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People are inspired by brilliant business ideas everyday but the ability to realise them is important. IFE ADEDAPO writes on how to execute the ideas
It is often said that aspiring
entrepreneurs find it easy to think of many business ideas but are at
crossroads when it comes to implementing them. Business experts say they
are prone to pitfalls in taking crucial decisions as a result of their
According to some successful business
managers, the ability to turn ideas into money-making ventures lie in
the knowledge of business management techniques as well as the ability
to manage through problems when they arise.
Some start-ups have failed in their first
year while others struggle to remain afloat but experts have
highlighted the following tips on how to implement good business ideas.
Solve a problem
Experts say in establishing a business,
the entrepreneur must be able to meet the immediate needs of the target
market by solving their problems. According to them, the ability to do
this will stand an entrepreneur out because most start-ups emulate their
competitors without creating their own niche.
While citing the example of online shops
in the country, an entrepreneur, Mr. Tunde Babatope, says these
companies have been able to satisfy the need for convenience in shopping
by providing a platform where goods can be bought online and delivered
to a client’s doorstep.
He adds that the present trend in
e-commerce is a revolution that other entrepreneurs have taken up and
are adding more value to.
Babatope concludes by saying all
successful companies, products, or services must enhance the lives of
their customers by eliminating a problem.
Understand the market
In order to understand the needs of the
market and how to meet them, experts have advised that market research
should be conducted.
According to them, the research will
assist in understanding where the product or service fits, who the
target consumers are and the acceptable price range.
The Managing Director, Bestway Corporate
Services, Mr. Victor Abayomi, says that the most important aspect of a
feasibility study is the market because if the manager does not know
what his or her prospective customers want, then he or she will not be
able to produce or supply what they need.
He adds that understanding the target
market will help any business person to excel, saying that feasibility
studies are synonymous with research works that are carried out on the
intended business and it involves collecting and analysing information
about the market, including the customers and competitors.
This, he adds is important to prepare
them for changing market demand and conditions coupled with preventing
their businesses from being left behind by the competition.
Have a financial plan
According to a business consultant, Nina
Nixon, the financial demand of a business is calculated after the
business owner has finished conducting the market research, described
the products, services and marketing strategy; and set the
organisation’s operating principles in place.
She says any other items that pertain to
the business as an expense should be defined before setting out to
create the business’ financial plan. Nixon notes that the goal is for
the entrepreneur to be able to run the business on a predefined budget,
so that there are no hidden or undefined costs that may threaten the
business operations over a certain period of time.
In doing this, she says an estimate of
the start-up costs for new businesses is required, which should include
the cost of the equipment to run the business,
She advises start-ups to figure out their
balances per month and calculate this for a year while existing
businesses should gather up their balance sheets for the last three
She added that the cash flow statement,
which shows the amount of money expected to come into and go out of the
business in a given time, coupled with the tax payment should be
When businesses start small and stay
close to their customers, experts say it makes it easier to make smart
changes along the way and build the business gradually. According to
them, with time, the business owner can expand by setting up branches
regionally, nationally and globally.
Doing this, they say will allow the entrepreneur to learn business management along the way.
Choose your team wisely
Caution must be taken when selecting
people to work it, experts say. This, according to them is because not
everyone can share in the dream and vision of the business.
They add that people who are able to
complement the weakness of the business manager, who share a similar
vision as regards the venture, and are easy to work with and should be
They advise that mangers should ensure
that their team cares about the venture and buys into the purpose as
much as they do. According to experts, when interviewing people, an
entrepreneur should do some reading on how to identify real talent
beyond the certificates as innate talents, are different from
educational achievements and can be more useful.
lived in a N400, 000 a year rental property when his salary was N3.6m
per annum. He also owned a car worth about N1.2m. He finally switched
jobs for a higher pay and now earned N6m per annum. With the eighty per
cent rise in his salary his lifestyle just had to change. He moved to a
N1.2m per annum apartment and bought a car worth N2.5m. After three
months he realised he was always broke and in fact in a far worse
situation than he was when he earned lower and thought he needed to
switch jobs again.
Being in paid employment has a way of
making one feel short changed all the time as you discover no matter how
much you earn it is almost not enough. You have plans of what you could
do with a higher salary and then when your salary is raised nothing
changes. Mid way into the month your bank account is already looking
thin and you just can’t wait till the end of the month again. It’s a
I have thought about this throughout my
working experience and wondered why things were always this way. Why do I
ask for a salary raise and when it does come, I want another increment
sooner rather than later. Just how much is enough for me at any given
time and how can I make sure each salary increase puts me in a much
better situation financially. I soon figured out this were the critical
issues I needed to focus on.
My lifestyle – When we earn higher pay
there is this innate tendency to somehow change the way we live without
appreciating the financial consequence. You just feel you have moved up
in class and as such your lifestyle must be a reflection of your salary.
Whilst this is a good feeling, the problem is that it can be difficult
to measure just how much that extra lifestyle should cost you. An
increase in your lifestyle should be commensurate with how much of a
lifestyle you can actually afford. You therefore have to think in terms
of percentages. For example, at N3.6m per annum Soma’s house rent
chalked off about eleven per cent of his salary. When his salary now
increased to N6m per annum, his rent sliced off twenty per cent of his
If other expenses increased this way, he will soon be broke. His expense must rise proportionately to his salary.
My loans – An increase in salary also
exposes you to all sort of financial products that make you want to
spend more rather than less. You can now get a car loan, housing loan or
even afford an expensive ceremony. As explained above, you have to live
within the percentages. If you have somehow lived within a debt service
to income percentage of twenty per cent then the only time you get the
benefit of a higher salary is to either keep the percentages the same or
reduce it. For example, if your salary is N2m per annum and a loan
deduction was N400, 000 per annum then your debt service to income
percentage will be twenty per cent. Therefore, a salary increase to N3m
per annum should attract loan deduction of N600, 000 per annum (which is
an extra N200, 000) for you to maintain the same percentage. Deciding
to increase or decrease the percentages will off course depend on other
things that lay claim to your salary. If one goes up something else must
My taxes, pension and other contributions
– The new tax law has brought the often-maligned Pay As You Earn to the
front burner. The tax law is now simplistic with little loophole for
employers to exploit. Considering that the PAYE system that you earn is a
progressive form of taxation, you basically pay more taxes as your
salary increases. This also affects deductions such as pension and
contributions such as the NHF. Before you seek a salary increase you
must factor in these charges to your salary to ensure your statutory
take home pay is up to your target. In fact, this must be done before
you apply the percentages mentioned above.
My responsibilities – A salary increase
also brings about more responsibilities. In fact, up to ten per cent of
most our salary is spent on taking care of extended families, friends
and other dependents. An easy way to control this expense is to ensure
word of your newfound salary is kept under the lid. People will demand
for more if they know you earn more.
My savings and investment – If there is
any portion of your new salary that needs a percentage increase, then it
is this category. In fact, it is often advisable to deduct this from
source leaving behind what you can use to fund other expenses. A
disciplined savings and investing culture gives you peace of mind
especially during a cash crunch. But remember when this increases the
percentage for the others will change proportionately.
Finally, the impact of a salary increase
can only be felt when at the end of the day you have an extra income in
the bank. Whilst a change is lifestyle is good your ultimate goal should
be how much comparative increase in cash you have in the bank. After
all cash is king!
Nollywood Diva, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, is one actress that you cannot help but love. Its not wonder she has a large fan.
She is the first African celebrity to receive over 1 million likes on her Facebook page.
However, there are some interesting things you did not know about this beautiful mother of four.
She recently took to Twitter to share some of these things with her over 450,000 followers while spending time with them.
Nollywood actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde
Here are about 10 things you did not know below:
1. She speaks her Ondo dialect well and some measure of Igbo.
2. She will be forever into music and her goal is not to be commercial.
3. Sound Sultan is her favourite Nigerian music act.
4. Her deepest fear is the wrath of God.
Sound Sultan and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde’s kids Sound Sultan and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde’s kids
5. She has no scandals (or so she claims).
6. She thinks Jim Iyke is the best dressed man in Nollywood and Regina Askia was her greatest competition as a young actress.
7. Her favourite sport is wrestling and Hulk Hogan and Sean Michael are her favourite wrestlers.
8. She was born in Lagos and grew up in Ikoyi, Ketu and Iyana-Ipaja.
9. Her favourite food is plantain and vegetable and she loves the colour red.
10. Her surname, Ekeinde is not a Yoruba name as her husband, Matthew Ekeinde is from Sabongida Ora in Edo State.
You’ve built up your nest egg,
and your retirement is set just as you’re leaving the work force. But
what are you planning to do with that egg? You’ve sat on it for years
now; do you simply crack it open and see what spills out?
You spent your entire career working and
stashing dollars, because Social Security isn’t enough to support your
quality of life after retirement. It isn’t enough to help you buy
groceries or pay your bills, so you had to do something to continue the
life you’re accustomed to — even after you quit working.
It was hard. More than simply adding to a
fund or savings each month, diligent squirrelling meant going without —
years of sacrificing to make sure your cash went where you needed it
most for your future. The many exotic vacations you missed will now pay
off, because you have enough money put away to make your golden years
Properly spending your savings in your retirement years takes planning.
You didn’t skimp on planning when it came
time to build your stash, so you certainly don’t want to skimp when it
comes to using it.
You built your savings because you knew you’d need it to survive. If you don’t spend it wisely, you could run out.
Using these three strategies, you can help ensure that you don’t run out of money during retirement.
How to make your retirement funds last
• Understand that the 4% rule may not apply.
You may have heard that if you want your
savings to last at least 30 years, you’ll need to withdraw 4 percent of
it in the beginning, then add the inflation rate each year after that.
But things aren’t that simple anymore. In
the past, the odds of your funds lasting through your retirement were
around 80 percent or so (that’s pretty good), but now, if you adhere to
the 4 percent rule, there are no guarantees that you won’t outlive your
Research by Morningstar suggests that you
should start lower (around 3 percent) if you want further assurance
that you won’t run out of money. You can verify how much you’ll be able
to live off of by running different numbers on a retirement (3-5
percent) income calculator. Try testing different percentages over
different years (25-30 years) to figure out just how long your money
should last. Then, decide on your best withdrawal plan.
• Know where you should be withdrawing from.
You may have tax-deferred accounts mixed
with taxable accounts. By taxing efficiently, you’ll stretch your money
farther into your retirement. Usually, you want to pull funds from
taxable accounts first, since they may be taxed at a lower long-term
capital gains rate.
Then, you’d shift your withdrawal to your
tax-deferred accounts. These are your 401Ks, IRAs, and Roth accounts.
This gives your tax-advantaged accounts more time to build up without
taxes dragging them down — allowing you more money for your retirement.
But, beware. Once you reach 70.5 years old, you’ll have to
withdraw certain amounts to stay within the laws’ requirements. If you
don’t, you could pay as much as 50 percent tax on what you haven’t taken
out yet. Ouch! Make sure you’re aware of your limitations and
requirements once you reach the target age.
• Be prepared to make tweaks each year.
Whatever way you determine is best for
your financial future, be sure to follow up on your progress each year
so that you can see where you stand. You may find you need to withdraw
more. Or, you may find that you have to scale back.
Depending on the market status, you could
also determine that your annual plan was right on target. But don’t
take that for granted the following year. Schedule a review at each
year’s end to ensure you don’t let these crucial decisions slip by.
Use an online retirement calculator to
plug in your new balances and planned spending to see if you should
adjust your plan for the New Year. If you’re unsure, consult with a
financial planner to help you decide on the best way to withdraw and
survive on your existing retirement income.
Now you have a plan for your spending.
Execute it well and stretch your retirement money long-enough so that
you’ll never go without.
There are several ways to invest in yourself and improve your
personal and financial future. We make decisions every day, but
sometimes, these decisions do not put us a step closer to reaching our
life goals. Between work, school, family and other obligations, taking
care of self can fall by the wayside. However, there are seven
incredible and easy ways to invest in yourself. 1. Start a Savings Account
Mortgage payments, auto loan payments and other bills might take
precedent but starting a savings account is one of the best ways to
invest in yourself – whether it’s a regular savings, a CD or a money
market account. A savings account not only provides a financial cushion
in an emergency, it can help you reach long-term goals, such as buying a
house or planning for retirement. To get started, commit to depositing a
certain percentage of your paycheck – whether it’s 5% or 10%. 2. Get out of Debt
It is difficult to reach financial goals with massive debt. Going
forward, create a strategy to pay off your credit cards, loans and any
other debts you have. Start slow and double or triple your minimum
payments, and when you receive extra cash, put this money towards debt
repayment. 3. Take Care of Yourself
The decisions you make regarding your health can impact your future.
Understandably, it’s hard to eat healthy and work out when you’re busy.
But if you make time for yourself, and exercise on a regular basis,
you’ll have more energy, better health, and you’ll come closer to
reaching weight loss goals. Also, regular exercise can boost your mood
and decrease stress levels. 4. Learn a New Skill
Do you dislike your job? Are you ready for a move? Rather than stick
with a job you don’t like, invest in yourself and learn new skills.
There are several ways to achieve this. You might study for another
degree, or maybe you can attend a class or workshop to improve your
skills, which opens the door to better job opportunities. 5. Do What You Love
Even if you can’t make a career move, explore a hobby or other
interests. Sometimes, we get so caught up in working, caring for our
families and paying bills, that we forget to enjoy our passions and
talents. However, a hobby can reduce your stress level and improve
overall satisfaction. Whether you’ve always wanted to learn a new
language or a musical instrument, stop talking about it and do it. 6. Splurge
This doesn’t mean spending bill money on things you cannot afford.
However, you work hard; therefore, don’t feel bad about splurging from
time to time and treating yourself. Schedule a massage, buy yourself a
new pair of shoes, or treat yourself to dinner at a nice restaurant. 7. Hire a Coach
Whether it’s business or financial related, hiring a coach can help you
reach long-term goals. A coach can provide advice on how to proceed and
achieve goals in different areas of life, as well as be a support system
along the way.
Investing in yourself is one of the best ways to have satisfaction in
life and career. However, before you can invest in yourself, you need
to determine your future goals, and devise a plan to reach them. What
are other ways to invest in yourself?
The much awaited traditional wedding between Dr. Sid and his boo, Simi Osomo is going on as you read this.
If you recall, The ‘Surulere‘ singer made the
announcement on July 2, 2014 via his Instagram page that ‘On the 27th
of July 2014 I say “I Do” to this beautiful woman #LoveMine my
#LastBusStop’, he wrote.
The couple got engaged in Venice, Italy last year August.
Dr Sid getting married to fiancée Simi Osomo today in Lagos.
Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic
fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90%.
The illness affects humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas,
and chimpanzees). Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks,
one in a village near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, and the other in a remote area of Sudan. The origin of the virus is unknown but fruit bats
(Pteropodidae) are considered the likely host of the Ebola virus, based
on available evidence.
2. How do people become infected with the virus?
Ebola is introduced into the human population through close
contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of
infected animals. In Africa, infection has occurred through the handling
of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope
and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest. It is important
to reduce contact with high-risk animals (i.e. fruit bats, monkeys or
apes) including not picking up dead animals found lying in the forest or
handling their raw meat. Once a person comes into contact with an animal that has
Ebola, it can spread within the community from human to human.
Infection occurs from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous
membranes) with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool,
urine, saliva, semen) of infected people. Infection can also occur if
broken skin or mucous membranes of a healthy person come into contact
with environments that have become contaminated with an Ebola patient’s
infectious fluids such as soiled clothing, bed linen, or used needles. Health workers have frequently been exposed to the virus when
caring for Ebola patients. This happens because they are not wearing
personal protection equipment, such as gloves, when caring for the
patients. Health care providers at all levels of the health system –
hospitals, clinics and health posts – should be briefed on the nature of
the disease and how it is transmitted, and strictly follow recommended
infection control precautions. Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with
the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission
of Ebola. Persons who have died of Ebola must be handled using strong
protective clothing and gloves, and be buried immediately. People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions
contain the virus. For this reason, infected patients receive close
monitoring from medical professionals and receive laboratory tests to
ensure the virus is no longer circulating in their systems before they
return home. When the medical professionals determine it is okay for
the patient to return home, they are no longer infectious and cannot
infect anyone else in their communities. Men who have recovered from
the illness can still spread the virus to their partner through their
semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery. For this reason, it is
important for men to avoid sexual intercourse for at least 7 weeks after
recovery or to wear condoms if having sexual intercourse during 7 weeks
3. Who is most at risk?
During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are:
family members or others in close contact with infected people;
mourners who have direct contact with the bodies of the deceased as part of burial ceremonies; and
hunters in the rain forest who come into contact with dead animals found lying in the forest.
More research is needed to understand if some groups, such as
immuno-compromised people or those with other underlying health
conditions, are more susceptible than others to contracting the virus. Exposure to the virus can be controlled through the use of
protective measures in clinics and hospitals, at community gatherings,
or at home.
4. What are typical signs and symptoms of infection?
Sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache
and sore throat are typical signs and symptoms. This is followed by
vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in
some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts, and elevated liver enzymes. The incubation period, or the time interval from infection to
onset of symptoms, is from 2 to 21 days. The patient becomes contagious
once they begin to show symptoms. They are not contagious during the
incubation period. Ebola virus disease infections can only be confirmed through laboratory testing.
5. When should someone seek medical care?
If a person has been in an area known to have Ebola virus
disease or in contact with a person known or suspected to have Ebola and
they begin to have symptoms, they should seek medical care immediately.
Any cases of persons who are suspected to have the disease
should be reported to the nearest health unit without delay. Prompt
medical care is essential to improving the rate of survival from the
disease. It is also important to control spread of the disease and
infection control procedures need to be started immediately.
6. What is the treatment?
Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. They
are frequently dehydrated and need intravenous fluids or oral
rehydration with solutions that contain electrolytes. There is currently
no specific treatment to cure the disease. Some patients will recover with the appropriate medical care. To help control further spread of the virus, people that are
suspected or confirmed to have the disease should be isolated from other
patients and treated by health workers using strict infection control
7. What can I do? Can Ebola be prevented?
Currently there is no licensed vaccine for Ebola virus
disease. Several vaccines are being tested, but none are available for
clinical use right now. Raising awareness of the risk factors and measures people can
take to protect themselves are the only ways to reduce illness and
Ways to prevent infection and transmission
While initial cases of Ebola virus disease are contracted by
handling infected animals or carcasses, secondary cases occur by direct
contact with the bodily fluids of an ill person, either through unsafe
case management or unsafe burial practices. During this outbreak, most of the disease has spread through human-to-human transmission. Several steps can be taken to help in preventing infection and limiting or stopping transmission.
Understand the nature of the disease, how it is transmitted, and
how to prevent it from spreading further. (For additional information,
please see the previous questions about Ebola virus disease in this
Listen to and follow directives issued by your country’s respective Ministry of Health.
If you suspect someone close to you or in your community of
having Ebola virus disease, encourage and support them in seeking
appropriate medical treatment in a care facility.
If you choose to care for an ill person in your home, notify
public health officials of your intentions so they can train you and
provide appropriate gloves and personal protective equipment (PPE), as
well as instructions as a reminder on how to properly care for the
patient, protect yourself and your family, and properly dispose of the
PPE after use.
When visiting patients in the hospital or caring for someone at
home, hand washing with soap and water is recommended after touching a
patient, being in contact with their bodily fluids, or touching his/her
People who have died from Ebola should only be handled using appropriate protective equipment and should be buried immediately.
Additionally, individuals should reduce contact with high-risk
infected animals (i.e. fruit bats, monkeys or apes) in the affected
rainforest areas. If you suspect an animal is infected, do not handle
it. Animal products (blood and meat) should be thoroughly cooked before
8. What about health workers? How do they protect themselves from the high risk of caring for sick patients?
Health workers treating patients with suspected or confirmed illness are at higher risk of infection than other groups.
In addition to standard health care precautions, health workers
should strictly apply recommended infection control measures to avoid
exposure to infected blood, fluids, or contaminated environments or
objects – such as a patient’s soiled linen or used needles.
They should use personal protection equipment such as individual gowns, gloves, masks and goggles or face shields.
They should use personal protective equipment such as individual gowns, gloves, masks and goggles or face shields.
They should not reuse protective equipment or clothing unless they have been properly disinfected.
They should change gloves between caring for each patient suspected of having Ebola.
Invasive procedures that can expose medical doctors, nurses and
others to infection should be carried out under strict, safe conditions.
Infected patients should be kept separate from other patients and healthy people, as much as possible.
9. What about rumours that some foods can prevent or treat the infection?
WHO strongly recommends that people seek credible health advice about Ebola virus disease from their public health authority. While there is no specific drug against Ebola, the best
treatment is intensive supportive treatment provided in the hospital by
health workers using strict infection control procedures. The infection
can be controlled through recommended protective measures.
10. How does WHO protect health during outbreaks?
WHO provides technical advice to countries and communities to prepare for and respond to Ebola outbreaks. WHO actions include:
disease surveillance and information-sharing across regions to watch for outbreaks;
technical assistance to investigate and contain health threats
when they occur – such as on-site help to identify sick people and track
advice on prevention and treatment options;
deployments of experts and the distribution of health supplies
(such as personal protection gear for health workers) when they are
requested by the country;
communications to raise awareness of the nature of the disease
and protective health measures to control transmission of the virus; and
activation of regional and global networks of experts to provide
assistance, if requested, and mitigate potential international health
effects and disruptions of travel and trade.
11. During an outbreak, numbers of cases reported by health officials can go up and down? Why?
During an Ebola outbreak, the affected country’s public health
authority reports its disease case numbers and deaths. Figures can
change daily. Case numbers reflect both suspected cases and
laboratory-confirmed cases of Ebola. Sometimes numbers of suspected and
confirmed cases are reported together. Sometimes they are reported
separately. Thus, numbers can shift between suspected and confirmed
cases. Analyzing case data trends, over time, and with additional
information, is generally more helpful to assess the public health
situation and determine the appropriate response.
12. Is it safe to travel during an outbreak? What is WHO’s travel advice?
During an outbreak, WHO reviews the public health situation
regularly, and recommends any travel or trade restrictions if necessary. The risk of infection for travelers is very low since
person-to-person transmission results from direct contact with the body
fluids or secretions of an infected patient.
WHO’s general travel advice
Travelers should avoid all contact with infected patients.
Health workers traveling to affected areas should strictly follow WHO-recommended infection control guidance.
Anyone who has stayed in areas where cases were recently reported
should be aware of the symptoms of infection and seek medical attention
at the first sign of illness.
Clinicians caring for travelers returning from affected areas
with compatible symptoms are advised to consider the possibility of
Ebola virus disease.