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Strategies To Grow Business



Strategies to grow Business blog,is written for anyone with an interest in business,wealth creation and personal development .It is your source for news, important business topics and helpful advice.



Updated: 2017-07-29T11:57:09.394+03:00

 



Entrepreneurship: It is all about the mindset

2012-10-29T09:25:24.318+03:00

For a long time in our country we have been lamenting on the high rate of unemployment among the thousands of graduates that Kenyan university’s and colleges churn out every year. Yet these graduates are highly skilled and knowledgeable in various fields like information communication and technology, business and other technical areas which can provides profitable solutions to the many problems be-deviling our society.Various suggestions have been offered in attempts to address this scenario though some have been too simplistic like telling the unemployed to start small business after “tarmarking” for years and giving two day workshops on entrepreneurship. The Kenyan Government in its vision to develop Kenya into a middle income country by 2030 has the ambitious goal of creating 500,000 jobs per year. But if these jobs are going to be created then it is the entrepreneurs who will have to create businesses that will create jobs and wealth for themselves and the country. The main challenge though is that these young Kenyans have been programmed since their early school to work hard in school go to college/university and then seek employment with some big corporate. This is how they have been taught to view success and make money. They only seek to be entrepreneurs once they fail to get employment.Objectively speaking, there is nothing wrong about seeking employment after graduating. The issue is we need more Kenyans who are enterprising and creating business. The national curriculum needs to focus on how to develop the entrepreneurial mindset and perspectives from kindergarten to university and colleges.  This will train them to be able to have the enterprise thinking.In short, entrepreneurship is not about information; it's about perspective.Some call it "mindset."No matter how many examples we give of entrepreneurs and people who are “self made entrepreneurs”, it's important that we train our future entrepreneurs on how to think creatively and innovatively. What is a truly entrepreneurial mindset?If one is thinking of being an entrepreneur, one must think of which college or university that will equip one with the right mindset that empowers one to be a problem-solver, creative and innovative. One needs to be trained to see the concerns that are challenging to the society and what solutions can one find with the help of the skills they have acquired in the university or college.Entrepreneurship should not be the last option after failing to get a job or employment .It should be the option if you want to have a job and create wealth.[...]



Top 10 Skills of Being an Effective Leader

2012-10-23T05:11:42.980+03:00

1.      Ask who is in charge2.      Think beyond yourself 3.      Try a non hierarchical system of leading the team4.      Solicit honest critiques5.      Learn to negotiate6.      Ask before you tell7.      Check arrogance at  the door8.      Put systems in place9.      Manage10.  Lead[...]



What makes a Great Leader in today’s business world

2012-10-17T07:32:59.644+03:00

1.      Great leadership is not about command and control. Great leaders attract the best and brightest people and create an environment where they use their intelligence and judgment to act independently.2.      Great Leaders never need to announce how good they are at the job. Effective leadership bubbles up through the mood of a company’s employees and the vibe of the brand.3.      Today’s great leaders understand that they do not own their company’s success. Great leaders know that success belongs to the whole team.4.      Great leaders create a culture of openness .If you want to be trusted, you have to trust first. If you do this you will be betrayed sometimes. But the value of trusting is greater than the cost of being betrayed sometimes.5.      Great leaders create a workplace culture that enables the employees and the company to excel.[...]



How to build an Organization that can sustain itself as you made it.

2012-10-05T11:31:43.197+03:00

As an entrepreneur it is important that you hire talented people and then manage them well.To achieve the latter, create an environment where they use their intelligence and judgment  to act independently.How?(1) Respect your employees and give them freedom.(2) Provide them with a mission and vision; clearly defining who the company is and where it is going.(3) Share the rewards(4) Lastly acknowledge that great businesses rely not on individual stars but on a system in which everyone can shine.[...]



Youth Get Tips on Career Moves

2012-04-28T13:53:49.545+03:00

To many young people, making career choices is always a nightmare. And the intense advertising by colleges and universities for courses varying from hospitality to archeology, from communications to law, and contradicting advice from family and friends, does not help matters. But does choosing a course or career path have to be an unpleasant experience? Patrick Juma the Business Development Manager at Inoorero University disagrees. Anyone seeking to join an institution of higher learning should first evaluate his or her interests, he says. “Your interests largely determine and influence your performance and capability to perform,” says Mr Juma. It is easy for instance, to know if you are a science or art oriented person. This he says is a good starting point to making a career choice. "Don't pursue engineering if you are poor in mathematics for example.”Take time to find out the workplaces and even areas within a job that excite and interest you. Next is to research on the basic skills and competencies required to carry out that task or job effectively. Already armed with this information, Mr Juma says, think of the marketability of the course you want to undertake. “You need to ask yourself, in the next 10-15 years, how relevant will the skills I want to acquire be,” he says.Some colleges and universities have been accused of producing half-baked graduates who cannot transfer theory from the classroom to practice. Aspiring students should research on the reputation of the institution, and especially on the particular programme they wish to pursue. How many of their graduates are in the job market? What experience and capacity (requisite facilities) does the institution posses to teach effectively? How qualified are the lecturers? Among other questions.A good institution should be able to produce trained professionals that the industry accepts. Evidence of these includes partnerships with industry, networks with the alumni and ongoing mentorship among others.Mr Juma says seeking professional guidance when choosing a course of study always pays off. “Gather as much information concerning the institution as well as the course,” he says. “This can be done by attending open days by the institutions, attending forums where information on the course is disseminated and consulting career counselors for guidance.” Career counselors help students identify their strengths and interests, as well as give insights on marketable programmes, among other relevant information.The practice of parents and relatives imposing careers on their children is not a foreign one. This has been blamed as the cause for many career mistakes or wastage of time and resources on courses that students do not utilise in future. “Parents ought to understand and accept that their children may have divergent passions and interests,” says Mr Juma.  “They can advise, but let their children follow their own dreams.”  This article  appeared    in THE PEOPLE  DAILY newspaper in Kenya. Friday ,April 27 2012 page 15 .I was giving tips  to youth on how to choose a career.[...]



What Should Be Included in a Business Plan

2012-10-05T11:29:59.143+03:00

I have heard on several occasions people ask, Do you know of someone who can write me a business plan? This question mostly comes when they want to seek outside financing and the potential investor or financier has asked for it. They thus rush to an accountant, a lawyer or anybody who can write one. What many entrepreneurs and business owners fail to understand is that by delegating this task to some else they miss out on one of the most valuable lessons they can learn about running their business.A business plan must be written by you. This is your business and it should detail your strategy for managing resources to start and successfully run your business. (Read on the importance on a business plan here).The value in writing your own business plan lies in the research and evaluation process of the business idea.Now that you understand the importance of writing your business plan, the question that follows is what should be included in it? What does any potential investor want to see in the business plan?Though each business plan is unique, all plans should include the following components:Plan Summary: The summary gives an overview of your business .Lenders will review this section first to decide if they want to read the rest of the plan in detail. Therefore your objective in the plan summary is to highlight the key points of your business and entice the lender to study the game plan further. Although this summary appears at the beginning of your business plan, it should be the last part you write.The plan summary should have the following points:A brief history of your business or business ideaA description of your product or service, with emphasis on its uniqueness, a characterization of the market it will fill and an assessment of the competition.How the product will be made or the service performedA profile of  your management teams credentials  and expertiseA summary of financial projections The amount of money you are seeking ,why you need it and how you plan to pay backStatement of Purpose: Write a brief description of one or two paragraphs stating why you want to start this business and what you hope to achieve with it.Company and Industry: The goal of this part of the plan is to provide information on your company and to describe the industry.Product or Service: In this section you describe your product or service more in depth.Marketing Plan: This section is the key part of your business plan. It comprises two parts: market analysis and market strategies. In market analysis you will show how you plan to turn your idea into a product or service that people will buy. In market strategies you identify your target market and outline how you will find and contact your potential customers. Advertising and Promotion: Discuss how you will inform customers and potential clients about your product or service.Management: In this section provide the credentials and expertise of your management. Describe their qualifications and duties.Sales distribution: Describe how you will sell your product or services.Manufacturing / Operations: Describe who will make your product or who will provide your service and how they will do it.Advisory Board: Discuss how they will assist in the running of your business and list if any has invested any money in the company.Schedule of Activities: Show a schedule outlining steps you will take  and your timetable  over the next three to five years to grow your business.  Critical risks and Problems: In this section list any potential problem and outline possible ways for dealing with them or minimizing them in such a way that they will not have a detrimental effect on your business. Financial Information: If you are seeking money, you will describe in this section the amount, type and purpose .Also include information on your company’s current financial status. If your business is new include your personal balance[...]



How to Motivate Employees to be More Productive

2011-07-19T13:30:48.663+03:00

To any entrepreneur or organization, your employees are the most valuable assets and thus understanding how to motivate them is essential for your success. In this post I will highlight 10 ways to motivate your employees to be more productive. 1.      Recognition-when your employee does something good or performs a task well praise them on the spot preferably in public.  This will boost their self esteem and confidence in the work they do.  However, remember, always criticize or correct in private, to avoid lowering their self esteem, public ridicule or intimidation.2.      Appreciate- You can have a corporate culture of recognizing employees on their birthdays and weddings. Employees will likely appreciate the attention being paid to their job satisfaction, a factor which will often be seen in their productivity and performance.3.      Fair compensation -One of the most traditional and commonly used tactics for increasing employee satisfaction and retention is giving a competitive compensation packages. This can involve raises, overtime rates, bonuses, or enhanced benefits such as high pension contributions, transportation allowance and health insurance. These enhance employee loyalty, self esteem and self initiative.  Therefore, they will no reason to leave a place where their basic needs, self esteem needs and association needs are attended to.4.      Training -provide training to your employees to enable them perform at their best.  Once an employee has an edge over their compatriots, they will want to display it in the presence of those who are less informed.  This undoubtedly will increase productivity and profitability of the company in the long run. 5.      Explain reward system-clearly explains to your employee which behaviours are encouraged and how one is rewarded .This clarity reinforces focus.  Ambiguity is a good ground for strife and demotivation.  Avoid it at all costs.6.      Team Spirit- research shows that people like working in teams and will go out of their way to make their teams win. Also assure your employees that you are also a team player and that you are available help if when need arises.  Team spirit creates positive competitiveness and cohesiveness.7.      Teach employees to measure their own success - ask employees for information about their performance. This creates responsibility and accountability8.      Use competition as a motivator-to motivate your employees to be more productive, create a competitive environment within your workplace. Have contest among the employees and reward those who perform well. You could promote the doers. Competition is a good thing for their personal and professional growth and also the growth of your business.9.      Leadership roles - show your employees that you have confidence in them by delegating more responsibilities to them. Give them ample time and room to carry out the delegated work.  Avoid over-supervising as this will have the opposite effect.  Once the delegated work is complete, go through it with the delegatee to assess the level of performance. Commend for work well done, and give recommendations to correct errors.10.  Good work environment-create a conducive environment for your employees to perform at their best. Do not create unnecessary rules that kill enthusiasm. Create a climate of trust and open communication where employee can come to you with their problems. For this to work well you must have given them responsibilities and let them be willing to accept their mistakes and take responsibility. Provide the requisite resources within the required time so that work flow is enhanced.  These in[...]



Starting a Business-The Importance of Having a Business Plan

2011-07-11T19:25:12.045+03:00

As an entrepreneur you need a plan to help you determine which direction to take to get your business up and running. The written business plan serves four important functions:First, it serves as your ‘plan of attack’ to get the business started. You can set goals, estimate the start up costs and expenses and decide how much you will charge for your services or product.Secondly, it serves as a guideline enabling you to steer the business into profitable waters and keep it there. You can show how you plan to attract and keep customers.Thirdly, the business plan will enable you to think through your business idea and work out as many potential problems as possible before they occur.And forth, when you are ready to seek outside financing, the business plan will be given to potential lenders or investors. Lenders nowadays want to see a business plan showing that your entrepreneurial idea has been rigorously assessed and that you have carefully thought through the steps necessary to make the idea into a successful business.Without a business plan you will find that your business will just wander aimlessly, without ever reaching any destination, because you haven’t developed any road map to get you to the final destination whatever it may be.To Your Success!PatrickPatrick JumaParadigm Partners Services  Have you enrolled for the ‘How to Start Your Own Business Successfully’ program? Over 1,000 entrepreneurs have.Click on the above link to learn… One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when trying to figure out the ideal business to startOne of the most overlooked strategies – don´t do this and you will NEVER succeed in your businessHow to find the right funding for your businessWhat strategies you need to do to attract customers and open the gates to a flood of paying customersThe secret behind succeeding in your own businessFollow me here on Twitter[...]



Top 5 Marketing Ideas for Entrepreneurs

2011-07-09T12:32:06.113+03:00

To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to attract ideal customers to your business. At times getting the right mix of strategies and tactics can be challenging. To help your business be seen, heard and have the flood gates of customers opened, I have compiled 5 simple marketing ideas that will increase your visibility and attract you more clients. Here they are:Social MediaThe sudden explosion in the use of social media networks such as Twitter, Face book and LinkedIn has provided an excellent way to communicate with your potential clients. Use these social networking sites to connect and communicate with the people who have interest in what you offer. If you have a website you can also use the social networking sites to drive traffic to your website which is also your storefront. If you can commit to blogging, write about interesting tips, resources and ideas pertaining to your expertise or business at least three times a week as a way to increase your business profile.Networking Join professional and trade associations and use this forums as a tool for growing your business. It is in such forums that you will meet more people, and the more people you know, the more friends you have. These people you meet are consumers, their families, their friends, their suppliers and their customers and all people who might be interested in what you have to sell if they got to know you and your product or service.( Learn more on networking from this previous post; Networking and partnership.)Exhibit at Trade Shows Exhibiting at trade shows is a great way to generate leads. Be sure that you select a trade show that is well-attended by your target market.AdvertisingAdvertising can be a highly effective lead generator. Tap into your memberships, associations, alumni organizations or local media. Provide Excellent Customer Service Pay special attention to your customers. Get creative with how to this: Go an extra mile to make them feel special. Call to thank them. Have a happy hour or special discounts.If you have other great marketing ideas for entrepreneurs share them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading. To Your Success!PatrickPatrick JumaParadigm Partners Services Have you enrolled for the ‘How to Start Your Own Business Successfully’ program? Over 1,000 entrepreneurs have.Click on the above link to learn…  One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when trying to figure out the ideal business to startOne of the most overlooked strategies – don´t do this and you will NEVER succeed in your businessHow to find the right funding for your businessWhat strategies you need to do to attract customers and open the gates to a flood of paying customersThe secret behind succeeding in your own business Follow me here on Twitter [...]



Problem Solving Technique for Entrepreneurs

2011-07-05T17:41:51.559+03:00

Here is some good news. There is no problem on the face of this earth that does not have a solution. Every problem known to man has been solved a thousand and one times by a thousand and one others. Even though your problem may seem unique to you, others have experienced and solved it. There is a way out and you are smarter than you have ever imagined. Your brainpower and creative ability have the ability to produce a solution to any problem.Concealed within each problem, is a hidden truth.Once this truth of this situation is discovered, the answer is revealed. To reveal the answer three factors must be present; intensely desired goals, pressing problem and a focused question. The more  you focus  your mind  on achieving your goals ,solving your problems or answering  the tough questions about your business  the smarter you become at  unlocking  the door to the perfect solution.Too many people get in their own way when attempting to solve problems.They cloud the situation with too many negative aspects. This continual thinking of the negative outcome of the problem only enlarges it. Stop thinking of the trouble. Focus your attention on the solution you want.When a problem arises that involves your business or personal  matter, get a quiet place where you can relax. Take a clean sheet of paper and write your most pressing problem at the top in the form of a question. For example, you could write, ‘How can I increase my sales by 10% over the next 6 months?Next, write at least 20 different answers to your question. Choose one of your answers and take action on it immediately. Whenever problems require solving, focus on the solutions.I’d love to hear your comments. Thanks for reading To Your Success!PatrickPatrick JumaParadigm Partners Services Have you enrolled for the ‘How to Start Your Own Business Successfully’ program? Over 1,000 entrepreneurs have.Click on the above link to learn… One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when trying to figure out the ideal business to startOne of the most overlooked strategies – don´t do this and you will NEVER succeed in your businessHow to find the right funding for your businessWhat strategies you need to do to attract customers and open the gates to a flood of paying customersThe secret behind succeeding in your own business[...]



How to Deal With Your Competitors Professionally

2011-07-05T17:46:14.897+03:00

In today’s competitive world, every business has competition, and if you do not have, one will show up as soon as you start to operate. For any small business owner, competition is a reality and you must thus be prepared to compete and win. To get a clear perspective of the game, let’s pose and ask; who is your competitor? Your competitors are companies that satisfy the same customer need as your company. Now, there are two schools of thought on how to deal with competition: one school says that you should strive to kill or eliminate competition and the other one acknowledges that competition is there to stay in a liberalized market; hence companies have to find strategies to deal with it. I am of the latter.The first thing to do is to identify your competitors.Ascertain their strategies, their objectives; find out what is the competitor seeking in the marketplace? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Answers to these questions will provide you with information for developing sound strategies to outperform your competitors.After identifying your competitors, define your market. For a small business entering the market, it is advisable to aim at a niche market rather than the whole market. Decide to be a leader in the niche market. This way you avoid competing with larger firms by targeting small market of little or no interest to the larger firms. Niching achieves high margins which enables your business to grow rapidly.Due to fierce competition even within the niche market, your company must continuously innovate so as to stay ahead of competition and tap into high growth segments like the youth.Another strategy of dealing with competition is to specialize. You can specialize in some of the following roles: ·         Customer-size specialist; where the firm concentrates on selling to either small, medium sized or large customers. ·         Geographic specialist; where the firm sells only in a locality, region or area of the world.·         Quality price specialist; where the firm operates at the low or high quality ends of the market.Focusing too much on competition has its negative side; the company is too reactive. Rather than formulating and executing a consistent, customer centered strategy, it determines its moves based on competitors moves. It does not move towards its goals. Put your efforts more on the customer. Being customer centered  will  enable your company to better position itself  to identify  new opportunities  and set a  course  that promises  to deliver long term  profits .By monitoring customer needs  it can decide  which customer groups and emerging  needs  are the most  important  to serve given your resources and objectivesAs important as a competitive orientation is in today’s global markets, companies and small business for the matter should not overdo the emphasis on competitors. Strive to maintain a good balance of customer and competitor. This gives you strategic advantage and positions you to win.I d love to hear your comments . Thanks for reading To Your Success!PatrickPatrick JumaParadigm Partners Services Have you enrolled for the ‘How to Start Your Own Business Successfully’ program? Over 1,000 entrepreneurs have.Click on the above link to learn… One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when trying to figure out the ideal business to startOne of the most overlooked strategies – don´t do this and you will NEVER succeed in your businessHow to find the right funding for your businessWhat strategies you need to do to attract customers and open the gates to a flood of p[...]



Tips to Clear Your Debt and Get Your Finances in Order

2011-06-26T04:53:37.757+03:00

By Guest blogger Marlon Powell: Debt Consolidation CareThe country is in debt crisis and same is the situation with the households. Most of the people are facing problems in managing their debts. So, is there no relief from this debt problem of yours? You can get out of your debt problem only if you spend at least some time for formulating a proper budget in order to find out your expenses. Though you can consolidate debt in order to become free of the financial obligations, it is much better for you to consider your expenditures too.Optimizing your finances In order to optimize your finances you will have to:t         Take a hard look at your finances – It is important for you to take a hard look at your finances so that you can get a clear idea about your standing. What your financial position is and whom and what do you owe. This will help you to take at least some action in order to bring back your finances on trackt         Get rid of unnecessary expenses – You will have to try and get rid of the unnecessary expenses so that you can lower your spending and save more. This will help you to pay off your debts with the money that you are able to save form your expenditurest         Get rid of extra credit cards – Try to get rid of the extra credit cards as it can help you to further lower your expenditures. Credit cards generally have high interest rates and thus it results in greater debts. Moreover, if you have credit cards with you it becomes easier for you to expend moret         Get current on debt payments – You will have to try and become current on the debt payments. This helps you not only to become debt free but also to bring back your finances in ordert         Set up savings account – You will have to set up your savings account so that you can start saving money for future and for emergency purposes. If you don’t save from now on, you will have to borrow again during emergencies and this will lead you into additional debtst         Update your budget – It is also important for you to update your budget from time to time as per the changes in your financial situation so that you don’t over expend and so that you are able to save more money to pay off your debtsIn addition to the above, you will also have to check your credit report and credits core in order to get back your finances in order. Thus, you can see that even if you don’t opt to consolidate debt, you may be able to lower your debt levels and bring back your finances in order.[...]



Setting and Reaching Goals-Tips for Achieving Your Goals

2011-07-05T17:57:16.396+03:00

As an entrepreneur, what do you expect to get out of owning your own business? Do you want to be rich and famous or do you simply want to bring in more money each month to pay extra bills? You must get specific and know exactly what it is you want .How do you find out?Well you should know your purpose and what you are passionate about. Then write down your goals. As you identify these goals, ensure that they consist of the following six components to attain success:1.      The goal should be in line with your purpose and your business mission statement. When you set goals  with these in mind ,you have a better understanding  of what  you want, both in your conscious mind  and your subconscious  mind .Once your mind is specifically geared toward a certain target, it will  do everything  in its power to help you reach it. Because your mind knows exactly what you want, it is drawn to people and opportunities that will help you .You will also find that when you set goals with your purpose in mind, opportunities and people will suddenly appear out of nowhere to help you reach them.2.      To succeed at goal setting you must be specific. If you want to start a business this year, do not just say, ‘My goal is to start a business this year.’ Write down everything about the business you can think of .Know the type of product or service you will offer. Its colour and price. How many employees you want your company to have. Break it down to detail so you know exactly what you will be aiming for. Your mind can work wonders. It will do whatever you command it to do. If you tell it that your goal is to start the business it will do everything in its power to help you start the business. If however you send it mixed messages that  you want  the business and yet there are all these  reasons why you cannot  do  it, your mind will work overtime to provide  you with all the excuses in the world  why  you cannot  start the business. Basically your mind will do whatever you tell it to do. So use this powerful machine to your advantage and tell it your specific objectives. Just watch how quickly your goals will materialize.3.      Off course just be realistic. Do not expect to become a millionaire after only one year in business. Yes it could happen. But chances are slim. By setting reasonable goals, you are more likely to stick with them.4.      The goals must be achievable. Do not set yourself up for failure by naming goals no one could realistically achieve.5.      Ask yourself whether you are willing to make the necessary sacrifices. If you are not forget about achieving your goals. You will not be successful. It takes working smart and delaying gratification. You have to be committed.6.      Your goals must be measurable. You need to set goals that will allow you to check your progress toward them. For your intangible  goals set  up a  scale  to track your progress by time ,income or some other  appropriate measure, such as the number of new customers your business acquires over the course of a year.I d love to hear your feedback as comment replies. Thanks for reading. To Your Success!PatrickPatrick JumaParadigm Partners Services Have you enrolled for the ‘How to Start Your Own Business Successfully’ program? Over 1,000 entrepreneurs have.Click on the above link to learn… One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when trying to figure out the ideal business to startOne of the most overlooked strategies – don´t do this and you will N[...]



Customer Service Tips-How to Handle Irate Customers

2011-07-05T17:57:57.643+03:00

No matter how good your product or service is, inevitably some disgruntled customers will show up at your business or call to register their displeasure with the level of service received from the company. And some of the customers may be emotional or hysterical about the whole issue. The ability to communicate another point of view to someone who is highly emotional is a very important skill which can be learnt.The following are 19 skills that work regardless of how emotional, hysterical or unreasonable the other person may be.1.      Do not argue. Arguments leave both parties beaten and drained and the subsequent atmosphere is rarely conducive to selling or good communication.2.      Do not try to win. Even if you win, you will lose-possibly one of your best customers.3.      Do not compete with customers opinions. An argument is a challenge to another person’s emotional judgment and you will rarely change someone’s opinion once you have challenged that judgment.4.      Expect customers to be annoyed .Do not expect the customer to be in a rational frame of mind. Anger frequently accompanies a complaint.5.      Avoid being casual. Maintain a professional approach .The customer is likely to be oversensitive to a casual or uncaring attitude.6.      See complaints as opportunities. Complaints are an opportunity to demonstrate the high standards of professionalism employed by your company.7.      Take responsibility .Do not pass the buck. Take personal responsibility to ensure the complaint or query is completed to the customer’s satisfaction.8.      Care .Show you really care by your actions, manner and personal interest in resolving the query.9.      Listen, listen, and listen. One of the most important skills in handling conflict is the ability to listen with all your senses. Avoid trying to calm  the other person  down, this will only make the situation worse10.  Remain calm. Try to maintain your cool. Ensure your body language is not conveying anger or shock. This will encourage the other person to get it off their chest. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into the argument11.  Never interrupt. Apart from being the height of bad manners, it will only add to the other person’s annoyance. Respond when appropriate and use expressions such as, I see, I understand or I agree.12.  Ask appropriate questions. The only way you can demonstrate your real interest in others point of view is by asking questions. Ask open questions such as, why, what, when.13.  Ignore remarks or insults. When people are angry they occasionally say things they don’t really mean14.  Wait for calmness. Experience show s that people cannot shout at the top of their voices forever they will eventually calm down. Usually your courtesy in listening will be reciprocated .If the other person interrupts you, probably it means that you have not given him enough time to explain himself.15.  Summarize the points at issue. Demonstrate your understanding of the issues by summarizing: If I understand you correctly, this is the situation….  Make sure the customer agrees with your interpretation.16.  Find an area of agreement and state it. Rarely will a customer have it so wrong that there are no areas for agreement.17.  Demonstrate empathy. Customers do not always expect you to agree with them but what all of them can justifiably expect is that you will do your utmost to understand their point of view.18.  Agree on action or fo[...]



How to Attracts Customers; Create a Marketing Message That Resonates

2011-07-05T17:58:48.890+03:00

Are you having problems attracting   and connecting with prospects and customers?  Do they seem to be uninterested in listening to you talk about your product or service?  You can change this by creating a message that resonates with the prospect.  Your prospects are interested in what your product or service can do for them. To connect with your prospects engage them, create something that people find is worthy of their time and attention, rather than continuing to look for ways to interrupt them.Create marketing messages that improves people’s lives and adds value without necessarily forcing a sale.You can talk about all of the features in your product, but will this resonate with your prospects? For example saying that: we have 50 offices globally, 8000 staff, the first to be ISO certified and many such like features make a nice list of features and your company has worked hard to build all of these features, but is your prospect impressed or interested in learning more about the company?  Your prospect listens to this or reads it and they are probably thinking “why should I buy from this company?”  Plus, in about 5 minutes they would have forgotten all of the information about the company, product or service. For your message to resonate and stick it must simply illustrate the benefit the prospect will receive. Be simple, I mean in as few words as possible.  Your prospects do not have attention spans that will enable them to work hard at understanding what you have to offer.  If you are asking your prospect to work hard at understanding the benefits of your product, you are losing most of them before they understand what you are selling.  All of this means you must develop a simple message that resonates with your prospects and makes it easy for them to understand the benefits they will receive from your product or service.  For the message to resonate it must:Be simple Be easy to understandBe short (7 words or less)Contain a benefit the prospect will receive You are aware of the current message Safaricom is using to promote the new tariff (Bonga BOB).It is simply: “Bonga BOB 10pm to 10am daily”. If you make many calls late at night and early morning, this will resonate with you.  Let’s take a look at why this message will resonate with prospects and how it satisfies the four key points.Be Simple - nothing cleaver or fancy just a very simple explanation of the price per minute at certain hours.Be Easy to Understand - between 10pm and 10am your call is charged I ksh.  As a result you are drawn to Safaricom and want to use their services.Be Short - this one is only 6 words.Contain a Benefit the Prospect will receive - if you make many calls at these hours, the thought of calling at 1 bob per minute is a huge benefit.  I hope you can see the benefit of reducing your marketing message to a simple, short, easy to understand benefit.  If you do this I am confident you will find the people who are interested in your product faster.  Remember you do not want to spend a lot of time telling someone about all of the features in your product if they are not interested in it.  If your simple message resonates with someone they will ask about your product or service.I challenge you to review your message and ask the question: will it resonate with my prospects?  If the answer is no, go to work on your message and create one that will resonate.I d love to hear your feedback as comment replies. Thanks for reading.  To Your Success!PatrickPatrick JumaParadigm Partners [...]



How to Start a Fitness Training Business

2011-06-08T13:20:13.601+03:00

Jared Kasuku runs a fitness club called Ruflo Fitness Centre. He opened it in early 2005 and is enjoying great success. I have brought this success story to find out what he is doing right and learn what strategies are working for him. I asked Kasuku to join me on a case study interview  to find out how he has managed to successfully run his business.
In this interview you will learn…
·       The strategies he used to achieve competitive edge.
·       Top traits every successful entrepreneur must have.
·       How to start and run a successful fitness training business.
Here’s the download link for the Interview-
·       DownloadText Transcript [ 4 Pages - PDF ]
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How to Plan Before Starting a Business

2011-05-27T10:45:34.745+03:00

Many successful businesses have been started by entrepreneurs without prior planning, propelled only by the burning desire to own a business and sheer luck. These stories are however few and far between. And as these businesses grew, many of the entrepreneurs wished they had carefully evaluated their choices and the business potentials, because they made several mistakes along the way. So, plan, in the beginning stages of your business and also assess its success potential. You do not want to spend precious time and money on a business that is not feasible. This will help you become more focussed and reach success more quickly. For which ever business you decide to start, consider the following questions to assist in planning:Start up cost: Ask, what are the out of pocket costs to start this business? Plan on enough money to keep your business running for three to six months before you get any income out of it. Often your start up cost exceeds the amount you thought it would take so it is a good idea to add 20% onto the budget and then work within the limit. Before you decide on the best financing option and if you are debt financing your start up, do your homework, choose wisely, ask for the right amount from the right source.Income potential: How much money can you really make in the business?Growth potential: Who are your competitors? Is there room for growth or is the market saturated?Recession resistance: Will the business have ups and downs based on the economy?Market appeal: Does the product appeal to the mass market or to a niche market?Expansion potential: What are the chances of expanding your product or service offering? Increasing your number of clients or customers?Absentee ownership: Can you take a holiday or vacation without worrying about a drop in your income?Anxiety level: Will this business create a lot of anxiety and are you willing to go through it?Time factor: How much time will it take to get the business up and running and do you have the time?Lifestyle impact: How much will this business impact your life and family time?Pressure level: Will the business constantly keep you on the edge?Success ratio: What is the success /failure ration of this type of business?Satisfaction factor: Will this business help you reach your goals?These questions will force you to determine your direction(s), consider your competition and plan how to market your product or service. They are also food for thought and will help you evaluate your business choices and expectations. Finally, in addition to the above, understand the market trends affecting your selected business. Your comments are always welcome.[...]



Top 2 Fantastic Ways to Make Money Online

2011-05-25T10:10:32.351+03:00

 From my experience, there are two fantastic ways to make money online through your blog or website. They are, affiliate marketing and direct advertisers (sponsors).Affiliate marketing is selling the services or products of another company or person in exchange for a commission for each sale. For instance, if you sell a service that costs $44 and has a 50% affiliate program you will receive $22 commission per sale. All you need to do is that each time you are recommending the products or services, just simply direct people through your affiliate link. The beauty of affiliate marketing is that, you only have to drive traffic. When people buy, you make your money.Note: In choosing an affiliate program, promote an affiliate program that offers a subscription service. This means that the person who has purchased the service has to pay recurring monthly fee to continue getting the service. You as the affiliate will continue to receive part of whatever they pay as long as this person you referred continues to make regular payments. There are many subscription products and services online, look around to find what fits in your niche. To give an example, I subscribe to and recommend   AWeber email marketing tool for managing emails and list building. As an auto responder, AWeber is an invaluable and effective way to follow up with anyone who has requested to receive information from me by email. I also use and recommend Tweet adder  as a way to get more followers instantly and also fully automate your twitter account. AWeber and Tweet Adder charge a monthly fee to use their service and I am both an affiliate and a customer of their services. Each time someone comes to my blog or website, clicks my affiliate link recommending AWeber and Tweet Adder and signs up to a monthly plan, I receive a commission every month for the lifetime that person remains a customer of AWeber and Tweet Adder. Currently, from these two programs alone I earn around 300$ per month and they are growing. To get started in making money online, click AWeber  and Tweet Adder  for more information.Direct Advertisers or getting sponsors is the other very good way of making money online.Deliberately solicit sponsors who pay money to place their banners on your site. Charge a monthly flat fee for the space .This makes collection of payment easier. To attract advertisers you have to work on making your site an authority in your niche with a solid traffic and a good Alexa rank.[...]



Top 5 Ways to Control Money for a Small Business

2011-05-23T10:12:35.325+03:00

Cash flow management is every entrepreneur’s nightmare. Even for the financially astute, it is one of the toughest challenges every small business owners faces. Most have gone through the school of hard knocks and experienced cash flow crunches.A small business that fails to manage its cash flow well, places its long term success and continuance in grave, grave danger.Below are five ways to control your cash:1)      Create a monthly budget for your sales and expenses .It is a blueprint for your business and what you hope to achieve over a months time. Start by forecasting how much in sales you expect for in that month. For example if you are selling   a service, price out the fee you forecast and build your expected expenses around that figure.2)      Once you have a budget begin tracking your cash flow. Make sure you know where your money stands at all times .Set aside time daily or weekly to update yourself on payments and collections. When you see more outflow than income immediately nip it in the bud.3)      If what you sell is product oriented, maintain a low inventory. That is money wasting away just sitting on the shelf. Purchase products only when inventory is low.4)      Collect your money. If you offer credit to your customers to pay at a later date, bill promptly and continue to follow up when the bill is not paid up. The governments and large corporations are notorious for not paying small businesses on time .Many have gone under waiting for money to come in .If you provide services or products to any of these entities, make sure you have two to three months money cushion to tap into when their payments are late. Ideally, try to have customers pay you upfront or a portion of the total price before they receive the service or product.5)      Cut down on your over head. Look for savings in every area, especially office supplies, advertising, postage, electricity and phone bill. These are areas where expenses can easily get out of hand.[...]



Big 5 Tips on Starting a Business

2011-05-18T08:55:36.859+03:00

The big 5 tips weekly post is as always full of advice and tips for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses owners. This week’s post has advice on what to do before you start a business. Check them out and then share with a friend.Find out your talent or passion and then use it.Research, research, research. Understand the business you want to go into inside out. Start your business from home or part time and grow it slowly and methodically. Never turn down a job. This will help you grow rapidly. Stay focused: do not let other people or the challenges of starting a business deny you opportunities. Most of us give up too soon, just a day before winning. You must be clear and confident and not allow people to discourage you.If you have additional advice on what one should do before they start a business, share them in the comments section below.[...]



Top 10 Mistakes Every Entrepreneur Should Avoid

2011-05-20T09:00:47.779+03:00

More often than not we hear a lot about how to be a successful entrepreneur and very little on what mistakes to avoid when starting in business.Starting a business is always risky, and the chances of success are slim. Research on several entrepreneur businesses has revealed that, over 50% of small businesses fail in the first year and 95% fail within the first five years.What contributes to the failure of 95% of small businesses and success of only 5% of the entrepreneurs? Chances are that the failure types are making one or all of the following mistakes. Read on to increase your odds of succeeding. 1)      Giving up too soon Many businesses fail because the entrepreneur thinks that by simply opening a shop or a website would lead to automatic success. But they soon realize that the path to success and growth is not smooth and they quickly throw in the towel. Starting a business is tough and every ounce of physical and mental effort, attention, thought, fight and moral fiber that you have may be called upon. Commit yourself to your dream of owning a business regardless of what has to be endured along the way. Hung on, persevere until you succeed. Once you attain success, you will conclude it was worth it.2)      Failure to market your business Failing to make marketing of your business a priority will definitely lead to the fall of your company. Find suitable ways of generating leads to your business and then how to convert those leads into paying customers. One of the simplest ways to get leads is though an  opt- in form like Aweber on your website through which visitors to your site will give you their names and email addresses. Once you have their emails, you can then follow up and convert them into paying3)      Lack of infrastructureIn the initial period after starting a business and money begins to flow, most entrepreneurs will naturally seek further growth and put more money in revenue producing areas like new markets and new products. Little or no money is spent on organizational framework and back office support. What follows is lack of information systems necessary to provide the entrepreneur with information and data he needs to run the day to day operations of the company and to make decisions about the current and future strategies for the business. No one notices the small warning bells until the company posts huge losses or when on the brink of bankruptcy.Solution: As an entrepreneurial start up, have the infrastructure; effectively deploy your human resource, delegate and focus on the bigger picture, appreciate and recognize your employee’s contribution, develop long term planning and finally effectively implement technology.4)       Not taking actionIf you do nothing, nothing happens. Create an information article about your product, make a call to a customer or business partner, follow up on a lead or launch a new product. Take the right action, at the right time and in the right order. This will build momentum and momentum builds success.5)      Being comfortableInitially, you will experience growing pains and the idea of going back to the comfort zone of being employed or reliance on others is too tempting. Most entrepreneurs go back to what feels comfortable. To succeed, stretch your comfort zone .Get a mentor or business coach who will push you to succeed and also encourage and support you. Surround yourself with people who wi[...]



Big 5 Tips For Being a Successful Entrepreneur

2011-05-17T16:02:14.271+03:00

The big 5 tips weekly post is as always full of advice and tips for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses owners. This weeks post has the big 5 aspects necessary to being a successful entrepreneur. Make these traits your own,then share them with a friend.
  1. Tenacity: This is not giving up when everybody else says you should. It is keeping on your path, even if you feel in your heart you might get pushed back or your journey is going slower than you thought.
  2. Perseverance: You will receive many setbacks and much discouragement. But in business, you have to persevere. Nothing ever happens with one letter, one telephone call or one request.
  3. Ability to come back on your own behalf: Work through the constant challenge of tough situations that knock you down. Then get up. If you get knocked down again, get up. If you get knocked down again, get up again. Occasionally you may slow down, but do not stop.
  4. The conviction you know you are right no matter what.
  5. The commitment to make things happen. It does not take a rocket scientist to succeed …..You just have to work harder at whatever you do than anyone else. Make things happen.
If you have additional traits necessary to succeed as an entrepreneur, share them in the comments section below.
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Business Quotes

2011-05-10T12:52:12.233+03:00

Entrepreneurs are fascinated by quotes. They spark your creativity, motivate you to action and inspire you to greatness. The right words at the right time can be fundamental to your success. Below are this week’s quotes. Be inspired;
1.      “My will shall shape the future.  Whether I fail or succeed shall be no one’s doing but my own.  I am the force. I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility.  Win or lose; only I hold the key to my destiny.” - Elaine Maxwell, Author
2.      “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” William Butler Yeats, Poet
3.      “How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.” – Coco Chanel, Entrepreneur
4.      “The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.” – Ben Stein
5.      “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.” –Les Brown
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Strategic Plan: The Process of Developing and Implementing One for Your Business

2011-07-05T18:06:14.172+03:00

Woody Allen says that “Relationships are like sharks; if they don’t move forward they die.” I would like to add one more category of things that also have to move forward: Businesses. To move forward, you have to know where you are going.Successful entrepreneurs and business owners develop and implement a strategic plan to identify improvement opportunities, define profit improvement avenues, and set goals. Strategic planning has 5 parts namely: internal assessment of the business, external assessment of the business, management and leadership planning sessions, implementation of the plan and finally evaluation of how the plan is going. Let us then look into each of these phases.Internal Assessment: Where are we now? A strategic plan is basically a road map to the future and it is logical to start by asking yourself: Where are we now? To answer this question, the company has to ask:What are our strengths and weaknesses?What are we good at?What are our competencies?What do we perceive as threats and opportunities? And what are we currently doing right?What are we currently doing right means a number of things. It means identifying all the company’s critical components and processes such as product development, order fulfilment, human resource management and customer service. The company must then ask: How good are we at product development? How well are we fulfilling orders? Are our employees satisfied and productive? And then it has to decide how important each of these components and processes are to the company.If a process or component is important and is not being performed well then it is a target for improvement.External Assessment: What is Out There?No business operates in a vacuum therefore apart from looking inward at the company’s strengths and weaknesses you have to look outwards also. Who are your competitors? What do the consumers want? What factors influence the market place? These are critical questions that you must answer to gain clarity of the environment and start thinking outside the box.Management and Leadership Planning Sessions: Where Do We Want to Go?This is the emotional heart and soul of the strategic planning process. It is where the introspection and investigation of the previous two parts come to fruition. It is where the data and the analysis get mixed together with the key ingredient –the human factor. When you take data and analysis and mix it with the human factors of creativity and enthusiasm, you get the potent mix: the strategic plan.Implementation Plan: How Are We Going to Get There?After a plan has been agreed upon, it must be realized. In follow up meetings, detailed plans have to be developed for each strategic goal complete with timetables and budgets.Evaluation of the Strategic Goals: Review! Review! Review!It is essential to keep revalidating the assumptions of a company’s strategic plan during the periodic reviews. The value of reviews is inestimable, because no matter how carefully you plan and implement, there is bound to be something that you and your team did not consider. And that something can hinder even the best conceived and best implemented plan. These reviews should be held at a minimum of twice a year. During these meetings, progress is measured, performances are evaluated and the company’s goals are reassessed in the light of the ever changing business environment.What happens once you achieve your strategic goals? You develop [...]



Starting a Business-The Importance of Having a Strategic Plan

2011-07-05T18:04:27.750+03:00

A recent survey found that companies with a written strategic plan had 100% higher profits than the other companies. The companies with strategic plan had annual revenue growth of 6.2% as opposed to 3.8% of the other companies. But what is a strategic plan and why should you as an entrepreneur have it.Strategic planning is the process of deciding where you want to go and how you are going to get there. It is not an operating plan or your next year’s budget.Strategic planning is about expanding into new markets, creating new products, disposing of current unproductive products and moving out of markets that are not profitable.Strategic planning is about the future. It is an effective method to competitively position your company for the future.Most business engage in some form of planning such as financial planning, new product planning, succession planning, systems planning and the like. However strategic planning is not about one part of the company but about the whole company. In the strategic planning process, the company analyses its strengths and weaknesses and examines its current and potential opportunities and also threats to the company. Based on the information from this analysis and examinations, the company then develops its own strategy. The strategy developed then becomes the basis for supporting strategies for its various departments and units.Objectives and goals are set and a review process is instituted to trouble shoot, update the goals and revalidate the assumptions.To make sure that something actually happens, implementation of the strategy is very important.This is the most difficult part of the process and where many companies falter. To ensure that the strategy is implemented:Build an accountability system for the implementation of the plan Have a review process to ensure implementationThe company has to have ownership of the plan. Outsiders can only help in facilitation of the process but it has to be owned by the company.Include a wide range of people from line managers, to customers to suppliers.You as the CEO have to be on board and behind the plan.Finally strategic planning is not going to destroy what you have made but rather to build on what you have already created. Strategic planning process will: improve customer satisfaction, increase revenue, increase profits, improve resource allocation, enhance employee morale and improve return on investment and assets. Strategic planning helps you communicate the business goals with the employees. It helps differentiate your business from competition and ultimately helps your company anticipate and survive change. To Your Success!PatrickPatrick JumaParadigm Partners Services Have you enrolled for the ‘How to Start Your Own Business Successfully’ program? Over 1,000 entrepreneurs have.Click on the above link to learn… One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when trying to figure out the ideal business to startOne of the most overlooked strategies – don´t do this and you will NEVER succeed in your businessHow to find the right funding for your businessWhat strategies you need to do to attract customers and open the gates to a flood of paying customersThe secret behind succeeding in your own business[...]