In this article I’ll be talking about the things that could come and snatch the life out of your business in front of your koro koro eyes.
Of course there is a long list of things that could harm your business if you don’t pay attention to them, but I decided to go light on you with just 2 of them.
Now the reason I chose these 2 is because they are the ones that is tricky to manage, mostly because some business owner deal with them with this attitude of “don’t worry I got this, it’s not a big deal or when the time comes”. If you’re guilty of it, please is time to dial back and recalculate your steps before it’ll be too little too late .
Accumulated Value Added Tax, VAT for short
Most incorporated businesses neglect this and when I see people like that, I’m literally scared on their behalf. Their excuse is always, is it not this country again, it’s not that serious. Your VAT is a 5% charge on all your revenue. It’s the tax payable by your customers for using your product or your services.
For those of us that travel to the western world, especially America, you know that there’s nothing that’s not taxed. You pay tax literally on everything you buy and every move you make. And you don’t get to argue with the people selling to you. The worst you can do is not buy, but you can’t even do that because you’ll end up starving.
As a business owner is your responsibility to charge your customers or clients a 5% fee on any purchase they make from you. At the end of the month, you deduct all the VATs you’ve accumulated and remit to your tax office. It’s really that simple.
If you fail to do this: 1, the money is going to pile up. 2, you’ll have to pay from your own pocket. 3, and the most dear to my heart it limits your chances of expansion.
If you wish or plan that one day your business will attract investors then you have to take this more seriously. When investors are buying into a company, they’re buying into the potential success of that company, that’s enough risk for them. You’ll be making it very easy for them to reject you if you want them to buy into your debt as well. They’ll always do their due diligence and make sure you’re at least debt free and financially stable before they buy in.
If you’ve not been doing it and you’ve incorporated your business, please start today. Charge 5% on all your sales and before the 21st of every month, go to your tax office and remit. If you need further information on this, just book a session with us and I’ll show you how to go about it.
As a business owner you’re a leader even if you’re a sole proprietor. Your daily decisions and practices will accumulate to have a huge effect on your business on the long run. It was Jim Rohn who said “Everything affects everything else”. Every let down affects the entire performance. Every new discipline affects the rest. It’s a repel effect. Key is to diminish the lack and set up the new.”
If you have a team, endeavour to create a safe working environment for them. I’m a firm believer that people naturally mirror the stimulation around them, as in respond to the environment they’re in. And it’s been proven by several research that if you create the right environment for your team, they’ll do remarkable things.
According Simon Sinek, It’s your responsibility as a leader to create a safe environment for your team and take care of them. If you create an environment where people feel valued, the natural response to that is trust and cooperation. Remember that trust and cooperation are feelings not instructions. There’s no PowerPoint you can possibly deliver that at the end they’ll be like hmmm – now I understand how to trust you. It doesn’t work that way, it’s a feeling.
On the other hand if you create an environment where your team fears you, the natural response to that is mistrust and selfishness. And they’re only doing that to protect themselves from the environment.
I know some of you might want to disagree with the argument that some people are just bad people. As much as I would love to argue that, I totally get where you’re coming from. Remember that you’re the leader. You’re the one to make the tough decisions. If you find out someone is a bad fit for your organisation, let them go. As long as you satisfy your conscience that you did your best to create a good working condition for them. It’s not by force, just let them go. Because the cost of keeping the wrong employee is very high, I don’t think you should ever have to pay that price.
Like I said earlier, there’s a long list of things that could kill your precious business but let’s leave you with these 2.
I hope you found it really useful.
If you need help with protecting yourself from unnecessary tax liabilities, give us a call on 0703 838 9471 or send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a team of accountants and tax auditors that will help you set your records straight.
If you need help with managing your team, we have a leadership workshop/training for young business owners. Give us a call on 0703 838 9471 or send us an email via email@example.com to find out how you can be a part of it.
Thank you so much for reading, see you in my next blog.
In this article, I’ll be discussing what it means to pitch; the purpose of pitching; ways to win in a pitch; what investors are looking for in a pitch and the content of a pitch deck.
What does it mean to pitch?
Pitching is an art of sale and you sell by connection. If you fail connect to connect with whoever it is you’re selling to, there’s a 95% chance that you won’t be successful.
Purpose of any pitch:
Pitching can be really sensitive because it’s about sharing your passion with someone else. There are 2 main reasons why people pitch:
To get someone to believe in your business idea or concept.
To convince them that it’s worth their money.
You might think getting a potential investor to believe in you is hard until you try getting them to give you the money you’re requesting. The investors understand how risky a business is so it’s going to take more than logic, facts and figures to make them part with their hard earned money.
What Investors are looking out for:
Like I said earlier, you can only make a sale when you’ve established a connection. When you hear so so so business got funded and you wonder, who in the world invested in this type of company? Know that more than 50% of what an investor is looking for in an investment opportunity is the right person. No matter how viable the business sounds if you’re not able to convince and assure the investor that you are the right person to handle his/her money, you won’t get it.
We summarised an average investors expectations into 10, they are:
If you can manage to project all these 10 qualities during your speech, then half of the work is done. The next thing you now need to focus on is the how. We’ve made it easy for you by creating 3 clear steps that when you follow you’ll definitely close. And this has been successful all the times our clients used it.
Find common grounds. You need to be able to read your potential investor and use the information you receive to connect with them. People like other people that are like them. What it does to the investor is that it makes him/her feel you’re just an extension of their desire or dream.
Feed their enthusiasm. Use visuals and colourful words to paint a clear picture of what you’re offering. If you have a product, show them, demonstrate the use if possible let them try it out for themselves.
Prove to them that it’s worth every dime they’ll be investing. Show them a track record of people that have benefited or will benefit from the solution. Give them a figure and how that figure will keep increasing. The aim here is to call them to action. Like, it’s a moving train, are you on board or nah? Let them see how their lives could change for the better when they buy in.
I believe our work is our purpose on earth. In order to identify the work you’re called to do, you have to find yourself. You need to know your identity and believe in it for you to be able to have an impact.
I’m particularly interested in businesses and entrepreneurs because I believe that every great business is supposed to make life better. And the most successful entrepreneurs in the world are the ones that are constantly looking for ways to make life better for everyone.
I came across a man called Tony Robbins few months ago but for some reason I was not moved to know about him. Something in me kept saying don’t worry later you’ll check him out. Fast forward to last week, I went on line and went straight to one of his seminars. Since then I’ve learnt about his work and it has helped me a lot. It has helped me mentally, spiritually and financially.
Last year Joe Berlinger did a documentary about his world acclaimed retreat ‘Date with Destiny’. It costs about $5k to attend and it accommodates only 2,500 people. I believe the aim of the retreat is to empower the attendees to go out and empower others.
People come from different parts of the world, 71 countries, 6 continents. People from different works of life, billionaires, celebrities, suicidal people, people with daddy and mummy issues, over achievers, under achievers, Jews, christians, muslims, etc. Joe actually attended the retreat and was moved and that was why he begged Tony to do a documentary.
After much persuasion, Tony agreed because he believes it would extend the reach to people that can’t make it to the program.
This movie is life changing. You need to watch it and soak every second of it in. I’m saying this because this man Tony Robbins is not the best strategist in the US by luck. It’s because he is actually the best. I think he’s the only person that can introduce him self. Checkout this clip from the movie. It hit me like, this a man knows himself, his identity, believes it and embraces it.
He has worked with Serena Williams, we all know who she is and how much she has accomplished. Ray Dalio, he manages one of the world’s largest hedge funds. He’s worth $16b. This is to give you an idea of the people that can actually afford his services.
This documentary will give you access to what billionaires round the world are paying thousands of dollars for…
If you would rather watch than read, click here to watch the video.
Before we dive in, let us explain what premature advertising is. Premature advertising is basically any form of advertising you do before understanding the capacity of customers you can cater to. Meaning that you’re probably not ready for a large number of customers.
Before we start expelling the reasons why you should avoid premature advertising, I would like to distinguish between advertising and marketing. The concept of advertising is to create awareness; to announce a product or service to the public or anybody that can listen. While marketing is to make sales.
In other words, any form of promotion you’re doing and you’re not making sales, it means you’re just advertising. These 2 are so similar in their definition but the difference is in the practice. Marketing is a concept and it starts from concept to delivery. It’s done effectively when it’s tracked, recorded and measured.
A lot of entrepreneurs confuse marketing with advertising but what I want you to leave with from this blog is that as a young business, whatever you’re doing to promote your business should have a direct impact on your sales, especially when its paid for.
I’ll be sharing 2 major reasons why you shouldn’t advertise too early:
To Develop Your Ability To Adapt To Change
Business is something that can be very risky so in order to survive, you have to be very fluid. You have to be able to adapt to changes and remain relevant in your industry.
As a new business, you’re stepping into the industry totally clueless. No matter the amount of research you’ve done, it doesn’t change the fact that this is a new industry. You probably have your plan and strategy of how you’re going to deploy but you still need to sit back, observer, see what’s happening, see how often the changes come and know how you’re going to adapt to all those changes; and you won’t be able to do all those things if in your 1st week, you’ve already shared 2000 flyers. It’ll confuse people when you eventually find yourself and now want to get new customers.
Observe what’s happening in your industry and explore all the opportunities your business could have in that particular industry. When you want to get new customers, let it not be a gamble, make sure you’ve set a process in place. Its not just “okay, we’re going to be active on social media, we’re going to put up a billboard”. You have to know why you’re doing all those things. And the only way to know why you’re doing all those things is to do the research, talk to your customers, know what they want, develop your product so that when you now start talking to them, they’ll listen to you and pay you.
A very good example is Coca Cola. In it’s 1st year, it sold about 25 bottles. The 1st lesson that comes to mind is ‘be consistent in whatever you’re doing’ but if you research further, you’ll see that Coca Cola later understood that what people needed the most then in America was hope, they wanted something to believe in. So they started advertising and promoting their drinks as a symbol of hope. And because America is very influential, other parts of the world wanted to identify with them. And the easiest way to identify with America is to adopt its culture. And then the culture was being patriotic using the symbol of hope which was Coca Cola. And that was how their brand expanded to reach all parts of the world.
It Will Reduce The Number Of Customers You Disappoint
As a young business, if you advertise on a large scale and it gets you so many customers that you’re not able to cater to and satisfy, it harms your business image. This is so because when you eventually get ready to now give them what they want, they won’t want to return back to you.
If you know that the capacity of customers you’ll be able to serve is 50 customers, why are you advertising so much? What happens when you get 51 customers? Because if you want to grow in your business, you have to make sure you’re delivering at every point in time. Most businesses complain about not having customers, not realising that they should work towards satisfying even the few they have so much that they become big fans of the business.
When you’re able to turn the few customers you have into your regular customers, they become your marketers. If you’re able to achieve that, it means that you’re doing something right. Find out what it is you’re doing right, why the customers keep coming back, why they love you so much; that’s what you need to replicate, optimise and then invite people in to come and enjoy what the few customers are enjoying.
But if you do it the other way round, when people come in, they’ll be like ehn… what’s here? like okay, what do you have for us?
If you would rather watch than read, click here to watch the video.
One of the most popular advise you’ll receive as an entrepreneur is start small; but it’s easier said than done.
If you have an idea or a vision and you’re thinking, how can I start small? My plan is so big that I don’t think is feasible starting small; then this blog is for you.
Starting small simply means doing the least thing required to help you achieve your goals. Its mostly about doing your homework. You could start going out to meet people in that industry, asking questions, doing your own research and opening up your mind to the journey you’re about to embark on.
After you’ve prepared your mind for your journey, I have steps that I’ll be sharing with you that if you follow religiously, it’ll help keep you focused on your goal and you won’t even notice you’re starting small. You’ll just start already and start achieving your goals and reaching your dreams.
Write Down Your Vision
You could write it in your journal, your diary or on your phone. Personally, I’ll suggest you write it down online. And by online I don’t mean twitter, Facebook, Instagram. I mean you could send it to yourself if you have two emails, so that you can always refer back to it.
The second step is to cultivate the habit of doing something everyday about that goal no matter how small it is.
Talk Less About Your Vision
According to science, the brain cannot differentiate between what you want to do and what you’ve done. So if you spend time talking about your vision, your plans, your dreams, your ideas; your brain will assume that you’ve done it already. And it’ll make you not perform the actual actions required to achieve your goals; so do more and talk less.
Besides the brain situation, having a dream is like being at the top of a mountain. You have a perfect view of what you want to do or what you want to achieve but when you try to share it with others, they might not really get it because they don’t see it the way you do. And if you keep trying to convince them and make them understand, you’ll scare yourself away from achieving that goal. Rather, invest that energy into putting in work that will actually bring your dreams to reality. Because if you don’t, you get frustrated and lose focus of what you actually want to achieve.
In order to motivate yourself, you need to focus on the process and not the outcome. When you focus on the process, you
open up yourself to the experience, to the learning process, to the journey; but if you channel your energy to the outcome, you might lose patience.
Write Down Your Achievements
There are 2 reasons you should do this; first of all it will help you talk less about what you’re doing and how well you’re doing. The second is: it will help you identify your strength. You’ll know what you’re good at and focus on them. There’s no point dwelling on your mistakes or your shortcomings, identify your strengths and build up on them.
Learn Your Lessons
Even though we don’t want to dwell so much on our mistakes, it shouldn’t stop us from acknowledging the mistakes and trying our best not to repeat them.
Watch Your Ego
If you’re able to follow these steps from number 1 to number 6 very religiously, you’ll definitely notice an improvement in the way you handle things, the way you respond to people, the way you handle your business; and it’s only natural for your pride to grow as well. However, be careful for it not to enter your head because if it happens, it could make you lose focus of the actual goal you’re trying to achieve; you might think you’ve arrived.
Do more of what’s working, keep your eyes on the goal but don’t dwell so much on it that it scares you. Learn your lessons and in everything you do, maintain a positive attitude.
Lets go over the steps one more time: write down your vision, cultivate the habit of doing something everyday about your goal, talk less about your vision and do more, motivate yourself, write down your achievements, learn your lessons, watch your ego and remain motivated.
I hope you found this article very very useful. If you decide to apply these steps, pleas share your experiences with me.