you?
It could also come in many forms. –
Reception- the way and manner you receive them and make them feel welcome.
Prices, Discounts, Pro Bonos, Extras, Gifts and a whole lot more.
Good customer experience is a win one win more strategy.
With these few tips, you can get some immediate results in few weeks. Give it a shot.
Ibadancity Fashion College is a leading fashion and Entrepreneurship college in Nigeria.
A CBN/NIRSAL certified Entrepreneurship Development Institute.
We offer all fashion related courses and Business development classes specially designed to suit each business. Either in group sessions or one on one consultancy sessions.
Life is beautiful, Good people are all around us, Goals are not so difficult to achieve. But why is it that some of us see the negatives more sometimes. If you choose to see the beautiful sides of life, it becomes your reality. If you choose otherwise, you know the result already.
These tips are really helpful, believe me. Follow them, restructure your life and begin to see life in a new way. It’s worked for me, and the results are obvious.
Many of us would have moved faster, but for the excess baggage we carry on ourselves. These weights slow you down, clog your wheels and either keeps you static or regressing.
1. Stand Up Straight With Your Shoulders Back.
I simply call it – Don’t Slouch. Walk head held high, shoulders straight up. When you walk head down, do you know it’s not really a good posture? Confident people walk straight. When you scold a child, they bend their head and shoulders sometimes when walking away. That posture depicts defeat. Many of us walk through life daily as if the weight of the whole world is on our shoulder. Walk with confidence! Let your walk do the talk. I had an Aunt who will never allow you bend, she will scream “Ladies don’t Slouch”. Walk like A winner! Don’t wait till you have it all in place, act like it is. Remember the Law of Attraction.
2. Treat Yourself Like Someone You Are Responsible For Helping
We can dwell on this all day long. It beats me when I meet people complaining about other people not helping them. Especially when I take a closer look at them and I am not so convinced to help too. Before you ask for help, what have you done to help yourself? If you appear as a pest, your “helper” might be discouraged. You cannot put all your life’s burden on someone just because they are in a position to help. Believe this, everyone needs help, our needs are just different. If you were the one in the high position, would you Have helped You? Quit appearing like an opportunity sucker.
Start working on yourself. So that when you seek help, the people/person will see a million reasons to assist. I have this illustration I use – you can’t stay inside a building and complain of not being soaked in the rain. If you want to feel the drench, step out into the rain.
I will rather focus on getting my goals achieved than waste time running around looking for raises here and there. Sometimes, you need to get the work started, help will find you there.
To be cont’d
– Aderonke Olubanjo – Principal Instructor of IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE
We all know building business is not as easy as it sounds or projected. By the time you dive in, you see a lot of hidden realities you haven’t faced before starting. And this is common to all businesses. So, you’re not alone.
The fear of a lot of new business start-ups is getting the first clients. How do I get my product or service known, how do I get more people on board?, how do I get my first major break ?, and so on….
And let’s face the truth here, it’s really not so easy to push one’s business, NOT because you’re an introvert,extroverts have the same issues too. It’s just a normal fear of “will I be accepted?
Today, I will be sharing few tips on how-to get the first clients, they are the foundations you need and later build on
1● Tell family and friends in a way that reflects your seriousness and professionalism. I’ve often heard people saying family and friends don’t make good customers. In other words, they can be the best constant client and your best referral people. It is how you tell them that determines how they see you, and believe you. You say it jokingly, the term it as a joke or just a side passion you want to pursue.
Imagine you just saying it casually and expecting them to patronize you? Did you give them your business card? Did you send them the social media handles of the new business? For them to share too?
A personal message to them would sound very official and make you look serious. Let them know why you’re going into the new business. How much it means to you.
You actually need to ask them to share your message. They may not be able to afford you, but they may have your clients around them. They will refer.
And remember to thank them for the little helps. It will make them do more.
To be continued…….
IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE
Your one stop college for fashion training and entrepreneurship
For admission/ enquiries- call 08081067070 (+234)
Facebook page- IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE
Location – BEHIND ibedc office Ring road ibadan. Follow the road beside FOODCO RING ROAD.
Oftentimes, I’ve found myself as a teacher being asked questions about starting up the business on a low scale. Personally, I started my business from home. And it was a great experience. I see it as an opportunity many can make good use of. It helps in giving you enough time to save up, build your brand and gain client, most importantly; gain the good, the bad, the ugly, the sweet experiences; and get you well prepared for the real world of business out there.
You being in the fashion business world is already an advantage. Remember, everyone wants to cover up, and look good especially. It tells you, you have a business meeting readymade needs by nature. Food and clothing are part of the major things no one can do without.
Having it in mind that the business you’re about to go into is almost a “Sure” venture. Gives a good prospect. You can bet on it.
You’ve always heard it – Dream BIG!
And now, as a startup, you have also decided to Dream Very Big. This is absolutely cool. 👍. But wait a minute, what about crawling before walking, walking before running……
There is a Process. Whether you choose to see it or not accept it. Don’t go ahead of yourself in the process of dreaming Big.
Your dream of becoming famous should be set aside, invest all the strength you have at the start into setting off your business line on a solid start.
Get all the knowledge you can. Be well equipped before the startup. There is a lot to understand before kicking off, that is why when you choose to learn, choose a school or a college that will teach you “All-Round”. It’s not enough to know how to sew, you need to know a lot of things. – Latest Trends, styles, body types and how to style each body type, colors, balance, shapes, the details of production, marketing, customer relations, and a whole lot more……
There is a lot to learn before you even start the business, if you want to be ahead of your game. Asides the one you will learn as you go.
To Create The Clothing Line Of Your Dreams
Have it in mind that the field is full out there. Everyone is making something, this is where the part of RESEARCH comes in. Understand the competion going on and how you can enter the market and get your feet standing. Your works must be powerful enough to gain the attention, retain the attention and get your more clients.
It will be good to choose a market to start with. You could choose children, women, men, plus size, maternity, etc…… But whichever one you choose, research to know what their market lacks. And start somewhere.
Ask to know what they need. – feedback helps, let them tell you what they feel about your work and ask for what they want. This will help you discover areas you can take advantage of.
Think up ways to maximize your limited capital. – you want to start small, it won’t be good if you put the money into what’s not worth it. Buy what you need, not what you feel is important.
More tips coming soon…… share this with a friend or anyone that needs this.
IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE
4, AJIA STREET BEHIND IBEDC OFFICE (CAPITAL BUILDING) RING ROAD IBADAN.