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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Get a job or start a business (series part 6)

(Free seminar coming up in Port Harcourt, Rivers Nigeria soon)
                                                              i.      Current market situation
To earn enough revenue, your business must be able to achieve a share of the available market. To do this, you’ll need to have a thorough understanding of your market environment, including its size and the share that you can realistically achieve. The size of your share will depend on
1.        Market trends: find out what influences your target market now, and how your product can take advantage of this
2.       Target customers: describe who your target customers  are and how many there are; also justify your estimate of the market share you aim to get
3.       Competition: list your competitors and describe their products; also describe in detail how your product will be different

                                                           ii.      Current target customers
Define the characteristics of the target groups of customers that could buy from your business. Make a list of the features that your products have, and the associated benefits that these features can provide to your target customers.
1.        For individuals, describe them in terms of characteristics like;
a.       age
b.      income
c.        location
d.      lifestyle, and
e.        marital status.
2.       For businesses, consider the following;
a.       location
b.       numbers of employees
c.        public or private sector
d.       industry type, and
e.       Turnover.
Carry out some research into how many customers there are in your target group and how much they spend, and also try to identify trends that tell you whether this group is growing or shrinking.

                                                         iii.      Competitor analysis
Competitors may be in the same (direct competition) or similar (indirect competition) business to you. The level and strength of competition in a market indicates how difficult it will be to gain a share of the market. However, it is not simply the number of competitors that you should be concerned about; analyze the following aspects of each competitor’s business:
1.        Their products: are their products and services the same as yours? Do your competitors provide something that you don’t?
2.       Their customers: are your competitors targeting the same customer segments as your business?
3.       Their share of the market: how large is it, and could you take some of it?
4.      Their strategies: how they grow, market themselves, and price their products. Can you learn from how they conduct business, or do it better?
5.       Their operations and facilities: what levels of service are customers demanding?
                                                          iv.      Marketing strategy
With a clear understanding of your market, you can define your overall strategy. Break this down into objectives and targets relating to the volume and share of the market (or market segments) you hope to achieve, and when you intend to achieve them by. Ask yourself, for example:
1.        Who are your initial marketing targets?
2.       What products, services or particular deals will you be offering?
3.       Is there a specific volume, value, or share of these markets that you hope to achieve?
4.      When do you hope to achieve these targets by?
5.       Why are you choosing these markets first?
6.      Who will you target next, in the next 6 or 12 months?
                                                            v.      Marketing plan
Now that you have a coherent marketing strategy, you need to be clear about how you are going to make it happen. A detailed marketing plan must explain how you go about achieving each of your marketing targets and objectives. Such a plan will include some or all of the following:
1.        The methods you will use for each target segment
2.       The specific action you are going to undertake
3.       A timescale or timetable for each marketing activity
4.      Who is going to carry it out
5.       The estimated costs of particular marketing activities
6.      How you will monitor  and review progress
7.       How you will handle the response to your marketing
It will also be important to identify how you will manage the overall marketing plan, in other words, ensuring that the entire budget is not spent in the first couple of months, monitoring results, adjusting the plan, and introducing new tactics as you go along.
                                                          vi.      Sales targets and objectives
Your marketing plan, when implemented, needs to be converted into perhaps the most important business goal of all: sales revenues. Set out your forecasts in terms of sales of different product types by;
1.        volume and value
2.        sales from different customer groups and
3.        sales from different distribution channels.
                                                       vii.      Operational requirements
Information about your operational requirements will be required for your financial forecasts, while other information will be needed for your basic operational planning. Outline your plans for:
1.        premises
2.        equipment
3.       staff
4.       suppliers and
5.        compliance and licensing, and estimate the respective costs involved.
                                                     viii.      Current financial requirements and financial forecasts
Your business plan should include a breakdown of your financial requirements, the sources of finance you have available to you, and any additional amount that you may need. This breakdown should include:
1.        the cost of starting your business;
2.       your personal budget;
3.       details of your own personal budget;
4.      details of your own personal finance;
5.       a detailed cash-flow forecasts that will help to estimate how much available cash you will have in any particular month;
6.       a profit and loss forecasts to help to estimate when your business will start to make profit (which will be essential to your medium-term success);
7.        and a balance sheet forecast to provide you with a snapshot of the trading position of your business, identifying what your business will owe, what it will own, and how financially strong it will be at a particular point in the future.
                                                          ix.      Management Processes
Even if you are the only person involved in your business, it is still important to consider your key skills, responsibilities, and management processes. Think about
1.        Management team-outline skills and experience
2.       Key staff and responsibilities-summaries roles and contribution to the business. Be sure to cover the following tasks: marketing and sales, finance, recruitment, products development, general management, and administration
3.       Monitoring and co-ordination-set out how you plan to monitor performance (against objectives and targets), and to co-ordinate the key roles in the business.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Get a job or start a business (series part 5)

(Free seminar coming up in Port Harcourt, Rivers Nigeria soon)
Business Planning

    1. possible Business Ideas
                                                               i.      Start a carpet cleaning business
                                                             ii.      Start a home health care business
                                                            iii.      Start a lawn care business
                                                           iv.      Start a catering business. 
                                                             v.      Start your own bookkeeping services business
                                                           vi.      Start a signage business
                                                          vii.      Start a small export business
                                                        viii.      Start a business cleaning up offices or cleaning out foreclosure properties
                                                           ix.      Start a mail order business
                                                             x.      Start a mini day care centre
                                                           xi.      Start an Energy Conservation Consultancy business
                                                          xii.      Start a pest control business
                                                        xiii.      Start a business selling used books
                                                        xiv.      Start a mini fitness training centre
                                                         xv.      Start a tutorial centre on anything e.g. web design, crafts, hair dressing, etc
                                                        xvi.      Start a babysitting service business
                                                      xvii.      Start a hair braiding business
                                                     xviii.      Start a barbing salon in your neighborhood
                                                        xix.      Start a private process server business
                                                         xx.      Start a website building business
                                                        xxi.      Start a mobile detailing business
                                                      xxii.      Start a mobile phone repair centre
                                                     xxiii.      Start a mobile bookshop business
                                                    xxiv.      Start a mobile library
                                                      xxv.      Start a poultry business
                                                    xxvi.      Start a fish farming business
                                                   xxvii.      Start a janitorial business
                                                 xxviii.      Start an elderly home care business
                                                    xxix.      Start a beauty care salon business
                                                      xxx.      Start an auto detailing business
                                                    xxxi.      Start a photography business
                                                   xxxii.      Start a computer repair centre
                                                 xxxiii.      Start an electronics repair shop
                                                 xxxiv.      Start a cattle rearing business
                                                  xxxv.      Start a crafts exportation business 
                                                 xxxvi.      Start a catfish rearing business
                                               xxxvii.      Start a mobile car wash business
                                              xxxviii.      Start a pet sitting day care business
                                                 xxxix.      Start a dog grooming service business
                                                           xl.      Start a freelance writing business
                                                          xli.      Start an event planning business
                                                        xlii.      Start a printing business
                                                       xliii.      Start a network marketing business
                                                      xliv.      Start a green business
                                                        xlv.      Start an oil recycling business
                                                      xlvi.      Start a junk hauling business

Where do Ideas come from, Video;

Friday, July 20, 2012

Get a job or start a business (series part 4)

(Free seminar coming up in Port Harcourt, Rivers Nigeria soon)
Job Interview Tips
    1. Practice
      Practice answering interview questions and practice your responses to the typical job interview questions and answers most employers ask. Think of actual examples you can use to describe your skills. Providing evidence of your successes is a great way to promote your candidacy. Also have a list of your own questions to ask the employer ready.
    2. Research
      Prepare a response so you are ready for the question What do you know about this company?Know the interviewer's name and use it during the job interview. If you're not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions.
    3. Get Ready
      Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate for the type of firm you are interviewing with. Bring a nice portfolio with copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note taking.
    4. Be On Time
      Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, take some time to drive to the interview location ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Here's more on preparing for an interview.
    5. Stay Calm
      During the job interview try to relax and stay as calm possible. Take a moment to regroup. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Listen to the entire question before you answer and pay attention - you will be embarrassed if you forget the question!
    6. Show What You Know
      Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions.  When discussing your career accomplishments match them to what the company is looking for. Here's how to make a match between your expertise and the company's requirements.
    7. Follow Up

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Get a job or start a business (series part 3)

(Free seminar coming up in Port Harcourt, Rivers Nigeria soon)

  1. Prepare yourself mentally to accept a position with lower pay that gets your foot in the door.
  2. Respond to every possible job opening in the classifieds and posted on bulletin boards. Check out seasonal job offers posted in public areas such as libraries, churches. Temporary employment is better than no employment at all.
  3. Check online job boards for job listings in your area. Some online job boards offer listings across a variety of industries; others specialize in one or more career fields. Most allow job seekers to complete applications and upload resumes.
  4. Monitor the classified ad listings of newspapers in your city.
  5. Call friends who might know of any job openings. A friend's recommendation is one of the best ways to get a job quickly.
  6. Network with former co-workers to find out about openings at companies similar to your previous employer.
  1. Attend career fairs in your city. Career fairs typically feature dozens of employers, some of which may accept applications and conduct initial interviews on the spot. Some career fairs include employers representing multiple industries; others focus on a particular industry such as technology, manufacturing or hospitality. 

    (Free seminar coming up in Port Harcourt, Rivers Nigeria soon)

  1. Visit company websites and submit applications directly to the companies. 
  1. Ask for an application at the company's physical location if the company does not offer an online application option. Depending on the company's needs, you may get an interview before you leave. 
  1. Call independent recruiters in your area. These professionals specialize in matching companies with applicants and can help arrange an interview. An independent recruiter may also provide you with background information about the company and help you prepare for the interview.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Get a job or start a business (series part 2)

(Free seminar coming up in Port Harcourt, Rivers Nigeria soon)

Prepare a Cover letter

  1. Why write a Cover Letter
  2. Your cover letter should explain why you are sending your resume. Never send a resume without a cover letter, unless you are explicitly asked not to by an employer's application instructions. Don't make the reader guess what you are asking for - be specific! Tell the employer you are writing about the part-time summer elementary opportunity or the permanent position in secondary science advertised on the Education Canada Network site. Or are writing because you didn't see any positions in grade 4 physical education on the Education Canada Network and you would like to know of any upcoming opportunities in school district.
  3. Always state specifically how you learned about the position or the organization -- your university academic advisor, your neighbor Mrs. Blake. It is always appropriate to mention the name of someone who suggested that you write.
  4. Remember you are trying to convince the reader to look at your resume. The cover letter is the first impression - there are no second chances for a first impression! The cover letter must be well written and targeted specifically to the employer you are writing.
  5. Call attention to the highlights of your background -- education, experience, leadership roles -- which are relevant to the position you are applying for. Be specific and use examples.
  6. States exactly what is enclosed or attached -- resume, practicum report, list of references, transcripts forthcoming etc., so that the employer knows what you included in your application package.
  7. Provides additional information not referred to or requested in the application such as your availability date for an interview and/or start date and when you will follow up via mail/e-mail or telephone.
how to write your cv video

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Get a job or start a business series (Part 1)

(Free seminar coming up in Port Harcourt, Rivers Nigeria soon)

According to recent statistics by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, about 40 million African youths are currently unemployed, making about 60 per cent of the continent's unemployed.
  1. Start your job search by making a list of your 10 most important job skills. The list will help you narrow your job search.
  2. Prepare your CV
    1. Why write a cv
                                                              i.      To apply for a job within the same field.
                                                            ii.      To apply for a job within a different field.
                                                          iii.      To summarize your life achievements.
                                                           iv.      To apply for a particular job vacancy.
    1. General information on writing a cv
                                                              i.      the best time to have a CV drawn up? As soon as you are out of the college 
                                                            ii.      Every six months you need to update your CV to contain the latest information as and when you complete any new degree, training or achievement.
                                                          iii.      Every time you apply for a new job, you need to re-write the CV which should be totally tailor-made to the job you are applying for
                                                           iv.      you should have researched deeply into the company's background as well as have identified the best personal traits and qualifications that match with the prescribed job requirements. 
                                                             v.      no way a regular CV can match of all the jobs universally.
                                                           vi.      have a master CV in your computer that can be changed at the drop of a hat to fit any job requirements so it can be submitted properly.
                                                         vii.      One of the best ways of Standing out  is to show what you've accomplished in your work. Everyone has a storehouse of what they've done, things they've achieved on the job. What's important is to be able to quantify those things as a work value measurement. Clear indications of what you've done, how you did it, and these are tangible proof of your skills.
                                                       viii.      Do not ever falsify information, or give any misleading information to an employer under any circumstances whatever. It's illegal, it's self destructive, and it's just plain stupid. Don't even think about it.

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