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mugu macharia

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Are Deposits a Stable Source of Funding for Microfinance Institutions?

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  1. Claire Sterngold

    Claire Sterngold

    Ye! Community Coordinator

  2. mugu macharia

    mugu macharia

    Smei

    i much appreciate claire for these article...its mind gobbling

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Apart from being a coach, I am also a start-up in developing doHow®️ for Achieving Amazing Outcomes.
Sharing a video: https://youtu.be/AUY7BzuMpQc
Creating World Class Companies and Exceptional Leaders with doHow®

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Good day guys, I would like to ask for just a minute of your time, our startup has been accepted into the Orange Social innovation prize for Cameroon and we need your votes to give us a chance to win the national prize. Please follow this link http://entrepreneurclub.orange.com/en/social-venture-prize-2018/project/maibeta.html and click on vote and after that enter your email address and submit after the security check. You will then be prompted to log into your email and confirm your vote. Voting can be done once a day with the same email. We have 23 more days and with your support we can do it. Thanks in advance

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iam working on a project to support local entrepreneurs to communicate with entrepreneurs from other countries. But I have a problem in how this project raise money ?

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  1. Hi Abdallah. It seems to be a platform business. A platform for connecting local entrepreneurs to communicate with those from other countries. To raise money, you will have to demonstrate if you can charge a fee for using your platform. you may have to start creating a website where entrepreneurs register themselves and later monetize it by having referrals to other products at first and charging for membership to your platform. Very often, funds come only from friends and family (angel investors) who believe in you without any proof. To raise money from outside, you have to demonstrate economic value and show growth numbers at least for a year.

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Profile picture of Claire Sterngold

Claire Sterngold

Ye! Community Coordinator

Thank you so much Abhishek for volunteering your time to answer all the questions from the Ye! Community. Some really good questions and excellent answers were posted! Thanks to everyone who joined in. Make sure to look out for more coaches participating in Ask A Coach Hour in 2018!

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  1. Abhishek Kothari

    Abhishek Kothari

    Coach

    Citi Employee

    Thank you Claire. It was an immensely fruitful experience. My best wishes to all entrepreneurs. As the Whole Earth Catalog said and Steve Jobs repeated: "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish" and don't drown out your enthusiasm and zest for life against all odds. The people who change the world are the ones who think they can. Be unreasonable and persist.

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How start up can build network with entrepreneurs,as some do not accept online networking unless in person?

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  1. Persistence is key. You can find contacts online and then build a conversation that allows you to meet them in person. Often, immediate friends, family and past colleagues have great suggestions on people they know,. In short, talk to as many people in a day as you can either online or from your own network . i call it inorganic and organic networking.

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I want to work smarter and more efficiently. Can you share some productivity tools you use or like? Or strategies for streamlining business? Thank you

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  1. Every day, i wake up and meditate. That will help you feel fresh and focus. Also, go through the items on your to do list that are pending from the previous day. Second, try to create a short to-do list. The longer the list the less focused you will be. Think of the top 5 things you want to achieve in the day. I use apps such as Any.Do and Evernote to take notes.

    To streamline your business, consolidate your business around core competencies i.e. things you are absolutely great at. Those will be the cash cows. Do not have too many lines of business without any need or value to society. Roughly speaking, you should have one revenue line for each expense that generates more money than every expense line. It is common sense then, you will soon be creating capital

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What is one area you see young entrepreneurs being too confident in?

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  1. Thinking that they know what their clients know without even speaking to them. You can create value only by empathizing.

  2. So you feel the growth of a product or company should really be driven by the feedback of the customer?

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Profile picture of Claire Sterngold

Claire Sterngold

Ye! Community Coordinator

Another entrepreneur asked anonymously: Could you give tips on how to be efficient in terms of tracking revenue and expenses records? Do you have a template we can use for that?

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  1. Abhishek Kothari

    Abhishek Kothari

    Coach

    Citi Employee

    Two great books i read on the topic are "The Cash Flow Quadrant" and Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki. Having said that, a number of templates are available online to help you start thinking about categorizing your revenue and expenses (e.g. https://templates.office.com/en-us/Budgets). The first tip is discipline. track your revenue and expenses almost everyday if you are a really small business. Second, use off the shelf and free accounting software so you dont have to reinvent the wheel (zip books, quick books are two i know). Third, think of business budget as your own personal budget. I would also recommend taking online classes from lets say Khan academy on accounting 101 if you have time.

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Profile picture of Claire Sterngold

Claire Sterngold

Ye! Community Coordinator

Another entrepreneur anonymously asked: How do you build a network as a startup or small business owner? How do you gain the trust of the client? People often feel young entrepreneurs don't have enough experience to be trusted. How can we as young entrepreneurs work against this idea?

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  1. Abhishek Kothari

    Abhishek Kothari

    Coach

    Citi Employee

    Sometimes, you start a grassroots movement by working at the grass root. You need to test your product / service with friends and friends of friends who will spread your word around. Action speaks louder than words. Once you have demonstrated value with immediate friends and family, they will be your ambassadors and spread the word around. After that, listening to every single client and making sure you consistently exceed their expectations will build trust. Remember reputation takes years to build and one mistake to break.

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How startup can build management skills?.

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  1. Hi Sam, great question. Today, everything you need to know about management is available on the internet. There are multiple sources such as Massive open online courses (MOOC's) that can provide you frameworks to manage various problems. Also, experience is the best teacher. As you grow, you will realize the need to create "standard operating procedures" that will provide the rules needed to conduct your operations. Creating policies such as expense management policy, attendance policy etc. provide an overarching framework. On a micro and small scale, the entrepreneur has to rely on self learning.

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How often should a business conduct risk assessment? How can a company measure risk? Risk is defined as a situation involving exposure to danger. The frequency of conducting risk assessment varies depending on the size and complexity of business. Also, risk has various components i.e. political risk, market risk, credit risk etc. The best approach is to layout the risks your business is facing into clearly identified categories. Most large companies use an "Enterprise Risk Management" (ERM) framework. Here is a link to that framework: https://www.coso.org/Documents/COSO-ERM-Executive-Summary.pdf

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  1. this is very helpful. thank you

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What Are The Most Effective Strategies for marketing small scale businesses? As a past small business owner, i believe word of mouth is the most effective strategy followed by an online presence on the internet (i.e. Search Engine Optimization, Google Adwords or social media targetted marketing).

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  1. can you explain more about using google adwords? A lot of people talk about SEO but how can a small business compete with the big internet giants?

  2. can you explain some ways to make your marketing strategy effective in the cheapest way possible? For myself I do not have a lot of money to spend on marketing.

  3. Google adwords will direct traffic to your website when people search for certain key words. For example, if somebody searches for a pizza place near him, Google adwords will show the paid advertisements first. I used it to market my coaching business with very low expense. The other option is to seek help from an HTML / CSS programmer that can help you create a great looking and easily searchable website. Then, you can use adwords to drive traffic. All said and done - your business should be sound enough to hold people on your website for longer.

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The best strategy to attract clients is to create products/services that surpass their expectations and delight them. Even before you setup a business, test it on friends, families and the immediate community. Without a strong value proposition, it is impossible to attract clients. Raising awareness through marketing is your next step.

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  1. Can you share come strategies you use with clients for marketing a new product?

  2. marketing should depend on where your market is. So, if you clients are mostly online, that's the way to go. If they are local, word of mouth recommendations and referral schemes are a great way. Sometimes, marketing at local shopping malls or even participating in exhibitions and conferences helps.

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Profile picture of Claire Sterngold

Claire Sterngold

Ye! Community Coordinator

Hi Abhishek,

Thank you for taking the time to join the community and volunteer your time.

One entrepreneur asks anonymously: How can Agribusiness entrepreneurs in developing countries (Africa) build a sustainable enterprise since it is difficult for them to have collateral which is essential for BANKS and other financial providers? what alternatives are available to them to access finance?

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  1. Abhishek Kothari

    Abhishek Kothari

    Coach

    Citi Employee

    Hi Claire, Thank you for your question. Almost every entrepreneur who started small had to raise funds from friends and family. That is the most oft cited source of funds. Second, co-operative banks, community credit unions, affinity groups and microfinance and non banking finance corporations typically serve clients not served by big banks. Thirdly, the entrepreneur can start generating revenue from a few clients and demonstrate "proof of concept" which can be a great way to crowdsource in case the location in Africa has crowd sourcing. Lastly, angel investors and wealthy individuals who identify with your mission are also another option.

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Feedback mechanisms are key. When you establish a business, identify the major Key Performance Indicators (KPI's). For not for profits, these could be books distributed, families impacted, money donated, consulting hours provided. A well defined set of KPI's will help you identify if the systems you put in place are effective. Also, keep talking to the very people you want to help out.

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Hi Juan, Thank you for your question. I am assuming you mean: identifying indicators your business is not working? The number one sign in my opinion is unhappy clients. If you are an entrepreneur on a small scale, you should be talking to your clients. They will provide you feedback on what is and what isnt working? That will tell you whether what you do is providing value and provide clues to improve your model. Everything else, financial indicators flow from client satisfaction. Secondly, pay attention to cash flow. You can google a term called "burn rate" that entrepreneurs guage to see how much time they have before certain failure. Hope that answers your question. Feel free to ask something more specific.

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  1. it helps a lot. Thank you. To follow up, do you think sometimes there are natural slowdowns in business that you should wait to pass and then things may pick up again? If so how long should my "burn rate" go on for before I decide to close up?

  2. The idea is to make your business "weather proof". The way you do it is by diversifying sources of revenue. You need to have multiple income streams to combat slowdown in one revenue source. Typically, cash available only for a six month period is a clear danger.

  3. thank you.

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