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The Activator HQ Podcast (formerly The Smallstarter Business Podcast)

The Activator HQ Podcast (formerly The Smallstarter Business Podcast)

By John-Paul Iwuoha

Tune in to John-Paul Iwuoha's unique podcast for practical tips, advice, and insights that'll improve your chances of starting, growing, or turning around your business. If you're an African entrepreneur, or you do (or plan to do) business in Africa, you'll love how John-Paul thinks and talks about strategy, exploiting business ideas and opportunities, market entry, sales and customer acquisition, growth, expansion, raising capital and funding, developing strong business systems, leadership, and hiring capable and loyal people on your team. John-Paul is a business transformation specialist who has worked with dozens of entrepreneurs and business owners to overcome tough business problems. He has been featured on CNN, The Huffington Post, Business Day, and several local and international media. He was named by LinkedIn as a Global Top Voice on Startups & Entrepreneurship.
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Currently playing episode

SBP 085: The Amazing Power of Building Redundancy In Your Business -- 🔥 Hot Topic!

The Activator HQ Podcast (formerly The Smallstarter Business Podcast)Feb 22, 2022

00:00
48:15
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: The Birth of Activator HQ & Exciting New Changes In My Life And Business

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: The Birth of Activator HQ & Exciting New Changes In My Life And Business

I've been away from the podcast for a year due to an unplanned sabbatical. I'm back with great news and an important announcement.

10 years after launching Smallstarter Africa, we have re-launched as Activator HQ. Our mission to support entrepreneurs is the same, but our new strategic focus is to make it easier and faster for our audience to start and grow businesses in promising (but difficult) environments like Africa.

In this re-launch episode, John-Paul Iwuoha explains the rationale for the re-launch, what to expect, and some great news. He hit an ambitious weight loss goal, and welcomed a baby girl this year! 🥳🥳💃🏽

There will be many takeaways for you in this interesting episode.

Enjoy!


Check out the new website at activatorHQ.com.

Oct 20, 202301:04:42
SBP 097: How To Repair A Business That Makes Money (Sales) But Is Not Profitable

SBP 097: How To Repair A Business That Makes Money (Sales) But Is Not Profitable

It’s frustrating to run a business that feels like a leaking bucket.

That’s the situation in businesses that make money from sales, but there’s hardly anything left as profit.

In this episode of the Smallstarter Business Podcast, I explore the common suspects in these kinds of businesses. 

I talk about how to look at your business data, and how to troubleshoot everything from sales, expenses, and overhead costs.

You’re going to find this quite interesting.

Happy learning!

Jun 10, 202252:47
SBP 096: The Art of B2B Sales: How To Sell And Do Business With Big Companies & Organisations

SBP 096: The Art of B2B Sales: How To Sell And Do Business With Big Companies & Organisations

Big companies can make great customers. 

They have deep pockets. They’re less price sensitive, and they are more likely to work with you for the long term. 

That’s why B2B sales can be an important growth opportunity for your business.

In this episode of the podcast, I explore the opportunities and considerations for targeting B2B customers and 5 practical tips to help you successfully land your first big client.

You’re going to learn interesting stuff!

Jun 03, 202259:57
SBP 095: 5 Tips For Enduring The Psychological Stresses Of Building A Business

SBP 095: 5 Tips For Enduring The Psychological Stresses Of Building A Business

How do you deal with the mental, psychological and emotional stresses of building a business?

Building a successful business is a marathon that takes a toll on your mind. That’s why you need endurance and coping mechanisms to support you.

In this episode of the Smallstarter Business Podcast, I explore 5 effective mental exercises that can help entrepreneurs cope with stress.

Sometimes, the problem is not the problem. It’s often the way you see the problem that’s the real problem.

You’re going to learn a lot from this!

May 27, 202201:03:21
SBP 094: How To Start A Business In A Crowded Or Competitive Market

SBP 094: How To Start A Business In A Crowded Or Competitive Market

99.99% of businesses sell a version of a product or service that already exists.

This means that if you plan to start a new business or launch a new product, you will likely be facing a crowded or competitive market.

Crowded markets can be a big advantage and a huge opportunity for newcomers. However, they also come with dangers and risks you need to watch out for.

In this episode of the Smallstarter Business Podcast, I explore the nature of crowded markets, their upsides, and their risks.

I also explore 5 specific strategies you can deploy to increase your chances of success when you enter a crowded or competitive market.

Happy learning!

May 20, 202201:00:37
SBP 093: How To Make Customer Service Your Biggest Competitive Advantage (A Masterclass)

SBP 093: How To Make Customer Service Your Biggest Competitive Advantage (A Masterclass)

Many small and mid-sized businesses are failing at customer service.

This is a big opportunity for you because improving how you serve your customers can become a strong competitive advantage for your business.

This episode is a mini-Masterclass in how you can achieve this.

You’re going to unlearn some of the misconceptions you may have about your customers, and how you can serve your customers in a way that makes them loyal, protective, and promoting of your business.

This is a really exciting episode.

Happy learning!

Apr 29, 202201:15:34
SBP 092: The 4 Types Of People Who Will Do Well As Employees In Your Business

SBP 092: The 4 Types Of People Who Will Do Well As Employees In Your Business

You cannot build a successful business on your own. You will likely need the help of employees.

But how can you tell the right kind of person to hire for your business?

How much knowledge, skill, and experience should they have?

What kind of personality should you be looking for?

In this episode of the Smallstarter Business Podcast, I discuss the 4 types of people who will likely do well as employees in your business.

Happy listening!

Apr 22, 202243:58
SBP 091:  Vital Signs -- How To Make Sure Your Business Runs Well When You're Not Around

SBP 091: Vital Signs -- How To Make Sure Your Business Runs Well When You're Not Around

How can you be sure your business is in good hands while you’re away on travel, vacation, study, or just busy taking care of another business?

In this episode, I’m going to introduce you to the interesting concept of “vital signs”.

It’s an effective tactic that is used to great effect in hospitals around the world.

And there is a lot you can learn from this and apply to your business.

Remember, your ultimate achievement as an entrepreneur is to build a business that can thrive in your absence.

The lessons you’ll learn from this episode will show you how it can be done.

Happy listening!

Apr 15, 202201:09:13
SBP 090: Why Many Young Businesses Run Out Of Money And How To Avoid This Problem

SBP 090: Why Many Young Businesses Run Out Of Money And How To Avoid This Problem

Many young businesses fail because they run out of money.

Some of these failed businesses had great potential and may have become successful businesses if only they survived a little longer.

Fortunately, this is a fixable problem.

In this episode of the Smallstarter Business Podcast, I explore the most common reasons why young businesses fail and how you can avoid these situations.

You’re going to learn a lot from this.

Happy learning!

Apr 01, 202251:39
SBP 089: Self-funded Businesses vs. Investor-funded Businesses -- Which Is Better?

SBP 089: Self-funded Businesses vs. Investor-funded Businesses -- Which Is Better?

It’s boom time for startups around the world. 

Last year alone (2021), startups on the African continent raised over $4 billion from local and international investors.

But do you really have to raise money from investors?

Or should you continue running as a self-funded business and ignore the temptations to raise money from banks and outside investors?

In this interesting episode of the Smallstarter Business Podcast, I explore the pros and cons of self-funded businesses versus investor-funded businesses.

You’re going to learn some great stuff from this.

Happy learning!



Mar 25, 202256:41
SBP 088: Insights and Strategies for Raising Money for A Business -- with Kristin H. Wilson of Spurt!

SBP 088: Insights and Strategies for Raising Money for A Business -- with Kristin H. Wilson of Spurt!

Many entrepreneurs struggle with the challenge of raising capital to start, grow and scale their businesses.

How to overcome this seemingly insurmountable obstacle?

In this episode of the Smallstarter Business Podcast, Kristin H. Wilson of Spurt! shares some interesting insights and strategies for overcoming this problem.

During this interview, we explored a range of subjects, from the power of strategic partnerships to the secret sauce for funding proposals, and the unique benefits that failure can have over success in business.

You're going to learn very valuable stuff from this.

Mar 11, 202201:09:29
SBP 087: Why Nice People Don't Always Succeed In Business And What To Do About It

SBP 087: Why Nice People Don't Always Succeed In Business And What To Do About It

Why does it often seem that ‘nice’ people are easily taken advantage of in business?

And does this suggest that we have to be mean, nasty and brutal to win in business?

The truth is, there are aggressive and domineering people out there who will take advantage of your “niceness”, generosity and patience.

These people could be your customers, employees, suppliers, or investors.

In this episode of the Smallstarter Business Podcast, I share my thoughts on how nice people get exploited in business and some specific ways you can handle these situations without losing your decency. 

Mar 04, 202248:40
SBP 086: The 6 Types of Businesses I Never Want To Do In My Life

SBP 086: The 6 Types of Businesses I Never Want To Do In My Life

Some businesses are just deadends by design.

They may look exciting on the surface, but the reality is much worse than your eyes can see.

After investing your time, money, and efforts in them, you’re very likely to regret your decision down the road. 

But what if you could identify these kinds of businesses in advance?

That’s exactly what this episode is all about.

Based on John-Paul’s experience and preferences, you will discover 6 types of businesses that are not worth your time and investment.

You’re going to learn a lot from this.

Happy listening!

Feb 25, 202201:12:34
SBP 085: The Amazing Power of Building Redundancy In Your Business -- 🔥 Hot Topic!

SBP 085: The Amazing Power of Building Redundancy In Your Business -- 🔥 Hot Topic!

Surprises and change are a constant in business.

If the ups and downs of the economy don’t shake you, your customers, employees or suppliers may disappoint or destabilize your business.

Unfortunately, you cannot plan for most of these surprises and changes before they happen.

That’s why you need to build redundancies into your business.

In this episode, you will learn how to bake redundancy into 6 key areas of your business so you can get better at surviving surprises and changes when they happen.

Happy learning!

Feb 22, 202248:15
SBP 084: How To Export Products From Africa To The World -- Insights from Maxwell Adew, Founder @ Kuueza

SBP 084: How To Export Products From Africa To The World -- Insights from Maxwell Adew, Founder @ Kuueza

In this interesting episode of the Smallstarter Business Podcast, Maxwell Adew of Kuueza shares his entrepreneurship story.

You will learn how he stumbled on the painful problem that gave birth to the business idea that became his company, Kuueza.

Maxwell also shares valuable advice and insights on starting a business, raising capital for business, and how to build a team of loyal and capable people to support your business.

You're going to learn a lot from this.

Happy listening!

Feb 14, 202201:12:16
SBP 083: "New Level, New Devils." Why You Should Be Careful What You Wish For In Business

SBP 083: "New Level, New Devils." Why You Should Be Careful What You Wish For In Business

Almost every entrepreneur wants to get to the next level of growth and success in their business.

That next level could be to raise more capital, to make more sales, to build a bigger team, or to expand into more locations and grow the business.

But for every new level, there will be new devils. 

For every new level, there will be new problems, challenges, and frustrations you must learn to deal with if you want to succeed at that level. 

In this episode of the podcast, I explore the wisdom of "New level, new devils," and why entrepreneurs need to be realistic about their expectations when it comes to growth and success. 

You're going to learn a lot from this.

Happy listening!

Jan 28, 202258:45
SBP 082: Is It An Opportunity Or A Distraction? How To Resist FOMO and SOS In Your Business

SBP 082: Is It An Opportunity Or A Distraction? How To Resist FOMO and SOS In Your Business

Entrepreneurs love to find and chase new opportunities. 

It could be a new idea, a new product, a new strategy, or a new partnership deal.

But how can you be sure that thing is really an opportunity, and not a distraction?

Many entrepreneurs get sucked into distractions that cost them a ton of time, money, sweat, and tears.

And that's why this episode of the podcast is important and timely.

In this episode, you will learn three ways to distinguish between opportunities and distractions so you can always make the best choices. 

Listening to this interesting episode will save you a lot of future regrets.

Happy listening.

Jan 21, 202238:17
SBP 081: What It Actually Takes To Grow & Scale A Business -- Insights from Kristin H. Wilson of Spurt!

SBP 081: What It Actually Takes To Grow & Scale A Business -- Insights from Kristin H. Wilson of Spurt!

Growth is often on the minds of most entrepreneurs and business owners.

How can you grow and scale a business to reach more customers, make more sales, and grab more market share?

This episode of the podcast is a peek into a Mastermind Strategy Session from our exclusive Insiders community.

During this session, Kristin H. Wilson of Spurt! Shares insights on the 3 key factors for growing and scaling a business.

You’re going to learn a lot from this.

Jan 14, 202201:22:42
SBP 080: Is It Better To Be Feared Or Loved By Your Employees? This Is What I Think...

SBP 080: Is It Better To Be Feared Or Loved By Your Employees? This Is What I Think...

What's the best way to manage the relationship with your employees?

Is it better if they fear you, or love you?

In this interesting episode, I share my thoughts on how to handle the critical relationships with your employees.

You're going to learn the upsides and downsides of using fear and love to motivate your staff.

This is an episode that will get you thinking about your leadership style and how you manage the human resources in your business.

Jan 07, 202248:59
SBP 079: How To Double Your Sales in 90 Days or Less -- Insights from Simon Severino of Strategy Sprints

SBP 079: How To Double Your Sales in 90 Days or Less -- Insights from Simon Severino of Strategy Sprints

Growing a business is tough for many people who own or run a business.

But are there tested and trusted ways to boost the sales of your company? 

In this episode, Simon Severino of Strategy Sprints shares some interesting strategies for boosting sales and growth in a business.

You're going to learn a lot from this.

Dec 31, 202146:14
SBP 078: How To Enter A New Market Or Find Customers For A New Product

SBP 078: How To Enter A New Market Or Find Customers For A New Product

 Some people claim that if you have a good product, customers will automatically find you.

Unfortunately, this is not always true.

The world is full of great products that cannot find customers.

It’s hard to penetrate any market with a new product, especially when nobody knows you or your business.

This is a common challenge faced by entrepreneurs who have a new startup or an existing business that has just introduced a new product.

This episode presents a roadmap that can help you overcome this obstacle.

You will learn the important questions and signals to watch out for that will lead you to the customers you seek for a new product.

Happy listening!

Dec 17, 202158:54
SBP 077: 5 Important Things To Consider Before Hiring Anyone in Your Business

SBP 077: 5 Important Things To Consider Before Hiring Anyone in Your Business

People provide leverage in business. That’s why to grow a business, you need to build a team.

But building a good team starts with hiring.

And when it comes to hiring people, it’s often easy to make mistakes. You may hire for the wrong purpose, or hire the wrong person, or hire at the wrong time.

Unfortunately, these mistakes can be expensive. Hiring mistakes can lead to a waste of money, time, and energy.

In this episode, you will learn 5 important things you should consider before you hire anyone to join your business.

You’re going to enjoy this.

Dec 10, 202145:36
SBP 076: I Had A Burnout -- Important Life Lessons on Health, Wealth and Happiness

SBP 076: I Had A Burnout -- Important Life Lessons on Health, Wealth and Happiness

At a point in your journey as an entrepreneur, you will experience “burn out”.

After several months or years of working hard on your business, you will likely experience some form of physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion.

Entrepreneurs are often too focused on the business that we don’t pay enough attention to ourselves.

In this episode of the podcast, I talk about my experience with burn-out and some important lessons I learned about life, health, wealth, and happiness.

I know you’re going to learn a lot from this.

Dec 03, 202151:56
SBP 075: How To Know When It Is Time To Grow And Expand Your Business

SBP 075: How To Know When It Is Time To Grow And Expand Your Business

Almost every entrepreneur wants to grow their business.<br /><br />Growth is exciting.<br /><br />Growth means a bigger business that makes more sales, has more customers, and is more visible and known by people.<br /><br />But guess what?<br /><br />Growth can kill a business if it’s not done well.<br /><br />In fact, if you grow your business too early, too fast, or too late, your business will likely struggle.<br /><br />So, when is the right TIME to grow and expand a business?<br /><br />The answer to this question lies in today’s episode of the Podcast.<br /><br />You’re going to learn the 5 important signals to look out for before you grow or expand your business.<br /><br />If you miss any of these signals, you might be growing your business too early or too fast.<br /><br />And if you already have these signals in your business, you may be missing a major opportunity to grow and expand your business.<br /><br />
Oct 15, 202156:48
SBP 074: The 6 Specific Ways To Quickly Improve The Profitability Of Your Business

SBP 074: The 6 Specific Ways To Quickly Improve The Profitability Of Your Business

Many businesses are struggling to survive.

And most of these businesses make either very low profits, zero profits, or serious losses.

How to improve profits in a business is a major headache for entrepreneurs.

After paying suppliers, salaries, rent, and other expenses, there is almost nothing left for the owner of the business.

And if this situation continues, it’s only a matter of time before the business crumbles.

That’s why you should listen to this episode of the Podcast.

It’s not enough to blame outside forces like the economy and your competitors for the low profits in your business.

There are actually things you can do INSIDE your business to fix the profit problem.

In fact, in this episode, you will learn 6 specific ways you can quickly improve the profitability of your business.

This is not talk and theory.

You can start applying these new changes in your business, starting TODAY!

Oct 10, 202154:22
SBP 073: The Strategic Types of Capital You Need To Build A Successful Business

SBP 073: The Strategic Types of Capital You Need To Build A Successful Business

Running out of money.

It’s the top reason most businesses fail.

According to CB Insights, up to 40 percent of failed businesses were due to lack of capital.

And that’s for the US, Canada, and Europe.

In developing markets like Africa, I can bet the number is much higher.

But what makes a business run out of money?

And why can’t some entrepreneurs manage this problem before it kicks them out of business?

In this week’s episode, you’ll learn a lot about the 3 strategic types of capital that’s need to build a successful business.

Each type of capital has a key role to play in the life of your business.

And if you don’t know how to handle each one, your business is likely to run out of money.

You’re going to learn a lot from this.

Sep 24, 202155:54
SBP 072: How To Get Better At Business Development & Networking -- Practical Insights from Cynthia Lareine

SBP 072: How To Get Better At Business Development & Networking -- Practical Insights from Cynthia Lareine

If people don’t know you, they can’t help you or do business with you.

That’s why networking is so important in business.

Through networking, many people have found investors, business partners, and very good suppliers and distributors.

Unfortunately, many people are not so good at networking.

Most people think networking is just about introducing themselves, shaking people’s hands, and giving out business cards.

It’s not surprising that we end up with a lot of business cards, but don’t have any solid contacts.

That’s why you need to listen to this.

This week’s episode of the podcast features an interview with an expert in business development and networking.

Cynthia Lareine is the founder of LGC Africa, a specialist business development firm.

In this episode, you will understand the key difference between marketing, sales, business development, and networking.

Cynthia also shares practical tips and insights on the “A-to-G” of good networking.

You’re going to learn a lot from this.

Sep 17, 202101:08:31
SBP 071: How To Handle Angry Customers -- A Practical Example

SBP 071: How To Handle Angry Customers -- A Practical Example

Your customers are not always right.

Sometimes, this is especially true for angry customers.

How do you handle a person who insults you, threatens you, and may likely tell other people bad things about your business?

In your career as an entrepreneur, you will likely come across this kind of person.

But guess what?

Angry customers are a special gift to any business.

You know why? 

I’ll tell you.

You see, most customers who are dissatisfied with your business will likely walk away in silence and then badmouth your business behind your back.

Most of them will not confront you, or show any raw emotion like an angry customer would.

That’s what makes an angry customer special.

An angry customer confronts you with two interesting opportunities.

The first opportunity is to get raw and undiluted feedback about something in your business that needs to be fixed.

The second opportunity an angry customer gives you is a chance to prove your customer service skills and convert that anger into a positive emotion that works for your business.

That’s why you need to listen to this.

In this week’s episode of the podcast, I share a recent real-life experience with an angry customer in my business.

Sep 10, 202130:08
SBP 070: The 5 Most Common Mistakes That Can Kill A Business

SBP 070: The 5 Most Common Mistakes That Can Kill A Business

A friend of mine recently shut down his restaurant business.

It was painful to watch him go through it.

I still remember how excited he was when he first started the business.

I still remember his vision to expand the business into other cities in the country.

I still remember how much time, energy, and money he sacrificed for that business.

But it wasn’t enough.

This is the unfortunate reality that many entrepreneurs have to face.

Up to 80% of new businesses fail within 5 years.

That’s a very high casualty rate.

But we don’t always see them.

They close down quietly, and cry and lick their wounds in silence.

After almost a decade of working with entrepreneurs, here’s one interesting fact I have found:

Many businesses fail due to self-inflicted wounds.

Sometimes, it may not be the economy, or the government, or your friends who are to blame.

Unfortunately, it’s usually the combination of bad decisions and innocent mistakes that bring down many failed businesses.

What can you learn from this?

In this week’s episode of the podcast, I share 5 of the most common mistakes that can kill a business.

Sometimes, it is wise to learn from the mistakes of others, rather than from yours.

The lessons in this episode should be enough for the wise.



Sep 03, 202143:53
SBP 069: Startup Strategy: Is It Better To Start Small or Start Big in Business?

SBP 069: Startup Strategy: Is It Better To Start Small or Start Big in Business?

Having an idea for anything is easy.

But it is much harder to actually start.

It could be a new business.

A new product.

Or a new sales strategy.

So, what is the best way to start anything in business?

Should you wait until you have all the resources you need so you can start BIG?

Or should you start small even if you have all the resources you need?

Most people prefer to start big.

Big is beautiful.

Big makes you feel important, attracts attention, and is good for your ego.

That's why most people want to start big.

But guess what, this can be a big mistake.

Starting big can be very risky, can lead to big losses, and may attract the kind of attention that may hurt your business.

That's why you need to listen to this week's episode of the podcast.

What you're about to learn is not a popular opinion, but it's the truth.

You're going to learn why starting small in anything in business can give you a mighty advantage.

Aug 27, 202153:13
SBP 068: The 3 Important Leadership Styles Every Entrepreneur Should Master

SBP 068: The 3 Important Leadership Styles Every Entrepreneur Should Master

Aug 21, 202150:32
SBP 067: The Subtle But Important Difference Between A Customer And A Fan

SBP 067: The Subtle But Important Difference Between A Customer And A Fan

Every business is looking for customers.

The more customers you have, the better for your business.

But there is a problem with customers.

They can easily leave you.

Make a small mistake. Increase your prices. Or delay their orders.

And some of them will leave you.

They will leave you for another business that sells cheaper.

Customers will buy from you ONLY IF it makes sense.

That's why fans are better than customers.

A fan will buy from you and stick with you even when it doesn't make sense.

Even when you make mistakes, raise your prices, or delay their orders.

They may complain, but they will likely come back.

That's the key difference between customers and fans.

A fan doesn't just buy from your business, they actually believe in it.

They love your brand, your personality, your vision, and your values.

That's why every business needs to look beyond customers.

That’s why every business needs to convert its customers into fans.

Aug 09, 202135:20
SBP 066: 11 Intelligent Ways To Prevent Theft and Fraud in Any Business

SBP 066: 11 Intelligent Ways To Prevent Theft and Fraud in Any Business

Growth is a beautiful thing in any business.

When you grow, you make more money, serve more customers, and hire more employees.

But there’s something else that comes with growth.

It’s called complexity.

As your business grows, it becomes harder and harder to monitor everything.

It becomes harder to monitor everybody that works for you, especially their actions and decisions.

As a result, it can become easier for theft and fraud to happen in your business.

That’s when you need a system of controls to help you.

Controls will be your eyes and ears in the business even when you’re not physically present to monitor things by yourself. 

Without good controls, the owners of big and complex companies like Amazon, Dangote and Coca-Cola would not be able to sleep at night.

This is why you need to listen to this fascinating lesson.

You’re going to learn 11 intelligent and creative ways to prevent theft and fraud in any business.

The things you’re about to hear will stick with you for a long time.

Aug 02, 202154:59
SBP 065: What To Do When Your Employees Gang Up Against You

SBP 065: What To Do When Your Employees Gang Up Against You

Most businesses depend on employees to function.

But as your business grows, your employees will become key stakeholders.

And they may start to ask for more.

They could ask for higher pay and more privileges.

Or more rights and improved work conditions.

If you don’t handle these grievances, your employees may start to gang up against you.

And trust me, they can frustrate your business in so many ways.

They can reduce their productivity or refuse to work.

They could bad mouth your business to customers, distributors and suppliers.

Or they could go on social media and foul the brand and image of your business.

That’s why you should pay close attention to the lessons in today’s episode of the podcast.

You’re about to learn the major causes of employee tension and why they could gang up against you.

You will also understand the most effective ways to resolve such situations if they ever arise in your business.

Jul 24, 202101:00:41
SBP 064: The 6 Types of Advisers Every Entrepreneur Should Have

SBP 064: The 6 Types of Advisers Every Entrepreneur Should Have

You see it everywhere.

On social media, in magazines, and in casual gossip.

We like to talk about successful entrepreneurs, how much money they have, and where they rank on the Forbes list of billionaires.

We tend to see these people as successful INDIVIDUALS.

But no single individual can build a fortune or a successful business entirely on their own.

They had to rise on the shoulders of others.

They usually surround themselves with a small circle of sound and trusted advisers.

These advisers are often in the background and most people like you and I may never know their names.

But they are always there.

These advisers influence key decisions, give important insights, and provide support in times of challenges and crisis.

And if you want to achieve your big dreams in business, you need your own circle of trusted advisers.

Finding these people will take time. And for me, personally, I’m still building my circle.

That’s why you should listen to this week’s episode of the podcast.

Jul 16, 202129:36
SBP 063: How To Keep Your Job And Run A Business At The Same Time

SBP 063: How To Keep Your Job And Run A Business At The Same Time

Can you love your job and still be a successful entrepreneur?

It's very possible.

In fact, some people prefer it this way.

They don't want to give up the fulfillment, steady income, and professional achievement that comes from a full-time job.

But on the other hand, they want to do something about their passions and business ideas.

Is it possible to eat your cake and have it?

Like I said before, it's possible.

But it can also be very hard.

Dividing your attention between a full-time job and a growing business is a difficult balance.

And very often, it's common that people who don't know how to handle this balance can suffer serious physical, emotional, and financial stresses.

If you know somebody who is trying to juggle a job and a business, they're really going to learn a lot from this episode.

Jul 09, 202132:07
SBP 062: 5 Sales Strategies That Have Helped Me Well in Business

SBP 062: 5 Sales Strategies That Have Helped Me Well in Business

Every business needs customers to survive.

But like most people, I didn’t have any customers when I started my business years ago.

I had to find the first client.

And then I found the second, third, fourth client, etc.

Till today, I still have some of my early clients who have stayed on with me.

We have become friends and will remain so for a long time.

That’s why I need you to listen to this.

In this week’s episode of the podcast, I share 5 sales strategies that have helped me well in business.

You may find something here that could help boost your business.

Some of these strategies I learned by trial and error.

And some of them are the result of a deep understanding of my target market.

I’m sure you’ll learn something from this.

Jul 02, 202144:33
SBP 061: How To Grow Your Business With Other People's Money

SBP 061: How To Grow Your Business With Other People's Money

Many of the world’s most successful companies have one secret power.

They know how to use OPM.

Coca-Cola uses it.

ExxonMobil uses it. 

And several other multinationals love to use OPM.

OPM = Other People’s Money.

Many of these businesses know how to use their market power to leverage other people’s money to run and grow their businesses.

And if they can do it, you can do it too.

In this episode, I tell you why this strategy works so well.

And I also share with you 5 common sources of OPM that most businesses can use but don’t use like they should.

You’re going to learn a lot from this.

Jun 25, 202139:47
SBP 060: How To Be A Better Negotiator -- Insights from Ayuli Jemide

SBP 060: How To Be A Better Negotiator -- Insights from Ayuli Jemide

The ability to negotiate well is a very powerful business skill.

It can save you a lot of money.

And it can also make you a lot of money if you know how to use it well.

In business, you have to negotiate with people all the time.

These people could be your customers, employees, suppliers or distributors.

They could also be your business partners or investors.

That’s why you need to master negotiation skills if you want to really succeed in business.

Recently, I had a very interesting conversation with an expert business negotiator.

In the last 30 years, Ayuli Jemide has negotiated several multi-million dollar deals.

These deals include Heineken’s purchase of 5 breweries in Africa and an $80 million funding deal for a major manufacturing business, among others.

In this episode of the Smallstarter Business Podcast, he shares several interesting insights on negotiation.

Jun 18, 202101:01:18
SBP 059: Products or Services -- Which One Makes A Better Business?

SBP 059: Products or Services -- Which One Makes A Better Business?

There are only 3 ways a business can make money in this world.

It can sell products.

It can sell services.

Or it can sell both.

But is there any advantage in selling a product instead of a service?

Or is it easier and more profitable to sell services instead of products?

This is a question most entrepreneurs must consider before investing time, energy, and money into a business.

And if you already have a business, will your next revenue stream come from a new product or a new service?

In today’s episode, you’re going to learn some interesting things about the two types of businesses.

What you’re about to hear could change how you think about your business and what you’re offering to your customers.

Jun 11, 202151:18
SBP 058: How To Find, Hire & Keep Good Employees in Your Business

SBP 058: How To Find, Hire & Keep Good Employees in Your Business

There are two things that can kill a business.

The first is capital or funds.

Many businesses die early because they can’t access the funds they need to grow or scale the business.

But when you have the funds you need, the problem is solved.

The second thing that kills businesses is a much more stubborn problem.

That thing is staff or human resources.

Finding good people that will build and grow your business is a major headache for many entrepreneurs.

Also, managing people is really difficult.

But there are those businesses that have cracked the code of finding, hiring and keeping good employees.

And in today’s episode, you’re going to learn 6 tricks that I got from one of those entrepreneurs who has cracked this code.

You’re going to learn a lot from this.

Jun 04, 202140:30
SBP 057: Should You Sell On Credit To Your Customers?

SBP 057: Should You Sell On Credit To Your Customers?

Should you give credit to your customers?

I was training a group of entrepreneurs recently when this question came up.

Credit is a very divisive topic for business owners.

Some entrepreneurs love giving credit because it has helped to build their businesses.

Some have lost money to customers who never paid back.

And some others have a strong policy against giving credit to customers.

Credit is a double-edged sword.

If you manage it well, it can help to significantly boost sales and customer retention.

But if you don’t manage it well, you could end up with a lot of unpaid debts.

So, how should you make the decision to give (or not to give) credit to your customers?

That’s exactly what you’re going to learn in today’s lesson.

What you’re about to learn could make a big difference in how you run your business.

May 28, 202135:34
SBP 056: How To Make Money From Your Knowledge And Time

SBP 056: How To Make Money From Your Knowledge And Time

Knowledge is money.

People will pay for what you know.

People will pay for what you can do.

And that’s why most of the highest earners in today’s world make their money from knowledge.

Lawyers, doctors, investment bankers, consultants, computer programmers, sales professionals, etc.

All these people make money from specialised knowledge.

But not all knowledge is valuable enough to be paid for.

You need to know something that can save people money, pain, mistakes, inconvenience, or regret.

But there is a problem.

How do you charge for the knowledge you have?

How do you package what you know in a way that places a premium on your time and access?

Some people have unique and valuable knowledge but they don’t know how to exchange it for money.

And that’s exactly what you’re going to learn in today’s episode.

In this episode of the Smallstarter Business Podcast, you will learn how to package your knowledge into 3 types of services that you can charge different prices for.

You’re going to learn a lot from this.

May 25, 202139:24
SBP 055: A "House Brand" versus a "House of Brands"

SBP 055: A "House Brand" versus a "House of Brands"

Can you hate a company and still give them your money?

It happens all the time.

Take Facebook for example.

Some people don’t use Facebook.

They prefer Instagram or WhatsApp instead.

But Facebook doesn’t care.

It owns both Instagram and WhatsApp and will still get your time and money.

Another example.

Some people don’t like Coke because of its high sugar content.

They would rather buy Eva bottled water or one of the Chivita fruit juices.

But guess what?

CocaCola doesn’t care.

That’s because CocaCola will still get your money because it owns both Eva and Chivita brands. 

But there’s also another interesting trick.

Richard Branson has built “Virgin” into one of the most successful brands in the world.

As a result, he can launch a new and unknown product and quickly make a lot of money just by sticking the Virgin name on it.

He has done it successfully with an airline, a bank, gyms, book publishing, and travel companies.

Africa’s richest man -- Aliko Dangote -- also follows the same strategy.

Almost every product in his empire carries the “Dangote” name -- from cement, sugar, salt, and pasta, to the new refinery.

So, how come?

How come companies like Facebook and CocaCola use different names for their products?

And how come entrepreneurs like Branson and Dangote prefer to use the same name on all their products?

It’s not a coincidence.

It’s a deliberate strategy.

And you’re about to learn how this strategy works in today’s exciting episode.

May 14, 202135:34
SBP 054: The 4 Types of Businesses Most Entrepreneurs Have

SBP 054: The 4 Types of Businesses Most Entrepreneurs Have

What kind of business do you want to build?

The Indians and Lebanese, for example, are famous for building legacy businesses.

The father builds a business that his kids can inherit and continue after he’s gone.

As a result, they start getting their kids involved in the business from an early age.

In America and Europe, the taste is different.

Many entrepreneurs, especially in tech, prefer to build a business they can sell for a lot of money.

The goal is to build a valuable business that allows you to retire early.

But for entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, they will never retire early or sell their companies.

These kinds of entrepreneurs are building their business for a very different reason.

So, what kind of business are you building?

In this week’s episode of the podcast, I explore the 4 major types of businesses that most entrepreneurs build.

The kind of business you build will determine the kind of funding or capital you can raise.

The kind of business you build will influence your business strategies and the key decisions you make in your business.

You’re going to learn a lot from listening to this.

May 07, 202141:53
SBP 053: How To Make Word-of-Mouth Marketing Work for Your Business

SBP 053: How To Make Word-of-Mouth Marketing Work for Your Business

I know some businesses that have never spent a single $$ on marketing.

Still, they keep getting more customers.

How’s that even possible?

How do they do it?

It’s the oldest marketing strategy ever created by entrepreneurs, but it still works very well even till today.

It’s a marketing strategy your competitors will find hard to copy.

And even if they had all the money in the world, they still can’t buy it with money.

It’s called word-of-mouth marketing.

There is nobody who can sell you better than your satisfied customers.

Many entrepreneurs underestimate the power of making ambassadors out of their customers.

That’s why I’m exploring this topic in this week’s episode.

You will learn the 5 big benefits of making sales through referrals from your existing customers.

I will also tell you three things you can quickly and easily do that will make your customers do your marketing for you.

There’s a lot to learn in today’s episode.

Apr 30, 202153:58
SBP 052: Tricky Clauses To Watch Out For In Contracts With Investors

SBP 052: Tricky Clauses To Watch Out For In Contracts With Investors

It's a wonderful feeling.

After working so hard on your business, you have finally raised money from an investor.

It feels so good to have big money in the bank.

Now, you can stop worrying about paying rent and salaries, and focus on growing the business.

But there is a problem.

There's a contract you signed with the investor.

It was a 16-page contract.

And it contained several clauses and terms you really didn't understand.

But you were too excited to bother because you have been struggling to raise money for a long time.

As a result, you signed the document and shook hands with the investor to seal the deal.

After almost of decade of working on deals that involve both entrepreneurs and investors, I've always noticed something very interesting:

Entrepreneurs always focus on the money.

But investors always focus on the contract.

As a result, some entrepreneurs take money without knowing how much power and control they have lost in their company.

Last year, after raising millions of $$$, two (popular) entrepreneurs in Nigeria got fired from their companies.

Yes, they were fired by their investors.

And that's why you need to listen to today's episode of the podcast.

You're about to learn some interesting things about the tricky parts of investor contracts every entrepreneur needs to understand.

Apr 16, 202151:30
SBP 051: How To Create A STRONG Competitive Advantage For Your Business

SBP 051: How To Create A STRONG Competitive Advantage For Your Business

“I will give you a better price.”

This is what many entrepreneurs say when they want to convince a customer to buy.

By offering a lower price, you can beat the competition, right?

But there’s a problem.

Pricing is easy to copy.

Most of your competitors can see what you’re doing and lowering their prices to attract customers too.

And as a result, all of you are competing on price.

If you sell for $100 today, the other shop down the road will sell for $90.

And if you come down to $85, they will beat you to $80.

But the question is, how low are you prepared to go?

And this is why low prices alone are not a sustainable way to create a strong competitive advantage for a business.

Low prices alone do not always keep loyal customers.

Your customers will only stay loyal until another business can offer them prices that are lower than yours.

That’s why you need to listen to today’s lesson.

I’m going to show you how to create a strong competitive advantage for your business that is hard to copy.

If you can combine good pricing with one of the 5 options I’m about to share with you, you will get better at attracting customers who will be loyal to you.


Apr 09, 202133:16
SBP 050: The Amazing Power of Discipline, Consistency and Patience in Business

SBP 050: The Amazing Power of Discipline, Consistency and Patience in Business

Good things take time.

But we now live in a generation that sees patience as weakness and stupidity.

We now live in an age of fast food, fast money, and fast results.

Most people don't want to wait. 

We want the rewards right now.

But building a valuable business takes time.

It takes discipline, consistency, and patience.

And for entrepreneurs who are trying to build a business that creates value over the long term, this is a very difficult time.

Today’s lesson is about you.

Most people don’t want to do difficult things these days. If it’s hard, most people will avoid it.

And that’s exactly what gives you the advantage.

The competition for hard and difficult things is far less.

Entrepreneurship is a marathon.

And marathons are won by endurance, not speed.

If you believe very strongly in the potential of your business, give it time.

In today’s episode, I talk about the amazing power of discipline, consistency, and patience in business.

You’re going to learn something from this.

Apr 02, 202134:01
SBP 049: How to Get Out of Debt When Your Business Owes A Lot of Money

SBP 049: How to Get Out of Debt When Your Business Owes A Lot of Money

What do you do when your business owes a lot of money?

You took money from people close to you. And you also borrowed money from the bank.

You asked for that money because of the belief and confidence you had in the potential of your business.

But then, some things went wrong.

The market changed. The product didn't sell as much as you expected. Or some unexpected misfortune hit your business.

And now you're owing a lot of money.

You feel a deep sense of personal shame, embarrassment, and disappointment.

You're afraid of taking phone calls from your creditors, and you have started avoiding them.

You're feeling a lot of stress and anxiety. You can't sleep. And you're starting to slip into depression.

What do you do when your business is neck-deep in debt?

This is a situation many entrepreneurs are going through, especially after the COVID-19 crisis.

And today, you're going to learn some very interesting insights about how to get out of debt when your business owes a lot of money.

Mar 26, 202152:30