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4 Costly Mistakes To Avoid While Growing Your Business

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Mistakes Business Beginners Must Avoid

There are a lot of failures on the path to success and I have certainly made my share of mistakes along the way.  Of course, if you aren’t making any mistakes then you probably aren’t trying hard enough.  I like to think of my failures as stepping stones to future success.  However, looking at my mistakes and honestly admitting them is difficult.  Of course, I believe that in doing so I will learn from them and hopefully avoid repeating them so I can get on down the road.

See: 9 Ways to Start Fruits Selling Business in Nigeria

It doesn’t matter if you work for yourself or for someone else.  Learning to avoid crucial mistakes is important.  Admittedly, there is no one way to achieve greatness and what works in one situation may not work in another.  It often takes a lot of trial and error to create your personal recipe for success.  However, I believe that we can glean ideas that will help us by listening to the mistakes of others.  This is why I’ve decided to share my mistakes with you today.  It is in hope that I can help you.  I want you to benefit as I have from the mistakes that I’ve made.

1. Never Make Enemies.

I once made the mistake of getting cross ways with the boss’ wife.  You are probably saying, “Duh” right about now.  It sounds like I was really stupid and it was pretty dumb, but please believe there is more to the story than it seems on the surface.  Let me explain.  I provided outsourced technology services to a company and served as their contract IT Director.  The CEO sent me to tell a recently acquired business unit to move onto the corporate e-mail system.  The wife of the president of this unit ran their IT department.  She had more experience than me and, as I found out later, she was very politically shrewd.  She didn’t want to convert over to the corporate system.  She listened politely and asked a lot of questions.  However, near the end of the meeting, she stated that she saw no compelling reason for the change.  I wasn’t really prepared to convince her otherwise because in my youth and ignorance I believed that my marching orders from the CEO included the power to just tell her to do what he wanted.  I explained that now they were a part of something bigger and that this is what the CEO wanted so they needed to just go along.  This didn’t sit well with her.  It made me look like I thought I could bully her.  It was a big mistake.  In just a few months, her husband was promoted to CEO of the entire enterprise.  Needless to say, I was on my way out.  Despite the fact that I had a good relationship with the former CEO who was now the Chairman, her influence and her husband’s new position were too much for me to survive.

See also: 20 Business Ideas for Teenagers (Risk Free, Cheap to Start, and Profitable)

I learned the hard way that it is always better to be patient and work peacefully to convince people that your way is the best way rather than trying to exert your actual or perceived position power to get things done.  It is a small world.  When we upset someone or threaten their domain, we risk having it come back to bite us later.  I also find that by working with people, especially those that disagree with me, the joint solution usually turns out better than what I had in mind to begin with.

2. Shortcuts to Success do not Work.

I agreed to sell my biggest client 51% of my business because I thought they could catapult me to success.  There were a number of mistakes with this decision.  First, I thought this was going to be a quicker way to achieve what I wanted.  I thought the capital and influence of this client would be the silver bullet that would guarantee me tons of more business.  However, this was simply a transaction that occurred on paper.  It did not change who I was or my readiness for success.  After making this deal, I sort of kicked back and waited for things to start happening which was my next mistake.  In reality, I was now accountable to someone else.  I had given up ultimate authority over my business.  I had diluted my ownership.  I should have realized that I needed to work harder than ever to meet the expectations of a new business partner.  I lacked the maturity to see that no one was going to hand me anything.  I was going to have to earn everything I got.  This mistake ultimately led to what I call a business divorce and a loss of my biggest client.  In the end, I gained a lot of experience, but I suffered a major business setback.  It was a painful lesson.  It didn’t kill my company, but it certainly wounded it.

Related Post: Top 12 Careers for the Future

There are no shortcuts to success.  I am convinced that slow and steady wins the race.  In addition, I would be very hesitant to ever give up any equity in my business in the future.  I would not give up control or give away a percentage of my profits.  I want to be sure that I get to make the decisions and reap the results.

3. I believed that I could build it and they would come.

I hired too many people before my business was ready.  In my zeal to build my service company, I thought I needed people ready to service clients that didn’t actually exist.  I got the cart in front of the horse.  I was overconfident in my ability to sell.  As a result, I had people without anything to do.  I forgot that it is better to stay lean and mean.  I couldn’t generate enough business fast enough.  It was a slippery slope.  Employees are expensive.  It isn’t just their salaries, but also their benefits and extra office space that costs money.

It didn’t take long to determine that I couldn’t sustain the people that I hired.  As a result, I had to let some of them go.  It was very difficult to look into the eyes of someone that just a few months ago I had talked into quitting their old job to come to work for me.  I had to explain that I was firing them because I didn’t have the business to justify their position.  I had failed them.  It was hard to admit.  Sometimes our mistakes have serious consequences in the lives of others.  I will never forget this.

I will be conservative in the future.  I will always be certain that I have plenty of business to justify the people that I hire.  I am acutely aware of the responsibility an employer has to their people.  They have families and obligations to meet as well.  I never want to be in this position again.

4. Debt is Not a Solution to Business Problems.

I used a credit card and some other types of business loans to float the company the money it needed when cash was short.  This built debt which only compounded my problems.  I started out running my company purely on cash, but somewhere along the way I started thinking that debt was okay.  I used the loans to falsely support the business when what I really needed to do was generate more revenue and reduce expenses.  I would not do it again.  It is amazing how much debt you can rack up in a short amount of time!

Most Read: How to Generate Leads for Your Business the Right Way

I know that there are those of you out there that will disagree, but I do not believe that debt is a tool to grow or run a business.  I believe it is an unnecessary risk.  It is possible to run a successful business using cash alone.  This is the safest and most profitable way to be in business.  I should have addressed the root causes of my cash flow problem rather than incurring debt.

Conclusion

These were four big mistakes that I made when I was in business for myself that created speed bumps in my path to success.  I have learned from these mistakes and I have moved on.  Fortunately, I also make some good decisions once in awhile.  In each of these situations, I recognized my mistakes and took steps to control the damage.  Of course, if I could have avoided them altogether then I would have gotten a lot further along much faster.  I learned these lessons the hard way.  I sincerely hope that by sharing my mistakes in an open and honest fashion it will help you to make better decisions and maybe even avoid similar mistakes altogether.

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Business Ideas

How To Start Cinema Business In Nigeria

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How To Start Cinema Business In Nigeria

How to Invest in Cinema Business

This article will provide the needed and necessary information on how to start up a cinema business in Nigeria. It is necessary because cinema provides a means of comfort to all people of different class.

Definition Of A Cinema

A cinema is simply defined as a place of relaxation. It is a place where movies or films. This movies displayed are for entertainment purposes and you are charged for each movie seen. Cinemas have improved the businesses of people as you cannot see a movie without having at least popcorn or an Ice Cream in your hands.

This article will therefore talk on you can start up a cinema business and be successful with it.

  1. You Must Conduct Personal Research

You should know that you are starting a business you know nothing about so you should not think of making money immediately. You need to meet people that have been in the business for long and are successful. You also need to meet with experts in event planning, studio recording and decorators as there they are the ones to tell you where the right place to set up your business, the cost and the design. These people can help you set up your cinema outfit.

  1. Make A Tour Around

This is simply visiting other established cinemas.  From the visit you will make, you will be able to know how a cinema operates, the risks involved and how to avoid them.

  1. Get Products Authorization Or Franchise

After setting up your cinema business, it should be noted that it is not compulsory to sell the products of other people. You will benefit a lot from it on the long run.

  1. You Must Be Competent and Qualified

In order to run a successful cinema business it is important to be trained. This training can be done in business schools as you will learn how to manage tickets sold out for movies and cinematography.

  1. Reach out To Movie Dealers And Distributors

It is of high importance to get in contact with the people that deal on movies; most importantly the most sought after and highly anticipated ones. This will make your cinema spot attractive as you have what the people are looking for Admission form.

  1. Space And Arena

Nigeria is a place that when establishing a business you must have a large expanse of land or a big space. In the cinema business, you need to have space big enough to house your equipment’s and tools.

Related Post: How To Start Cement Distribution Business In Nigeria

  1. Get Good Cinema Facilities And Equipment

The look and decoration of your cinema will determine if customers will come. Therefore it is important to have the latest gadgets and equipment to keep your business growing.

  1. Always Set In An Income Alternative

This simply means that you are not to fully depend on the income made from cinema as it can fail you at any time. Therefore it is important to have a second choice of income. This can be in form of having a little restaurant, selling popcorns etc.

  1. Get A Good Advertisement Avenue

It is important and necessary to let people know about what you are doing. You can get to make people know about your cinema business by advertising. Advertisement can be done through newspaper, fliers, television, radio and the internet.

Hindrances To A Good Cinema Business

  1. Insufficient Funds

A good cinema business needs adequate funds to operate without problems.

  1. Negative Attitude And Mentality

Having a negative mindset is not the best thing as you begin to doubt yourself. As it is said “what you confess is what you possess” therefore be positive and always believe in yourself.

  1. Economic Problem

As it was earlier discussed, your location determines the growth of your business. If it is situated in a region where diseases are rampant or have continuous security challenges you are bound to lose customers.

  1. Moral Behaviors

As a seasoned business person you are, it is important to guard against extra moral behaviors like drinking, smoking, sex acts etc. Your establishment can be brought down by government authorities it they get to discover things like this are happening in your business.

Related Post: Top 12 Careers for the Future

  1. Lack of Commitment

Generally speaking now, it is very important to put God first in everything we do. Your business is bound to fail if God is not involved.

SUMMARY

The article above has been able to show you the step on how to successfully establish a cinema business this is a summary of everything discussed.

See also: 20 Business Ideas for Teenagers (Risk Free, Cheap to Start, and Profitable)

  1. You must conduct personal research.
  2. Make a tour around.
  3. Get products authorization or franchise.
  4. You must be competent and qualified
  5. Reach out to movie dealers and distributors.
  6. Space and arena.
  7. Get good cinema facilities and equipment.
  8. Always set in an income alternative.
  9. Get a good advertisement avenue.
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Business Ideas

How to Build Powerful Customer Service In Business Enterprise

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6 Ways to Improve Customer Service in the Workplace

The desire to have a good relationship with your clients cannot be overemphasized. As it is known, without clients there is no business. Indeed, your customers are constantly right; believe it or not. A business cannot be established or grow when customers or clients are unhappy. In order for your business to grow your customers must be happy. That is why this article is written to provide an explanation on the seven sensible approaches through which you can have an amiable relationship with your customers and clients

Client Retention And Business Growth

There’s one factor we need to recognize about the consumer and this is the idea of consumer retention. This is of high significance in nearly all business ventures. It revolves across the provision of excessive best services and the upkeep of exact relationship along with your clients and consumers.

Related Post: How to Start Ginger Exportation business in Nigeria

In other words, if you want to continue keeping clients, then your commodity and service must be attractive and exceptional and there must be an amazing relationship among you and your consumers. This is the communication flow which must not be damaged. Customers and clients in addition to staff and top level managers must be aware of the whole things that are happening because it is important.

While you work hand in hand with the rules and regulation of client retention in commercial enterprise, you are beating the competitors within the business; out of your competitors and making sure that there is a non-stop flow of capital in your business for the growth of your business enterprise. That is because after you lose your customers, your competitors make profits. So, how do you keep a good customer relationship along with your clients and consumers?

How To Keep A Good Client Relationship  With Your Clients And Consumers

Apart from providing high quality goods and services and attractive in precise conversation together with your clients, does it mean there are no other methods to build an extended-lasting relationship with your clients? Don’t be amazed, there are. We have numerous methods and exact aspects you need to have a longlasting business-client relationship. I am hoping you gain from them and start moving up to your enterprising dreams.

See: The 11 Golden Rules of Content Marketing

  1. Understand Your Customer First

You cannot build a functional relationship with someone you do not know or understand. If you must offer a customer the best of goods and services, you must know who the person is first. You need to know a few things about the custom like where they come from, the kind of work they do, what they like and what they dislike, what they feel about your business and how they can also contribute to making your business great. It is high time you started addressing your customer with sweet names instead of just calling them “customer”. If you know them by name, it will be easier to be a bit cordial with them in your business transactions. Customers like to be addressed by name. They love it.

Having an idea of the marital status of your customers is also important. Also, ask about the welfare of their spouse and send them greeting cards. Also, ask about their state of health. That will prove to them that you love them and that you care about them, and not just after getting their money.

  1. Have In Memory Their Normal Requests And Specifications

Every customer is peculiar in his or her own way. Also two customers cannot be identical nor have equal type of need because everybody does not like the same thing. Take into consideration, imagine that the next time your consumer walks in, rather than  asking the customer what he/she wants, you simply say, “Madam or sir, can I get you your normal?”

See Also: Top 12 Careers for the Future

This tells the consumer that you recognize his/her specific and regular requests. If the client orders for something special do well to offer him or her exactly what is needed and on time. That is a super way of growing top consumer relationship in your business.

  1. Offer Freebies From Time To Time

It is necessary to once in a while provide some freebies. This is an excellent way of attracting both new and already existing customers to patronize your business. It symbolizes care and love even though it is an oblique request for more customers into your business. You could constantly give out freebies which include gifts, run promos sales and provide bonanzas. Additionally, you could provide quality discounts and surprises to your dedicated customers.

  1. Leverage On Consumer Criticisms

You can take your business to your desired level by means of leveraging on the customer grievance and feedbacks. You ought to get hold of this in a proper way as they speak exactly what the customer thinks and what they think about your product. Never turn down the complaint whether they are good or bad feedbacks.

Devise a way of improving upon your services anytime you get such from your clients. It is an incredible chance for you to realize where your business is lacking and the way to improve on it.

Taking the advice of your customers as a priority is a way of showing that you care for them and their desires. Your clients can be more than glad to recognize that their feedbacks were accurately noted.

  1. Never Allow Preferential Treatments

It is highly offensive to offer preferential treatments at the place of work.  It will make the customers think that they are not as good as every other customer. To reduce negative complaint from your customers, it is recommended by no means to engage in any form of preferential treatment or favoritism amongst customers that one is preferred above the other for any reason.

Such treatment is far against the norms of business to select out a consumer and favor such mainly in the presence of others who were there before him or her. It is far stressful; in preference to doing that, look out for a way of entertaining your customers as they wait to take their turns. Put up a TV set somewhere in the business premises and offer sufficient seats in which your customers can sit down as they are waiting for their turn.

  1. Respond Quickly and Don’t Forget To Say Thank You

It should be known that it may not be possible to send an immediate response  to every electronic mail and phone call or text messages you obtain from the consumer. It is encouraged, however, that you attend to such as quickly as possible. You could usually give immediate  computerized replies pending the real solutions

It does not matter the condition you are in; try as much as possible to make sure that the responses are quick and at the right time. Usually say thank you at the close of each transaction. It shows that you care about your consumer.

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How To Start a Gemstone Business in Nigeria

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The Basic Principles to a Successful Gemstone Business in Nigeria

Several questions arises from doing gemstone business because a lot of people are new to this business (just entering the market) while some others are just reading about it for the first time.

It is a known fact that one of the best sectors for business is the mineral sector and it has been identified that Nigeria is blessed with lots of mineral resources and about 35 mineral deposits have been discovered in the nation. Nigeria is a country blessed with unique kinds of diamonds such as topaz sapphire with a large market out there demanding for these minerals.

See: How to Start Fish Farming Business in Nigeria

What is Gemstone and its Physical Properties

A gemstone is a kind of attractive mineral but after being polished and cut is traditionally used to make jewelry or other adornments.

Some physical properties of Gemstone which distinguishes the mineral include its lustre, although most of them are tough. Rarity is another attribute that brings value.

Stone according to this is valued dependent on not the amount available but also from what is called the 4C which is interpreted as Clarity, Cut, Carat Weight and Colour.

Colour: Color is an important element for gemstones as there is no stone without color. If the color of a stone varies from this variety either being darker or lighter, more vibrant or less, it becomes less precious the stone will be. Colour generally consist of three dimensions: hue, tone, and saturation.

Hue is the belief of color noticed like yellow, red or blue.

Tone defines the degree of darkness or lightness of an item.

Saturation defines the level of purity of a colour.

Cut: This is the design or shape of a stone in addition to the accuracy of the proportions of the stone and complete. The cut reveals a gem’s beauty.

Gemstones are usually cut into shapes. Furthermore, they are fashioned or are sometimes carved into different designs. In the Cut property of Gemstones, there are two other sub-properties namely Proportion and End, respectively.

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Proportions involves appeal and the equilibrium of the design. End identifies the detail of this workmanship. A cut will demonstrate the optical properties of a stone. While all other variables are even in terms of (colour, clarity, and carat weight), a more better-cut gem will increasingly be valuable.

How To Begin a Gemstone Business

Possessing a broad assortment of diamonds is vital. Mostly when having a target on diamonds or jewelry, you should be be able to purchase gemstone beads and carve one off designer beads which are in hot demand. One of the ways to build a long-lasting confidence in the heart of your buyers would be to get a huge choice of gemstones. Through the means of a gem testing lab like the GIA, where you will be able to test these diamonds and include a certificate. It will make your buyers to make decisions even as they build trust in your business.

Strategize On Methods of Targeting and Attracting Buyers

When starting out, necessary precautions needs to be taken but the first step to take when starting the business to attract buyers is start for pleasure, majorly as a hobby and also note that you can avoid mistakes only if the precautions are adhered to. Try out your ideas for beginning. Although there’s a need to do some market research too but ensure that your goods are much better than what others are offering.

Try to Build That Trust

One thing about Gemstone business, is that it needs lots of trust and confidence from both the parties (seller and the buyer). When you are enthusiastic about the business, your clients will have confidence to buy from you.

Invest Your Time and Money

You also have to give it your all, invest your time to the business. In this business, the most important thing to do is to invest large quantity of money. Gemstones are costly, and sapphires and the diamonds are the most of all stones.

Related Post: 7 Ways to Select And Employee Efficient Workers for your Business Enterprise

Have an Escort Especially One Who Knows the Market while Purchasing

It is advised that while trying to source for the product, that you visit the market with someone who knows the market well, especially someone who knows the in-and-out of Gemstone business so that your trade will be worth your cash. You will also find several stores offering the products online and off the streets. For drop-shipping, the shipping expenses will be added. In all these, always try to check up first with someone who has knowledge of the business.

Make A Choice Of What Sort Of Gemstones You Would Like To Market

Before buying a gemstones, you need to decide what sort of gems that you would like to market. Decide if you will establish the market of genstones in retail marketplace or at wholesale. There will be a need to use a cutter to cut the stone if you would like to make the stones in various forms and quality to the market, putting more money into your pockets by selling cut gemstones.

Make More Money Selling Cut Gemstones

By improving the marketplace and making more money, one thing which you would do is to buy a machinery and you probably would have to employ a gemstone cutter the capital you will require will probably be greater. Be assertive that you buy exactly what you would need.

In situations where cut stones will be sold by you, it’s compulsory that you get a gemstone cutter. The cutting of this product can add to the cost and increase to several thousands of dollars.

According to experts, in cutting stones such as diamonds and sapphires in respect to gemstones you would have to pay great rapt attention. This obviously means that the purchase price of the jewelry or the diamond is dependent upon how it’s cut. Which is the main reason why having good knowledge of cutting gemstones is significant to your success in the business.

Strategize and Re-strategize on Your Sales Options

After all been said, you need to identify buyers or potential buyers who may be interested. You may be able to sell your items on the internet or also off the streets. Major investors can be your customers especially for those who like to collect precious things You’ll have the ability to cater for their needs by identifying your target clients. You would need to survey the market for more opportunities in the gemstone business. Produce the quality, quantity of the gemstones in addition to the cost for affordable to everyone. You have the opportunity to promote your business to more clients by promoting your products online. With that, you can have the opportunity to make even more money.

Conclusion

In the Nigerian marketplace, gemstones are very precious but the current market is saturated and will take up as much volume of the product without having any effect on the purchase price against supply. The higher the quantity available, the better your bargaining power.

The price of gemstones can increase by 10 percent to 15 percent once the item is cut.

Most read: 20 Business Ideas for Teenagers (Risk Free, Cheap to Start, and Profitable)

At this juncture, you must be aware that gemstone export has been a recurring event and just a few people are profiting from it due to lack of information.

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