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Tips to help you launch your own business in 2020 (Part 1)

More and more people want to take control of their future by starting their own businesses, but starting a business isn’t easy.

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Tips to help you launch your own business in 2020 (Part 1)

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.

Five factors stopping you from starting your new business and the way out, Improve Google rankings for your business using these tips, Common legal and general mistakes made by new businesses (Part 2), Tips to help you launch your own business in 2020 (Part 1)

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.

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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.

[READ MORE: Common legal and general mistakes made by new businesses (Part 1)]

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.

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Start small

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.

Know yourself

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?

Essential soft skills that will help you succeed in your business

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.

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[READ ALSO: Common legal and general mistakes made by new businesses (Part 2)]

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.

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Presidency denies building rail line from Nigeria to Niger Republic

The Federal Government has denied plans to construct a rail line stretching from the country into the Niger Republic.

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Fraud, FG

The Presidency has disclosed that the Federal Government is not constructing a rail line from Nigeria linking Kano-Dutse-Maradi into the Niger Republic, as it will only stop at the designated border point.

This follows the public outcry that greeted the Federal Government’s announcement of the rail project.

The disclosure was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, through a thread of tweets on his official Twitter handle on Thursday, September 24, 2020.

He revealed that, based on the agreement reached between Nigeria and Niger in 2015 for the Kano-Katsina-Maradi corridor masterplan, the 2 countries agreed to build a rail line to the border town of Maradi.

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In his statement, Garba Shehu said, “Nigeria isn’t building rail line into Niger, but only to the designated Border point. An agreement between Nigeria and Niger in 2015, coordinated by the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation has a plan for ‘Kano-Katsina-Maradi Corridor Master Plan, (K2M)’ as it is called.

“Going by this, the two nations would each build a rail track to meet at the border town of Maradi. Nigerian delegates to that meeting comprised officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Boundaries Commission, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Water Resources as well as those of Kano & Katsina states.”

Going further he said, “The objective of the rail is the harnessing of raw materials, mineral resources, and agricultural produce. When completed, it will serve domestic industries, and play the role of a viable transportation backbone to the West African subregion, starting with the neighboring Niger Republic, for their export and import logistic chain.”

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Nairametrics had earlier reported that the Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, announced the approval of the total sum of about $1.9 billion, for the rail line contract and development of Kano-Katsina-Jibia that will terminate at Maradi rail line in the Niger Republic.

According to a media aide to the president, Ajuri Ngelale, the rail line is expected to connect the 3 states of Kano, Katsina, and Jigawa. It moves from Kano to Dambata, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina, and terminating in Maradi, Niger Republic.

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UK moves to seize $39 million from Ibori’s lawyer over role in former Governor’s case

The lawyer who was convicted alongside Ibori may lose his financial asset to the British government.

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British prosecutors have moved to seize about $39.3 million (30.8 million pounds) from a London lawyer, who helped former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, in looting and laundering illegal funds from the oil-rich state.

The British lawyer, Bhadresh Gohil, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, following his conviction in 2010 on 13 counts of money-laundering, and other offenses, over his role in the fraud and money laundering case of James Ibori, who was the former governor of Delta State, from 1999 to 2007.

READ: IKOYIGATE: Ex NIA boss, Ayodele Oke, wife, declared wanted by EFCC

It can be recalled that the former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, was extradited to the United Kingdom from the United Arab Emirates in 2011, and subsequently got convicted on 10 counts of fraud and money laundering. He was handed a 13-year jail term.

Gohil, who was then a partner at a firm in the London district of Mayfair, helped Ibori siphon these stolen funds, through shell companies and offshore accounts. He bought assets such as an English country house and a $20 million private jet. However, the police authorities caught up with the men before the jet was delivered.

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READ: Gombe and Kebbi Airports close for business over N732m debts

The lawyer was also said to have masterminded a fraud, in which $37 million in fake consultancy fees was stolen from two Nigerian states, in connection with the sale of their stakes in a telecoms company in the country.

The outcome of the case was hailed in Britain and described as a victory for the fight against corruption, while also pledging to return stolen funds to the Nigerian government.

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However, the confiscation proceedings against the two culprits have dragged on for almost 10 years, and repeatedly delayed by appeals and complications.

READ: EFCC and other anti-graft agencies demand speedy repatriation of stolen funds

In Ibori’s case, the hearing took place at London’s Southwark Crown Court in January, and prosecutors asked the court to make a confiscation order of 117.7 million pounds against Ibori. The judge has yet to hand down his decision.

A hearing on Gohil’s case is ongoing at the same court. Lead prosecution counsel, Jonathan Kinnear, on Thursday began setting out the details of what he said was Gohil’s criminal benefit. He will have a chance later in the hearing to call witnesses, and give evidence to dispute the prosecution case.

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Trade remedies needed for African free trade implementation – Tola Onayemi

Onayemi said Trade remedies would protect the market from getting flooded by subsidized goods of foreign companies.

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Trade remedies needed for African free trade implementation - Tola Onayemi

Trade remedies to protect Nigerian producers from unfair and injurious trade practices from foreign companies that harm domestic industries are key factors for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

This was disclosed by Tola Onayemi, Head, Trade Remedies Unit National office for Trade Negotiations on Thursday at the AfCFTA Sensitization Seminar organized by the National Action Committee of the implementation of the agreement.

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data

Mr. Onayemi said Trade remedies would protect the market from getting flooded by subsidized goods of foreign companies which would be sold below competitive prices for Nigerian producers. “Trade remedies is not protectionism, it’s protection against unfair trade practices,” he said.

He added that the remedies are policy tools used by governments to take remedial action against unfair trade practices by companies and countries which cause injury to domestic industries, after a rules-based investigation.

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READ: AfCFTA delay: A bane to Africa’s $3.4 trillion economic bloc

Onayemi cited WTO and AfCFTA Trade laws which make provisions for trade remedies in trade agreements. He cited Article 17,18,19  and 20 AfCFTA Protocol on Trade in Goods and Annex 9 of the AfCFTA Protocol on Trade in Goods and the CFTA Guidelines implementation of Trade Remedies in accordance with the relevant WTO agreement. He said the AfCFTA and WTO laws protect against Anti-dumping, which are only applied after a careful analysis has been taken by the host nation.

Before an application of a trade remedy policy tool can be investigated, there must be an existing legislation/regulation and an Investigating authority recognized by international organizations as the body responsible to investigate and recommend appropriate remedies for each unfair practice. If the investigation has been carried out, and there is proof of government subsidies on the product entering the host market, the difference in price is added at the border, before the goods enter the market.

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READ: Key ‘side-hustles’ Nigerian Bankers supplement their income with

He added that the key features of any Trade Remedy Mechanism include:

  • Data-driven
  • Technical and Investigation based
  • Independent of any Policy-making Arm
  • Timelines
  • Full Notification and Disclosures ( to WTO/AfCFTA, all Importers, Exporters, Home Countries of investigated importer).

READ: Implementation of National Action Plan suspended due to disruption by Covid-19

On Nigeria’s Trade Remedy implementation policies, Onayemi mentioned a 3-month On-The-Job-Training for Country Trade Remedy experts held from April-June 2018, the Set-up and meetings of EMT committee on Trade Remedies in 2018, also in 2018 Approval of Nigerian Trade Remedies Infrastructure by EMT and Basic technology frameworks for Trade Remedies Investigation in December 2019.

READ: Hotels in Nigeria are on the verge of collapse

Outstanding tasks include the Signing and Publication of Legal Framework of Nigerian trade remedies and the Deployment and launch of Trade Remedies Electronic Platform with integration by the Nigerian Customs, NBS and Finance.

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