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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, ...
 
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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…
 
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 o…
 
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 t…
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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…
 
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, ene…
 
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 resourc…
 
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…
 
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 al…
 
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 …
 
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 …
 
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 th…
 
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 cont…
 
“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, al…
 
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 a…
 
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 …
 
Can a small business have a strong brand? These days, “branding” is one of the fastest ways to make an entrepreneur or business owner spend money. The industry is booming, and it’s not surprising we have a lot of branding experts these days. But branding is a two-edged sword. If you understand the value of branding and use it to your advantage, a s…
 
Raising money for a business is hard. Some people have been rejected by banks and investors so many times they’ve lost count. Still, every day, deals are being closed. And that’s because one of the key ways investors and banks make money is by giving money to entrepreneurs and businesses for interest or return. But that doesn’t mean getting their m…
 
You have a very good product, but nobody is buying it. The few people who have tried your product say you’re far better than the competition. They say your product is better, more effective, and more affordable than other products out there. But if the product is so good, how come nobody is buying it? You feel invisible. Why would you have such a g…
 
I've listened to the Entrepreneurs on Fire Podcast for almost 7 years and I'm a big fan of John Lee Dumas. Entrepreneurs on Fire is an award-winning podcast that has featured many of the big names who work with entrepreneurs and people who are working hard to change the world. It was an honour to share the stage with JLD. It was a great opportunity…
 
In this special feature episode, I had the chance to speak with Andrew Evans on his amazing Ace Weekly Podcast. Andrew is a serial entrepreneur who is doing a lot of great work in promoting the mission of entrepreneurship. I am honored to have shared the stage with him as we discussed several important topics about Africa, entrepreneurship, COVID a…
 
How do you turn around a business that no longer makes money? Sometimes, the problem is with the external environment. It could be that your market has changed, or your competitors have gained on you, or it could just be that your customers have moved on because they want something you don’t offer. Sometimes, the problem is internal. The fault coul…
 
Human beings don’t handle rejection very well. For most people, rejection is emotional. We feel insulted, angry, and heartbroken when other people push us aside like we don’t matter. But when it comes to business, rejection can be a huge blessing in disguise. And every smart entrepreneur understands this. You will often face rejection when you try …
 
Nobody can read your mind. That’s why what you say, and how you say it, matters. This is especially true when you’re trying to communicate your ideas or trying to convince someone. Sometimes, it’s what you say and how you say it that makes a customer buy your product. Sometimes, it’s what you say that makes a person agree to become your supplier, d…
 
Email is free. How come? If you’re reading this, it’s likely you don’t pay a dime to Google or Yahoo for mail services. Yet, both are multi-billion-dollar companies. If you watch YouTube, it’s free. If you use Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media, that’s free too. If you backup your photos and files online, it’s likely you use a free servic…
 
Happy New Year! I’m very grateful for the gift of a brand new year. If anything, last year reminded me that life, good health, and family are the most important assets any human can have. As you prepare for 2021, I’d love to share an important lesson with you. And I need you to pay close attention to it. The amazing power of small. The month of Jan…
 
How can you tell if someone is a real friend? How can you really tell if you love someone, or something? There is only one way to find out: You have to test it. Friendships have to be tested to prove their worth. You will only know your real friends when you are low and desperate for help. It’s the same thing with love, loyalty, and faith. It’s als…
 
Have you set a trap before? I still remember the first time I set a mouse trap as a little boy. I put in a small piece of bread and then set the trap in a corner of the house where I had seen the mouse a couple of times. A trap is an amazing invention. Once a trap is set, you don’t have to do any more work. You can go to sleep and the trap does the…
 
Every new year comes with great expectations. We want to do better than we did this year, and be better than we were this year. That’s why every smart entrepreneur I know consciously plans for the new year. Planning makes you better prepared for opportunities and challenges. Planning is a tool used by serious people. Planning is what makes dreams c…
 
In this exciting episode of the podcast, I get interviewed by Tim Noxsinz of the Timitude Podcast. In this episode, I explore several topics that range from my personal career choice and the factors that influenced me into entrepreneurship. I also talk about my move from engineering into business and finance, and then into full-time entrepreneurshi…
 
I have a quick question for you. Here it is: How are you planning for next year? In my experience working with entrepreneurs, I’ve realised there are two types of people in this world. There are proactive people. And there are reactive people. How people approach a new year can tell you a lot about who they are. Are you ready for 2021? Will you be …
 
Business is all about risk. That’s what makes us entrepreneurs. People who have a low tolerance for risk choose a stable and predictable income. It’s called a salary. It always comes in at the end of the month. And that’s why most people prefer it. But if you choose to build a business, you’re taking a risk because there are no guarantees on how mu…
 
The year 2020 is gradually reaching its end. And it’s been a very harsh year for many businesses. Many have lost customers. Many have lost employees. And many were shut down. On a personal level, it’s also been very rough for entrepreneurs. Some are in deep financial trouble. Some are faced with loans they’re struggling to pay back. Some have lost …
 
After working so hard in the business, a lot of entrepreneurs are not getting paid. The landlord gets the rent for the office. All your employees get their salaries. And all your suppliers have been paid. But you get very little or nothing. After all the risk you’ve taken. After all the money, time, and energy you’ve invested in the business. And a…
 
How do you know when it’s time to fire an employee from your business? Firing people is tricky for many entrepreneurs. It’s an uncomfortable situation that some business owners prefer to ignore and avoid. The problem is, your business will suffer if you continue to keep an employee who is not a good fit for your company. In this episode of the Smal…
 
When it works, business partnerships can achieve amazing feats. Magical things can happen when two or more bright people contribute their ideas and resources to build a business. It's no surprise that some of the most successful companies in the world today are products of business partnerships. Google, HP, Apple, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, and s…
 
Every entrepreneur wants to make money. We all want to get rewarded for our ideas, our creativity, our smarts, our hard work, and for the risks we take. But still… Some people work harder and longer in their businesses than others, but still make far less money than others. Some entrepreneurs take more risk, but end up with far less returns? Why do…
 
How do you convince people to buy what you're selling? Many people use logic. Most people target the head. Maybe if you show people the benefits of using your product, you can convince them to buy. But guess what? Logic does not always work. And I'll give you real examples. Have you ever seen a CocaCola advert that shows the benefits of drinking Co…
 
A business idea is worthless unless you know how to exploit it. Many times, it's not the business idea that matters. It's what you can do with it that really matters. Have you ever wondered why so many people have good business ideas, but only a few people actually go ahead to start the business? Having the business idea is easy. Seeing the market …
 
How can you tell if a business idea has the potential to make money? Some business ideas sound fantastic, but they're not realistic. Some business ideas look good in your head and on paper, but are unlikely to work in real life. So, how can you tell if what you have is a feasible idea and not a fantasy? What you're about to learn can save you a lot…
 
It takes more than one tree to make a forest. That's why you need help. You will likely need help to grow your business to its full potential. You may need people who have the skills and experience you don't have. You may need people who have the access, contacts, networks, and strategic relationships that you lack. These people could be business p…
 
Every business starts with a ‘honeymoon’ phase. That’s the period just before and after you start your business. It’s a period filled with excitement, confidence, and passion. You’re excited because you finally created something out of that idea you’ve always had. You’re confident because the future looks very bright. And you feel a lot of passion …
 
Two people can have the exact same business idea. But it’s the person with a better business model who will likely succeed. That’s why business models are so powerful. But what exactly is a business model? What does it mean? Here is a good example: Apple This month, Apple became the first company in the world to be worth more than $2 trillion. Yes,…
 
If you want to last long in business, you have to master the art of dealing with customers. Especially your difficult customers. If you don't handle them well, your difficult customers can become enemies of your business. And in these days of social media, it's very easy for your enemies to pull you down. They could badmouth your brand and cause yo…
 
About two months ago, I got an email from one of my clients. It had a PDF attachment. He was about to sign a deal with a potential investor who had agreed to invest $50,000 in his leather products business. After months of searching, he was very excited that the money he had been looking for was finally within his reach. This email was to get my ad…
 
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