Webinar with Aisha Addo: How to start a non-profit organization (Jun 20)

Aisha Addo is the founder of Power to Girls Foundation, an organization that helps girls identify their true purpose and calling. Join us for a webinar with her on June. 20th, as she shares with us some of her tips on social entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneurship isn’t just one thing. You can be an entrepreneur in a small business, startup, large company etc.

But if you’re interested in making the world a better place, you’re on your way to becoming a social entrepreneur.

You need to ask yourself – What type entrepreneur do I want to become?

Aisha Addo is a social entrepreneur, who has dedicated her life to empowering women and young girls with her initiative – Power To Girls Foundation.

She offers them the mentorship, guidance and the resources they need to achieve their dreams and excel.

Join us for a 45-minute webinar with Aisha Addo on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017. We’ll be discussing what it takes to become a social entrepreneur, and starting a non-profit organization.

Register below to get the exclusive link to the webinar.

Join @AishaAfua for a webinar on Tue June 20th to learn how to start a non-profit organization Click To Tweet

Some of the topics we’ll cover:

  • Starting a non-profit organization
  • Risk taking in social entrepreneurship
  • Having confidence in your idea
  • How to live your most authentic life doing what you love.

Webinar Details:

  • Date: Tuesday, June 20th
  • Time: 11am Toronto / 3pm Accra / 4pm Lagos

Watch here:

 About Aisha Addo

Aisha Addo is a graduate in Business Administration Accounting, but her true passion and dedication lies in ensuring girls around the world are provided with the guidance and resources that’ll help them to reach their full potential.

Aisha founded Power To Girls Foundation, a non-profit organization to offer young girls the mentors and role models that were absent during her own youth.

She is a recipient of the Young Black and Gifted Award for Community Service, was named a Black Diversity Group Role Model and One of 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada, and also among the 150 Black Women making history in Toronto.

Her latest initiative is DriveHER, the ride-sharing service for women by women.

Webinar with Wild Fusion: How to grow your business with digital marketing (Apr.11)

Are you wondering why your business is not getting the online attention it deserves? Or why Facebook and Instagram is not really working for you?

Hold up! Lets educate you a bit more on digital marketing!

 It has been proven by many successful businesses, that digital marketing is the way forward to boost and expand your business online. But what you need to know now is how to keep up its evolving and ever changing strategies.

Join us on Tuesday April 11th for a webinar with 2 professionals from Wild Fusion – Africa’s leading digital marketing agency, who have been in the digital marketing game for awhile. Agatha Emina – (General Manager) and Prashant Kirpalani – (Social Media Manager) of Wild Fusion, as they share with us fresh and unknown strategies of digital marketing every business owner must know of.

During this webinar, you’ll get direct answers from these professionals on any digital marketing related question you ask, so, you don’t want to miss it!

Register below to get the exclusive link to the webinar.

Topics that we’ll cover:

  • Digital marketing for African start-ups
  • The top 4 mistakes you need to stop making on your business social media page
  • Strategies you can use to gain more customers without breaking your budget

Webinar details:

  • Date: Tuesday April. 11th, 2017
  • Time: 2pm Lagos // 3pm Johannesburg // 4pm Nairobi

Help us spread the word:

Sign up for this webinar with @Wildfusion to increase your business social media reach (Apr.11) Click To Tweet

Watch this webinar:

About our experts:

Agatha Emina - wild fusion digital

Agatha Eminais an online enthusiast with over 7 years working experience in the digital industry from the client side and the agency side. She has worked as a Digital Strategist and Project Manager in the financial, e-business, online advertising and traditional advertising industries. With her strong understanding of digital marketing and project management skills, Agatha has executed award winning digital campaigns across various sectors including FMCG brands, Telecom, Finance and more. Some of her latest works includes taking Close Up and Knorr Nigeria online and enabling these brands succeed while increasing Returns on Marketing Spend.

Prashant Kirpalani

Prashant Kirpalani,  is a social media enthusiast who is certified in Google Analytics, Social Media and Digital Marketing. His work experience cuts across social media strategy, Google Analytics, Facebook and pay per click advertising, blogging, website management and forum management. He has a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology where he created a social media network targeting students who wished to study abroad for his final year project.

 

 

The Empretec program is in Kenya. Here’s what you need to know

By now, it is no secret that the prestigious program, Empretec is now in Kenya. This came about after an intense week of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Nairobi last month.

After the formalities, it was announced that the Kenyan National Chamber of Commerce and Industry would be partnering with UNCTAD on this program. Mary Muthoni is the chairperson of the Women In Business committee at the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce.

Empretec will mean a lot to Kenyan women as they get to benefit from the perks that come with being a part of the program. Some of these benefits are already being enjoyed by women in other African countries, like Zimbabwe.

This will bring many benefits too Kenyan Motherland Moguls and we share some of them below.

Capacity building

Empretec offers a rich training program with a pool of 64 international trainers and 160 trained local trainers.

These trainers are all about impacting personal development and business skills to participants who include women from the formal, informal and the employment sectors. Their curriculum is also tailored to international standards.

Creating of life bonds amongst Empretec trainees

Once a part of Empretec, you’re in it for life. The program follows up on its participants even after training as part of a lifelong relationship.

Empretec sponsors follow up to see how the lessons learnt impacts the businesses of participants.

It gets even better because you can always find a shoulder to lean on in the Empretec family.

Networking and mentorship

Ladies love conversations and it’s never a dull moment you can open up and create bonds. Empretec takes in women of all ages and orientation. So hanging out with other women in the program will always mean something new will be learnt.

Also, Empretec has trained a large pool of women over the years since its establishment in 1988. Empretec’s presence  in 37 countries means that when you  join this community, you get to build a network with women from not only your home country. You’re part of a network of women from the rest of the thirty-six countries including  Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Botswana, Argentina, and Algeria.

Smart girls know that their network is their net worth. Here you’ll need to be ready to establish contact with  people from all walks of life. Be it the Motherland Moguls who have already established their businesses and are looking to offer seed funding for great business ideas or intelligent young women with brilliant ideas and that are looking for persons with expertise to partner with.

Empretec is a well that keeps giving but never runs dry. Here, you get everything you need and all that’s required of you is to make it work.

You’ll get to see that women from various developing countries face the same difficulties as you. And that the only way to emancipation is in finding long-term solutions for entrepreneurs.

Locally certified trainers

The availability of local trainers certified by the UN body means that members have access to the very best. With Empretec, you can have access to trainers with the know-how to get you through business challenges. This will help you confidently experiment with new ways of doing business .

Obviously, the business field can be tricky, filled with uncertainties and other stress.  You will need to have your hand held by the right people to navigate through these scenes and come out successful.

Identifies and enhances personal opportunities

Empretec’s training is personalized and depends on what stage you’re at in the business world.

There will be people looking to venture into business for the first time and those with great business ideas needing guidance on breaking even. In addition, there are others already in the business scene and seeking to expand their visibility.

Empretec will be a great space for Kenyan women to get answers and to learn how they can use their talent to make money .

Eradication of poverty and social problems.

Empretec encourages women to be social entrepreneurs. This means establishing businesses that seek to solve social, cultural and environmental problems.

The purpose of these businesses is not just to make money but to also leave a positive mark on the society. Empretec encourages entrepreneurs to work towards achieving sustainable development goals even as they make their money.

Awards and recognition

Empretec honors her alumni at the Women in Business Awards. A Vietnamese lady, Tran Thi Viet won gold at this year’s awards for her company, Viet Trang Handicraft. Her company makes basket-woven goods from banana leaves, water hyacinth, corn leaves and bamboo.

The company had a humble beginning but now exports goods worth $1000 million to the European Union. Viet Trang Handicraft went on to create employment for 250 weavers.

This is the spirit of Empretec, to solve societal problems in our countries and at the same time make money for the entrepreneur.

In summary, Empretec is the place to be for any woman seeking to make it in the business arena. The opportunities here are immense and ladies up for first dibs will definitely have more than enough to carry home.

With all this said, it’s time for Motherland Moguls in Kenya to grab this opportunity!

 

Christine Kanana Mukira: Passion, the secret ingredient for a yogurt-making startup

christine kanana mukira sla

Christine Kanana Mukira is a young entrepreneur with an academic background in law, business administration, and office management. Kanana quit her NGO job to start a yogurt-making business in Nairobi, Kenya. Maureen Murori, our SLA contributor paid a visit to an enthusiastic Kanana who shared her dream of having a one-stop shop for fresh, natural, products straight from the farm to her clients’ kitchens.


It’s early Saturday morning. After beating the Nairobi traffic, I head to meet a lady whose yogurt business is gaining roots. She had promised to let me in on what keeps her going even when business goes south.

Christine Kanana Mukira meets me at the entrance to an estate in Ngara. It is situated on the outskirts of Nairobi central business district.

We sit outside her shop, which she co-owns with another business owner. While Kanana’s specialty is the production of natural yogurt, her friend makes fresh fruit juice.

“I don’t think I’m an entrepreneur,” Kanana worriedly tells me as she settles into a chair opposite mine. After pleasantries and small talk to break the ice, she relaxes and takes me through her entrepreneurial journey.

Kanana had always had an entrepreneurial spirit, way before her current yogurt business. Back in 2013, she used to own a poultry business but had to leave Nairobi when she got a job with an NGO. She worked in the social development world and enjoyed helping community members. But this was not to be for long, she wanted something different. “I needed a new challenge”, Kanana told me.

After three years, she had had enough of being an employee. She quit and went back into running her own business. This time, it was yogurt making.

Free stock photo of food, plate, healthy, spoon

Why yogurt?

“After some research, I was concerned about the ingredients used in making yogurt, things easily found in supermarkets like milk powder, lots of sugars and flavours,” Kanana says. “I wanted to create a product that used purely natural milk and natural sugars.” According to Kanana, her yogurt is made of pure milk, natural vanilla plant, strawberries, and natural sugars.

Her six-month-old business which started with just three litres of milk has since grown to over forty liters a week, and demand is still growing. ”To get to forty liters a week was not easy”, Kanana admits.  She said were it not for her passion, she would have given up a long time ago.

When she first started out, she was fortunate to not only find a reliable and affordable fresh milk vendor but also customers who believed in her new product. Without prior knowledge or skills, Kanana says she had to practically do everything from sourcing for milk, collection, producing yogurt, and even sales.

However, she learned quickly how to get some of the workloads off her shoulders. With the increasing yogurt demands, she was able to convince her vendor to deliver milk at her shop once a week, or as demand increased.

The challenges so far

No sooner had she tackled the delivery challenge than another popped up. She realized that sometimes, customers did not drink as much yogurt as she had produced. Because she didn’t use preservatives, by the end of a week, she had to give out yogurt for free before it could go bad.

The weather can also be a challenge for her business.

“When it is cold, as it is now, not many customers drink yogurt. They prefer hot beverages,” Kanana said. She has since reduced the number of litres she makes per week especially during the rainy season in Nairobi.

Is she seeking to become wealthy from the business?

Although she acknowledges that capital can be a challenge for some entrepreneurs, she quips “a business idea is capital in itself.”

“Wealth is the ultimate goal for every entrepreneur,” Kanana states, “but passion is the driving force, and love for the business makes it even easier and more enjoyable!”

She cautions entrepreneurs not to be in haste to make profit from a startup. Business is a risk and stability usually begins between the sixth month and the first year, and for some, even longer. Eventually, only the passionate and patient remain strong enough to watch their business take shape.

Future plans

Kanana wants to expand to the sale of more natural products so she can encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyles. Since her business is located within an estate, she hopes to be the source of all natural products for homes within the locality.

“My dream is to have a one-stop shop where I can sell fresh, natural, products straight from the farm to my client’s kitchen,” says the enthusiastic entrepreneur whose inspiration comes from her entrepreneurial parents. Kanana believes that natural products will help fight some of the nutrition-related chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, among others.

Kanana says that customers often ask for fresh milk, and she is thinking of diversifying into that direction. Although many supermarkets have introduced milk dispensers, Kanana says this is not a challenge for her. After all, the stores specialize in skimmed milk, while she will go for whole milk which she says has more nutritional values for children, pregnant women and the elderly.

Advice for other entrepreneurs

Kanana urges upcoming entrepreneurs to ensure the right location for their businesses. This way, customers can easily access your product. And also, you’d enjoy proximity to raw materials needed for production.

As for friends, the young entrepreneur says, “in business, you will lose or gain friends. Some will support you, and others will not even want to be associated with you.”

How it all ended

One good thing about interviewing entrepreneurs is that you get to taste their products or to take souvenirs home. I was in luck today. I was served some natural strawberry yogurt. It was thick, smooth, fruity and delicious!


Tell us what amazing entrepreneurial things women are doing in your communities here.

Negotiating your way to financial success: 4 essential steps to effective negotiation

financial success

Women often shy away from negotiations for fear of being perceived as aggressive or of losing the offer. However, we tend to forget that the people we negotiate with are, sometimes, merely doing what they are hired to do – secure a deal at the best price possible! Indeed, at other times, the negotiator may be just be sticking to a strict budget or testing the waters.

For example, I spoke to a Ventures Capitalist who stated that he could not trust an entrepreneur who never attempts negotiating an offer because such a person would most likely attract a lot of “lemons”, i.e. deals that no one wants. As such, when a potential business partner or employer offers a seemingly ridiculous price, do not take it to heart. Instead, Pause. Breathe. Negotiate!

The goal of every negotiation process should be to negotiate effectively. Effective negotiation involves these key elements:

Research

Before commencing on negotiating a price, it is imperative that you conduct a thorough research. For example, if you have been offered a new job, you should embark on a prevailing salary research on the said job role. This information would come in handy and serve as a backdrop during your salary negotiations.

On the other hand, if you are negotiating with a potential business partner, your pre-negotiation research might focus on determining your potential business partner’s interest and positions in relation to yours. This would greatly help create value during negotiation.

Understanding your best alternative to any negotiation

This is a great tool for preventing an undesirable outcome to a negotiation and guaranteeing financial success. For example, have you ever had those moments when just moments after agreeing to something, you blurt out, “why did I agree to that?” or  “what was I thinking?”

While this may be okay when negotiating with your siblings about who should do the dishes, this (hopefully) should never be the case when negotiating with a new employer for that dream job or with that new business partner. To this end, it is critical that before any negotiation, you determine your options (i.e. substitutes to your ideal negotiation outcome).

To begin the process, first, determine your minimum threshold for the object of negotiation. For instance, if you are preparing to negotiate a new job offer and you are not willing to accept a salary below the current one, then your current salary is your minimum threshold.

Secondly, on identifying your minimum threshold, determine your alternatives in the event you are unable to negotiate this with the new employer.

Write these alternatives down in an order of preference. Your best option on the list should be one you’ll be happy with.

Active listening

It is also critical that you show some flexibility during negotiation by making a sincere effort to understand the other party’s points. This is can be achieved through an active listening habit. Active Listening ≠Hearing.

John M. Grohol states that, “active listening is all about building rapport, understanding, and trust.” Active listening requires that you understand and make a genuine effort to understand the other party’s point of views. It requires:

(a)  Rephrasing what you believe you heard from the other party:

This involves using phrases such as “to make sure I understand, you would like…”, “I understand you feel…” and  “to make sure I capture your concern…”

(b)  Seeking clarity:

During negotiations, it is also imperative that you seek clarity on fuzzy points. For example, if the other party has drawn a conclusion and you are unable to determine the logical steps to such a conclusion, seek to understand the underlying assumption.

Examples of helpful phrases include: “You concluded XYZ, please can you explain the rationale?”, “what factors did you take into consideration in reaching that decision? etc.

(c)   Acknowledge the other party’s effort:

It is good practice to acknowledge the other party’s sentiments during negotiations. This can be captured by using phrases such as “I understand you feel…”, “it appears that you are…”

By implementing the different elements of active listening, you will capture the other party’s attention and help break down resistance (if any).

Growing the pie (a.k.a. problem solving or value creation)

Indeed, despite showing off superb active listening abilities,  negotiations could still end up in stalemates. Even with a lot of patience, this is usually the time where people throw in the towel. But wait, not so fast! Do not give up yet, not without injecting a good dose of creativity into the process.

So what exactly does injecting a good dose of creativity mean? This means looking for creative ways to make an unattractive deal attractive. The key here is to determine other factors outside your negotiation points like factors that the other party may be willing to consider (and vice versa).

For example, assuming you own a sports drink company and currently seeking investors. On evaluation, your financial statements reveal the need to raise $60,000 and based on valuations, $60,000 equates to a 5% equity stake. Of course, you’d be confident to offer a lower equity stake for $60,000 as the minimum threshold for that percentage of the equity stake.

If during negotiations, your preferred potential investor, who owns a sports club, offers $60,000 for an 8% equity stake. This counteroffer falls below what you’d expect but you would really love to have this investor onboard.

Rather than end negotiations immediately, you could consider asking if she may also be willing to make your sports drink one of the choice drinks at the sport clubs or introduce you to other sports club owners who might be interested in serving your drink in their sports clubs.

This could create publicity and boost sales for your sports drink. Some good phrases for these starting conversations may include “what if…”, “suppose we were to…”

The agreement

Once you have successfully completed negotiations, it is imperative that you put your agreement in writing.  Writing an agreement is an essential step in ensuring that all parties are on the same page (indeed, this does not always work and that is why litigators are still in business!).

In summary, successful negotiations require careful preparation and strategy. Nonetheless, it is worth the time and effort.


In the next segment, we’ll discuss what not to do during negotiations. If you would like insights on a particular topic, write to us! We are listening.

The why and how to being an inspirational leader

Let me start by telling you about Julia. After eight years of operations and more than 25 members of staff, Julia was frustrated and exasperation. She deemed that the business was just not viable and decided it was finally time to shut things down. Dwindling revenues and consistently spiraling costs were largely to blame.

But it was all supposed to have been so easy. After graduating from University with a LLB, Julia decided that, having studied Law to please her parents, she could now start living her own dream. Julia got qualified and set up her own Montessori kindergarten. Soon enough through word of mouth and referrals, pupils came in. But year in and year out, pupil numbers were not growing as Julia had expected. Teachers too were not as inspired and motivated in their work as she needed them to be. Julia herself needed inspiration.

Now, imagine a world where people wake up inspired to go to work.

A world where your employees genuinely look forward to the start of business day. Where they look forward to interacting with their colleagues and leader daily. In this world, your employees are constantly and authentically excited about interacting with clients. They see themselves as relevant and are ready to offer premium solutions to the needs of clients with a listening ear and attentive heart.

Imagine that. Wouldn’t it be really amazing?

In my point of view, this would be seriously valuable. I think we should all seek to make our businesses and workplaces like that imagined one above. I am convinced that one of the ways you can do that is to lead with purpose and direction. You need to know your why of your business, live the why of your business in your operations, and inspire with the why of your business.

The Why

Let’s start with ‘why’. Why exactly are you in business? What is so distinctive about your business and your organization that it would potentially draw clients and employees to your door step?

There are some organizations that people just fantasize working with. There are others that are the preferred service providers of many. There is a reason for this both employee and client deem these organisations to be especial service providers. They are seen as having a unique way of doing and serving. There is something distinctive about their brand and therefore their business.

This isn’t something left to chance. The most sought after brands are relentless in their efforts to be responsive to client and employee needs and wants. They clearly understand why they are in business and who they are in business to serve. They are also equally obsessive about serving clientele effectively and efficiently according to their brand values, and doing so consistently and constantly.

The How

I wonder if Julia, the head of the school above, had thought deeply about the ‘why’ of her business. I also wonder if she had thought deeply about how she would have to operate her business to satisfy that why. Julia probably hadn’t thought deeply about what it takes to create the kind of school that she wanted. This list is lenghty, from organizational values and culture, to parent/school engagement, to away days for teachers, to school administrative policies, to continuous learning for herself and her teachers so that they become authorities in their field, to developing an executive presence for herself.

In any business, there are vital peripherals which we must pay attention to. These are beyond the product and service that you sell. The decisive business leader ensures that their business operates at a place of inspired joint value for all its stakeholders. They ensure that their organization is a continuously learning, improving and responding. They ensure that their business is continually enhancing their capabilities, services and products -and inspiring and motivating staff as it does so .

And that takes courage

It takes courage to inspire, when you inspire you will suggest innovative ways of doing and thinking for the better. In presenting new ways of thinking and of doing, the business leader challenges the status quo. That is why leading effectively often requires courage.

Most people will need tremendous inspiration to offer their best and effect an otherwise dormant potential. It will take courageous leadership to draw out that potential. It was TS Eliot who said that only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go. The privilege and responsibility of business leadership is in taking calculated risks, within and in spite of your resource constraints, to see how you can more effectively serve and respond to your clients and your team’s needs. That takes courage.

But courage is ineffectual without purpose and direction. This is why in business we must know our ‘why’, and gather the courage to demonstrate that why through our how.

How to start a media company with no money and no clients

illume media diner en blanc

If you’re ready to take the leap and start your own media and communications company, there’s no reason not to! Sometimes life requires you to take just jump and make your idea a reality. There must be some method to the madness though especially when you’re on a budget and have no clients upfront.

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We got some insider tips from Anne Mazimhaka, co-founder and creative director of Illume Creative Studio, a communications agency based in Kigali, Rwanda.

Launch online

There’s no need to launch your company with a cocktail party, bottles of champagne and a fancy guest list filled with big names that likely won’t show up. Go the easy way and start with a simple but good looking website.

Like with Squarespace which offers solutions for easy websites that will be eye-catching enough to your future clients. Your website should clearly list the services you offer. Remember to keep things clear and direct, let people know what you’re offering from the word go.

As a communications agency, you can start out offering services such as content development, creative consultancy, editorial roles and social media strategies which you can offer from the comfort of your home. Your contact details should also be well displayed for when people need to reach you.

Make full use of your network

This is something that you should start on before you take that leap. Build a network through attending events and rubbing shoulders with the change-makers in the industry. Save their business cards and contact details for when you’re ready to launch your company. As your launch date approaches send a newsletter announcing it through a service like MailChimp.

The key is the leverage the power of your network, and when contacting them do so strategically. Emails easily get deleted but people do not mind receiving an email announcing a company if they can see what’s in it for them. This is why you should include an offer in your initial newsletter, such as 20% off for first-time clients. This is a great opportunity to attract clients.content+development

Invest wisely

You’ll want to ensure any little money you have is spent wisely. Get business cards and postcard sized pamphlets printed out. These should again advertise your brand and the services you offer.

Once your business cards and pamphlets are ready, you should reach out to people who you would target as clients and leave those behind with them. This way you’re doing your advertising yourself.

By the time you snag your first couple clients you’ve set the ball rolling. When people see the value in what you have to offer, they will come flooding in.

How to succeed as an event planner

So, you’ve set up your events planning company but have hit a few snags along the way. You thought everything was in order and progressing well and aren’t sure why you’re not as successful as you projected. Don’t panic yet. Shit happens, don’t let that stop you from achieving your dreams though we’ve got your back. Here are some tips that’ll help you towards becoming the badass events planner you’ve always wanted to be.

Be good at managing

The first step in managing starts with you. It’s very easy to feel like you have wasted a whole day doing nothing when you haven’t properly managed your time. Once you’ve mastered the ability to coordinate yourself and work efficiently, you’ll find that you’re achieving more.

Next, look at your team. How are you coordinating them? Are roles clearly defined? Are deliverables clearly set so your team is doing what they are supposed to? If not, time to step up your game. You’re the leader here, guide your team and lead them to success.

Be resourceful

Resourceful here means being creative when facing any problems. As an events planner you will undoubtedly face random problems that can emerge during events. If the electricity doesn’t trip up, there’s a toddler throwing a tantrum while someone is trying to give a speech. You need to sit yourself down for a one-to-one.

How effective are you at thinking on your feet and using your gifts to problem-solve? To win you must be able to remain calm while the world burns around you. When something doesn’t go your way, think quick and sort things out resourcefully.

Be good at communicating

This is linked to teamwork as your team is integral to your success. Make sure your team is clear on your ideas and your vision. When communicating with your team, be respectful to everyone regardless of their role. Speak the same way to your decorators as you will to the catering team. When anyone on your team offers suggestion, listen.

Accept criticism when necessary and be open to their ideas. Your team should run like a well-oiled machine. Every single person has their part to play in running an event smoothly.

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Be best friends with your vendors

As an events planner, the most important relationships you’ll have outside your team is with your vendors. Vendors come in different flavours, they are the ones that make your events run without a hitch. The caterers, the rental companies, the hotels, the music band…maintain a good relationship with them.

Study your vendors, learn about them by conducting interviews (formal or informal). When you have an established relationship with them, you stand a better chance at getting the discounts you ask for. Once your vendors become your bffs you’ll be able to reap rewards. They may even refer clients to you.

Be mindful of your clients

There is no set formula to ensure that all your clients are happy and content. The first step to growing your niche of customers who will always use your services and refer you to others is to do right in whatever you do.

Listen to what your clients want and uncover their hidden needs. Then when you are creating their events, add that unique touch that only you can bring. This will make you stand out and is another step to achieving the success you deserve.

Be passionate

Remember the passion that you had when you started out as an events planner? Don’t lose it. Keep that passion burning. It should be the fire that never goes out. Passion for what you do will get you through any rough patches that you may encounter.

Passion will also make it easier to run your business day-to-day. When you need to crack your whip to get things done, it’s your passion that’ll drive you.

You’re now a Motherland Mogul, have you thought about safety?

A light bulb just came on and you’re already smiling at the money you’d be making from the business idea…

You just slammed a pitch and you’re already practicing the speech you’ll be giving other young people on how you made it…

You’ve launched your website and have snagged a client or two, business is looking promising…

Your business is expanding, income is rolling in, your reputation is soaring, you’re making impact…

You are now a known brand…

Pause. Hold up. Wait a minute.

Have you given any thought to safety on the job?

Chances are you haven’t thought about the safety of both yourself and your employees. Yet, whatever stage you are on your entrepreneurship journey, it is important to consider the health and safety of everyone involved in your operation and invest in it. A safety management system (SMS) is a proactive and systematic process of safety. It involves developing a safety culture that ensures your organisation/business remains safe from loss of any kind. There are numerous benefits to incorporating a SMS in your startup.

It reduces business costs and increases efficiency. With a SMS in place, you won’t have to worry about spending limited resources addressing the fallout of accidents and other incidents such injury, loss of goods, damage to business property, even death.

Financing

Banks and investors are more likely to invest in a business that is set up on a right foundation. No one wants to lose hard-earned money to accidents that could have been averted.

Employee morale

In business, word of mouth travels faster than any advertising. Employees do not want to leave a job worse than when they got into it, broken bones, injuries or ill-health.

 

A safety system boosts their morale and lets them know that their employer is interested in their overall well-being. This morale of staff is inadvertently manifest in improved client relations and that is a plus to a business.

Business confidence

Big companies in construction, aviation and oil and gas seek credible businesses with a safety culture to work with. This singular investment in a safety culture could set you apart from other business owners

Legal compliance

And of course, using SMS means you would be complying with relevant laws in your country of operation.

They say, train a woman and you train a nation. Here is to building safer businesses and workplaces as we become Motherland moguls.

Debunking the “Marketing is Advertising” myth

#WOCinTech Chat

Advertising is not marketing.

As a marketing professional I encounter clients who usually do not understand that although all advertising is marketing, not all marketing is advertising.

Marketing is an all-encompassing practice, made up of various elements such as strategy, customer research, trend investigation, public relations, social media promotion, product design, pricing techniques, promotional campaign activities, distribution management, competitor research, innovation, concept and service design, content creation, copywriting, and so much more.

All of these efforts need to be working together to build a successful product or service. Advertising on the other hand is really only one form of marketing but that which everyone actively notices. It is the promoting of brand awareness to a large target audience via mass media, such as television, print and radio.

Let me try to simplify this

Think of marketing as a box of crayons with different colors, while advertising is just one color in the entire box.

crayons-21To create a masterpiece that isn’t lackluster, you need to play around with the different colors in your box of crayon.

I thought it was important to establish this because I encounter quite a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners who think that because they have a Facebook or IG page, they are ‘marketing’. While social media is a fantastic marketing tool, it is but one in the arsenal of tools that are available to you.

Nonetheless, advertising works

The big brands have proven this over and over again. They have also proven the fact that advertising needs the support of other marketing elements to deliver good results. So while you would be serenade by Power Oil sachet jingles on radio on your way to and from work (Advertising), you would also find that Power Oil sachet at almost every street corner (Optimized Distribution).

More importantly, advertising alone would not solve all of your marketing problems.

So for example, you can choose to invest your limited funds in a radio campaign or on Facebook sponsored posts but all of these efforts would yield little or no results if you do not have a product that solves a real consumer need.

However, the process to dimensioning & understanding these needs is a marketing process called customer and market research (and definitely not advertising)!

Another example is the lady who sells packaged food items (Say 5kg at 8000) and wants to increase her sales. She might not necessarily need to spend money trying to set up a billboard along the third mainland bridge. What she could do is launch smaller variations of her product (let’s say 2kg @4000) that students and other low income earners can afford. This would help her appeal to more people and broaden her market space. Am I making sense?

The lesson today is single minded: Marketing is much bigger than advertising.

And to be very honest, marketing is a tough concept to get your arms around but that is why I am here. To help you get the hang of it such that you would get actual returns on all investments (time, money and effort) made into this very vital aspect of your business.