If you look at the church closely you will realize that the whole operation and activities of the church has the resemblance of a business organization, although it is not a business. Hence if as an entrepreneur or business person you take time to study these operations and activities with the intent of using them in your business, you will be doing yourself and your business a lot of good. I’ll be using some case studies in this article, including RCCG, Living Faith Church, Dunamis, COZA, and Christ Embassy, etc. Now let’s take a look at some of these lessons.
Every entrepreneur and business starts with a mission. The mission guides the overall operations of the business. Now when you look at the church, all churches have their missions. These missions are usually in two folds – the first is the sole mission or purpose of preaching the Gospel, and the second is the specific mission of the founding pastor.
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For instance, Dunamis will tell you that “they exist for the restoration of human destinies and dignities”. They then go further to say “no matter how battered or shattered your life is, God will gather it together at Dunamis”. This is their core mandate or mission. The mission of COZA is “to raise the take-over generation which have been called to re-establish God’s kingdom on earth”. The mission is to raise men and women who would take over in every sector and sphere of life, and as a result of this lots of entrepreneurs find their place in COZA.
The importance of mission to any organisation or business cannot be overemphasized. In fact one of the first things you learn in any business school is the importance of having a mission and craft it into a statement (mission statement).
The mission is very necessary for strategic direction; it defines the business, products or services, and the customers. Your business’ mission defines what your business is and why it exist. Take a look at Facebook’s mission “to give people the power to share and make the world more connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them”.
There is no business without a mission. So, in conclusion, the question I’ll ask you is what is your business’ mission? This is probably the hinge that holds a business.
Having a team is one of the most important considerations for any business or organisation. In fact one of the things investors look out for in startups is the team behind the idea. They don’t just invest in the business, but also invest in the team – the team fuels their investment decisions. Many investors would rather invest in a good team with an average idea than in a great idea without a team. The church has been able to succeed due to its ability to build teams that will carry the pioneer’s mission forward. Even Jesus Christ who is the head of the church, had a team while he was on earth – he had disciples who followed him and believed in his mission. The mission of Christ was carried forward by his team until people later called them “Christians” because they behaved like Christ. No organisation can succeed without a team.
A good product with a poor team will eventually fail in the market because the team will run the business down, but an average product with a great team will find its place in the market. My advice to you is never to run solo. I looked at startups that have become great businesses today and understood the power of teams.
Most successful startups had partners. Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google; Facebook had Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, and Chris Hughes; Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Afaedor started Jumia; iROKO TV has Jason Njoku and Bastian Gotter. Who do you have?
One thing that affects many entrepreneurs in Nigeria is the thought of being the Chief Controlling Officer by having the controlling stake in the startup. But while they are focused on majority stake, a competitor is bringing up the same thing into the market. I tell people that I’d rather own 1 percent of a very successful company than own the controlling stake in a business that exist only in my diary. So, don’t sacrifice team at the altar of equity. less could mean more at times.
Marketing is the core of every business. It is the lifeblood of every business. The church is not a business yet it has a very aggressive marketing strategy and plan. Marketing is a communication between a business and its customers with the goal of selling its products and/or service. A major aspect of marketing is the communication of the value of an organization’s product or service. The church understands this and does it very well.
The church’s product is the Gospel and it is able to communicate this product and its value to unbelievers and even believers through evangelism, church programmes, tracks and flyers, etc. These tools help them to reach and communicate with the people.
Being an entrepreneur or a business person is not about siting in an office and drinking tea. You’ve got to roll up your sleeves and step out into the field to play the game.
For your business to be successful you must find a way to reach out and communicate with potential customers. It is the customers that sustain the business. Get out of that office and enter the field. And while marketing you must go out with marketing communication tools the same way churches do; most times churches go for evangelism with tracks and flyers.
These are communication tools that contain information about the church and what they stand for. Do same for your business; go out with your brochure, catalogue, flyer, and business card, etc.
The church has been very successful at building brands. Branding is the process of creating a unique name and image for a product in the customers’ mind, with a consistent theme. Branding is aimed at establishing a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.
An effective brand strategy gives a business an edge in a competitive market. The name, logo, slogan, design scheme, colours, etc. are all associated with brands and branding.
Branding helps your business to be recognized by customers and creates an identity in their minds. Branding tools must be consistent, you can’t be changing your company’s logo every month and expect to build an identity. Everything must be consistent – from the logo to the colours, slogan, etc.
Although it is possible to re-brand (changing identity), but it is rather cheaper to maintain a successful brand than trying to build a new identity.
Churches are very successful at this – they’ve been able to build unique identities. These identities have imprinted images in the minds of their followers. Their logos and slogans are easily recognizable, and their colours are consistent.
A member of Dunamis doesn’t need to think much to identity the logo of the church with the fire, bible and globe; a winner can easily identify the church’s logo of a Globe and red fire; a redeemer can never miss the green write-up in a circle with a white dove in a blue background; the love-shaped Globe with the inscription Love world is easily recognized by members and even nonmembers of Christ Embassy. That’s branding.
You also must do same for your business. Have an identity that differentiates you from others and be consistent with it. Dunamis Church took the matter of branding to another level by ensuring almost all its branch buildings use the same colour of roof – blue. You need to take your branding serious. Why do you think Zenith bank went to the extent of ensuring their buildings have the same design and colours? It’s about branding. And don’t say your business is too small to brand; in fact that’s enough reason to brand so that you can create an image and identity in the minds of your target customers. You get lost in the market when you don’t brand.
An effective brand strategy leads to brand loyalty or what I call ‘brand hook’. I’ve realized that members of some churches find it hard attending church programmes in other churches.
Most times it’s not like they have anything against those churches, but it’s just that they’ve become hooked to their church, hence missing one service is just too much for them. That’s the power of branding.
When you meet a potential customer who doesn’t make the buy decision at that time what do you do? You follow up on them until you are able to convert them fully from leads into customers, and then to loyal or repeat customers. Let’s see how it’s done in the church. In the church, after the message an altar call is made for those who want to give their lives to Christ. After they are led to say the prayer of salvation and prayed for by the pastor, they are then taken aside by the counselors and given a form to fill, containing their names and contacts.
This information enables the counselors to follow up on the new converts through phone calls and possibly physical visits. After much follow-ups, the new convert probably goes through the membership class of the church and becomes a full member and probably a worker in the church. Can you see the processes?
In your business you must learn to follow-up on leads. Just the same way the new converts (in your own case, prospects) are followed up until they are established in the Church, you also must ensure you convert your leads into paying customers. This means that you must always ensure you have a system of collecting the contacts of leads.
When you or your staff go out for marketing, ensure you collect a phone number of a contact person and follow-up on them.
This one is hot. It’s the core of most big churches, but some churches have taken the matter to another level. A case study is COZA (Commonwealth of Zion Assembly). Excellence is probably at the center of COZA. I was privileged to attend a number of services in COZA, Abuja and I must say that that church has built excellence into its organisational culture. From the premises, to the decor, the well-dressed ushers welcoming you to church and thanking you for coming after the service, the well suited protocol officers, the sound system in the church and the coordination of the service all exudes excellence.
Excellence is one factor that differentiates brands from commodities. When you see a Mercedes Benz car what comes to mind is excellent engineering and quality. That image positions it well in the market and gives it a competitive advantage. You can’t say you want to build a brand and yet be mediocre in your operations and service delivery.
To build a successful business and brand you must inculcate excellence into your organisational culture.
You can’t just package your proposals anyhow. What does your business card look like? No doubt, Excellence cost money but mediocrity is expensive. I’ve had to reprint proposals at some point because of some very little errors that many people would have overlooked. Excellence in itself is a marketing tool. It’s better not to do it at all than to do it anyhow.
In Dunamis they will tell you that God is an excellent God so it’s an abomination for you his product to be mediocre in your operations and activities. Excellence makes marketing easy.
Another very critical lesson to learn from the church is publicity. If you have the best product and nobody knows about it, then you are just wasting your time. You must blow your trumpet. One of the most effective strategies of the church is publicity. They don’t play with it. When a church is planning for a programme, they spend money publicizing it on various media – radio, TV, cable, digital media, flyers, and billboards, etc. These media help create visibility for the church.
When COZA came into Abuja, they spent lots of money raising billboards across the city (and they still do). This helped to create visibility, and with visibility comes patronage.
Business is about visibility. The more visible you are the more patronage you can get, and the more patronage you get, the more your revenue and profitability. Even established brands continue to create visibility through adverts, just to remind us that they are still around. The internet and digital media has even made it easy for businesses to create visibility.
So, don’t hide your business; create a business page on Facebook, have an account for your business on Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms. For instance, a fashion designer who ignores the power of social media (especially Instagram and Facebook) to create visibility for his or her products is missing a lot.
The popular and award winning comedienne, Emmanuella and her promoter Mark Angel used the power of social media, especially YouTube to create visibility for their product. When Jumia launched their service in 2012 they carried out an aggressive visibility creation strategy, TECNO mobile did it, Globacom did it, and Konga did it with the Infinix Zero campaign. Coca Cola did it and is still doing it so, why shouldn’t you?
Put your business there in the faces of customers and potential customers.
So in conclusion, whenever you are in church, be also open to learn things that can be used to grow your business. In addition to the spiritual benefits enjoyed as a result of spending time in God’s presence, a lot can also be gotten from the church to address every area of life including business.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Insufficient Funds
A good cinema business needs adequate funds to operate without problems.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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.
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.
- You must conduct personal research.
- Make a tour around.
- Get products authorization or franchise.
- You must be competent and qualified
- Reach out to movie dealers and distributors.
- Space and arena.
- Get good cinema facilities and equipment.
- Always set in an income alternative.
- Get a good advertisement avenue.
How to Build Powerful Customer Service In Business Enterprise
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.
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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 long–lasting business-client relationship. I am hoping you gain from them and start moving up to your enterprising dreams.
- 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.
- 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?”
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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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