ENTREPRENEURSHIP: IDEAS AND CREATIVITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS SUCCESS - PART 1


Every business starts with an idea. Two persons can have same idea but the packaging of the idea is what makes the difference. Using schools as our example, today, all around us in Nigeria, we can see private schools –Creche, Pre-nursery, Nursery, primary, secondary, and university.

At every level, you can see they are of different classes. The proprietors and proprietresses all had the idea- establishing a school. But when the ideas are activated, we see schools in different styles.

They all have same idea but creativity is what differentiates them. The deciding factor of most ideas is Creativity. When you are Creative, your idea becomes unique.

Making your idea unique is something no one can do for you, you have to do it yourself. The best thing any expert around you can do is to assist you, but the concept has to come from you; your taste defines your business.

BECOMING CREATIVE:

1.      DO A SWOT ANALYSIS.  Begin with yourself: Know your strengths and weaknesses alongside that of your competitors. Your strength is what you are competent and very good at.

They are your skills, talents, experiences, knowledge, available resources ( time, money, energy level, access to Information, Customer data base & so on) .Use your strength to work on the opportunities in your industry.

Your weaknesses are those things you lack but are required to succeed in your business. They could be short of resources & capabilities, negative attitude, people’s skill, amongst others. Weaknesses can be improved upon, if you accept that they are your weaknesses and desire a change.

Be cautious on how you handle your weaknesses; they can make you vulnerable to your competitors.

Know your strengths and weaknesses alongside that of your competitors. Do a research on your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Their weaknesses could be what they’re not doing well or what they should have that they don’t have.


Look at all the opportunities you have in the market alongside the threats. Opportunities – New markets you can find through your products. Use your strength to devour your opportunities.

2.     CREATE VALUE: your main reason for being in business is to create value; this should be your priority. You can ignore other this listed here, but take this more seriously, as negligence of this can run you out of business. Ensure your product or service meets the demand and sometimes supersede the demands of your final consumers.

3.     DARE TO BE DIFFERENT:  Differentiating is what makes consumers come for your products and services How do you differentiate your product or service in an overcrowded market place? Of a truth, the market/ industries are overcrowded with different products and services that can be sometime confusing to consumers when making buying decisions.

 Sit down and think on how best your product or service could be done to stand distinct from others. It must be different from others, in that, it will have more value than the rest in the market.  

Set a standard that will take a long time for your competitors to catch up. If you are in the furniture making business, make sure you have a better quality, price, delivery time, aftersales services, and so on.

Create an identity for yourself. You can only learn from people but you cannot be like them. You can only be better or worst. You can be second best if you insist. You must be convinced about your product/service and be willing to pay the amount you’re offering. Over believe in your idea.

4.      SAMPLE YOUR PRODUCT/ SERVICE: This is Very necessary, as it helps you know what your potential customers feel about your product before it finally gets to them. Get the opinion of people by giving them to use maybe for free or at a discounted price.

5.     CREATE A NEED: You don’t only wait to meet a need at the market place; create a need and address it. According to Steve Jobs, sometimes customers don’t know what they want until you show them.

Creativity demands you look at both ends- creating a need and meeting it- else you will be lagging behind. Waiting for customers to tell you what they want might put you in a fix. How can people who don’t know what they want, show you what they want?

The iphones and ipads we have today are good examples. There are people today that cannot use anything other than a ‘touch screen’ phone. The normal phones are now stressful to them because a genius introduced touch screen phones.

6.     PRODUCT RE-ENGINEERING: Take a critical look at your product or service. Assume you are the end user. Imagine what your customers will love to see in your product or service. To be on track, do a survey around you so as to know how best to improve on your product.

When you get customers opinion and how they want your product to be, you can integrate their demand into the existing product. You must be careful doing this, some customers may not like the new design and may opt for another product.

Sometimes it’s better to leave the product the way it is and develop another product that will have the existing features plus the demands of customers.

TIPS ON HOW TO BE CREATIVE: 

1.       OBSERVE. Before you can come up with a brilliant idea, you need to openly receive information from the world around you, use the technique called Mindfulness. Paying attention to what is happening at the moment in your industry. With this, you’ll catch more ideas on how to make things better.

2.      STUDY: study with everything you know you can get knowledge from. Read books, magazines, journals, browse the internet- google trends, yahoo, ehow, news sites- watch videos, listen to tapes and pod casts, attend trainings, get involved in discussions, visit relevant places, etc.

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