Why You Should Do Everything You Can to Self-Fund Your Business
Business & Entrepreneurship -
Self-funding allows you to keep control of your business and improve your entrepreneurial skills.
Starting a business is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. It takes time, energy, and a whole lot of money. More money than you have in your bank account. That means you’ve got to get funded, right?
Tempting as it may be to court investors before opening for business, there are some great reasons to skip funders and do it alone. Here are the top reasons to self-fund your money-making venture and stay debt-free.
Self-funding forces you to develop your core entrepreneurial skills.
There are a lot of skills you need as an entrepreneur. Yes, you should have the skill to hire and fire people, but before that, you’ve got to know your business and your customers inside and out. You’ve got to learn to create a winning offer, sell it and market it.
While you’ll eventually hire sales and marketing teams, you have to be that team for now. If you can’t craft a clear message to sell your business, the best sales and marketing force in the world won’t be able to fill that gap. Slack on your marketing and sales skills, and you and your company are dead in the water.
Marketing and sales aren’t the only skills to master. At first, you’ll also need to be your own accountant. Practice the financial discipline to ensure every dollar you spend has a positive ROI. Study and master the principles of direct-response marketing so you can keep every dollar accountable.
None of that happens easily if you’re getting cash from investors -- especially since not all investors understand direct response marketing. They may even ask you to do things that are ROI negative, based on their own opinions or bias. And, as crazy as that sounds, you have no power to fight back as long as they control the purse strings.
Having an influx of cash that you don’t personally sweat for makes you soft. You don’t feel the pressure to make every dollar work overtime for you. There’s no need to tweak what you’ve got. You think you’ve got such a lead on the competition, there’s no chance they’ll catch you.
All that thinking is wrong. Dead wrong. But if your money grows on trees you didn’t plant, you can fall for all those self-defeating ideas.
Being self-funded, like being an entrepreneur, isn’t easy. It’s also not a burden. It’s a blessing, your training ground, how you’ll become a tough-as-nails entrepreneur who makes money hand over fist because you have no option, no fallback plan.
Taking out loans or partnering with a "money guy" means giving up control of your business.
Whether you head to the bank or a rich family friend, you give up control as soon as you hold out your hand for money. I know this personally and painfully.
Early on, I thought I needed partners to fund my new business. The first place I turned was a personal training client. He was my mentor, and he owned a successful software company. The money he had at his disposal made it very clear that he knew business.
Unfortunately, he knew it a lot better than I did. As a result, I signed loan agreements on every dollar he loaned me, which forced me to pay back all of his money with 8 percent interest. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I took on another partner. This left me with a 35 percent stake in the business I bled and sweat to create.
I did all the work, but I didn’t control the cash. That meant I didn’t call the shots. That was one of my first big failures in business. Could it have survived without my partners' money and input? I don’t know. But I do know that it was painful to part with it because I didn’t have the power to keep fighting for it.
The bank isn’t any better. In fact, by the time the bank is through putting you through the wringer, you’ll be dreaming of having your own investor. Remember: the bank takes nothing personal. This sounds nice until you realize the bank has little to gain by giving you that loan and a lot to lose.
Miss a payment or two on that loan, and you’ll experience stress beyond your comprehension. Skip enough payments to have your account turned over to collections, and you’ll never sleep again.
The reality is, whoever controls the cash will always control the business. Retain complete control of your business’s money and you’ll retain complete control of the business.
When it’s time to expand, leverage what you have.
Your business is growing by leaps and bounds. Customers are begging for more. You’re making a lot of cash, you’ve got plenty of extra coming in, but you don’t want to use the company’s excess cash all at once.
So what do you do?
You bet on yourself. You take the leap. You pull that money from your personal bank account and your kids’ college funds and put it into your business.
You don’t do this because you have something to prove to that jerk from high school who said you’ll never amount to anything. You do it because you’re an entrepreneur, and your one goal is to make more money and more impact. I call this going through “phases of broke.” It’s the moment where every entrepreneur has to set aside their personal comfort and ego so they can reach their next level of achievement.
How much return on investment can you expect if your money is sitting in the bank? What if you put it in the stock market or go with some other investment? If things go well, you’ll get a 10 percent return. If they go really well, you’ll get a little more.
What if you could take that same money and make it turn a 300 percent profit -- would you do it? That’s big-picture thinking. That’s what a rapidly growing business can do and no “traditional” investment vehicle can.
But before draining your savings, you need some high-performing income earners. Also, you’ve got to know how much cash you have coming in, exactly where it’s coming from, and what it costs in marketing and man power for you to make a dollar.
If the margins aren’t sufficient and you don’t have a gameplan to 10X your growth, keep your nose to the grindstone and stay away from the bank. Too many businesses take out loans on a dream. The brightest business people know that loans don’t make dreams. They kill them.
Once you have a strong business foundation and you can confidently predict the return on investment, consider expanding with your personal assets. That leap of informed faith is what can turn your business into an empire.
Samsung embroiled in 'One China' row after K-pop star pulls outThe world’s number one smartphone maker Samsung Electronics became the latest global brand to face criticism Wednesday for damaging China’s “territorial integrity”, with a Chinese K-pop star ending an endorsement contract.The row broke out after Chinese viewers noticed that the South Korean tech giant offers different language versions of its website for users in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan — in English, simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese.All three appear as choices in a list of ‘countries’.Beijing is very sensitive about anything it perceives as portraying semi-autonomous Hong Kong and Macau or the self-ruled democratic island of Taiwan — which it views as a renegade province awaiting reunification — as separate countries.Hong Kong has become a particularly thorny issue for Beijing in recent weeks with the financial hub plunged into months of pro-democracy protests.Chinese K-pop star Zhang Yixing — popularly known as Lay, from the boyband Exo — on Tuesday cancelled his agreement with Samsung for it allegedly “hurting the national feelings of Chinese compatriots” by maintaining the separate websites.The hashtag “#ZhangYixing Ditches Samsung#” went viral on China’s Twitter-like Weibo with his cancellation notice being viewed 840 million times in the 20 hours after it was posted.“Its act of blurring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country has seriously hurt the national feelings of our compatriots, which we strongly condemn,” Zhang’s Chinese agency said in a statement on its official social media account on Weibo.Zhang had been a Samsung Electronics brand ambassador in China since December. The firm declined to comment when contacted by AFP.The move comes days after several luxury retailers apologised for labelling the semi-autonomous cities of Hong Kong and Macau and the self-ruled island of Taiwan as separate countries.Austrian jewellery company Swarovski apologised Tuesday for “hurting the feelings” of Chinese people after calling Hong Kong a separate country on its website.Luxury brands Versace, Coach, and Givenchy also all apologised this week for making perceived affronts to China’s national sovereignty with T-shirts listing Hong Kong and Taiwan as separate countries.The row also cost them the support of their Chinese brand ambassadors as the companies scrambled to minimise any potential damage in the lucrative mainland market.
5 Content Marketing Strategies To Boost You To The Top!If you are a marketer or an entrepreneur and have not considered producing industry content in order to establish authority and thought leadership, it's time to start. There is a reason every leading brand is embracing this strategy: There is a direct correlation between the quality of the content your company produces and the strength of your brand.If you're not doing it yet, don't worry, it might be late, but it is not too late. Here are five tips to maximize your results and impact.Own your content, and remember your ultimate goal.People often confuse platforms used for distribution with platforms used for authoring. Sites like Medium and LinkedIn are encouraging that confusion by offering an authoring tool and then helping you distribute your content, but let there be no confusion. Your goal is to elevate your brand so you need to own your content.Buy a domain, write and publish the articles on your own website--or your company's site --then use LinkedIn and Facebook to distribute the content. Do not give those platforms ownership of your content, as that defeats the purpose.Consistency and volume might be equally important to quality.One article once a month, no matter how good it is, won't bring you loyal readers. A daily article, even if it is lower in quality, but still good, will always bring more traffic.This is true for two reasons. First, there's Google. The more you write, the more people talk about your content and link to you, the more Google realizes your site is one that deserves attention. The second reason is human behavior and psychology. If I come to your site and read a great article, I am more likley to come back again the next day. If there is nothing there, you lost me. If I come back the next day and read another great article and then come back again the next day and there's yet another great article, you can guess what my next move is. I am bookmarking your site. You have my attention.Stop focusing on readers, start focusing on the reader.If you focus on one reader, on how to give that person real value, more readers will come. If you only focus on numbers and try to hack your way to more readers, while ignoring the fundamental principle here, which is value, you will never achieve the traction you are hoping for. The numbers will come, but only if you go deep and focus on long-term value versus short-term spikes.Define your niche, then broaden it.This one is hard for many business owners to accept. If you are selling Barbie dolls, you don't want to produce content about your specific product, because that is too self promotional. You also don't want to write about toys, because that is too broad and you will be competing with the whole world. Try dolls.The point here is to attract not only your target audience, but people who might be one step removed from your audience and will be relevant for you down the line.So, if you are mobile advertising company, write about all things related to mobile but do not focus on promoting your own product or even advertising. In this way, you are opening your platform to all readers that are interested in mobile. This means if there is a reader who likes mobile, but does not have an app to monetize yet, when that does occur, guess where the person is turning to for help.Analytics are important, but not now.If you become too obsessed with your numbers, you will end up losing direction. If you check your analytics every time you publish something, you will end up trying to optimize your content for traffic and not for value. Those things don't always align. My experience has taught me, if you focus on becoming a true resource for your industry, people appreciate it, the industry appreciates it, and before you know it, your analytics reflect that appreciation.Like most things in marketing and business, fight the urge to look for short term wins, play the long game, and you will end up winning.
It's Official - Diamond Bank announces a merger with Access BankThe management of Diamond Bank on Monday announced its merger with Access Bank.A statement by Uzoma Uja, the bank’s Secretary/Legal Adviser, said the transaction will be completed by the first half of 2019.“The proposed merger would involve Access Bank acquiring the entire issued share capital of Diamond Bank in exchange for a combination of cash and shares in Access Bank via a Scheme of Merger,” the disclosure, sent to the Nigeria Stock Exchange, said.Read the full disclosure below:STATEMENT REGARDING SCHEME TO MERGE WITH ACCESS BANKThe Board of Diamond Bank Plc (“Diamond Bank”) today announces that following a strategic review leading to a competitive process, the Board has selected Access Bank Plc (“Access Bank”) as the preferred bidder with respect to a potential merger of the two banks (“the merger”) that will create Nigeria and Africa’s largest retail bank by customers.The Board of Diamond Bank believes that the merger is in the best interest of all stakeholders including, employees, customers, depositors and shareholders and has agreed to recommend the offer to Diamond Bank’s shareholders. Completion of the merger is subject to certain shareholder and regulatory approvals.The proposed merger would involve Access Bank acquiring the entire issued share capital of Diamond Bank in exchange for a combination of cash and shares in Access Bank via a Scheme of Merger. Based on the agreement reached by the Boards of the two financial institutions, Diamond Bank shareholders will receive a consideration of N3.13 per share, comprising of N1.00 per share in cash and the allotment of two (2) New Access Bank ordinary shares for every seven (7) Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at theImplementation Date. The offer represents a premium of 260% to the closing market price of N0.87 per share of Diamond Bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE”) as of December 13, 2018, the date of the final binding offer.Immediately following completion of the merger, Diamond Bank would be absorbed into Access Bank and it will cease to exist under Nigerian law. The current listing of Diamond Bank’s shares on the NSE and the listing of Diamond Bank’s global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange will be cancelled, upon the merger becoming effective.Diamond Bank expects the transaction to be completed in the first half of 2019.
Startups: Avoiding Inventory mistakesFor startups, cash flow is crucial, and poor inventory management can lead to wasted resources. On average, about 20 to 30 percent of a company's operational budget is spent on inventory management. This is a high sum, and many companies could save up to 35 percent of these costs by rectifying some mistakes and having a more practical approach to inventory management. Here are some common inventory mistakes many startups make and how to avoid them.1. Not automating your systemManually tracking your stock can be quite tedious, and mistakes are bound to happen. An automated inventory-management system saves you a lot of time and money. These systems can allow multiple users to access them simultaneously and track items across various locations while monitoring any orders or shipments for those orders.2. Not organizing your storageA lot of time goes to waste when employees have to maneuver obstacles in your stores or warehouse to get at products. Having physical storage system that is well organized is important to improve efficiency. Place frequently needed items closer to the exits and at a convenient height so that your employees don't need to bend or reach up to access them. Have a consistent system of well-labeled items that are organized by section, row, shelf, or rack.3. Not having an inventory system in placeIf you lack an inventory management system in place, you can't track what goes in or out. Lacking a proper inventory system can set your company up for issues such as product shortages, delays in shipping, storage congestion, customer dissatisfaction, pricing mix-ups, and cash flow issues. By including this system from the beginning, you can save yourself a lot of stress and ensure your business is running optimally.4. Hire qualified personnelEven with a proper inventory management system in place, you still need skilled workers to run it. You need to have workers you can trust to do a good job. As you try to implement a better inventory-control system, ensure that you hire the right people with a solid background in inventory. Employ inventory managers to ensure everything is running smoothly and hold them accountable in case anything goes wrong. If you are getting a new inventory management system, take advantage of the free training offered by many vendors. The training is customized for your company, and this way, everyone learns the best practices from the get-go. Inventory is a fundamental component of any business because the sale of these products generates revenue for your company. By avoiding the mistakes mentioned above and rectifying what you have been wrong, you can get your company back on track.
Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Millionaire?You often hear a lot of self-proclaimed experts say they can make you a millionaire from their teachings or system, practically overnight. That is a hard promise to deliver, especially since it probably took them years to get there themselves. It also took them more than action to make it happen. So, unless that expert plans to live with you, invest with you and give you their absolute, no-fail strategy, it’s not likely to manifest overnight. If it were that easy, there would be a lot more wealthy people. Vision alone is not enough to make money magically appear. Going from making $50K to $1 million a year with the same knowledge, skills and opportunities you currently possess may make for an exciting fantasy, but you also need to be realistic. You’ll need a strategic plan and organized timeline to achieve your big win and set off on your journey. One of the first things to understand about millionaires is that they think and act differently than the average person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to follow suit. Below is a list of six defining factors you’ll want to focus on as you embark on the road to riches. 1. Millionaires possess unique traits and skills.Therefore, you’ll want to start thinking and acting as if you've already arrived at your big goal. Millionaires spend time conceiving new ideas and methods instead of dwelling on the day-to-day operations of their business, thereby expanding their mind and innovating ways of thinking, doing and achieving. 2. Millionaires are long-term thinkers.They think about the future and long-term goals instead of instant gratification, developing discipline and that enables them to see the big picture. Hold that vision clearly in your mind until you achieve ultimate results and relish your big win. 3. Millionaires embrace change.Change can sometimes be intimidating, yet fearing what's new also keeps you from creating opportunities. Millionaires understand that change, whether it be positive or negative, will still benefit them in some way. That mindset in turn engenders more self-confidence and self-assurance, only enhancing the sense that no matter what comes your way, you can handle it. 4. Millionaires are extraordinarily determined.Don’t assume that money is their only motivator. Most often, it’s their passion or a mission in life that drives them to kick into overdrive and go for it. You must be able to find your purpose, your passion that motivates you to surmount any obstacles that get in your way. Ask yourself, “How can I make $1 million a year doing what I love?”5. Millionaires are willing to take risks.Therefore, you’ll need to be able to minimize your risk-aversion. The best way to do this is to calculate your risk/reward ratio as a predictor of return on investment. 6. Millionaires never stop learning.Becoming a millionaire will require upgrading your knowledge with new information that helps generate more opportunities and wealth. Read more self-improvement books, and find mentors and other successful people to support and guide you. As you continue to expand your horizons, more opportunities to prosper will follow.Millionaires don’t just think about creating success; they take 100 percent responsibility for it and do whatever it takes to reach their goals. Become a "doer," focus on the big win, and don’t allow anything to get in the way of achieving your dreams.
8 Nigerians make 2019 `Forbes 30 under 30 listEight Nigerians have been listed in the 2019 'Forbes 30 under 30 list.'300 trailblazers from 20 industries with average age of 26 made the list. Over 55 percent of them are founders or co-founders.Nigerians who made the list include- Taofeek Abijako- Kayode Ojo- Obi Omile Jr- Adegoke Olubusi- Tito Ovia - Dimeji Sofowora- Olaoluwa Osuntokun- Emmanuel Acho.Taofeek Abijako is a 20 year-old designer who started his men’s streetwear brand when he was a high school teenager.Kayode Ojo is a 28 year-old photographer who has had solo shows in Paris, Berlin, New York and Dallas.Communication expert, Obi Omile Jr. is the co-founder of the Cut, a technology platform that allows users and barbers to schedule and manage appointments.Adegoke Olubusi, 25, Tito Ovia, 25, and Dimeji Sofowora, 26 are founders of Helium Health a platform used by 5,000 doctors, with data from 500,000 patients across West Africa.Olaoluwa Osuntokun, 25, is the cofounder of Lighting Labs which has raised $2.5 million to turn bitcoin into a more viable form of payment by making smaller transactions more cost effective.Also, Emmanuel Acho, 28, serves as the youngest national football analyst for ESPN and runs a charity that has built a hospital in Nigeria.Ghanaian, Shadrack Frimpong, who founded Cocoa360, a 'farm-for-impact' model that uses revenues from community cocoa farms to fund educational and healthcare services.International musicians Post Malone, 23, 21 Savage, 26, photographer Tyler Mitchell, 23 who photographed Beyonce for her Vogue September 2018 cover, and actor Storm Reid, 15 made the list.
Meet Ajara Musa, Pretty Nigerian Lady who makes Money from Welding (Photos )It is said that "There is dignity in labour. Nowadays, many Nigerian youth have resorted to quick ways of making money which include money rituals, internet fraud (yahoo yahoo) and so on.This may be unrelated to the unemployment rate in the country which has reached an alarming stage.Despite these obstables, many decent youths who have the zeal and passion for entrepreneurship carve out a niche for themselves and setup very profitable ventures.These pictures below are of a young lady Ajara Musa who has made welding her passion and as you know, passion and money flow together when hard work is blended with it. Ajara Musa is presently being celebrated on social media as he is working hard to earn a living for herself amid wide unemployment in Nigeria.She is justifying the view that “whatever a man can do, a woman can also do better”.The beautiful lady is a welder, an occupation deemed too hard for a woman and she is doing it well. She is also making good money out of it and customers have been seeking her services. She is presently using the power of social media to market herself.
[PHOTOS] Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s Daughter, Sharon Holds White WeddingPastor Chris Oyakhilome’s daughter, Sharon Oyakhilome and Phillip Frimpong had their white wedding earlier today, and here are photos from the event.Israeli televangelist, Toufik Benedictus “Benny” Hinn handled the nuptials and also gave a sermon to the newly wedded after.Sharon Oyakhilome, one of the daughters of popular pastor, Chris Oyakhilome, two days back got married traditionally to her Ghanaian fiance, Phillip Frimpong. Members of Christ Embassy, including popular singer Sinach, were present at the lavish affair.See photos from the event below;
Graduate who sells food with a wheelbarrow reveals she makes more than salary earnersA Nigerian Lady who sells food on a wheelbarrow, has taken to her Facebook page to reveal she makes more than salary earners as she recalled the challenges she faced when she began her business.The Lady identified as Jossy Otu, who is a University Graduate, disclosed that she is married to a lawyer and further stated that she decided to create a job for herself as she couldn’t get one. According to her, she was ashamed the first day she started off the business, but went on to make a profit of N150k in two months.She wrote;“Hello, this is me. I sell food on a wheelbarrow, yes I went to school, married to a lawyer, but some will say y r u doing this? Some even said u r beautiful to be selling food in a wheelbarrow? I laughed, see when God want to bless you he takes you out of yourself comfort zone, am not ashamed of my hustle, I got praises likewise criticised for my hustle.The first time I took my wheelbarrow I almost went back, I was ashamed @ first, what will my friends and family say chai, but then I encouraged myself if I go broke now some of my friends and family will desert me, so to hell with what people will say, that day I sold all my food by 1 pm and mad a profit of 3k my capital being 5k chai I wan craze, that devil is lier.To cut the long story short under 2 months I made 150k as profit, so dear friends I have seen a lady that fried akara to build a house and send her children to the university, that small business that u think you can’t do u r too big for it may be yourself stepping stone to greatness, don’t die of hunger o encouraged yourself, God bless you all and give you ideas to make wealth.As Govt don’t want to give me work, I decided to create one for myself. Never be ashamed for your hustle, no one will feed you when you are broke. Be dirty to get your food instead of clean and hungry, Refuse to be a beggar, wealth is a choice, poverty is a choice. #proudofmyhustle #imakemoremoneythanasalaryearner”Jossy advised Women to be independent and be a support system for their significant other.She wrote in another post“6am am up and doing, ready for the day, someone asked how do I keep up, first of all you must have passion, zeal, and perseverance for what you do, without these you will loose interested, I remember one day I was heavily beaten by the rain, under the rain tho soaking wet I still pushed my wheelbarrow to sell my food, never letting the rain to kill my vibe, some said where is your lawyer husband let him open shop for you see this one, my dear everybody dey hustle o for this regime, so if I want to buy sweet, oga lawyer, biscuits Mr lawyer, pad and small petite things I go wait for barrister lawyer.No I too want to be independent, to support him too, we need to support our men, ladies we can’t let them do all the work, started up something no matter how small with a genuine heart and love, you will succeed. Think positive, Abeg make I go sell my delicious food.”