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Showing posts with the label Business

Asset Replacement

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After my university hustle days which I have attempted to chronicle here , I started an accounting practice in 2013 and needless to say, very few of the computers, furniture etc I acquired at the start are still in good working condition. The harsh reality is that nothing lasts forever. Not even your favorite macbook pro which you used to launch your digital marketing agency. đŸ˜ƒ The challenge with most business assets is that they lose value (depreciate) over time. When this happens, they eventually get to a state where they are no longer in usable state. Thus, there is a need to repair, overhaul or replace. If one does not manage this very well, the capital outlay required to replace this assets might be as significant as what was required at startup if not more. I have seen many businesses who have made good returns only to die or start operating poorly because their assets stopped functioning optimally and they couldn't replace them. A couple of ideas: 1. Have

What entrepreneurs don't like to talk about but should - Oba Ilobaa

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I honestly think there should be many books dedicated to it, with the big names used in illustrations. It is only fair that a truer picture is painted and for every colourful business success story there should be a balancing black and white version for the failures. It serves no one any good purpose to tell only the Forbes-worthy start-up stories and merely glance over its more than likely counterpart; “ F A I L U R E ” Failure can be painful, lonely, depressing and sometimes downright shameful –depending on the size of your ego. Riddle me this? How many books have you read that is dedicated to business failures and the lessons behind the failures? I’m an avid reader of HBR materials and I can tell you for free nobody really wants to talk about personal failures but, we all fail at something at some point and that’s a fact! I failed last year and, failed so bigly that I almost lost sight of all the beautiful wins I have in my pouch, I lost cool cash, closed one busines

Apaflo Profits Multiplication Table

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Almost every week, i'm inundated with people calling me to say David what can I do to make money? Especially with Nigeria going through a recession/depression. I always start by asking the following questions: What are you currently doing? I'd like to know what you have started doing or what you plan to do. Action action action. Preferably I like people who have started doing something at least. Can what I am doing scale? Scale is simply about serving more people with little or no increase in costs. On the average almost every business can scale but there are usually limits. I'd do a subsequent post discussing scaling in detail. How much of scale do I want? I'd rather rephrase this as how much of profits do I want? The Apaflo Profits Multiplication Table (APMT) basically shows how profits multiplied by customers gives you money in the bank! Sell an item with a profit of $1 to 10 people, you make $10. Sell an item of $100 to 1,000 people you have $100,000

My FATE Foundation Experience

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FATE Foundation is a charitable organization with a full focus on entrepreneurial development. They run various programs for aspiring business owners and those already in business. The Foundation is the brain child of Fola Adeola the founder of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. You can check them out on their website www.fatefoundation.org  In April 2016, I was a student in the Aspiring Entrepreneurs Program (AEP 55) and I tell you it was a lot of new learning which got me really excited about the future. From the very first class with Mrs Toyin Bakare, COO of SAS Textiles, I had concluded my fees were already well spent. We had several sessions on Goal Setting, Marketing, Negotiation Skills, Legal Issues, Finance and accounts. To see a detailed outline of the syllabus, please click this link . One thing I particularly liked about the AEP program was the calibre of people that were facilitating these classes. Top shots! For example the Marketing Class was taken a Director in O

Before you get a mentor

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So this post is actually supposed to be one line: Before you get a mentor, do your homework! Too many times I have seen people who rush at mentorship without doing the necessary work that they need to do on their own. This is what I call the homework. Homework back in my early schooling days was an assignment that the teacher expected her students to work on outside the classroom. So I would be using this teacher/student relationship to explain somethings. It is important to note that for this article, I am not referring to the teacher as the mentor. Now when you receive home work, the following things are necessary: 1. Properly document the homework: Just like you have to copy out the assignment from the board or listen attentively to figure out which pages to read, in life we need to properly document and define the problem. 2. Figure out what you already know from previous lessons: In the same way a teacher builds the next lesson on previous lessons, the

Mentor Monday - Episode 1 : Progression

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I have quite a number of people (mentors) whom I seek wisdom and guidance from at Intervals. For the next 9 weeks, I would share some key lessons I have learnt from these amazing people on Mondays.  I remember one day sharing with my mentor  Yemi Sanni  about how I just had a great year in business and was wondering if I could do it again. He sat me down and told me a very short story that has forever changed my perspective. He said "When I was in Primary 2, I would walk past the Primary 4 class and see the maths they were solving on the board. It would look so difficult and I would wonder how I would manage to pass maths when I get to Primary 4 but then I got to Primary 4  and not only did I understand the maths at that level, I was topping the class" The lesson sank in clearly. Some things in life are about progression. Doing stage 1 well helps you succeed at stage 2. This advice has been one I constantly remember and YES, I had another fantastic ye

Startups and Maternity Leave

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A female colleague at my startup recently informed me about her wedding plans later in the year. After congratulating her and assuring her of my commitment to attend, the costs of this news began to dawn on me. As the business leader, I am responsible for the financial management of the firm and so I deal with costs everyday. Aside from the cost of buying her a befitting wedding gift, I began to think long-term about the other costs. Her upcoming wedding means approximately nine months from that time, we are likely to expect her to turn in a request for maternity leave. Now this is where things get tricky. Asides the fact that a key member of our team would be away for a long time, this maternity leave is also a paid leave. With startups, policies get formulated along the way. They are never all in place from day one. We did not have a maternity leave policy so we needed one! I must confess, the thought of one of my staff members needing maternity leave never crossed my mind

Oba Ilobaa: 2016 Resolutions (for Men)

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2016 Resolutions (for Men) i. Make plenty money ii. Drink less iii. Eat healthy iv. Quit Smoking v. Join a Gym vi. Start saving... bla bla bla Aren't you tired of lying to yourself? We all 'wish' to be better persons right? But then we must put in the work and permanently overtake the imaginary life we oftentimes use to embellish our reality.Lol Alot of people just make armchair resolutions year in year out. Don't hop on a threadmill and expect it to take you someplace, if you really want to move you need to take a walk or find a bus going your way. Period! Here are 10tips I've found very useful and practical too. 1. Write down your plans. Do it the old fashioned way. Put pen on paper. Stick it where you can see it every single morning. Forget that app thing. It's cool and that's where it stops... 2. The calendar does not have to change for you to make a change in your own life. Start TODAY! You know what needs changing this minute so w

Oba Ilobaa - Young Male CEO: The Life Hack

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No need sugarcoating this, running a business is very hard (& certainly very rewarding). If you see only the glamourous sides, don't be fooled! -It is not for children.However, don't be totally discouraged GTBank is still hiring. You see, how you are able to successfully pull this CEO task is really your 'business'. Here are some useful self-help-tips to guide the Young CEO in making his bones. 1.Tip often. Give only crisp notes & watch service people transform to your personal servants e.g. service boys at weddings or security guards at your bank. 2. Carry a brown or black leather 'money bag' around ,even if you have zero account balance.people will assume in your favour. 3. Grow a pot belly & wear starched shirts. It doesn't make sense but,many Nigerians respect this combination. 4. Social Media hack: Whenever you meet a famous person,don't ask too many questions just ask for a selfie & post on Instagram and twitter (ski

2015 is around the corner!

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Thank you guys so much for taking out time to read the write ups posted on this blog. I am indeed grateful to you. At this time last year we had just about 6,000 views. Fast forward one year later and the total views have grown over 5 times! In 2014 the blog theme was changed to a more user friendly version. I hope you like it. I intend to tweak a few things on the theme to further enhance your user experience. It's been a very busy year for me and has been tasking keeping up the pace on delivering articles regularly. Also, please bear with me on the typos here and there. In 2015, we would have more guest writers. We already have Oba Ilobaa who has two fantastic pieces i encourage you to read here and here . We are in talks with Chi Okeke of Elan Etiquette in Houston, USA to give us some business etiquette tools our readers can use. The stories on Mckinsey and the CFA (r) program have been popular with readers and in 2015 we would have more content on those two sub

Oba Ilobaa: Remote Management Hack

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Sitting idly in a hotel room in Accra, I lazily swiped through my phone scrolling through photos taken at the Cape-Coast castle the previous evening. I pondered on the business angle of slavery and the operational management systems employed to export human beings. The thought of business jarred me back into my own reality, my young Laundromart business is in Lagos, Nigeria. What are they doing right now? Are today’s sales better than yesterday’s? Are they treating customers’ right? Are they pilfering from sales? On and on... Now let us set something straight right away, if these are among your biggest business worries then your chances at growth from point A to B is still very slim. Your job is to grow the business not sweat operations. Here are top 9 Reasons I can vacation at Seychelles for a month (if I like) and not worry that my business will crumble in that time. 1. Receipts and invoices for every dime in and out. Keep a record book. Make it electronic this is 2014.

Oba Ilobaa : An Entrepreneur, His idea and MONEY

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I met Oba when he contacted me to work on the financial projections for his Laundromart business back in 2012. Trust me when I say it all started with an Idea . In this piece, he shares the insights he has gained in starting and running his business for almost 24 months. - David Apaflo Neatly stacking the well ironed shirts and ‘Natives’ into my school bag, then crosschecked the old GTB diary to confirm the bill and be certain all items were accounted for, I sent the sms and hopped into a ‘danfo’ heading to Ikota to deliver fresh laundry to a customer. This was how I started a laundry business as an undergraduate in the University of Lagos. Fast-forward this by four years and we have Snowfresh Laundromarts (UNILAG ), a Business School certificate, a winner of Diamond Bank BET3 programme , and an admirable network of seasoned entrepreneurs and consultants. The idea was simple then as it is simple now – “to provide laundry service to a large demographic at the lowest po

Business Lessons to learn from Nairaland’s recent shut down

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Recently, nairaland was down for a few days and the entire Nigerian cyberspace felt the ripple. As is usual for me, the day starts with checking up the latest news on a few websites including nairaland. That day, I was so shocked to find that nairaland wasn’t up. After about three days offline, nairaland came back up and even though about 5months data was lost, people carried on using the service seamlessly (a few complaints here and there though). How switching costs locked us in Here is the interesting part – having read about the psychology of internet users and knowing that the average internet user is impatient, one would have though a three day absence was enough to blow nairaland to obscurity but NO. That didn’t happen. In fact, people were thankful for what was retrieved. Over the years, nairaland has been a vital source of relevant “local” information. There is literally nothing you cannot find on nairaland. It is sort of like a Nigerian encyclopedia. The massive da

Google 2013 Trends - Behind the statistics (Nigeria)

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What would you do if you knew tomorrow? A whole lot right? Today’s behavior is one of the very good determinants of how tomorrow would be. Looking at Google’s 2013 trends list , I put together my own thoughts on these trends. What it could mean for business and also in general. TOP SEARCHED PEOPLE 5 of the top searched people are sportsmen. This shows that Nigerians are sport crazy. You cannot go wrong with a business that leverages on this fanatic love for sports especially football. MOST SEARCHED MUSICIANS With Wizkid, Olamide and Davido all in the top 3, we can tell the under 25s are rocking the entertainment scene. This might not be unrelated to the demographic characteristics of the Nigerian population with a very high percentage of the people below the age of 25. Does Nigeria need a “One Direction” kinda boy band? I think so. MOST SEARCHED NOLLYWOOD ACTORS Mercy Johnson & Tonto Dikeh controversy seems to increase the popularity of these celebs. With Mercy Johnson’s

DA Reflections - Episode 4 : Design for extreme affordability

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Design! What does it really mean to design and what does it mean to design for extreme affordability? I came across that phrase at a Stanford GSB event earlier this year where someone was talking about Stanford’s D-school and how they teach their students “Design for Extreme Affordability”. I left that program fascinated about that and started some research into that area. Surprisingly, this concept had been all around me but I never realized it! You might be lost and would really want to understand in the first place how design for extreme affordability works. Let me put it like this: it is simply using design thinking methods, to develop products and services that serve the needs of the world's poor. This is a business strategy which when applied to already existing products result in a surge in revenues and profits. Many times, when we think of innovation we think it means coming up with an entirely new product. Innovation can simply be selling old products in a new

My First Business Venture - Part 2

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This is the concluding part of my previous article on my first business venture. If you are yet to read it, click here . Timing could be everything I now had a product, a price and had gone on to produce an initial 50 copies. And before the semester got into full swing I started marketing. Marketing at the beginning of the semester meant a lot of students were just settling in and hadn’t yet started gathering past questions. This helped a great deal as the product was hugely accepted. Swallowing my pride to market Marketing is one word a lot of us despise especially with how we have come to know it especially in Nigeria. It is also not really fancied because of the risk of rejection. Everybody wants to avoid rejection and so we would rather do any other thing than marketing. I was in this category prior to this time. However, I now had a product I had to sell else I would be making a loss. I knew people needed, the product, I knew the pricing was right all I needed to do was SEL

My First Business Venture - Part 1

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Business! Business!! Business!!! The one word that makes good friends become sworn enemies. Lol. My fascination with business started way back as a kid when a family friend who worked in CBN gave me some really crisp 10 naira notes. Ever since then I always wanted something that had to do with money and it was no surprise I went on to study accounting in the university and also become an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). I had no plan B that is all I wanted. Anyway this post is not about how I started creating paper currency notes and making paper wallets to store them or how I lost that monopoly of currency creation when my younger ones realized they could also create their own currency notes and hence did not need to follow my rules to get my notes. (Shout out to my Sis Mzjay!) I would be discussing how I started my first business venture. I would explain the following: • How it was unplanned; • How I took advantage of an opportunity

DA Reflections - Episode 2 : The Parable of Ewa Agoyin!

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Earlier today I went to pay someone a visit. On my way back, I noticed this ewa agoyin seller. The food she was selling had a very inviting aroma and as a matter of fact that is how I noticed her. Walking past her simply because it was a road side food shop and as a fresh guy, I could not be found at such a place (you know na…lol). I hadn’t gone a few steps farther when I rescinded my decision and went back to have a taste of this meal with such a pleasing aroma. Ewa agoyin asides its taste, brings with it so many nostalgic memories of my childhood growing up in Nigeria and so this to me was more than just a meal. I finally went and placed my order for ewa agoyin (for those not familiar with the word, its beans and palm oil fried by the angels) and asked if she had bread to go with it. Lo and behold, she didn’t have bread. In a split second I imagined how people would have rushed the bread early in the day and hence as a late comer I had nothing left. However this was not the cas

DA Reflections - Episode 1

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Over the next couple of weeks, I would be running a five part series on some deep reflections on life. Some of the things you might have seen before but this time, take time to really think and develop a principle for your life. Reflection: If you are going to the 20th floor and the lift will only stop on the 21st or 19th floor, where will you drop and why? It is important to note that as with many of life's questions, this question has no right or wrong answer. The correctness of the answer depends on the WHY. Happy reflections, DA See the link to the second episode here

2 business ideas that can thrive off the booming e-commerce sector in Nigeria

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As a follow up to my post on 7 innovative e-commerce websites in Nigeria , I have carefully thought about two businesses that can spring from this internet vibe we are seeing in Nigeria. You know almost everyone has a web shop or a blog nowadays. Lol In the course of my daily activities as a business consultant, I am constantly asked for new business ideas and ways in which businesses can improve their profits and grow even bigger. Some people seem to be just waiting with capital to jump on the next big idea to hit the market. I can however say, that no matter how good a business idea is, if you do not have passion, discipline and good business design, it would fail. Below, I write of two business that you can easily setup with less than N500,000 to support these internet businesses. 1. Customer Call Centre What it is: Have you ever placed an order online? Did you notice that someone called you to confirm your order? That was a customer care person. Why it is a good busine