Why should they partner with you?
Business partnerships can really do a lot of great things for us when properly done, but partnering for partnering sake or a partnership which offers no clear value to you or such partners makes no sense.
A lot of small businesses that claim to be in partnership with the BigCo are almost always just kidding themselves.
Every business partnership needs to be closely scrutinized, everyone should win. Everyone should win BIG. Before rushing into partnerships, what’s in it for us? what’s in it for them?
Is it worth it??
Do not do tomorrow what you can do today.
The best advice in the world are usually short and simple, but very powerful as well… Do not do tomorrow the things you can do today.
Time is the most important resource we need to plan with, looking at ways of optimising how we spend our time and how to derive maximum value from our time. A fully executed to-do list today ensures that we have swung into motion the things we need to and we can now move on to create space to handle other things.
Watching The World
Some people want to start business, but they are not willing to start small and so they die trying to start big. The way I see it, if you are so poised to start big or die trying, then you may as well die… It just might not happen.
A business is just like a baby, when a baby is born, your expectations of such a baby is little, it does nothing more than sleep throughout the day. Then gradually, she starts to crawl, she starts muttering “Da-da”, then finally after a while she starts running around the house and getting things done.
It has got to be one step at a time.
When you start a business and you keep dreaming big big, you cannot appreciate the trickles that you would be receiving initially. Yet, it is important you start small so that you can LEARN from the process and get better and grow bigger, every single business empire you can see today started from where you are right now: ground zero.
The other day, I was explaining to someone that needed a business idea that starting a cement retail business was one business that could start with little money (around N20,000) and the look on his face was awkward. As far as he was concerned, to start a cement business requires renting out a big warehouse and stacking up trailer loads of cement. As far as I was concerned, starting a cement business requires buying 10 bags of cement and selling it higher than you bought it, then you build contacts and reputation over time, scaling up from 10 bags to 50 bags to 500 bags and then the warehouses and factories would arrive.
That seems to be the way the world has been wired. If you cannot start from a small place, then go and look for a big job in a big company. We would not think less of you for doing that and there is no shame in doing that either.
Watching The World
+Things like these makes it very easy to forget that Facebook started as a small social network to connect students…
It is important to go head-to-head against crisis. We never know how strong we are unless that happens.
For the most part, life is not a series of roller coaster rides. Sooner or later, crisis hits and you have to hold your own. There is no easy way to toughen up and face challenges head-on, we must all face it.
It gives us the tenacity and strength to pursue our dreams.
Never accept it. It is a bad sign, never take no for an answer.
Try again! Look for a new angle, go dramatic or all nuclear, just do not accept no for an answer. Too many people give up on such things way too early, turning back home defeated after a weak first bid.
Sometimes in life, if we are sure we really want to win, we have to press hard to get it. This is true in business and true in relationships, she plays hard to get, hide and seek, just so you prove without all reasonable doubt that you are sure that you are sure she is the real deal. Hence she is not really saying no, she is really saying: prove yourself. 😀
You should program yourself to read a no as re-strategise and try again. No is not the answer we set out to get and so we press on tenaciously until we get a yes.
To succeed in life and business, I have learnt that tenacity is my friend.
Watching The World
As much as possible, always deal with the boss. The highest ranked official possible with necessary powers to grant you what you came for. Be wary of pitching and trying to convince some random staff or manager. They do not have the power to say YES, yet they will most likely say NO and turn you down.
That is why your proposals are not meant for the ears of the random branch manager of a remote branch. Get in the vehicle or on a plane and seek out the Boss wherever she may be.
I have seen it play out over and over again… discussions with staff members lead no where, only for the boss to come around and grant me what I needed. You have to realise that most of these staff and managers are simply “guns for hire” and not true believers in the company’s mission, they are merely here to work for their next pay, they are not ready to rock the boat or go an extra mile for you.
Next time you have an idea or a proposal to discuss with an establishment, insist that what you have is for the eyes and ears of the Boss only. Besides, if the person you are dealing with cannot say YES without further meetings with an upper management, why give her the power to say NO and end the business right there?
One morning, you will wake up and you will discover that you are now 50 years old. Amidst all the celebration, something nudges you at the back of your mind; you never got to start all those things you wanted to do.
The time just never felt right to start, we cannot totally blame you for waiting to gather experience so that you can start in a proper manner. But now you know, the time is never right, GO and start working on your dreams and stop stalling.
All the forces in the universe will not magically auto align for you, you have to dive in and do the things you want to do.
I am sure that many of us would know at least one person who used to buzz around with all sorts of ideas but wanted to quickly work for a year or two under the guise of gathering experience. It has now been 7 years, he is still working, starting those things he wanted to now seems less likely.
A little more faith, a little more bravery and more people would have discovered their purpose, their higher calling and the actually start executing it. Right now, seems all we do is build our careers.
If you do the things everyone does the same way they do it, how will you stand out? How will you jump out and call out to your prospective customers?
I stumbled upon the story of Daniel Nartey, a Ghanaian who dresses up in suit to hawk water melon around Madina in Ghana’s capital. It sounded crazy, really crazy.
In his own words: “My pastor always says dress well no matter the job you do, so I decided to wear a suit. Some laugh at me, others encourage me and are willing to help me. I make 100% profit. I think it is because of how I dress, people notice me easily and want to buy from me”
The 25-year-old is a primary school teacher and sells watermelon during weekends and when the school is on vacation. He is saving up to buy an oven and wants to one day own his own snack bar.
His story got my head spinning, what can I do in my own industry (IT solutions for small businesses) that would be the equivalent of suiting up to sell a bunch of fruits? If I peddle my wares the same way everyone else does, I will just be yet another website designer.
The answer is probably obvious and staring at me in the face, yet somehow it requires a lot of thinking to produce such an idea.
If you do find such an idea, here is what to expect: first, they will laugh at you, but if it works then they copy you. It is simply business.
Business success in this digital times will depend a lot on how much you are able to stand out and not blend in with the others.
Watching The World
It is very important to have a real knowledge of any business sector you are planning to work in. Such knowledge has to be practical, hands-on that can only be acquired by actually talking to people who work in these sectors and then working in the sector yourself maybe through an internship or a similar arrangement.
Having technology does not automatically produce solutions that will work. You will have to dig in, acquire domain-specific knowledge and intricacies that can help you really solve the problems.
You can rarely make impact in a business sector when you barely understand how it works.
Watching The World
As a business consultant of some repute, I discuss business ideas a lot, helping people fine tune their ideas and get to the starting line. What I have observed is that most of such conversions center around all the things that can go wrong with the new business idea.
What if people do not patronise us?
What if the current solutions are better?
We should not do that, BigCo is already into that business.
What we do not do enough is consider the possibilities, what if it goes well?
When we spend more time analysing what can go wrong, we fail to properly develop all the amazing ideas that can make our own idea knock everything else out.
Watching The World