Sunday, 30 November 2014

McDonald's to Open in Church to Boost Christianity

Have you ever thought of eating some food from McDonalds while attending church service? No? Us too, but one group of promising entrepreneurs have another  view of the issue.
Three friends beleive that they could deal with the decline of Christianity by opening a McDonalds restaurant inside a church. The fast food store is planned to be opened in New Jersey or Philadelphia, USA, to bring back former worshippers and attract new members.
McDonalds in churches
The McMass Project hopes to inspire church innovation with its plan to open a McDonald’s franchise within a house of worship
They have launched fund raising in order to get a million dollars to get franchise and fulfill their dream. The rest of the money will be used for construction and establishing the necessary infrastructure within and around the church.

"By combining a church and a McDonald's we can create a self-sustaining, community-engaged, popular church."
“By combining a church and a McDonald’s we can create a self-sustaining, community-engaged, popular church.”
The McMass team explains their position: “Christianity is unable to capture modern audiences. There’s a lack of innovation and lack of design thinking in church communities. We are aware a lot of people will think this is an insane idea.

But by combining a church and a McDonald’s we can create a self-sustaining, community-engaged, popular church, and an unparalleled McDonald’s restaurant.” 

Never live apart




Never live apart
There are many reasons why couples live apart. Whether by an act of chance or choice, here are some reasons why couples ought to live together
Fosters good child upbringing
Both parents have a particular input in the life of the child (ren). They have a figure to represent and children have different things to learn from them.
Learn more about each other
No matter how much you think you know someone, you would discover that you do not know everything about that person. It is advisable for new couples to live together as there are still things to discover and learn.
Better communication
Communication is key in a relationship and when couples live apart, they could disconnect. Although technology has eased communication between couples who live apart or far from each other, nothing can be compared to living together. This way, couples learn how best to relate with each other or what not to do to get on each other’s nerves. Emotions are best felt through physical connection.
Builds trust
One of the ways to building trust in a relationship is by living together with your partner and constantly reassuring each other of your love.
Health issues
If one partner has health challenges, it is unwise living apart because he or she needs attention and care as possible. In the case of an emergency, it is easier reaching out to your partner when you live together.
Shuns distractions
Couples who live apart are at a higher risk of cheating on each other than those who live together. Since there are different levels of resistance, a little show of affection or attention from the opposite sex who is not a spouse could set the sparks flying and even lead to more acts.
Shared responsibilities
Couples are meant to share responsibilities, moments and times together. When one is absent on one of such special moments, it grieves the heart of the other.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

If the compressed truth must spill...


Before the compressed truth must spill
Hot lies will always breed 
More attractive than the berry trees 
With many fruits plucked by so many
Seeking to be free.

Amidst their fantasies of dreams
But never swimming to her streams 
Oh!what else can be so sweet 
So leaked by everything that breathes
With side effect of latent griefs

If the truth must spill
And flow into our innermost seas
Though salty or bitter it seems
Citadel of peace it is

Fortress of  hope devoid of ageless fear
Tiding of goodwill enriched with care
Realities that free our beings
When it is well and even before we yell
And still rescues from fantasy’s well

Before we taken snare by this excited bell
Which ring sweeter than the morning birds.

If the truth must spill
Before hot lies takes us to her hills
Of deceit and beginning of personal ills
Let’s have a taste now of the bitter pill

Persistence, hardwork is surest way of victory
If the price is paid
Soon the world will make a way

For this dark face in a sacred place
Placed in the book of history 
Where great names  are layed to grey.

Written by Seyi dekol

25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Regardless of your definition of success, there are, oddly enough, a great number of common characteristics that are shared by successful businesspeople. You can place a check beside each characteristic that you feel that you possess. This way, you can see how you stack up. Even if you don't have all of these characteristics, don't fret. Most can be learned with practice and by developing a winning attitude, especially if you set goals and apply yourself, through strategic planning, to reach those goals in incremental and measurable stages.

The Home Business Musts

Like any activity you pursue, there are certain musts that are required to be successful in a chosen activity. To legally operate a vehicle on public roadways, one must have a driver's license; to excel in sports, one must train and practice; to retire comfortably, one must become an informed investor and actively invest for retirement. If your goal is success in business, then the formula is no different. There are certain musts that have to be fully developed, implemented and managed for your business to succeed. There are many business musts, but this article contains I believe to be some of the more important musts that are required to start, operate and grow a profitable home business.

1. Do what you enjoy.

What you get out of your business in the form of personal satisfaction, financial gain, stability and enjoyment will be the sum of what you put into your business. So if you don't enjoy what you're doing, in all likelihood it's safe to assume that will be reflected in the success of your business--or subsequent lack of success. In fact, if you don't enjoy what you're doing, chances are you won't succeed.

2. Take what you do seriously.

You cannot expect to be effective and successful in business unless you truly believe in your business and in the goods and services that you sell. Far too many home business owners fail to take their own businesses seriously enough, getting easily sidetracked and not staying motivated and keeping their noses to the grindstone. They also fall prey to naysayers who don't take them seriously because they don't work from an office building, office park, storefront, or factory. Little do these skeptics, who rain on the home business owner's parade, know is that the number of people working from home, and making very good annual incomes, has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.

3. Plan everything.

Planning every aspect of your home business is not only a must, but also builds habits that every home business owner should develop, implement, and maintain. The act of business planning is so important because it requires you to analyze each business situation, research and compile data, and make conclusions based mainly on the facts as revealed through the research. A business plan also serves a second function, which is having your goals and how you will achieve them, on paper. You can use the plan that you create both as map to take you from point A to Z and as a yardstick to measure the success of each individual plan or segment within the plan.

4. Manage money wisely.

The lifeblood of any business enterprise is cash flow. You need it to buy inventory, pay for services, promote and market your business, repair and replace tools and equipment, and pay yourself so that you can continue to work. Therefore, all home business owners must become wise money managers to ensure that the cash keeps flowing and the bills get paid. There are two aspects to wise money management.
  1. The money you receive from clients in exchange for your goods and services you provide (income)
  2. The money you spend on inventory, supplies, wages and other items required to keep your business operating. (expenses)

5. Ask for the sale.

A home business entrepreneur must always remember that marketing, advertising, or promotional activities are completely worthless, regardless of how clever, expensive, or perfectly targeted they are, unless one simple thing is accomplished--ask for the sale. This is not to say that being a great salesperson, advertising copywriting whiz or a public relations specialist isn't a tremendous asset to your business. However, all of these skills will be for naught if you do not actively ask people to buy what you are selling.

6. Remember it's all about the customer.

Your home business is not about the products or services that you sell. Your home business is not about the prices that you charge for your goods and services. Your home business is not about your competition and how to beat them. Your business is all about your customers, or clients, period. After all, your customers are the people that will ultimately decide if your business goes boom or bust. Everything you do in business must be customer focused, including your policies, warranties, payment options, operating hours, presentations, advertising and promotional campaigns and website. In addition, you must know who your customers are inside out and upside down.

7. Become a shameless self-promoter (without becoming obnoxious).

One of the greatest myths about personal or business success is that eventually your business, personal abilities, products or services will get discovered and be embraced by the masses that will beat a path to your door to buy what you are selling. But how can this happen if no one knows who you are, what you sell and why they should be buying?
Self-promotion is one of the most beneficial, yet most underutilized, marketing tools that the majority of home business owners have at their immediate disposal.

8. Project a positive business image.

You have but a passing moment to make a positive and memorable impression on people with whom you intend to do business. Home business owners must go out of their way and make a conscious effort to always project the most professional business image possible. The majority of home business owners do not have the advantage of elaborate offices or elegant storefronts and showrooms to wow prospects and impress customers. Instead, they must rely on imagination, creativity and attention to the smallest detail when creating and maintaining a professional image for their home business.

9. Get to know your customers.

One of the biggest features and often the most significant competitive edge the home based entrepreneur has over the larger competitors is the he can offer personalized attention. Call it high-tech backlash if you will, but customers are sick and tired of hearing that their information is somewhere in the computer and must be retrieved, or told to push a dozen digits to finally get to the right department only to end up with voice mail--from which they never receive a return phone call.
The home business owner can actually answer phone calls, get to know customers, provide personal attention and win over repeat business by doing so. It's a researched fact that most business (80 percent) will come from repeat customers rather than new customers. Therefore, along with trying to draw newcomers, the more you can do to woo your regular customers, the better off you will be in the long run and personalized attention is very much appreciated and remembered in the modern high tech world.

10. Level the playing field with technology.

You should avoid getting overly caught up in the high-tech world, but you should also know how to take advantage of using it. One of the most amazing aspects of the internet is that a one or two person business operating from a basement can have a superior website to a $50 million company, and nobody knows the difference. Make sure you're keeping up with the high-tech world as it suits your needs.. The best technology is that which helps you, not that which impresses your neighbors.

11. Build a top-notch business team.

No one person can build a successful business alone. It's a task that requires a team that is as committed as you to the business and its success. Your business team may include family members, friends, suppliers, business alliances, employees, sub-contractors, industry and business associations, local government and the community. Of course the most important team members will be your customers or clients. Any or all may have a say in how your business will function and a stake in your business future.

12. Become known as an expert.

When you have a problem that needs to be solved, do you seek just anyone's advice or do you seek an expert in the field to help solve your particular problem? Obviously, you want the most accurate information and assistance that you can get. You naturally seek an expert to help solve your problem. You call a plumber when the hot water tank leaks, a real estate agent when it's time to sell your home or a dentist when you have a toothache. Therefore, it only stands to reason that the more you become known for your expertise in your business, the more people will seek you out to tap into your expertise, creating more selling and referral opportunities. In effect, becoming known as an expert is another style of prospecting for new business, just in reverse. Instead of finding new and qualified people to sell to, these people seek you out for your expertise.

13. Create a competitive advantage.

A home business must have a clearly defined unique selling proposition. This is nothing more than a fancy way of asking the vital question, "Why will people choose to do business with you or purchase your product or service instead of doing business with a competitor and buying his product or service?" In other words, what one aspect or combination of aspects is going to separate your business from your competition? Will it be better service, a longer warranty, better selection, longer business hours, more flexible payment options, lowest price, personalized service, better customer service, better return and exchange policies or a combination of several of these?

14. Invest in yourself.

Top entrepreneurs buy and read business and marketing books, magazines, reports, journals, newsletters, websites and industry publications, knowing that these resources will improve their understanding of business and marketing functions and skills. They join business associations and clubs, and they network with other skilled business people to learn their secrets of success and help define their own goals and objectives. Top entrepreneurs attend business and marketing seminars, workshops and training courses, even if they have already mastered the subject matter of the event. They do this because they know that education is an ongoing process. There are usually ways to do things better, in less time, with less effort. In short, top entrepreneurs never stop investing in the most powerful, effective and best business and marketing tool at their immediate disposal--themselves.

15. Be accessible.

We're living in a time when we all expect our fast food lunch at the drive-thru window to be ready in mere minutes, our dry cleaning to be ready for pick-up on the same day, our money to be available at the cash machine and our pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it's free. You see the pattern developing--you must make it as easy as you can for people to do business with you, regardless of the home business you operate.
You must remain cognizant of the fact that few people will work hard, go out of their way, or be inconvenienced just for the privilege of giving you their hard-earned money. The shoe is always on the other foot. Making it easy for people to do business with you means that you must be accessible and knowledgeable about your products and services. You must be able to provide customers with what they want, when they want it.

16. Build a rock-solid reputation.

A good reputation is unquestionably one of the home business owner's most tangible and marketable assets. You can't simply buy a good reputation; it's something that you earn by honoring your promises. If you promise to have the merchandise in the customer's hands by Wednesday, you have no excuse not to have it there. If you offer to repair something, you need to make good on your offer. Consistency in what you offer is the other key factor. If you cannot come through with the same level of service (and products) for clients on a regular basis, they have no reason to trust you . . . and without trust, you won't have a good reputation.

17. Sell benefits.

Pushing product features is for inexperienced or wannabe entrepreneurs. Selling the benefits associated with owning and using the products and services you carry is what sales professionals worldwide focus on to create buying excitement and to sell, sell more, and sell more frequently to their customers. Your advertising, sales presentations, printed marketing materials, product packaging, website, newsletters, trade show exhibit and signage are vital. Every time and every medium used to communicate with your target audience must always be selling the benefits associated with owning your product or using your service.

18. Get involved.

Always go out of your way to get involved in the community that supports your business. You can do this in many ways, such as pitching in to help local charities or the food bank, becoming involved in organizing community events, and getting involved in local politics. You can join associations and clubs that concentrate on programs and policies designed to improve the local community. It's a fact that people like to do business with people they know, like and respect, and with people who do things to help them as members of the community.

19. Grab attention.

Small-business owners cannot waste time, money and energy on promotional activities aimed at building awareness solely through long-term, repeated exposure. If you do, chances are you will go broke long before this goal is accomplished. Instead, every promotional activity you engage in, must put money back in your pocket so that you can continue to grab more attention and grow your business.

20. Master the art of negotiations.

The ability to negotiate effectively is unquestionably a skill that every home business owner must make every effort to master. It's perhaps second in importance only to asking for the sale in terms of home business musts. In business, negotiation skills are used daily. Always remember that mastering the art of negotiation means that your skills are so finely tuned that you can always orchestrate a win-win situation. These win-win arrangements mean that everyone involved feels they have won, which is really the basis for building long-term and profitable business relationships.

21. Design Your workspace for success.

Carefully plan and design your home office workspace to ensure maximum personal performance and productivity and, if necessary, to project professionalism for visiting clients. If at all possible, resist the temptation to turn a corner of the living room or your bedroom into your office. Ideally, you'll want a separate room with a door that closes to keep business activities in and family members out, at least during prime business and revenue generating hours of the day. A den, spare bedroom, basement or converted garage are all ideal candidates for your new home office. If this is not possible, you'll have to find a means of converting a room with a partition or simply find hours to do the bulk of your work when nobody else is home.

22. Get and stay organized.

The key to staying organized is not about which type of file you have or whether you keep a stack or two of papers on your desk, but it's about managing your business. It's about having systems in place to do things. Therefore, you wan to establish a routine by which you can accomplish as much as possible in a given workday, whether that's three hours for a part-time business or seven or nine hours as a full-timer. In fact, you should develop systems and routines for just about every single business activity. Small things such as creating a to-do list at the end of each business day, or for the week, will help keep you on top of important tasks to tackle. Creating a single calendar to work from, not multiple sets for individual tasks or jobs, will also ensure that jobs are completed on schedule and appointments kept. Incorporating family and personal activities into your work calendar is also critical so that you work and plan from a single calendar.

23. Take time off.

The temptation to work around the clock is very real for some home business owners. After all, you don't have a manager telling you it's time to go home because they can't afford the overtime pay. Every person working from home must take time to establish a regular work schedule that includes time to stretch your legs and take lunch breaks, plus some days off and scheduled vacations. Create the schedule as soon as you have made the commitment to start a home business. Of course, your schedule will have to be flexible. You should, therefore, not fill every possible hour in the day. Give yourself a backup hour or two. All work and no play makes you burn out very fast and grumpy customer service is not what people want.

24. Limit the number of hats you wear.

It's difficult for most business owners not to take a hands-on approach. They try to do as much as possible and tackle as many tasks as possible in their business. The ability to multitask, in fact, is a common trait shared by successful entrepreneurs. However, once in a while you have to stand back and look beyond today to determine what's in the best interest of your business and yourself over the long run. Most highly successful entrepreneurs will tell you that from the time they started out, they knew what they were good at and what tasks to delegate to others.

25. Follow-up constantly.

Constant contact, follow-up, and follow-through with customers, prospects, and business alliances should be the mantra of every home business owner, new or established. Constant and consistent follow-up enables you to turn prospects into customers, increase the value of each sale and buying frequency from existing customers, and build stronger business relationships with suppliers and your core business team. Follow-up is especially important with your existing customer base, as the real work begins after the sale. It's easy to sell one product or service, but it takes work to retain customers and keep them coming back.
James Stephenson is an experienced home based consultant with more than 15 years of business and marketing experience.

Innoson Rolls Out 500 Made In Nigeria Cars Today

The Innoson Vehicle Manufactur­ing Company Limited will today make history as the first indig­enous car manufacturer in the country with the official unveiling of 500 made in Nigeria cars built at its Nnewi, Anambra State, plant.

In this exclusive interview with CHIDI NNADI, the Chairman of Innoson Group, Dr Innocent Chukwuma, he looked at his journey into auto manufacturing, which he said began with his trading in motorcycle spare parts.

Chief Chukwuma assured that his cars, which conform to international standards, would lower car prices in the country like he did when he started to manufacture mo­torcyles some years back. He also prom­ised to use his auto company to boost the Nigerian economy as well as generate em­ployment. Excerpts:

What is your journey into auto manufacturing like?

I started assembling business with mo­torcycle spare parts and later moved to motorcycle assembling. Later I moved again from motorcycle manufacturing to auto manufacturing. I passed through these stages before I started to manufacture ve­hicles in 2010, but the factory was built in 2007 at Nnewi. We are also into tyre manu­facture with our factory in Enugu. We did not start all these lines of production in one day; we take them one after another. For example, we are manufacturing some of the vehicle components here while we only import the ones we cannot produce here.

What are the first brand of vehi­cles you manufactured?

We started manufacturing buses, but later added Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), pick-up vans, trucks and now cars, which we will commission today. We started to manufacture buses first because of its high demand in the country. But I knew from the beginning that we will produce all brands of vehicles and that we have achieved now.

What is the market acceptance of your vehicles?

Our vehicles are well accepted in the market, the dealers, the end users and Nige­rians are happy with our range of vehicles. We are amazed by the demand and level of patronage of our vehicles by Nigerians. In­dividuals, corporate organisations, institu­tions, governments and other Nigerians are demanding our vehicles. Those who have used them attest that they are rugged, the type that can withstand the Nigerian roads which are usually rough. We are only pray­ing that we would have enough vehicles to meet up the demands.

What are the sources of your raw materials for the vehicles?

We source our raw materials locally here while we import those we cannot readily get here. But we generate over 50 per cent of our vehicle components locally here.

How affordable are your cars?

We want to make sure that our cars are very affordable. We have done this before when we started motorcycles manufactur­ing and we are going to do it again with our cars. I can assure you that our cars will be highly affordable without compromising international standards on cars manufac­ture. We have cars of N1 million plus, N2 million plus and N3 million; we also have three models of cars under this price range.

What are your marketing strategy and niche in the market?

Innoson is a very strong brand in Nige­ria and even beyond the country. All our products are of high quality, we don’t com­promise on the quality of our products and we are known for this. So, Nigerians will definitely like our cars because they are of good quality and built specifically to with­stand the Nigerian roads. Nigerians have good taste and appreciate quality products, so they will definitely love our cars, I am 100 per cent sure of it.

What is the standard used by IVM in the manufacture of its cars?

Auto manufacturing follows interna­tional standard, that is the same thing across the globe. So, we are adhering strictly to this international standard. Be­sides, the Standard Organisation of Nigera (SON) is supervising what we are doing, they come to our factory and they are hap­py with what we are doing. Our cars like the buses we started first to manufacture are of international standard and we are not going back on this.

You said you also manufacture tyres?

Yes, we also went into tyre manufac­turing because we discovered that Nigeria has the best quality of rubber, the Nigerian rubber is so good, so I want to utilize it as raw material to develop the tyre industry in Nigeria. Also, you know that tyre is a very important component of vehicles; so since we manufacture vehicles here at Nnewi, it only follows that we must also manufac­ture tyres, which we believe will help to further lower the prices of our vehicles. We want to make sure that the local content of our vehicles is high as this will affect their prices for the betterment of the end users who are largely Nigerians.

How are you going to sell these cars, do you have showrooms?

We have designed to build state-of-the-art showrooms in the six geo-political zones of the country, including Abuja and Lagos. These showrooms will be supply­ing spare parts, sales of the vehicles and at the same time have a section for workshop which if your vehicles develop faults, you go and fix them there. You can see from the sketch drawing here that it is a master­piece. The concept is that we will control the one at the headquarters in Abuja and Lagos while the dealers will control those in the zones for good synergy between the dealers and managers at the headquarters. Already, we have started to construct the showrooms in Abuja and Lagos.

What is the workforce at your auto plant like, are you using expa­triate staff?

The major parts of the job will be done by Nigerian workers. We have a policy to encourage indigenous workforce except in cases where we cannot get the technical support needed in the plant locally. But we will first of all create jobs for Nigerians.

How many cars are you rolling out today?

We are rolling out 500 units. Already, some of the cars have been bought. We discovered that some people, as soon as they heard we have started producing cars, placed orders. This is because the cars are fantastic. You know our people used to say that good market sells itself. The demand already is quite impressive and when we launch today, we know the demand will skyrocket.

There was a time the Federal Government demanded buses from your company but the quantity was not met, why?

There is no way you can place order for large quantity of vehicles today and you have that number supplied to you imme­diately. But whatever quantity you want, if you place the order on time on the date of delivery, we will meet your demand. There is no quantity that is too much for us to produce. What we need is to increase our manpower to meet up the demand, but we must be given adequate notice.

We understand that some state governments are using your ve­hicles, what is the feedback from these states about the performance of your products?

Yes, a good number of states in Nigeria are already using the various types of our vehicle; buses, SUVs, trucks and now cars and they have found them very efficient and durable; they are very happy to use our brands. Our trucks are doing well in the states that are using them. Remember that we manufacture these trucks on speci­fication and order; Abia, Enugu, Delta, Cross River and Benue states are so far the states we have manufactured trucks for, es­sentially for their waste disposal projects. And these states are quite happy when they compare the trucks they were using before and the IVM trucks.

What are your challenges?

Right now, we don’t have much chal­lenges; sourcing of the raw materials is not too difficult, the raw materials are read­ily available. In fact, we now have more than 50 per cent local content. Already, we manufacture plastics which are com­ponents of some parts of vehicles and we manufacture them here. So, this is one of the reasons our vehicles are cheaper than others in the market.

In the next 10 years, where do you think IVM will be?

For now IVM is the first indigenous car manufacturer in Nigeria and so long as Ni­gerians are demanding our cars, in the next 10 years, our cars will help to grow the economy. We are sustaining what we are doing by the financial support of the Bank of Industry and the Automotive Council.

What is your promise to Nigerians?

One thing is sure; IVM cars will never disappoint Nigerians. We are here not only to promote the economy, but also to cre­ate employment for Nigerians. If we have more demands of our vehicles we will stand firm to increase our workforce thus reducing unemployment level in the coun­try. I, therefore, enjoin Nigerians to take advantage of this new dawn, the IVM ve­hicles are their own and are here to serve them for the better.