I get am business

Have you had a class exercise in which you were asked to “Compare and contrast?” Well, I loved such exercises; I don’t know about you. Today, that is what I found myself doing and it was between shopping then and shopping now.

Back in the day, I sold by the roadside in Opera Square area, Accra. Myself and several others who traded did not have the capital to sell in bulk so we displayed empty cartons or spoilt items. When we got an interested buyer, we offered him/her a sit, went to a wholesale shop, bought the item at wholesale price and delivered it to the customer at an agreed price.

Though some bad guys destroyed the market by selling to customers the spoilt items on display and others sold cartons filled with rubbish, some of us ensured we did our best to serve our customers right. We had most customers come back to buy from us again and again. Some customers knew we took items from wholesale shops and sold it to them, but kept coming to us because they were assured we would sell items of good quality to them due to some level of diligence they saw in us.

We called the business “I get am” meaning “I have whatever you need”. ” I get am” was a statement the Nigerian traders made in trading which we adopted. There are many Nigerians who started small in Ghana through “I get am” and today own very big shops in most parts of the country.

Now, with the use of technology, trading can be done with much ease.

My experience on the street has inspired me to create platforms that can support entrepreneurs, start-ups, small and medium scale businesses in Ghana, Africa and the World at large. I have come up with an online shopping platform, JubeShop, which helps subcribers create an online shop and sell products and services to their customers anywhere in the world. The system is robust, open and is mobile friendly. You can create and manage your shop with a smart phone or tablet. The System provides you with a dashboard, where you manage product uploads, incoming orders, product stock and inventories. You get to manage orders from your customers and deliver them through delivery platforms like JubeQuick. Create a shop on JubeShop and use it to deliver your dream business. It can be anything you could sell to customers. No business is too small. Start now and thank me later.

For tips on how to manage your shop successfully, click here 

Start small and God will bless your hustle. Just Be Yourself, Just JUBEiT

Tips to Get Your Business Started

Follow these tips if you want to start a business but don’t know where to start.

If you want to start a business but don’t know where to start, don’t worry — you’re not alone. In fact, given the new economic reality of our time, more people than ever have found the “job” they thought was waiting for them doesn’t exist. Others have come to the conclusion that they would rather create work they love, constructed to fit with their own life goals. No matter what the motivation is to be your own boss, you can start today.

Here are eight tips to get you started:

1. Take a stand for yourself.

If you are dissatisfied with your current circumstances, admit that no one can fix them except for you. It doesn’t do any good to blame the economy, your boss, your spouse or your family. Change can only occur when you make a conscious decision to make it happen.

2. Identify the right business for you.

Give yourself permission to explore. Be willing to look at different facets of yourself (your personality, social styles, age) and listen to your intuition. We tend to ignore intuition even though deep down we often know the truth. Ask yourself “What gives me energy even when I’m tired?”

How do you know what business is “right” for you? There are three common approaches to entrepreneurship:

Do what you know: Have you been laid off or want a change? Look at work you have done for others in the past and think about how you could package those skills and offer them as your own services or products.

Do what others do: Learn about other businesses that interest you. Once you have identified a business you like, emulate it.

Solve a common problem: Is there a gap in the market? Is there a service or product you would like to bring to market? (Note: This is the highest-risk of the three approaches.) If you choose to do this, make sure that you become a student and gain knowledge first before you spend any money.

3. Business planning improves your chances for success.

Most people don’t plan, but it will help you get to market faster. A business plan will help you gain clarity, focus and confidence. A plan does not need to be more than one page. As you write down your goals, strategies and action steps, your business becomes real.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I building?
  • Who will I serve?
  • What is the promise I am making to my customers/clients and to myself?
  • What are my objectives, strategies and action plans (steps) to achieve my goals?

4. Know your target audience before you spend a penny.

Before you spend money, find out if people will actually buy your products or services. This may be the most important thing you do. You can do this by validating your market. In other words, who, exactly, will buy your products or services other than your family or friends? (And don’t say. “Everyone in America will want my product.” Trust me — they won’t.) What is the size of your target market? Who are your customers? Is your product or service relevant to their everyday life? Why do they need it?

There is industry research available that you can uncover for free. Read industry articles with data (Google the relevant industry associations) and read Census data to learn more. However, the most important way to get this information is to ask your target market/customers directly and then listen.

5. Understand your personal finances and choose the right kind of money you need for your business.

As an entrepreneur, your personal life and business life are interconnected. You are likely to be your first — and possibly only — investor. Therefore, having a detailed understanding of your personal finances, and the ability to track them, is an essential first step before seeking outside funding for your business. This is why I recommend setting up your personal accounts in a money management system such as Mint.com to simplify this process.

As you are creating your business plan, you will need to consider what type of business you are building — a lifestyle business (smaller amount of startup funds), a franchise (moderate investment depending on the franchise) or a high-tech business (will require significant capital investment). Depending on where you fall on the continuum, you will need a different amount of money to launch and grow your business, and it does matter what kind of money you accept.

6. Build a support network.

You’ve made the internal commitment to your business. Now you need to cultivate a network of supporters, advisors, partners, allies and vendors. If you believe in your business, others will too.

Network locally, nationally and via social networks. Join networks such as your local chamber of commerce or other relevant business groups. Here are some networking basics:

  • When attending networking events, ask others what they do and think about how you can help them. The key is to listen more than tout yourself.
  • No matter what group you join, be generous, help others and make introductions without charging them.
  • By becoming a generous leader, you will be the first person that comes to mind when someone you’ve helped needs your service or hears of someone else who needs your service.

7. Sell by creating value.

Even though we purchase products and services every day, people don’t want to be “sold.” Focus on serving others. The more people you serve, the more money you will make. When considering your customers or clients, ask yourself:

  • What can I give them?
  • How can I make them successful in their own pursuits?

This approach can help lead you to new ways to hone your product or service and deliver more value, which your customers will appreciate.

8. Get the word out.

Be willing to say who you are and what you do with conviction and without apology. Embrace and use the most effective online tools (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn) available to broadcast your news. Use social networks as “pointer” sites; i.e., to point to anything you think will be of interest to your fans and followers.

Even though social networks are essential today (you must use them!), don’t underestimate the power of other methods to get the word out: word-of-mouth marketing, website and internet marketing tools, public relations, blog posts, columns and articles, speeches, email, newsletters and the old-fashioned but still essential telephone.

If you take these steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming your own boss. It’s important to remember that you are not alone. If you want to “be your own boss” but still feel stuck, reach out and connect with other entrepreneurs in a variety of ways. You may be surprised by the invaluable contacts that are right at your fingertips.

25 StartUp Quotes To Inspire You, Start Now

Whether you need motivation to transform that idea of yours into a functioning business or just need a little boost when you’re down in the dumps, it’s never a bad idea to seek wisdom from bright and successful minds who’ve experienced it all before. Fortunately, from Steve Jobs to Thomas Edison to Richard Branson, there’s no shortage of sources to turn to when you need it most.

So if you’re looking for serious inspiration to combat the daily struggles of startup life, here are 25 uplifting quotes to get you through.

1. “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”–Benjamin Franklin

2. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” –Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple

3. “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t–you’re right.”–Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company

4. “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”–Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

5. “Starting your own business is like riding a roller coaster. There are highs and lows and every turn you take is another twist. The lows are really low, but the highs can be really high. You have to be strong, keep your stomach tight, and ride along with the roller coaster that you started.”–Lindsay Manseau, photographer and entrepreneur

6. “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.” –Donald Trump, president of the Trump Organization

7. “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”–Thomas Edison, co-founder of General Electric

8. “Bad shit is coming. It always is in a startup. The odds of getting from launch to liquidity without some kind of disaster happening are one in a thousand. So don’t get demoralized.”–Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator

9. “Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.”–Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter

10. “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.”–Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s

11. “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” –Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox

12. “Nothing works better than just improving your product.”– Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Stack Overflow

13. “The best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch.”–Michael Arrington, founder and co-editor of TechCrunch

14. “Any time is a good time to start a company.”–Ron Conway, investor, SV angel

15. “The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.”–Seth Godin, founder of Squidoo, author, blogger

16. “Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” –Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell

17. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”–Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group

18. “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”–Harland Sanders, founder of KFC

19. “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” –Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon

20. “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” –Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

21. “It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hard work of running a business and completely forget that while solving problems and building something you can be proud of, you also have an incredible opportunity to shape the future. Even better, you have the chance to meet amazing people and do amazing things along the way. It’s important not to get lost among the trees and forget about the amazing, beautiful forest you’re planting.”–Colin Wright, co-founder of Asymmetrical Press

22. “If you’re passionate about something and you work hard, then I think you will be successful.” –Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman of eBay

23. “Don’t be a lone wolf. Lean on the experience and smarts of your teammates, investors, and mentors to help solve the tough problems and take advantage of the opportunities.”– Seth Bannon, founder and CEO of Amicus

24. “You just have to pay attention to what people need and what has not been done.”–Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam

25. “Don’t be afraid to assert yourself, have confidence in your abilities and don’t let the bastards get you down.”–Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P.

What quotes have inspired you during your startup days?

By Murray Newlands Contributor, Inc.com

Some Reasons to Run Your Own Business

There must be some reason why some 600,000 new businesses are founded each year, right? Well, based on an informal survey conducted by Inc.com, there are plenty of good reasons to run your own small business. Nearly 500 (462 to be exact) small business owners responded to the survey in which they were asked to name some of the reasons why they prefer to own their own small business as opposed to working as an employee for a larger company. What follows is a list of the 10 most common responses along with thoughts from some of the entrepreneurs who sent them (along with thanks to everyone who participated).


1. You Control Your Own Destiny

Many entrepreneurs consider themselves “Type-A” personalities, folks that like to take control and make decisions. In other words, owning a business saves them from having to work for anyone else. “One reason to own a small business is the ability to direct the culture of your company,” says Kasey Gahler, a certified financial planner in Austin who left a big company to start his own business Gahler Financial three years ago. “When you’re in the driver’s seat, you are making the decisions on how best to steer your company into the future. This might be overwhelming for some and one must know when and how best to delegate. However, when you are able to make your own decisions about how best to operate day-to-day, this leads to creating a culture, a brand and an organization.”


2. You Can Find Your Own Work/Life Balance

One of the most oft-cited benefits of owning your own business is the flexibility that comes with it, whether that be working from wherever you want, setting your own hours, wearing a nightgown or even sitting next to your pet while you work. “I get to carry a knife, drive a pickup truck and hang out with my dog a lot more – what can be better than that?” says David Winters, who owns a mobile screen repair business called Screenmobile in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just as important, entrepreneurs say that owning their own business lets them set their priorities. “I make my own schedule, allowing me to spend time with the most important purpose in my life and the inspiration behind my company–my son, Zachary,” says Yamile Jackson, whose company, Nurtured by Design, makes ergonomically designed products for babies and toddlers. “He went from having such a traumatic experience at birth (weighing less than two pounds and losing power to his life support equipment) that his story was featured in the TNT movie 14:Hours. He is now my company’s CIO (Chief Inspirational Officer) and my healthy 9-year-old boy.”


3. You Choose the People You Work With

When you work for someone else, you rarely get to choose whom you work with. If you don’t like your co-workers you’d better start sending our resumes. That’s not the case when you own your own business, since you get to make the decisions about who to hire (and fire). “Over the years, I’ve hired dozens of personal friends, family members and former business colleagues to work with me in different capacities,” says serial entrepreneur Christine Clifford, whose Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based businesses include The Cancer Club and Divorcing Divas. “Why? Because they care about me. Surround yourself with positive people who give you the confidence and optimism you need to keep moving forward. Weed out the people that put out negative vibes. The smaller your organization, the larger choice you have about who you work with.”


4. You Take on the Risk – And Reap the Rewards
 
There’s no question that owning your own business is a risky proposition. But, with risk comes reward. Said another way, the better you are at managing risk, the more rewards you can reap. “The thing I enjoy most about the company is playing the ‘game’ of business,” says Mark Dinges, who owns a Tustin, California-based business called California Creations that makes sophisticated windup toys called Z Windups. “It’s like combining high stakes poker with the greatest strategy game ever. There are an unlimited number of variables in almost every aspect of the company, and as soon as you think you have things under control in an area, everything changes. Specifically, I like having my own money at risk, then having to live with the consequences of my decisions (good or bad). Like every other great game, the more you play, the better you get. You learn to recognize good opportunities from bad ones. You learn how to look like you are committed to new products, without actually financially committing to it until you have feedback and orders from your customers. You also learn to create exit strategies for bad situations and how to maximize the good ones. The most fun is to work on a project for several years with your team, overcoming all of the obstacles, and then millions of people enjoy it around the world.”

5. You Can Challenge Yourself

Some people thrive on the routine of their job – performing the same tasks day after day. As an entrepreneur, you can bet that each day will be filled with new opportunities to challenge yourself, be creative and learn something new. “The great thing about owning a small business is I rarely experience the same day twice,” says Michael Wilson, co-founder of Mad Dancer Media, a web design and brand management firm in Franklin, Tennessee. “Because every day, I learn something new about the act of owning a business. Whether its something about taxes, about accounting, or the plethora of other things that go into running a company, I am always fascinated by the parts and pieces of knowledge that I learn every day just to keep the business on track.”


6. You Can Follow Your Passion

Many entrepreneurs say the long hours they invest in growing their business doesn’t feel like work because they’re actually having fun in what they’re doing. “For me, it was a very conscious choice to make a living doing what I love,” says Trish Breslin Miller, who started her craft retail store This Little Gallery in 1989 at the age of 27. “I figured I’d spend more hours of my life working than anything else I’d ever do, so why not make it my passion? I enjoy the satisfaction of promoting and supporting something I truly believe in; American crafts handmade in the USA.”




7. You Can Get Things Done – Faster

Entrepreneurs as a whole seem to have an allergy to red tape. Rather than wait for approval – or for the guidebook to be written about how to do something – small business owners salivate at the chance to get things done. “Most large companies are too busy being big to be proactive,” says Darren Robbins, who owns a screen-printing business in Austin called Big D Custom T-Shirts. “The best that most can do is react quicker than the other big companies when the wave comes at them. My company, on the other hand has the flexibility to be proactive, to run new things up the flagpole and be at the forefront of new products, techniques, or promotional strategies. Never underestimate the ability to truly be proactive.”


8. You Can Connect With Your Clients

There are few things that get entrepreneurs as excited as when they get to interact with their customers. Rather than hiding behind a series of automated greetings, small business owners thrive on dealing one-on-one with their best clients – or making the decision to get rid of those customers they don’t like. “You don’t have to deal with customers who are jerks – you can even fire them,” says Brett Owens, whose software company Chrometa makes time-tracking applications. Seriously, we did this once. Back when I did customer service related stuff for larger companies, I had to abide by the mantra of, ‘The customer is always right’ and there are some rare instances where that is complete BS!”

9. You Can Give Back to Your Community

Many entrepreneurs love the idea that in building their business, they can give back to the community or communities they operate in the form of the products and services they offer, by donating to charities and especially the ability to create jobs, which is particularly important these days. “I take great pride in knowing that I’m solving a problem others have and creating opportunities for people to have jobs that they love,” says Chris Brusznicki, founder of a sports vacation rental business called GamedayHousing. “There’s nothing more American than that.”

10. You Feel Pride in Building Something of Your Own

One of the biggest differences in owning your own company as opposed to working for someone else is the sense of pride you establish in building something of your own. “There is nothing like being successful through your own leadership, abilities, ideas and efforts,” says Peter Leeds, who coaches investors through his business, the Penny Stock Professional. Not only are there benefits from such self-actualization – you also get to brag about what you do. “One really cool thing about owning a small business is that people are interested in you and your story,” says Steve Silberberg, who owns a weight-loss backpacking adventure firm called Fatpacking. “Not that I have some egomaniacal need to talk about the business or myself all the time, but it’s still nice that people are interested.”

Start Small, Grow Bigger

The purpose of life is exactly the same for everyone, but everyone perceives it differently. There’s something bigger going on, that’s actually more significant than what you decide. If you live it, it changes you, it makes you open to better opportunities. Start Small, Grow Bigger.

As a small business owner, you may have dreams of your company becoming the next Amazon or Apple, or you might be content making a splash in your local community. Either way, you may wonder how you can make it against large companies that seem to have the people and resources to do the things you can’t do.

Just because your business is small, that doesn’t mean you can’t think big. Below are four ways you can grow your small business without a big budget.

Find your niche

Big businesses tend to appeal to wide, general customer bases. As a result, customers with more specific needs are left out, because there’s not enough profit potential for a big company to cater to those customers’ needs. However, a small but eager customer base can be perfect for a smaller business.

“Step No. 1 is to recognize that a larger business is not necessarily your competition. Ask yourself how you are different,” Joanne Chang, owner of and chef at Flour Bakery + Café and Myers + Chang in Boston, said in The Wall Street Journal.

Identifying and focusing on your niche also lets you work to your strengths and develop market expertise and loyalty.  

“Many are afraid to eliminate part of a potential market,” James Clear, founder of Passive Panda, wrote in an American Express Open Forum blog post. “It can seem scary, but you need to focus on your core customer if you want a clear path to growth.”

Danielle McPhail, founder of eSpec Books, said she has seen this in the world of small-press publishing.

“When you diversify too much when you’re small, then you can’t maintain your market,” she said. “I’ve worked with a lot of small presses, and when I see them self-destruct is when they start making imprints to reach different markets and they don’t have the support structure to reach that different demographic.”

Put your efforts into innovating

One way to innovate an industry is to find a problem that most businesses are ignoring.

“Don’t be afraid to solve the hard problems that everyone else avoids,” wrote Clear. “There is a lot of money to be made when you’re the first person to fix something.”

“Because you have passion and because you can tap into agility, you have a perfect mix to better innovate,” Pam Moore, founder of Marketing Nutz, wrote in a blog post. “It doesn’t require an intense board meeting to kick off an idea for further research. You can simply plan it and do it.”

When you innovate, be sure to keep in mind your market and customer base. McPhail encouraged small business owners to diversify within their existing product or service scopes but warned against branching out into completely different demographics.

Plan for growth

If you think big, you have to anticipate expansion. That might mean having some general plans in place for taking on more employees, setting up checklists and procedures to ensure quality control, and investing in products and equipment that will grow with you.

Purchasing hardware and software that grows with you is especially important. “Continuously having to upgrade is going to cost you money in the long run. Implement for growth now, and it will save you time, money and headache down the road,” said Moore.

Clear noted that growth doesn’t always mean creating more products or hiring more people.

“Acquisitions can be a massive source of profit and a means to growth if you make a few key moves,” he said.

Clear recommended keeping a list of companies that fit your niche and have the characteristics you’re looking for so that any acquired business enhances your focus and mission.

Don’t do it all yourself

It takes an independent streak and a do-it-yourself attitude to start your own business, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own. For example, partnering with a business that handles a specific task and sharing the profits lets you keep your focus on what you do best while getting a big project done.

Clear uses the example of tennis balls: If you have a high-end tennis ball, instead of trying to make yourself in the image of Wilson, which has its own manufacturing and distribution, you should find an existing ball manufacturer and offer to share the profits. This frees your time and money so you can concentrate on selling the balls to your specific market, he said.

Thanks to modern technology, you can even harness the power of the crowd to fund your business or specific products.

“What made [starting my publishing company] possible was crowdfunding. Because I’m very good at marketing, we can fund the project and be in the black from the beginning. After that, it’s pure profit,” said McPhail.

Your business may have started small, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Plan for growth and seek out help and partnerships. Then, you can expand to something larger, successfully, and on your terms.

By By Karina Fabian, Writer.