Sam Goje: Some brands have succeeded in becoming the benchmark for others to follow. What must an entrepreneur do to create the reputation of being a superior brand in an industry?
Ibrahim Aminu: Today’s most trustworthy brands have created relationships with consumers through experiences that trigger a visceral response. We’re seeing more of an emphasis on brands building emotional relationships with consumers because it’s powerful and it works,”
Gbemi Oyebisi: Create your own niche without compromising standards. Your BRAND stands you out and increases patronage thereby giving a good balance sheet at year end.
Honestly, sometimes, I want to ditch the whole business when sales is low. How does an entrepreneur deal with self doubt when the business s/he is passionate about is not going well?
Audu Maikori: Entrepreneurship is a journey that never really ends . Ups and downs will occur along the way. Even Aliko Dangote has had his challenges with some of his businesses but he’s stood firm. So discouragement is normal, persistence is not.
Gbemi Oyebisi: As an entrepreneur, your feasibility study should accommodate seasonality of the venture in order to prepare you ahead of the downtime.
As an Entrepreneur, I have a challenge on Pricing (Price Negotiation). How can an entrepreneur stop using sentiment when billing his/her client?
Maimuna Abubakar: The business of business is business! You aren’t running a charity organization so you must put sentiments aside when pricing and in business dealings. Give discounts where and if possible but make sure you don’t run at a loss while doing so.
Gbemi Oyebisi: As an entrepreneur: 1. Benchmark what your competitors are offering. 2. Your pricing should match your clientèle.
For business owners whose services are not common or people are not very familiar with. How do they educate and enlighten people on why their product or services should be patronized but with minimal cost implications?
Andy Madaki: I believe in order to market any business it is important that you show a level of value which you or your service brings to the table. You are your biggest marketing officer and so create ways to show your offering, maybe with free teaser packages which bring them back to you. Depending on what I stand to gain in the long run, I can offer a free service for a limited time, add that to portfolio and then use previous client as leverage to show your service is required by others. You’re as good as your past jobs also.
Gbemi Oyebisi: As an entrepreneur: 1. Introduce your product to industry related Focus Groups where you did get feedbacks and referrals. 2. Give discounts where necessary.
Patrick Anekwe: IMHO, an entrepreneur should ask himself these two questions: 1. Who are those in need of his product/services? 2. Where are they located? If you have answers to these two questions, you will have an idea how to create awareness for your business.
Finding dependable staff is a difficult aspect of starting or running an expanding business. What has worked for you when hiring staff?
Falalu Sadiq: At FalGates, we look for people that believe in our vision (our purpose). People that not only do they understand what &how we do things but most importantly WHY? Once they are reminded of WHY we do what we do, then dedication &commitment to achieve our goal comes automatically
Patrick Anekwe: If an entrepreneur has mapped and documented his/her business processes, he should be able identify roles for which hired talent would be required for and the necessary skills you watch out for when embarking on recruitment.
Gbemi Oyebisi: As an entrepreneur: 1. Have a Recruitment plan (Who you need & When you need them) 2. Have a Training plan (Industry, Company & Product knowledge) 3. Set up a Reward system (Bonus & Disciplinary measures) Bottom line, INVEST in your staff.
Social media has made marketing accessible to fresh entrepreneurs. What big mistake(s) do you see these entrepreneurs make in their social media activity?
Nafee: Social media when used appropriately open doors for different exchanges, however some mistakes I’ve seen so far include; very poor customer service, impatience, rude outbursts, lack of innovative thinking (how to I make my products better), Focusing on picture quality rather than the product actually being presented, and most importantly unhealthy rivalries, forgetting that the sky is big enough for everyone. People are eager to be addressed as ‘CEO’ and making fast money than actually building the business.
Tokkida: How to use Social media for your business. 1. Build a credible reputation: people are first attracted to you before your brand. 2. Connect with like-minded business professionals. 3. Diversify your marketing strategy 4. Choose the right platform. 5. Encourage engagement 6. Address problems and questions quickly 7. Build a community 8. Provide value 9. Share videos 10. Create a calendar – Sketch out a formal plan for what you want to post, when you want to post it. Without a plan, your Social media pages might end up being silent for too long or your post might be lower quality because you’re feeling pinched for time.
I prepare edibles. People make endless inquiries but at the end of the day they fail to complete the order. At times you feel like giving up because it’s annoying working so hard to put things together. Please how do you go about this?
Gbemi Oyebisi: I advise you add a free offer with every purchase. It let’s potential customers know that they are getting something extra without parting with extra more money.