Are You Cut Out to Be an Entrepreneur?

Are-You-Cut-Out-to-Be-an-Entrepreneur - Macaulay Gidado

More than 50% of young people want to become an entrepreneur. That’s according a 2015 survey by EY. Many other researches by various other bodies like UPS also support this data. Young people want to be their own boss, and chances are that you too want that.

The big question is: Are you cut out for it?

Okay. Let’s get one thing straight. No one can tell you what you can or cannot do. Anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it.

Wait a minute. If that’s the case, why then are businesses failing left and right? I mean, according to Forbes, 90% of startups fail. The thing is that some people fail to assess themselves and their options before leaping into building a business. Hence, they end up setting themselves up for failure.

Therefore, before you leap, please evaluate yourself using the tips below.

You Can’t Stand Pressure

Weigh yourself before jumping into starting a business. Ask yourself. Can you stand pressure? Does being uncomfortable make you panic? If it does, then perhaps you are not cut out for self-employment. Or maybe you need help running your business. Why? Because business is about trying new things and daring to grow by stepping out of your comfort zone.

You Are Looking for Quick Cash

Quick cash in business is a fairy tale. If you want quick cash, then try gambling. Profit in business takes time to come. In the beginning, it’s all about spending–investing. Profit only comes when you business becomes successful. And for a business to become successful, it need to solve a problem, to add value to people’s lives. Focus on that first and profit will flow in later.

You Are Impatient

Business takes time to grow, to start pulling in money. In the beginning, it’s usually tough, but then there are times it will get tougher and you would be tempted to quit. Your success will depend heavily on your ability to stay the course and push through those tough times. If you are impatient, chances are that entrepreneurship isn’t for you.

You Are Afraid of Attention

Being an entrepreneur can be like becoming a celebrity. From an employee who often complain about their boss, you become an employer who has to put up with both the complaints of his or her employees and clients. You also become a spokesperson for your business. You become the front man. If you can’t handle attention (whether positive or native), you might want to think twice about becoming an entrepreneur.

You Hate Bumpy Roads

Okay, granted. Everybody hates bumpy roads. The big question is how resilient are you? If a bumpy road is the only way to reaching your destination, would you follow it or turn back? If your answer is the latter, then becoming your own boss is probably not for you. Why? Because there’s never are no flat surfaces when it comes to doing business. It’s a bumpy ride all the way. The key to transcending the bumps resides in being prepared.

You Love Complexity

Complexity can ruin your business if you let it. If you understand complex stuff and your business is built around complexity, then you have set yourself up for failure. Remember that a business is supposed to solve a problem, not create one. Something complex is a problem. A solution means breaking down that problem into simple pieces that people can understand. To thrive, your business needs to be easy to communicate to both your employees and customers. No one says yes to something they don’t understand.

You Think Marketing Doesn’t Work

Well, think again. Without proper marketing, your product or service will languish in oblivion. Okay, maybe not. I believe the correct way to put this is that you (and your workers) will be the only one(s) that know(s) about it. Why? Because when you create something new, no one will know of its existence until you tell people about it. When you tell a friend or family member about your product, that’s marketing. Now imagine this: by investing some money marketing, you can tell thousands, if not millions, of other people. Isn’t that great for business? Of course, it is.

You Can’t Explain Your Business Idea

If you can’t explain your business idea to other people, then chances are that you don’t even understand the idea. Entrepreneurs work with partners, employees, vendors, and customers. At one point or another, you are going to have to delegate tasks, outsource task, direct others on what to do, present your business plan to your partners or investors, and so on. How can you do those things effectively if you can’t explain or don’t understand your own business idea? Remember, understand makes for proper strategy and implementation. If you have having trouble explaining your idea, then entrepreneurship might not be for you.

You Don’t Like Solving Problems

I have news for you: business is all about solving problems. In the beginning, you probably have a problem you believe your business solves. But after launching your first product, you will realise that some customers are not satisfied with it. This creates further problems. To thrive you need to be the type of person that don’t run from their problems. You need to be the sort of person that loves solving problems.

Now that you have evaluated yourself, what do you think? Are you cut out for doing business? Whether your answer is yes or no, I have good news for you. You can build a successful business. You just need to be wise by working with the right people. If you are deficient in an area, it’s possible to get help in that area.

That’s what successful business-people do. They bring people together in order to achieve their goals.

What Brand Identity Is and Isn’t

What brand identity is and isn't - Macaulay Gidado

Before we dive into the topic brand identity, let’s try a more familiar question: what makes up your public image?

A typical answer can entail a host of things, from your sense of fashion to how you behave in public. These all come together to make up your public image or personal identity.

Brand Identity is similar, although it involves more conscious decisions. It’s simply the marketing elements and practices that shape your business’ public image (your brand).

Before we go forward, it’s worth noting that ‘brand identity’ isn’t the same thing as ‘brand’, as is obvious above. Neither is it the same thing as ‘branding’. The three terms are very different even though they are often interchangeably misused.

Let me explain.

  • Your brand is your business’ public image. That is, how people perceive your business. Sometimes, perception can be false. Kind of like how some celebrities drive very flashy cars, even though they are dead broke. Thus, a brand is sometimes not how a business looks on the inside. It’s simply how it looks on the outside. It’s simply a public image.
  • Brand Identity, on the other hand, is that selection of elements that make up your brand (your desired public image). For instance, take the James Bond character as a brand. Some of the brand elements that make up that brand would thus be: a dark fitting tuxedo, a pair of shiny Oxfords, a clean-shaven face, a Rolex watch, a fast sophisticated car, and a healthy dose of confidence.
  • And finally Branding is all about actively promoting a business or a particular product through advertising and distinctive design. Branding is simply where your brand identity and marketing meet.

Why do entrepreneurs have to worry about brand identity?

Well, I will tell you why. It’s all about perception. You are either in control of how people perceive your business or you are not. Brand identity helps you be in control.

How to Develop a Brand Identity that Works

The foundation of brand identity resides in design as found in elements like your logo, the packaging of your product, your business website, your paid media, and so on. But before you jump into design assets, you need to first reflect on your business. Otherwise, you could end up creating a brand identity that falls apart once your brand is out there in the world.

Look Within

Lots of brands out there are false public images. You don’t want to be one of them as you would be setting yourself up for failure in the future.

Therefore, in trying to develop your brand identity, look within. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s my mission? That is, why did you start your business?
  • What’s my values? What beliefs and values do you as a company identify with?
  • How is your company any different from other companies in your niche?
  • Is your company special? How?
  • In three words, how would you want people to describe your business?
  • If your business had a voice, what would it say and how would it say it?

Answer these questions and the picture of the public image you are trying to build for your business will become much clearer to you. Now, let’s do something else.

You As an Outsider

Remember we defined ‘brand’ as how people perceive a particular business. I want you to think of yourself as one of those people–you know, as a potential consumer.

Now, be honest. As an outsider, what do you think of the business you are trying to build? The image you have in your head, is it a good one? Does it match the public image you desire for your company?

Don’t panic if it doesn’t. It just means you have work to do.

Check back next week to learn how to shape your brand through design.

Ten Business Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget

10 business lesson every new entrepreneur needs to learn - Macaulay Gidado

No-one goes into a business knowing everything to expect. Business has a learning curve. There are things you learn through research or mentorship and there are things you only learn through experience. However prepared a new entrepreneur is, there comes a time early in their business life when they say, “I wish someone had mentioned that.”

This is why learning from the experience of other business people is paramount to the survival of any start-up. Although that certainly will not equip you for every single arduous and unbidden hurdle along the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur, it will guide you through most of the challenges.

Here are Ten important lessons to get you started.

Don’t Abandon Your Mission

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget

A core mission, a prime objective, is the bedrock of every business. It’s what gets you started, and it will be what guides you through the darkest hours in your business life. It’s what nudges you in the right direction when you misstep.

Never forget why you started your business.

It’s Okay to Be Unconventional

Not Being Unique

The business world has its apparent ‘status quo’. But then making a difference in the world is about diverging from the norm to create something new.

As a CEO, you have your personal beliefs, some of which don’t agree with the perceived business norm. While following the norm can yield good results for your company, the role of a CEO, in this modern age, has gone beyond the results.

It now entails leaving your own mark on the world. It’s now also about the ‘how’—your actions, reactions, influence, and so on. It’s about the legacy you leave behind, about how you impact the world as a CEO.

Become an Expert in Every Aspect of Your Business

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

A good CEO leads by example. Apart from that, you should be able to temporarily fill up any role in your company if the need arises—for instance, if an employee acts up or misses work, or if extra hands are needed for a task.

Acquaint yourself with the technology used in your company, become conversant with sales, legalese, data entry, and even the manual works. The knowledge will give you more control over your employees and your company as a whole.

Employ Smarter People

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

You may dread that employing people smarter than you would hurt your ego, but the truth is that if this were a competition, you had already won. As the employer; you were resourceful enough to start a company—something the smarter folk couldn’t do.

If they are truly smart, they would understand you have worked harder than them, and they will respect your decisions.

Never hire people that are ineffective, even if it’s not to save your ego. Either they lead to your company’s downfall or you end up doing most of the work for which you hired them.

Maintain a Backup Plan for Your Employees

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

As a new company, your resources are probably limited and you want to maintain a lean team. That is okay. However, be mindful of the specialised positions. You need a backup plan for them, as you do not want your operation to decelerate or halt if you lose a team member.

Hire smartly. Hire for growth.

Consider Everything an Experiment

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

Nothing is perfect in business—neither an idea nor a product. While it’s okay to trust your instincts or make assumptions, you can never really understand the potentials of a product or service until you take it on a field test with real customers.

The first batch may not live up to expectation. With time, however, your products get better, but only if you experiment and learn from the flaws.

Listen to Customers

MacaulayGidado_Maintain a Professional Customer Service

Every business person knows this. You are in business because of your customers. You cannot convince them to trade more of their hard-earned cash for your product when you can’t even listen and tailor the product to meet their need.

Customer will always leave feedback. Be open-minded. Take suggestions. Implement the viable ones. And produce better products.

Criticism Will Always Come

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

Whether from customers, rivals, or employees, criticisms are here to stay. Don’t take them so hard. Instead, fish for the gold inside them, and learn to ignore the ones targeting your company’s success.

Also, hold a regular company meeting where your employees can voice their improvement opinions. You may discern a gem that will help your company expand.

Leverage People Who Believe in You

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

Before establishing your company, you obviously researched your market, and you possibly already had people who loved what you do or make—or perhaps like minds in a network that has an affinity with your niche.

What location are these people in? How did you meet them? What did they love about you, your product, or service? Are there more of them whom you haven’t met? If they are in City A, then that’s where you need to start. Reach out to them first. Then grow from there.

Know When to Say No

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

With many opportunities out there, this is a discipline every businessperson ought to master. What you need to keep in mind is that opportunities, while enticing, always come with costs, some of which can cripple your company.

Learn to take only what you need. Don’t get greedy simply because opportunities are everywhere. Master focus and discipline.

Learn when and how to say no.

Keep these tips with you all the time, scour the internet for more, and reach out to successful business people for advice, and you may yet scale through any hurdle on your road to becoming a successful businessperson.

Six Tips for Increasing Your Business’ Operational Efficiency

Six Tips for Increasing Your Business’ Operational Efficiency - Macaulay Gidado

Any businessperson that wants his or her business to remain competitive among its peers has to channel a lot of efforts into improving its operational efficiency. This is especially true for small and midsize businesses, considering their limited resources.

To manage your business efficiently, you have to analyse every aspect of your operation and curb any excess inputs that can come back to haunt your outputs.

Plug all those holes from where money is leaking out. Don’t hire more or fewer employees than you need? Are you customers unhappy? Are you running an in-house server when the cloud can help you manage costs?

Learn how to control your expenses. If not, your business isn’t going to last long. It’s Inevitable; Companies that aren’t running efficiently drown in competition and eventually find their deaths.

The death of your venture. That is obviously not what you want. Therefore, here are some tested tips that can help you maintain an efficient operation—that is, reduce costs, stay ahead of competition, boost customer satisfaction et cetera.

Embrace the Internet

Six Tips for Increasing Your Business’ Operational Efficiency - Macaulay Gidado

This cannot be skirted. An online presence is a requirement when it comes to doing business in this digital age. Especially if you want your establishment to remain afloat despite the many business-related hurdles that came with the Internet.

Doing business is like a ‘war’ and the emergence of the Internet is the introduction of guns into the war. You cannot keep relying on your swordsmanship or archery skills to stay life. In fact, your chances of surviving the war improves as soon as you pick up a gun.

The internet is that new weapon. New and formerly small companies adopt it and suddenly their successes resonate across the world.

To upgrade your business online, here are some of the things to do:

  • Set up a company website
  • You will need to register a domain name and a web hosting solution. You also need a web designer to give your website an appealing appearance and structure.
  • Run a company blog where you post free regular valuable content relevant to your niche to attract an audience that you can convert to customers.
  • Create social media accounts for your company. They can be a helpful set of marketing tools.

You may discover along the way that establishing your company online has saved you costs by cutting your business’ need for salespeople and offline advertising. The best part is that you may also find that sales have improved, since you have exposed your business to a much larger audience.

Only Go into a Business You Are Passionate About

Macaulay Gidado_Only Go into a Business You Are Passionate About

An efficient operation isn’t all about the business decisions you make along the way. It can also be about you and your employees’ zeal. This is because it is with fervent passion that you and your workers can transcend the hassles and occasional disappointments, which come with doing business, without making poor decisions.

It is also your passion that compels you and your employees to prepare for work every morning with the intentions to improve your business. It means you enjoy what you do and are dedicated to it. You do it not just for the money but for the fulfilment it brings.

Passion can be contagious. When your employees see that you are passionate about your company, it becomes a sort of motivation for them and compels them to work harder.

One way to gauge your passion for your business is by examining how easily you may abandon the venture in a time of hardship or even in a time when you have ample income streaming in through another source.

Value the Help of Others

Six Tips for Increasing Your Business’ Operational Efficiency - Macaulay Gidado

There’s no such thing as a self-made person. Along the road to building a successful business, you will bump into many resourceful entities—mentors, clients, companies, colleagues, employees et cetera. Whether you pay them for their services or they pay you for yours, the bottom line in that they help boost your business.

Therefore, if you believe you can go the road alone, then you might as well abandon the venture all together, because no one person can run a business singlehandedly and maintain operational efficiency. When you value the services of other people or companies, your business mind becomes wired to recognise when, where, and how to seek professional help.

You really don’t have to drown when there are lifeguards nearby. Reach out to other professionals. If you need to outsource a business need in order to run your company more effectively, by all means do so. If you have colleagues or employees, favour teamwork.

Plan How You Introduce New Technology

Macaulay Gidado - Plan How You Introduce New Technology

One of the keys to stellar productivity is focus. Your employees need to be undistracted in order to carry out their duties efficiently.

Introducing a new technology—software or hardware—perhaps to replace an old one can cause a great disruption in your workers’ ability to concentrate. Think about the time they would use trying to figure out a new tech and how to integrate it with their daily work routines.

If you plan how and when you introduce technology and stick to that plan, you may be able to carry out the integration without risking productivity. In every business, for instance, there are seasons when orders for products and services peak and there are other seasons when they are at their lowest.

Analyse your company’s sales statistics with finding a pattern in mind. There should be a slow season, and that’s where you should focus. If you are going to bring in a coach along with every new tech, then make your timing coincide with a slow season when you know that low productivity wouldn’t be much of a problem.

Also, if your employees already undergo yearly general training, then perhaps it’s during the training that you should present a new tech.

That way, you won’t have to worry about productivity whenever you introduce a new technology into the company.

Use Cloud Computing

Macaulay Gidado - Use Cloud Computing

There are a lot of things cloud computing can do for your business. In fact, cloud computing is the epitome of efficiency, especially when running an in-house server is taking more than it is giving back. Here is how cloud computing can benefit your company:

  • Flexibility. With an in-house server, your company may only be utilizing just a fraction of the system’s capacity. Yet you suffer costs to run and maintain the whole system. With could computing, however, you don’t have to pay for the disk space or bandwidth you don’t use.
  • You are protected against disaster like theft, fire outbreak, virus attack et cetera.
  • You claim costs your company would have suffered via capital expenditure—like acquiring an on-premises server.
  • Your employees get to access needed data and collaborate even when not in the office. That can surely boost productivity.

The cloud can offer your business more with respect to efficient operation. You just need to make sure you understand your company’s IT needs so that you can be able to select the perfect cloud computing package for you.

Maintain a Professional Customer Service

Macaulay Gidado - Maintain a Professional Customer Service

Depending on the size of your business, you need to have a customer service department. When customers can easily reach your company to communicate their issues, the risk of bad reviews goes down. This protects your company’s reputation and also increases your chances of retaining your clients.

The work of your customer service is to provide support—that is, to encourage customers and also resolve any issues they may have concerning your product or service before it escalates. Neglect that goal and you are bound to frequently lose your customers to your competitors—which does not say much about ‘efficiency’ and ‘competitiveness’.

To maintain an effective customer service, the staff in that department should possess the following traits and skills:

  • Patience and attentiveness. They don’t hurry when attending to customers. They stay with customers, listen, try to understand what customers want, and then proffer support.
  • Good communication skills. They don’t use vague words or make vague statements. You staff should talk to customers in a way that the customers will understand.
  • They are excellent at managing surprises.
  • They are persuasive.
  • Your staff should be very conversant with the product or service your company is selling. That way, they can easily attend to any issues pertaining to the product or service without any doubts.

There is more to a good customer service–you can find out here.

And there is also more to increasing operational efficiency, and it is not all about the general guides and tips crowding the Internet. It is also about the kind of business you do and what works for it.

Learn how Macaulay Gidado can help you improve your business.

Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business

Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business - Macaulay Gidado

Thousands of people launch their business every day. Unfortunately, many of them have little or no idea of what to expect and they end up falling into the same pitfalls that brought down a lot of start-up companies in the past

If you are in the process of starting a new business, this post is meant to bring to your attention pitfalls to avoid. As a wise man once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Waiting Too Long to Launch Your Business

Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business

People stall for various reasons. Some wait to have a certain amount of audience (for instance, 5,000 subscribers) before launching. Some are simply afraid to start. Others don’t know where to start. Whatever your reason for waiting is, you can’t grow a company without taking the first step. If you need help, then reach out to the right people and begin somewhere. Most successful businesses didn’t start with a bang. They started small.

Solving the Wrong Problem

Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business

Don’t solve a problem no one has. Business is all about making money by meeting needs, by solving problems. This means that if you want a bigger audience for your product, then that problem should be solving a problem a larger number of people have.

Not Paying Attention to Customers

Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business - Macaulay Gidado

Customers are the backbone of any company. And since businesses make money by solving customers’ problems, the only set of people that can establish that your product or service is effective in solving their problems is your customers. And this is why success in business requires listening to your customers.

Don’t just listen to the customers that love your product. Also listen to the ones that ask for refunds and use the information you have gathered to tweak your product to better serve the needs of your customers.

Not Being Unique

Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business - Macaulay Gidado

Competition is one aspect of doing business every entrepreneur contend with. When you and another brand offer similar products, you have to give customers a good reason to patronise you and not that other brand. This is where your product’s unique selling point comes in. What extra features does your product have that the other brand doesn’t have?

Focusing on an Idea You Are Not Passionate About

Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business - Macaulay Gidado

Passion is good for business. As a small business owner, you need to have a broad knowledge of your niche, a knack for coming up with creative ideas relevant to that niche, and the stamina to see your goals ideas. This is what passion is all about. If you are not passionate about your business focus, then it’s very likely doomed to fail.

Having Wrong Expectations

Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business - Macaulay Gidado

We are all dreamers. Some expect their company to take off immediately. Some others expect their business operations to be easy. Unfortunately, life is unfair, and overnight success is a fairy tale. To succeed in business, you need to be somewhat flexible and resilient. Failure and disappointments will always come, but what will elevate you is your ability to learn, tweak your strategies and goal, and forge ahead.

Many Ideas, Very Little Done

Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business - Macaulay Gidado

Thinking is good. But when it’s all you do, your business is bound to fail. There’s no point in thinking up new ideas if you are not implementing any of them. There has to be a balance. Thinking should take at most about 20% of your business time. The rest should be ‘doing’.

Going It Alone

Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business - Macaulay Gidado

Nobody can grow a successful business alone. You need people. Depending on your type of business, you need employees, partners, suppliers, consultants, service providers, and, of course, customers. You can even reach out to other entrepreneurs for support.

The bottom line is that you cannot do it alone. Get help whenever and wherever you need it.

Thinking Your Social Platform Is a Business

Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business - Macaulay Gidado

Whether you run a blog, YouTube channel, Podcast, or even an Instagram account with a large following, thinking it’s a business is a mistake. It’s simply a platform for sharing ideas, networking with people, and growing an audience. Not a business. If you want to make it a business, then you need to create a marketable offering around such a platform and invest both time and money into making it earn money for you.

Quitting Before You Start

Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business - Macaulay Gidado

Fear of making mistakes and that of failure are common feelings that accompany doing business. Often, people succumb to the fear and quit before they even start. What these people don’t realise is that by quitting early, they have already failed.

We are human. Prone to mistakes. We all fail sometimes. Mistakes and failure aren’t the end. They are just part of the process. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or fail. Instead, challenge yourself, and when you fall, get up, learn from the mistake, and move on.

Find out how Macaulay Gidado can help your company.

This post also appeared in Macaulay Gidado Medium blog.

Why Businesses Need to Start with an MVP

Why Businesses Need to Start with an MVP Macaulay Gidado

Every successful business started somewhere. In fact, most started small. Think Twitter, Airbnb, Foursquare, and so on. When these businesses were launched, they weren’t as grand or multi-featured as they are today. They all started with a minimum viable product (MVP) and then grew gradually from there.

Take Airbnb as an example.

Why Businesses Need to Start with an MVP Macaulay Gidado

Two men, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, started by cheaply offering their apartments to people that participated in their hometown conference. They did this to raise money to pay rent. So they designed a simple website showing photos of their flat. It didn’t take long and the demand for the service began to grow really fast.

Today, Airbnb doesn’t just connect hosts to guests, but also connects people seeking adventurous and unusual experiences to people offering those experience. This didn’t happen overnight. Airbnb started with an MVP and then scaled gradually.

So What’s an MVP

Why Businesses Need to Start with an MVP Macaulay Gidado

As mentioned above, it means minimum viable product. It’s simply that product of your dream, which is also valuable, but which requires a minimum amount of resources to create. It simply means starting small.

Think of it as a mango seed. It’s a single thing–valuable, easy to plant, and doesn’t need you to focus on multiple things at once. You plant the mango seed. It gradually grows, developing new branches and leaves, then bearing flowers and fruit. That’s how many successful businesses grow from an MVP to a giant corporation.

Why Start with an MVP?

Reduce Development Cost

Why Businesses Need to Start with an MVP Macaulay Gidado

A minimum viable product is one that requires the least amount of resources to create. According to a report by Go-Globe, 29% of new businesses run out of money before they are fully established. Don’t try to do it all at once. That would only push up your development expenses and before you know it, you are out of money. Start with a product your resources can handle. Then add more features as you grow.

Do a Test Run

Why Businesses Need to Start with an MVP Macaulay Gidado

How do you know for certain that people are interested in (and will buy) the product you want to create? In the beginning, all you have is a viable product. That it shares similarities with a popular product doesn’t necessarily mean that people will be interested in yours. The only way to truly know is by doing a test run with an MVP. By starting with an MVP, you would be able to understand how interested people are in your product and then gradually introduce new features from there.

Receive and Use Feedbacks

Why Businesses Need to Start with an MVP Macaulay Gidado

Which one is easier and better? Using great feedbacks to add valuable features to a simple product? Or dismantling a multi-featured product and doing away with some already-built features so you can incorporate feedbacks into the product? An MVP allows you to start small and then add desirable features by utilising feedbacks.

Save Time and Money

Why Businesses Need to Start with an MVP Macaulay Gidado

Don’t spend a year and lots of money trying to build a fully developed business when you can spend a month and a smaller amount starting with an MVP and then growing from their to become fully established. Ask yourself this question: what if after spending a year and all that money building that full-blown business, it doesn’t connect with people? That would be a whole year and lots of money wasted. By starting with an MVP, you can course correct as you go.

Get Your First Paying Customer and Grow from There

Why Businesses Need to Start with an MVP Macaulay Gidado

Don’t spend too much time building your product that you forget you are doing it to make money. Remember, to make money, you need customers. And using forever to build a complex product isn’t going to help you get those customers.

First, you need something simple. Something that solves just one problem. Something you can sell to one person. That’s where an MVP comes in. If you can sell that product to one customer and the customer likes it, chances are that they will tell their family and friends. From there, you begin to get more customers and grow.

Find out how Macaulay Gidado can help grow your new business.

Inspire Yourself to Business Success with These Ten Quotes From Legendary Athletes

Inspire Yourself to Business Success with These Ten Quotes From Legendary Athletes - Macaulay Gidado

Business is never easy. There are ups and downs along the way, and many entrepreneurs fail simply because they gave up at a difficult moment. To see yours through, you need a healthy dose of motivation and inspiration, and it doesn’t matter from where you get them.

In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg was said to have read 23 books, which he also believed every business person should read. He is also known for jogging regularly. That said, it’s obvious where he gets his inspiration. The big question is: where do you get yours?

Today, I want to introduce you to the world of sports as a great source of inspiration for business people. Business is much like sports. They are both driven by passion, training, determination, competition, and even wins and losses. Below are inspirational quotes from ten professional athletes that can inspire you as an entrepreneur.

Do It Properly

Inspire Yourself to Business Success with These Ten Quotes From Legendary Athletes - Macaulay Gidado

There’s a saying that what’s worth doing is worth doing right. You want to be successful in business? Do it right.

Don’t Be a Coward

Inspire Yourself to Business Success with These Ten Quotes From Legendary Athletes - Macaulay Gidado

Whether you like it or not, you are going to face challenges as an entrepreneur. It’s up to you to either quit or discover a creative way to transcend those challenges.

Which Are You?

Inspire Yourself to Business Success with These Ten Quotes From Legendary Athletes - Macaulay Gidado

I don’t know about you, but as a businessman I want to be part of the first group–those who make it happen.

Be Prepared to Work Hard

Inspire Yourself to Business Success with These Ten Quotes From Legendary Athletes - Macaulay Gidado

If talent is all it takes to succeed in business, then a lot of talented people would be successful business people today. Unfortunately, like many sports, business is 10% (or even less) talent or luck and 90% hard work.

Don’t Be a Quitter

Inspire Yourself to Business Success with These Ten Quotes From Legendary Athletes - Macaulay Gidado

No one becomes successful in business by quitting. If you fail or don’t get it right the first time, get up, dust yourself off, and try again.

Stay Ahead of the Game

Inspire Yourself to Business Success with These Ten Quotes From Legendary Athletes - Macaulay Gidado

A great business person plans ahead of time. They are typically two or more times ahead of their competition. They are able to forecast the future and tap into unseen opportunities.

How Do You Play?

Inspire Yourself to Business Success with These Ten Quotes From Legendary Athletes - Macaulay Gidado

Are you playing it safe? Unfortunately, that won’t always help you achieve the immense success you want. Great business people know when to play safe and when to be drastic. To grow, you need to step out of your comfort zone.

Never Settle

Inspire Yourself to Business Success with These Ten Quotes From Legendary Athletes - Macaulay Gidado

Losers settle for less. Successful people reach for the stars and beyond. The key is knowing how to set high goals without overreaching. Then work tirelessly towards achieving the goals.

It’s Never Too Late to Start

Inspire Yourself to Business Success with These Ten Quotes From Legendary Athletes - Macaulay Gidado

Don’t discourage yourself. So far as you are alive, it’s never too late to start. Take for instance Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. He founded the company at the age of 33, but he didn’t go public with it until he was 43 years old.

Give Back

Inspire Yourself to Business Success with These Ten Quotes From Legendary Athletes - Macaulay Gidado

Business is about giving back, adding value to people’s lives. A business that doesn’t solve a problem is as good as dead. Find how you can give back to the people. Give and you shall receive.

These quotes are all from successful athletes, sports legend who pushed themselves beyond their limits in order to achieve great success. If they made it, why can’t you? The truth is that the only thing in your way is you. Step out from your comfort zone and reach for success.

This post also appeared in Macaulay Gidado Medium Publication.

People Are What Matters Most in Business

People Are What Matters Most in Business - Macaulay Gidado

What’s the most important aspect of a business?

No doubt, some people might say the product. Some others might say money. And there are even those that might say the manufacturing process.

Granted. These are all important aspects of doing business, but then they would all crumble without people.

People, in this case, means two things:

Your Customers Matter in Business

People Are What Matters Most in Business - Macaulay Gidado

Sam Walton once said, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” Michael LeBoeuf reinforced that quote by saying that a satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.

The quality of your product, the number of social media followers you have, or the amount of money you spend on your brand means nothing if no one buys what you are selling.

Therefore, every aspect of your business should be focused on two things:

  1. Bringing people (customers) on-board.
  2. Retaining those customers.

To do this:

People Are What Matters Most in Business - Macaulay Gidado
  • Your product or service must be something of value to people.
  • How you balance quality and price should be dependent on what your customers value and how much they are willing to put down for it.
  • The packaging and features of your product should appeal to the people you are targeting.
  • Your staff ought to be nice and professional towards your customers. Otherwise, you might end up losing those customers.

Simply put, people should find your product or service affordable, valuable, and satisfying.

Therefore, to run a successful business, you must build your product or service around people. If you are changing a product feature, relocating your office, or partnering with a new marketing agency, the main reason behind such an action should be customer orientated.

Businesses thrive on value. People buy what they value. Focus on people.

The People You Work With

People Are What Matters Most in Business - Macaulay Gidado

These include you, your staff, your business partners, vendors you outsource tasks to, and so on. As Steve Jobs said, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”

No single man or woman has all it takes to build and run a business. This is why entrepreneurs:

  • Seek investors.
  • Hire staff
  • Outsource some tasks
  • Partner with other businesses

The point here is simple. Appreciate people and the value they can bring to your brand. Your employees are involved in most aspects of your business, from production to delivery. They are typically the ones that interact directly with your customers. This is why successful entrepreneurs value people and go to reasonable lengths to keep valuable employees satisfied.

What Does This All Mean?

People Are What Matters Most in Business - Macaulay Gidado

Humans are not just the ultimate consumers of products and services. They are also the ultimate producers of products and services. A successful business revolves around both the needs of its customers and staff.

Of course, numbers are important. So are technology and efficiency. However, they aren’t as important as people. Focus on people, on meeting their needs and delivering value, and every other aspect of your business will stand firm.

Find out how Macaulay Gidado can help your brand.