It is smart to start thinking along the lines of a side business while you have a full-time job. Your side business has the potential to become a long-term solution to financial needs and an enriching life experience. Answering these questions should give you enough information to create a clear path forward, help kick-start your new venture and help you decide whether or not to go “all-in.”
Are you passionate about the business?
This is a simple but very important question. If you can’t imagine yourself working on your business idea and loving it less than 10 years from now, you need another idea. Making money can’t be your only motive—it won’t be enough to sustain you when you face challenges. You must be truly passionate about your business and its potential in the world. If you want to succeed, you need to love even the process of building that dream from the ground up.
What finances and other resources are in hand?
What do you have that can help advance the groundwork? Many people think immediately of cash or other capital, but relationships can be crucial resources, too. Perhaps you and a business partner could share resources or maybe you know someone who could act as a mentor to advise you during the startup phase. You will be surprised how resourceful you can be even when you feel limited. Create a list. Include everything, from the people you will need on your team to expenses you can’t escape, then calculate the financing required to bridge the gap. Give this question careful thought and write down every asset you can put to work for your new business.
Who is your ideal customer?
Creating a customer persona is an important step to help you communicate your message clearly, stand out from the crowd and connect with people because you already “know” them. Craft a detailed profile to describe their demographics, their characteristics and their motivations. What’s their age range? Does gender matter? Can you find research to back up your preconceived notions about their psychographics? Do everything you can to discover what they love. At the end of the day, if there’s no audience, there’s no million-dollar idea.
Which problems will your business solve?
If you’ve done your homework on your ideal customer, it shouldn’t be difficult to identify your customer’s problems and pain points. What are their motives for wanting to resolve these issues, and what might they already have tried? It’s important that your product solve some sort of need because that’s what determines the value. The “itch” is your customers’ problem; the scratch is your solution.
Who else has done it and how did they accomplish their goals?
Find someone who already has attained a few milestones on the way to startup success in your industry, or a similar market. It need not be in the same niche, although that certainly would be preferable. The simplest way to locate these people is to tap your network. Ask around in related groups or do a quick Google search to create a list of names and then work to find degrees of connections you might share in common. This step could take some time, especially if you’re entering a new market or otherwise are unfamiliar with your niche’s online communities.
What is my ‘special sauce’?
Speaking of differentiating yourself from the competition, determine what your “special sauce” is. According to Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, your special sauce is a quality about your company that stands out from the rest. Your own special sauce can come from a lot of different areas of your company: where it’s made, the unique quality of the product, how it’s made, competitive pricing, a charitable component or your stellar customer service. Ask yourself, “What is going to make someone purchase my product over my competitors’?” Your answer is your special sauce, which should always be included in your marketing.
How will this business make money?
This might seem like a no-brainer, but take some time to think about it. Are you selling a product? A service? Ask yourself why a person would make the decision to give your business money. What are they actually buying? A tool that makes their lives easier? A skill they can use in their future career? An emotional experience? The more you know about your business’s unique selling proposition or USP, the better prepared you’ll be to sell the USP to potential customers.
What is my plan for growth?
Where do you want your business to go, once you get it started? What does realistic growth look like over the next year? The next five years? Knowing what a realistic success path looks like for a business like yours can help you set SMART goals and benchmarks to help you get there. You need to determine if you can afford to build out this business idea and whether you have the drive and determination to go the distance. It often is just about the idea, with little thought to reality.
What Is the legal landscape?
Never was the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” more true than when pursuing a new business idea. Before you invest any time and money, first check in with a lawyer to make sure you understand what you will be legally required to do when pursuing your idea and the ongoing legal costs and risks.
It is not enough to have a good idea, even one that’s potentially very profitable. Your idea has to arrive at the right time and be so persuasive that it’s hard for customers to say no to. As Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Don’t be afraid to start somewhere because one day, you will get to where you want to be.
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It would be difficult to find loans to finance rail to Niger Republic – Cheta Nwanze
Finding loans to finance rail to the Niger Republic would be difficult, says Cheta Nwanze.
Cheta Nwanze, Lead Partner at socioeconomic research firm, SBM Intelligence, says that it would be difficult to find loan financiers for the proposed $1.9 billion rail project from Kano to Maradi in Niger republic.
Cheta, in an interview with Nairametrics on Friday, explained that it appears that Nigeria is more keen on the project than Niger Republic.
Back story: Nairametrics reported this week that the Federal Executive Council has approved the disbursement of $1.96 billion, for the railway line from Kano in Nigeria to Maradi in Niger Republic.
According to the report, the President is also expected to commission the Warri-Itakpe standard gauge rail line, running through Kogi, Edo, and Delta States.
“Nigeria is investing so much in this rail line, given that we are Niger’s 4th largest trading partner,” Cheta said.
He added that Niger, although being landlocked already, has an existing infrastructure for its imports and export services, which is much better utilized than Nigeria’s export infrastructure.
“The majority of their imports from France, China, and the USA come in via the port of Lome, precisely because the port in Lome works, and the rail link in Togo is much better than ours.
“Nigeria, on the other hand, has let its Apapa port to become a wreck, while transportation between Lagos and Kano/Jibia is a nightmare, if we’re being charitable with words.”
According to him, with the reality of the Apapa congestion and other factors, finding fund for such project, when debt to service ratio is high and amidst reduced oil revenue, will be difficult.
“With these realities in mind, I find it difficult to imagine who will extend such a loan to Nigeria, especially since, as far as all the information available to me indicates, Niger does not seem as keen on pushing this as Nigeria does,” he added.
However, the media aide to President Buhari, Garba Shehu, 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.
Maradi is 55km from the Katsina border Town of Jibia.
Canada invites another 4,200 Express Entry candidates for permanent residency
Canada has invited 4,200 immigration candidates to apply for permanent residency.
As countries around the world commence relaxation of ban on international travels, the Canadian government has issued another round of invitation to 4,200 Express Entry Candidates, to apply for its permanent residency.
Canada held its 163rd Express Entry draw, inviting 4,200 immigration candidates to apply for permanent residence on September 16, being the second draw this month, with a comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score of 472. This is three points less than the previous draw held earlier in the month.
This draw matches the 4,200 ITAs issued in an Express Entry round on September 2, which ties it for the second-biggest draw ever. The biggest draw issued 4,500 ITAs on February 19, 2020. The large number of invitations being issued by Canada is a strong indication that it remains committed to welcoming high levels of immigrants in 2021 and beyond.
The recent round of draw brings the total number of invitations issued this year to 74,150; a new record for this date, indicating an 86.4% success rate.
IRCC used its tie-break rule in this draw. The timestamp used was March 9, 2020, at 13:03:40 UTC. This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 472, as well as those candidates with scores of 472 who entered their profile in the Express Entry pool before the selected date and time, received an ITA in this invitation round.
This rule is used to rank candidates, who have the same CRS score. A candidate’s CRS score remains the primary factor in selecting candidates to be invited to apply for permanent residence. Factors that can affect the cut-off CRS score include the size of the draw (larger draws can produce a lower minimum CRS score), and the time between draws (shorter periods between draws can help to lower the CRS score).
How it works
Express Entry, is the application system that manages the pool of candidates for Canada’s three main economic immigration classes — the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool are issued ITAs in regular invitation rounds.
A set number of the highest-ranked candidates are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence, through regular draws from the pool. These invitation rounds typically take place every two weeks, and the vast majority involve candidates from all three Express Entry-managed categories.
Eligible candidates for each program are issued a score under Express Entry’s CRS, which awards points for factors such as age, education, skilled work experience, and proficiency in English or French.
While a job offer is not required in order to be eligible under the Express Entry system, the CRS does award additional points to candidates who have one. It is worth noting that the Government of Canada has a processing standard of six months for permanent residence applications, filed through the Express Entry system.
Nigerians trooping to Canada
According to the report, Nigeria was the fifth highest country, that migrated into Canada in the month of July 2020, behind India, China, Philippines, and Pakistan. This is an indication, that Nigerians are taking every opportunity possible to move into other countries of the world, perceived to give better opportunities in terms of education, career growth, sufficient earnings, amongst others.
A recent report published by CEOWorld Magazine, reveals that Canada is the third world’s best country to start a career in 2020, which is why many people around the world would troop in numbers, seeking to migrate to the country, while Nigeria on the other hand ranks bottom four, with the likes of Libya, Syria, and Yemen.
Lagos State government seals warehouse repackaging expired curry powder
Following an anonymous tip, LASCOPA has sealed off a warehouse where expired curry powder was being packaged.
The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), under the aegis of the Lagos State Government, has sealed a warehouse for repackaging unwholesome and expired curry powder.
This disclosure was made this morning in a press release to the general public, which was seen by Nairametrics, via the official website of Lagos State Government.
Acting on an anonymous tip-off from a member of the public, the Special Monitoring Team of LASCOPA, led by its General Manager, Mrs. Kemi Olugbode, paid an unscheduled assessment visit to the warehouse, to verify the claim. The tip turned out to be genuine.
This decision is in line with the State Government’s core mandate of protecting consumers from unwholesome products. The warehouse which was sealed by LASCOPA, for repackaging unwholesome and expired curry powder with the name Chinchilli and Ducross for sale, was said to be owned by Canvest Nigeria Limited. The warehouse is located at Plot 4, Cocoa Industrial Road, Ogba, Ikeja.
The General Manager, speaking after the exercise, said the enforcement team discovered thousands of expired products stored in cartons, while some were found in sacks that were ready to be repackaged for sale in the market.
The Head of LASCOPA, emphasized that the staffs of the company involved in the fraudulent operation have been arrested. Olugbode disclosed that the property will remain sealed until the government commences prosecution of the owners of the warehouse, and all those involved in the illicit activity are apprehended.
Mrs. Olugbode, also encouraged members of the public to support the present administration’s determination to rid Lagos of all illegal activities, by reporting those who are engaged in unwholesome activities that are detrimental to the health of residents.