If your New Year’s resolution is to launch a business, then this is for you. More and more people want to take control of their future by starting their own businesses, but starting a business isn’t easy. If you’re not prepared, your business won’t succeed. Luckily though, there are a number of tips you can adopt that will make the likelihood of your success that much greater.
Stop aiming for perfection
When launching a new business, it’s natural to want everything to go smoothly. But if you want to be triumphant, you must let go of your perfectionist tendencies. While you might think that being a perfectionist will be beneficial to your new endeavour by making you more motivated and pushing you to strive for success, that’s not always the case. In fact, as reported by Harvard Business Review, perfectionists have higher levels of stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression.
Stop aiming for perfection. When starting a new business, you’re bound to experience bumps in the road. If you expect them to happen, you’ll be better prepared. Mistakes don’t make you a failure—they help you learn and become a more successful entrepreneur when you overcome them.
Build a support system
Building a business is difficult and you can’t do it alone. And not just financially; having a support system in place when you dive into your new business venture will make all the difference. If you think you already have a support system—after all, your parents and your spouse are supportive of your business—that’s great. But you also need to surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through. If you don’t have that type of support system yet, build it. Start networking with other local business owners in your area, or get online and join some LinkedIn or Facebook groups for entrepreneurs.
Think about the long term, not just day to day
Make sure to take some time each week to think about the long-term health of your business. Think about the goals you’ve set and how you’ll get there. Do you need to invest in marketing or employee development and training, for instance? Planning for the future will help ensure that your business is around for a long time.
Grow your skills
As a business owner, you never stop learning. You may be starting a business because you have a lot of knowledge and experience in a field, but running a successful business requires a wide variety of skills and expertise. So, as a new business owner, you’ll need to be a jack of all trades. Spend some time growing your expertise in marketing, writing, SEO, bookkeeping, sales, general management, etc., to develop a well-rounded entrepreneurial skillset.
Your biggest dream might be for your business to become a multimillion-dollar enterprise overnight, but that probably won’t be your reality—at least not immediately. Many new business owners try to do too much too soon because they think it’ll bring them success faster, but it won’t. Instead, start small and grow.
Starting small might mean bootstrapping your startup instead of trying to get a bunch of funding right out of the gate. It also might mean releasing one product or service first and getting some traction and experience, instead of trying to put out an entire catalogue of offerings. Starting small and giving your business time to grow will make things easier to manage.
Spread the Word
People don’t buy what they don’t know. Exposure, especially for a new business, is very key to generating sales. Traditional marketing/advertising and PR is effective but can oftentimes be expensive for startup business; tools such as social media are more cost-effective and sometimes more successful. Reach out to bloggers who cover your industry, find ways to tie your product or service to something newsworthy to create a buzz.
Your true motivational level, the amount of money you can risk, and what you’re willing to do to be successful. Sure, we all want to make millions of dollars. But what are you willing to give up to reach that goal? How many hours a week will you work on an ongoing basis? How far out of your comfort zone are you willing to stretch?
Choose the right business for you
The old formula—find a need and fill it—still works. It will always work. The key to success is finding needs that you can fill, that you want to fill, and that will produce enough income to build a profitable business. Be sure there really is a market for what you want to sell. One of the biggest mistakes startups make is to assume a lot of people will want to buy a particular product or service because the business owner likes the ideas or knows one or two people who want the product or service. Never assume there is a market. Talk to real potential prospects to find out if what you want to sell is something they’d be interested in buying, and what they’d pay for the product or service.
Research your competitors
To be successful, you need to research the competition and find out as much as possible about what they sell and how they sell it. Competitive research is something you should plan on doing on an ongoing basis, too.
Plan to succeed
If you’re not seeking investors or putting a huge sum of money into your business, you may not need an elaborate business plan, but you still do need a plan—one that specifies your goal, and then lays out at least a skeletal roadmap for how you’ll get to where you want to go. The plan will help you stay focused and headed in the right direction.
China more willing to restructure Africa’s debt than private creditors
Agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors.
A recent study by John Hopkins University reveals it may be easier for African Nations to raise debt and also get debt relief from China than private creditors.
The report of the study comes a day after China promised to cancel interests from loans to African nations and restructure debt to Africa. The study also revealed that China has restructured $15 billion of African debt and written off $3.4 billion in the past ten years.
After 1,000 Chinese loans, including restructured Mozambican and Republic of Congo debt, were analysed, the researchers concluded that “the agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors”.
The Paris Club recently agreed to pause debt payment valued at $11 billion for the poorest 73 nations freeing up capital to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. However, not all eligible nations signed up citing fears of default ratings if debt obligations are not met.
The study discovers difficulties in renegotiating terms on International Bonds for African countries due to the disparate ownership structure making private creditors unwilling to grant complete debt relief, citing warnings on rating downgrades.
China accounts for about 20% of Africa’s external debt and lent over $150 billion to the continent between 2000-2018 the study reveals. Chinese President, Xi Jinping has urged global leaders to be more pragmatic with debt suspension for Africa.
The study says much of the terms of Chinese debt to Africa has not been transparent and the relief negotiations may follow the same path.
Orange, France’s largest telco operator, may come to Nigeria in months
Orange would also be looking at bolstering partnerships with health companies or institutions.
France’s largest telecom operator, Orange, is set to extend its tentacles to Nigeria and South Africa.
Chief Executive Officer, Orange, Stephane Richard, who disclosed the news, said that the firm would make the move in a few months.
He said, “It could make sense to be in economies such as Nigeria and South Africa. If one considers there are things to do, the time frame I am considering is rather a few months than a few years.”
The Middle East and Africa, where Orange has a presence in 18 countries, is the company’s fastest-growing market.
What you need to know: There are chances that the company may eye payment transfers (mobile) in Nigeria.
That is because it makes the largest chunk of its revenue from payment transfers (Middle East), a key part of the group’s diversification into financial services, and Nigeria, which is the most populous black nation, is always an attraction.
Meanwhile, earlier in 2020, Orange had stated that it was bringing its operations in the Middle East and Africa into a single entity, paving the way for a potential listing of the operations that could raise cash to invest in overseas expansion.
“Orange would also be looking at bolstering partnerships with health companies or institutions,” he added.
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LIRS further extends deadline for filing annual tax returns by one month
“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.” – Ayodele Subair
The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has again extended the deadline for filing of Annual Tax Returns from May 31 2020 to June 30, 2020.
This is part of the state government’s effort to provide relief to taxpayers in light of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. With this development, annual returns for individuals, both employees and self-employed persons, can be filed anytime before June 30, 2020.
In a press release signed by Monsurat Amasa, the head of LIRS’ Corporate Communications Department, the agency urged taxpayers to take advantage of the magnanimity of the government and file their returns. The LIRS’ Executive Chairman, Mr. Ayodele Subair, explained the extension thus:
“As the Lagos State Government keeps abreast of global best practices in containing the Covid-19 pandemic and eases the effects of an economic downturn on taxpayers and residents of the State, LIRS had initially extended the deadline for filing annual tax returns for two months, from the statutory March 31st of every fiscal year to May 31, 2020.
“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.”
He further explained that taxpayers can file the annual returns from the comfort of their homes and offices using the LIRS eTax platforms. They can also generate assessment and payment schedule, and other tax administration matters on the same platform. Updates on business operations and alternative payment platforms are to be found on the verified handles, and the LIRS website.