Like many seasoned entrepreneurs, Oprah Winfrey views failure as “another stepping stone to greatness.” For her, it has been, and then some. In 1977, decades before she became a billionaire media mogul, she was fired from her job as a reporter at Baltimore’s WJZ-TV. Her boss said she was “unfit for television news.” She was […]
Starting a business is tough. Everyone knows this. And, I’ve learnt it the hard way. I’ve built a fair number of products and even successfully brought five of them to market. “Five products” might sound like a lot at first, but it’s actually nothing compared to the number of products and ideas I’ve dismissed.
Ghanaian Bright Simons is one of the continent’s more successful social entrepreneurs. In 2007 he founded the mPedigree Network, a company that uses mobile and web technology to combat the sale of counterfeit products in Africa, most notably fake medicines that result in hundreds of deaths each year.
Here’s the simple truth of business: Without customers to buy your products, you’re not going to make any money. Almost every decision you make—what you sell, how much you sell it for, where you’re located, who you hire—is made with the intention of bringing in the maximum number of customers to your store, and to […]
For some people, coming up with ideas is as easy as spotting chewing gum on the sidewalk. For others, it’s nearly impossible. For me, new idea generation isn’t just easy, it’s something I’m doing all the time and often without trying. I do not believe this is an innate ability, but rather a “skill” that […]
Time is of the essence when it comes to getting your website up and running. If you want to snag your share of the market, you must act quickly. Today, creating a website isn’t something you should probably do, it’s something you must do. Whether you do it yourself—the affordable option—or outsource the design and […]
We all go into business knowing that it won’t be a walk in the park and yet most of us are still ill-prepared for the realities of how hard starting a business can actually be. What got to me was the loneliness of being an entrepreneur. Nothing prepared me for that. All of my friends […]
With consumers’ attention spans and loyalties shifting increasingly often, it’s vital to adapt your product range to attract their interest and loyalty. Don’t change for change’s sake though – any innovation needs to achieve a balance between understanding what your clients (and their clients) want, and producing it for a cost and sale price that […]
The Milestones table is one of the most important in your business plan. It sets the plan into practical, concrete terms, with real budgets, deadlines, and management responsibilities. It helps you focus as you are writing your business plan, and then, the Milestones table and plan-vs.-actual management analysis helps you implement your plan as you […]
Before sitting down to do your SWOT analysis, it’s a good idea to go off-site, away from ringing phones and other distractions. Some experts recommend hiring a facilitator to help you consider all the angles. Others say you can get the same effect by soliciting the perspective of customers, suppliers or other crucial contacts outside […]
In theory, choosing a domain name is simple. If it is memorable, pronounceable, short, clever, easily spelled and suggests the nature of the commerce on your website, you’ve got yourself a winner. But even if your choice is brilliant from a marketing standpoint, it may be worse than foolish from a legal perspective. Your name […]
Advertising is one of the biggest challenges faced by small businesses in Africa. Placing adverts in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio can be very expensive, especially for small businesses. So, are there any cheap but effective advertising options available to small businesses? This article looks at how small businesses can use the amazing power of […]
One of my biggest challenges at Palo Alto Software is figuring out which ideas to pursue and which ideas to put on the back burner. I have the luxury of working with a bunch of really smart people, so new ideas for things that we could do come up all the time. From potential partnerships […]
Most people think that writing a business plan has to be hard. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it’s possible to write your initial business plan in less than an hour. After all, you’re always thinking about your business and the strategies you’re going to use to grow, […]
If you’ve been putting off writing your business plan, you’re not alone. Writing a business plan can seem like a daunting task, and it’s an easy one to avoid. But it doesn’t have to be. An easy way to start your business plan is with just one page. There’s really not a lot of differences […]
The Business Plan is the document where all the information regarding your company creation are stated. In this article, we give you the essential parts to put in your BP and a logical order that you can follow. But then, everyone can have its own style or method ! We shall present you 11 eleven steps to apply two basic concepts […]
A first quarter retail market survey by real estate consultancy JLL, published in early June, said new retail projects are continuing to break ground despite a weak economic climate. Ongoing activity, JLL noted, indicated a competitive retail market, strengthened by relatively low vacancy rates – especially in smaller shopping centres, where they had fallen from […]
Growing a business is challenging, especially in economically trying times, but the decisions you make as an entrepreneur in these formative years determine the growth of your business going forward. Hitting a few bumps in the road is to be expected, but a business’s ability to overcome those hurdles relies on always having a ‘plan […]
What does it really take to be successful in business? Why do some people succeed in business, while others stutter, stumble and fail? Think about it for a moment. Successful entrepreneurs come in all forms, shapes and sizes. They don’t particularly fall into any specific categories that make them special.
After scouring the store for a new pair of sneakers, Paballo Molahlehi finally lands on the one that catches her attention. She stares at it excitedly, swooning over the fresh pair of purple Reeboks. “It’s precisely the one I was looking for, I knew I was going to find it here” she nods as she […]