How other people can understand your kind of business 

Last weekend, a friend of mine reached out to me, she is an entrepreneur and her business has been growing gradually, it turned out that one of her customers had told her that she(my friend) needed to open an online store for her fashion business, the woman informed her that there were a lot of people in the UK who were really interested in her crafts and would like to shop online. So this my friend ran to a web developer and got a website up and running after some days. Now, the website was up and contained all that an online shop requires, but there was something missing, the purpose of the company. 

The magnitude of having a purpose for your business cannot be overemphasized, so also is having a mission and vision statement, objectives, values, your business description, analysis of your products and so on. This goes beyond having it on your website alone, it must be your guiding principle, You must be able to tell it when you’re woken up in the morning, before you go to bed and even in your sleep (lol). 

Purpose – 

This is the ‘reason why’ of your business. The reason you decided to go into the business despite the risks and the odds of doing the business. The purpose of your business is what keeps you on your feet, what makes you empty your account, what makes you sack your boss and become your own boss. This purpose along with the rest should be your guiding principle. 

Values – 

Write out your values before fully starting out a business. Your values are the foundational principles of the business, they talk about what you stand for, gives you direction and help you make decisions. These values must not be compromised and must be revisited in case there are turbulence.  They must be clear to those who work and who are willing to work for you. 

Mission – 

This is what your business /company is aiming for, why you started out in the first place, what you are setting out to do. You mission statement must, like every other statements, be clear to your employees and to the outside world. It is your organizing principle under which everything in the company is done and when it seems that you’re going off course, should be revisited. 

Vision –

Your vision entails where you are going, who you want to be. It’s about a preferred picture of where you want to be in the next 3-5 years or longer. Your vision must be very big, specific, attainable, measurable and easily communicated to others. 

Your business description is equally important. You must be able to describe it exceptionally well, from ‘fashion design’ to ‘IT’ or ‘make up’ ‘catering’ etc. It’s critical that every business, no matter how small or how big should have a clear description. Together, it determines the company’s direction, it gives focus to the team, and serves as a template for decision making and also, it’s how other people can understand your business. So based on what I already know about this topic, I have been able to write Mission and Vision statements for two businesses. 

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5 tips to growing a business 

Starting up a business is not an easy task, getting the idea is not easy either. Ideas can come to us at any point in time. It can be inspired by what’s going on around us, our challenges, the books we read, or even from what another person is doing. In his book ‘life after school’ Dr. Chris Okpaluba said “look out for problems, they are wake up calls for solutions, when u set out to solve problems, profit will follow”. Now that you have started your business, what can you do to make sure it grows into what you envisioned? 

The following are things you must do before and after you have started

1. Research:What do you want to do? firstly, you must ask yourself what you want to really do, what kind of business will you like to go into and why?  I suggest that you research the market you are about to enter. This will give you a better understanding of the profit pool of the business, asides that, it will make you know who your competitors are and which of them is at the top and why. Never go into a business you know nothing about or you’ve not completely researched.

2. Be informed: now that you have started, have you being well informed? You must always be aware of trends and follow them, the internet has made it so easy to keep track of happenings in our environment and around the world. Follow trends, use the information you get to produce results and make sure the information you seek relates to your business and can transform your business in anyway. An uninformed individual is a deformed individual.

3. Have set goals: this is where your mission and vision statements come in. These statements are the foundation that your business should be laid upon. You must be clear about your goals at every level of your business and what you want to achieve in the next few years, always have a purpose for your business.

4. Specialize: opening a business requires that you have enough  knowledge about the business, therefore, specialize in a particular niche and dominate it. In other words,  have an area of specialization for example, are you a photographer, fashion designer or a car auto dealer? You must be able to describe what you do to others.

5. Differentiate your business: differentiate your product or service in a way that makes it superior to that of your competitors. Run your business in a different way, opt for a different means or bring in a competitive advantage i.e. something that you can do exceptionally well which will give you an edge over others.