​How To Test A Business Idea

How To Test A Business Idea
By Mike Kappel 
Forbes.com

You have a great idea, and you’re ready to dive into entrepreneurship. But, are you sure your idea is viable? Before investing in a new business, you need to test your idea’s true potential.

Testing your small business idea

Do you know your business idea’s chances of success ? Use these four strategies to test it.

1. Ask the right questions

Vague ideas and partial plans will likely cause a rocky start for your business venture. To get the answers you need, you must ask yourself the right questions.

First, consider each aspect of your startup. The questions you ask should help you dig deeper into your thought process and develop a plan. Resolving issues in the beginning will help you be successful.

These questions are examples of what you should think about before you start a business :

  • Why do I want to start a business?
  • What problem do I solve?
  • Who is my target customer?
  • What resources do I have?
  • What are my goals?

You can write down your answers in a journal to solidify your thoughts. Once you answer general questions, you can begin the next steps in testing your business idea.

2. Know your competitors

You don’t want to get too caught up in what your competitors are doing. But, it is a good idea to understand their strategies. Before launching your startup, do an analysis of companies similar to yours.

By looking at other businesses, you can see what has worked in the past. A smart business owner learns from those who have already attempted similar ideas. You gain valuable insights without suffering any losses because of a failed plan.

Reviewing the competition will also help you define what makes your idea stand out. To get a solid customer base, you need to show consumers how your business is unique. This could be anything from disrupting the market with a new product to offering a one-of-a-kind experience.

3. Evaluate your capital

We’ve all heard the saying, “It takes money to make money.” The phrase has become a cliche for a reason—in most cases, it’s true. You will need business capital to get your startup off the ground.

Startup capital can come from a number of sources. Many entrepreneurs cover the cost to start a small business with personal funds, such as a savings account or credit card. Others rely on the help of friends and family. Banks and private lenders also offer loan programs for small businesses.

Chances are, you will use a combination of capital solutions to fund your business. The road to securing startup funds could be difficult because you have not yet established yourself as a profitable business. To convince others that your idea is viable, create a small business plan that maps out how you will spend the money and how much you expect to earn.

4. Assess the market

One of the best sources to test your business idea is your target market. Define your ideal customer to hone in on who will be interested in your offerings. Then, do a market analysis on a small group.

Here are some ways you can test your business idea with target customers:

Have a focus group: A focus group involves a small number of consumers who use your offerings and provide feedback. Focus groups, surveys, and interviews show what consumers think before you go all in.

Ask groups on social media: The internet puts your target market at your fingertips. Find online groups that might be interested in your business. Find out their general impressions and if they think you should do anything differently.

Set up a crowdfunding page: Crowdfunding websites offer more than just investors. You can also gain valuable reactions, observations, and advice from like-minded individuals. Bonus: you might find someone who wants to invest in your idea.

Testing your idea on a small group shows whether consumers care about your offerings. If the small market tests are successful, there’s a good possibility your idea will be a hit with a larger audience.

How do you really know if your business idea is viable?

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive way to tell if a company will be successful. While it takes careful planning, the right marketing strategy, and enough capital to get an idea off the ground, every startup story is different.

When it comes down to it, remember this—if you put out a quality offering that solves a problem and reflects your passions, you can create a profitable business.

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8 – 4 is a Scam 

8 – 4 is a Scam Find a Way to Get out now!

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. – Aristotle

The drive for self-employment, skill acquisition and development in the last few decades is unprecedented, you may wonder why but over time, many people have come to see the truth, “8 – 4 is a Scam”.

Yes! 8 to 4 is the biggest scam since paper money. The whole essense of working is not only to meet basic daily needs but to get value for efforts. However, the working template for most business organizations is to help their employees meet basic needs by paying a salary just about enough to maintain their social status, that is, salary enough to keep you coming back for more and too small to take them to the next level. The truth is only very few business Enterprise would actually pay you what you truly deserve. 

Some days ago I got the news that a bluechip company in Nigeria sacked over 100 women and couple of men, whatever the reasons are one thing is obvious over 100 breadwinners thrown back to labor market after investing over 10years of their lives to building another man’s dream, without severance benefits or gratuities. And someone will tell me self employment is risky. Here is what I know, there is no personal business you would invest 10years in that won’t have been self sufficient.

Why Paid Job is a Scam

1. Job security

When you work for someone, your job is as secured as not getting on the wrong side of your boss’ decision. Asides  Civil Service job that is a little bit secured, no other job gives you that “go home and rest, then resume tomorrow” feeling like your own business. With paid job nothing is assured, you could get back to your 8-4 job and the company tells you your service is no longer needed and that would be the end.

2. Scope Limitations

Nothing limits an open mind like a paid job. Most organizations have Standards of Operations which is actually meant to guide workers on how each operation is handled, as beautiful as this is, it also limits creativity and self development. Working a paid job limits what you are exposed to, how you handle challenges and how you can use your creativity on the job. Ultimately you begin to lose interest in job and end up either being disgruntled or become lackadaisical to the job and eventually to life.

3. You don’t get what you deserve

As earlier pointed out, only very few paid jobs would actually pay you what you deserve for the efforts you are putting in. There is a saying that “a man that is not building his own dream would be hired to build another man’s dream”. Imagine this, if you dedicate 8 hours daily building something with all sense of discipline and purpose, how far do you think you would have gone in a year not to talk of 5 or more years, then compare this to what you make per annum from your paid job. Is it worth it?

4. Zero Future

A paid job is as loyal to you as much as you are able to deliver on the job. Forget what you have achieved in the past for the business or the commendations you have been given, if you can no longer deliver in your assigned role, then you are gone. Give or take, no matter how excellent you are on the job after 35years of service you would have to retire and if you are not used to being idle (that is if you are lucky to retire to good savings) then boredom is inevitable. However, with your own personal business this cannot happen, even if it does, it would be on your own terms.

5. The Risk is Higher 

Risk is measured by what one stands to lose when the unexpected happens. What is the worst that can happen when you own your own business? Probably losing your capital and with this you can always build on the links or connections you have already established. However, with a paid job starting over is as painful as it is almost impossible. Back to the people I pointed out earlier that were sacked, do you think starting over will be easy? The risk of paid job is unprecedented, and as risky as starting your business is, let me assure you, 10 years down the line you would be better than those on paid job who have spent same number of years build other people’s dream.

Do you know that no one with paid job has ever been on Forbes richest people top list? Paid job is never worth it, no matter how much you are being paid.  However, if you so much enjoy your paid job then have something on the side that you can always fall back to. Listen, nothing beats having your life in your hands, putting it in another man’s hand is the biggest risk you can ever take. Save yourself future heartaches, invest in yourself and build your own dreams.

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​Point of Sale/Service Terminal Agent

​Point of Sale/Service Terminal Agent

  • Average Capital Requirement: N100,000
  • Summary:

This business is about meeting Financial transaction needs of people at a fee of between 5 -10% using a POS terminal. With proper location of your business you can make over N40,000 in 2 weeks and with an N100,000 business per day, you can double your capital in just one month.

  • Introduction:

POS terminal is a portable device that allows you as a retailer or merchant collect payment from customers using debit card. The kind of transactions that are covered includes transfer from one account to another, payment of bills, balance enquiry, and drawings; it is a kind of mobile ATM. This becomes a business for you as an entrepreneur if you understand how you can use this device to meet these financial transaction needs of people for a token.

  • Required Resources
  • Assets

An outlet; a shop or Kiosk

At least 2 different banks Personal debit cards, preferably savings account with only email alerts to avoid cost of SMS alerts

A POS terminal (Free to Current account holders upon request at most banks but with between 0.75 to 1% service charge per transaction).

  • Personnel

One personnel is okay

  • Capital

Average of 100,000

  • Required Skills

Ability to operate the machine effectively. If you are very conversant with the ATM, you are halfway there.

Interested? Download full breakdown POS BUSINESS

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Top 20 Most Lucrative Businesses In Nigeria

The trend of business changes from time to time, even though some by nature of geographical location and level of development would always be relevant. The choice of business to go into, however depends on how long you want to be in such business, your long term plans and availability of capital. Find below 20 most lucrative businesses in Nigeria as listed by WealthResult.com. 

List Of Top 20 Most Lucrative Businesses In Nigeria

By WealthResult.com

1. Agriculture

This is the next revolutionary industry in Nigeria where millionaires are currently being made. Nigerians both home and oversea are beginning to wake up to the huge potentials in Agribusiness, a sector we have been neglecting over the years due to the discovery of oil. Now that the oil is drying up, people are beginning to look into other sectors of the economy to create wealth. Below are some of the farming in Nigeria that are serious making profit for people now:-

Poultry Farming

This business is making average Nigerians rich. It is so lucrative that even outsiders are coming in to invest in poultry farming the business in Nigeria. And why not, In a country of more than 150 million people, what would you expect? If you start with 1,000 birds and manage your poultry farm properly, when the turnover on investment begins to come, you will be making millions annually.

Cassava Production

People are beginning to turn their attention to this aspect of farming in Nigeria that have been neglected for years. Cassava derived foods are some of the most consumed in Nigeria. If you can invest in cultivating 50 – 100 Acre in a fertile area like Ondo State, your harvest will be great.

Snail Rearing

Snail farming is one of the choice Animal farming for many reasons. It is a low capital investment with high yield and the market is big. There are few people currently doing this – and most of them are doing it in a very low scale. If someone invest heavily in Snail farming, he is sure to make good money in Millions within a year.

Rice Farming

Rice remains the most consumed food staple in Nigeria and Billions of dollars goes into importation of this product yearly from China and Thailand because the local farmer are unable to meet up the demand due to poor funding and limited knowledge. 

2. Sale of Furniture

Buying and selling of Locally made furniture is a goldmine. You don’t need to be a carpenter to do this, just arrange for regular supply from reliable Carpenters while you display and sale in your showroom. It is a very big business in Nigeria as only few can afford the imported designers.

3. Making of Fruit Juice

Nigerians drink fruit juice more than any other people. That’s why companies like La Carcella and Chivita who came into the country as nobody are today making billions of naira annually. This business is capital intensive but if you can afford it, it’s well worth it.

4. Pure Water Production

You know how popular this is in Nigeria and how many that are dispensed daily. Though this business is capital intensive but well worth investing into, especially if you can manage it properly with professionalism.

5. Oil and Gas Business

We are blessed  with huge deposit of oil in our land which presents some of the finest business opportunity for Nigerians and Foreigners. Owning a Petrol Filling Station, Supplying of Diesel , and Distribution of Kerosene are some the areas you can invest easily and make good money for yourself. Petroleum product marketing have been making millions for people and creating millionaires in Nigeria for years.

6. Haulage Services

The cost of taking a truck from one place to the other in Nigeria is between N20,000 to N200,000 per trip. Due to poor rail transport system, most of the Nigerian goods are transported through the road, making haulage business in Nigeria a viable one. Petroleum products haulage and movement of goods from manufacturers and importers are the aspect of haulage in Nigeria that is very lucrative now.

7. Hotel Business

This is probably the coolest money making opportunity in Nigeria. Invest in small scale hotel of just 10 suites and watch as the money flows in. This has nothing to do with tourism boom of any kind; there is just something in Nigerians system that make this business very lucrative – Nigerians are jolly people!

8. Fast Food Eatery

Eatery business is another goldmine though poor management can kill it fast! If you wish to go into this business, be sure to get everything right and don’t forget it’s a bit capital intensive and requires good management skills. But if you get everything right, free money is yours.

9. Importation Of Tokunbo Spare Parts

If you are in USA, Germany, or Denmark, this business is especially good for you. Don’t just keep importing exotic cars, gather tokunbo spare parts in containers and ship it down to Nigeria. There is huge market for used (tokunbo) spare parts in Nigeria.

10. Investing in Property

Property appreciate everyday in Nigeria. Right now, Nigeria is one of the countries in the world where landed property is most expensive. If you buy land now anywhere in Lagos, you are sure to make 100% profit within two years. You can buy and quickly resell and make profit. Or you buy keep and sell later.

11. Dry Cleaning

Professional dry cleaners at affordable prices are scarce in Nigeria. What we have are professional Dry Cleaners whose service fees are extremely high or mediocre dry cleaners who can never keep with time. Give them cloths today and meet it unwashed after one week. This business is a money maker if you balance it up.

12. Professional Car Wash

This business is good if you can set it up in a strategic location in a place like Lagos where there are good number of cars. 

13. Sales Of Building Materials

The rate at which new houses are springing up in Nigeria, you get to wonder why many people still complain of housing problem. Investing in building material is a good business in Nigeria. I can count some guys who are making millions almost daily in this business.

14. Transport Business

What we have in this sector of the economy is transport companies badly managed by local chiefs and touts. Invest in this business with good management and you will be wondering what hits you with bags of money. 

15. Nursery And Primary School

School business has no rival among it’s mate. My little kids school fees take away close to a million naira per term just to learn ABC! School business in any level is a serious business in Nigeria that generate millions of naira.

16. Exporting Of Raw Materials

There is no better way to grow the economy than to exporting some of the raw materials that are abundant in the country. So with this business you would be doing both the country and yourself a whole lot of good.

17. Online Advertising Agency

As the Nigeria’s online presence keeps increasing, so is its advertisers. Thousands of businesses in Nigeria are taking their business online to leverage the massive community of Nigerian internet users and market their products. This influx has created another business opportunity in Nigeria for savvy digital marketing experts. You too can setup your own online advertising agency in Nigeria today and make millions.

18. Fashion Business

Nigerian people are probably some of the trendiest people in the world. Fashion designers are becoming millionaires on daily basis in Nigeria, thanks to the revolution in the Nigerian fashion business orchestrated by the boom in the entertainment industry in Nigeria.

19. Media And Show Biz

You and knows Nigeria is the capital of entertainment in Africa? You also knows Nigeria is the highest consumers of media content in Africa? Now you can see how viable and lucrative media and show biz can be in Nigeria.

20. Investing In Internet Companies

This is a new crop of investment opportunity that is creating Billionaires around the world including Nigeria. It is simple. You don’t have to be a Tech person, look for a creative online tech startup with good ideas and invest. Within 1 to 2 years you will be counting your profits in millions.

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The Fastest Way To Grow Your Business

The Fastest Way To Grow Your Business

Sometimes we make business far harder than it is.
We over-think our strategy, complicate our product line, worry too much about our staff.

All of these are important issues to be sure, but they pale into insignificance compared to the one area of business that contributes most to success.

That area? Time spent daily on Sales.

I have mentored literally thousands of business owners and almost every time I see a business not performing it is primarily because they are not spending enough hours in the day on the sales process. Either refining how they sell or getting out there and getting face to face with potential customers.

How much time should you spend on sales? Well if you’re running a new business you should devote at least 80 % of your day to it.

If you’re an established business you should spend at least 30% of your day on the sales process or connecting with customers.

Does that sound too extreme? It shouldn’t. What else could you be doing that is more important?

When you spend most of your time selling opportunities quickly arise. Door open. Checks get written. Good things happen. When you stay in your office talking to your staff, pontificating over product details, admin and minutiae you may progress your business, but you won’t greatly increase your revenue.

Only going out there and asking more people to buy your stuff will make a real difference in the long run. All else is tinkering at the peripheries of success.

All great companies are great at sales:

Oracle . McKinsey. IBM . Nordstrom . Even Herbalife. They grew huge not just because of the quality product line (the world is filled with companies with great products that are struggling to survive) but their utter commitment to selling it better than their competitors. And getting out there and asking people for their business.

Here’s an exercise well worth trying: Sit down and work out what the average amount of time is your people are spending each week either directly selling or on improving the sales process. Then set a goal to triple it, starting next week.

You may say you’re too busy. You may protest that you have too many other things to do. But if you can just bring yourself to drop these excuses and try this technique, you will be stunned at how quickly your business improves.

Sales should be the absolute center of what your company does, every single day. Ignore it at your peril. As the founder of IBM, Thomas Watson once remarked, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”
By Siimon Reynolds
forbe.com
JUL 11, 2013 

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E-Soup Business

E-soup

Average Capital Requirement: Zero Capital

Summary: Do you want to put food on the table for choice clients in style making an average of N180,000/month after the first 3 months? This business is the real deal for you if you can cook very well and you can use the social media to market.

Introduction:

Someone once said that social media is nothing till you can download food to eat, I guess that era is here already. E-soup is a business that allows target individuals download food, figuratively speaking with your help while you make money.

Required Resources

Assets

Social media platform (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) for your marketing
Cooking utensil (well set kitchen, pots, gas cooker etc.)
Packaging plastics (1liter – 4 liters)
Delivery channel (you can deliver yourself or get a delivery personnel who gets paid per delivery)
Deep freezer to preserve excess

Personnel

For starters you alone will do, then you can grow your personnel with the business
Capital

Most of the things you will need are your basic household stuff. So capital required is zero but you should be ready to use your social media skills to market your business or get a social media marketer involved.

Required Skills

Excellent cooking skill with eyes for details especially with clients that are selective with what they consume

Good social media marketing skill

Good organization in terms of record keeping, client follow up and relationship management

Patience with business through the growing stages

Download full article for free E-Soup

 

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Snailery Farming

Snailery Farming

Summary: Snailery or snail farming business is one of the most lucrative farming business in the world. With a growth of about 200% annually, it is very hard to make loss in this business. With a start-up capital of N10,000, you can earn over N10,000,000 in a little over 3years.

Achatina_fulica_Nigeria

Introduction:
Snails are hermaphrodites, meaning no male or female snails as such with a startup of 5 fully grown snails you can harvest 1000 snails after 18months. With a well-planned farm structure and harvest structure snail farmers, can harvest every 3moths after the first 18months. No smell, no disease, low cost of maintenance, high productivity rate, and excellent returns on investment; it is all a farmer wants.

Required Resources
Assets
Pen space
Snail stock
Water system

Personnel
As farm grows

Capital
Minimum of N10,000
Required Skills
Attention to details
Patience

Interested click here to download free Snailery Farming

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