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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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bad, loan, start, business, my, right, When is the right time to start my business?

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.

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[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?

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[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:

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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.

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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.

[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.

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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.

 

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]

Patricia
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Cryptocurrency

How to become a successful Bitcoin trader

Major steps that are needed if you want to become a successful BTC trader.

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BTC Whales, Bitcoin is scarce, entities, individuals hold for long term

A BTC trader is simply an individual who seeks gains from differential changes in the market price of BTCs. The main objective the BTC trader has in mind is buying prices alow and selling when the flagship currency gains higher. BTC trading can thus be very lucrative and has become one of the fastest-growing careers in the financial spectrum. 

Data obtained from a leading BTC analytic firm, Coinmarketcap showed that the market capitalization of BTC currently stands at over $170 billion. This further illustrates that in 2013 BTC moved from $13.30 to its present-day value of over $9000, meaning that early bird BTC traders had gained over 67,600% since it began. 

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Consequently, this article will show major steps that are needed if you want to become a successful BTC trader. 

Explore Research Data From Nairametrics by Visiting Nairalytics

Self-Control & Discipline  

Adebayo Juwon, an FTX consultant for Africa, spoke to Nairametrics in an exclusive interview, explaining in detail the need for a BTC trader to be very disciplined and have a security-conscious mindset. He said; 

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“Firstly I must note that trading is not for everyone, to be a successful crypto trader, self-discipline is a prerequisite to achieving one’s goal. The crypto market is very much volatile than what the traditional traders are used to, hence more risk and reward. 

“A crypto trader must be security conscious; you’re responsible for your account security in the crypto ecosystem, as hackers are preying on whose account is less secured.” 

READ ALSO: CBN provides guidelines to address credit, liquidity risks, others  

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Risk Management 

A successful BTC trader must be able to understand the relationship between reward and risk management. This entails high understanding levels about the degree of randomness in BTC market and the risk involved in taking such risk. As a successful BTC trader, you are required to understand when its best to trade BTC as market conditions change from time to time. 

Adebayo Juwon, FTX consultant for Africa also added vital points on why a BTC trader should never ignore risk management. He said; 

“Also, to be a successful crypto trader, one must have good risk management in place, in a highly volatile market your profits can be zapped away in minutes. Risk comes in different ways in the crypto market, there are lots of scam projects with the good marketing team, they tend to attract investors also, it’s very important to do your own research in the crypto space, and rely less on market sentiment.” 

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READ MORE: Tether mints 80,000,000 USDT to unknown wallets within 24 hours

Timing 

Recall that some days ago Nairametrics, revealed the best time many BTC traders prefer to take their trading positions in the BTC market, thus preferring to trade around the American trading session because of the high price swings that occur at the start of New York stock market trading time -about 2.30 pm GMT. This means there were higher chances of making more money at the start of  American trading sessions than other trading sessions (London and Asian trading session).  

 

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Basic fundamental and Technical analysis skills 

Every successful BTC trader must keep track of macro fundamentals going around the BTC community because such information more often determines the market price of Bitcoin.  Either rumours or news have exponential effects on the BTC market and often create lucrative trading opportunities. 

Chris Ani, a professional BTC trader in a phone chat interview explained to Nairametrics in detail, the major attribute every successful BTC trader must possess, including the need to have basic trading skills. He said; 

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 “To prevent yourself from becoming a slave to the market, you must be trading small enough size on your trades that you are not emotionally attached to them. Trading opportunities wait for no one. 

“You have no idea when and where they will appear. Whenever they appear, you have to be ready with your trading plan.  You must also master technical and fundamental analysis and most importantly the one that works for me, understand the seasons and market structure so as to know when to trade, allow big wins run, or rather exit the market in order not to lose your money.” 

Finally, it’s very important to understand that no matter how good you get at BTC trading, you will often make mistakes and lose money. Always remember, trades that go bad are part of what will make you successful in the long term. Success in BTC trading simply means you are winning more relatively than losing. 

 

Patricia
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MSME

What SME’s need other than Intervention loans

Since access to finance is a key constraint to SME growth, funding it has become paramount.

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SME's, Here’s why your business needs a solid value proposition (PART 1)

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a major role in most economies, particularly in developing countries. According to the World Bank, they represent about 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide. Formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies and these numbers are significantly higher when informal SMEs are included. The World Bank predicts that “600 million jobs will be needed by 2030 to absorb the growing global workforce, which makes SME development a high priority for many governments around the world.  

Since access to finance is a key constraint to SME growth, funding it has become paramount. This has birthed a myriad of programs ranging from incubators to accelerators both locally and internationally giving out loans, grants, and other resources to ensure that the sector is equipped to create jobs and stimulate the overall economy. There have also been federal grants and other forms of support given to SMEs. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, SMEs have been prioritized as recipients to loans and other stimulus packages. The CBN’s N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) geared towards supporting SMEs and households whose economic activities have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, is just one of the different packages that have been put in place to cater specifically to it.  

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While there is data to back the impact SMEs have on our economy, it is true that even though small businesses help the economy, not all small businesses will contribute to the dream – or even survive past its early years.  According to The Better Africa report, by Weetracker, an African digital media company, the top 5 countries that experienced the highest shutdown rates among start-ups between 2010 and 2018 were Ethiopia at 75%, Rwanda at 75%, Ghana at 73.91%, Zimbabwe at 66.7%, and The Democratic Republic of the Congo (66.7%). Failure rate for start-ups in Nigeria averaged 61% over the same period. What this means is that if small business loans are being given to businesses at random in Nigeria, 61% of those businesses are bound to fail and the monies given, completely lost.  

The small business loans being offered by the CBN is a good step in the right direction. However, determining whether it ends up in the hands of the startups that are viable enough to scale and create the jobs or the larger percentage that will fail, depends to a large extent on how they are selectedIn disbursing the loans, there must be clear methods of choosing the recipients. CBN’s N50 billion Covid-19 intervention fund for SMEs in conjunction with NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, simply noted that it would appraise and conduct due diligence applications before sending them to the applications to the CBN for final approval, to CBN for review. The results will tell their story. 

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Why the economy needs more than loans 

The CBN giving out intervention loans is just one part of finding the solution – and this too does not say much about the amount in loans being given and their effect on the economy at large. If it’s too little to make any real difference, then it might only buy many of these businesses a few more months of dogged survival, after which all will be lost.  

The overall operating environment must be able to stimulate growth either through favourable tax incentives for specific industries, moratorium on other forms of loans, or just the provision of basic infrastructures like electricity and speedy internet services.  

READ ALSO: What Nigerian MSMEs must do to thrive in the new normal

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Another important thing is to ensure there is a ready market for businesses within the country. Even with the right federal loans, a business having no ready market will sink its funds into inefficient marketing. This ready market, however, has a lot to do with the ease of local production to ensure competitive pricing, further curtailing the proliferation of imported items, and more. 

In other words, economy will benefit even more from its overall development. The loans might help but, overall, there is unlikely to be sustainable exponential growth until the things that should be in place to expedite the development process exists. 

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Patricia
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MSME

How Nigerian SMEs can survive high mortality rate

SMEs are a very important economic catalyst in developing and industrialized countries.

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More than 40 SMEs in Lagos shut down due to economic crisis

In Nigeria where unemployment is a serious issue, the local businesses have a special position in the industrial sector because it has created employment and has been able to utilise labour. The local businesses, otherwise known as SMEs which means, Small And Medium Enterprise are everywhere, found on every street and corner as they surround us.

There is however no universal definition of SMEs that is widely accepted as it differs and varies from countries, but this is usually based on employment, assets or combination of the two. Institutions and organizations define SMEs in different ways depending on the purpose and the objective. Take for example, according to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD (2005) SMEs are considered to be independent firms that employ less than a given number of employees. However, SMEs were classified in terms of size, and financial assets.

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The Small and Medium Industries and Equity Investment Scheme (SMIEIs), defined SME as an enterprise with a 200 million naira maximum asset base, with the exclusion of land and working capital and with a workforce of not less than 10 employees and not more than 300 employees. Akabueze,(2002).

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The Third National Development plan of Nigeria (1975 – 1980) defined a small scale business as a manufacturing firm that employs less than ten people, or whose machinery and cost of equipment does not exceed N600,000
The Federal Government Small Scale Industry Development Plan of 1980 defined a small scale business in Nigeria as any manufacturing process or service industry, with a capital not exceeding N150, 000 in manufacturing and equipment alone.

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These definitions give a clearer explanation as to how the meaning of SMEs differs and varies. However, just to give you a clearer understanding of what local businesses or SMEs mean, they are independently owned organisations that require less capital and less workforce and less or no machinery. They are ideally suited to operate on a small scale to serve a local community and to provide profits to the business owners.

READ MORE: FG to disburse N97.3 billion to tech innovators, agric enterprises

Most enterprises in Nigeria, most of which are in the commercial sector are categorized as small businesses. The role of the small and medium enterprises towards the development of Nigeria is of great importance as it has contributed greatly to the country in terms of growth and development and also in providing employment opportunities.

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From seminars to workshop initiatives for SMEs both locally and internationally, a lot is being said about SMEs all over the World.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria report (2003), SMEs are a very important economic catalyst in developing and industrialized countries.

According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), developing countries can conquer poverty and inequality by democratizing, deregulating, and liberalizing the integration of the global economy. Recent studies have shown that SMEs contribute to over 55% of GDP and over 65% of total employment in high-income countries also that SMEs and informal enterprises account for over 60% of GDP and over 70%of total employment in middle-income countries (OECD, 2004).

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READ ALSO: These Nigerian businesses are being affected by COVID-19

However, considering the term “small”, there’s a whole lot of enormous challenges that come with it. In Nigeria, the factors working against the development and growth of local businesses are quite numerous, some of which include:

1. The issue of funding is a major problem with SMEs in Nigeria. However, the problem is not how to source it but the accessibility to either short or long term loans.

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2. Lack of infrastructural facilities is a serious impediment to the performance of SMEs. The problem of inadequate infrastructural facilities includes electricity, good road network, availability of potable water, and solid waste management. These infrastructures are left to the business owners to provide themselves.

  1. Poor Management and Low Entrepreneurial Skill Base is a serious clog in the survival of small businesses as there is a lack of essential and required expertise in business which leads to wrong and costly decisions and mismanagement.
  2. Entrepreneurs often blame their failures on inadequate sales. However, the problem lies with poor marketing skills that could help promote their sales.
  3. Most entrepreneurs go into business without proper planning by taking a realistic view of what their strengths and weaknesses are, let alone giving careful consideration and analyzing the economic trends or business conditions in that particular sector of activity, which sometimes leads to mishandling when the business starts to expand.
  4. The root of most employee problems in Nigeria is poor personnel management. They put aside personnel matters till crises set in. Such crises usually pose serious threats to the firm’s survival if they are not promptly looked into.
  5. The harsh deteriorating macroeconomic environment in Nigeria has adversely affected the performance of small business enterprises and has posed as a major challenge to their survival and growth. Most small business enterprises are struggling with the problem of uncertainty caused by the unstabilized macroeconomic environment and policy shifts.

With all of this ongoings, some of the solutions preferred to ease these challenges include:

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1. The need for government, and non-governmental organizations to create Seminars and workshops initiatives and other forums, to establish a platform for the interaction of SMEs owners/managers with others which can help to improve on their management capabilities.

2. Government should also provide the necessary infrastructures in order to ease the burdens and thereby encourage and promote rural industrialization.

3. The SME owners/managers should strive to develop effective marketing strategies in order to boost business operations which will become profitable.

4. It is important for SMEs to develop good personnel management policies to avoid crises that could affect their business.

5. Local business owners should take to proper planning, realizing his strengths and weaknesses before diverting into any business to avoid mishandling.

6. Goverments should help create a macroeconomic environment that is stable as it will enable these local businesses to make reasonable forecasts on costs, turnover, and return on investment.

7. The government should help in making funds easily accessible to SME owners/managers, be it short or long term loans that could help to encourage them to execute their business plan.

8. SMEs operators should also develop their competences in managing and sustaining their businesses by constantly engaging in training, research and development.

 

Patricia
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