Achieving Effectiveness and High Productivity in Business
I believe there are two things that everyone wants to be in life; one is hyper effective in their work and the other is a ninja. I have therefore combined the two so as to make it easier.
You should read this article because it explains the 5 killer rules for working effectively. These are rules that work and are simple and practical to put into operation. We only have a short period of time on this earth so why waste it if we don’t need to. 5 minutes of your time invested now will result in considerable savings in the future. Also, being a ninja is cool.
Just a friendly footnote before you read on. I do not advocate violence in any circumstance and so you must use these rules solely for effective working and not for causing injury by force…unless of course the 12 year old kid won’t give you any of his candy and you really, really want some – but even then, it is a last resort.
1. Timeboxing – The Rule Of Setting Boundaries
Not as violent as it sounds, timeboxing is one of the easiest and most effective ways of staying focused and limiting wasted time. Parkinson’s law states that work expands to fill the time available for it so we use timeboxing to put this law to work for us.
A 30 minute task can easily become a 4 hour marathon episode if the entire afternoon is dedicated to it or no clear timebox has been defined for completing the task.
It is important to define a beginning and end time for any given task – this time frame is it’s time box, hence the term timeboxing. I like to use time boxes of half an hour as you will be surprised at how many tasks can be complete within this 30 minute period. I also tend to begin any task time box on either the hour, quarter past, half past or quarter to as it makes it easier to work out the end times very quickly.
If you get into a habit of not breaking these time boxes you will find very quickly that all your faculties; concentration, focus, creativity etc will work more effectively to accomplish the tasks if there is a definite end goal.
2. Pareto 80/20 – The Rule Of The Vital Few
The Pareto Rule is probably the single most important principle I follow for all aspects of my life including effective working and I believe the very first Ninja was in fact called Pareto. It is that important it actually makes up one third of my “Light Touch” philosophy for business and for life.
The Pareto 80/20 principle or the “Law of the vital few” states that all things being equal, 80% of your effects come from 20% of the causes. With regards to productivity this translates to the fact that “80% of your results are going to come from the key 20% of your time” and thus you are going to spend 80% of your time working to achieve the final 20% of results.
With this in mind it is important in any given task to focus on the 20% of effort that is going to give you 80% of your results and refrain from exerting another 80% of effort to achieve the final 20% of results.
This is basically the benchmarked principle of “good enough.” If you can except that whatever you are working on will not be perfect but it will be “good enough” and in doing so will only take you 1/5 of the time then the world is yours. The world belongs to people who understand that “good enough” is the key to success.
3. Flow – The Rule Of Perfect Working
Flow is what happens when you are completely absorbed in the task that you are doing and all your faculties are lined up to concentrate on this activity.
Flow is best describe by the example of the avid gamer fixated on the screen or a ninja in mid ass kicking. Every part of his being, hands, eyes, mind, body, hearing is completely focussed on the game and beware anyone who tries to invade into this world of concentration. Flow is incredibly effective and will produce most of your best work in any given activity and thus is to be greatly treasured.
Unfortunately Flow comes and goes and is difficult to manufacture effectively as genuinely some tasks are impossible to get enthusiastic about and even the ones you do love will not always infuse you with energy 100% of the time. However, it is important to understand your own personal flow and when you are in it and thus use it to your advantage. The trick is to try and not cut this period of hyper productivity short if it is at all possible. A further article on flow is to follow as it remains such an important productivity tool.
4. Deadtime – The Rule Of Utilizing Time
Before you say it, no, this is not the thing ninjas shout before going into battle, that would just be childish. There seems to be a lot of opinion that there is never enough time. Whether enough time to learn new things or immerse yourself in topics that interest you but are not necessarily essential to the running of your life.
However I would like to put the record straight that this is simple not the case, there is actually plenty of time to immerse yourself in whatever topics interest you and become an expert in it while not giving up any of the things you currently enjoy. It is simply a case of designing the right systems to use your time more effectively. People have a tremendous amount of deadtime in their lives, time where their mental abilities aren’t necessarily engaged.
Running, commuting, cleaning, brushing teeth or doing the gardening are all examples of this dead time. This is the time that can be utilized to invest in learning.
Get yourself a good MP3 player, get online and get hold of some podcasts of anything that interests you and start to immerse yourself in the topic while you go about your day to day life. People have an average of 6 hours deadtime a day, utilise just half of this with learning and thats an extra 21 hours a week, 84 hours a month or over 1000 hours a year. More than enough time to become an expert. Read the post on “Bending the Rules of Time” for more detail.
5. Planned Obsolescence – The Rule Of Resting
There is a time to work and there is definitely a time to not work, in the Ninja code this is translated as “There is a time to kill and a time not to kill”. It is important to have planned times where work is banned and you can give yourself the opportunity to relax. Depending on your type of work this could be the weekend or a few days set aside during the week in which work and the activity of work is banned.
To work effectively you must set aside time each week to take a break to let your body and mind unwind.
Contrary to popular belief this will not mean that you get less accomplished but quite the opposite it allows your mind to batch its input from the previous week and work through thoughts and ideas in the subconscious ready for conscious consideration once you come back to work. Say no to weekend working for higher productivity.
The Last Bit
That’s it, re-read the post from time to time if you need to to refresh your memory but that is it. You should now feel more ready to make the most of your time in the future – assassin style. Sometimes I find it helps if you now go and put on a pair of completely black pajamas and jump around the room. Its just more authentic that way.
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I hope you have enjoyed the article. If you have any other killer rules for time management and productivity to share it would be awesome if your would leave a comment below explaining them for everyone that reads this blog. As it says below, it has been scientifically proven that if you do so you will become considerably more attractive to the opposite sex. Also ninjas will come and prod you if you don’t.
How To Start a Gemstone Business in Nigeria
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Start Fish Farming Business in Nigeria
Establishing a Profit-Making Fish Farming Business
Fish farming is a highly lucrative and profitable business. It is said that the quantity of fish that are produced locally cannot feed the Nigerian population of over 200 million people. With this, there is an open market for individuals who will like to grab this opportunity in the fish market and locally produce fish.
Firstly we will consider the commercial potentials of basic fish farming in Nigeria.
Commercial Potential of Fish Farming In Nigeria
- Nigerians eat a lot of fish daily because it is a very cheap source of protein compared to meat.
- Secondly, there is a high demand of fish importation in the country.
- It is also important to note that in order to start a fish farm, the cost implication is cheaper as compared to setting up a poultry farm or any livestock farm.
- Fourthly, with government support toward agriculture, you are assured of loans on a long term.
Write a Fish farming business plan
Having known the benefits in starting up a fish business, you can therefore write a business plan and start up. Carry out a market survey to gather all necessary information about the business and also to know the cost items or things needed so as to have an estimated budget price for capital.
As you survey also inquire about the type of fish you want to start with and find out which one is currently on demand and low on production. After carrying out the survey, you can write a business plan to create strategies to run the business.
Begin with the little you can start and use this stage of the business to expand in knowledge and as you get more experience in the business, you can expand as more funds come in. With about three hundred thousand naira (N3000), you can get a pond which can contain an average of 10000 mature fishes and this depends on if you already have a piece of land with a stable source of water.
Types of Fish pond
For your fish farming business to be successful, you are to put into consideration the type of pond to be used in a given environment.
When you purchase a piece of land for your fish business, you need to get an expert opinion on the type of pond that should be constructed. The type of pond are namely:
- a) Earthen Pond
This type of pond from its name is from the soil which consists of about 25% of clay that enables the free flow of water. This pond can be constructed in any desired shape, majorly close to swampy areas whereby there’s a free flow of natural water in and out of the pond.
- b) Concrete Pond
This pond involves the use of sand, gravel and cement with manually fix pipes used to pump water in and out of the pond from a storage tank. A well or borehole is built to supply constant water to pond on a regular basis.
- c) The Plastic Pond
This is a type of pond made from plastic and installed in the compound where the fish farm business will be tested. This is a less expensive type of pond and can be used by anyone.
Location and Land Mass of Farm
You may want to start with a plot of land or more but this should be big enough for the construction of your ponds and the water source either well or borehole.
A lot of people started the business from their own backyards and later expanded to bigger accessible environment as the demand for more fishes increased.
Types of Fishes You can Produce
The popular fishes in Nigeria with high demand are the Cat Fish, Salmon and Tilapia
Cat fish is easy to breed and nigerians love catfish. A lot of restaurants, Beer Parlors and Hotels prepare soups and pepper soups using catfish. It is also used during ceremonial activities and many Farmers choose to do cat fish because the demand for it is very high.
This is a very popular fish in Nigeria and it is widely called the Titus fish. The natural habitat for the Salmon is the oceans but farmers can produce them also
Nigerians eat a lot of tiliapa especially in their soups. It is enjoyed and mostly breeded by farmers because they grow fast and the matured ones are usually fleshy.
Sterilize water with antibacterial and anti-fungi medicine and make sure the ion and natural concentration of water is of equal strength before you place your fish inside the pond. Get an aquaculture consultant for proper instructions.
To start your breeding, you can get Fingerlings and Juveniles at a different price range for both of them and be sure of the exact amount you need to begin with.
Feeding the Fish
Fishes grow faster when they ate being fed well, feeding them properly would enable them grow faster from 1 to 1.5 kg in 4 to 6 months.
Things You Should Know and Do In Fish Business
Below is a list of things you should know and do in running a fish business and they are highlighted in no order.
- Make sure you purchase healthy Fingerlings and Juveniles from farms that produce them
- Let them be fed two times in a day
- To prevent pollution in the water, carry out spot feeding
- Never change water immediately after feeding so that they do not vomit the food
- Do not manage water as fish cannot survive outside water
- Change water after two or three days with fresh water
- Supply fish with vitamin supplements to prevent diseases and keep them healthy
- Purchase the common brand of feed on sale such as Raanan, Livestovit and Aquafeed
- Separate fishes by sizes as they mature to avoid bigger ones from eating eating smaller ones
- Same size fishes will grow, struggle for food, swim, and have healthy competition
- To save cost of feed, buy your own Pelletizer to make your personal feed
- Store feeds in a cool dry place save from rodents and pests
- Gain knowledge from aquaculture experts by attending seminars and conferences.
Sale after Maturity
You can sell to anyone who want to as long as you know the actual price in the open market having done your market survey, as in that way you make profits.
What to do to avoid problems in Fish Farming
- No Business Plan
Without a business plan you’re planning to fail in this business. It is important to have a business plan in order to protect your capital
- Lack of experience
Get adequate knowledge, have a mentor, attend seminars; get all the help you can.
- Bad Farm Site
Have an easy accessible farm site to buyers, let the roads to your farms but vehicle friendly
Control the temperature in the pond to save your fishes. With a high water temperature in the pond, the juveniles at risk of dying, no production of egg and decrease in reproduction.
Competition is a factor which cannot seized to exist in any business and for the fish business, it is not different. To get your customers you need to move into the market away from your immediate environment to sell at the best price available
Disease can wipe out juveniles in no time, therefore it is important that the juveniles are monitored closely and regular checkup should be done on the them to prevent any deadly disease outbreak which could lead to a big loss. If any irregularity is noticed, kindly notify the Vet immediately.
This business is open to anyone who wants to make millions providing the cheapest source of protein to Nigerians. Take advantage of this opportunity using the guidelines above and you can be one major provider of fish to one or more states in Nigeria.
How to Start A Successful Farming Business in Nigeria
Farming is a business which yields a lot of profit especially when it involves the production of crops and livestock. Poultry farming is equally lucrative, especially when talking about chicken, pigeons, quails, and turkeys. Farming is the major sustainable source of economic development for nations over the years and has served as a means of livelihood for the populace and in Nigeria, the strategic role of farming cannot be overemphasized.
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Farming business is the major focus for nations with good climate conditions for farming, as they look into building a sustainable development of the nation and make gainful employment of its populace, encouraging them to engage in farming.
Reasons Why You Should Start Farming Business In Nigeria
Why should you go into farming business in Nigeria? Also, why should Nigeria be the focal point for lucrative farming? The answers are:
- Large Productivity And Profitability Margin
The Nigerian environment is the lucrative choice for all farming investors as Nigeria has proven to be productive in its resources and show great number of profit achievable in the nation. There’s no country in West Africa with more production rate than Nigeria in the farming industry.
- High Population Of Nigeria
Nigeria has an estimated population of over 200 million and this puts a farming venture capitalist to an advantage to a wide open market to constantly do business directly with such estimated percentage of the populace. When the percentage of people who purchase your product from the open market is high, the farming business….
3. Availability of Expansive Fertile, Arable Land
Nigeria has a wide range of rich-fertile farmland which makes it open for investors to adequately invest in farming in Nigeria. With a estimated total mass of 910,770 excluding the water bodies makes it one of the largest land in Africa with over 70% of the land available for farming given the good weather conditions.
- Governmental Supports, Loans and Incentives
The government in Nigeria has encouraged local farming in Nigeria by showing support through granting of loans and giving of juicy incentives. In terms of support, the government provides necessary tools and materials which are essentials for farming and will also aid the production of farm goods largely available to the populace and for business to the international market. Agriculture is also one of the highest earners of foreign exchange for Nigeria aside from oil. So, the government is fully supportive of farming practice in the country
Useful Caution Before Taking To Farming Business In Nigeria
Before you delve into farming in Nigeria, there are several imperatives you need to consider:
- For a would-be farmer to be successful in Nigeria, you need to master and understand the skills needed to be successful in the business. The major reason for this is that a lot has changed in the business and you must know your onions to avoid running into debts while aiming for profits in the farming business.
- In addition, you need to create a market strategy and identify which product you want to focus on or what you will be providing to the populace which will make your farming business a more successful one.
- Lastly, set a target for yourself and the business. This will bring about opportunities for improvement in certain areas that needs improvement. Although competition may arise but that should not overwhelm you to the point which you begin to lose focus of what you should do to keep the business going.
- You are meant to promote your business and constantly research on new innovations to make it better. It is, therefore, incumbent upon you to raise your bar to becoming a more successful farmer or businessman/woman in the farming industry in Nigeria.
Major Farming Businesses With High Prospect You Should Start In Nigeria Today
Now that you’ve decided to invest in farming, here are major farming business you should start today. Note that the highlighted business are major farming practices which are high in demand by the populace in Nigeria today.
1. Rice Farming
A bag of rice currently cost about N13, 000 and N25, 000 in Nigeria depending on the quality of rice. Therefore with an estimated production of 100,000 thousand bags a year, selling at about N15, 000 will apparently result to about N1.5million Naira.
Rice is one of the most cheerful foodstuffs in Nigeria and widely consumed meal by most families. On a daily basis, over 70% of the Nigeria’s populace consumes rice and as 2011 the nation spent over 991 million Naira importing rice.
Therefore, starting up a rice farming business could be highly lucrative to you if all the money which is being used to import rice is directed to you as a major rice farmer.
2. Cassava Farming
Cassava can be processed into several forms such as garri, starch or what the majority call fufu. This food is highly common in Nigeria as everyone eats cassava in one form or another. The cost of garri in the market is similar to rice and this means that there’s a lot to gain or profit in this farming business being that the foodstuff is a premium commodity in Nigeria.
Furthermore, Nigeria has lots of fertile lands for profitable cassava planting and management in which you can be getting profits in millions of naira from selling of raw cassava tubers or in its processed form such as Garri and fufu.
3. Poultry Farming
This is yet another highly profitable farming business in Nigeria. With adequate management of the poultry, a farmer could literally count millions in a very short time. This type of farming business is not difficult to start but requires a basic knowledge of its operations. This knowledge can be sought from veteran poultry farmers and they will shed more light on what is inherent in becoming a successful poultry farmer.
4. Beans farming
Beans is another high-in-demand farm product sort by Nigerians and it is important to note that beans costs almost double the price of a bag of rice and garri combined. The northerners are majorly involved in this business and they supply to states all over the country, ripping millions of Naira on large supplies. Wouldn’t you want to become a stakeholder in the beans farming business?
5. Catfish Farming
If you’re low on capital and want to start on a small farming business, catfish farming and snail farming are available to venture into. In the open market, the catfish sells for about N1,500 and you can gradually increase your production as you make sales.
- Snail Farming
Snail farming is another business which requires a low capital of less than N50,000. A research proved that a snail farmer can reap over 15 million Naira in the business within two to three years of operation.
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