Budgeting Tips for the 2021 Bride (Nice-to-Have and Must-Have)

Are you overburdened with all the bills with no one to help you out? Or, are you worried about a long to-do list with numerous ‘advisers’ but no help in sight?

This is one time to pause and breathe! Yes, Breathe in…Breathe out… 

Now that you’ve taken a breath, here’s what to do to get control of your wedding expenses three months before your wedding:

1. Make two lists; a Must-Have List and a Nice-to-Have List. Grab your fiancé to do this with you. 

Your Must-Have list contains things you know you need to make the wedding the most successful to you.
Your Nice-to-have list is for anything else that will be good to have but does not determine your wedding’s success or your happiness. Let’s not deceive ourselves, not everything is a must-have so be true to yourselves as a couple and make that clear from the beginning.

​2. Review your Must-Have list and put a timeframe to each item with the corresponding cost. Thankfully, I have created a wonderful Wedding Budget Template to help.

​3. Make notes of when the next stream of income will come and plan for it. If you earn monthly, plan ahead on how much of it goes into your wedding.

​4. According to priority, review your Nice-to-Have list and add the maximum you can spend on each item.

5. When money comes in, check off something on your Must-Have List. Repeat until everything is checked off.

​6. Use extra income to start checking things off your Nice-to-Have list, in order of priority.

7. When help is offered, as long as you have items on your Must-Have list, channel all help to this list first before anything else.

​8. Repeat as often as required. In my line of business, I’ve realised that the smartest brides are those who always stay on top of their finances.

Remember, the whole essence of this is for you to take one day at a time. There is no need getting so frustrated about what isn’t available or living beyond you. 

You’re on your own budget! #NoComparison.

Always remember, you’re not alone and I’m always here to help.

Finance Tips for Startups Trying to Survive the Pandemic

Someone said, saying “when the pandemic is over” is starting to sound a lot like “when Rihanna releases a new album” and lol, I couldn’t agree more. We should start adjusting to what life looks like now, instead of making plans for when the pandemic ends, because we have no idea when that might be. Everything around us is constantly changing, including the way we do business. The World Economic Forum says that the businesses that are most likely to survive this pandemic are the innovative ones. I also believe that businesses that have made good financial decisions in the past (have emergency funds) are most likely to survive the pandemic. 

For businesses that are still in their infancy stage, this might be a very tough period as they don’t have a pool of savings to tap into and unfortunately have to depend on their creativity. We’ve come up with a few finance tips and tricks that businesses can utilize to not only survive the pandemic but operate smoothly even after it is long gone.

1. Don’t put your eggs in one basket

You have probably heard this piece of advice a thousand times before, but you need to listen to it now more than ever. With so many businesses closing their doors, the least that you can do as a business owner is diversify your income. Depending on one source of income/sales is way too risky, you need to start thinking of how to improve the customer experience and in turn, get more sales. What else do your customers need apart from what you already provide? Can you provide that product/service? Try by all means to think of ways to introduce new offerings to your existing customer base or start providing something new to a new clientele.

2. Everything is becoming virtual, why aren’t you?

This tough period has forced so many business owners to think on their feet and execute immediately. We’re also seeing so many businesses hopping onto the online scene and honestly, it makes so much sense! Think about it, do your customers need to visit your office for all of your products/services? Is there a way that you offer your services online? Can customers order and have your products delivered to them? If there is even the slightest chance that you can continue with some parts of your business online, then GO FOR IT! You don’t have much to lose, setting up an online platform is less costly and has higher returns, in most cases.

3. Make Smarter Budget Choices for Your Business

We need to make smarter money moves this year and that starts by budgeting better. Also, try by all means to increase your income and decrease your expenses. The first thing you can do is ask yourself; what costs can you absolutely live without? Think of all the costs that are not vital to your business operations and all the costs that are unnecessary now that some employees are working from home.

For example, you no longer have to buy coffee and tea because, if no one is in the office, no one needs these during coffee breaks. Most landlords can give their tenants payment holidays and cuts on their rent, you will never know if yours is keen unless you ask them. Administration costs such as stationery can lower your spending, see how much money you can save by not buying these. To save the company from costs of petrol, try to arrange all meetings online so you don’t have to travel to any venues or offices. The last thing you can cut out of your budget are events (if you’re still having those), as great as they may be for employee morale, the business can do without it for now.

4. Invest in learning new skills

When push comes to shove, become the jack of all trades. For the time being, try not to outsource services such as Marketing and Finance. Tough times call for tough measures, so as a team, this is the time to invest in a new set of skills. There are a lot of free online courses, make use of them. Take a social media course and handle your own social media, this cuts out the Marketing consultancy fees you pay. Your finance team should also try to learn how to create professional and accurate annual financial statements, that way you can pay less on finance fees to other businesses. 

We’re all trying to survive the pandemic so we need to do business better, the key is to try and see if you can do some things in-house instead of outsourcing.

5. Apply for relief grants

Do your research and find out if your local government and banks are still offering relief funds. If they are, take full advantage of this opportunity. Apply for your business and hope for the best. After all, who doesn’t like free money?

I hope you find these tips helpful, here’s to successful and thriving businesses in 2021!!!

“I’ve Had A Lot Of Rejections But I Keep Going Back For My Yes”- Abimbola Oludare-Ojo, Founder,  Nareli Farms

One of Abimbola’s greatest motivations is the look of pride on her little daughter’s face when she is excited about one of her mother’s products. This keeps the illustrious agro-entrepreneur going regardless of the harsh tides and seasons in her business. “I want to always make something she can be proud of. I want to always be someone she can look up to,” Abimbola says.

Abimbola Oludare-Ojo spent 17 years in the banking industry before leaving to start Nareli Farms and Agro-Allied Business in 2017. Nareli Farms is a budding business in the agricultural sector that trades and packages items like Shea Butter, Black Soap and edible products like bread and spices. 

This article discusses her journey and lessons from her experience as an entrepreneur.  

You left a fulfilling career in banking after 17 years to pursue your agro-business, what spurred you to make that change?

Farming has always been a part of my being. Growing up, my father was a passionate farmer. He worked full time as an electrical engineer but he had a rural farm that he always took my siblings and me to. At the farm, he taught us how to plant corn, cassava and other local foods. He also taught us how to fry Garri. 

I have always wanted to run my own business. After I graduated from the Master’s program at the University of Ibadan, I tried to get a job in the food processing industry. That was tough so I ended up getting a job at the bank as a Relationship Manager. In that role, I learned a lot about satisfying customer’s needs, I learned about different businesses and read a lot of feasibility studies.

While I enjoyed my job there, I always had this longing to leave and start something of my own. I kept saying, “one day, one day” but of course, one day turned to 17 years. I got moved to another sector and it made me interact even more with business owners. When I would see a business similar to the one I wanted to start, I would feel bad and thoughts of leaving would come up again.

Another thing that spurred me to leave was the feeling that I was not spending enough time with my family. It had been tugging at me for some time and starting a business where I could manage my time proved a solution.

One day, after some soul-searching I walked up to my boss and told him it was time to go. I made him realise that I had to leave. I had to start Nareli Farms. 

If you could go back, would you change how your entrepreneurship journey played out?

No, I actually would not. Leaving was a tough decision, but I am glad I did it. Leaving took a lot of courage. In fact, some people thought I wasn’t normal. The pay in banking is good and when you think about how your next venture might not sustain the lifestyle you have, leaving seems less enticing. My supervisors could not believe it. They kept asking me if I was sure. But till now, I know I made the right choice.

The only thing I would have altered was my spending habits. While I was working, I spent a lot of money on equipment I thought I would need for my business but till date, I have not used many of them. 

There will be challenges regardless of whether you are on the right path or not. - Abimbola Oludare-Ojo Click To Tweet

There’s this idea that when you are on the right path as an entrepreneur, there won’t be challenges, has that been true for you in your journey? What are some of the challenges you have faced in the course of running your business and how have you been able to manage them?

There will be challenges regardless of whether you are on the right path or not. When I initially started, I had a million and one ideas in my head. I did not know which product I wanted to launch first or how to really go about it. So I joined a network- NECA’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women. 

The amazing women in this network helped me to figure out my business in the early days and held my hand through the process. Joining this network was also instrumental to me leaving my job. Before joining, I did not have the courage to actually take that step. I was three months into the network when I realised that I could do this, I could actually start something for myself. 

I was also a part of the cohort at the last FCMB SheVentures program where I learned about growing and running a business. In fact, it was like attending Business School. I would have made some wrong business decisions if I did not attend some of the Masterclasses in the program. My amazing mentor, Cynthia Umoru helped me to challenge myself as an entrepreneur and I grew from that. 

To learn more about Abimbola Oludare-Ojo and Nareli Farms, read the rest of this article on the FCMB Business Zone.

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This feature article on Abimbola Oludare Ojo is sponsored by the First City Monument Bank (FCMB). FCMB is passionate about empowering female entrepreneurs, helping them build their businesses, and improving the overall success rate of businesses owned or run by women.

Why you need an Endowment Policy (even while you are Pre-Rich)

We’re all constantly thinking of new ways to save money, especially when it comes to saving towards a particular target. We use apps, banks, and even in 2021, our pillows.

Do you know what these all have in common? Your money is somehow still right in front of you, tempting you at every turn. Without a great deal of discipline, you’ll break into your savings and never reach your goals.

According to independent surveys by She Leads Africa, 73% of young women in our audience said that their top money goal right now is financial independence. In another survey, 58% of women highlighted their top money goal as ‘saving and investing for my future’.

Now if you earn a decent, steady income but you’re always breaking into your savings, when are you going to achieve financial independence, or even save towards your future?

Luckily, there’s a more efficient way to save towards your goals that you’ve probably not heard of in the past- an endowment policy. Never heard of it? Well, you’re in luck, because that’s what this article is all about.

 

So, what is an endowment policy?

An endowment policy is a plan to help you meet set financial targets and obligations at a particular date in the future. You set a goal, pay periodically towards that goal and your policy provider pays you your set target amount plus a pre-fixed interest sum on your target date.

With an endowment policy, you’re able to put money aside with a trusted institution and get a specified amount back at your target date.

An endowment policy could also double as an insurance plan as in the event of death, accident, or illness (in the terms covered by your plan). Your target amount is paid to you…even before the target date.

 

Why should you get an endowment policy?

You’ve been trying to save for yearsss: You’ve tried a bunch of methods and nothing is working. It’s definitely time to try an endowment policy.

You want to be accountable: Endowment policies are a great way to plan towards your goals. You’ll have a specific target amount to save monthly towards your goal and the payment plan keeps you accountable.

You want to stay focused: With a target date and a target sum, you can keep your end goal and payday in mind and actively work towards it. You’re not spending the money you’re saving on something else. Your money is safe and secure till the agreed date.

You’re saving towards a specific goal: Could be a master’s, a car. your kids’ education or even a wedding! Get the funds you need when you need them…with no excuses.

You have money: No, that’s not a typo. If you have money and a plan for your future, you SHOULD get an endowment policy.

Other benefits…


Tax relief: Some endowment plans qualify for tax relief so the amount of tax you have to pay is reduced. 

Your estate is covered: In the event of death, your target sum is paid back to your estate and the policy terminates.

Back-up funds in case there’s an accident: If you ever have a serious accident, you’ll have your target sum to fall back on even before the set target date.

Fall back plan in critical illness: If you get critically ill? We know hospital bills can be a pain. You’ll have your target sum to fall back on and help you pay your bills!

Where do you start?


A good example of an endowment policy is the Leadway Target plan. You can contact Leadway Assurance right now via DMs and they’ll put you on all you need to know!

 



“Being An Entrepreneur Is Not A Walk In The Park”- Meet Taiwo Oludairo, Founder Of Ejire Onigarri

ejire onigarri

The art of balancing a 9-5 job, side business and managing a family cannot be underrated, it is the work of a superhero! Taiwo of Ejire Onigarri describes herself as industrious, ambitious and a go-getter not just because she has her way with words but it is a description of who she truly is. 

She started her business, Ejire Onigarri, to fill in a gap in her community. Repeatedly, people had complained bitterly to her about the dirt-filled Garri they buy at the local market. They would always ask her to buy Garri for them from her hometown.  This she turned into a business, added a unique twist and has since then been evolving. 

Her business journey is one filled with challenges, successes and lessons learned to help other female entrepreneurs map out their way in the business world.

 

How did you become an entrepreneur, where did the idea of your business come from?

My mum used to work in UBA, and that always excited me. I dreamt of working there or any other bank of my choice. Everything was going well for my mum until there was an overturn in the banking industry that made banks lay off their staff. This was a major struggle for my mum because she only knew about the 9-5 life. It was difficult for her to get another job or enter into the business world. This hit me deep and ever since then I made the decision that I wouldn’t rely on a 9-5 job. The urge to start a business sparked in me.

I personally don’t buy Garri from Lagos, it always has stones, dirt and other impurities. For those who do not know what Garri is, it is cassava grained into dry edible granules. Anytime, I travel home, my colleagues and friends would always tell me to bring Garri for them. This demand kept on increasing and I thought to myself why not start a business out of it. Garri is a  fast-moving product that people can affordably buy. No matter what is going on in the economy, people will always eat, food will always be a priority.

ejire onigarri

What’s the biggest factor that has helped you become successful?

I won’t say I am there yet, I’m on the path to success! I see feedback as an opportunity to do better. Customer service is key! I don’t do transactional relationships with my customers, I go beyond that and invest in building a long-lasting relationship with them.

 

What significant struggle have you faced running your business and how did you solve it?

  • Financial: Funds are usually needed to scale up an enterprise from being a hobby to growing into a profitable business. To achieve this upscale, I began monthly contributions. 
  • Having to get equipment for the business: At inception, my Garri bags were handmade by me. However, as I interacted with colleagues in the industry, I learnt there were machines available that will save time, manage resources and maximise profit. 
  • Social media: Social media can be a hard nut to crack sometimes. My degree in English couldn’t save me as the terrain spans beyond that. To succeed, I enrolled in digital marketing courses as well as conducted research. 

 

What has been the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur?

Having something to call my own and building my dream. I am building something that generations behind me can take over. As a mother, I want to leave a worthy legacy for my daughter.

Ejire Onigarri

Beyond Garri I am preserving the Nigerian heritage, providing crunchy nourishment and creating customer satisfaction and happiness.   

What are some lessons you have learned?

Being an entrepreneur is not a walk in the park, it is definitely not a bed of roses. There is a lot of struggle behind the smiling face, behind that exciting post you see on social media. As a 9-5er, I have to balance the orders, package the Garri, prepare for work, get the kids ready for school and put the home in order, I’m still learning, I learn new things every day.

To learn more about Taiwo Oludairo and Ejire Onigarri, read the rest of this article on the FCMB Business Zone.

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This feature article on Taiwo Oludairo is sponsored by the First City Monument Bank (FCMB). FCMB is passionate about empowering female entrepreneurs, helping them build their businesses, and improving the overall success rate of businesses owned or run by women.

How to Spot and Manage Employee Personalities

We all say that we want to be leaders but many times we forget that to be a successful manager, you must learn to adapt your leadership style to suit different types of employee personalities.

Employees have a range of behaviours ranging from normal to extreme. When confronted with these different personalities, managers sometimes aren’t quite sure how to manage this. In this article, we look at seven types of employee personalities and how best to manage them. 

The Employee Personalities

The Slackers

They can be found lingering in the break room, openly surfing the net, or parked in someone’s cubicle for a lengthy chat (which proves that slacking off can be contagious). They may find legitimate reasons to leave the office, then take time to run lengthy errands. This personality may be as a result of an under-developed work ethic and lack of good role models or they don’t just like their jobs so have trouble bringing any energy to it. 

The Space Cadets

These employee personalities frequently seem to be lost, thinking of something else except the subject matter. They make seemingly off-the-wall comments in meetings and may start discussions in the middle of a thought. They may come up with ideas that, at least on the surface, seem rather impractical. They are usually abstract thinkers who are more focused on the future than the present. 

The Power Takers

These employees tend to get into power struggles with their bosses. They often act like they’re managing you, instead of the other way around. These employee personalities would naturally take over a meeting or quickly step into the lead role on a project, brag about their accomplishments, so titles, perks, and public recognition are important to them. A strong fear of failure often lies behind this bravado.

The Loners

They are quite easy to spot. Look out for those who prefer to spend the day working on the computer and talking to no one in a little corner they carved out for themselves. They never want to attend conferences, meetings or workshops, because they look for any excuse to duck out. They don’t dislike people – they just don’t find social interaction to be a very enjoyable activity.

The Drama Queens (or Kings)

The dramatic ones thrive on excitement and attention, so spotting them is easy. A calm, peaceful workday is just not very rewarding, so they try to spice things up with dramatic pronouncements, juicy gossip, ominous rumors, personal traumas, or emotional breakdowns. When talking with others, they are expressive and animated. More subdued coworkers find the dramatic employees exhausting and try to avoid them. They thrive on emotional stimulation, regardless of whether the emotions are positive or negative.

The Challengers

Challengers are programmed to be oppositional. When presented with a proposal, suggestion, directive, or idea, they automatically point out flaws, obstacles, and potential problems. In fact, they enjoy challenging management, because they feel it establishes their independence. They resent authority and never show respect just because the person has a title. Their focus is on winning arguments, not resolving the problem. Challengers have a high need for control. 

The Clingers

The major quality of people with this personality is dependence. They like clear instructions, ongoing communication, and frequent positive reinforcement. Uncomfortable making independent decisions, because they are afraid of doing the wrong thing. Clingers are reluctant to express disagreement because they fear making others angry and losing their support. As a result, they sometimes withhold their opinions or harbor resentments that they never express. The Clinger’s main need is to feel safe.

Management Techniques

Management may differ for each personality but here’s a brief summary of tips that may aid in effectively managing employees that fall in these categories listed above:

  • Clearly define expectations in terms of results that must be accomplished.
  • Help the employee break down large projects into smaller implementation steps.
  • Set regular times for feedback and follow-up to ensure that work is on track.
  • Explain why more mundane or tedious tasks are important.
  • Provide regular feedback to encourage more concise verbal and written communications. 
  • Stress the importance of each team member to the overall organizational success.
  • Take time to understand individual ideas, as sometimes they often have benefits that are not immediately apparent.
  • Provide opportunities to be creative.

It is important to note that in any organization or sector, asides from identifying the multiple personalities within you must first define the culture and type of leadership as a step to effectively manage for success. To be categorized as a Great leader, you must actively listen, build rapport, ask questions and give constructive feedback. Communication and flexibility are key.

4 Ways To Become A Financially Literate Mogul In 2021

Every two to four business days, I come across very questionable advice on how to be “financially literate” on the interwebs. I almost want to ask the person giving the “advice” if they believe what they are saying or if it is just vibes. 

See, not everyone is giving you advice is they have fact-checked, taken time to think through or practice. We have to learn how to filter what we hear about managing our hard-earned money, especially in a Panoramic.

Financially Literate Woman

So, in this piece, we’ll be discussing-

  • What it means to be a financially literate mogul.
  • How you can increase your financial literacy without any of the shenanigans online.

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So, what does it mean to be a financially literate mogul?

A financially literate mogul has a basic knowledge about managing personal finances and building wealth.

If this is you, it means you have an understanding of how to

Now that all this has been listed, reflect on what you understand through PRACTICE and what you need to get better at. 

Want FREE finance-related content, resources and updates? Click here!

Here are some No-BS ways to become financially literate.

Read –

Books, Magazines, web articles, newsletters, Facebook posts, Tweets, IG posts- read as much as you can about finance from trustworthy sources.

Read sources that speak about finance in a way that is relatable to you.

While some sources are very helpful in the advice they offer, the context that they operate in might not provide you with the insight you need. With reading comes fact-checking so Google what you do not understand or need more information on.

Use Finance Tools And Apps-

As much as we want to learn, we may not be able to do so all by ourselves. This is where apps and tools come in handy. These days, thankfully, there are apps and tools for almost every aspect of finance- be it saving, budgeting, tracking expenses or investing.

Some finance apps even have learning centres and blogs to help you stay updated. Find one that incorporates the aspects of finance you want to improve on and commit to using it.

Take A Financial Literacy Course-

Sometimes, what we need is a course to help us step up our money game. If you are clueless about where to start on your finance journey or how to stay consistent, consider taking a financial literacy course.

Find a course that breaks down what you need to know and gives take-home assignments. This will help you practicalize your learning and stay accountable.

Sometimes, what we need is a course to help us step up our money game. If you are clueless about where to start on your finance journey or how to stay consistent, consider taking a financial literacy course. Click To Tweet

Join A Community Of Money-Minded Moguls-

There is nothing as uplifting as being a part of a community of people with similar goals. When you belong to a group that shares your goals and has your best interest at heart, you remain motivated.

The added accountability and access to resources can also not be underestimated. Find a community or group of friends and become an active member. 

There is nothing as uplifting as being a part of a community of people with similar goals. When you belong to a group that shares your goals and has your best interest at heart, you remain motivated. Click To Tweet

Key Takeaway

Learning about finance takes constant practice. There is always room for improvement so do not beat yourself up about what you haven’t learnt.

Approach learning about finance with an open but cautious mind and you will be surprised by how much you will grow.

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How to keep your inner child and laugh more

Happy New Year Everyone. Wishing you a healthy and amazing 2021!

By now, we’ve all probably written our new year’s resolutions with renewed effort, energy and discipline to ensure we achieve all our goals. Goals such as; (a) losing weight; (b) getting healthy; (c) finding a job or a new job; (d) possibly relocating; (e) meeting the one (*wink wink*), travelling and so on, are usually top of our lists. While all these plans are great and will generally contribute to our mental wellbeing during the year, we should all aim to maintain the child within us. Now, what does this mean? “We should try to laugh more and be happy.” 

There is a common myth that children laugh about 300 times a day and adults laugh about 20 times a day. While these numbers may not be accurate, the message is clear. As we grow older, we tend to laugh less and take life too seriously. This is mostly because our responsibilities and goals increase, and we are always looking to achieve more in different aspects of our lives. We can, however, try to laugh more while carrying our burdens and hoping for what is to come. 

“So how can we laugh more?” Well, here are some of my tips:

  1. Be grateful – Take a moment each day to remember all the things we are grateful for. This exercise helps us to remember everything in our lives that is going well, and what we should be grateful for. It also gives us renewed hope and strength that at the end of the day, everything will fall into place.
  1. Watch a funny movie – Funny movies make us laugh, even when we are in the worst of moods. When someone shows us a funny scene or says something hilarious, no matter how much you try to hesitate, you find yourself laughing.
  1. Solo dance parties – Now this is one of my favorites. I love listening to happy music, and dancing alone in my room, car, or the park. Anywhere you feel safe, just dance, let it all out and be happy. 
  1. Talk to people who make you feel safe and happy – We all have that one family member or friend that always leaves us in a better mood every time after we talk to them. Speak to people like these more. 
  1. Exercise – It’s scientifically proven that exercising releases endorphins, which are known as “happy hormones”. These happy hormones interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and triggers a positive feeling all over your body.   
  1. Learn to let things go – Now this is something that I still struggle with but have personally seen the benefits of by taking baby steps. As we go through life, a lot of things will most likely not go our way. When this happens, we should learn to accept it and move on. 
  1. Stay hopeful – Believe that what you want, or need will happen. Have faith that God has answered your prayers and act like it. This programs our brains to believe we have already received all our heart’s desires and in turn, makes us happy. 

At the end of the day, we all have one life, so let us try to enjoy it and never let go of our inner child. 

9 Tips On How To Manage Startup Employee Turnover

There’s a common saying in the business world: “A business is only as good as its people.” This is why a high employee turnover rate, especially for good employees, can be detrimental to a business.

So what happens when one of your key employees wants to quit? This is not a piece of news any business owner wants to hear but it’s an inevitable part of doing business. I’ve learned that exits are always challenging for teams, their leaders, and for the company as a whole– and costly.

According to a study published by the Society for Human Resource Management, when an employee leaves, it costs an average of 6-9 months of your former employee’s salary to identify and onboard their replacement. Click To Tweet

Employee turnover can quickly run up costs ranging into the hundreds of thousands– or more. Talk about a big financial hit.

According to a study published by the Society for Human Resource Management, when an employee leaves, it costs an average of 6-9 months of your former employee’s salary to identify and onboard their replacement.

Here’s how you can handle exit/team member’s resigning in the start-up environment:

Study the employee turnover pattern

To understand how to stop a wave of departures from happening, you first need to understand why these waves happen in the first place. Are they leaving as a result of wages, minimal growth opportunities or culture?

In startups, most times whatever is bugging one person is usually bugging the others; they just haven’t told anyone yet (or you missed the signs). Over time, issues build on one another enough to lead people to consider leaving.

Create a habit of regular pulse check

Make a continuous habit of checking in with team members. Conduct anonymous surveys using tools that allow for this and regular coffee check-ins to discuss a variety of topics about how you are doing as a leader, things going on in the company, and so on.

You will be shocked at what people have to say. When you address the issues, you find that you are fixing something that everyone will appreciate. 

Change your Mindset

Assume everyone is leaving and interviewing. Don’t set the standard that the only way to get attention is if you fear they’re interviewing. Realise as well that even those that stick around may only be doing it out of necessity.

Employees could also be staying due to any of the following reasons:

  1. Visa or immigration restrictions
  2. Big life event approaching–wedding, baby, buying a house, etc
  3. The promotion they are hoping for before leaving so they can get a better title and salary elsewhere.

Accept change 

When multiple team members are leaving, it’s a sign that change is needed. Accept that this change must start with you and embrace that mindset. If your employees are leaving, it’s a huge signal fire that there are problems to be dealt with.

Be open to their feedback and the issues they bring up (especially if they’re about things you do) It may be difficult to hear, and the solutions may be difficult to implement, but realise that the situation is dire. 

Follow-through & take action

The best way to build trust with employees that might leave or as a whole is to swing into action on the feedback they give you. You may not be able to fix all the problems, but even small, incremental progress can improve morale and decrease employee turnover.

Make a counteroffer when necessary

If the employee is extremely valuable to your business, you may consider making a counter-offer depending on the situation (it could be that they have opted for a career change that you cannot accommodate).

When making a counteroffer, you must consider your budget, do the right market research and compare this with the cost of hiring fresh talent. The good news is that counter-offers are not only about money as they might be leaving for different reasons. So you can get creative and think of ways to solve that person’s problem in a way that helps them to stay with you.

Fix your processes

An example of a process could be your onboarding methods. Research shows that new employees are 58% more likely to stay longer at their employer if they had an effective onboarding experience. Make them feel welcomed and accepted as a new team member. Give them everything they need to get off to a fast start. 

Set clear objectives and expectations 

Clear objectives and key results (OKRs) on a company-wide level will enable aligned clarity and prioritization throughout the organization. Share long-term product roadmaps, to enable greater visibility (and excitement) about growth trajectory and development plans. This encourages team members to feel like a part of the business development and success story.

Reform your Human Capital Initiatives

This involves taking a closer look at the people you are working with. Proactively weeding out low performers and people whose skills/goals were misaligned with the company’s needs/goals plays an important role in reducing future turnover rates. 

In summary, If you’re working on a huge employee turnover problem, you’re probably under a lot of stress and have a lot on your plate.  The best thing you can do to help yourself and reduce your employee turnover rate is to be attentive to issues within, intentional, and diligent in your communication methods. 



In reality, all startups are built on change, and change is good. To create something where nothing existed before, growing companies need to experiment, to give new ideas a chance to fuel exponential growth. What this means is that the focus of the business might change often.

As much as hiring new talent at a startup can bring a new level of skill and expertise, if you aren’t making the most of the talent you have at each stage, it can leave a negative impact on your business.

2021 Workplace Superpowers – The Musthaves

If I was asked what my special skills were a year ago, it would definitely differ from now. 2020 came with a twist and remote work forced every one of us to learn how to Do It Yourself (and I don’t mean cooking).

Here are some of the must-have skills for 2021 that will make you more sellable to recruiters, and an asset in your current workplace.

The requirements for success in the workplace are changing and what matters most is your ability to adapt to change/trends as they come.- Nneka Alfred, Head of HR, She Leads Africa Click To Tweet

Hard Skills for the Workplace


1. Data Analytics: The workplace today requires us to think in data. This requires us to do a bit more research, crunch those numbers, understand raw data and drive business growth based on concrete analysis.

2. Content Creation: Your ability to produce entertaining or educational material that not only caters to the interests and challenges of a target audience but increases engagement and conversions definitely sets you apart from others in your field.

The content you produce can take many forms, including blog posts, videos, graphic design and newsletters. 

3. Marketing: Businesses worldwide need analytical people who understand what sort of tools are available in the growing digital toolbox, and know how to dig in through trusted channels.

4. Sales: This can pass for both a hard skill and a soft skill as sales involves persuasion, but with a specific commercial end in mind. Your ability to convert leads to revenue would give you a spot in any workplace.

5. Video production: The average person will watch 25 continuous days of video in 2021. Video content is quickly becoming the dominant form of all communication and companies are fighting to create effective digital video assets.

6. Product Development: This involves managing the process of developing a product or enhancing existing products in order to meet customer expectations effectively. If you haven’t noticed, times are changing and the direction of products being developed is too. 

Soft Skills for the Workplace

1. Creativity: Developing new ideas, applying new solutions to address existing problems.  Some people are naturally creative on their own, but a lot of us need to bounce ideas off others to get the creative juices flowing.

An ability to learn continuously and willingness to adapt to change is essential to boost your creativity.

2. Communication skills: Interpreting information through speaking, listening and observing is a must-have skill for 2021. Organizing thoughts and data points into a comprehensive, holistic narrative will get you where you need to be in your career.

3. Collaboration: Collaboration suffers when roles and goals are not defined. The next time you take on a group project, strike up a conversation about what success looks like, and who’s doing what. This simple act can get everyone rowing together faster and more effectively. 

The next time you take on a group project, strike up a conversation about what success looks like, and who's doing what.- Nneka Alfred, Head of HR, She Leads Africa Click To Tweet

4. Adaptability: Manage your mindset. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances starts with a mindset that’s willing to adapt to changing circumstances. If you tend to balk at change, reflect on the reasons why — and then see if you can reframe your perspective to help you see things differently.

5. Emotional intelligence: Practicing control, knowing when to push, expressing yourself and observation of interpersonal relationships among people in a workplace is very important when working with people.

6. Leadership: Leadership in the 21st century is much more about influence than authority, learning to appreciate and adapt to people with different perspectives, priorities, and personalities is a key skill to develop.

Having a difficult time figuring out your superpowers? 

2021 workplace skills

Here are three questions you can answer to guide you:

  • What unique contribution do you bring to projects, conversations, and meetings you attend?
  • Why do team members come to you for help?
  • What would be missing if you were to leave your current place of work?

If you are unable to answer these questions yourself, ask a colleague or friend. If your answers do not reflect the skills listed above, don’t relent or give up. The internet is packed with so much information, take some short courses, seek guidance from a work buddy, mentor or your boss. 

A superpower isn’t just a skill but a perspective, a mindset and a way of working that enhances everything you touch. The requirements for success in the workplace are changing and what matters most is your ability to adapt to change/trends as they come.