Chioma Ifeanyi-Eze is a professional and entrepreneur with lots of enviable badges under her belt. As a trained accountant, she has worked with big names like PriceWaterhouseCoopers (Senior Associate, Audit Service), Keystone Bank (Chief Finance Officer), Jumia Nigeria (Finance Manager), amongst others. Chioma has founded a couple of startups too, she is the co-founder of
Chioma Ifeanyi-Eze is a professional and entrepreneur with lots of enviable badges under her belt. As a trained accountant, she has worked with big names like PriceWaterhouseCoopers (Senior Associate, Audit Service), Keystone Bank (Chief Finance Officer), Jumia Nigeria (Finance Manager), amongst others. Chioma has founded a couple of startups too, she is the co-founder of Innabel Logistics. Last year, another of her startup, AccountingHub, a startup helping other startups keep track of their spendings and make informed financial decision, became an alumnus of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and was subsequently named amongst the startups to look out for in 2017
She shares some beautiful insights on how entrepreneurs can grow their businesses and stay ahead of competitions:
Dear business owner, you have known Coca-Cola almost (if not all) of your lifetime. You have never stopped drinking or buying for friends and guests. Every event has continued to have bottles of Coca-Cola products. In all this time, Coca-Cola has continued to spend on marketing. New adverts often. They have continued to roll out new strategies (different shapes and sizes of bottles, promos, give-aways, fun events and all sorts). Think about all the other brands that have lived with you from childhood until now (Maggi, Close-up, Omo, etc); their stories are same as Coca-Cola. Now consider other brands who haven’t kept up with all the strategy and product update, where are they?
The lesson here is clear – you need to keep developing strategies to stay afloat. You cannot keep doing the same thing in business and survive for so long. You need to remain innovative and keep rolling out newer products, better ways, increased efficiency, and appeal to more customers. Think of Facebook, imagine all the new features you have enjoyed since they started. That’s the reason you are still here.
But you are just a small business owner. You don’t have too much money to hire strategy consultants. You think in your mind- I can’t afford to build a strategy department when I haven’t even gotten enough operations guys. How am I expected as a business owner with my own single mind to be developing all these strategies when I only just started business last year? Am I expected to attend Harvard before I can run a great business?
Here’s my advice for you:
Find out how successful businesses in your field got there.
You want to make and launch a successful lipstick brand? Find out how Tara got thousands of young women to start selling her products. How did she raise such a huge unpaid marketing team? How did she grow such a brilliant brand? She speaks often at entrepreneurial events, attend one and hear her.
Offer value for value. Form an advisory group with your smart friends.
Meet as often as you like to discuss new strategies for each other’s business. Carefully select your friends who have a flare and skillful at business.
Attend these meetings prepared to give value to others and take value from them. Remember that one right strategy can keep your business the much-needed groove. ABC transport was a revolutionary in the road transport industry. What did he do right? He simply provided food, toilets, better service, speed limits, air conditioners and great customer service. Before long, all the rest were struggling to catch up with him. Today, he owns a great business. Have you noticed that he has something new each time you visit?
Stop doing the same thing which has no positive impact, over and over in your business.
Develop newer ways!