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Financial Literacy

When is the right time to start my business?

The perfect time to start your own business may be very personal, but identifying that time isn’t as hard as you might think, either.

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Many people have thought about starting a business but stopped themselves because they were afraid, worried they’d get out of their depth or concerned they didn’t have the time and energy. Quite frankly, starting a business involves all these things (and more).

Knowing when to start your business and knowing when you’re procrastinating so that your business is forever a day away can really help get you started. The perfect time to start your own business may be very personal, but identifying that time isn’t as hard as you might think, either. There’s no such thing as a “perfect time” to start your own business. You have to choose the right time for you. So, this article offers as many viewpoints as possible to help you make that decision.

[READ MORE]  Tips that will help you win in business – Amazon Founder (Opens in a new browser tab)

Overall – The Best Start

So, the most secure start is one where you have six months’ worth of expenses in the bank, where you have done all the preparation work and you have clients already on the line so that you’re earning from day one. That’s a pretty fair definition of the most secure start, but bear in mind two things:

  1. Don’t let the perfect start put you off starting forever.
  2. Many people have succeeded in starting with none of those advantages. They had no money and no clients, and they wouldn’t go back to a 9-5 job for all the tea in China.

Kind of like deciding to have a baby, timing to start a business is never going to be perfect. There’s only so much planning, dreaming, and plotting you can do before you just have to take the leap. You’ve garnered some motivation, your business plan is written and your website is perfection. What are you waiting for?

[READ MORE: How To Use Return On Assets As A Great Investment Tool]

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Here are a few tips for you about timing and starting your business:

As soon as possible

According to Patrick Lee from Rotten Tomatoes, launch “as soon as possible…research isn’t supercritical.” Don’t take this to mean that you can just throw a mediocre company together and hope for the best. However, Lee is very much a doer who’s balanced out by dreamers. Trust your instincts and you’ll see when you’re digging in your heels for no reason.

When you feel comfortable internally

Follow in the shoes of Uberconference, with Craig Walker saying, “As soon as we feel comfortable internally, we generally let it out to everyone. And hopefully, we’re responsive to issues as soon as they come up.” Bear in mind that there’s doesn’t need to be a “hopefully” in this sentence. You’re in total control of how responsive you are, even if you can’t necessarily fix issues right away.

When you’ve set a date

If you tend to work best under a pressure/under deadline, “just set a date,” says Mikkel Svane of ZenDesk success. “We had so many ideas, so many plans, that it would all just take times and make things more and more complicated.” A challenging yet feasible deadline can keep you motivated and without procrastination excuses.

When you’ve generated some buzz

From soft launches to beta testing, there’s a good chance your business will get some exposure before (full) launch. Secret’s Chrys Bader-Wechseler says, “when the conversations were rich, I saw this was something in the community that was very, very good,” and that’s when he knew business was about to blossom.

When you’ve made some early sales

Whether it’s a pre-sale, revenue from a soft launch or you have orders placed but haven’t accepted that loan to fulfil them, and if money’s coming your way from customers, you can’t wait another day to launch. Anthony Soohoo of Dot & Bo says, “We started feeling like we had something” when customers started handing over their credit card information. Sometimes the best tips are the most obvious.

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[READ ALSO: How to plug your spending leaks]

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When people are telling you you’re ready

When Perri Gorman started the concept for Archive.ly, she said she didn’t know what she had. It took a friend-become-coach to show her a new angle. “Through getting coached, and looking at different things, and researching different ideas, I started to see how it could actually be a more valuable product,” she shares.

You have an incurable obsession

Start a company after you sit on your idea for a while and you can’t get it out of your head. You’re obsessed. You’re incurable. No matter how much you try not to think about the business, it keeps coming back. You start working on the idea during all your free time. You can’t stop talking to friends and family about it. And you feel like you will never forgive yourself if you don’t take a chance.

This incurable obsession must be consistent over an extended period. Let it sit. Let it settle. And don’t confuse it with the entrepreneurial seizure, a more temporary excitement that will wane if you give yourself time to really think about the idea.

Do it today

So let me make it simple for you – the best time to start a business is TODAY. Not tomorrow. Not in two weeks. Not after you get promoted, pregnant, married, or your MBA. TODAY! You’re not getting any younger. Your life is not getting any simpler.

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The Take-Away

Truthfully, only you can decide when you’re ready to start. You may find it’s better to start when you feel ready than to wait for a perfect start. Certainly, this isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start to determine whether you’re ready to start your own business. If you’re not, consider this your guide to the steps you need to take to get there. Have fun, and good luck!

Remember: Timing will never be perfect for anything, including your business. However, understanding the best time within a reasonable timeframe is all you can do.

[READ FURTHER: 5 Money Mistakes You Might be Making]

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MSME

FG to support MSME contribution to economy to boost development – Minister

The Minister said that the FG has schemes aimed at improving the post-pandemic climate for SMEs in Nigeria.

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FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans, FG says 174,574 successfully register for N75 billion MSME survival fund in 48 hours

The Federal Government declared that it is working with stakeholders to improve MSME participation in the economy through improving the business climate which will create jobs.

This was disclosed by Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, at the 7th EMPRETEC Global Summit,  on Tuesday, themed “The Role of Entrepreneurship, MSME and EMPRETEC in post-COVID-19 Resurgence.”

The Minister stated that the MSME sector of the economy is the growth engine of any economy which contributes to its development, job creation and export, amongst others.

“An MSMEs survey indicates that Nigeria’s SMEs contribute nearly 50 percent of the country’s GDP and account for over 80 percent of employment. No doubt, the sector is pivotal to Nigeria’s growth, including reducing poverty and unemployment levels.

It has, therefore, become more apparent that supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses by creating opportunities for MSMEs to thrive is essential for increasing productivity, creating jobs, and boosting our economy.

This is why the Government is working with stakeholders across all sectors, to create the enabling environment for entrepreneurs and MSMEs to ensure that they grow now and into the future,” she stated.

On economic sustainability

The Minister said that the FG has schemes aimed at improving the post-pandemic climate for SMEs in Nigeria. She also disclosed that the FG launched the National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), a framework for the resolution of the challenges faced by the sector.

The programmes launched by the FG includes the Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes, operated by a Steering Committee in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

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“The Government of Nigeria had, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, initiated the MSMEs Clinics scheme as a strategy, aimed at providing support for the MSMEs in the country.

At the clinics, operators in the MSMEs space are engaged by regulators and business advisory experts, on issues ranging from entrepreneurship, skill development, finance, quality & standards, and on how to facilitate and grow their businesses and enterprises,” she added.

What you should know 

Nigeria’s unemployment rate as of the end of 2020 rose to 33.3% from 27.1% recorded as of Q2 2020, indicating that about 23,187,389 (23.2 million) Nigerians remain unemployed.

A combination of both the unemployment and underemployment rate for the reference period gave a figure of 56.1%. This means that 33.3% of the labour force in Nigeria or 23,187,389 persons either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours a week, making them unemployed by our definition in Nigeria.

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Financial Literacy

How to move from a decent salary to a lucrative income (Part 1)

First, create an anchor position for your decent lifestyle; next, increase your earning capacity; third, earn a lucrative income and lastly, preserve the income that you have earned.

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See the businesses experts have recommended you should start in 2020 

There is a common element that is present among all working professionals that achieve financial freedom. This element is their ability to move from earning a decent salary to earning a lucrative income. A decent salary is an income that gives you a decent lifestyle, and a decent lifestyle is any lifestyle that is comfortable in the present.

So, when you hear working professionals talk about having a decent income, what they mean is that their present life is working. And that they can pay their bills without financial stress. A decent salary is thus heavily invested in maintaining life today. This means that income from a decent salary is invested in income-consuming activities more than income-preserving activities. While it is good to maintain life today. It is even better to secure life tomorrow.

This is because life is advancing towards the future and the future will soon be here. Also, jobs don’t last forever and when they go away, they take all the decent salary that is funding your current decent lifestyle. Thus, if maintaining a decent lifestyle throughout life is your goal, you must move from income that is heavily invested in making today comfortable to income that is invested in maintaining comfort throughout life. This is where having a lucrative income comes in.

READ: 10 Side gigs to venture into while working a full-time job

A lucrative income is an income that is heavily invested in preserving life today and in the future. Lucrative income is more focused on keeping and growing income for the days when salary is no more. This is because only preserved income will matter in those days. And those days are already upon us. So, if you are looking for the best time to prepare, today is the day. As the worst time to prepare is when you are already in the future. Becoming wise in the future will not do you any good. Thus, a well-structured lucrative income helps you prepare in three ways. First, it buys you financial freedom. Secondly, it expands your options and opportunities, and thirdly, it gives you financial peace of mind.

So, if your goal is to achieve financial freedom someday and maintain the decent lifestyle that you have become so accustomed to over the years, you must build income for the future by converting your decent salary to a lucrative income. The purpose of this article is to show you exactly how you can achieve that.

So how do you create your own lucrative income?

There are four steps to follow and each step must follow in the right order. The first step is to create an anchor position for your decent lifestyle. The second is to increase your earning capacity. The third step is to earn a lucrative income. And the fourth step is to preserve the income that you have earned.

READ: 5 financial choices you will regret

Step 1. Create an anchor position for a decent lifestyle

You need to define what a decent lifestyle is for you and there are two kinds of decent lifestyles. The first is the financial freedom decent lifestyle and the second is the financial slavery decent lifestyle. The financial freedom decent lifestyle is the lifestyle that meets your basic needs and yet preserves a big part of your income. And financial slavery decent lifestyle is the lifestyle that sacrifices your savings.

To achieve financial freedom, you must choose the financial freedom decent lifestyle. This is the only lifestyle that can lead to financial freedom. The reason is that only saving a big part of your income can give you financial freedom. And You can’t out-earn extravagant living. Thus, you must anchor spending while you work on savings. To save a big part of your income you must save between 25-60% of your income. This means that you must anchor your decent lifestyle between 70 to 40% of your current income.

READ: Right financial behaviours to develop in 2021

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When you decide which anchor position is suitable for you, fix your expenses at this point and channel all extra income towards your savings. These include your bonuses, allowances, investment returns, and side incomes. Savings and expenses cannot grow at the same time. You must decide which one of them grows and which of them is anchored to a fixed position. Anchoring your expenses while growing your savings is thus, crucial to creating a lucrative income and achieving financial freedom. When you decide what a suitable anchor position is for you, you must stay anchored at this position until you achieve financial freedom.

So how do you anchor your spending?

To anchor your spending, you must first know how much you spend each month. If you are already within the 70-40% expense bracket you may want to look for other ways to push your savings beyond where you are. The key is to work towards saving more than you spend. But if you are outside the range, you are in a financial bondage position and are heading towards financial pain.

READ: How to invest for retirement

A financial bondage position is any position that puts your savings below 25% of your income. Most people are in this position and sadly they are anchoring their savings at a meagre 5-10% and growing their expenses. Saving under a quarter of your income is potential pain because you cannot maintain your current lifestyle at less than a quarter of your income. To maintain a decent lifestyle throughout life, you must save more than you spend and keep your spending anchored while growing your savings.

There are three savings positions to choose from if you want to speed up financial success. The first is called the quarter plus savings position. This is where you save a quarter or more of your income each month. The second position is called the mid-point savings position. This is where you save half of your income (50%) each month. The third savings position is the supreme position. This is where you save more than you spend, that is, above 50% of your income. To achieve financial freedom, you must decide whether you want to work hard on your freedom or do so on your expenses. Whichever you decide, it will be reflected in your report card at the end of your career.

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Step 2. Increase your Earning Capacity

The fastest way to create a lucrative income is to earn more income. To earn more income, you must increase your earning capacity beyond what it is right now. Increasing your earning capacity means increasing your ability to solve high-income problems because money is made when you solve problems for other people. To solve high-income problems, you need four key elements. You need knowledge. You need skills. You need Productivity. And you need Relationships.

Knowledge is information that helps you see how things work.  It is different from understanding. Understanding is derived from the application of knowledge. And from converting knowledge into skills and experiences. Productivity is getting more work done within a shorter time and creating more free time for yourself. When you produce more, you’re worth more. So, the key to productivity is to increase the quantity and quality of work that you do.

Relationships are also critical because income is produced within the context of a relationship. If you want to earn more, you must be worth more in knowledge, skills, productivity, and relationships. The sad news is most people only focus on acquiring knowledge. And knowledge may be power but it is the least income-producing element among the four. In fact, knowledge is useless until applied. To focus your savings on acquiring knowledge that has low-income value is not wise. Rather focus your savings on acquiring knowledge that can produce high and almost instant income.

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The second mistake I see people make when they want to increase their income is investing in the wrong skills. They invest in skills that have little relevance outside the career world. And lose all their investment once they are out of a job or in retirement. They also invest in low-income skills. A low-income skill is any skill that does not add any specific and measurable value to company profits and revenue.

The problem with low-income skills is that they produce low income no matter how hard you work or how much it cost you to get them. And the problem with career-related skills is that they can only be applied in the career world. In the career world, you have zero control over your income and the value that is placed on your skills. So, developing low-income skills or career-related skills does not only limit your income, it makes your life miserable at the end of your career.

To achieve financial freedom, you must focus on acquiring high-income skills. And there are three high-income skills to acquire. The first is creativity – the ability to produce wealth-creating ideas. The second is relationship building – the ability to meet new people, engage in meaningful conversations and build trusted relationships. The third is marketing – the ability to convince customers that you and your product are worth more than the price tag on them. Without these three skills, you can’t create a lucrative income.

The third mistake I see most people make when they want to increase their income is to focus too much on investing as the means for earning extra income. While investing is great and can grow your income. Investing is NOT an income-producing activity and cannot make up for the gap in your own personal ability to produce or earn a high income. If it could, successful business owners would have closed their businesses and faced investing full-time. But they don’t because they know that the only powerful way to produce income is through your own personal ability to produce and solve problems. They use investing as a means to preserve and grow earned income and this is what you must do.

Depending on investment income to make up for your own low ability to earn income is a loser’s game. And there are three reasons why. Most people do not even have the size of cash reserves that can produce the amount of passive income they can depend on. What they then do is demand more than a safe return from their meagre investments and lose their money. And then they repeat the process all over again or are scared to death to invest which is even worse. There is a limit beyond which investing becomes harmful and not beneficial.

The second reason is that growing income through investing is a slower process and there is a limit to how much growth you can achieve. While a person can earn N500 million in a day through their own personal ability to produce and solve problems. They cannot push the same results out of their investments without losing it. The only way to still earn high income today is to use your personal ability to solve high-income problems.

Growing money and earning money are two different activities, and earning money is more powerful than growing money. The third and final reason why focusing on investing may not work for you is that it takes money to make investment money. Once you have the money it’s easy to find someone that can guide you to invest it. And money only comes when you have a personal ability to produce and solve problems.

So, while you can use your personal ability to earn income from scratch, it takes a lot of money to achieve investing success. I know this because 80% of people end up broke and resentful in retirement despite years of investing. The problem is not that they did not invest. The problem is that they were focusing on the slowest path to achieving financial freedom. The fastest path is always and would always be through your own personal ability to earn income. To earn a lucrative income you must become an expert at solving high-income problems.

Step 3. Earn a Lucrative Income

A lucrative income is any income that is bigger than the workload. It is income you can earn part-time working less and earning more. You need this kind of income to supplement your already heavy workload. To earn a lucrative income there are six things that must do.

The first thing is to learn sales. You must be able to sell yourself, sell your message and sell your ideas to other people. The second thing you must do is choose the right industry. Not all industries are created equal or have the same capacity to produce millionaires. To earn a lucrative income, you must work for industries that sell high ticket products and can pay high sales commission.

The next thing you must do is choose the right company. Not all companies within an industry offer the same benefits. Some companies are more reputable than others and have strengths that others do not have. So, you must choose wisely.

Next, you must choose the right products and services. Your success in earning a high income is dependent on your ability to sell. Do not make sales harder by selling difficult to sell products. You will not only delay your income you will be frustrated to quit.

Next is to look for and join a platform that offers a diverse range of lucrative income-earning opportunities. If you cannot create these opportunities on your own.  And finally, you must take action and engage in income-producing activities in your spare time. These are the five things to do if you want to earn a lucrative income.

To succeed even further, you must follow the lucrative income guiding principles. There are four income principles to live by if you want to earn a lucrative income fast. The first is the funding principle and it states – if it would take money to get started, make the money elsewhere in sources that do not require money to start. The second is the freedom principle and it states – if you can only gain financial freedom by building solid cash reserves, better add a lucrative income to your main income and speed up the process. The third principle is the time principle. It states that if it would take a long time to earn income in a particular path, better get started now. The fourth is the people principle and it states that – if it will take knowing people to earn a high income, better become the person that other people want to know.

If you live by these principles and do the six things stated above you would increase your income dramatically.

Watch out for the concluding part of this series…


About the author

Grace Agada is a recognized leading Financial Expert on Nigerian Soil. She is a Renowned Speaker, Author, and Column Contributor in Punch Newspaper, This Day Newspaper, Vanguard newspaper, Business Day Newspaper, Leadership Newspaper, The Tribune Newspaper, and Online Platforms like Nairametrics, Proshare, and Bellanaija. Grace is the author of “The Financial Freedom MBA Program, “The Passive Income Retirement Blueprint” and “The Wealthy Business Blueprint” for Advisors, Consultants, and Coaches who want to get off the roller coaster of irregular income. Grace is on a mission to shrink the middle class and populate the upper class. Her ultimate goal is to create a tribe of professionals that are thriving in any economy. Grace has been featured on BBC Africa. Business Day TV. Inspiration FM. and inside Naijatv. She has consulted for Numerous Top Organizations, Company Directors, Senior Executives, and Top performing Professionals.

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