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10 things to adopt in your business to adjust to the new normal

As scary as the thought might be, the new normal might last for a very long time.

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Nairametrics Financial literacy, invest intelligently, portfolio diversification, treasury bills, Your next of kin, or not?, Investing in uncertain times, Things to accomplish during COVID-19 lockdown

Towards the end of 2019, many businesses wrote their plans, strategies and goals for 2020 and were ready to dominate the market. However, the year did not start as many thought it would. The COVID-19 pandemic brought about new ways of doing things, which is now known as the ‘new normal’.

As scary as the thought might be, the new normal might last for a very long time. Therefore, businesses need to find a balance between what worked in the past and what needs to be done to adjust to the new normal. While some businesses were forced to shut down, many businesses had to change their strategy in order to adjust to the new normal.

Any business can survive the pandemic and adjust to the new normal just by pivoting to a new business strategy. As a business owner, you have to think about growth and look for methods you can adopt in your business to adjust to the new normal and remain relevant. Keep reading to discover ten (10) things you can adopt in your business to adjust to the new normal.

1. Accept the changes 

The first and most important thing to do for your business to adjust to the new normal is to accept the changes and embrace the new normal. Waiting for things to go back to normal before you continue your business is the wrong move because things might never go back to the way they were.

2. Think Technology 

Innovation and the use of technology in businesses have been on the rise, before the pandemic. Technology is the future of the business world. The latest trend since the pandemic started is to replace manpower with technology. With this, the business continues without endangering the lives of the employees.

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3. Change your business model

Reinvent your business, align your business strategies with society’s changing needs and develop a low-cost business model that would help you to stay in business while delivering your best.

4. Involve your employees

The business world has reached a level where you have to involve your employees in the decision-making process. This gives them a sense of responsibility and makes them more involved in the growth of the organisation. Involving your employees will help the business to adjust well and experience growth.

5. Focus on your customers 

Listen to your customers. Make an effort to meet their increasing demand and take advantage of their changing attitudes and behaviour. You can do this by conducting a survey and requesting feedback. This is the best time to conduct market research and get all the information you need. This way, you would know if you are on the right track.

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6. Stay connected

Transitioning from the current state (Covid-19) to recovery state (Post Covid-19) requires staying connected to the outside world. The question; ‘what is working or not working for other businesses?’ should be asked as often as possible.

7. Adopt a mobile strategy

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the majority switched to remote working, which might have brought about a reduction or lack of communication for some businesses. Business owners should work on their communication system during this period by employing a mobile strategy to get employees up and running.

8. Focus on advertisement and marketing

To cut costs, many businesses are cutting their advertising and marketing budgets, so any business that focuses on advertising and marketing will get all the attention it needs now.

9. Collaboration, flexibility and accountability

The best time for flexibility, collaboration and accountability in business is now. Adopting systems such as informal interactions and remote work would help build a flexible, accountable and better workforce. Not only will this make your employees happy, but it will also give your business the exposure it needs.

10. Risk management systems

Businesses should take advantage of this opportunity to set up a risk management system. The pandemic is enough enlightenment for businesses to know that they should put measures in place to identify, assess, monitor and mitigate the impact of risk on their business in future.

If your business has been affected by the pandemic, you can get back on your feet and begin to break new grounds. All you have to do is adjust your business to the new normal by thinking differently and being strategic in all dealings.

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Personal Finance

How to improve your investing habit

Valuable tips to help you improve your investing habit and make more money.

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investor, Steps to investing, Steps to developing a growth plan for your business, Breaking down the biggest misconceptions young people have about investing , Here’s how your business can grow revenue in tough conditions (PART 1), Here are ways to find the right investor for your business, How to build up your investment knowledge, This simple advice could help solve your investment challenges 

The best route to financial freedom and wealth is by saving and investing your funds. With the rising inflation rate in the country, money saved in the bank is useless and would depreciate with time. The best thing to do as a smart person is to invest your money and sleep while your money works for you. Investment entails more than just knowing about the stock market and investing, it involves having a healthy investing habit. It takes a lot of study and growth to imbibe these habits. Keep reading for tips on how to improve your investing habit and make more money.

Keep at it 

A good investor doesn’t start today and stop tomorrow. You have to be consistent with your investment plan and learn not to eat all your returns. Reinvest your interest and keep investing till your last breath, that is how you make more money. When Albert Einstein was asked what man’s greatest invention was, he said ‘compound interest’. According to him, “compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world, he who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t pay it.” Imbibe the art of reinvesting today and keep at it.

READ: 10 Actions That Can Make You a Succesful Investor

Have a plan

‘A goal without a plan is a wish.’ Having defined your financial goals, you should come up with a plan on how to achieve your goals. Gone are the days when you just invest blindly. To improve your investing habits, learn to plan ahead. Decide what to invest in, look out for the risks involved in your investment, calculate your interest rates and see if it would benefit you, and track your investment.

READ: Studying after COVID-19: How education will be changed in 2021

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Spend more time on research 

“It has long been the prevalent view that the art of successful investment lies first in the choice of those industries that are most likely to grow in the future and then in identifying the most promising companies in these industries”
An excerpt from the book, “The Intelligent Investor; The Definitive Book on Value Investing” by Benjamin Graham, updated by Jason Zweig.
The importance of research cannot be overemphasized. As a smart investor, you should do thorough research on the industries that have great potential and would give you better results. You should also do in-depth research on the risks involved in investing in specific industries. Arm yourself with enough data before investing.

Learn from your mistakes 

There is no successful investor that has not made a financial mistake or lost money due to some sloppiness. However, what makes you a better investor is the ability to learn from your mistakes and move on. This rule applies to all facet of life so it shouldn’t be new to you. If you make an error in your numbers or make some huge mistakes, pick yourself up and try again.

READ: MTN Nigeria records gain, investors profit up by N42 billion

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Wait on it 

You can not be an investor and not know how to be patient, disciplined and eager to learn. One of the habits of successful investors is patience. You have to learn how to let go of your funds and let it come back to you when it is ready. Also, the market won’t always be proposing huge returns or favourable investment plans; your patience will go a long way in helping you survive situations like this.

READ: Fidson reports over 500% increase in profit for 2019

Be a copycat but also think for yourself 

Do research on successful investors, find the ones that have the philosophy that aligns with you and follow their steps. You cannot know it all. You should also learn from their mistakes along the line; that is the key to becoming better than them. You must also be able to harness your emotions and think for yourself as an investor. Don’t underestimate the power of your intuition.

In addition to the tips listed above, below is the Buffet approach to investment, extracted from “The Warren Buffet Way: Investment Strategies of the World’s Greatest Investors” by Robert G. Hagstrom.

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data

  1. Never follow the day to day fluctuations of the stock market.
  2. Don’t try and analyze or worry about the general economy.
  3. Buy a business, not its stock.
  4. Manage a portfolio of businesses: Intelligent investing means having the priorities of a business owner (focused on long-term value) rather than a stock trader (focused on short-term gains and losses).

We wish you well on your investing journey.

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Personal Finance

6 things you must not do with your money

Money can go as fast as it comes, but you might just get to keep it for a long time if you follow these tips.

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Coming across this, you probably thought to yourself “what an interesting topic, I wonder what it has to say”. Well, we are right there with you. There are a lot of things you shouldn’t do with your money and even without reading further, you can probably outline about 20 things, (go ahead if you’d like to).

Trust me you’d have fun doing that because it was quite fun coming up with this list and we’d like to present to you the top 6 things we believe you must not do with your money. Have a fun read.

DO NOT BE UNINTENTIONAL WITH YOUR MONEY

Intentional living is important and it is something that has caught on over the years. To be intentional means to be deliberate in your actions and decisions. Basically, what you must understand from this is that you should not be impulsive with your money, whether in your spending, savings, and investment decisions, you must be deliberate. There is a popular saying that goes “failure to plan is planning to fail”.

It is necessary to always have a plan/budget for your money. Never leave your money to chance. Be intentional, be deliberate, and do not be passive with your money plans. To get started, you can focus on three steps; have a vision, create a plan, set limits. You can decide to be intentional with your impulse buying as well. When you create a plan and set limits and you do not go over that limit, even when you decide to splurge, you would still be on track to achieving your goals.

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DO NOT MAKE LARGE PURCHASES WITHOUT CONSIDERING THE FULL COST

Part of being intentional with your money is to avoid large purchases if possible. Things like buying a car or land/homeownership should not be taken lightly. Even if you can afford the down-payment at that time, you have to consider the other charges and fees attached. If you can meet up with maintenance and servicing then, by all means, go ahead. Otherwise, it’d be best to review that decision. One way to achieve such purchase though, if your current earnings aren’t sufficient to support an extravagant purchase is to have a savings or budget plan for it.

Even if you cannot afford a financial advisor, there is a good number of mobile apps that would help you make such a savings plan. If you are the type of person that whenever you come upon ‘windfall’ or unexpected income, you’re already thinking of how to spend it extravagantly, you need to have a change of perspective. Before you think of buying that private jet or getting that car, you need to ask yourself if you are fully capable of maintaining it. Making rash purchase decisions can lead to regrets later.

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DO NOT CASH YOUR PAYCHECK RIGHT AWAY

With the advancement in technology, most employees have the option to have their earnings paid directly into their bank accounts, rather than collecting cheques or cash. But no matter the form you collect your money; you must make provision for part of that money to be saved. Do not spend it immediately. You can automate payments such that a percentage of your monthly income goes directly into your savings account.

This helps to avoid the temptation of dipping into that fund because, “if you don’t see it, you won’t spend it”. Some companies provide retirement savings plans for their employees, a system whereby a portion of their salaries are deducted and paid directly into their retirement account. One such plan is the 401k, of which the Nigerian alternative is the Nigerian Pension Scheme, governed by the National Pension Committee (PENCOM).

(READ MORE: Cashless goes nationwide)

DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR MONEY IN ILLIQUID INVESTMENTS

While investments are fun, and a good way to build wealth, it is important to diversify and have variety. Remember the saying, “do not put all your eggs in one basket?”. The difference between liquid and illiquid investments is simply this; the ability to exchange something for cash. So the rate of liquidity is determined by how easily an investment can be converted to cash. Do not tie up your money by investing in illiquid investments. Your investment portfolio should be diversified.

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DO NOT SHOP EMOTIONALLY

The fact that we are biological beings does not mean we should not make logical decisions. Do not fall prey to ‘retail therapy’. Retail therapy is a term that is used to describe the action of shopping to improve one’s mood. It is also referred to as “comfort buys”, often acquainted with individuals who buy during periods of depression and stress. You are allowed to get emotional and you are also allowed to deal with that emotion, but talking to a sales representative or clerk just to make you feel better is not healthy.

Their job is to make sales, not your welfare. This is not intended to paint anyone in any sort of way but rather, to educate you. Instead of making that trip to the store or browsing that online catalogue, it would be better for you to call up a trusted friend or family member and talk with them. You’ll thank me for it.

DO NOT SIGN A CONTRACT YOU DO NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND

A contract is an agreement between two people that is legally binding. Four essential elements that make a document legally binding are; an offer, an acceptance, an intention to form a partnership, and a consideration that usually involves money. It can be oral or written. When it is oral unless recorded, there is no solid proof that an agreement was made, but, once it is written there is enough proof.

So before you go ahead and sign that piece of document, you must be fully aware of the terms and conditions of your agreement. Yes, a contract may, however, be considered invalid for specific reasons, but the bottom line is that you should avoid any situation that would put you in any money problem. It is more rewarding to get professional advice than implicate yourself unknowingly.

With all that’s been said, the crux of the matter is that you must be intentional with your money. Only then, can you plan, only then can you learn from your mistake, only then can you track your money movements, be deliberate, make decisions and take actions with a purpose. Develop a relationship with it (a healthy one of course), get to know your money, go on money dates and your financial health will bless you for it.

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Personal Finance

Up for a raise? Use these 5 strategies to make it happen

To avoid appearing selfish or materialistic, here are five strategies to employ when demanding a raise.

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Investment options for salary earners - bank loan

Requesting a raise is an important conversation that you should have with your employer, particularly if you believe your salary does not measure up with the value you bring to the company or the duties for which you are assigned.

In a bid to avoid appearing selfish or materialistic, many people shy away from this. They continue to expect the day the company will announce a raise or promotion for the employees. Although in some workplaces this sometimes plays out as expected, many other businesses seldom revisit the salary specifics and performance evaluation document of their employee to evaluate and conduct a correlation in order to make recommendations for a raise to those who merit it.

Demanding a raise does not entail asking for a favor from the company, it simply means asking for suitable market value for your job roles and responsibilities. In as much as this might be the right of an employee, it is necessary to know how to go about it appropriately in order to achieve a favorable outcome.

Here are five strategies to employ when demanding a raise:

1.  Evaluate your contributions and performance

To ask for a raise, you need to have a well-grounded knowledge of the positive contributions you have made to the company. Create a list or record of your discharge obligations or duties, as well as significant achievements that you made on the job. This will give you insight as to the value you bring to the company and what you get in return. Evaluating your results will provide you with a sound understanding of your efforts, achievements, and will also increase your confidence to demand a pay raise. This will help your boss realize that you know your worth.

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(READ MORE:Banks push customers towards self service in the “new normal”)

2.  Boost your negotiation power

Negotiation is the process of reaching a fair agreement for the parties involved by means of meaningful conversations. Most employees cower in the face of salary negotiation because of the impression this may create about them to their employers. Others who are brave enough to take the step lack the skillfulness to achieve or reach a handy result.

Negotiation is an art that should be learnt. Employees should improve on their negotiation skills if they intend to get a fair bargain for their efforts. One of the negotiation techniques that can be incorporated when asking for a raise in pay is to layout specific options from which the employer is to choose. This will offer both parties substantial choices to make a decision from.

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3.  Right timing matters

There is a time for everything. As cliché as this may sound, it is a fact you should accept and work with. You have to assess the company’s financial position to ascertain if asking for a raise will be feasible. When this is done, you can proceed to arrange a meeting to discuss it with your employer. Find out from your employer when it is convenient to discuss issues of concern that you have.

4.  Present cogent reasons

When demanding a raise, one of the strategies to achieve this is to tender reports or proof of your achievements or efforts that have contributed to the development of the company in some way. You can request for a raise on the grounds of the length of service, duties, or performance. Your motives should reflect the principles of the company and they should be objectively stated.

(READ MORE: Nigerians will now pay N50 stamp duty on electronic receipts – FIRS)

5.  Express gratitude

Appreciate the employer for the ability to work for the company and show a sense of appreciation for their service. Let the employer know that your demand for a raise does not mean that you are dissatisfied with the employer or the work, but rather that it is a request for what suits the specified roles you play.

For a variety of reasons, many organizations give an employee a raise based on different factors that range from efficiency, motivation, length of service, promotion, and a few other factors. If you are assured that you have fulfilled the requirements for a raise, the methods mentioned can be used to improve the chances of having a raise.

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