Monday, November 25, 2013


The primary reason why people go into businesses is to make profit and that is apart from impacting in the society, touching lives and contributing to the economy and national development like some already made entrepreneurs and 'big' business owners would tell you. That patronage which would yield profit is what start-ups and young businesses need to succeed.

I went on a 'dig and discover' mission to get some of the factors that have been proven over the years to be instrumental in boosting patronage to your business or start-up as a young entrepreneur and some of them are what I shared below.   

LEVERAGING SOCIAL MEDIA: Most start-ups success in recent times have been attributed to the extensive and efficient use of social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc These platforms has been exploited by several businesses with massive success recorded. With Facebook's over 1billion subscribers and Twitter's over 500million users, where else would be the best place for marketing or advertising your products, services and ideas online. As a start-up, all you have to do is learn the basics or the rudiments of these social networks (ie if you are not currently on or using them properly), create an online following and viola! Your business is out there. Many business have taken surveys asking about where their clients got to learn about them and Social networks account for a greater percentage of their(client) answers.

STRATEGIC MARKETING: If this is in place, prospective clients would see every reason to transact with your business venture owing to their knowledge of it. Strategic marketing here involves but are not limited to internet advertising (e.g Web ads), fliers, posters, word-of-mouth (where necessary) and even use of social media platforms. You as a start-up or young business could also take advantage of events like Symposiums, conferences, seminars, business events, fares etc depending on the type of business you are into, not only to create awareness of your product or service but also to market them.

BRANDING: Giving your business a name, identity or even a logo is not just a great idea but would help both your current and prospective clients identify with your business or start-up. Most people would rather go for a product that has this beautiful logo or even well designed letter-headed papers than one that is just there, with little or no aesthetics.
Special care must be taken while branding because most young businesses make the mistake of investing heavily into branding thereby wasting resources that could have been channeled elsewhere to generate returns and sometimes even running into debts in the process.

ESTABLISHING PARTNERSHIPS OR NETWORKS: I am yet to see that business or start-up which succeeded on its own without help from others or external sources. There could be cases when funds would be sought or where certain hands would be needed to grow the business. Partnership here could be in the form of Venture Capitalists, business angels, friends and even family members etc.
Also, building a healthy network is also considered a  positive step towards propelling your venture into that desired position. Meet, greet and acquaint yourself with other business owners.

RISK TAKING: Your ability to take risks(calculated) would propel your venture into unprecedented heights. Experts advise that sometimes, it is advisable to take a leap of faith and stand behind your product or service. Playing it safe by sounding, acting or even looking like every other business would not only lead to stagnation but could also be risky for your venture. Be bold and take risks, but ensure they are calculated ones.

The aforementioned points and others that could be found on several business materials or resources are just what you need to take your venture up the ladder and probably get a Forbes listing someday.


Twitter: @victorikeji

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


'As long as monetary value and political power are based on capitalistic economics that require exploitation to create the fiction known as profit, there will always be a disparity or gap, between the exploited and the exploiting.'  ~Johnathon Lipscomb

I came across this statement in one of my several online sojourns in search of information and 'new knowledge', precisely in a discussion on and the first thing that crossed my mind was our dear own Nigeria, its pseudo-capitalistic economy and the disparity between the rich(exploiting) and the poor(exploited). Only 1% of the population could be classified as rich or say 1.5% for the purpose of argument and this minute percentage is made of up solely the political elite and maybe the Dangote's, Adenuga's or Otedola's and some other masters of industries. A friend of mine would argue that there is nothing like the middle class population in Nigeria because of a gap that is so wide and obvious. He would say 'In Nigeria, you are either rich or poor, there is nothing like you belong to the middle class.' According to a 2012 World Bank report, Nigeria's poverty rate was put at 62.6% in a population estimated at 160million. When you take a look at government and private institutions and even some individual businesses, there seems to be a very big gap between the highest paid individuals and the lowest paid employee. Most government institutions, firms and even private businesses operates using the (9,1) Management Grid Theory in which there is maximum concern for production, output, targets etc and minimum concern for employee welfare and this is usually evident in the peanuts most employees take home as salary. I am not saying that there shouldn't be a gap in the first place but there should be equalisation of income levels as seen in China and several other industrialised nations that are trying everything possible to reduce this disparity between the rich and poor.

Some people have argued that a proper democratic system of government would atleast reduce this problem but we have had several democratic governments come and go and yet the gap still lingers. What these governments do is seize power disguised as a democratic election, amass wealth that would last up to their 5th generation and also for their family members, relatives and even in-laws. They employ the same Management Theory as stated above and then leave office or instill their protege for continuity and the cycle continues, the rich gets richer and the poor remain poorer. Democracy is not a solution to this problem especially in a country where money can buy political power, as it does in Nigeria. This gap could be attributed to the continuous rise in crime and other social vices in the society as most apprehended culprits would always attribute their involvement to poverty or the need to feed. (Well, these ones are different from those who point accusing fingers on the Devil).

The solution to this wealth gap lies in the proper distribution of all resources in the society and this can be done through formulation and implementation of workable policies. When this is done, the disproportionately richer people would feel happier and even safer, the disproportionately poorer people on the other hand would stop complaining or even contemplating crime because they have enough of their own and the country on its own would record little or no social vices and undesirable features of life as every single one of its population is happy.

Life indeed feels better when people are happy.

Twitter: @victorikeji