Want some business ideas to make some money or extra income during the COVID-19 quarantine?
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you? Across the world, normal life as we know it is changing. In mild cases, some of us have had to adjust how we work, and in extreme cases, some of us find ourselves dealing with salary cuts and redundancies. No matter what you’re dealing with, it’s important to remember that there are things we can still control.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to make rent and grocery money from quarantine lemons, we’ve created a list you might find helpful.
Topics this guide will cover:
Business ideas to start at home and online
Online platforms where you can gain digital skills
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19 Businesses to Start During Covid-19
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As Sub-saharan Africa lags behind in the World Bank’s 2020 ease of doing business report, one woman-led startup thinks it can help entrepreneurs grow their companies in this tough environment.
After years of mentoring startups and running businesses in Ghana and Nigeria, Munachim Chukwuma started IB Consultingin February 2019 to help founders overcome operating challenges she also had to face as a young entrepreneur.
According to experts from Harvard University, startups that want to stand the test of time must learn new ways of operating and behaving. This is difficult for a lot of entrepreneurs because these new ways tend to be completely different from their start-up roots.
Most startups struggle to grow and scale either because they do not know how or lack the proper structure and strategy. This is where we come in.
Munachim Chukwuma – Founder, Ibobo Consulting
IB Consulting believes that African entrepreneurs struggling to grow their businesses must realize they are in a different phase of their business life cycle, and therefore must change.
IB Consulting’s growth recipe for startups.
To help entrepreneurs struggling to scale, Munachim and her partners created a service model that combines strategy consultation, negotiation, and content creation.
IB Consulting bets its 3 service tentpoles are what entrepreneurs need to grow faster despite the difficulty of doing business in Africa.
We decided to focus on strategy consultation, negotiations and content creation as a company because we realized most of the challenges most businesses face in today’s society are tied to those three areas in one way or another.
Munachim Chukwuma – Founder, Ibobo Consulting
In addition to its unique service model, IB Consulting promises clients efficiency, personalization, and great service.
Why you should watch out for IB Consulting.
In less than a year, IB Consulting is proving it is not just all talk. The company reports that since February, it has helped over 10 business owners rebuild their structures and execute action growth plans.
It’s also not just about the money for this company this woman-led company. They have done some pro bono work for new entrepreneurs who could not afford to pay for some of our services.
In 2020, the company plans to expand aggressively to reach, help and educate help businesses across Africa.
We intend to grow over the next year of business and reach more people across the continent, as we also reinvent our business and launch more products that can meet the needs of our prospective clients.
A business is often registered and largely seen as a separate legal entity from the owner; however, this divorce does not really take effect between these two lovers as both can’t just resist the temptation of mingling together. This is a major reason why most SMEs fail.
Business owners most of the time tend to muddle up the operations of their business with their personal life; and where there is no line drawn between the two, the business will be unable to review her growth independently. Even if you use a home-office, you should be able to demarcate between your home and business expenses. Concentrate on using just an area of the house and keep all home affairs out of this area. This is what the divorce is about. It is that bad!!!
When you start out in business, as an entrepreneur, it is normal that you have to perform multiple roles. At the same time you need to be the management, director and shareholder. This multi-role, maybe even multi-personality, can become ingrained in a way of working which leads to problems when the company expands and involves others in the operation of the business.
Drawing the line between your personality and your business
Even though it is a hard discipline, every entrepreneur must put machinery in place to make this divorce come to effect. So, my advice if you really want the break up to be permanent;
Maintain separate accounts for your business (in the business’ name, not yours) and personal transactions
Employ a knowledgeable and skilled accountant
Have a small business version accounting software
Keep sound accounting records
Periodically get help from a professional financial advisor
Discipline yourself not to borrow from the business. Avoid borrowing from the business as much as possible. It is easier saying: “I’ll pay back when I have the money” than doing it. Better to take a loan from the business (there must be a standard loan application procedure in place) and pay back using the established system.
Pay yourself a marketable salary. It is very important for the business owner to pay herself a marketable salary. Don’t pay yourself so high above the salary level just because your business is doing well: save for the rainy days. Paying below the market level is not also recommended. This can negatively impact your family life and sustaining may become a problem. In short, what will you pay somebody who replaces you? Pay yourself that amount.
Why you need a solid financial system
One of the most important steps that will aid you in measuring the growth of your business is setting up a solid finance system. One that is not only fashioned for your business model but that helps ‘think tax ahead’ and measure growth effectively. Setting up that system does not require ‘money’, proper advisory is only needed.
Accounting systems have been set up using Excel and as the business grows, it moves to simple ERPs. A finance system review is a necessity for businesses already running who can’t evaluate their businesses effectively, or are in various tax mess.
The role of audit in a business cannot be over-emphasized. If the business was set up for profit making, then the tax authority will want to have its share. Thus, having good and accurate records saves you from digging through scattered records of receipts of personal and business expenses when it is time for tax audit. This will also help avoid “tax headaches.”
Maintain supporting documents to serve as proof of separation as this is essential if you want to stay on the “right side of the law.” It may be difficult making this separation at the beginning but as time goes by, with determination and dedication, it will get easier and more efficient.
As an entrepreneur, having the funding and knowledge you need to get your business rolling is one thing, surviving the fierce competition and unpredictable economy is another. But as a true #MotherlandMogul, when the going gets good, you know it’s time to expand.
Now what’s your game plan? Relax, we gon’ show you the way.
Join us on Saturday April 22nd as we discuss the steps to owning and sustaining multiple businesses. We’ll be chatting with Ehime Akindele, CEO of Sweet Kiwi frozen yogurt who founded Your Way Foods and set up three businesses all under age 30.
To survive in this changing world, there are some business rules you need to follow. Ehime left her banking career and decided to start her own business in Nigeria, launching the first frozen yogurt company in the country.
This webinar will teach you everything you need to know about business sustainability and capacity building.
Register below to get the exclusive link to the webinar.
Some of the topics we’ll cover:
Capacity building: The skills and abilities you need to survive in business
What you need to know before expanding your business
6 ways to sustain business growth
5 do’s and don’t for female entrepreneurs looking to expand
Date: Saturday, April 22nd, 2017
Time: 8:00am TX USA // 2:00pm Lagos // 3:00pm Johannesburg
Ehime Eigbe-Akindele is the founder and managing director of Sweet Kiwi Frozen Yogurt. She has a BA (Honors) from London metropolitan university in Business Information Technology and International relations.
She began her career with Amnesty International, then moved to Citigroup in Dallas, Texas and worked in their banking group, before she moved back to Nigeria and founded Sweet Kiwi.
Ehime is a Goldman Sachs 10,000 women scholar, a public speaker and has taken part in several motivational speaking events to inspire youths and not-for-profit organization called ‘Hands in Lagos’ with an objective to foster the spirit of volunteerism in the country.
If you’re in business, competition is something you can’t do without. In other words, competition is a “necessary evil” of doing business. It does not, however, mean that competition in your business area is a bad thing.
On the contrary, when there are several competitors in your niche, it shows that you’re on the right track and that there’s money to be made there. What you must do, as a business owner, innovator and Motherland Mogul, is figure out how you can stand out from your competition.
You need to ask yourself: “If I must have competitors, how do I make sure I’m able to stand out? How can I be visible to my potential customers and clients? How can I meet my revenue expectations?”
In this article, I’m going to share with you a quick way to combat that. I’ll be sharing two case studies of how companies were able to stand out from the competition by thinking out of the box.
First things first, look at the top 10 companies/competition in your industry. Make sure you take note of the following:
What are they offering?
How do they offer it?
What are their price points?
How is their customer service?
What is their packaging like?
Then, ask yourself:
What are their strengths?
What are they doing that you should emulate?
Do they have any weak spots?
Is there something they are doing that you can do better?
Finally, determine how you can leverage all this information to be different. Ask yourself:
How can you do things differently without undermining the value of the products and services you sell?
#MotherlandMogul tip: Sometimes, all it takes is improving the experience your customers and clients get doing business with you.
Got it? Alright, now to the Case studies.
Case Study #1: Rebecca Minkoff Stores
I stumbled across an article about Rebecca Minkoff in Inc. Magazine. If you prefer the tl:dr version, here’s the story in a nutshell.
Rebecca Minkoff launched her brand of ready-to-wear accessories, handbags, and footwear in 2005. From the start, she knew it won’t survive as a regular store. So, she set out to create the perfect shopper experience.
When shoppers enter flagship stores, they are greeted by a digital touchscreen wall that displays the latest runway selections, offers style suggestions from Rebecca Minkoff herself and can even take drink orders.
Then, each item contains an RFID tag that detects when a shopper enters a dressing room. When the tag is scanned, an image pops up on a mirror with suggestions for complementary accessories.
Talk about innovative. Rebecca Minkoff really did create a unique shopping experience.
The Trunk Club is a subscription service for male fashion. Here’s how it works. When you subscribe, a consultant gives you a call and talks with you to find out your “style”. Then, each month, you get a trunk box (miniature size, of course) containing selections for the month. Each item is packed attractively and have price tags on.
As the consumer, you have the choice to take what you want and return the rest. Whatever you don’t return, they bill to you. If you can’t imagine how this would work, check out this guy here as he receives his first trunk box.
Bottom line is this. The Trunk Club is another innovative way of standing out from the numerous online shopping sites out there.
Go through the guideline above again and begin to come up with new ways to stand out from the competition.
One last thing. The two examples I gave happen to be in the fashion industry, but there are many companies out there in various industries being innovative and coming up with new ways to stand out from the competition.
Now, it’s your turn to think outside the box. Go on, I know you can do it!
#MotherlandMogul tip: What cool innovative ways have you seen companies use to stand out from the competition? How can you replicate them?
It has been said a million times already, starting a business is not easy. Worse still is the tendency of the initial thrill to fade away in the face of early-day challenges.
Most times, your entire life is focused on your business and you have no time for something else. The early days are hard, so here are some tips to tide you through the them.
1. Remember why you started
A daily reminder will do and if not everyday, often. Every successful Motherland Mogul has stories to tell about early days. Each person’s experience is different from the next but one thing is common. The struggle to keep up during the first few months and the importance of keeping their eyes on the goal.
When you wake up in the morning, the slight (or heavy) trepidation and anxiety should be replaced with curiosity and excitement. Wake up with, “I am doing it! This is my dream!” rather than “Here we go again”. Be enthusiastic, think “I’ve got work to do! Time to pray and SLAy”.
When you think back on all the planning, the first eureka moment, the excitement when you were laying down the plans, you realize that this is it. You are right where you want or need to be (or maybe not, but you are on the right track).
2. Seeds will grow if well planted
Once you’ve set a solid foundation, all you have to do is wait.
Waiting is harrrd, yes. But just as feeling of fulfilment washes over you when you eat freshly cooked corn harvested from your garden with your hands (gardening or farming folks will get this), so it feels when all the patience and hard work starts to pay off.
You literally eat the fruit of your labour but you have to go through the waiting period first. You have to wait for the seeds to first sprout, then grow and become ready to produce fruits.
That is a very long but worthwhile wait. So here is a virtual truckload of patience because it is highly needed at this stage.
3. Water and nuture
I know, enough with the fruit analogies but, that is the closest situation to what you are going through. While you are waiting for your business to grow —which should be the natural course of things, you have to prune it, pamper it, water it, sometimes cajole it and nurture it to grow.
I totally just gave your business a personality. Yes it has one. If it doesn’t, it should and I will call it ‘she’. And like a woman, you have to pay attention daily to the details of your business. While you watch it grow, a business mani-pedi is always needed.
You will constantly have to make changes, remove old things that no longer deliver, stick with tried and trusted routines. Wait, that is basic skin care! Well. As I said SHE needs the attention.
You have to keep your hands on the pulse of the business and watch your down-line. Don’t worry we are getting there.
Belief in your dream, in the big picture, in your self and in God is the seasoning in the dish.
Remembering why you got into this business, pulling yourself up each morning, working late into the night, skipping lunch and having more microwaved dinners than is healthy for you…all these are peppered by faith in what you are doing.
When I have a dream and I somehow get stuck, my first thoughts are full of doubt. I question the idea, the goal, the direction. But God doesn’t let me fool myself for long. The idea is reinforced and I snap out and push.
That is what faith in your dream will do for you. Especially when no one seems to get your idea or you don’t have the support you need. You need to hold on strongly to your dream and to your God. You are going to need it for what I call the, “Oh what am I doing? Am I sure this is it?” days.
Bunmi also shared information on some big breaks, particularly on going to banks for funding, seeking help for your business and making money.
– Capital call
It may seem crazy to you but banks shouldn’t be your first point of call in raising funds for your small business. Funding a business is always very challenging, but personal savings and support from family and friends should come first.
You’ll learn as you go, that this is definitely a lot stronger than getting a bank loan you may never be able to pay back!
– Technical Assistance
Before you can achieve the perfect business, you absolutely must get the right ”help”. The key to maximizing the effectiveness of any venture is to know how things work.
A well-planned business can also instantly move from drab to fab. Don’t underestimate the power of really knowing what to do.
– Economic growth
At the end of the day, you’re in business to make money, right?
Then, start making some, no matter how little or scarce your resources are.
Bunmi’s final words to young #MotherlandMoguls was this. Your business may be growing super fast but if you don’t manage growth well, you’d spread yourself too thin and burn out. Always keep this in mind as you continue on your way to business success.
If you enjoyed reading this article then the next best thing is to be there in person for #SheHive Joburg!
To all intents and purposes, many economies on the continent have seen a slowdown. Businesses are being tested for resilience, they are being pushed to the edge, and the strength and acumen of their value chains are being tested.But come what may, businesses must go on.They may not thrive as they when the economy was buoyant, but they must continue in earnest.
As I think about these times, two things come to mind.
The need to build a strong brand to have a sustainable and viable business in and out of a slowdown.
The need to continually prepare and plan to scale your business around the core business activity at the earliest possible opportunity.
Building a brand. Building a business
What is the difference between a brand and a business? A business is an enterprise that creates an opportunity to trade and generate revenue.A brand is made up of intrinsic values, quality and characteristics that endear clients and aspirational clients to the business.
I always say when starting a business, it is crucial to focus on building the brand first, so that you can have a viable, sustainable business in the medium to long term.And building a brand is not child’s play. A business brand is almost always made up of the personal and business values of the CEO.
Especially for a small business, it is almost impossible to separate the personal brand of the CEO from the business brand.These become indistinguishable given that the CEO is the face of the business, and most likely the primary client-facing representative of the business.
For the business owner and CEO, this brings home the need to reflect on, define and articulate your personal and business values right from the outset.This delivers you your business brand.Understand and define what you are trying to achieve with your business and what values are aligned with that personal and business aspirations.
Then, commit to live those values – through how you operate your business, how you choose and interact with clients, the quality of your services and products, how you recruit and engage with staff, how you present yourself to the world – presentation skills, public speaking skills, networking, and personal style.When we focus on these from the outset, we endear clients, and essentially revenues, to our business, create brand loyalty, and, come what may, in and out of recession, we enjoy a level of brand loyalty.
Scaling your business
Most business start with one core idea, concept, initiative, but there is always an opportunity to scale and expand that business.Think of a fashion brand that starts initially producing clothes, then start to produce and sell accessories, then later on goes into interiors, and maybe even then a lifestyle venture such as a restaurant.
What enables such a business to do that successfully is the power of their brand.When a brand is strong, it has a following, and clients will seek out that brand for every aspect of their daily needs.
It’s an intentional decision.Many global corporations and their CEOs at one point decided to develop their personal and business values (=brand) to keep their clients and customers hooked. In the event of an economic slowdown or economic upturn, their business, through their brand strength, remains a viable and sustainable enterprise.
You can do it!
The price of business and entrepreneurship is uncertainty, and the prize is a vision fulfilled, success even in the midst of uncertainty.
Someone recently shared with me a precise lesson in living. They said, if we knew the times and seasons, if we knew exactly what would happen to us or our business next month, next year or in 3 year, we would not need faith, we would not need to be resilient.
It is often the uncertainty in business and the ambition and determination to curb that very uncertainty that fuels the drive to success.
Risk taking buoyed by a strong brand can bring some comforting business stability.
When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist