Big Company Strategies for Start-ups/Small Businesses to adapt

Running a small business has its pros and cons, the same as running a large corporation.

Large corporations may have endless resources to implement and execute elaborate and detailed strategies as they have hundreds of great minds constantly devising new ways to grow their business.

Whereas in a small company, you have to keep overheads lean, hence, there is no massive budget for strategy sessions with great minds from Ivy league schools. In a small business, the entrepreneur is the great mind and the world is your Ivy league degree, you have to make do with what you have.

But how exactly can you do that? I highlighted some solid, foolproof strategies that big corporations employ to achieve massive results and successes, which can be applied to your small business on a lean budget.


Market Segmentation

Enterprises spend millions annually on research to find out what market segment their products are best suited to. Market segmentation is important in every business as knowing your customer is the key to finding your market, which consequently leads to sales.

You need to know who your customers are, where to find them and how to reach them.


For small businesses, market segmentation helps you focus on a particular demographic or geographical area, thereby allowing you focus efforts on being the market champion in that market segment.

To figure out your market, small business owners should ask questions like who is your ideal customer? Which customers are you avoiding? What markets are the most profitable?

Answering these questions would help entrepreneurs prioritize and apportion resources to market segments that have the highest returns.

Marketing Funnel

A marketing funnel is basically a fancy term for all the points in your customer acquisition strategy where you contact prospective clients.

As a prospective customer moves down the funnel, the better your chances of converting them into a paying client. Big businesses have a large team and budget to automate and implement this process, with small businesses on a lean budget, you can adapt this technique by being intuitive to your customer’s buying pattern.

Ask yourself,  how does a customer find out about your service? How often do they come to your page? When do they buy?

What motivates this purchase? Asking yourself these questions gives you a clearer understanding of how to move your customer from being aware of your product to become paying clients.


Partnerships That Work

Large corporations usually cut deals with their counterparts that their customers can benefit from, small businesses should employ this tactic.

By bundling your services with another that complements you and your customers, you rake up good points with your clients.

For instance, if you sell hair extensions, you can offer your clients free hair care products, this would cause clients to be more inclined to your products, or event decorators could team up with an event space to offer a bundled service to customers.

It’s about leveraging what you’re good at, not trying to be everything to everyone and giving your customer a more wholesome and rewarding experience.

Chief Sales Officer

Enterprises can afford to pay several people bucket loads of money. Especially people who work just to think about how to execute more sales every day. These people have access to real-time data and analytics.

The data is what helps them make sensible insights, that make executing a large number of sales a reality.

On the other hand, for small businesses, it is usually hard to have more than one person in this role. It is of utmost importance to have someone who is constantly thinking of ways the company can generate revenue.

You must always know who your customers are, where they are and know what they want.

As you scale, have more people in sales and segment each section of the market the person should be handling.

By focusing on the customer and how to make them advocates, generating sales and loyalty. Most businesses have grown to become big businesses.

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Tiyani Majoko shares her 5 Ways To Cheat The Hustle

We often hear it said “the dream is free but the hustle is sold separately”, but what if the hustle didn’t have to be so expensive?

It has been a dream of mine to visit Lagos, Nigeria for a very long time. I am happy to share that I recently visited Lagos, Nigeria to explore opportunities that may be available for Lawgistics Legal Consultants. A legal consultancy that I run based in Johannesburg.

Also, I had to keep a promise I made to myself and very publicly in my last post on What To Do When You Hit A Wall. 

Nothing can replace hard work, commitment, and sacrifice in order to be successful but I want to explore other practical measures I took to make my Lagos dream come true so that you also can Cheat The Hustle.

In order to Cheat The Hustle, you have to hustle! - @TeyAni Click To Tweet


Image result for the dream is free but the hustle

Here are 5 effective ways to Cheat the Hustle:

1. Network

In May 2018 I had a coffee meeting with Moyo, she was visiting Johannesburg for her brother’s graduation and a mutual friend put us in touch.  She is a content creator and PR genius that is based in Lagos and we spoke about all the ways I could expand my brand.

Moyo also invited me to the Flourish Africa conference that was happening in July 2018. I previously did not know anyone in Lagos, but after 1 coffee meeting and a loose invite to Lagos, I started planning and a few weeks later I was on the ground.

Meeting Moyo helped me Cheat The Hustle because I now had a contact and she organized several meetings for me in Lagos with people in positions I could barely imagine connecting with.

The Flourish Africa conference is the brainchild of Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, who needs no further introduction and by virtue of the one person in my network, I was able to personally meet Mrs. Alakija and even appear on Channels TV station.

Build your networks to help you Cheat The Hustle and this is a 2-way street, you also have to be willing to help others in their feat to Cheat The Hustle.

Being part of the She Leads Africa community is a killer way to Cheat The Hustle because you get access to a great network of women and events around you.

To Cheat the hustle, you need Value, Visibility, and a Voice - @TeyAni Click To Tweet

2. Partnership


When I did my research on accommodation in Lagos, the places I would have liked to stay at were out of my price range so I decided to approach South African brands that have a presence in Nigeria. The first on my list was Tsogo Sun which owns Southern Sun Ikoyi and I asked them for sponsored accommodation – to my shock and pleasure they said yes!

Working with a big partner can give you leverage so that you don’t have to hustle too much to make your dreams come true. The key is that you show them value! When you send that cold email to make your ask, study what they do and how it can tie in your message.

Brands want to work with someone that shows them Value (by understanding their value), someone who can create Visibility for their brand (this doesn’t necessarily mean you have 100k followers on Instagram but that when you tell your 1000 followers something they engage) and someone with an authentic Voice!

The value I showed to Southern Sun Ikoyi, with the help of Moyo, I was able to secure a spot on Bella Naija to invite entrepreneurs to a Cheat The Hustle Brunch. I created visibility.

I also had several meetings which I shared online to showcase the venue as Southern Sun Ikoyi has private meeting rooms that can be used for presentations, meetings, small book launches, etc.

During my time in Lagos, I had a radio interview with Tunji Andrews on Nigerian Info FM. We spoke about ways in which entrepreneurs can Cheat The Hustle because entrepreneurship is not just a passion-  for me, it’s my lifestyle so I use for voice to speak on it!

How can you put these 3 V’s in place for you to partner with a big brand?

You cannot Cheat The Hustle with a helter-skelter mentality - @TeyAni Click To Tweet

3. Being Organised

My new saying is “What you don’t have in intelligence, make up for in being organized.” If you are organized and plan well, it can make look really smart.

I learned the hard way that the yellow fever vaccine must be taken 10 days before you travel. Fortunately for me, I got my shot the day before my trip. It could have been easy to blame my travel agent or other friends who travel to West Africa for not telling me earlier- but this could have been avoided by a simple Google search.

You cannot Cheat The Hustle with a helter-skelter mentality. I am still learning this one because I suffer severely from procrastination, general disarray and doing things “on the fly”.

Being organized may not sound sexy because its so basic- but the results of an organized life are very attractive!

4. Mentorship


I swear by mentorship and currently have 3 mentors who have been fundamental to help me Cheat The Hustle. Mentorship can be so misunderstood and this affects its impact. If done right, your mentors can help you see opportunities and overcome obstacles. Mentors serve in the space of the tension between  “running a business for the present and building a business for the future.”

I recently read a great article by Dr. Ola Brown, who I met at the Flourish Africa conference, where she talks about the difference between a mentor and political godfather. She also highlighted something to me- that I can help my mentors! They are human too, and still, have their own goals they want to accomplish. However, I may be able to serve as the plug for them!

Invest something, and all the other elements will come together to help you Cheat The Hustle - @TeyAni Click To Tweet
Cheat The Hustle Brunch with Founder of FabWoman @mis_mercee

5. Hustle

In order to Cheat The Hustle, you have to hustle. What I mean by “Hustle” is – show up, commit, sacrifice, pray, believe, serve, work, pitch. Hand out those business cards and take the risks. It will be hard to Cheat The Hustle if there is no Hustle coming from you.

In February 2018 I wanted to come to Lagos but I didn’t want to pay for my air ticket. I tried to hustle by emailing every airline that flies from Johannesburg to Lagos but I was not successful.

When the opportunity came around again, I put my money up and bought my ticket on Kenyan Airways. I invested something and all the other elements came together to help me Cheat The Hustle.

In some Shark Tank and Dragons Den episodes, investors want to know how much personal funds entrepreneurs have invested in the business. This comes before they give a cent of their money. You must have skin in the game!

Ps: I absolutely loved flying Kenyan Airways, can we shout out to #AfricanExcellence! It reminded me of flying Turkish Airways, except everyone was black 🙂 I loved it! From October, Kenyan Airways will be flying non stop from Nairobi to New York. And I am here for it!

Let’s give our hard-earned coins to our African businesses as they also Cheat The Hustle!

Have you have been able to Cheat The Hustle? Click here to share your insight and experiences with us.

Bilikiss Adebiyi- Abiola: I chose waste for impact

Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola - I like that my work makes me live a life of purpose Click To Tweet

Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola developed the idea for Wecyclers while she was a student in the US. She wanted to address two major challenges of waste management and unemployment by offering recycling services to low/middle-income households. Once she returned to Nigeria, Wecyclers Nigeria Limited was born.

Wecyclers is now an award-winning company and as its Co-Founder and CEO, Bilikiss’ work is well recognised. She is a Carroll Wilson Fellow, an Echoing Green Fellow and a 2013 recipient of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. She is also a member of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, founded by the Lagos state government.

SLA contributor Olayemi Olajide recently caught up with Bilikiss to find out more about her journey…..

Kindly tell us about Wecyclers? What made you return to Nigeria to start this company?

Wecyclers is an award-winning company that is committed to improving recycling in Nigeria. We address the challenge of waste management and unemployment by offering sustainable and convenient recycling services to low/middle-income households and businesses while creating grassroots jobs and economic partnerships.

The idea for Wecyclers was developed while I was in the US as a student at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Following a five-year career as a corporate software engineer at IBM. I was assigned to a study project to help people at the bottom of the pyramid (people living on less than $2 a day). I decided to work on waste with a focus on its uses, collection, and processing.

After the project was completed, we (the project team) did some research and saw the huge potential in the waste recycling sector in Nigeria. Especially among the manufacturing plants who are hungry for a cheaper and easily available source of raw materials due to local and foreign demand for end products. I then decided to move the idea forward and Wecyclers was born.

Wecyclers-Ebute Meta-25

What do you enjoy the most about doing business in Nigeria?

I like that my work makes me live a life of purpose and that it is having a positive effect on my country and my children. Wecyclers turns waste into wealth and supplements the income of thousands of households. Since August 2012, Wecyclers has registered over 15,000 households for our collection service in 3 Lagos neighborhoods, collected over 3,000 metric tons of recyclable materials, created over 100 jobs and rewarded our subscribers with over $75,000 worth of gifts and cash prizes.

Since August 2012, Wecyclers has registered over 15,000 households for our collection service in three Lagos neighborhoods, collected over 3,000 metric tons of recyclable materials, created over 100 jobs and rewarded our subscribers with over $75,000 worth of gifts and cash prizes.

@wecyclers @realwecyclers @bilikiss are demonstrating that waste can be a source of wealth Click To Tweet

How has your experience working and living outside the continent helped you shape Wecyclers into what it is today?

I think my educational experiences and starting my career as a software engineer in the United States provided me the toolkit with which to solve the kind of large-scale problems we are tackling at Wecyclers. It also provided opportunities to build an international network that has helped to guide and support our work.

It also provided opportunities to build an international network that has helped to guide and support our work.

@bilikiss @wecyclers We have benefited greatly from the Lagos State Government’s progressiveness Click To Tweet

How has your partnership with Lagos State Government and other organizations contributed to building Wecyclers? Can you tell us names of organizations you have partnered with?

Our partnerships with Lagos State Government and organizations has been a critical part of Wecyclers’ development. We have benefitted greatly from the Lagos State Government’s progressiveness and openness to working with organizations that provide solutions to Lagosians’ challenges.

Wecyclers recently received a grant from the Lagos State Government to expand our collection and processing services into two new local government areas, create 120 jobs and 8 micro enterprises and reach an addition 68,000 Lagosians. Our partners also include FCMB, DHL, Unilever, Oracle, the Nigerian Bottling Company, MIT Sloan School of Management, and others listed on our webpage.

Our partnerships have helped to improve our visibility, enabled large-scale programs like clean-up days, and enhanced our management operations.

Wecyclers-Ebute Meta-29

What are the constant challenges you face running Wecyclers? What’s next for Wecyclers?

A major challenge is funding. We are a social enterprise, so we are more focused on having a positive impact on communities than generating profit. We are always looking for companies and foundations that are willing to support our efforts. Another constant challenge has been ensuring the supply of electricity to our hubs, which is essential for processing the recycled material we collect.

We also have to deal with the negative perception that some people have of working in waste recycling as a dirty job. We are demonstrating that waste can be a source of wealth and that handling it well is good for our communities and the environment.

Our plan is to continue expanding our operations and reach, encourage more communities to get involved in recycling. My plan is for Wecyclers to operate all across Nigeria and my long-term goal is to be the largest recycling company in Africa.

Bilikiss Adebiyi Abiola – My long-term goal is to be the largest recycling company in Africa. Click To Tweet

5 things you do to relax when you are not working.

Listen to music, work out, cook, travel and read books.

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

Started from #SheHiveLagos now we here: Tolu & Jade’s partnership story

jade tolu travelotus partnership
Tolu & Jade met at #SheHiveLagos, now they have joined forces to start Travelotus Click To Tweet

It started with a fleeting meeting in a restroom and now two SLAyers have a budding tourism enterprise set to take over Africa and the world.

While in the university, Tolulope Balogun’s entrepreneurial mind-set blossomed; she sold several items ranging from clothes, shoes and perfumes. During NYSC, Tolulope figured out what her heart was drawn to —travel, geography, and how airlines tick. She went on to get the required expertise and training to become the Trusted Travel Agent that she is now.

For Jadesola Odujole, writing, exploring and meeting new people are the best ways to keep her happy. In school, she joined press organizations to hone her skills. Now in 2016, after interviewing several celebrities —including Empire stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, Jadesola knows she has made the right choice by choosing to tell stories with words.

Jadesola’s experience at SheHive Lagos

“As a writer and content creator I was super excited by the SheHive Lagos atmosphere. Seeing all those amazing ladies who are ready to take on great responsibilities to change the world was inspiring.
One thing that has always scared me in business has been going into a partnership.

Prior to SLA, I had not met someone to share my passion, drive and willingness to take on challenges. I knew I was in the right environment when SLA co-founder Afua came up and spoke about not being afraid to go into partnerships.

From that point, there were two things on my mind. How to use my strengths and how best to leverage on the contacts I was sure to make at the event.”

Prior to SLA I had not met someone to share my passion & drive - Jade Click To Tweet

How the winning partnership was formed

“Remembering how we met still makes me laugh and I am glad we met. I was rushing out after the programme as I didn’t want my seaties to leave me behind when I went to use the restroom. I said hi and we exchanged our basic details when she was like she needed a content creator for her website.

Fast forward to our first meeting, we started talking about some of our interests and we found a middle spot. Thankfully, Travelotus is going on her maiden tour to Badagry on December 26th, 2016 and we hope to show that Africans are more than what has been scripted about us.”

Tolulope’s starting Travelotus Limited

“I wasn’t so sure of what I’d do after graduating from university but I was sure I wanted to own my business. I had a picture of where I was headed. That kept me up at night, has been my biggest inspiration and it hasn’t given me room to give up.

It is tough being tiny and trying to make an impact but with God, every setback will seem like a hurdle crossed. My key business ethics have always been integrity and honesty. Once people can trust you and vouch for you, doors will just keep opening.

We officially registered Travelotus luxury tours a travel, tour and concierge company in May 2016, and we’ve been growing steadily ever since.

My key business ethics have always been integrity and honesty - Tolu Click To Tweet

What a difference SheHive Lagos made and advice to aspiring #MotherlandMoguls

Tolulope: SLA brought Jade and I together in this partnership and it’s been opening doors for us both. I am certain a lot of people at the #SheHiveLagos can say the same for their lives and businesses. The networking is amazeballs and there is a support group too so we can keep in touch. Attending SheHive opens you up to new friends, and sometimes that is all you need. The people I sit and chat with at such events are always golden.

Jadesola: One thing we will say to every SLAyer out there —past and present, do not be afraid to speak up. Your idea might sound weird to those around you but it is most likely because they are not right for the dream. Eventually you will meet those who are willing to put their backs into it. One thing that’s stuck in my mind was, ‘Your 20s is not the time for you to find a balance, go out and do stuff’. Look at me now!



Announcing Travelotus’ first trip!

We have a great outdoors trip ‘Lotus Tours Wellness Daycation’ planned for the 26th of December 2016 at Whispering Palms in Badagry, Lagos state. It promises to be fun times with lots of activities, comfortable transportation to and from the venue and much more.

Travelotus' Wellness Daycation is planned for the 26th of December 2016 at Whispering Palms Click To Tweet

The aim is to promote longevity among Nigerians and explore new places. We have identified this period as reboot time to chill, as well as set health, mind, business and life goals for the coming year. It will also be an opportunity to interact with new people and make friends.

One of the highlights, an aerobic session is going to be hosted by one of our sponsors Ejiro Oyeneye of Team Fitness who’s also a SheHive Lagos 2016 participant!

For enquiries about the tour, email us at or call 08031872636.