It is with great joy and fulfilment that I bring to you this first issue of Business Quotient. The incubation period for this tool meant for the liberation of SMEs and make them very competitive is finally complete. And here’s the material substance for the brainchild.


My experience running Lorache SME Academy, an academy that trains and consults for entrepreneurs within the SME (Small Medium Enterprise) keeps me consistently proffering solutions to the challenges that bothers a growing businesses and encouraging  them not only survive but thrive. My passion to see SMEs succeed is further propelled by the proven fact that 80% of the gross domestic product of Nigeria’s economy is from the SMEs.

This answer by James Altucher originally appeared on Quora as an answer to the question: What are a few things that very successful people never do?

This is one of those questions where I give “the rules” and then at the end of the post I can say “and the last rule is to break all of the rules”.

It’s almost a rule of “rules” posts that you have to have that at the end.

You know why? Because we are all individuals. We all get physically healthy in different ways, for instance.


Once a customer asks for a price quote, we are tempted to just give them the total cost for their service or product. But a lot more should go into preparing a good price quote.

The truth is that there’s a lot more to think about than just the number because a price quote is so much more than just the price. It is a window into you, your business, and what the customer can expect if they do business with you. Well-informed customers can find a lot of information in your quote well beyond price.

Happy entrepreneu

If you live in Nigeria, there has never been a better time to become an entrepreneur like now. Declining oil prices have wiped away every definition we once held about our economy. And for us, it is time to start providing substitutes to things we easily used to import with our petrodollars-that have now vanished into thin air.


The Bank of Industry have received partnership offers from Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), Venture Garden Group (VGG) and Omidyar Network (ON) to launch N1 billion seed capital to support ‘next generation infrastructure’ technology builders in Nigeria over the next two years.

online business

Today there are millions of people who are getting a full-time income with their business online and many others who are doing part-time from the comfort of their own home.

Internet business people set their own hours, live where they want to live and have free time and money to spend with their family and friends doing the things they enjoy doing.

Pat Utomi Competition

Business Plan Competition


Pat Utomi @ 60 Business Plan Competition organized in partnership with the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) at Pan Atlantic University. Young entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply
Applications must be received before the 26th January 2016 deadline.
Apply here

2016 …find your own path

small business

Small businesses often feel as if they are at a disadvantage competing with large businesses. They feel as if customers are likely to consider a larger company more reliable than a smaller competitor.

However, a smaller business need not fear a larger rival if customers believe that the smaller company can build and maintain credibility.

Most people believe that credibility comes from spending big money on branding and advertising. Nothing could be further from the truth.


Digital marketing is something every entrepreneur has to give due consideration to. Not an online business you say. Too bad because that doesn’t excuse you from anything. Even local, land-based businesses have to focus on the online arena, as that’s where their target audiences are.

  1. Mobile Is Now

Audiences aren’t shifting more to browsing via mobile devices. They are already there. Over 50% of all Internet users are now operating exclusively on mobile devices. If you haven’t made your site responsive and geared everything towards smaller screens, you’re in trouble. First, Google will actively penalize you in the search results, consequently reducing your audience. Second, your existing customers will become increasingly frustrated and alienated.

  1. Micro-Moments

The easiest way to define this is by relating it to impulse shopping. Portability and accessibility in the business world has led to the rise of micro-moments. You have mere seconds to fulfill a customer’s need. Your company has to have a platform that operates 24/7 in order to cater to anyone wherever they are.

  1. Using Apps

Apps are becoming the ultimate way to reach your audience. A quick look at the TV and you will see just how many companies are advertising their apps instead of their core businesses. This is because many customers are ignoring browsers and going straight for apps. If you don’t already have a related app for your business, now is the time to address that.

  1. Consider The Internet Of Things

The Internet of Things is a modern phenomenon relating to how ordinary every-day objects can, and are expected to, connect with a network. In other words, our phones turned from a simple way to make calls to connecting to the Internet. Smart home technology is another example of how the Internet of Things is taking hold. This is yet to become an absolute ‘must’ for businesses as it’s still in its infancy, but you should already be considering what you’re going to do about it. For now, this may be as simple as an app or thinking about the wider impact of your products and services.

  1. Branding and Brand Management

The definition of branding for digital marketers has changed. It once referred to printing business cards, coming up with a website, and slapping a logo on it. Your brand extends to everything, now, especially how you are going to communicate with customers. Branding for businesses in 2016 must be holistic. It must include delving into potentially difficult topics like reputation and crisis management. Brands that succeed in the long run plan for every possible eventuality. All it takes is a co-worker to say the wrong thing and it can completely smear the company’s reputation.

  1. Pushing People Through The Door

According to Edward James, CEO of Go Up, “SEO was once measured by the amount of traffic flowing to a website. Digital marketers made their money through getting people through the door. What happened afterwards was none of their concern. Now the responsibilities of the digital marketer have changed. It’s less about pushing people through the door and more about monitoring them throughout the entire purchasing process.” The digital marketer must concentrate on all steps of the buying process. In addition, after that they have to think about how they are going to retain customers in the long-term.

  1. Live Streaming

Live streaming through platforms like Periscope and Twitch are on the up. Many companies have dismissed them as novelties that don’t need to be considered. Nevertheless, digital marketers have managed to turn them into dollar signs. Don’t underestimate the desire of customers to see what’s going on inside an operation. While we can’t give you any concrete tactics for how to utilize live streaming for the benefit of your business, what we can say is this is something to watch. Digital marketing is set to become more interactive than ever before, and part of this revolution will come from harnessing the potential of live streaming.


Digital marketing is not something you want to ignore if you really want turn your business into a success story. The time is now to take advantage of it. If you don’t know enough about it, hire someone. Nevertheless, whatever you do don’t let your competitors pass you by.

  • AJ Agrawal (Forbes)


small business concept with related word cloud handwritten on blackboard

Every small business owner knows that financing can be simultaneously one of the most important and most difficult challenges a company faces. There’s startup capital, there’s funds to tide you through the lean years, there’s money needed to expand your scope. We’ll break down your options for financing a business, and walk through the process for acquiring funds.

  1. Small business loans

If you need a significant amount of capital to fund your business, a small business loan can provide hundreds of thousands of dollars at a relatively low interest rate. You might find yourself borrowing money you don’t need, but all things considered, a small business loan is one of the less expensive ways to secure funding. If you go this route, consider a credit union or community lender instead of a big, nationwide bank. The former group approves around 50% of applications, while the latter approves just 17%.

  1. Crowdfunding platforms

Kickstarter, Indiegogo and the like offer a way to go directly to the masses and solicit funding. You’ve probably heard how they work: you make your pitch and post it on the platform, and people can contribute toward your fundraising goal. In some cases, you can keep the money you raise even if you don’t make your goal; with others, it’s all or nothing. The downside of these platforms is that the transaction cost can be quite steep, ranging from 5-10% of the amount raised. Unless your business is easily understood by consumers and has a sexy story, you might be better off pursuing other options.

  1. Advance orders

If you have a clear value proposition and already have customers lined up, consider raising money through advance orders or pre-sale. This not only provides you with working capital, but it also serves to validate your business idea in a way that no amount of market research can.

  1. Personal assets and savings

The simplest form of funding to acquire is your pre-existing money – your investor pitch is pretty easy. You can also lower the interest rates on your loan by offering up your home or car as collateral. But there are significant risks to cashing in your 401(k), taking out a personally guaranteed loan, or using your emergency funds.

Think of it this way. Typically, when you work for someone else, your money is diversified. You have some money in potentially high-risk investments, you have some (promised) money in your job, you might have guaranteed health care benefits that will continue for a while if you lose your job, you have wealth in your house, and you have risk-free money in deposit accounts. If you cash in your investments and savings, you’re income streams are entirely dependent on your business doing well. That’s hardly a diverse portfolio, and one that exposes you to significant risk.

  1. Grants

Finally, you can take advantage of grants from non-profits and government alike. There are loads of grants being offered to small business start-ups in the country. You can do a research on-line to see a potential one you can apply for. One of such grants is the Tony Elumelu Empowerement Programme (TEEP), enrollment has already begun.

– Tim Chen, Contributor


First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited has declared the introduction of a tracking and reconciliation solution known as ’FCMB E-invoicing to help SMEs in the Nigerian banking industry.

The solution, FCMB E-invoicing, according to a statement, is a unique payment offering, designed to help SMEs keep track of their cashflow, especially as it affects payments, receivables, reconciliation and other financial transactions, through internet banking, cards and other channels.

“In addition, this value added offering from FCMB combines basic inventory management and accounting (with electronic payment) services. This provides SME customers with tripartite advantages of; convenience of receiving payments regardless of the bank’s card used, the ease of generating and sending invoices to their customers and the means to be competitive in their business space,” the bank added.

FCMB’s Retail Banking Divisional Head, Mr. Olu Akanmu, explained that: “This offering is to demonstrate the bank’s value as a helpful financial institution and further amplify our commitment to enhance the operations and fast-track the growth of SMEs.

“We understand that one of the best ways to grow SMEs is to offer products and services that are simple, convenient, secure and at the same time add significant value to their businesses.

“We are excited to pioneer this initiative. It is another testimony of our unequalled commitment in offering exceptional offerings. We always want to go the extra mile to satisfy our customers and this is sustained by investing in initiatives that enhance customer experience and best practices as an inclusive lender.”

Akanmu further stated that FCMB supports its SME customers with collections and payments platforms that are convenient, easy to use and that help to manage their receivables and collections effectively with their customers, ensuring that our SME customers maximize the full potential of their business opportunities.

The Group Head, SME Banking of the bank, Mr. George Ogbonnaya also said that with the introduction of the solution, the bank had taken its alternate channels to another height.

Ogbonnaya explained that apart from the flexible nature of the platform, it has other features such as instant invoice generation, the ability to bill clients instantly, track and monitor payments, reconcile receivables and allows businesses make payments conveniently to their suppliers.

The Group Head disclosed that signing up to FCMB e-invoicing was at no extra cost to SMEs, adding that FCMB E-invoicing solution provides various benefits to users including enabling customers keep tab on their daily sales and cash flow, reconcile daily receivables, including those by cash, card or credit sales, customers who need to electronically present invoices to their clients as well as to those who are comfortable to receive payments via alternate channels, among other transactions.

  • Anthony Nwaka (Footprint to Africa)
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