Can Nigerian startups ever rule and dominate the big stage? Can a Nigerian really conceive and execute the next Google, Facebook or Coca-cola? (I do not mean that we build a new search engine or social network, I mean building something that is as prominent as these global brands)
Despite all the noise we make online, the reality of the situation is that Nigerian startups are not as big or successful as they would like you to believe. Even Nairaland has just 1.3 million registered members to show for its 10 years of operation. Personally, I observed that polls on a site like Mashable gets much more results than polls conducted on our biggest websites.
With some bravery, good education, correct thinking and God on our side, I believe we will eventually build brands that can hold their own on the big stage, but these brands will have to be first Nigerian, relevant locally before they can go global. At the heart and soul of these brands must be something truly Nigerian. What we see currently is that most of our startups are merely building things we lifted verbatim or semi-verbatim from foreign sources, we are yet to dig deep into what makes us Nigerians and then build up from there.
We will be able to play on the big stage when we can answer this question: What can we show the world as Nigerians that no one else can?
Watching The World
You increase your efficiency when you increase your knowledge base. The more knowledgeable you are, the more efficient you should be.
Taking out time to learn and increase your skill set is very important. Having more skills makes you more efficient, and an efficient business leaves little room for wastage and creates higher chances for profit and a profitable business is what we are trying to build, isn’t it?
Watching The World
The ability to move from to-do to done is very important.
Anybody serious about becoming successful and remaining successful has to properly ensure that she consistently get stuffs done.
Get it done.
No excuses, no challenges should stop you, do not give your mind permission to give up and leave the work undone. Draft your plans, make a plan B, keep going. All your big ideas will amount to nothing if you fail to get it done.
Get it done.
When tasks are assigned to you, can we forget about it and consider it done? or we have to keep following you up and micro manage you until you get it done? Do you take problems to your superiors or do you give them solutions and breakthrough ideas?
Get it done, in the end that is all that matters. In the end that is all we really need to remember you for.
Watching The World
Many people think growth is key to expansion, but actually, expansion is the key to growth. You will start growing when you make expansions moves.
You do not have to keep waiting until growth forces expansion (it does happen, but it wastes time). Open a dozen shops and start filling them up and attracting diverse customers at the various locations.
Growth doesnt happen unless you push for it by expanding.
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has announced that the number of internet users on the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) networks has increased from 76,322, 802 in 2014 to 81,892,840 in January 2015.
According to the data, that is an increase of 5,570,038 internet users on the networks in January.
MTN remains market leader with 39 million customers browsing the internet on its network. You should read the entire report on Premium Times website.
This is awesome!
First of all, if it was not obvious before, now it is: The Internet is where you should be building your next business. No matter the business you are looking to start, you must look for how you can hang it on the big wheels of the internet. You cannot afford to ignore this trend!
Now, the gold…
In case you have not noticed… there is not enough Nigerian internet destinations that are worth it. People come online to look for information and so, I think this is a great time to build content websites and information services.
Nairaland remains one of Nigeria’s top web destinations because it has become the go to place for anything Nigerian. As more people come online, they will need information and whoever delivers the information they need, wins! Simple.
Ecommerce is another hot niche right now. People will always need to buy and sell, if you can muster up some bravery and start selling over the internet, there is no limits to how far you can go. On the internet, whether you have millions of dollars to start or not, everybody seems to have equal chances.
The time to start building a business face online was in 2011 when Facebook started going mainstream in Nigeria, the next best time is right now; today when we have just 81 million people online, before the end of this year, we will have crossed the 100 million users mark.
I am feeling really blessed to have started a string of websites last year: CloudPitcher, OneCrier, and of course The Morebise Post, all 3 are getting stronger day-by-day and even though my entertainment blog: OneCrier needs more loving, I still feel that if I keep working hard at it, I will hit gold on multiple fronts. I have searched really hard online for Nigerian business blogs, and what I have found is not so encouraging.
I remain convinced that nobody owns Nigeria’s internet space yet (except maybe Nairaland?), nothing is cast in gold and so, a small operation you start today can become a giant if you focus and manage it very well. 81 million users are waiting to patronise you.
I am interested in finding out what these 81 million users are currently doing online, if you have any data or ideas to share, just hit the reply button. Thanks!
It is the spirit of poverty that gives you a career instead of a calling.
When we talk about calling, it is not only pastors and evangelists that are called. God also calls people as business men (Boaz), technologists (Bezalel), politicians (Daniel, Mordecai) and so on.
The difference between a career and a calling is that a career only pays the bills while a calling enriches the lives of people…. What if Daniel turned down his political appointment?
A question worth meditating over: who is suffering somewhere right now because you turned down your calling and embraced your career instead?
Throughout history, all great men have been called. Find and embrace your higher calling, nothing else comes close.
Who is suffering somewhere right now because you turned down your calling and embraced your career instead?
Food for thought, certainly.
If you are busy, or rather if you always appear busy, then you really need to get organised, become more efficient and if it all fails, review your workload.
Get more organised: the more organised you are, the easier you can track the various things you need to do. If you become better organised, you will stay looking less busy.
Become more efficient: A popular quote goes along the lines of “I never appear busy because I got it right first time”. An efficient worker has solved 10 problems in 10 mins, while an inefficient workers has just spent 30 mins trying to solve a problem. Worker B might appear to be more busy than worker A, but we all know the truth.
Increase your efficiency and you would have solved all your busyness woes. (I will keep saying: master digital tools, if you can master digital tools, you will be so effective that people will start thinking you have godlike powers or something)
Review your workload: If after all the organisation and efficiency boost, you still remain in the busyness zone. Then it is time to review your workload. What exactly do you need to achieve right now? Which tasks are the most important to you right now? These are the questions you need to get answered.
It is always better to execute 5 tasks excellently rather than execute a dozen tasks fairly. In today’s world, only the best is good enough.
So, if you are busy, or rather if you always appear busy, then you really need to get organised, become more efficient and if it all fails, review your workload.
Anytime we hit a challenge at our business, our first response is to throw more money at it.
You need more people to know about your upcoming conference? Simple, let us buy more ads and that should fix it, right? Not really. The challenge with this default response of throwing more money is that you can never throw enough money into the mix, someone with more money will turn up and throwing more money leads to only short term gains.
Throwing more money today would likely yield at best short term gains. But a visionary businessman knows that she needs to optimize at all times for the longer journey ahead.
What we really need is a little more wisdom, a well thought plan will always win over money. Things get more interesting when the real thing we need to throw at it is patience and not more money.
Watching The World
I recently thought deep about the overwhelming fear. The fear that stop us from taking the next step.
One thing is that at some level, every time we say no rather than move forward is due to fear, whether you even recognise it as fear or not. Rather than do the work and risk not making it “perfect”, you procrastinate.
I think action is the fear killer.
If we keep taking the next action in the plan and keep going regardless of whether we feel fear or not, we will find out at the other side of fear was everything we ever wanted. Brave people also feel fear, but they choose not to let the fear takeover and begin to dictate what gets done or not.
If fear cripples you, get to work and get to work fast. The harder you work, the faster you burn off the fear.
I know many people see business as this boring, monotonous life that has to be done in order to put food on the table. That is the way they think a business should be run and they are right afterall, a business does have to be serious.
Business men do not crack jokes
Business men do not go on vacation
Business men do not play games
Business then seems to be all about meetings upon meetings, cutting costs, firing staffs and balancing accounts.
We should not however get carried away with the work and fail to loosen up and just relax and enjoy ourselves. Maybe we should ask ourselves this question: “Are you living 365 days a year or living 1 day 365 times?”. Do not be so hard on yourself, spread out a little!
Smart business men realise that having enough play time is as important as having a rigorous work schedule. Most times breakthrough ideas come to you during play, not when you lock up the conference room and declare that no one goes home until an answer is found.
Why so serious?
The heart and soul of a business is supposed to be to enrich people’s lives, to move mountains for them while they pay you (happily) for it. I re-read that sentence a dozen times and I cannot find anything boring and awkward about it.
Yet, boring and awkward is the perfect adjective that can be used to describe a lot of business-type folks out there.
Spread out a little! Why so serious??
(Its April fools day, INEC Boss; Jega messed up my intended prank yesterday evening and the other prank in mind (No more #TMP) was deemed as too expensive. But you should go on and prank some folks… Enjoy!)
Watching The World