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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

BELLAFRICANA AFRICAN CREATIVE EXHIBITION (ACE) AND AWARDS


The management of Bellafricana is officially announcing their first edition of Bellafricana African Creative Exhibition and Awards coming up on the 17th of April, 2017. This Annual Creative Exhibition and Award (termed Bellafricana ACE Awards) is fully endorsed by Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) and the Nigeria Britain Association.

The theme is “Celebrating Creativity and Innovation”, as it is time to encourage and reward the hardworking creative business owners for impacting lives and the economy.

Bellafricana is an initiative with a focus on Made-in-Nigeria (Non-oil) products where customers and suppliers engage and transact to bridge the buyer-seller gap and create a wider outreach for Nigerian products locally and globally.

Bellafricana has enabled African creative businesses a platform to receive the recognition they have long deserved. They aim to laud the creative works of Nigerians (Africans), which makes open competition affordable and accessible.

The organisers believe the time has come where we should all come together to recognise and encourage hardworking and greatly skilled men and women who are making a significant impact through their various Industries/sectors.

This event is proudly sponsored by Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and supported by other organisations such as Sovereign Guards Limited, Vibe Web Solutions, Noah’s Ark, Labule Restaurant, ASSETS, Lara Rose, Mensam Prints, Bakers Options, Inside Watch Africa, Timeless, and much more



What To Expect At Bellafricana ACE Awards 2017

This will be a three phase event in which two of the phases will run simultaneously while the third phase will be held as the peak of the event.

The phases are; Exhibition, Conference and Awards dinner.

Both the Exhibition and the Conference will be held simultaneously and the Awards will be held in a dinner fashion to close the event.

Exhibition

The watch-word at Bellafricana is Quality, to this effect; the organisers of the Bellafricana ACE Awards have assured the availability of top quality creative Afrocentric businesses to exhibit.

You will be able to access a wide variety of discounted quality made in Nigeria products all under one roof in these 5 focus categories are; Arts & Crafts, Fashion, Health & Beauty, Home & Living and Food Produce & Snacks.

HERE IS WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND AND NOT MISS THIS EVENT?


· Mouth-watering BBQ Chicken, Fish and Steak at the Sea Front

· Free Massage

· Free Spa Treatment

· Free Health Check

· Get up to 25% discount to shop.

· Get giveaways worth over ₦1,000,000.

· Fun Area for Kids – Games, Dancing Competition, Arts and Craft Making, T-shirt Painting and many more

· Painting Competition for Adults

· Make New Friends and Connection

· Free WiFi to browse all day

· ₦1,000 off Taxi Ride

· Highly Secured


To register and find out more, go to event.bellafricana.com/shopping

Conference

Themed: Practical Steps to taking your business Global

Key Note Speaker: Mr Olusegun Awolowo (CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council)

Bellafricana is always finding ways to help both budding and established creatives to harness the resources available to build their businesses stronger.

To this end, the conference will feature enlightening and engaging talks from renowned business men and women who have quality experience in these fields;


· Marketing Your Creative Business Globally

· How to Monetize your Creative Idea

· Branding that speaks for you

· Taking Your Non-Oil Product Global (Export)

· Sustainability and Succession Planning for Creative Businesses

· Perfect the Quality of your Craft and Evolve

To register and find out more, go to event.bellafricana.com/conference

Awards

Theme: Celebrating Creativity and Innovation

This African Creative Exhibition & Awards opens for nominations in various categories and Award competition.

Participants are offered a unique opportunity to showcase their talents and to have their work judged by the consumers and experts.

1) Best Indigenous Textile Designer

2) Best Emerging Beauty Brand

3) Best Emerging Fashion Brand

4) Best Creative Solution (ICT)

5) Best Supportive Made-in-Nigeria Celebrity of the Year

6) Best Eco-friendly Product Innovation

7) Best Innovative Product of the Year

8) Best Pioneer Craftsman/woman of the Year (Over 10 years)

9) Best Food Produce Innovation

10) Best Creative Kid Entepreneur

11) Best Creative Social Enterprise of the Year

12) Best Creative Kids Brand

13) Best Emerging Artist

14) Best Emerging Home & Lifestyle Brand

15) Best emerging African Brand


VOTING IS CURRENTLY ONGOING FOR THE AWARDS AND ENDS 05/04/2017. NOMINATE YOUR BRAND TODAY.


Go to the event website: event.bellafricana.com for more information.

Why You Should Participate

· The event is an important annual occurrence aimed at attracting an audience that include Captains of Industry, Investors, Upwardly Mobile Youths, Marketers, Trade Delegations & Missions, Procurement Officers, Brand And Business Managers, Art Lovers, Governmental Representatives And Key Decision Makers.


· The event is for enterprising Nigerian MSMEs seeking wider access to both internal markets and International markets and investors seeking joint-venture partners.

EVENT FACTS

Theme: “Celebrating Creativity and Innovation”

Conference Theme: "Practical Steps to Taking Your Business Global"

Date: April 17, 2017 (Easter Monday, Public Holiday)

Venue: D-Venue, Water Corporation Drive, Off Ligali Ayorinde, Oniru, Lagos, Nigeria.

Time for Exhibition: 10 - 4pm

Time for Awards Dinner: 5 – 9pm

For partnership and sponsorship details, please contact the organisers;

Call: +2348086363970 or +2348184457403

Email: info@bellafricana.com, community@bellafricana.com

Register: event.bellafricana.com

Monday, March 6, 2017

2016 Highlights - Passion and Prudence was lit!

Happy new year people! (This is long overdue *covers face* lol)

Despite the recession, we made it this far and we are still here, that's enough to be thankful for. An attitude of gratitude is one the keys to success. So in the spirit of gratitude, I am sharing one of the milestones I achieved last year and drawing lessons from it. I hosted my first major event on the Global Entrepreneurship Platform and it rocked! See a few pictures below;


Actors after the show

Folawale Ariran


Precious Ajunwa












Can you feel the excitement? Hehe....

It started as just a thought in August, I was chatting with my adopted son, +Olabode Emmanuel  and he said, can we stage a play this year ma. It was like a lightbulb moment, immediately I started to see a stage production on entrepreneurship and it came just in time to submit as a global entrepreneurship week event. Note, at the time of conceiving this idea, I didn't have a dime and I am not even joking. Lol.

I called up +Akinola Akinlade and broke down the concept to him, trust the fella, in less than two days I had a script! The way he fleshed out the short narrative I gave him ehn! I was eggcited! We are doing this yo! Now to get the actors and buy in from the +Enterprise Development Centre I called up my friend, Bukola Ogunsanwo ever agile and ready to support my grandiose ideas and we jumped in the car and drove all the way to the Ajah campus to meet with them. They bought the idea pronto. Next hurdle crossed. Next was funding. We pitched a partnership arrangement to them, but that didn't fall through, so we targeted some big names and started the chase. Just to get a minute to pitch this idea, at some point I event thought my husband would send me packing. We went to an event just to see this one "big man" and were practically dozing in our seats around past 12 midnight while his wing man kept assuring us that he would see us? Shuooo na me kill Jesus! Abeg by 12:30, we got up and left. Which kain wahala be dis.

At some point, we had lost hope of ever pulling this off, but one day during aerobics class, my trainer, +Anthony Olubiyi Boyede Overheard me talking about staging a play and he said to me, this is what I do ma'am, leave the play to me, I'll bring it to life. This was after I had been waiting on some popular entertainment person to put the play together for me and got snubbed. Anyway, we came up with the cast for the play, mainly people I knew from different groups I am in, many who had never been on stage before and we started rehearsals, Friday nights at my place. The dedication and support from these guys blew me away. There was this day, my end was totally blocked as a result of road constructions; you won't believe that some of the actors had to walk a fair distance to get to mine, while those that drove, drove through hours of traffic. I can't say how much I love these guys.

Watch the play here if you missed it - Here's the link to the full play





The Red Carpet was handled by Yemi Bamgbose and below are some highlights. Watch in full here










This post is getting so long, let me just wrap up with my lessons here

1. Building strong Relationships is everything.
2. When you decide to do something and you want to do it bad enough, it will happen.
3. Money is not the only factor in making things happen.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Social Media Week Event: Become A Kick-Ass Tech Mum

Mumpreneur, Mofolusade Sonaike will present the panel “Become a Kick-ass Tech Mum” during this year’s social media week run of events. The panel will run attendees through the secrets of how mothers can run a super organized home, while building a successful business leveraging E-commerce, growth hacking and Social Media.

The question is often asked, can a woman have it all? The pull between fulfilling your career or business dream versus maintaining a home and raising wholesome children for those who chose to is a constant struggle. This is the bedrock of the mumpreneur brand. Taking advantage of technology mothers can run successful businesses and hold it down on the home-front at the same time.

www.mumpreneur.ng is a platform that seeks to provide mothers with access to information, tools and resources to help them become Kick-ass Mums. The “Become a Kick-ass Tech Mum” event for social media week brings together on a panel, women who have managed to make the most of their businesses without sacrificing raising their children by taking advantage of technology and social media. Also on the panel is the brand manager for the Mumpreneur.ng brand, the only man allowed on this panel, lol. He will be sharing practical steps for positioning yourself as an authority in your field through branding.

Panelists;









The event will hold on the 27th of February at the SMW studio, landmark event center in Oniru, Lagos Nigeria at lunchtime, between 12 and 1p.m. kisk-ass mums.

Passes are available here – https://socialmediaweek.org/lagos/events/become-kick-ass-tech-mum/ . Reserve your seat and come prepared to share, learn and network with other mums who are not afraid to kick ass.

It’s a digital world….we all just live in it.


Have you ever wondered where the world you lived in went? When we were younger, we were never warned that growing up is a trap. Alas, we find ourselves all grown up and there’s really nothing that can be done about it.

I usually ask myself this question, “How come everything seems to have changed?” from how we communicate, to how we interact, from how we do business to how we sell…the advent of mobile technology has changed the game on us and many people are still playing by the old rules.

The world has changed….deal with it. I am dealing with it by sharing my journeys through Digital Marketing.

Warning: Some of the info will seem conjured; but trust me, it will all be backed up by facts and opinions will be shown as purely opinions.

My personal goals are to help individuals and organizations transform their Image and brand personas to reflect the world that we live in. I am out to ensure that you know what you are up against. I also hope to help you achieve some of those great goals you set for 2017.

To do things the same way and expect a different result is the definition of Insanity. If you own a growing business…Please watch this space. You will spend less and make a lot of money before the year runs out.

My name is ‘Debo Ajayi…and I am the digital whisperer.


About ‘Debo Ajayi


A seasoned Project Management expert, Startup engineer and Serial Entrepreneur. I am a Google certified Online Marketing Expert. Consulted for a few Multinationals in Nigeria. Worked with close to 100 Startups.



'Debo Ajayi, PMP
Senior Sales Executive, Ringier Digital Marketing
Google Certified Online Marketing Fundamentals Expert
M: +234 (0) 809 576 3213
deboajayi1@gmail.com

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Lagos and the woman Conference holds September 24th

Lagos and the woman
The spate of domestic violence reported (as thousands would go unreported) since the beginning of the year has been alarming. There has been a prevalence of spousal abuse and violence resulting in some women being badly maimed while others lost their lives. Everyday we wake up to terrifying headlines that leave you not only gob smacked but completely distraught and agitated.

In view of this, The +Amazon Amazing  AMAZING AMAZON INITIATIVE a support group for women from all walks of life living in different countries across the world, dedicated to their empowerment, enhancement, uplifting, personal growth and development, is putting together a conference to educate women on domestic abuse, its signs, causes and help available.

The conference is themed "LAGOS AND THE WOMAN”. In Partnership with the Lagos State Ministry Of Women Affairs, the programme will educate women on the provisions of the law in Lagos State for the victim of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

"We would also hear from women who are survivors of domestic abuse and how they rose above their situation'" said +Mercy Makinde, founder of Amazing Amazon Initiative and the convener of the conference.

"Other issues affecting women who are resident in Lagos that would make them well-rounded individuals, help them live a fulfilled life and compete favorably with their contemporaries in other parts of the world would also be discussed," Makinde added.

The Commissioner of Women Affairs Lagos State, Honorable Lola Akande will be delivering the Keynote Address. Other Speakers include Nigeria’s foremost advocate against domestic violence, Mrs. Josephine Effah of Project Alert,

Mrs +Ini Onuk, the Founder/Group CEO, Thistle Group – a leadership, change management, projects and innovations management icon, Nigeria's premier wealth coach +Omilola Oshikoya and +Otefe Edebi a Psycholigist and Behavioral Health Consultant. 

+Omotola Jalade Ekeinde one of Nigeria’s foremost Actors; exemplary wife and mother will be also be one of the speakers at the conference amongst other notable women leaders and captains of industry.

The date for the event is Saturday, September 24, 2016 and will be held at Best Western Hotel, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Lagos And The Woman Conference is proudly supported by Helping Hands International, Unity Bank, Beko Electronics and of course the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs.



Lagos and the woman


Lagos and the woman

Media Partners are Guardian Woman, Nigerian Women Diary and Iaspire Radio.





Thursday, September 15, 2016

Royal ToothPick - Amadin Ogbebor

We can either complain endlessly about how Nigeria is behind and in a recession or we can decide to tackle one problem at a time. 

I remember when I saw the list of items banned by the CBN from accessing forex for imports, toothpicks jumped at me! I was like what! How hard can making toothpicks be. Why o why must we just resort to importing everything and anything. While we were out discussing it though, some were working ... :-)

People like Amadin Ogbebor. Imagine my excitement when I saw a facebook post about someone manufacturing toothpicks. I hunted him down to hear this story (Okay, hunt is an exaggeration, lol) but hey, it makes the story sweeter... hehe.

Enjoy.

Tell us about yourself

Amadin Ogbebor
My name is Amadin Ogbebor, I studied mechanical Engineering at Ahmadu Bello University. I have always enjoyed designing and building things.

When I was in secondary school I had a fan that the plug was always getting bad so I made a new one using nails, melted nylon bags and wires. Using a match box as the mould. I never had a plug problem with that fan again.

Tell us about your business 


I manufacture toothpicks from bamboo

How did you get funding for your business?

I got funding through personal savings and loan from the U.S. I am fortunate to have lived in the United States so I had access to some funds.

What opportunities have you been able to leverage on in your business so far?

I was able to network with some people that had one time done the business most of them were not helpful but I managed to get a few information here and there. But there is really no mentoring system that I could draw from and most people where looking out for themselves.

What was your inspiration for starting this business?

I had tried doing other businesses but I didn't really enjoy them, so I had to ask myself what do u really enjoy and I said making things so I decided to go into manufacturing. Initially I wanted to go into nail manufacturing then I heard the CBN Governor on radio saying we import all our toothpicks I decided it wasn't right so I researched the manufacturing process and decided to go into toothpick production instead.



What Challenges have you faced so far and how have you been able to overcome them?

My biggest problem was lack of funds, then the machines I got from China had problems which took me a few months to figure it out thanks to my mechanical engineering background. Then figuring out the process of manufacturing the toothpick. 

The first set I tried introducing into the market was rejected because of the quality so I went back to the drawing board and came out with an improved quality. Because I had mechanical problems with the machines it helped me understand the principles of the working of the machine that when I am going to expand manufacturing I intend to design and fabricate my machines here in Nigeria.

How will you summarize the journey so far?

The journey so far was mentally and physically challenging but I had a goal which I never took my eyes off no matter how much failures I encountered I kept celebrating the wins no matter how small.

Given the Chance, will you do this again?

Yes I will.

What lessons have you been able to learn from your journey so far that others should know?

Have a dream or vision but know that life will throw every obstacle your way but you should just keep going and you will be rewarded. Nothing good comes easy.

How can people connect with you?

Facebook -  Amadi Ogbebor 
Phone -   0909 863 4259

Made in Nigeria Toothpick

Toothpick


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fat2Fit_Klub - Olufunmi Adesokan #inthespiritofenterprise

According to research done by Marketsandmarket, the global weight loss and weight management market is expected to reach $206.4 billion by 2019 from $148.1 billion in 2014, growing at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2014 to 2019.

Even without the statistics, the buzz on weight management a.k.a #fitfam - ness in Nigeria these days is on another level. Before now, it was strange to see people jogging on the road, now its becoming the norm, so much so that naijasinglegirl listed Lekki link bridge as one of the hottest spots to catch a boo .... Lmao!

Now that everybody is a fitness coach/trainer, it takes some effort to separate the wheat from the shaft! But trust me, when you see Olufunmi's before and after picture, you yourself will ask her to coach you! Whaaat! She opens up on how it all began below.

Enjoy!


Tell us about yourself



My name is Olufunmi Edna Adesokan, a native of Ogun by descent and of Oyo by marriage. My academic background went on the normal climb and I graduated from the Polytechnic Ibadan as an accountant with some professional courses alongside.

Life for me has been both fortunate and 'I wish more fortunate' as I lost my dad at a young age and I always felt if I did not, probably my life would have taken a faster and bigger route. I met God at a younger age in my life and that has taken(still taking) me through the greatest route ever existed.

Tell us about your business

Fat2Fit_Klub came into actualization May 26, 2015. It began with two members and myself as the fitness coach, it's a virtual class and all instructions regarding exercises to be done, meal plans, video workouts, nutrition lectures and weekly weight loss monitoring is done there. Fat2Fit was born out of passion to help people overcome the fat the right and sure way. By eating healthy and working out!




What was your inspiration for starting this business?

Fat2Fit_Klub is more like my baby because I give it so much attention like I would my family. It all began in April 17, 2015. After some polite and true comments from someone who meant a lot to me, I looked myself in the mirror and I gave myself a grand lecture. I got married as a size 16 weighing between 70 and 80kg and after marriage and two kids via caesarian section, I grew to a comfortable size 20 and weighed a whooping 93kg. I had no control over what I ate because I ate it all, ranging from sharwarma to pizza to taking two carbonated drinks a day, I knew the newest restaurant in town and I sample enough dishes(most of which are fatty), once I can imagine it, or my eyes sees it, or I can perceive or perhaps I taste it, then I gobble it. And yes, I kept buying the next big size and the next and the next thinking of when I will one day wear a small sized dress(heavy joke).

But that one polite and simple but true comment changed my life. I stood before my dressing mirror and I said 'Olufunmi Edna, your life has to change, you must take your destiny in your hands and change your looks, behind all that folds of fat is a beautiful you, bring it out by all means'. So I met a candid and firm young woman who decided to work on me (she was in Canada while I was in Nigeria so we communicated mainly online). I began to eat healthy and exercise a whole lot, and gradually, the weights started coming off. In the first week, I lost a whooping 8kg and I knew there was no turning back, I shifted from wearing a size 20 to a size 18, then size 16, 14, 12, 10 and 8. It seemed like a miracle in the eyes of many especially those who knew me before, but it took me 4months of determination, discipline and focus to lose the excess 33kg I carried around town.

Everyone wanted to know my story, what I did, the drugs I used, so I decided to start a small group where I can train plus sized women as well, it was free at first cos it was born out of passion to help women who had low self esteem due to fat like I used to have. But of course we know how valueless cheap things look to people so I attached a fee when a lot where not serious about it. Finally I knew this was the direction God was pushing me towards, to reach people, to help people, to beautify people inwards and outwards, cos believe me, ur beauty is enhanced when the ugly fat is gone. I had peace from God doing this, and that was how Fat2Fit_Klub came into actualization May 26, 2015. It began with two members and myself as the fitness coach, it's a virtual class and all instructions regarding exercises to be done, meal plans, video workouts, nutrition lectures and weekly weightloss monitoring is done there. And in over a year, the Klub has trained and is training about 200 women all together some of which have graduated and doing fine in and out of the country.

How did you get funding for your business?

Being a virtual class, the business required no huge funding. The money saved up over time enabled me set up the basic things needed to ensure the class was run effectively. But plans are in place for bigger prospects.

What Challenges have you faced so far and how have you been able to overcome them?

The greatest challenge is people management. But with work experience as management staff in few companies I've worked with, it gave no much hassle.

How will you summarize the journey so far?



Fat2Fit has being and is still fulfilling for me. When I see the happy faces on my clients, their testimonies, the joy they experience when they get to wear a new and smaller dress size, I feel like, you have once again saved a life from am unhealthy path. That alone brings me fulfillment.

Given the Chance, will you do this again?

This is beyond me. People are dependent on me, peoples lives are being changed through God making our paths cross. I spend sleepless nights doing researches and studies and a whole lot more so as to bring about maximum result in my clients. I will do this over and over again given the chance!



What lessons have you been able to learn from your journey so far that others should know.

Consistency is my biggest lesson. And my definition of consistency is "doing the same thing everyday with a new vigour". I have never done a business and stay in it for more than 3months. I end up giving up. This will be my first ever that we celebrated a one year anniversary and looking forward to a December party. Wow, I've learnt to be consistent, in good times, in bad times, if you are convinced about a vision, don't give up, keep doing it, with new daily energy, and just one new day, will bring about a better phase!

To achieve anything, you first should be focused on your goal, be disciplined enough to get it, and be determined to achieve it. I call it my FDD(Biggest partners) in my 4months of weightloss. Finally, let God guide you. I have made so many mistakes not knowing what I should be doing until I allowed God to guide me. Giving yourself such great opportunity, would save you a world of stress. Thank you.

How can people connect with you


Pls visit my fanpage on Facebook and its Fat2Fit_Klub. You can watch my videos there especially the anniversary video which has being watched by over 8000 people and lots of client's testimonials plus interesting lectures are all on the page.

The official line is +234 - 817 215 2290.



Monday, August 15, 2016

Surviving the Recession: Nigeria SME and Entrepreneurs Guide - By Femi Onakanren




The current challenges facing the country and businesses operating in the country are multifaceted. We are grappling with a perfect storm of challenging issues and unfavorable developments beyond our control. These have been further exposed by our longstanding failure to strategically plan for the future by developing tailored solutions, build required and sustainable structures and properly implement enabling policies. In the end, small businesses and entrepreneurs are caught in the middle; vulnerable on business and social front with little control on determining how to effectively escape the nightmare.

As stated previously, recovery from economic recession on macro and micro levels are out of the control of the SMEs, Micro Entrepreneurs and Startups. Fundamentally, the resolution of the current economic situation is at governmental levels and dependent on a well-balanced, structured strategic approach; suitable fiscal and monetary policies, grassroots integration, enabling environment for doing businesses etc. that provide for both short term and long term scenarios.

So, while we wait, pray and hope for more favorable returns (improved revenue, FDI, FPI, better policies etc.), here are some suggestions on how businesses survive (and thrive?)


Reconcile with Reality

The truth is, our current woes were not really a surprise; any following, concerned or discerning individual would have seen it a mile away. All forecasts and trending developments indicated the inevitability (which makes it more alarming that we were caught pants-at-knees). Unfortunately our dithering and befuddling fiscal and monetary policies dug us deeper. The wise business man/ woman needs to wake up and accept the current reality; it’s going to get worse before (if even) it gets better. The economic forecasts and projections that guided your quarterly or monthly assumptions need to be reviewed and adjusted. The business needs to take to mind a conservative approach by keeping at pace with projections.


Reduce Loan Exposures


In these times, reduced liability is an important approach and should be a key watchword. As much as possible, do not look for new loans and actively seek to restructure existing ones. Reduced exposure would help your business's ability to survive the challenging situation, plan for the future and position for the right adjustments without looking over your shoulders all the time; this is a race that can't be run in halves and distractions of any kind (especially capital related) have extinction level significance. Though some may reason that what you’ll be paying back at the time of repayment would be worth less, it should be noted that what you borrowed would also have depreciating power to achieve your objectives, sinking one deeper in hole.


Use Equity


To raise money for your business you'll need to give up a part of your business. Valuation will be an issue and it would be good to quickly execute a valuation report (adjusted for forecasts and trends). Now I know that establishing valuation can be tricky and seem technical but in the simplest terms, it means how much is your business (assets, liabilities, contacts, etc.). So, to survive, you may need to spread your risks to raise the funds required to do business. You may use a transaction partnership, profit sharing model or a full on equity for cash model (amongst others). Remember, 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.




Change Operating Business Model

You may need to take a second look at your operating business model. For ease of understanding, an operating business model is a plan for the successful operation of a business on how you deliver value to your customers and beneficiaries; it identifies sources of revenue, the intended customer base, products and expenditure (Capex and Opex). Leaner resources mean it can't be business as usual. You will have to critically review key areas such as suppliers, credit system etc. to manage your resources, customers, sales channels and risk exposures.


Adjust Expenses


Times are tight and tough decisions will have to be taken with all the fortitude of a beleaguered general. Luxuries and non-essentials would have to eliminated; some of these may be staff, change of office space, adjusted working hours etc. Non critical payments may have to be deferred and/ or re-negotiated. Merge operations and activities under single, simple channels and block waste. It must be noted however that only an honest, critical evaluation will aid in making the right decisions one which expenses to prune.


Adjust Expectations

Businesses are built on projections and expectations. However, what was projected from the beginning and the foundations/ assumptions have also changed significantly; your expectations should take a similar review. Further, this review would help you plan and make inform decisions on some of the other issues identified in this guide. This adjustment will also help you see how quickly you can realistically return to profit and how long you can survive. We cannot stress enough that while ambition is a requisite for any entrepreneur, this is a period for managed expectations.


Seek Alternatives

You may need to review all your chain of service and actively explore alternatives in every area of operation either it is your supplier chain channels or raw materials (which can be close substitutes). It is important in the spirit of full disclosure to advise your clients of the challenge and share your plan of action; their support and on-boarding is very critical. Alternatives are quite plentiful, what is needed is the desire to see them and the courage to attempt. For example, you may be struggling to meet server obligations with your longstanding preferred partner while a little work would reveal close alternatives who can give similar services without hampering your service quality.


Consolidate Existing Customers

Rather than using limited resources to obtain new customers, deploy more of your resources to keeping your existing customers happy and patronizing; this is a sure way to guarantee your continued existence as a business. You must remember that your customers are going through the same rough challenges and would be similarly looking for alternatives for any product or service. Devise non-threatening avenues to show appreciation of their committed patronage, appreciation of shared plight and incentives for continued support. A little leaven can go a long way.


Don't Spread Yourself Thin

With an acknowledgement of the current reality, the business must focus on deploying a leaner approach towards doing business as has been stressed repeatedly. There is no point stretching your resources, you just become sub-optimal on all fronts and this could prove more damaging to the state and corporate survival of your business. This strategy involves focusing on a particular product line, customer niche or suppliers. This will aid your ability to deploy your resources effectively as well as build consolidated relationship with key partners. This does not mean you leave yourself flagrantly exposed to the associated risks, it means you chose to concentrate your energies and resources at the most optimal point. The decision should be well informed and use metrics such as greatest impact on bottom-line, greatest exposure, quickest to implement etc.


Apply for Help 

There are several funding, management support and advisory opportunities and services available, don't be shy to explore all. Some are available at no cost while others may come with manageable fees. For those with fees, it is important to remember that resources are scarce; every support to manage your risks and reduce your exposure is a lifeline that should not be ignored. Further, every expense must provide measurable value; either in avoidance of sunk cost by reducing avenues for errors (proper/ professional evaluation) or by accessing support structures and assistance (capital or otherwise) when made available for free. Management is a key part of any business and asking for help should also extend to seeking mentoring or advisory team guidance. These must be carefully chosen based on professionalism, shared values, achievements and peer recognition as they may open other doors of opportunities for your business.

This is not an exhaustive list; they are just suggestions and definitely do not assume to be all knowing nor a panacea for all woes. Finally, we would like to point out that this is not a wholesale solution; the nature of business, industry/ sector and regulatory constraints would determine which of the above would be applicable to your business.