Tag Archives: Entrepreneur

Strive Masiyiwa: Building an Efficient Organization – Part 5


 

__Process: getting the right things done right.

For the last few weeks, I’ve talked about the critical importance of “people” in organizational management. Today I want to talk about “process.” Every single day, I’m approached by people with great business ideas, and I also have my own fair share of new ideas. Sometimes I just love to sit in my study, or go for a walk, just thinking about a new business idea.

Let me share with you one of my best kept secrets: If I can’t get my mind around the PROCESS, I’m not going to do it!

I have to feel I have a deep understanding of how an organization will emerge to take this great idea forward. I can easily take 50% of my thinking time on this. Once I get my mind around the process, I can then focus on the right PEOPLE to make the right things happen.

__Process and people are the backbone of the organization.

Now what I mean here by “process” is the series of actions you take in order to achieve an intended outcome or result. Within one business, several different processes usually take place – raising capital, strategic planning, recruiting and training staff, research, product development, product testing, marketing and so forth.

When I first started in business, I was still very young, and had worked for just a few years. Fortunately, my two employers had been a computer start-up, in Cambridge, England, and a state-owned enterprise (SOE) in my home country, Zimbabwe. In both organizations I’d made observations about how companies are set up and run.

I loved the start-up, which had only two owners. Decisions were made quickly and I got my chance to do all sorts of things, even though I only had a freshly-minted engineering degree! The SOE was the exact opposite: it had rigid organizational structures. There were many highly-skilled and qualified individuals, but decisions were slow.

Whilst I enjoyed the mission of the SOE, I knew I had to get back to the start-up environment. I nevertheless took away a critical understanding of how big organizations work, including their political culture.

If I’d been able to choose, I probably would have first joined a large international organization before I went off on my own. I certainly would have loved to get an understanding of “best practice” from an international organization like Coca-Cola or GE, both of whom I greatly admired. The opportunity was simply not available, so I did the next best thing… I bought books about them.

My favorite books were written by entrepreneurs, explaining how they set up these businesses. At weekends I’d just disappear into my own world of Sony, IBM, Coca-Cola — the great companies of my day. I didn’t just read, I devoured their material!

SEE ALSO: Strive Masiyiwa: Building an Efficient Organization – Part 1

I wanted more, so I moved into the really academic work of people like Peter Drucker and W. Edwards Deming (Google them). I had all their books and articles.

In my own country, I’d constantly ask questions about the organizational structures of well-established companies. Information was always limited back then, not like now with the Internet!

As a young entrepreneur in Africa, it won’t always be possible for you to start your own business after a professional career in an established organization where you can learn all the ropes, and study processes.

# You still owe it to yourself to try and close the deficit in your understanding of what it takes to organize and build an effective business organization.

# You may not even be ready yet to have people working for you, with all those fancy titles and positions, but you still must have the intellectual curiosity to do your homework and understand what’s really happening!

If you don’t understand the processes that help you build and run an efficient organization — managed by capable, highly motivated professionals — you’ll struggle, wear yourself down, and probably end up bust, or worse.

Let’s get down to business, real business. We’re good managers, what about you?

THE END

Strive Masiyiwa: Building an Efficient Organisation – Part 4


__A great vision needs great people.

Organizational management is really about “people and process.” If you don’t know how to master these two, it doesn’t matter what you’ve invented, or how much money you’ve raised… you won’t make it in business.

It’s usually really hard to get the best people to join you when you’ve just started a business because you’re (rightly) considered too risky.

It’s particularly difficult when you, the founder, are yourself young and inexperienced. I know what I’m talking about because when I started out almost 30 years ago, I was only 26 years old and didn’t have either the money or reputation to attract people to work with me.

So I understand why most people in that situation will often turn to unemployed relatives and friends, who can sometimes be unskilled and even troublesome. Believe me, I’ve been there, and done that!

I almost laugh now when I look back, but I hired some people who were downright incompetent and almost got me killed… Remember I’m an electrical engineer by training, and some of my early recruits as electricians did not quite measure up!

In my own case, my partner and I did almost every kind of job in our little business. There was simply no room for “pretending to be the big man”! When we did a job for a customer, I was there myself, and sometimes when we finished, I joined the cleaners to make sure the customer’s premises were left clean. We did the work, the cleaning, the invoicing, and the books. We woke up early, and went to bed very late.

I never complained because it was “honest hard work” for a young man, and I enjoyed it. I interviewed every single person that I hired very carefully. I always looked for people who were skilled, sober, honest, and prepared to go the extra mile. I knew them personally, and their families.

I tried to be fair in every aspect of my dealings with my employees. It wasn’t just that I considered myself an honorable man, but I also knew that “people talk.” I wanted word to get out that I was a “fair guy” in an industry where people were often exploited, and owners of businesses were known to think of themselves first, particularly when they got paid, as I discussed last week.

When I did get paid, the first thing I tried to do was invest back in the business. In particular, I wanted my staff always to have the best tools for their job. I also wanted them to be proud of their employer. I was fastidious over things like uniforms, presentations and appearance before a customer.

Knowing that I didn’t always have the opportunity and money to hire the most skilled people, I focused a lot on training and workshops, which I handled myself. I drilled and drilled my staff. We talked about each job, and I allowed everyone to say something about what we learned. It’s great to have the big idea, but you must have an eye for the details.

Then one day it happened: I got a call from an engineer who worked for a highly reputable and well-established player in our industry. He wanted to join me. And soon it was a flood, with people prepared to take a pay cut for the opportunity to work with my young company.

Now remember what I said earlier: “People talk.” You want them to give you and your company a good reputation, one that attracts the best people to your business. The best people are the most profitable. That’s business!

In his bestselling book, “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t,” Jim Collins writes, “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”

Do you have the right people in your company focusing their time doing the right things?

Strive Masiyiwa: building an efficient organization – Part 2


__Talking a good game is not enough.

I was meeting with one of New York’s most successful bankers, when he quipped, “In my business we don’t rely on intellectual property. There’s nothing we do that’s so special; we’re just damned good managers of businesses!”

I could immediately understand what he meant because when, for instance, you stop to think about a business like McDonald’s, you ask “What’s so special about a hamburger?”

But somehow out of that humble hamburger they’ve built a $96bn business… a global business bigger than the GDP of Kenya ($70bn)!

__They are “just damn good managers of business!”

When we launched our Mobile Money business in Zimbabwe, it wasn’t a new idea in Zimbabwe, or in Africa. To be honest, one of our competitors was a year ahead of us, but it really didn’t matter to me. I knew that when we finally launched our own service, it would be bigger and better because “We’re good managers of businesses! It’s not all IP and innovation!”

Whenever I see a business, as a management practitioner, I’m interested in how it’s run. I’m always asking myself, “How are they organized?”

We hear a lot spoken about good leaders, but a good leader who doesn’t know how to manage effectively, using the latest management techniques, is a total waste of time as far as I’m concerned.

You’ve heard the expression, “He talks a good game, but he can’t play.”

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are like that. They can talk a good game, but they cannot manage an organization. Talking a good game can be important, but it’s not enough!

If you want to build a profitable and growing business organization, you must first have an acute awareness of the role that organizational management plays. Your awareness must extend to an appreciation that it is a “technical discipline” which must be learnt.

It doesn’t happen naturally: Good management is something you must apply yourself to. Never fool yourself into believing that if you have a good idea, and some money, you just hire the right people and “Hey presto, you have a big successful business!”

I want you to be different: I want you to be able to pick up an idea, any idea, and turn it into a successful business organization that generates profits, and can grow into a national, regional, and continental champion, even a global one.

 

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Strive Masiyiwa: Building an Efficient Organization – Part 1


 

As an entrepreneur, you may have a great idea or innovation which you believe is going to change your community, your country, or maybe even the world we live in. And you’ll probably make a lot of money along the way. That’s allowed, and there’s nothing wrong with it, provided you don’t harm others, the environment, or break the law.

Go ahead, make money, be a billionaire, and you know I’ll be right there cheering you all the way! But before you can ever get there, you’ll have to build an efficient business organization, employing lots of people, because no one can do these things alone.

In this new series, I’m going to talk about what I call, “The hardest thing to do in business: building an efficient organization.

You’ll face many different challenges as an entrepreneur, but the most difficult is building an efficient organization. What do I mean by efficient? Let me start with one formal definition: “Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.

Most people fail dismally in this area. It’s at once the most difficult and most complex thing that any entrepreneur ever has to do. In this series, we’ll talk about many issues including registering a business, recruiting and hiring your team, and organizational structure.

This is business “MBA stuff” and if you just want to run a little bottle store, it might be tough for you, but if you think you can open more than one bottle store, hang around and see. As they say in my beloved Nigeria, “It’s for the senior class.

You won’t be the next Dangote or Zuckerberg if you don’t know how to set up an efficient business organization.

To lay the foundations for this series, here’s another definition: The Cambridge dictionary describes “organization” as “a group whose members work together for a shared purpose in a continuing way.”

__The verb “organize” is also important here! It means, “to make the necessary plans for something to happen; arrange.”

Do I really need to write much more…? If only it were as simple and straightforward as it sounds!

Building an organization has many different aspects. Can you tell me the importance of nearly each and every word in these three definitions?

Organizations can be almost any size, but the ones I’ll be talking about here are ones that involve a hierarchy of authority and delegation: executive leadership, mid-level management, technical experts, frontline supervisors and employees in different departments, most with different operational functions.

This means a complex array of people with different talents and skills, like those I’m proud and blessed to have on our companies’ teams globally. Maybe different roles and gifts, but the key non-negotiable ingredients? Integrity, shared vision, mutual respect, accountability.

I won’t dwell on problems so much as solutions in this series, but to get started, here’s a list from a McKinsey report on some of the biggest challenges faced by companies (young and old) trying to build organizational capability:

# Organizational resistance to change.

# Lack of resources.

# Lack of credible metrics.

# (Lack of) identification of who is accountable for execution.

# Inability to gain attention and buy-in from line managers.

# Lack of senior management support.

# (Lack of) clear vision or objectives.

# Ineffective training approaches.

# Inconsistent application of methods, processes.

Now you see why I’ve said building an efficient organization is the hardest thing to do in business. But with great people on your team, all is possible!

 

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Ways to boost the Nigerian economy through Agriculture


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According to Wikipedia, agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants and fungi for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. It is important therefore to work towards boosting the Nigerian economy through agriculture.

Nigeria is a nation that depends solely on crude oil to drive its economy. Nigeria has been having it good economically until recently, due to the crash of oil price globally and no thanks to the resumed hostilities in the Niger Delta region which has immensely and adversely affected Nigeria’s economy.

To say it simply, Nigeria can no longer depend solely on oil to survive economically. Nigeria must as a matter of urgency diversify its economy for its survival and agriculture readily comes to mind to answer the question of diversification.

Before the discovery of crude oil, Nigeria was basically operating an agrarian economy, which involved the cultivation and exportation of cash crops like cocoa, groundnut, palm oil, etc. It is now high time Nigeria got back to agriculture for economic sustainability. As Anietie Udoema once said, “you cannot change a winning formula.” If agriculture sustained Nigeria in the past, it can equally sustain Nigeria now.”

✅Important Reasons Why Nigeria Must Embrace Agriculture

Nigeria stands to gain a lot if particular if urgent attention is paid to agricultural development. According to Wikipedia, agriculture is a vital industry in China, employing over 300 million farmers.

According to Chief Audu Ogbe, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), as published by The Guardian Newspaper of February 13 2016, Nigeria spends a whopping $20b on food importation yearly and National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria reported that agriculture’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP), decreased from N4.5b in the fourth quarter of 2015 to N3.2b in the first quarter of 2016.

The above therefore implies that Nigeria loses so much in food importation and generates so little economically with regards to agriculture. Other reasons are:-

  1. Employment opportunity.
  2. Food security.

  3. Economic sustainability.

✅Practical Ways To Boost Nigerian Economy Through Agriculture

  1. The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has farms across the 36 states of Nigeria, which is managed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should undertake a national survey and tour of the FGN farms and publish the addresses of the farms.

  1. The FGN through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development should employ youths into the Federal farms to cultivate the farms. The employees should be paid as civil servants. However, they must be supervised and monitored to make sure work is done.
  • Offices should be built on the farm where full administrative and supervisory work takes place.

  • Ranches, piggeries, poultries, etc should be built on the farms and animal and crop farming will be going on simultaneously.

  • Markets should be built on the farms so that harvested farm produce can be sold immediately without the stress of transportation and other inconveniences.

  • The farmlands or shops in the market could be leased or rented to as many as are interested.

  • Food storage should be a top priority of the government. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as President established 7 silos for the storage of food. One of the silos which is located in the Sheda Area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is 100,000 metric tonnes silo and is reputed to be the largest in West Africa. More silos can still be built. Every farm should have storage facilities.

  • Public Private Partnership should be encouraged. Government should bring in investors.

  • Farmers and investors should be encouraged by favorable policies, tax rebates or tax holidays, etc.

  • Agricultural Science or agricultural studies as the case may be should be introduced into the education curriculum as a compulsory subject or course from nursery or elementary to tertiary institutions. Every Nigerian student at any level must learn about farming and own a farm while in school. At the tertiary level, the FGN can get a clue from Landmark University, Omu Aran, Kwara State, which ‘Agrarian Revolution’ as its mission.

  • Conclusively, according to the words of Allan Savoy, “without agriculture, it is not possible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of any civilization and any stable economy.”

     

     

    How to Start a laundry service in Nigeria (Dry-Cleaner)


     


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    Before you start thinking about it, let’s cover some basics in entrepreneurship before we move on to talk about how to start a laundry business in Nigeria.

    Often, when business discussions take place, the first thing that comes to the mind of an average Joe is a

    business idea that requires a lot of financing…

    On the contrary, the best business ideas are not always capital intensive, in fact the brightest

    business ideas with great potential are the ones you can start on your own with little expenditure and grow them organically into something big later in the future.

    Rightly so, you aspire to be the next Dangote, or Adenuga (me too ), but often we forget the fact that they both had humble beginnings.

    What amazes me about the majority of successful people is that they are prepared to roll up their sleeves and do the most menial jobs an average individual wouldn’t do .

    Just take a pause and think about it; did you know that Dangote made millions hawking goods to a common man on the street? (technically)… He was a retailer before starting his production company, which he developed in to a lucrative business.

    Talking of menial jobs; something like the dry cleaning business instantly springs to mind….

    In cities like Lagos and Abuja, where people spend hours navigating the city and are extremely exhausted before they get home from their day job, such people would literally jump at the opportunity of having their laundry done for them, provided that the price and quality is right.

    So, Yes! There is a huge market for the laundry business in Nigeria, especially in bigger cities like Lagos, Abuja, etc.

    If you’re thinking of starting a business and you need an idea; the laundry business is a viable option that you should seriously consider.

    Hazel-Laundry-Services1-1024x916

    HOW TO START A LAUNDRY BUSINESS IN NIGERIA 

    Because the laundry business is not a complex one, I would try as much as possible to explain the basis in three basic stages:

    #1. Planning:

    Just like any other business, the most important part is planning . So don’t delay and start your laundry business plan today, because it’s easier to detect a flawed idea during the planning stage.

    Speaking from experience, I have lost a considerable amount of time and money on several ventures because I did not plan before executing.

    I just went with it, and the outcome wasn’t great.

    The most important point is that you should always plan your proposed business before launching.

    Planning a laundry business in Nigeria doesn’t have to be a difficult task.

    Here is a quick guide on how to plan your laundry business in Nigeria:

    1. Pick a notebook and answer the following questions GENUINELY:

    (a) What’s the goal of this business?

    (b) How much can I afford to cough out as investment capital?

    (c) Where would the laundry business be located?

    (d) Who are my potential customers?

    (e) How much will I charge my client per service rendered?

    (f) What are the most important Items needed to get started? (More on this later).

    (g) What other sources of capital can I access other than my personal funds?

    1. Draw a business flow chart:

    It’s important to draw a flow chart of what your business operations would look like. A typical laundry business might look something like this:

    Customers —> Office –> Laundry Room –> Office –> Delivery/Pickup (Client)

    You can then take note of the important personnel and equipment required at each stage of the flow chart.

    Personally, I would clearly explain each stage of the flow chart so that you have a clear idea of the important people/things needed

    Customers: These are the foundations of your business; you should know that there is NO business without your customers. This is an indication of how important it is to get people to choose you, but you have to give them a reason to choose you over your competitors.

    The customer represents the centre of your business, without a customer; there is absolutely no show to run! With that in mind, you should focus more on answering question 1 (d) above.

    Office: The chart also shows how important an office space is; which means you would need a space where you process orders from customers.

    If you intend to run a large-scale operation, you might want to consider hiring a receptionist to look after your customer service and administration tasks. The office space doesn’t have to be fancy, it can simply be a place where customers can drop off and pick up their clothes, wait, make payment and ask questions.

    You would also need an area for storage within the office area; you can always partition the same room.

    LHC-PICS-MAR-2014-023_0

    Laundry Room: This is where your core business activity will take place. If you wish to run a reputable laundry business, then you need to dedicate enough time into planning how to make this part of your business efficient, effective and economical.

    There are two major items needed in this section; a washing machine and a pressing iron.

    Depending on the volume of customers, you have on your list. You can do most of the work here, or at least until customer orders are rolling in more quickly than you and your current staff can fulfill them.

    It’s essential that you get a machine that can wash and tumble dry very fast; that way you can process orders in less than 24hours and keep your customers happy.

    You can do the ironing as well, or hire somebody to do the ironing and pay them on a performance basis.

    Lest, I forget, to provide a consistent service you will need a regular power supply due to the issue of erratic power supply in this part of the world. Getting a medium sized petrol generator can solve this.

    Once you’ve taken care of the necessary things, then you can move on to the next stage, which is the actual execution of your laundry business plan.

    #2. Executing:

    This stage requires some amount of capital to procure the items mentioned in the planning stage. Once the items are procured, then the execution stage is in progress.

    While money can get you the items needed to run the business; and to some extent money can also get you your first customer, but I would like to shed more light on how to “attract” you customers.

    Remember I mentioned earlier in the planning stage that you should have a list of potential customers. The execution stage is the right time to target those potential customers and tell them about the benefits of your soon to be launched business.

    Make a list of family members, friends, neighbours, and working class citizens in your area that you think will find your service valuable. Arrange a meeting or chat to them in the streets, but most importantly, tell them about your business. Call them to remind them about your business a few days before launching.

    It’s easier to sell to those that know and trust you compared to those that don’t, but you still have to give them a reason to chose you. What is your unique selling point?

    #3. Marketing:

    Now you’ve launched your business, and you have your first customer. How do you make the next step and scale your laundry business to attract more customers and increase your profits in the process?

    Understandably, marketing is essential. But aside from marketing, the most important thing is to offer a service that you are proud to promote, offer a service that your friends can confidently and boldly refer customers to.

    It’s vital that you offer a service that satisfies that needs of your customers, and delivers everything that you have promised. This is how you turn first time customers to repeat customers, and make them come back over and over again, and eventually they will recommend new customers to your business.

    To promote your business, you can make banners and flyers. If you have the money in your budget, you can create business cards and hand them out to people in your church (or mosque as the case maybe), visit your bank, and other local businesses and leave your business cards with the staff.

    Another option is to make a list of hotels in your area, find out if they have a laundry department (Most average sized hotels/motels don’t offer a laundry service), reach out to the manager and strike a good deal with them.

    Items Needed To Start a Laundry Business:

    1. Washing Machine

    2. Generator

    3. Iron

    4. Office Space

    5. Laundry Room

     

    Conclusively, the major difference between successful people and the poor people is their ability to take action, and when they take action, they don’t relent until they achieve their goals.

    …The offer still stands; would you do my laundry if I paid you?

    so what are you waiting for… You can start your laundry business in Nigeria today!

     

    how to Start plantain farming in Nigeria and Make millions


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    By now, it should be no surprise to you that agriculture is the most

    lucrative business sector in Nigeria . This has led to a huge boost in local and international investment, which has seen the agriculture industries potential increase exponentially.

    If you’re still thinking about whether or not to invest in Nigerian agriculture, you should stop thinking and make a decision today. My advice to you is – don’t delay. The industry is so full of potential, and moving so quickly that you risk being left behind.

    If you are already planning to start plantain farming in Nigeria, then you have made the right choice to help you turn your financial status around. With very little capital, plantain farming can help you make millions of Naira every year.

    The secret to successful plantain farming is to ensure that you learn the basics, and master a few tricks of the trade. This is why you can start small and scale up to earn a lot from it.

    The Plantain tree is a native of Asia, having been cultivated first in 500BC by South Indians. It has spread widely throughout the tropics, moving from Africa to the Caribbean and Latin America. At present though, Nigeria is a large producer of plantain. Nigeria produces more for local consumption in comparison to export.

    You might be wondering why is plantain farming such a lucrative business? Plantain farming in Nigeria is so lucrative because plantain features heavily in the staple diet of most Nigerians. The few farmers who are successfully operating in this sector are making millions of Naira.

    There is a large demand for plantain across the world and in Nigeria, but supply is struggling to meet demand. By following the simple steps given ahead, you will be well on your way to fulfilling this demand and providing yourself with a healthy income!

    But before you start, it is important that you are aware of the health benefits of plantain.

     

    Health Benefits of plantain 

    1. Plantains are very reliable sources of starch and energy.
    2. Plantains contain a high amount of dietary fibre, which helps ensure healthy bowels and reduces constipation.

    3. Plantains have more vitamin C than bananas. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen- free radicals.

    4. Plantains have more vitamin A than bananas. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin A plays a vital role in the visual cycle, maintaining healthy mucus membranes, and enhancing skin complexion.

    5. As in bananas, they too are rich sources of B-complex vitamins, particularly high in vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine). Pyridoxine is an important B-complex vitamin that has a beneficial role in the treatment of neuritis, anemia, and to decrease homocystine (one of the causative factors for coronary artery disease (CHD) and stroke episodes) levels in the body.

    6. Plantains also contain folates, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin. Folates (folic acid) are essential for healthy pregnancy.

    7. Plantains also provide adequate levels of minerals such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorous. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role as well.

    8. Plantains have more potassium than bananas. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure, countering negative effects of sodium.

    9. Plantains are famed to be diuretic and can help prevent kidney and bladder problems.

    10. Plantains ease the discomfort associated with the menstrual period.

    Plantain_Farm

    how to Start plantain farming in Nigeria 

    Step #1: Purchase suitable land to start your own plantain farm

    Plantain needs the right kind of climate to grow- for it cannot survive in too hot or too cold environments. If you already have land you need to ensure that it meets these basic conditions.

    Plantains grow best in conditions where the soil retains water, that’s why plantain plantations in Nigeria are irrigated. You may not have the means to carry out irrigation so you should consider soils that retain water, have a good humus layer and you should always improvise by incorporating animal manure to the soil to improve on the humus and texture of the soil to retain water. You can also make your own compost by using chicken manure to increase its fertility.

    Step #2: Clearing the land

    Once you have purchased your land, you will need to clear it.

    Clearing of land includes removal of trees, brush, stumps and stones amongst other obstacles. This is necessary to increase the area of the land base for producing crop, or to make your land suitable for plantain farming operation.

    Depending on your budget, available equipment and the location of your plantain farm, you can go for either manual or mechanised clearing.

    Step #3: Prepping the land

    Once the land for your plantain farm is cleared, you will need to take certain steps for making the land suitable for growing plantain. This is necessary for creating the right soil conditions for a healthy growth of these young plants, and to ensure that your plantain plantation is successful in the long run.

    Land preparation should be done long before you start the process of transplantation of the plant suckers. Although this step may require significant efforts and investment, you cannot skip it, or you will have an unsuccessful harvest, which will set back your plans of owning a successful plantain farm.

    Prepping the land will also enable you to structure and plan your farming operational processes and procedures.

    The areas that you must consider are:

    ⏩The availability as well as the quality of water for irrigation that you have

    ⏩Mechanical actions that will need to be implemented and how they will be implemented

    ⏩Selection of land

    ⏩Any chemical requirements for improving the soil before transplantation

    ⏩Equipment and tools that will be required for the cultivation of plantain

    ⏩Labor and manpower requirements

    ⏩Leaching schedule

    ⏩Time schedule

    ⏩Financial requirements

    ⏩Hole preparation

    Step #4: Purchasing Plantain Suckers

    Plantains are propagated vegetatively, from corms, which are underground bulbs or rhizomes or from suckers, which are shoots that grow from the bud that is at the plant base.

    Since the use of the entire corm is quite laborious, the more common method is to grow those using small corms. The mother plant makes three kinds of plantain suckers, namely sword suckers, maidenheads and water suckers.

    Sword suckers come with a short pseudostem and have narrow leaves, similar to blades, along with a narrow base. When they mature, they have fruitful and healthy pseudostems.

    Maidenheads come with a pseudostem that is large and does not produce any fruit; white water suckers have broad leaves with short pseudostems.

    Water suckers do not have a strong attachment to the rhizome, and produce less fruit with weaker plants. They are less preferred in comparison to large sword suckers and maidenheads.

    It is essential that you purchase suckers only from a farm that is reputable and trusted. There is no fixed price for these, a conventional sucker can cost anywhere around N50 to N100, while a hybrid will cost around N120 to N200. This price may again, vary depending on where you procure it.

    Step #5: Planting

    It is essential that before you begin your plantain plantation, you eliminate any grass or weed competition. To prevent any re-growing of weed, you can use mulching.

    However, for turf grass, you will need to either use herbicides or go by the hoeing technique. If you are planning to plant for producing fruit, there should be a space of at least 8-10 feet in between. Irrigation needs to be applied at regular intervals to keep the soil moist. Ensure that there is no standing water since plantains are not tolerant to wet conditions.

    Step #6: In-organic and organic fertilization

    After planting, you will need to manure them using a combination of household waste, poultry manure and woodash for improving the growth and yield of plantains. It will also help to reduce the infestation by nematodes and borer weevils.

    Organic manure helps maintain the temperature of the soil, conserve its moisture content and help regulate soil acidity. This will help you make the most of your efforts for plantain farming in Nigeria.

    Step #7 Harvest

    Plantain trees produce large bunches of heavy fruit, which may cause the tree to slump or droop. If you find that your plantain tree is struggling to stand up due to the weight, use string and bamboo poles to tie and prop the tree.

    Fruits appear within 90 to 120 days after the tree flowers. Upon fruiting, plantains are typically ready for harvest within 6 to 8 months.

    Step #8 Market

    Plantain-Market-Osun-Web-300x200

    As a farmer or producer of plantain your ultimate aim is to secure buyers for your produce. In most instances this should be straight forward as there is currently a high demand for plantain.

    Buyers can range from the mama in your local market to large companies/industries. However, since industries do not buy small quantities and require that plantains meet international standards, you will only gain access to this important market if your production is to industry specification, both in terms of quantity, quality and time.

    Conclusion

    Following these steps with dedication is how you successfully establish your own plantain farm in Nigeria, which is not only a source of great income, but also a way to help the economy of Nigeria.

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    Starting Your Own Business? what are the Benefits?


    Thinking of starting your Business? 

    its a good thing when the resources of getting started are in place. Also, having your own business established means you are practically taking a step to take control of your life, and your dreams.

    There are literally countless business ideas floating out there.

    Some are brand new ideas while others have been successfully implemented by thousands of people. Many of these ideas are simple, straightforward, and inexpensive to start, while others are a bit complex.

    Starting your own business may require a lot of process. But in my own opinion, I advise you to start small and simple, using your own hard-earned resources to execute the idea first.

    Then the success gained and your entrepreneurial spirit may motivate you to take your business to the heights you may never imagined. But you will never encounter such success if you do not give it a shot.

    There are lots of benefits of starting your own business and some of them you might never know until you give it a trial.

    Here are tips and motivations that can help you to start a successful business:

    Independence And Flexibility

    When working for yourself you tend to gain more freedom and independence. And once your business is firmly established, you’ll probably have the flexibility to make sure you don’t miss the moment and events that matter to you the most in life. You work your own hours and if you want to take a day off you don’t need to call the boss.

    That does not mean starting your own business is a passport to relaxation, it simply means you’ll have the freedom to decide when to work and when to rest. Sometimes, starting your own business could even mean working harder but you make that decision and not someone else else making it for you.

    You Decide Your Income If you are an employee, no matter how hard you work, you will always receive limited income even if you are the most efficient and most qualified employee. If you are a business owner there is no limitation to how much money you can make. Your income will depend on how good and efficient you are in running your your business.

    In a nutshell, you are the decision maker and everything lies in your hands. If you are extremely ambitious, starting your own business will give you freedom to compete and set target for yourself to even compete and become one of the very rich persons in your niche and community. You decide when to retire depending on how much money you’ve made and even when you retire, your business will still be making you money.

    SEE ALSO: How to win and retain customers in Business

    Personal Fulfillment In Your Own Business

    Having your own business can be more satisfying than working for someone else. Many successful small business owners enjoy the respect they get from their peers for having the courage to go out on their own and set up a business.

    You are not limited in applying your creativity, you have the freedom to experiment and take calculated risks that you dare not do if you are working under someone. When such creativity and risks brings positive results, you become the most fulfill person on earth.

    You become a business creator and not merely a product of business creation. You can brag about your achievement and enjoys all the recognition you get.

    To Learn New Skills The more you work to build your business, the more you will realize how little you actually know. As your business expands, you will learn time management,marketing, general management, book-keeping, new types of problem solving, tax implication and so on. You will learn plenty about yourself and what you can handle throughout the life of your business.

    Don’t be surprised if power is one of your goals, you will acquire power through your business and keep learning the skills of managing your power. In your business, you have employees who are out there to do your bidding your way.

    However, if power is important to you and you really want to retain it, think of using it in a more constructive way to build positive value.

    There Are Organizations To Help You Success There are non profit organizations out there to help you succeed in your new business. They will provide you with guidance, specialized expertise, and even offer services in helping you establish your organization up and running.

    Small businesses are very important in the economy because it represents one of the workforce.

    There are several organizations that you can search on the web that have the resources to help you with any advice that you will networking need for your business.One of such organization is The United States Small Business

    Administration which is a Government agency that provides resources, guides, and advice to small business owners and startups.They also provide tools such as business plan software, etc.‘Doing Business’ which is powered by World Bank Groups another powerful resource platform for business startups.

    SEE ALSO: How to win and retain customers in Business

    Here on POSPITIPS ONLINE also we make effort to provide you with some of the finest business ideas to work on. Having a vision Most new business owners realize the dream of doing business through their own visions of how they can do things better.

    Your vision or idea often comes from businesses that are not providing service or products, and you feel you could improve them if you own a business that render such services in more effective and efficient ways.

    Once you have a vision for a business, it is easier to turn that vision to reality. The quality of employees you hire could also determine your success or failure in a business. How many times have you sought out business products or services and dealt with poor customer service people? By hiring the employees that will get the job done, you can make your business better.

    Income Expectation Small business can be profitable. It is not only big corporations that pulls in big profits. They are countless stories of entrepreneurs landing a solid idea and exploiting it for a large financial gain. And from a selfish point of view, you get to keep more of the profits if the business is your own.

    Starting your own business affords you the opportunity for professional growth. Entrepreneurs get to try there’s hands in all of the business from marketing to sales and business development. This gives business owners the ability to be more creative and become involved in the whole process of starting and running a new venture.

    This can also lead to more business opportunities in future as entrepreneurs learn all factors that make their business successful.

    Did you learn anything from this report?

    Share it with us through the comment section and help to empower others.

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    5 Fears I Overcame to Become an Entrepreneur



    The freedom entrepreneurship can provide is priceless. Being able to set your schedule and earn an income based off of the value you provide is appealing. 

    There are many enjoyable parts of an entrepreneur’s life, but life isn’t a movie, and there are challenges and strugglesevery entrepreneur will face. These challenges are especially strong when you’re starting a business.
    Fear kept me stuck in a business I hated because the money was good and pretty much guaranteed. I had a full plate of customers, but the work felt like it was draining my soul. My dream was to create a lifestyle businessthat allowed me to write, speak and consult. I had to beat these five fears to make that dream a reality.

    Fear isn’t a negative thing if you understand it. Starting or growing a business is a hard enough task on its own. 

    When you add in fear, it can feel impossible. Here are five fears you may need to overcome to build your business.

    1. Losing my steady paycheck.


    Knowing how much money you have coming in, and having it come steadily, makes you feel secure. The income from a business is sporadic at times if you don’t have systems in place. I was terrified of leaving that consistent check from the same customers I had dealt with for years. This idea of making money online didn’t feel safe at first.

    I conquered this fear by realizing that there is no such thing as a steady paycheck. Job security is a thing of the past. We see that played out every day. You can create more reliable income in your business with a plan. You should have a plan for promotions and how you will make money each month. You then schedule your content around what you’re promoting.

    1. What will I do with more free time?

    When I chased this dream on the side, I used every minute wisely. I would get home from my business and work for three uninterrupted hours every day. This helped me build my online business to profitability in a year. No time was wasted, and the side business grew as a result.
    This idea of having all this free time brought on fear. I worried I would watch more Netflix than work. For the first two months in my lifestyle business, that was the case. Don’t fear having free time, fear not having a plan for that free time. If you set a realistic schedule for yourself, you can be even more productive than when you were in a day job.

    1. What will family and friends think?


    Our society has been trained to believe in this idea of the “American Dream.” This dream is that you graduate high school, go to college and get a degree. You can then get a “good job” and buy a house with a white picket fence. While the idea of the American Dream has changed, the overall premise remains strong.
    A lot of your family and friends won’t understand your desire to be an entrepreneur. The narrative is still in their mind. There’s always a fear of what they will say and how they’ll react. Realize this is your life and you have to live it how you best see fit. Accept that some people won’t get it and that’s okay.

    1. Past failures.

    Failure doesn’t have to be something that holds you back, and it’s not a fear that should keep you from becoming an entrepreneur. Use any failure as a life lesson to help you avoid the same mistakes. If you have failed at starting or growing a business in the past, dust yourself off and go back to the drawing board.
    5. Self-limiting beliefs.


    Doubt, fear and listening to people who don’t get entrepreneurship will feed into your self-limiting beliefs. These beliefs can amplify your fear and convince you to settle for a life you don’t want to live.
    After overcoming my fear, I sold the business I hated. I now write, speak, and consult.

     I wake up every day knowing I’ll be spending my time on the things I love. I still have fear, but it isn’t about the same things and I understand what it means.
    I don’t know what fears will hold you back from achieving success in your business. I only know you can beat them when you get honest about them, and address the reason fear manifested itself. Don’t let fear keep you from all the great things you can accomplish in your business.

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