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TRIGGER

The stay at home order caused by the Covid 19 pandemic has led many to touch their saving. When the order was withdrawn, many jobs had been lost. This has led many into depression

The few who are lucky to still have their job are heaped with more workload. The organization need to deliver or else risk another level of retrenchment. Every employee is in fear of loosing their job. Buisness owners have to make it by hook or crook to avoid closure.

This year, saints have turned rogues. Clergies are taking looting warehouses. Everyone is frustrated. Parents yell at children on the slightest provocation..

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buisness life nigeria

Loosing friendship over money

I am pissed off. Can you Imagine a friend just ripped me off? He sold a counterfeit product for the price twice the authentic one. I usually buy the product myself. This time around, I got no time to go to the market to identify the authentic one so I asked him to deliver one for me since he is a dealer. The price he called was expensive. Yet I decided to go ahead with the transaction hoping to get a super- original grade. Lo and behold, he delivered a substandard product. What annoyed me most was he had the courage to look me in the eye and lie to me that they were authentic. He felt I was a novice that would easily fall for his deceit.

I recounted this experience to a mutual friend. He did not look surprised .

This is a dog eat dog world .There is no friend in buisness . “Treat your friends the same way you would treat a stranger” is one unwritten law of buisness.

These words hurt me more. As much as I felt angry, I could tell it was true. My attention drifted to the entire economic system.we live in a world that priorities loosing a dear friend to loosing a penny. Competition is favored over cooperation in this masculine led society. To get up, one must step on the toes of others .To win, others must loose . To retain the job of a marketer, one must make a certain number of sales before a given deadline . It does not matter how you do it .- manipulate clients, sleep with them etc The end justifies the mean. The system promote cheating . Those who can break their values climb faster. The compassionate ones loose out.

The society encourages us to value money over our honor. The trader who cheats,misleads and overcharges and then seek to square himself with conscience by saying” lying is absolutely necessary for buisness is worshipped. The man who makes promises he cannot keep to get position is elevated .Many buisness- minded individuals ventured into sanitizer production during this covid 19 period. Some sold adulterated  version to increase profit.

The pressure can turn a saint into a crook.Can we have a society where money is not considered as priority. A society that values human virtues of honestly, kindness, fairness, forgiveness? A society where buisness is not done primarily for reward or money. Service is rendered because one enjoys the service first and money is a representative of the economic value of the service rendered. I have seen people advertise and sell goods they do not use. The motivation is to sell anything to make money without concern for the process of production or the effectiveness of product. . It begins with you and I.

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africa buisness

Signs You Are Bad At Your Job and Will Be Fired Soon

here is more than one way to find out whether or not you are in the right field, or working the right position. If you hate going in to work each day, and dread the weekend’s end, it is one sign; but, there are other signs you are bad at your job, which may be an indication that it is time for you to start looking for a new job, or consider an entirely new career path for you to follow.

Infrequent restructuring and layoffs were the only things an employee could worry about in the past, but a lot has changed nowadays considering the tough economic times. For instance, companies are going through bankruptcies, non-stop downsizing and even the illusion of job security will soon be a thing of the past. These factors have seen the job layoffs and unemployment numbers rise to double digits.

It is quite evident that no one would like to be caught unaware, especially when it comes to losing a job. Nonetheless, how can you know if you will be fired soon? Here are 7 warning signs to look out for.

. You always get left out –

If you are a loner at your job, and find that you can’t fit in with anyone who works in the office, it might not be the right place for you to work. It is one thing if you clash personalities with a few co-workers; but, it is an entirely different thing if you can’t get along with one person, managers, or any employee in the same office.

Whether it is the position, or the employer, it is time for you to start looking elsewhere, because you might not be suited for what you are currently doing.

You never get assignments –

If you work with a larger team, or are working on new projects at your job, but you are never chosen as a team leader, or even part of a team, it may be a sign your co-workers are hinting that you are not great at your job.

If you always end up being chosen last, or do not get big work assignments, your co-workers and managers might be pointing at the sign that you are not the top choice, and are not the best qualified to do certain tasks.

You don’t get raises –
When all other employees get a 1% annual pay increase, or higher, yet you have had the same salary for a few years, it may be a sign that you are just getting by. If you do not excel, your managers are not going to give you a raise; and, if you are constantly the only person that doesn’t get a raise, it may be one of the signs you are bad at your job. A raise is your employ’er way of thanking you for your hard work, and great service; if you never receive a raise, it may be their way of letting you know that you are not doing work to a satisfactory level within the organization.

4. You never receive promotions –
If you have tried or promotions in the past, if you have applied for different positions within the organization, and if you are always passed up for a higher position within the organization, it may be a sign that you do not have what it takes to work in that position. Especially if you have worked for your employer for several years, and have seen others, who have been there for a shorter period of time, getting promotions, then you might want to reassess the work you do. Although you have not gotten fired yet, if you can’t move, or can’t seem to get past doing the same menial tasks, day in and day out, it may be a sign that your employer is giving you, that you are in the wrong position, or that you are never going to make it past the current position that you hold.

No work pressure

In the corporate scene, it is quite common for everyone to complain of the work pressure that comes with being allocated a lot of responsibilities and projects. However, if you are that kind of a person who floats free because you have less work than your colleagues, then there is always a high chance that this could be one of the most obvious signs you will be fired soon.

Basically, this is a clear sign that your skills are no longer valuable to your superiors who see no future prospects for you in the company. Ideally, no work pressure essentially implies no work soon.

You’re no longer in the loop

If you feel you no longer know what’s happening in the company or your office, then your clock has just started ticking. You can rest assured that you are no longer in the loop if memos are sent out or important decisions that you previously would have been consulted on are made without your knowledge.

For instance, if you use to be consulted during important recruitment decisions, and you walk into your office just to realize that someone new has been hired, get ready to hit the job hunting road very soon.

You don’t get along with your boss
When things get really bad, people tend to run in the other direction, and an impending job termination is actually no different. This is actually one of the most common signs that indicate you will be fired soon. You can tell if your job is in imminent jeopardy if your boss seems standoffish or rather unfriendly because he/she isn’t sure of the best way to break the news to you. But take heart, some bosses can even fire you without a second thought if the distance between you and them gets wider.

The current prevailing economic times have become very tough to the point that mergers or even take overs are becoming more rampant. Mergers and acquisitions can imply that the deck will be shuffled by the new bosses, and hence you must ensure that you hold your cards firmly even if you are told that your job is safe.

ou made a colossal mistake
It is pretty obvious that everyone makes mistakes, but you our job could be in real danger if you made a noticeable one, even if you are not to blame for it entirely. Basically, there are some mistakes an employer cannot ignore, such as stealing or sharing company’s confidential information. You will definitely get fired if you make a colossal mistake that can cost the company its reputation, but you can take responsibility by dismissing it as a minor slip.

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buisness Uncategorized

The Analysis of A Soap Making Micro-Business in Nigeria

Microfinance and Development

As a Financial Sustainability Officer of Alliance Microfinance Bank (AMFB) in Abuja, Nigeria,
this blog is written to analyse the strengths and limitations of a micro-business in that area.

In Africa, millions of people died of preventable diseases due to unclean water, and poor
sanitation and hygiene (Uniever 2014). To tackle against the issue, have you ever thought of
‘selling soap’ as a way to do so?

Image

Mrs. Regina Olusegun started her soap making micro-business in Nigeria with N9,000 (AU$60)
(Ibrahim 2013b). She produces products like herbal soap and liquid wash simply in her house in
Abuja (Ibrahim 2013a). The business has grown quickly, and nowadays, she produces about 20-30 containers every week. With a low cost of production, it is quite profitable as the smaller
packages are sold for N600 (AU$4) each while the bigger ones go for N1,000 (AU$6.5) each
(Ibrahim 2013b).

“The bathing soap is herbal which is good for the body and I started by making it for my
family but because of the medicinal effect, neighbours started buying it and that was
how the business started.” – (Olusegun 2013a)

The reasons why this business is selected:

1. It is an innovative approach to the developing world and there is a great demand from the
local people.

2. The business is small-scale, easy and can be profitable.

3. It can bring great social impact to the current situation of poor hygiene and sanitation in
Nigeria since hand-washing with soap is reported to be able to reduce diarrhea by 42%
(Indiegogo 2014).

4. In an interview, Mrs. Olusegun shared about her failed application for the federal government
YouWin program and she has not tried to access loan yet (Ibrahim 2013b). Therefore, she has
a need to search for financial support for further investment in assets and facilities. And by
accepting her as a client and helping her a little bit, she can do greater things and draw us into a
win-win situation.

Meanwhile, there are both strengths and limitations of the business.

Strengths:

1) Financial sustainability

It has already been considered as a sustainable business with the power of profitability and high
demand from local customers.

“I make at least N20, 000 (AU$131.5) profits each time I produce. It is a very lucrative
business, there is no time that I produce and I do not sell because I have people who also
buy and re-sell.” – (Olusegun 2013b)

2) Concern for the needs of others

This is not just a business for self-gain, but Mrs. Olusegun also trains people in soap making
for a token as an act of empowerment (Ibrahim 2013a). She has a desire to raise up
more workers when she sets up a factory so it can bring a positive multiplier effect to the
community by increasing opportunities of employment (Ibrahim 2013a).  By concerning both
financial return and social impact at the same time, it stands as a healthy business.

Image

3) Strong belief of the entrepreneur

Mrs. Olusegun did not want to go into food business, and later on, she found soap making as
her dream job through self-learning from books (Ibrahim 2013a). From my personal experience,
if I love my job, I would work with determination and passion. That’s why it is so important to
find her building her business by faith.

Limitations:

1) Barrier to access to suppliers

There is the possibility of a long distance travel to the main area of Nigeria to purchase soap
making ingredients, and the journey can be time consuming and dangerous (Power of Hope
Kibera n.d.). Besides, it is difficult for the women to carry heavy ingredients back to the slum
(Power of Hope Kibera n.d.).

2) Rise of competitors

Due to the high demand, there are many similar businesses expected to rise up. Competitors
have to be watched out although Mrs. Olusegun has targeted on customer loyalty through
relationships with neighbours.

3) Unregistered business

The business could not be registered with the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration
and Control (NAFDAC) because she was told by NAFDAC to get a factory first even though
they were satisfied with her products (Ibrahim 2013b). Therefore, the challenge of transferring
her business from home to a factory remains a big obstacle (Ibrahim 2013b).

In order to expand the business, the following suggestions can be considered:

1. By accessing to a financial sustainable focused MFI like us, Mrs. Olusegun can use the loan
to get a factory so that the business can be registered. Moreover, she can get more assets, e.g.
soap making machines, and train up more labours, especially young females, to continue the
business for next generation through women empowerment. Microfinance can also support her
through hiring specialists for transportation and delivery of products.

Image

2. ‘Soap calculator’ can be used to minimise the expenditure in ingrediants and maximise the
financial return (MakeSoup Biz 2012). Here’s an example of the calcuating method:
http://www.makesoap.biz/soapcalculator

3. The business can be more specific to customers’ needs and invest in other potential products,
e.g. detergents, to provide alternative of choices (Olaade Nigeria Venture 2011). Consequently,
it can be more competitive.

4. Following the example of EcoSOAP (2011) in Kenya, the business can look for potential
clients ranged from cleaning companies, hotels, restaurants, schools, offices, homes and
commercial establishments. Therefore, a sustainable rapport can be built in the local area.

References:

EcoSOAP 2011, Our Clients, Detergents & Toiletries, viewed on 4 April 2014,
[http://ecosoap-kenya.kbo.co.ke/Our+Clients]

Ibrahim, O. R 2013a, Nigeria: ‘I Got My Breakthrough From Soap Making’, Daily Trust, allAfrica,
viewed on 4 April 2014, [http://allafrica.com/stories/201303181390.html]

Ibrahim, O. R 2013b, Nigeria: ‘I Got My Breakthrough From Soap Making’, Daily Trust, allAfrica,
viewed on 4 April 2014, [http://allafrica.com/stories/201303181390.html?page=2]

Indiegogo 2014, Why Soap? Because it works., Power of Hope Kibera, The Power of Soap in
Africa’s Largest Slum, viewed on 4 April 2014,
[https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-power-of-soap-in-africa-s-largest-slum]

Olaade Nigeria Venture 2011, Soap And Other Small Scale Product Manuel, Soap,
viewed on 4 April 2014,  [http://olaadenigeria.gnbo.com.ng/]

Olusegun, R 2013a, Nigeria: ‘I Got My Breakthrough From Soap Making’, Daily Trust, allAfrica,
viewed on 4 April 2014,
[http://allafrica.com/stories/201303181390.html]

Olusegun, R 2013b, Nigeria: ‘I Got My Breakthrough From Soap Making’, Daily Trust, allAfrica,
viewed on 4 April 2014, [http://allafrica.com/stories/201303181390.html?page=2]

MakeSoup Biz 2012, Saponification Calculator, viewed on 4 April 2014,
[http://www.makesoap.biz/soapcalculator]

Power of Hope Kibera n.d., Micro-Enterprise, Model Development, viewed on 4 April,
[http://pohk.org/pohk-model/model-development/]

Uniever 2014, Our Perspective, Health & Hygiene, Sustainable Living, viewed on 4 April 2014,
[http://www.unilevernigeria.com/sustainable-living/healthandhygiene/]

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