For a small business owner, taking that short break from your business may mean closing your business or a drop in sales. We both know this; you need a break and that break can energize you or help you focus on personal things and possibly help you think more strategically about your business.
So since we care too much about you, I have decided to share some tips with you, remember there is a lot to gain when you take out time for yourself. Let these steps guide you.
Plan your vacation ahead of time and start to put things in place. You would not want your business to suffer in your absence, so decide the vacation that is right for you – is it a one-week vacation or a month-long vacation?
Prepare Your Team Ahead
Start from now to prepare your staff members ahead by delegating tasks to them. This helps them get into character early enough and you just may leave some of the duties with them even when you’re back. Trust me this will give them a sense of responsibility and an opportunity to learn something new.
Prepare Your Customer Ahead
Your customers are probably also getting a breather at this time. Let them know in advance that you will be taking some time off, so you can wrap-up projects you are handling yourself or agree to postpone or preferably, introduce them to a team member who’ll be handling the project in your absence.
Don’t wait for a breakdown to take a break.
Written by Donald Alaye
If you need support with your business systems and processes, we would love to help. Contact us via email@example.com
Recently, we did a brand comparison on people’s preference between Big Cola and RC Cola. It was quite an interesting topic as people gave various reasons why they prefer any of the brands, varying from how they liked their business strategies down to their prices, taste, and size.
Based on analysis, 50% or respondents preferred RC Cola reason being that its average sugar content, 5% have never heard of any of these brands, 10% preferred neither of them, 15% went ahead to mention their preference for coca cola which was not in comparison while 20% preferred Big cola because of its size.
Despite these differences, we can all agree that each of these brands have carved a niche for themselves in the Nigerian beverage market.
Got your own opinion on any of the brands?
Please share with us in the comment section.
Note: If you need market research services, we are your guys!
For most people, creating stability in all spheres of life comes to them with ease, but for others it is a daunting task and the end result is worrisome.
For those struggling with finding work-life balance, be assured that you are not in this alone.
Balance is your ability to gain stability and fulfillment and if you are unable to create a balance, you stand the risk of having constant health issues, frequent exhaustion, financial loss, steady stress, and the feeling of underachievement.
For your sanity, productivity, health and clarity we have come up with these tips to help you achieve a work-life balance.
- The first step is to figure out who you are, your values, your goals (work, relationship, spiritual, financial, and so on).
- Track your time by prioritizing and keeping a log book.
- Create a “you” time.
- Leave work back in the office
- Take out time for outdoor activities
- Constantly do a self-evaluation exercise
- Read articles on other subject matters beyond work
- Attend social events or just hangout
Being a workaholic is counterproductive in the long run, but finding balance boosts your productivity eventually.
Empower your team members with this knowledge to get best from them.
We could help you improve your employee relations to boost productivity while minimizing staff turnover. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Salaries aren’t determined by what the employee desires, it’s ultimately hinged on what the business can afford to pay. Where the affordable amount is poor, the employer should make room for some level of flexibility to get good productivity.
Create shifts, reduce work hours, give off days, allow remote work if and when possible/necessary. Make room for extra bucks and bonuses. Your business may be struggling, but you cannot build a great business with a team of people constantly grumbling and edgy.
A lot of people don’t mind low pay but to give their best, they need to be sure you care about their own welfare and growth. Another way to deal with the issue, is to reduce number of employees to the barest minimum, so you can pay the few better for the much work they do.
Our HR strategies and models need to adapt to our changing realities, and not just principles gotten from textbooks and classrooms. Streetwise also matters. In the Igbo apprenticeship system, people even work for free for years, but in exchange they are fed, trained in the trade and set-up to run theirs in a few years.
Take better care of people if you want people to take better care of your business. If anybody is incessantly unproductive and sabotaging your effort or flaunting the rules, they should be shown the way out.
If you need support on employee relations, Mapemond will be glad to be of service to you. Send an email to email@example.com
Quite a number of things influence what we see in the market. Though the market may vary and change from time to time, there are factors that remain constant. These factors are perceived as controllers of the market because they determine the changes that occur in the marketplace. The marketing mix or the 4Ps as it is popularly known is a factor that no entrepreneur can ignore.
Global business experts understand that the marketing mix is an essential ingredient for measurable growth. This group of persons have paid keen attention to their target market and are conversant with the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ to raking in continuous profits.
The marketing mix is widely considered as the foundation model for businesses. It consist of marketing tools used to attain marketing objectives in any target market. The marketing mix further represents four levels of marketing that directs the decision of an entrepreneur. These 4Ps are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
However, there is an updated version to the marketing mix with the addition of Process, Physical Environment and People, making it a total of 7Ps. The relevance and influence of the marketing are inexhaustible. These 7Ps obviously sound familiar but many enterprises have failed due to lack of knowledgeable marketers. Therefore, the first step is having a better understanding of the concept.
The marketing mix concept is like a puzzle that entails you fix the right product in the right place at the right time and at the right price. The trick to it is to know the right combination that eventually leads to success.
The first part to the marketing mix is the product. For any entrepreneur launching into the market, building or designing the right product needed in the market. During the process of developing the product, an extensive research on the product’s life cycle should be conducted. The life cycle of every product includes the growth stage, the maturity stage, and the sales decline stage. Studying any product’s life cycle will guide marketers in revamping a product when it gets to the sale decline stage, thereby retaining its position in the market.
The second piece on the marketing mix puzzle is price, which is usually the amount customers pay to purchase the product. Pricing is a necessary part of the marketing mix because it is determines the profit margin of the company. Whenever price is adjusted, sales will be affected. Most business owners consider pricing very sensitive as it forms a perception of a product in the minds of customers. Pricing can be quite tricky, as a product with low pricing could be perceived as inferior while one with a high price could be seen as too expensive.
After designing a great product and determining the best price for it, knowing where to place it is another crucial part of the puzzle. The product has to be positioned in readily and easily accessible places. To achieve this, entrepreneurs must first understand their target market and the best distribution channels.
In order to gain more traffic and attention to a product, promotion must come to play in the puzzle. This brings more recognition to the brand, boost its image in the eyes of prospects, and communicate the values of the products. Promotion can be done through the following ways, advertising, sales promotion, public relations, sales organisation and the ever-effective word of mouth.
Though this is an extension of the marketing mix, it is also an important aspect businesses should put into consideration. Researching about the people and their needs will help in designing a good market strategy. It is also necessary to hire and equip the right staff for any company seeking expansion. Basically, every person involved in making the business a success should be paid attention to.
Process is another addition to the puzzle but still is an imperative part of the business. The process of an organisation determines it execution. Any organisation thriving in the world has a well-detailed process that minimises cost. In defining the right process, every segment of the enterprise must be thoroughly deliberated.
The last thing on the puzzle is physical evidence. After every delivery, there should be a physical evidence. Physical evidence refers to how a business is perceived in the market, or the impact of its presence and literally everything that help shape consumer’s perception about the product or brand’s.
There you have it; we hope you begin to fix these Ps rightly.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need help in developing a business strategy? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do Business Better!
One of the toughest parts of being the head of an organisation is having someone whom you trust to oversee the affairs of the business whenever you are absent. Most employers and heads of departments would agree that trustworthy employees or team members are hard to come by these days. A lot of organisations have been ruined by dubious staff who take pleasure in pilfering or watching the organisation lose revenue.
Oblivious to the cunning activities of the employees, some employers continue to feed on the lies of their staff. When the company’s sales deteriorates, they bear the blame thinking they are incompetent or ineffective. Asides from the worries it brings to the employer, it drives some businesses to their untimely end and puts the employer in emotional distress.
Often, we conclude too easily that only junior staff are involved in these despicable acts but most times when uncovering the truth, senior staff are usually involved in such deeds. This revelation most often than not leaves the employer in shock, wondering the reasons behind the perpetrators’ decision. In the passing of time, these employers or top-level managers become distrusting of virtually every staff.
Kwani’s story depicts a typical scenario of what happens in most known organisations. Here is a narration of Kwani’s tempting experience.
It was dusk and everyone was clearing his or her work desk, ready to shutdown for the day’s work. Kwani who was new in the company curiously watched some staff speak in hush voices and act in suspicious ways. He had noticed these same moves over the past weeks and had enquired from one of his colleagues why they usually stayed behind after the close of work. As expected, his colleagues gave a casual response that only raised Kwani’s curiosity. His colleagues had said, “We carry out some confidential assignments for the company. Only those involved get to know. If you are interested. Let me know.”
Rather than ask them again, Kwani decided to sneak up on them to find out what the confidential task was. Tracing their steps but maintaining a reasonable distance so he is not sighted, Kwani followed them into the dark warehouse, and he became more perplexed. While three persons took out fifty cartons of the company’s products, two others dashed out to open the back gate for some strangers who drove in with a truck.
He silently observed as they loaded the vehicle with the products and received some amount of cash in return. They chatted and cheered as they carried out their transaction. Kwani stood in a corner, confused about his next step. As they were rounding up, Kwani quickly walked out. He spent the next day torn apart, part of him wanted to report the perpetrators and the other part wanted to join them at least to earn more money for himself. After dealing with the dilemmatic intrapersonal conversation, he decided to report the act.
That day, he contacted the HR manager and informed her about his findings. She thanked and assured him of an immediate action against those were working against the progress of the company. Unfortunately, two months later, Kwani was rewarded for his integrity but got fired some weeks after. When he made enquiries about why he was sacked, he found out that one of the Managers was spearheading the operations. Kwani continued to blame himself for exposing those behind the act, maybe joining them would have been the best option.
Knowing that no business ever thrives without the right set of persons working behind them, what remedy can you proffer for staff disloyalty and pilfering? Once again, the need for effective systems and processes cannot be overemphasized.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need help with setting up your systems and processes? We can get it done for you professionally. Send us an email at email@example.com
Do Business Better!
Asides the regular banking activities many banks engage in, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) has raised the bar in the banking sector. It has become associated with creative and speedy customer service. Because of its outstanding financial performance, excellence, and innovations, GT Bank is rated one of Nigeria’s foremost Financial Institution. Find out how this brand has gained such reputation in less than two decades.
Guaranty Trust Bank was founded in 1990 as a limited liability company with the aim to provide banking services within Nigeria and began full operation in February 1991. The brand was built on a firm foundation of excellence and professionalism. From its commencement, it has faithfully delivered innovative solution to solve customers’ financial challenges and has such gained more traffic.
Over the years the bank established some principles coined from what the brand refers to as The Orange Rules which guides its operations; simplicity, Professionalism, Service, Friendliness, Excellence, Trustworthiness, Social Responsibility and Innovation. This has also informed the brand’s corporate colour.
The company has had several strings of achievements from its sixth year into the banking sector. It was rewarded the Nigerian Stock Exchange President’s Merit award in September 1996 and consecutively won the same award for seven years within 2000 to 2009 excluding 2002. Another significant accomplishment the bank got was in 2002 when the bank was granted a universal banking license by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The bank experienced rapid development and expansion after its second share offering in 2004 that raised about N11billion. Through this proactive step, Guaranty Trust Bank qualified for the N25 billion minimum capital base for banks initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2005.
Different years have come with different milestones for the brand. It has remained focused on its goal to build a proudly African and truly international institution that functions as a platform for enriching lives by building strong, value-adding relationships with those they do business with.
GT Bank has spread its tent from Nigeria to other countries like Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and the United Kingdom.
We are a team driven to deliver the utmost in customer service. We are synonymous with innovation, building excellence and superior financial performance and creating role models for society.
We are a high quality financial services provider with the urge to be the best at all times while adding value to all stakeholders.
Guaranty Trust Bank’s culture revolves around the eight Orange Rules. The orange colour that represents friendliness and youthfulness has in one way or another influenced the brand’s core values. Here are the principles the brand abides by;
- Social Responsibility
GT Bank ties its significance to social responsibilities. It is an integral part of the company’s business model. GT Bank dedicates a significant portion of its profit to high impact projects geared towards enhancing the community, education, and different forms of Art.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Need restructuring in your business? We can help! Kindly send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do Business Better!
At the middle of the year, many questions relating to the priorities of a firm spring up. It is easy to set priorities at the start of the year but following through is somewhat a challenge for most organisations. In the process of swimming with the tides of change either caused by internal or external factors, so many drift away from their initial goals and objectives. One way to resolve this is by being accountable to shareholders or partners.
Drawing insight from Jeff Bezos’ ritual of writing letters annually, since 1997 to date, to the shareholders of his company, Amazon.com, business owners can learn a great deal of accountability. The brand that is referred to as the world’s largest online marketplace and cloud computing company has been able to consistently remain on track running with clear priorities.
It was observed that the letters the company writes to communicate its focus to shareholders help it stay accountable throughout the year. Whether it is a new strategy towards expanding the brand or a decision on employees, the letters act as signals informing shareholders about the direction of the company. An excerpt from the 2004 letter shows that Bezos also uses it as a medium to share some financial concerns. There he wrote “Our ultimate financial measure, and the one we most want to drive over the long-term, is free cash flow per share.”
An analysis carried out on the letters indicated that there are key words the letters are structured with. From this, one can tell where the company’s priority for that year is centred on. The 2006 letter revolved around five words, “businesses,” “new,” “Amazon,” “grow,” and “culture”— pointing the attention of shareholders towards expansion and growth. In that letter, Bezos writes,
“At Amazon’s current scale, planting seeds that will grow into meaningful new businesses takes some discipline, a bit of patience, and a nurturing culture. Our established businesses are well-rooted young trees. They are growing, enjoy high returns on capital, and operate in very large market segments. These characteristics set a high bar for any new business we would start. Before we invest our shareholders’ money in a new business, we must convince ourselves that the new opportunity can generate the returns on capital our investors expected when they invested in Amazon. And we must convince ourselves that the new business can grow to a scale where it can be significant in the context of our overall company.”
Moving on to 2010, the priorities of the company changed to “data,” “Amazon,” “services,” “systems,” and “technology”. Bezos pinpointed
“All the effort we put into technology might not matter that much if we kept technology off to the side in some sort of R&D department, but we don’t take that approach. Technology infuses all of our teams, all of our processes, our decision-making, and our approach to innovation in each of our businesses. It is deeply integrated into everything we do.”
Even though Bezos never includes the failures of the firm, he makes his shareholders know of such possibility but assures them of a way out. This is clearly seen in his 2013 letter:
“Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It is not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right.”
Bezos also utilises the opportunity to remind the shareholders about the company’s plan from the beginning. This can be seen in the most recent 2018 shareholders letter released 11th April 2019. It reads:
“From very early on in Amazon’s life, we knew we wanted to create a culture of builders – people who are curious, explorers. They like to invent. Even when they are experts, they are “fresh” with a beginner’s mind. They see the way we do things as just the way we do things now. A builder’s mentality helps us approach big, hard-to-solve opportunities with a humble conviction that success can come through iteration: invent, launch, reinvent, relaunch, start over, rinse, repeat, again and again. They know the path to success is anything but straight.”
With this approach, accountability becomes less of a problem for the firm, and serves as a means to attain sustainability.
What is your own approach for accountability?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need help with developing a business strategy? We can help. Send an email to email@example.com
Do Business Better!
One characteristic of a good brand is identifying a need and proffering the best solution for it. Having identified people’s desire for a secured future, ARM Pension was established. With the slogan, “tomorrow is looking good,” the brand serves as a form of assurance to its clients.
In the intervening years, ARM Pension has become associated with financial security and has gained the trust of many customers. For retiring workers, the brand is viewed as a safety net to fall back on. Let’s find out how it has gained this trust overtime.
In December 2005, ARM Pension Managers Ltd was granted license, amongst seven other pioneering Pension Fund Administrators (PFA), by the National Pension Commission. ARM Pensions which is a subsidiary of Asset & Resource Management Company Ltd (ARM), has evolved to become a notable brand in Nigeria. The company has gone ahead to earn the reputation of a leading, reputable investment management firm with a very successful track record of protecting and growing investments for private investors and institutions for many years.
Asset & Resource Management (ARM) Group, at the initial stage, began with the vision to be the fastest growing, most efficient and customer-friendly PFA in the country with an aim to constantly deliver value to clients. Over time, ARM Pension has stayed true to this vision, and continues to make effort towards delivering excellent customer service. The brand uses customer feedback collected from different channels to improve its services.
Over the years, the company thrived by fulfilling the dreams of many workers who aspire to maintain a sufficient and stable financial lifestyle even after retirement. The brand operates with principles that tend to preserve pension assets and investments and yield returns through an excellent administration. ARM Pension works with a philosophy to deliver long-term value added growth and manages risk.
Knowing the value customers add to the company, during its tenth anniversary in 2015, the brand launched a remarkable campaign tagged #Iam10 with the target to appreciate customers for their patronage. This creative approach provided a platform for users to create ambitions in pictorial formats and this was in line with ARM Group mantra “Realising Ambitions”.
As time unfolds, the ARM Pension continues to live up to its achievement as Nigeria’s most prominent and respected financial service brands. It strives to retain its reputation in Investment Management, Research and Pension Fund Management.
With a firm vision, it runs; “To be the fastest growing, most efficient and customer-friendly PFA in Nigeria, consistently delivering value to our customers”
The brand is on a clear mission; “To provide a better future for our customers by offering superior service and value, and upholding high standards of professionalism”
A solid brand is never complete without concrete values. ARM Pensions is founded on the following values;
Building trust is an unbeatable market strategy ARM Pensions has dedicated its time and effort to. Once there is trust, customers will always flood in. This brings us to the questions; how have you been able to build trust for your brand?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Want to build a sustainable brand? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do Business Better!