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Business Management

How To Manufacture Your Own Brand Products

Manufacture your own brand

Do you want to manufacture your own brand products? Manufacturing business may seem like a cost consuming project, but it’s not any more. I want to show you the simple to create and manufacture your own brand products now,

Before now, many entrepreneurs think manufacturing their own brand product is difficult. Well, from my observation and experience, it’s much more simpler than you think. I have done it several times and still do. It has been the success crest of many importers in Alaba market and International trade fair market.

So I have not only proved that it’s possible but that it’s also simple. I’m also going to show how you too can do it, in a precise and straight to the point writeup for even a newbie to quickly read through and begin to apply the steps successfully.

My name is Chinedu David and I’m a your brand product manufacturing consultant. Follow me as I show you all that I know about manufacturing your own brand products in a step by step guide.

Before You Start Manufacturing

Let me enlighten you on what’s happening in Manufacturing Business in Nigeria. There are different classes in product business as operated in Nigeria. The classes are Manufacturing, importation, logistics, distribution, marketing and sales.

You are either going to be involved in one of them or you can choose to climb the ladder till you get to the topmost, which is manufacturing. Most importers have moved into manufacturing because of its many benefits.

As a manufacturer you have the advantage of the monopoly of your brand. You gain a share of customers who love and buy your brand. You can control and determine, how, where, when and who gets involved in your product. Most importantly, you can make more money Manufacturing your own brand product.

However, what has dominated the manufacturing industry today is not factories but brands. There are more brands than manufacturing companies in existence. If you think what I’m going to show you is how to plan, buy and setup your own manufacturing equipments, you missed the point.

How Manufacturing Your Own Brand Works

These days, manufacturers no longer build factories. They only create and build brands, while they outsource the manufacturing of their products to big and established factories somewhere around the world; preferably in China.

You can also outsource to other manufacturers here in Nigeria. As long as the have the expertise to produce your product in the best quality you desire. You can use any manufacturer anywhere that’s cost effective and convenient for you.

The main work you have to do when Manufacturing your one brand product is creating the product you want and building the brand in the market. If you get the product right, with the brand perfect, then Manufacturing is just as simple as tap water.

Step One: Choose The Right Product

The main problem with picking a product to manufacture is picking the right product. This may seem the hardest thing to do, but this is the most important decision in manufacturing your own brand product. It shouldn’t be something you struggle alone to pick.

Your product would make or mar your manufacturing dream. That’s why it’s the most important step on how you manufacture your own brand product. Hiring a consultant to help you at this stage may be the right decision to make. If you get this right, you will have it easy pushing the product into the market.

The best products are not necessarily the product nobody else is manufacturing. In fact, it’s safer to manufacture a better version of what is already selling in the market than trying to introduce a new product that nobody knew before. Unless the new product is solving a major need that most people have and are willing to pay to solve it.

Also, your choice of product should be based on the solution it provides in relation to the vast number of people that it’s solving their problems. Its also better if the products would be in demand for a longer time. That way your success will not be cut short.

And if you are choosing products that are already being sold in the market, I will advise that you work on making your products better or finding out the solutions that the current product is not offering but are needed by the consumers and add them in your own product.

You can find many products available in the market to start Manufacturing your own brand. The key here is not really about the product but about your own brand. Look for a product with huge potential and produce it with your brand. Period!

Step Two: Create Your Brand

The brand is equally important when Manufacturing your own product. Remember, the key part of this manufacturing business is having your own brand. So, the brand part has to be done well. Branding is more than just having a a name and logo. It should have the right customer appeal that translate to sales.

It’s not that easy anymore to just pick a brand and starting building your product on it. There are a lot of factors that comes into play when picking a brand name. While you can choose any name you want, you have to consider if it’s available to register as a business name, domain name, for trademark, and if the social handles are not taken yet.

Until all that is sure, you cannot say you have a successful brand. That’s why it’s advisable to hire a consultant for the job. Although, it’s not a cheap option because you have to pay consultancy fees, but it’s better if you want to build a big brand.

Let’s look at steps you need to take to create a brand:

  • Choose a brand name
  • Design a brand logo
  • Buy a domain name
  • Create social media handles
  • Design your brand website

Choose A Brand Name:

But the first step in creating your own brand is picking the brand name. A name is key to branding. Choosing the right name with the right brand image doesn’t just come so easily. It’s involves lot of brainstorming and checking to verify its available to use.

In today’s world, it can take years to come by. However, the fastest way is to create a name that’s not existing. If you are looking for brand names like Google, Amazon, eBay, Apple, you may never find one.

After you have found the right brand name, register that brand for trademark. Don’t forget this part. If your brand is  ot registered, you may lose that brand to another person. And if someone else infringe on that brand you can sue them and get compensated.

Buy A Domain Name:

Another way to finding a brand name is finding the domain name first. This could be the fastest way to find your own brand name. A brand is as good as its domain name. But good domain names are not easy to come by these days.

Your best bet is to buy it from domain resell sites like SEDO. These domain reseller sites are marketplaces where those who have domain names for sale can offer them to those who want to buy them. So, you can browse the huge directories of these sites and pick what domain name you want.

Design A Brand Logo:

The brand logo is as important as the brand itself. Your brand image is the brands identity that defines how the brand is perceived by the customers. You have to do a great design to represent the brand well in the minds of the customers.

Hire a top designer for this job if you want the best design. Who does your design would determine the result you get. The bottom, get the right desire for your target customers.

Create Social Media Handles:

This shouldn’t have been a part of the plan. But in today’s business, not having social media handles may be a major disadvantage for your brand. Your brand has to be better represented on all the major social medias that your target customers use.

Design Your Brand Website:

Your website is where all the important things concerning your brand live forever. Your website is the life blood of your brand online. Anybody can clone your brand, but your website is one place your customers should find you undiluted.

It’s easier to design beautiful and functional website in today’s world. One thing you must focus on is to design a website that’s interactive and usable by your customers. If possible, include eCommerce capabilities to help your customers buy your product directly from your site.

Step Three: Find A Manufacturing Partner

After you have done all the needful for your brand identity, the next step would be to find a partner who can manufacture your products in the best quality and price. Don’t take this steps for granted. Some major brands before you are doing the same thing. Brands like Apple, LG, Binatone, Samsung, etcetera, all are using contract manufacturers.

They do not have a factory of their own. They all use manufacturing partners. You should follow the same step, especially if you are a newbie in manufacturing. But the process of choosing one may not be easy at all.

Sometimes you may need to work with a manufacturing partner to produce your first sample before you can conclude on starting the full production with them. And if you are interested in visiting their factories as well to be sure of what they are promising you, then you can visit before you kickstart the full production.

You can find manufacturers online on alibaba.com. You can also hire a consultant to help you get good manufacturers and create your first sample. This will save you from poor quality products. If your product is poor quality from beginning it may not win the customers patronage.

Create Your First Sample Product:

If possible, create your first and second samples. If you are going to hire a consultant, which I advise you do, the quality of your product is determined from the sample work done. And don’t mistake the name sample, it’s costlier to produce sample if you go about it the best way.

Let me explain briefly how this works and the impact on your brand product manufacturing. A sample helps you see how the final product works and what customers can expect from your brand.

However, after the first sample is done, it’s not the final product. You will need to hire an expert to analyze the parts used and recommend specific quality parts if required to ensure that your product meets quality standards.

Note that China is home for any kind of quality and if you don’t decide the quality you want, they will give you any cheap quality they can find to make more profit and that will harm your brand badly.

So, an expert will analyze the parts used and recommend quality or better parts and the manufacturer will now quote a new price based on the new recommendation. Then you will produce the second sample based on the quality parts recommended. The two is then tested to prove any difference in quality, functionality and what have you, in relation to the kind of product being manufactured.

Step Four: Start Your Production

Once the prototype or samples are certified ok, the next step will be to begin first batch of production. I always recommend that you do not produce more than five thousand units.

For some products I recommend just one thousand or even less. This is the job of a consultant to help you make this decision based on the type of product you are manufacturing. You should know that if you make a mistake of over producing it can harm your business and tie down your capital as well.

And being a new product it’s always wise to go with a small order at first. If you noticed I used the word start your production. That is because I know that it may take some time to produce and as a business you shouldn’t be doing nothing while your manufacturing partners are producing your first batch of products.

So, we will be discussing what you should be doing during this time in the next step.

Step Five: Start Your Marketing

Notice that I didn’t use the word advertising for a reason. Marketing and advertising are not exactly the same. While marketing has to do directly with markets, advertising deals primary with mediums of promoting your products.

So this time, I want you to focus on the markets that is how I want you to start your marketing. I will recommend you hire a marketing consultant for this job. For your brand products to gain instant acceptability and growth it needs grassroot guerrilla marketing strategy and not media hype.

You can decide how many states distributors you want at first or you can choose to cover the whole country. It’s entirely dependent on your marketing budget. Your marketing consultant would give you the cost when you are ready.

But the reason for this kind of marketing is to help make your products available everywhere and build a proper network of distributors and retailers in every city. You can even start getting orders before your products arrives into the country. That’s what I call success.

Step Six: Start Your Advertising

Now I can recommend that you give your online marketing a boast as well. That will increase your online presence and start bringing in sales. Remember you have distributors and retailers nationwide already or in the cities you marketed to. Now, it’s your job to promote your products and direct your customers to your retailers location nationwide.

This kind of advertising has two impact, it will make your retailers who have not stocked your products to quickly rush to the distributor to buy stock. Also the same for the distributors, once they keep getting order request from retailers they will quickly place more order.

You know distributors order is big. So each time customers go asking for your products you will get a big order from the distributors. And once they have ordered they have to sell them.

The other thing is that customers will already be able to get the product in their city and save themselves the cost of online shipping if they have to only get your products online. And if you marry the two very well, your. Haines will grow very fast in such a short time than you can imagine.

Conclusion

Finally, this is supposed to be just about manufacturing your own brand product but I have also covered marketing strategy. If you want to progress and take advantage of what I have shared with you here or even ask questions use the comment box below or email me directly.

 

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Business Management

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How To Register Regulated Product With NAFDAC

When starting a business in Nigeria, there are several considerations you have to make. One of which is registering your regulated product With NAFDAC – The National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control.

NAFDAC is one of the bodies in charge of regulated product registration in Nigeria. It covers both locally manufactured and imported products. However, it’s not the only body approved by government for the registration of products in the country. There’s also SON – Standard Organization of Nigeria.

But NAFDAC covers just food and drug related products. Anything that Nigerians are meant to consume falls within the purview of NAFDAC. While SON covers those products that falls outside of food and drugs.

For an entrepreneur, you need to register your regulated food and drug products with NAFDAC to avoid falling into the wrong side of the law. That would also help build consumer confidence on your product.

Why Register Your Product?

NAFDAC registration is about certifying the product and approving it for consumption and sale, while a registration number is issued to notify the public or help in verifying the authenticity of the product being consumed.

A registered product gains consumers confidence, meets all regulatory conditions and helps promoters avoids battles with the laws of the land. Any responsible business entity knows that registering their products with the appropriate authorities is an important business decision.

Moreover, you need to know how NAFDAC operates to enable you register your products without hitches. The process is not difficult but sometimes can drag for a while before your product would be approved fit for consumption.

What Are Regulated Products?

According to a Science Direct bookon An Overview of FDA Regulated Products, a product is considered regulated if a government authority determines when and how the product is allowed to be commercialized.

Although, regulated products differ by countries and territories. What may be regulated in the United States for example, may not be regulated in Nigeria. Countries regulate their products based on their own unique market challenges.

Also, a product may have been regulated in the past but later withdrawn from regulated list of products.

 

Some regulated products in Nigeria

Products To Register With NAFDAC

Based on the definition of regulated product above, you can site some classes of regulated products to fall within these categories. In the United States, the FDA separates products into specific categories:

  • Food
  • Dietary supplements
  • Cosmetics
  • Drugs
  • Biologics
  • Medical devices
  • Veterinary products
  • And tobacco

The same applies to NAFDAC in Nigeria. Water also falls within the food category. These products are regulated due to the grave implication if their are adulterated or subsatndardly produced.

I also feel to give some few examples of previously registered products by NAFDAC to help you fully understand the Nigerian regulatory environment. I picked products from different categories, and in no particular order:

  • Revup (water, yoghurt, and juice)
  • Infini Clear (cream, soap and lotion)
  • De-Zack Water 50Cl Sachet
  • Flexi Joint Capsules And Cream
  • A1 Pat Life Water
  • Brave Herbal Capsules
  • GINO magic pepper and onion tomato seasoning mix (MILD)
  • MR CHEF seasoning
  • FAMKO sweetened yoghurt

You can search and find any NAFDAC registered products on this website link.

Who Can Register Product With NAFDAC

In case you are wondering if your business qualify to register a product With NAFDAC, let me clarify those classes of businesses that can approach NAFDAC for product registration. Below are the categories of entrepreneurs that can register a product With NAFDAC.

  1. Manufacturer
  2. Distributor
  3. Marketer

These three classes of entrepreneurs deals directly with products, and your business have to fall within any of these three to register a product With NAFDAC. Although, it’s not like NAFDAC has restriction on classes of business as a condition. It’s even because you cannot have the right over a product unless you fall within these three classes of entrepreneur, especially as a manufacturer.

A retailer only has exclusive retail rights. It’s only a manufacturer, distributor or marketer that can have an exclusive product right in a market. That’s why NAFDAC demands that only among these classes of entrepreneurs can register a product with the commission.

NAFDAC Registration Process

The process of registrating a regulated product With NAFDAC has been further simplified. It used to be solely by visiting any of the following NAFDAC offices in Nigeria.

  • NAFDAC Central Laboratory Complex, 3/4 Oshodi ? Apapa Expressway, Oshodi ? Lagos.

This office is where registration and regulatory affairs, legal process, inspections, food Laboratory tests, narcotics and controlled substances are handled.

  • NAFDAC Central Drug and Vaccines Laboratory (CDVL), Edmund Crescent, Yaba, Lagos

This office is in charge of drug laboratory tests and ports Inspection jobs.

  • NAFDAC Enforcement Directorate. Ahmadu Bello Way (Behind Nigerian Air Force Camp by Legico B/stop), Victoria Island – Lagos.

While this office sole responsibility is the enforcement of all NAFDAC laws.

To begin the registration process, you start with the purchase of the relevant registration application form from the NAFDAC office closest to you and pick up the applicable guidelines. This guidelines gives you proper directives on how to make your applications with the support documents required. Also read how to register a business in Nigeria.

How To Begin Registration Process

It’s takes about three months to complete NAFDAC product registration process, if all requirements are met at stipulated times. There are processes to follow when registering a regulated product. NAFDAC has laid out rules to guide applicants. Let me list each process for you:

  • Application Letter And Document Submission
  • Registration description of intent
  • Samples for laboratory analysis
  • Payments for category of registration

The first step is to submit letter of application with all required documents. Your letter of application gives NAFDAC information about your request for registration, and your documents helps them to understand who is making the application. But you have to ensure all the documents are complete, with the appropriate description so you won’t encounter any delays in the process.

The next step in your registration process is the description of your intent. This includes the purpose of your registration, and the product description itself. You are letting NAFDAC know what you want to register, what it does and your reason for registration.

Then, you submit your samples for testing. Here are the requirements to bear in mind when submitting your samples for laboratory analysis.

  1. Make your labelling clear, accurate and informative
  2. And your label must carry the following details:
  • The brand name
  • The name and address of manufacturer, distributor, marketer
  • The provision or slot for NAFDAC Registration number
  • The batch number to be tested, manufacturing and expiry date
  • The net content
  • The complete list of ingredients
  • Any product warnings that consumers should be aware of

And finally, you pay your registration fees according to your registration category.

NAFDAC Application Fees

It’s equally important to know how much it cost to get the NAFDAC number in Nigeria? The number is a symbolic representation of the product that it has been approved by NAFDAC.

So, registering your product With NAFDAC is not only to prove the quality and authenticity of it but also to get NAFDAC seal of approval, which is the NAFDAC number. And these fees are charged in two variants.

Infini clear product range

Since Nigeria imports a lot of products, NAFDAC also classified the registration fees into two. One class is for imported products, while the other one is approved for locally made products.

For imported products, NAFDAC charges as much as N200,000 plus VAT to register any imported product to be sold in Nigeria. These products that are not manufactured in Nigeria are made to pay more than those manufactured in the country.

While the locally manufactured products gets a lower fee of just N50,000 plus value added tax (VAT).

What’s NAFDAC Registration Number?

When you register a product With NAFDAC you will be issued with a registration number. This number is what NAFDAC uses to identify your product and it equally gives consumers a sense of confidence that your product is under the purview of the regulatory authority of NAFDAC.

NAFDAC issues this number as a final approval for each product that has successfully undergoes its rigorous examinations under its quality and health considerations.

Each registered product is issued a unique identification number to help NAFDAC monitor and control the quality of such product. While these efforts are meant to curb fake and substandard products, it doesn’t completely eliminates it from the market.

Unscrupulous importers and manufacturers also explore the porous nature and the inadequacies of NAFDAC to exploit consumers by using either fake or unapproved registration number on their products to deceive buyers.

Apart from the issue of registration number, NAFDAC also issues product certificate after registration. But this certificate is not issued immediately. It takes about a maximum of six months after the product approval date. So, it can be issued anytime within the six months period after registration.

Conclusion

Inasmuch as you can process NAFDAC registration yourself, it’s usually helpful to seek the services of a consultant. It helps to simplify things for you and make it work faster. An experienced consultant knows the process better and understand NAFDAC modus operandi better than you who is doing it for the first time.

Since China dominates Nigerians import destination, NAFDAC also has a Chinese office, which enables Chinese products to be registered right there in china before being imported into Nigeria. This option may be suitable for you, but try and check the cost implications compared with registering in Nigeria before choosing this option.

Finally, any product you want to sell in Nigeria, find out first if it requires registration. If it’s not a product under the NAFDAC purview, it would be under the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON). Avoid importing or selling unregistered products in Nigeria.

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Business Management

How Marketing Works For Beginners

Although marketing works the same for everybody, but there’s a way it can be well explained for beginners. That takes away the seeming complexity that most people associate with marketing. Even if you are an MBA student, this simple explanation about marketing will help you understand it much better.

As a startup entrepreneur, your understanding about how marketing works will give you an edge over the competition. Most times, startups see marketing as a subset of advertising. But marketing is the embodiment of sales. Sales happen as an effect of marketing.

In this post, we are going to look at what makes up marketing, by exploring the simple details of how marketing works, especially for beginners who know little about marketing.

Who’s A Marketer?

By understanding who a marketer is, will help you grasp the Know-how of marketing. After all, the sole purpose of learning how marketing works is so that you too can become a good marketer.

So, the primary duty of a marketer is to present a product or service before a target audience, to win their interest and patronage, with strategic messages that raises brand awareness with the intent to drive sales.

However that duty includes finding the best distribution channels to market the product or service. Finding the finances required to run the enterprise. Also, conducting market research about the potential of the market for your product or service. While also managing the product or service, and utilizing all promotional channels available in the target market.

Note: You don’t necessarily need to become a member of National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria to perform marketing functions in your business. But membership of the Institute is compulsory for only practitioners of the marketing profession.

Understanding How Marketing Works?

Marketing is not sales. Know what makes the difference. This must be clear to you. There’s a difference between marketing and sales. That’s because marketing deals with what makes people interested in the product or service being sold. While sales addresses only the activities that lead to the selling of the product or service. So, when you understand and able to differentiate these two, then you can properly articulate how marketing works.

That brings us to the functions of marketing, which includes:

  • Distribution
  • Market research
  • Setting prices
  • Finance
  • Product management
  • Promotional channels
  • Matching products to consumers

Marketing involves every aspect of a product life, till it gets to the final consumer. So, the main goals of marketing, which is to research, promote the product to increase target audience engagement that would lead to the selling of the product or service can be defined as:

  • Customer Service
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Lead Conversion
  • Brand Awareness
  • Upsell
  • Loyally

What’s Advertising?

A professor once gave a simple and educative illustration about marketing to his MBA students. This simple illustration will form the basis for explaining marketing in this article. I will start first by using it to explain advertising, and then the rest of the sub heads under how marketing works.

The professor began with the idea of how you with your friends being in a party, and you spotted a gorgeous looking lady. This scenario will form the platform for every of the illustration, with different reactions or statement to accompany each of the explanation.

Now, if one of your friends go up to our gorgeous lady and pointed at you saying, “he’s very rich. Marry him”. That simple illustration is what advertising means. You are the product, your friend is the medium, while the lady is the target audience.

Also, your friend in his words expressed a proposition to the lady, while prompting her on a course of action. His message was clear: he’s very rich. And what he wants her to do is also very clear: marry him.

This simple illustration explains advertising in a way that everyone can understand. Now, from the concept of marketing, which advertising is a part of, you can understand the role of advertising in marketing. The concept of advertising is to influence consumer purchasing behavior. This influence is induced by emotional force.

What’s Direct Marketing?

Using the same illustration of our gorgeous lady by the professor, let’s define direct marketing in simple terms. But this time, it’s different from how advertising work. Imagine you walk up to her and say, “I’m very rich. Marry me”.

Notice the difference between advertising and direct marketing. In direct marketing, you don’t need someone to do it for you as an intermediary. You are not using any medium or channel of distribution. You are selling directly to the target audience.

Examples of Direct Marketing

There are many ways you can engage in direct marketing. The following examples of a direct marketing would help you find what will work best for you. The most common forms of direct marketing are:

  1. Internet marketing
  2. Face-to-face selling
  3. Direct mail
  4. Emails
  5. Catalogs
  6. Telemarketing
  7. Direct-response advertising
  8. Kiosk marketing
  9. Flyers
  10. Phone text messaging
  11. Promotional letters
  12. Newspapers
  13. Outdoor advertising
  14. Magazine adverts
  15. Coupons
  16. Postcards

What’s Competition?

The next important aspect of marketing is the competition. It’s one of the major reason marketing exist in the first place. If there are no competitors, customers would readily find you when they need you.

Marketing is a way of maintaining your market share in a competition. But to explain market competition, let’s resort to professors illustration with our gorgeous lady at the party. But this time, as you got to the lady to say anything, another person got to her first to tell her: “I’m rich. Will you marry me?’ And she goes with him. That other person is the competition.

What’s Brand Recognition?

Branding is one of the biggest part of marketing because of what it seeks to deliver. It builds a long lasting relationship between the product or service and the target audience. A brand gives a product or service a lifeline.

And here’s how the professor illustrates brand recognition using our gorgeous lady at the party. This time, she walks up to you and says, “you are very rich. Can you marry me?”

She’s the one that spotted you. Also, by herself knew that you are very rich. And without hesitation requested to be married. That’s brand recognition. You are recognizable as very rich, to the intent of your target requesting marriage with you.

Any brand that can achieve this kind of recognition is powerful and cannot be easily defeated by the competition. Think of brands like OMO that has replaced the real name of detergents with its brand name – OMO.

What’s Market Restriction?

Moreover, markets can also have restrictions. And that’s our next topic on how marketing works. You need to know what are the restrictions in your market. Some business permits are there to restrict those who can’t meet those requirements from entering the business.

Let’s use the same professors illustration of our gorgeous lady to understand what market restrictions are like. Think of of it as you going up to her, but before you say, “I’m rich. Mary me,” your wife arrives on the scene. That’s like a restriction of entering new markets.

Restrictions exists to stop you. But it’s up to you to know what’s stopping you and how you can overcome those challenges to gain your place in the market.

What’s Demand And Supply Gap?

When you succeed in overcoming the restrictions to get into the market, then prepare yourself also for what could come next. The right thing to do at this stage is to supply your target market what you promised to deliver. And while your supply chain moves in, your marketing should as well address the demand side.

Things can get ugly when demand doesn’t seem to match with supply. There could be demand and supply gap.

In the professors illustration with our gorgeous lady, he made it very simple to grasp. It’s like you going up to the lady to say, “I’m very rich. Marry me”. But she turns and introduces you to her husband. That’s a typical demand and supply gap.

The competition is already present in the market. And your target audience are already in bed with them.

What’s Telemarketing?

So, what can you do about your situation? Let’s consider telemarketing to understand how it works in marketing. The role telemarketing plays in how marketing works is essential in dealing with issues of demand and supply gap. It offers you direct marketing advantage that could help you woe customers to your product or service.

How would our professor describe telemarketing, using the illustration of our gorgeous lady? Imagine, you go up to her and got her telephone number. The next day, you call her and say, “Hi, I’m very rich. Marry me”. That’s telemarketing.

You are marketing to her directly through access to her phone. You could also use text messaging to do that. But the idea here is that you got her number for the purpose of reaching her with marketing.

Understanding Customers Feedback

Now that you have access to your customers and they are convinced about your product or service, it’s your job with marketing to know what the consumers think about your product or service. It’s a great way to measure how marketing works.

You will love what the professor thinks about customers feedback, in our illustration using the gorgeous lady. It’s like you going up to her to say, “I’m very rich. Marry me!” But she gives you a nice hard slap on your face. That’s what’s called customers feedback.

Also, it doesn’t matter if she just smiled at you and kissed you. Whatever reaction you got from customers feedback is for your advantage. Use what you got to address your product deficiencies or shortsightedness. The customers feedback is there to always point you in the right direction of what could keep your relationship with your target audience sweet with merriment.

Conclusion

You can understand better now from our professors point of view how marketing works. By following the professors illustration we have explained in simple terms how marketing works for beginners. However, one thing is clear, marketing has several parts to it. And if you need to make marketing work for you, then learn all about the things that makeup marketing.

The concept of marketing reveals how marketing works is to satisfy customers needs, increase sales, maximize profits and beat the hell out of the competition. As a marketer, your job in the management of the business is to design best strategies that will create profitable relationships with target customers. And if you do that successful, you have marketing working for you.

Finally, the problem with a lot of marketing strategies by beginner startups is their lack of understand of the difference between marketing and sales. Their ignorance, often times caused by the lack of knowledge of how marketing works, is the reason they never get it right with marketing. So, emphasis is placed on sales as though it covers marketing. Yet, you can only succeed with sales if you make marketing work first.

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Business Management

How to Prevent Stealing Your Ideas In 2021

Do you want to share your unique business ideas with someone who you think might be able to help you out but you are worried that they might steal it? How do you prevent stealing your ideas? You can still share your ideas with potential investors but you need to put protective measures in place, like a non-disclosure agreement.

You shouldn’t let someone just steal your ideas because you approached them for funding or partnership. It’s not just wolves of Wall Street that you should be afraid of when building a business. You should also be afraid of those who might steal you ideas, trade secrets, registered patent, etcetera.

There are harmless looking business executives, friends, colleagues, startups, entrepreneurs, investors, even lawyers that won’t hesitate in stealing your ideas if they have the slightest chance to do so.

That’s why you need to protect your ideas from anyone who you may have need to share it with. In Nigeria stealing business idea is not really new. In fact, people steal ideas without consequences. Probably because most people don’t even know what to do about it. Or comply because most people are not protecting their business ideas

Your Next Big Thing

Every entrepreneur believes their ideas are the next big thing. While in essence, startup ideas are worth nothing of financial value. If not, there would have been a marketplace for selling ideas to the highest bidder.

That’s not to mean that you shouldn’t protect your ideas from being stolen. Although, most startup ideas are too simple to even be stolen. It doesn’t change the fact that those simple ideas might end up becoming billion dollar ideas when implemented.

Having an idea doesn’t equal to the world’s next big thing. It might seem to you but it doesn’t always translate to that. Your ideas are not money. So it cannot be purchased. But if you think you have found an idea that could change the world, do the needful and protect it from anyone you may share it with.

How Ideas Are Stolen

You may think, what’s there to steal from you? Well, I want you to know there’s a lot that can be stolen from you in business today. Even though startup ideas have little or no value, if the ideas found their way into the hands of someone with ability to implement them, they will be worth millions, if not billions in no time. Facebook is an example of a stolen idea.

Dave Schools shared some insightful truth about stolen ideas that you may need to read. Also, Dave shared that there are two likely ways Ideas can be stolen from you. And below are Dave’s two observations.

  • Ideas are most likely to be stolen from someone with competency in the field. The risk is in the details. If you reveal all your work to someone who fully understands and has the skill to create your vision, then you may be putting your idea at risk.
  • Ideas are most likely to be stolen when action has already taken place — there is a vision and plan on paper. Several examples showed ideas being stolen when a plan-of-action, proof-of-concept, and research were attached to it. If you give someone a treasure map don’t be mad when they follow it.

Who’s Likely To Steal Your Ideas?

The people who steal your ideas don’t just walk through the doors and steal them. Most times business ideas are stollen by people you trusted and shared your ideas with them, earthier because you needed financial support for the business or you wanted to get advise from them, if they are mentors.

So, the likely people to steal your ideas are not some broke fella on your street. Or some guy you are friends with that doesn’t even know how you are going to achieve such big dream. Rather, it’s those experts you consulted. The banker you reached out for financial help. The lawyer that is supposed to protect you from business risks.

These high value stealers are most times overlooked when you think of when you fear your ideas might be stolen from you. And the reason they are more dangerous is because they have what you may lack and the most likely the required experience to make your idea successful.

Prevent Stealing Your Ideas With Non-Disclosure Agreement

Investopedia says that a non-disclosure agreement as a legally binding contract that establishes a confidential relationship. It’s an agreement that involves a party or parties signing to agree that sensitive information they may obtain will not be made available to any other party.

This kind of agreement is common with business negotiations with other businesses that involves the disclosure of sensitive information that belongs to one of the parties or both. A non-disclosure agreement allows the parties to share these information without risk or fear of lose of sensitive material getting into the hands of a competing business. It’s also called a mutual non-disclosure agreement.

Tips On Non-Disclosure Agreement:

  1. An NDA acknowledges a confidential relationship between two or more parties and protects the information they share from disclosure to outsiders.
  2. The NDA is common before discussions between businesses about potential joint ventures.
  3. Employees are often required to sign NDAs to protect an employer’s confidential business information.

Benefits of Non Disclosure Agreement:

A non-disclosure agreement has benefits for both parties that signs it. But mostly for the party that has something to protect. The two point benefits of a non-disclosure agreement includes:

  • Protection from disclosure of intellectual property, which includes trade secrets, proprietary information, and other confidential information.
  • More legal protections and options if the party does infringe on a patent or otherwise use protected information.

By asking the parties involved to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), it’s like oat taking. They are signing a contract which states that they cannot talk about your idea to anyone else or use it themselves without your permission.

Steps To Write Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

A non-disclosure agreement is most commonly signed when the parties are interested in entering into a business relationship. Here are points to actually write one.

  1. Identify your trade secrets or confidential information.p that need to be protected.
  2. Decide if you need to share confidential information and why
  3. Protect confidential information before signing an NDA.

But how binding is a non-disclosure agreement? The confidentiality is binding on parties involved. And that also comes with some consequences. However, not only can NDA provide monetary compensation in the event of a breach, it also provide a kind of injunction relief to stop any further breaches from occurring.

And if this agreement is binding, how long does it last? The standard use for non-disclosure agreements ranges from 1 to 5 years, depending on the nature of the transaction.

The consequences for violation of NDAs are not actually specified in a non-disclosure contract. It’s clear that you can sue for the breach of contract, but there are no stipulated punishment for violation.

And in a case of violation, you are required to proof the cost of the violation and demand for a specific remedy, which has to be agreed to and approved by a competent court. But surely, it doesn’t include jail term, but usually resolved with financial compensations.

Conclusion

If you own a business, you can protect it today using NDAs for your employees that are vested with certain responsibilities that involves interaction with core secrets of your business. This protects you from these employees revealing trade secrets to a competitor upon resigning from your company or sharing sensitive documents they are privy to within a certain period after leaving the comoany.

And in this era of email and social media, documents can be transmitted faster from one person to another. That also puts sensitive business documents at risk. You may need to monitor every activity of your employees during and after work hour.

Also, you need to involve the services of an attorney to help you prepare the agreement and possibly oversee the signing as well.

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Business Management

4 Steps to Plan Online Company Launch In Nigeria

Do you want to know how to plan your online company launch? I have carefully modified the process into just 4 steps you should follow if you want to start an online business the simplest way. That means, it’s no longer difficult to launch your online business.

Think about this article as a guide on how to start an online business for beginners. A better way to launch an online business professionally even if it’s your first time to do so.

However, you don’t have to be internet savvy to launch an online business. It’s a simple guide to help even internet dummies begin their first online business successfully.

Types Of Online Company Launch

Before you can launch an online business, start with choosing the type of online business you can do. The options are many but you need to narrow it down to what you are passionate about.

Also, the list is not limited and it’s still growing. More and more online businesses niches will continue to emerge. You can even create something new yourself. But for what is possible now and what you can start online includes:

  • Advertising.
  • Affiliate Marketing.
  • Blogging / Vlogging.
  • Creating and Selling Digital Products.
  • Dropshipping
  • Sponsorship
  • Selling Information Products.
  • Coaching, Courses, and Consultations.
  • Membership Websites And Membership Programs.
  • Selling Digital Marketing Services.
  • Freelancing And Virtual Assistant Work.
  • SAAS – Software As A Service.
  • Sell Handmade Goods.
  • Niche market e-commerce retailer.
  • Web designer or web developer.

{1} Start With A Company Launch Plan

The first step to launch an online business is picking a niche market that interests you. It’s not just picking a niche. Pick a niche that also interests you. Interest is important. You shouldn’t be engaging in a business that really doesn’t interest you that much.

Even if you don’t have as much interest, you should at least have enough interest in that niche to wake you up every morning with enthusiasm. If the idea interests you, it will drive you with passion to make it work.

Also, the interest alone is not enough. You have to pick a profitable niche as well. Sometimes interest wane, but success helps to keep you doing what you do. And if you have both interest and success, imagine how far that would go.

So, it’s important that you ensure both your interest in the niche and it’s profitability. That’s your first step to launch an online business. Get it right and it will be a successful business from day one.

Tips On Picking A Niche Market

  • Use your interests and passions
  • Know the problems you can solve.
  • Who are your competition.
  • How profitable is your niche.
  • Put the idea to test.

Also, Entrepreneur Magazine has similar tips and it explained it in more details. Click on THIS LINK to read the whole post on Entrepreneur Magazine blog.

{2} Build Your Website

A website is your platform of choice when you desire to launch an online business. It’s okay to start either on social media or even sell on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay or Etsy. But nothing beats having your own website.

Your website is the perfect home for your online brand, identity and products. Although, you can skip having your own website but it’s a wrong move that will cost you in the long run.

So, it advisable to start from the on-set to build your website. That would include:

  • Buying a domain name
  • Paying for web hosting
  • And building a website

Your online business should any of the following :

  • A blog
  • An eCommerce
  • Or custom site, tailored to your business needs.

Your website should be built with your plan to launch an online business in mind. Whatever option you chose should form the design idea for your website. Some of these web design ideas can also be merged together. For example, you can have a blog with an eCommerce store attached. Or an eCommerce store with a blog attached.

You can also have a custom made site with either a blog or eCommerce or even both attached. So, whatever design idea you have, just ensure it’s first tailored to your online business niche idea before adding other design ideas as attachment.

 

 

Tips To Build A Website

Jimdo published 22 Tips for building a DIY website. You will find that interesting even if you don’t plan to build your website yourself. Listed below is just 8 of those tips. You can follow this link to read the full details on Jimbo website.

  1. Start with a goal for your website.
  2. Find inspiration from those who have gone before.
  3. Think about who your audience is.
  4. Take the time to create a site plan.
  5. Make your navigation menu fit on one line.
  6. Fill in your SEO settings.
  7. Invest in your own domain name.
  8. Choose a domain name that’s easy to spell.

{3} Company Launch Product Or Service

If you built your website based on your niche, you should have either a product or service or even both. That should prepare you for a launch. But you need to make the product or service available to potential customers.

How to launch an online business is not entirely different from how you launch an offline business. The only difference might be the platforms and how you intend to advertise and promote the business.

As a new business, you need to plan your promotional strategy in line with your niche market. How do you intend to advertise your online business? Which platforms would you use? What should be your promotional budget?

In addition, a launch affords you the opportunity to test real life viability of your online business. You should be readily prepared to adjust, improve, remove and split test different segment of your market. At this stage your focus should be to test your niche viability. Go slow with advertising until you have fully tested your market to experience its viability.

Tips to Lunch A Product Or Service

  • Know your customer.
  • Plan your go-to-market strategy.
  • Create promotional content.
  • Prepare your team.
  • Launch the product.
  • Use Facebook and Google re-marketing

{4} Scale Up Your Business

Once you have a tested and proven your niche online business, the next thing is to scale things up. Your marketing strategy will determine how far it can grow. This is when you should map out good budget for your advertising and branding.

Understanding how to brand your online business will be key here. Also read: 10 Simple Steps To Brand Your Business. You will find simple steps to follow on how best you can brand your online business like professionals.

Having a great online brand is key to scaling any business today. Your brand Equity gives you some fringe benefits with other established online business. Apart from attracting lots of links from good PR sites, it will also boost your relevance and gain you some search ranking advantage with search engines.

Google and other search engines are shifting their search algorithm to favour brands over other online sources, as the credibility issue have become crucial to verifying the relevance of online information. So, building a good online brand is one of the best ways to market and scale up your online business much faster.

Tips to Scale Up Your Online Business:

  1. You should make it easy for your customers to buy your product or service.
  2. You should setup conversion funnels and track your conversion metrics
  3. Also, follow your defined branding process and consistently grow your brand
  4. You need to communicate effectively with customers using every source, especially setting up email automation sequences to nurture, promote and convert potential customers
  5. You also need to setup and maintain a consistent social media branding across all platforms.

Conclusion

In summary, online company launch is easier now than years ago. The 4 simple steps here further simplified the whole process. I particular advise that you understand step 1 and 2 and apply them well. They hold the key to the rest of your successful journey in launching an online business.

Also, the best way to launch an online business is to start it small and scale it up when you discover what works for you. It doesn’t matter how successful an online business niche has worked for someone else, you may not have what it takes to make it work for you as well. So, sticking with what you are passionate about that’s also profitable is key.

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Business Management

10 Simple Steps To Brand Your Business

As a startup, how you brand your business should be major in your planning processes. It’s something you plan from the beginning on how you intend to build your business brand. If you missed this out when you started, it’s still not late. You can start now using this guide to grow your business brand equity from scratch.

The concept of branding your business is a marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates your company products or services from others. It’s represent the symbol of your unique brand voice, from your mission to message and brand personality.

Entrepreneur explains that for a brand strategy to be effective, it must have a major edge in an increasingly competitive market. This edge is what makes your brand stand out from the competition.

Why You Should Brand Your Business

Branding is a promise your business makes to its customers. It’s the why of your business. And the reason customers should come to you, as an answer to their problems.

When you Brand your business, you give customers reason to trust you, see what you are offering in confidence, and entrust them with the will to use your product or service as promised.

Your brand need to speak the language customers understand that will make them believe in the promise of your product or service. And it’s your guarantee to that promise that it will not fail them.

Benefits Of Branding Your Business

  • You stand out in a saturated market.
  • It gives you credibility.
  • It can charge what you’re worth.
  • It leads to customer loyalty.
  • It leads to returning customers & referrals.
  • It leads to Consistency.
  • It helps to attract your ideal clients.
  • It saves you money and time in the long run.
  • It promotes you confidence level
  • It gives you a clear strategy

Step #1: Determine Your Target Audience

Your branding strategy starts with your target audience. They are the reason you want to brand your business. They represent the real brand focus; who they are, what they want, how they want it defines your brand building process.

The Identify of the target audience for your service or product is an exercise that will affect and benefit all areas of your brand building process, particularly market efforts. Who forms part of this target, where they live or spend time, there purchasing value and many more will be what drives this search.

Also, you want the right audience consuming your content, clicking through your ads, and opting into your email list. Focusing on the wrong audience or not knowing who your target audience are will effect negatively on how you brand your business.

Tips On Targeting The Right Audience

  • Compile data on your current customers, if any.
  • Use Facebook lookalike to identify similar customers
  • Use website and social media analytic
  • Check out the competition
  • Be clear about the value of your product or service
  • Create a target market statement.
  • Test social ads on your target market

Step #2: Establish A Brand Mission

Your brand must have what it stands for. If customers are going to trust you or patronize your business, they need to understand your brand mission. Who you are, what you do and how you do them, are important in brand building.

This is your why: the reason you get up everyday. And before you can build a brand that your target audience trust, you need to know what value your business provides. What exactly will your customers be exchanging their money for?

This mission statement basically defines the purpose for existing. It will inform every other aspect of your brand building strategies. And promotes your value to potential customers or clients.

Tips to Write A Mission Statement

  1. Make it short and concise.
  2. It’s not an essay
  3. Think long-term
  4. Don’t make it too limiting
  5. Don’t be afraid to change it.

Step #3: Research Brands Within Your Industry Niche

If you are always thinking about how to make a brand stand out, don’t skip this step in brand building process. To brand your business, find out how other brands did it before. Start with identifying other brands within your industry niche.

Research your main competition or better benchmark their brands. How your competitors are building their brand may give a clue to how to brand your business in your niche. Especially if you are building your brand yourself and know little about branding.

For instance, study how they have gone about building their brand name and who they are targeting. Those information hold the key to how you can brand your business better.

Step #4: Outline Key Qualities & Benefits Your Brand Offers

You should give customers the reason to choose your brand over another competing brand. And that’s what your brand key qualities gives you advantage to do. Your brand benefits speaks to the target audience about what they would gain from interacting with your brand.

It’s important to note that this is not just a shopping list of features your product or services offer to the customer or client. It should be the questions that customers want answered about their needs.

Think about how you provide value that improves consumers lives – in the outcomes or results that are experienced. It should point customers to a better life, solved problems and the kind of fulfillment they desire.

What are the best expectations of your target market that your brand provides? That’s what your best qualities and benefits should offer.

Step #5: Create A Brand Logo & Tagline

What probably comes to mind when you think about how to build a brand visuals? The logo is like what brand is and remains to most people. Once they have a logo they feel branding is complete. That’s partially true, even though logo is an integral part of overall branding process.

The logo is the key part of how you brand your business. That’s the visual representation of your brand. It’s what most people use to identify your business. For most part in branding, nothing is branded without a logo.

This step may be the one where you need help with execution. You will need help designing a professional logo for your branding. Although, the are several platforms online where you can get a great logo. But having a professional logo may require help from an experience brand expert.

This logo will appear on everything that relates to your business. It should be done by a professional who should also understand your brand strategy, target audience, brand message, voice and personality.

Your logo will become your identity, calling card, and the visual recognition of your promise. And that’s why it’s a lot like the most necessary thing to do to brand you business. The logo maker I recommend is Logogenie.

Tips for Brand Logo Design

DesignHill gave a 9 point tips on how to effectively create a logo design. Even if you are not a graphic designer, this tips will guide you on what’s should form your logo design concept.

  1. Know the brand.
  2. Reflects on the Nature of your business.
  3. Impression Matters.
  4. Use colors in a planned way.
  5. Pick fonts carefully
  6. Chose the type of Logo
  7. Keep it simple and impressive
  8. Make it scalable.
  9. It should also look well impressive In any colorless version or shape

Step #6: Form Your Brand Voice

The main reason you should brand your business is to give it a brand voice. Your brand voice is dependent on your company mission, audience and industry. It’s how you communicate with your customers and how they respond to you.

It’s actually what would help you maintain a brand consistency across all platforms and formats

A brand voice could be professionally friendly, service-oriented, authoritarian, technical, promotional, conversational or informative. Find what’s your brand voice and stick with it in all your brand process. The consistency of your brands voice is what sets you apart from the crowd.

Tips to Define Your Brand’s Voice:

  1. Create unique and impressive words to your brand voice
  2. Create consistency in every bit of content and copy
  3. Increase your brand’s voice through proper channels
  4. Walk your talk.
  5. Consciously grow and adapt

Step #7: Build A Brand Message & Elevator Pitch

A Brand message is an opportunity to communicate on a human level. What this means is that the language you use should be understood immediately while striking an emotional chord. Make your brand message simple and clear.

If your target audience cannot understand your brand easily, then your message isn’t helping your brand. The focus of your brand message should be to convey to your target audience their need for you.

If they can’t find how your brand would benefit them, your message is not communicating to them.

Tips to Build a Brand Message:

  1. Define your brand values
  2. Differentiate your brand from the crowd
  3. Make it appeal to your target audience
  4. Build an impressive message
  5. Make it resonate throughout your communication

And if you are building a brand to also attract investors, you will need to create an elevator pitch. The investors would need to understand your brand message and conviction to deliver its promise. But the pitch would resonate more with investors if its backed by a strong brand focus and not just on your promise.

Tips to write an elevator pitch:

  1. Start by introducing yourself.
  2. Provide a good summary of your promise
  3. Explain what you want from the investors
  4. Finish the pitch with a call to action.

Other things you need to know about elevator pitch includes:

  1. Take your time. Don’t rush an elevator pitch
  2. Make it conversational, and provide them with an alluring sense of agreement
  3. Pitch common and general ideas. Avoid niche words and phrases.
  4. Express brand confidence. Pitch your success on a strong brand equity.

Step #8: Let Your Brand Personality Shine

If you are wondering how to brand your business in a unique way, make your personality stand out in every aspect of your brand building process. Let this uniqueness shine through out your brand points.

To brand your business you need to infuse that your own unique brand personality. What’s that unique advantage you have that characteristically make you stand out? The role of your brand personality is to give it a uniqueness that no other brand can easily copy.

And you should also be consistent with this brand personality across all points of contact.

Types Of Brand Personality:

Investopedia gave us five main types of brand personalities with common traits. And they include:

  • Excitement: carefree, spirited, and youthful.
  • Sincerity: kindness, thoughtfulness, and an orientation toward family values.
  • Ruggedness: rough, tough, outdoorsy, and athletic.
  • Competence: successful, accomplished and influential, highlighted by leadership.
  • Sophistication: elegant, prestigious, and sometimes even pretentious

Step #9: Integrate Your Brand Into Every Aspect Of Your Business

The brand building process never stops. That’s one thing about branding. You keep branding your business for as long as the business exist. It’s not a one-off thing to brand your business. You keep building your brand, and as the business expands your brand strategy expands with it.

Your brand should also be visible and reflects in everything that your customers can see, read and hear. The louder your brand coverage goes, the more customers it attracts with it.

For instance, if a client walks into your store, your brand image should on display both in the environment and with personal interactions. Your brand should breath on everything you do, as far as your business is concerned.

Step #10: Stay True To Your Brand Building

Consistency is key in branding your business. But if you choose to change how you brand your business, let it be only into something that’s more effective. And it should be based on a measured consumer response.

Once you have chosen a brand voice, use it for every piece of content you create. Your brand content should be consistent, and should reflect in all formats of your branding process.

Document all the brand guidelines you create and distribute internally for reference. This will help to align everyone who’s ever going to be responsible for your brand to follow same strategy, design and formats for your brand.

Tips On Brand Consistency Building:

  1. How do people see you?
  2. Build your online platform.
  3. Weave your brand into everything you do.
  4. Be consistent.
  5. Don’t try to please everyone.
  6. Create value.
  7. Align yourself with strong brands only
  8. Follow strong brand-building awareness.

Conclusion

A brand identity is your marketing foothold in your niche market. Branding your business is the best form of marketing. But branding is not just marketing. You brand your business to give it a voice that defines your marketing plan.

And to not brand your business is a grave mistake that you shouldn’t let happen. Unless your business is meant to serve for just a season, branding preserves your business efforts for years to come.

Branding is more than just designing a business logo. Although a logo plays an important role in all branding process, but it’s not all about what branding represents. You need a great logo that will stand you out to make all your branding efforts worth the investment.

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Business Management

5 Simply Tips to Build a Website Yourself

Do you want to build a website? Do you know how much it will cost you to build a website? Would you like for me to show you how to build a website cheaper? And you don’t need to hire a web designer?

Yes, you heard me correctly. You don’t need a web designer. You will build a website yourself. In fact, you can create a beautiful site. That is better than what those web design guys can do for you.

Do you like my blog – MyBlog.com.ng | How to Start a Business – Insider Opportunity Guide!. What if I tell you that I didn’t hire a web designer for it. And I’m not a web designer. I’m only a blogger with little technical knowledge about the website. And I can show you how I did it so that you too can build your own website cheaper now.

If you are ready, just follow this guide to build a website in less than an hour. However, you need to know what I used to create my site and how much it cost you.

What You Need To Build A Website

Let me start by showing you what you need to build a website, whether it’s for personal or business. I have made a list of what you need below.

  • Domain name
  • Web hosting
  • Free website builder
  • WordPress themes
  • WordPress plugins

Your Website Domain Name

You will need a domain name to build a website. The name you choose should be the name you want people to remember your website for. Choosing a name for your website is not different from choosing a name for a baby or a business.

The only consideration is the availability of the name you chose for registration. Your website domain name need to have a suffix like .com, .net, .org, .ng, etcetera. And once a particular name is registered on any of these suffixes, it won’t be available again.

This makes domain name exclusive to the owner. It’s your unique brand name for your website. The most popular domain suffix is the .com and the .net. But the most important single word or even double-word domain names under this suffixes are already taken. You can search for your domain name availability here.

Domain registration costs $10/year or N3,600 on Godaddy. You need a multiple year registration, like 3 years at least. It will help you optimise your website for free web traffic from Google.

But I strongly recommend .com.ng domain name. The future of the internet is localisation. Domain names from a country will get more traffic coming from the same country. And it’s cheaper too, at N1,250 per domain name from WhoGoHost. You will also find a better name to build a website.

Build A Website On A Web Host

To build a website you need a web host. And there are different web hosting companies to host your website. It’s doesn’t have any limitation like the domain name. You can build a website and host it with any web hosting company.

The only considerations for web hosting are reliability, security, enough storage space for your files and the cost. Though, the first two, reliability and security are primary when choosing a web host.

But if you find all the right features in a web hosting package, that’s fine. However, sniffing through the Internet to choose the right web host is like passing a Carmel through the eye of a needle.

So, I have just made that more comfortable for you by picking Bluehost as your hosting company. Their cheapest web hosting plan is $3.95/month. If you are subscribing for up to 3 years. And that’s like N1,450/month or N52,200 for unlimited web hosting plan for 36 months (3 years).

Create A Website With Free Site Builder

You will need a website builder to build a website. And it’s free. You won’t need to pay for a website builder. In fact, with a website builder, you can build a complete website for free as well.

There are several free website builders online. But I’m going to show you the one that is easy to use. It’s also used by over 65 per cent of weblogs on the internet. And it’s the best website builder online.

The name is WordPress. You may even know them already. I will be showing you how to build a website using WordPress. It can be a free website or a business website or even a blog.

However, WordPress also has a paid website builder. You can find it here WordPress.com and how you can subscribe to it. Note that free version of anything online has limited feature capabilities. To get the full benefits you will need to buy the paid versions.

Build A Website With WordPress Themes

Yes, that’s the new secret to building a website now. You don’t need to hire a web designer and wait for months before the site is ready. You can buy ready-made WordPress themes and upload it to your Bluehost server.

In fact, that’s how the web designers you hire to design the website they bill you hundreds of thousands. They avoid all the rigours and developing time. So, they buy pre-built WordPress themes here and customise it.

Now you too can just do the same and save yourself the massive cost of website development. I have shown you the things you need to build a website. I will also explain where you can get them all and how to put it all together.

There are also many more thousands of WordPress themes on other web themes marketplaces like Themeforest MyThemeShop, Wedevs, Wpjobster, etcetera. A good theme cost around $50 and above.

Build A Website With WordPress Plugins

Here is the big secret on how to build a website with WordPress themes. A website is not just made of pages, it needs to perform its functions too. That’s where WordPress plugins come in.

They help you add functionalities to WordPress themes. That way you can make a website that can do anything. And you don’t need web design skills to do it.

The WordPress plugins are ready-built website functionalities. And as the name implies ‘plug’ ‘in’, you just buy any plugin you need and plug it into your WordPress site. Your website will automatically have that function.

There are thousands of WordPress plugins available. You can also test each one for free before you buy. That is the beauty you enjoy when you build a Website With WordPress themes. The prices of plugins vary on whether it’s a one-time payment or a subscription plan.

How to Build A Website

I will show you two options to build a website. One is how to build a website for free. And the other is how to build a website for business. I have to show you the two options, so you don’t make the same mistake others have made.

Yes, the free website builder is not available for every website. It’s best used for a personal site. And you need to understand what a personal website means. It doesn’t mean a website own by a person.

Of course, you know that every website is owned by someone. It merely means a site that is it’s not build to generate profit. Like a non-profit business. So, if you want to make a profit from your website that’s what you need.

But if you want to make money from your website, that may not be useful to you. In fact, the company won’t allow you to operate a profit website on their free web builder. But don’t worry, even what you have to pay is so little.

How To Build A Website In WordPress

WordPress is one of the most advanced website builder available online. It offers the unique advantage of building a website yourself without the help of a web builder. And you can create a website in minutes unguided.

The beauty of WordPress is the marketplace of rich plugins to enhance the features and functionality of your website. You can build any type of site without web design skills. And your final result will be as if its a professional web designer’s job.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to build an e-commerce website. Or create a blog. Or a banking website, you can do it without web design skills. And that’s the power of WordPress website builder.

What you need is your installed WordPress, either WordPress.com or WordPress.org versions installed on the web server and you have a website.

Types Of Websites

You can build any type of website with WordPress site builder. WordPress is most suitable for functionality website. If you want to build a website for any kind of service, you can do it with WordPress.

Here are a few categories of the website to build with WordPress site builder.

  • e-commerce
  • Blogs
  • Business
  • Personal
  • Non-profit

All these are websites. Although, there is a slight difference between e-commerce and blogs from the others. But that’s only when you come to functionality. Also, any website can have an e-commerce store or a blog on it.

The e-commerce and blog functionalities have become a primary feature of every website now. But we also have websites that are primarily an e-commerce site or blog. A website can also add them as functionalities.

How To Build An e-commerce Website

WordPress site builder is good for building e-commerce websites. WordPress has an e-commerce engine known as WooCommerce. You can create an online store using WooCommerce from WordPress.

It has both a free version and paid version. Woocommerce simple bring an e-commerce functionality to the WordPress site. If you want to build a website that has e-commerce capabilities on WordPress, WooCommerce have you covered.

Just install the WooCommerce plugin into your WordPress site, and it turns it into an online store. Woocommerce is available for installation on WordPress.

Create A Blog

The first purpose of WordPress is for creating blogs. So, that hasn’t changed. Instead, it’s getting better with the new WordPress Gutenberg update.

And over 65 per cent of blogs on the internet uses WordPress. That gives you an idea of how relevant WordPress is to help you create a blog.

Even if you are asking, what is a blog? It’s a type of website used by writers and publishers to share information like it’s done with newspapers. Blogs are also called websites. They are the same.

The best way to create a blog is the same way you build a Website. You will need a domain name, web host from Bluehost, site builder like WordPress, WordPress themes for blogs and plugins from WordPress.

The difference between a website and a blog is their themes and functionality.

Steps to Follow

Step one: You need to create a web design document. It’s important you do. There is a reason Website design companies write this document. Your website design document should outline what you want your website to do. All the features and functionalities. But nothing is mandatory.

Step two: Get your domain name and Bluehost web hosting ready. You can get a free domain name when you buy a web hosting plan. But that’s of course if the name you want is available.

Step three: Download and install WordPress on your web host server. Bluehost helps you choose the right WordPress site builder to install. It shows you the two options – personal and business. Install the version you want and move on.

Step Four: Buy WordPress themes. You can find awesome WordPress themes on TheThemeShop or Themeforest. Both are my best marketplaces for WordPress themes.

Step Five: And depending on the kind of functionalities you want on your website, you pick your WordPress plugins.

I don’t need to remind you that your website is ready. The whole process is easy. It might look like it’s complicated at first, but trust me, you can do it. I have been there before, and I did it. You can also hit me up for help, and I will be glad to help you out.

Conclusion

I have spent more than N5 million building websites. So I know the amount you can spend trying to build a Website with web developers. I had no choice but to learn. In fact, one Jumia developer charged me N800,000 to build a website for me. That was when I figured out what designers do.

On MyStore, one of my websites, I spent so much on design and customisation. I was always looking for new features. And developers don’t mind, as long as you pay for the job.

But when I found out about WordPress themes, I have already spent so much on web design jobs. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes. You can build a website now and not wait on endless disappointments from web designers.

Final Instructions

  1. Buy Nigerian domain name. As you can see, this blog is a ‘.com.ng’ domain name.
  2. Don’t compromise on your hosting server. A lousy web host will affect your website visibility and security.
  3. I added links to any website I used an example. Click on the link to see what’s on the other side.
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Business Management

How to Start Successful Product Marketing

Do you have a product you want to market nationwide? Do you want to know how to conduct an effective product marketing? Have you thought about partnering with distributors and retailers to sell your products faster and profitable?

Then welcome to my business guide. I have written this article to show you how small and medium scale businesses (SME’s) can compete with big manufacturers. And you don’t need to have a large marketing budget.

If you are already in business, you know that what kills companies is not capital but sales. You only need money to generate more sales. And if you don’t have both, you don’t even have a business in the first place.

However, your business can only be as good as your capital or your sales. If you can have just one of it, you can generate the other. And I know every business can attract sales easily if you know how. But capital is another thing. It’s not every business that can get loans from the bank in Nigeria.

I know you understand that getting capital for the business in Nigeria is one of those nearly impossible dreams. The requirements may include one of liver or lungs. I’m just kidding. But that’s to show you the gravity of the problem with funding for SME’s.

Although, you may read different articles that can tell you about how to get loans. But getting it is not as easy as they claim. It’s a rigorous process and sometimes nearly impossible.

Even though you can’t control finance you get from the banks, I’m sure you can manage your sales. But what you need is proven product marketing strategy that would help you get more sales.

Benefits Of An Effective Product Marketing

Let’s look at the benefits you can get from product marketing. That would help you see the potential and for you to strategies even better. I know that every business person is intelligent.

You need to see upfront what product marketing can bring to your business before you consider investing into it. It’s also how smart entrepreneurs have grown their business from a shop to a manufacturing enterprise.

You can do the same no matter how little your capital or product marketing budget.

Generate Funding With Product Marketing

The first massive benefit from product marketing For SME’s is attracting funds to your business. Although, this may not work for everyone. But I will explain how it works so you can see if your company can tap into it.

However, it’s not a guaranteed result of product marketing. But it’s possible and has been proven to work most of the time. And if it worked before it will work again.

In product marketing, you can get distributors to pay massive amounts up front for product supplies. This works for importers and manufacturers. The strategy is to appoint distributors for your product in major cities.

The distributors buy your products in no small measure and sell to your retailers in that city. If you noticed I used the word ‘your’ retailers. In product marketing, you seek to control who markets your product. That way you can guarantee your distributors and retailers exclusive benefits.

It’s these benefits that would make them invest heavily in your products.

Generate Sales And Profit Faster

Well, you should know this one already. It’s a result of having many distributors and enjoying product presence nationwide. The result is more sales. And even faster.

Once you are making more sales and faster, it just guarantees your profitability. It’s just a simple business logic. And you already know that truth.

The more distributors and retailers you signed up to sell your product gives you more sales. You do the product marketing as a strategy. Some businesses just wait for people to discover their product and contact them for distributorship.

But you can go after the distributors yourself. Win them over to do business with you. Instead of waiting for years to sign up enough distributors, you can do it in just a few weeks or months.

Create A Larger Market Penetration

And the broader reach is also another benefit. You will also be gaining a broader market to sell your products. I know that most businesses are in Lagos. So the temptation to feel that Lagos is large enough, especially when you don’t have enough capital to expand your business.

But Lagos is about 21 million in 2016 or unofficial figures like 35 million. But just a fraction of the entire country population of 198 million market size.

Also, considering that if you want to get funds as well, you might not get it from Lagos distributors. There is enough competition in Lagos to discourage distributors from putting down their money with you. But that’s readily possible outside of Lagos.

Save Cost From Other Advertising Channels

Sometimes, SME’s make the wrong mistake of thinking that the problem with their low sales is lack of advertising. It’s not entirely correct. Considered Product availability first even before advertising.

Most SME’s have wasted money advertising a product that is not available. They depend on online purchases. Maybe you don’t know this, the cost of shipping products to consumers is too high. You can’t build your business on an online order delivery strategy alone.

You need a strong distribution partnership that is cost-effective and sustainable. Even when you advertise, you just push the sales through your existing distribution network. That’s how useful product marketing work.

How Product Marketing Works

There are probably two essential strategies being employed for this kind of product marketing in Nigeria. One of them is the popular mobile direct marketing. This process is pretty simple. You hire a marketing company or agent. They go from place to place promoting your products directly to the consumers.

This strategy is useful in generating direct sales. The only challenge is that you have to keep doing it if you want to keep up the sales.

Also, it’s not that cost-effective, primarily if you engaged the use of vehicles and side attractions like dancer and musicians. And it’s equally not sustainable. You have seen big companies like MTN, Airtel, Globacom, etcetera, use this strategy before.

However, the second one is distribution marketing strategy. Let me explain this one in more details.

Product Distribution Marketing

In product distribution marketing you build a network to sell your product nationwide. It’s like an exclusive dealership for selected distributors to represent, manage and sell your product.

This exclusive arrangement includes a fixed order quantity or amount. For example, you can set a minimum order amount for different classes of distributors. Maybe based on the size of the cities.

That way you guarantee a certain level of sales from your distribution network. But in exchange, you develop a market for your product in that city and give them exclusivity to sell your product.

It’s a better option than mobile direct marketing. But you have to invest initially to build the market for your product. Especially where little or nothing is known about your product.

Product Distribution Marketing

One of the challenges of starting product marketing is the high-cost proposal that you get from marketers. But product marketing shouldn’t be challenging. Although, it’s capital-intensive. That’s why a lot of SME’s don’t take advantage of it.

But if this would help you build your business, I think you should find a way to fund it. Unless you have the money to support, I recommend you start with one city at a time. That way you can afford to invest gradually and use proceeds from your sales to fund it.

If you are serious about increasing your sales and shooting up your revenue. You should start product marketing now.

Here is what to do. You will need to hire a product marketing agency. I will explain how this kind of hiring will work best for you. An agency like this understands the processes and rigours of building a secure distribution network for any consumer product.

Let them pitch their idea to you on how they intend to do the work and the kind of results they can attain for you. While you should use the information in this article to negotiate with them what you would prefer.

Recommendations On Product Marketing

Although this guide is to show you how to start product marketing, you may need to hire marketers. You will need a lot of foot soldiers to penetrate the markets and shanties to converse for distributors and retailers. It’s not that simple.

You will also need to use the best hands and train them on what you intend to carry out with your product marketing. Or you can hire experienced marketers who have the structure to conduct such marketing on your behalf.

It will save you time, cost, workers, and above all help you get the right distributors for your business. Also, their experience will help you make important decisions for your product.

You may also find a Marketer that might want to get paid from sales it generates for you. That way you only spend very little while you pay a percentage of your revenue to them.

This strategy is useful if you want to cover the entire nation but don’t have the funds. For example, an effective nationwide product marketing could cost between N30 million to N100 million. And it would depend on the nature of product marketing. But you can get this work done for you while you pay from your sales proceeds.

Action Points

Now, you don’t have any reason not to embark on this product marketing For SME’s. Your business needs it, and I have made it all possible for you. Even if you can’t afford the enormous cost, you now know what to do.

So, here are the actions Points to take. It also puts into consideration someone who wants to import or manufacture new products.

Follow the outlined steps:

Step one: Identify your product marketing needs. If you don’t know the requirements, you can get a free assessment from a professional marketer. Fill out the form below, and someone will get back to you.

Step two: Open negotiations with a certified marketing agency. Big marketing brands may charge high for their services. You can get an experienced upcoming agency. It will be cheaper and more comfortable to work with. These forthcoming agencies usually offshoots of the big agencies. They are people who worked in big agencies but resigned to start their own. And hire one if your negotiations are conclusive.

Step three: Start planning your marketing materials. The agency can help you produce promotional materials for this kind of job. Get them involved and outsource the finished products to them. They will use their advertising experience to package better publicity materials for you.

Step Four: Strategize and plan your product marketing with your marketing agency. It’s usually better to get your marketing agency to send you their plan after examining your request and scope of work.

Step Five: Decide on the cost of the marketing and payment structure based on the scope of work presented by your marketing agency. And sign a contractual agreement on the agreed scope of work.

Step Six: Make the first payment or full payment if you want them to work without stopping. It’s usually better to plan the work stage by stage. It helps both the agency and who. The agent is not exhausted. And you can have time to use the work done and check the impact on your business.

Conclusion

Here is where I congratulate you on making the best decision for your business. The result you get should let you know how Effective Product marketing works. If you took the advice of starting with one city at a time, you made the best decision. Instead of worrying about lack of funds, you have managed what you have to meet significant results one at a time.

However, you must focus on product quality to sustain your efforts. You have to improve product quality, or your competitors can steal the market away. Give more to the market and don’t give room for other competing products to win.

Also, find out more ways to improve the profitability for your distributors. Most companies only work to gain the market and quickly increase prices. Don’t be that way. An increase in sales should help in driving down the cost of your manufacturing your products.

Give those benefits to your distributors and customers. Always look for a way to drive down your price and still keep up quality.

Follow These Instructions

  1. For assessment of your product marketing needs fill the form below.
  2. If you also want recommendations for a competent marketing agency, fill out the form as well.
  3. Drop us a comment through the comment box. Please, not through the form because I want to captured online for others to read what you said about this article as well.
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