FG to spend N2.3trn to fund its Economic Sustainability Plan

The Federal Government will spend an estimated N2.3 trillion to fund its new Economic Sustainability Plan it is counting on to revive the economy.

The plan is big on mass agricultural programme Nigerians are already familiar with

A draft of the plan which President Muhammadu Buhari described as “our most exacting yet” was developed in response to the ongoing global economic and health crises which have taken a toll on the economy.

According to the plan obtained by BusinessDay, the chunk of the stimulus, as much as N471 billion, will go to the agricultural sector with the objective of expanding existing production in the agricultural sector and stimulating the establishment of new farms in partnership with state governments, the private sector and individual citizens.

“The intention is for the project to create jobs by focusing on increasing land under cultivation with state governments contributing between 20,000 to 100,000 hectares from a combination of aggregated smallholder farms between 1 acre to 1 hectare and utilisation of abandoned states farm settlements and agricultural projects,” the document said.

The plan also shows that the sector getting the next huge boost is small businesses in three tracks. The first track is to guarantee offtake scheme for MSMES, survival and intervention fund in the amount of over N415 billion.

The plan is big on mass agricultural programme Nigerians are already familiar with. It also seeks to stimulate growth through major and rural road construction programme, mass housing programme and large scale installation of solar home systems in a minimum of 5 million households currently not on the grid.

“The strategy is to ensure that all these programmes use only local materials,” the document said.
The government says its role is to be the provider or facilitator of resources for private sector programmes, and ultimately to be the guarantor of last resort of what is produced.

“This means that government must help to guarantee uptake for work done, houses built, or goods produced,” the plan said.

On how the programme will work, the document says, for example, that “for roads, where we cannot afford to import bitumen or asphalt with our scarce resources, we have to use limestone and rocks in abundance.

So all roads, especially the roads to be built with pension fund investments, must use locally produced materials.”

The same principle is to be applied in the mass housing programmes where local materials and labour only will be used.

However, it will make some exemption in the off-grid energy space allowing for ‘minimal imports’ to provide solar power for 5 million households.

“There are indications that some of the world’s leading manufacturers are prepared to set up manufacturing locally. With a plan for 5 million homes to be delivered by the private sector, this can be attractive to the manufacturers,” the government report said.

It further said that the plan will entail massive support for MSMEs in local production technology, agro-allied value-chains, garment production, information and communication technology, entertainment, tourism, etc.

“Instead of the prospect of 30 million unemployed Nigerians staring us in the face, we can put 30 million Nigerians to work immediately. The principal challenge of our economy is implementation. This also means coordination. We can mobilise Nigeria behind MSMEs and insist on local production, especially in the agro-allied value-chain,” the report said.

The final plank of the plan is the social investment programme where it is proposing a one-off cash payment of a minimum of N10,000 to at least 30 million Nigerians, and the government will spend over N400 billion on various programmes.


Enhancing Employee Engagement in the New Normal

Engaged employees apply their total self (physical, emotional, mental) to their roles. They are creative, innovative, and go the extra mile in executing their assigned tasks. Engaged employees recover quickly when their companies go through challenging times; they provide competitive advantage to organisations. Engaged employees are valuable in a pandemic where uncertainty is a norm because they help organisations to keep afloat in the short-term and to work towards long-term recovery. However, the challenge is that before the pandemic, employee engagement was low across the world. Depending on the source of information, the level is put between 35% and 50%. Unless something is done differently, this is likely to decline. What are the drivers of employee engagement in a pandemic? The answer is the essence of this article.

Studies have shown that employee engagement elicits positive emotions from employees and thrives in a work climate that favours communication; growth and development; recognition and appreciation; and trust. A work climate is the outcome of leadership behaviour; hence, the foundational driver of employee engagement is leadership behaviour. With declining revenue owing to the global crisis, a leader cannot leverage the hard aspects of these drivers – growth and development – and the hard aspects of recognition and reward based on monetary incentives. Consequently, the article will discuss how the leader can use soft drivers such as leadership behaviour, communication, trust, and eliciting positive emotions to drive employee engagement.

Leadership Behavior

Leadership behaviour is the surface aspect of leadership that is apparent in an organisation. For example, one can identify autocratic and authentic leaders by their different patterns of behaviour. It is generally believed that under certain conditions, an authentic leader creates a positive work climate that will engage employees more than an autocratic leader. However, rather than focus on the surface aspect, it is better to examine the underlying causes of leadership behaviour which unfortunately cannot be noticed on the surface. This is the understanding of leadership or what some people call motive for leadership. There are two motives for leadership; it can be a source of status or a process of service. When leadership is motivated by status, followers are made to serve the leader. The environment created will be toxic and will never engage the employees. However, when leadership is understood as a process of service, the leader creates an environment that values employees and helps them to be the best they can be. Such a leader will exhibit the positive leadership behaviour that creates a positive work climate. Fortunately, leadership motive is not hereditary but can be changed through a deep desire to question the purpose of leadership and its effects on relationships.

In this period of uncertainty and fear, a manager’s leadership motive is reflected in how they communicate, create an environment of trust, and empathise with employees. A leader whose motive is to acquire status will leave employees to care for themselves and will take decisions to enhance organisational survival without regard for employees’ survival. A service motive will work to understand and relate with what employees are passing through and would do what is possible to help them work through the challenges. Empathy is a major tool of such leader.


In a survey of 1,090 people during a recent panel discussion, 28% reported that their salaries were reduced in the period of lockdown, 64% said that there was no communication between them and their organisation before the reduction, while 40% stated that the reduction affected their perception of their organisation. The problem is not the reduction because employees know that the organisation is facing hard times that require some level of adjustment. The first problem is that most of the respondents had no communication between them and their organisations before the salary cut. This action demonstrates that many organisations are yet to recognise that communication is critical in getting employees to understand organisational challenges in this new reality. Engaged employees want to be heard in matters concerning the organisation and their wellbeing. The second report from the discussion was that the lack of communication and subsequent reduction in salary affected the employees’ perception of their organisation. Engaged employees want to advance the reputation of their organisations but cannot do this when they have a negative perception of the organisation.

Communication builds a partnership between employees and their leaders. Partnership makes the organisational actors see individual challenges as a common challenge that requires joint action. Partnership is enhanced when the communication is 2-way, authentic, optimistic, and filled with empathy. When communication is 2-way, it allows for each party to voice their concerns and empathy ensures they are heard, understood, and appreciated. For example, imagine that before the salary reduction, the leaders discussed the challenges that necessitated the reduction with employees, and both listened with empathy. If the communication is authentic and optimistic, the result would be a joint understanding of the situation and acceptance of an action plan needed to sustain the organisation in the short-term and position it for survival in the long-term. Engaged employees study and understand the time in which they live. They recognise volatile environments and know that drastic actions are required to survive now and position organisations for future survival. They want to be part of the journey of the organisation now and in the future. The level of communication between them and their leaders gives an indication of how they are valued, and in turn, affects their level of engagement.


Trust is built and earned. It can neither be demanded nor legislated. It does not arise from the authority the leader has. Trust is an individual’s desire to be vulnerable to the leader. It is a decision an individual makes consciously; it depends on the perception of the quality of the past, present, and future relationship between the employee and his/her leader. In a crisis, trust is enhanced by the level of interest organisational participants show in the emotional challenge and other challenges of another organisational participant. For example, the organisation is uncertain and fearful about its present and future survival while employees are afraid of the health implications of COVID-19 and are uncertain about their current and future cash flow arising from the payment of their salary. Trust is built when both parties communicate honestly about each other’s challenges, and there is genuine care and desire to work together to create an acceptable path to survival. Trust does not depend on finding the best solution for each party but agreeing on a solution that is mutually satisfactory and allows for sacrifice from each party. Because trust also depends on the quality of past relationships, leaders whose relationship with employees in the past is poor will find building trust much more challenging, but not impossible. Engagement is enhanced when already engaged employees can offer their total self to the organisation, and trust that their leaders would not take advantage of them by refusing to do what is good for them.

Eliciting Positive Emotions from Employees

The emotional climate in organisations is the result of the leader’s emotional intelligence. Emotionally intelligent leaders understand their emotions and how they affect employees. They manage their emotions in ways that ensure that they do not affect the employees negatively. They are aware of the happenings in their social environment and use such awareness to design a mode of interaction that allows for a productive relationship between them and their employees. For example, emotionally intelligent leaders understand how emotionally depressing the COVID-19 situation can be for them and employees. They know that over-emphasizing on how they are affected emotionally while disregarding that of employees will not create a positive work environment. Such leaders can manage their emotions and recognise that of employees in such a way as to elicit positive emotion from employees. Emotionally intelligent leaders communicate authentically by telling the truth about the situation of the organisation and recognising what the employees are going through. The leader is not conservative with the truth. This would give a false impression of the severity of the situation and the need for action. While being authentic, such a leader does not lose hope that the future though uncertain, can be made remarkably interesting. The leader gives an optimistic view of the future, even when the uncertainty is recognised. In this way, the leader creates a positive emotional climate which elicits positive emotions of ‘can do it now and in the future’ from employees. Apart from organising seminars to help enhance emotional intelligence, pattern analysis can help in identifying emotions and reflecting on how to manage them for a productive relationship.


Organisations may not have the resources to enhance employee engagement with the hard factors of the drivers because of the reduction in revenue and poor cash flow. They can, however, leverage the soft factors which are based on the climate created by leadership behaviour. This is the time when leaders should question their motive for leadership, especially for those that have had a continuous past poor relationship with their employees. While organisations are using the COVID-19 situation to examine their strategy, business models, and processes, it is also worthwhile for leaders to question their understanding of leadership. This is the only way to enhance leadership behaviour and create a positive work climate that will improve and sustain employee engagement.

Article by Dr. Okechukwu Amah

Dr Okechukwu Amah teaches Organisational Behaviour and Management Communication at Lagos Business School


What start-ups need to attract investors

It is important as a start-up to ask yourself whose money you will use in the process of making your business idea a reality.

Would you fall back on your own nest egg to fund your start-up, this means you have saved up some money over time. It appears not many young entrepreneurs have nest egg to fund their start-up.

Now, will you go the route of debt financing? In other words, will you take out loans and pay them back with interest? This is an option to be considered with great care.

One of the benefits of using your own money is that you retain the profits and all control of your business if it succeeds. Your other option is to seek equity financing from angel investors, venture capitalists and others. In this business model, you owe less money, but you will share the profits with your investors. You are basically trading equity in your company for cash.

Going this route enables you to raise large sums of money for your start-up without going into debt. You will lose a bit of your control, giving your investors a “say” in your company. After all, they do expect a return on their investment. There is a catch.

Intending entrepreneurs brimming with confidence in their business ideas tend to believe all they need to take-off is see capital from venture capitalists. For venture capitalists the story is different because they are aware that nine out every ten start-up fails, they understand that funding is usually not the most important thing to consider when starting a business but structure.

Venture capitalists want clear answers to questions about who the business targets as customers, market size and how the business plans to grow and expand.

David Tele, managing director at Seedstars Academy, a seed capital venture firm at a Career Fair organised by BusinessDay in 2017 said that they evaluate start-ups approaching them for seed capital based on the Content, Process, and Results (CPR) method. The content dimension of the evaluation is data-driven: customer, market size, and projected revenue.

Process entails setting clear specific, measurable, ambitious, and time bound goals. It starts with setting annual goals, broken into monthly goals, then down to weekly and actionable daily goals.

Results comprise outcome from the two preceding phases and the cycle is repeated. Therefore, a start-up needs to do substantial due diligence before it approaches a seed venture capitalist. Below are a few things a start-up must do to attract seed capital.

Have a Business Plan

The first item on your list is to create a business plan. Venture capitalists deem this your most important task because, without a business plan, they are flying blind. You must create a plan that presents your overall business summary and a description of how it will make money.

In addition to your business plan, your investors will appreciate seeing one, three and five year plans. They want to see your goals and strategies for growth. They are looking for your “staying power.”

Conduct Market Research

Your investors want to see your market research. They want validation that the market can sustain your business and that your start-up is viable. This is the “proof” that your business plan is sound and provides you with numbers to back up your claims that your start-up will be successful.

Prepare Financial Models

Venture capitalists and angel investors are smart, and they know how to drill through your materials to the proof that your business can actually make money. Your financial models should include spread sheets of projected costs, acquisitions, sales and revenue, profit margins and growth rates. Bottom line: they want to know when they can start seeing a return on their investment.

Article by Stephen Onyekwelu


Setting Business Standards

Clarity = productivity

Let’s say, you’ve entered the dating world and decided to find a boyfriend/girlfriend. Unlike Tolu, our example in the last article, you’ve done the work and know why you need a romantic partner. You have a clear idea about the holes in your life that need filling. You want someone who will be your ‘plus one’ at all your social events; someone who will listen to your problems; cheers you up when you’re sad; snuggles with you while you watch Premier League matches and National Geographic documentaries, and go to Burna Boy concerts with you. That is the job description (JD).

In order to find someone who can do those things for you what’s your first step? You must decide which specific traits this love interest must possess in order to fulfil these mandates as your boyfriend/girlfriend. You must set your standards and be clear on what they are. The person must be presentable so you aren’t embarrassed to introduce them to friends or family. They must like to go out to places with you and be in your company. They must be attentive and caring, so they can listen. They must be funny or lighthearted, so they can cheer you up. They must enjoy intimate physical contact, like football, and find documentaries interesting. They must be an Afrobeat fan and not mind being in loud, sometimes crowded places. They must like Burna Boy. Not just Wizkid, Davido or Mr Eazi: Burna Boy.

It works the same way in recruitment. You design your JD so you can look at your list of tasks that need to be completed and match each one to the skill required to get it accomplished. You’ve done the work to prioritize ‘needs’ over ‘wants’ over ‘might-as-well-get-done-while-we’re-at-it’s, so you work from the most important to the least and list your required competencies for each duty that must be fulfilled. Your employees are disorganized? You need someone who can organize and motivate them. Your social media outreach is abysmal though you are in an industry that requires rapid and frequent engagement? You need someone who is adept at navigating and utilising Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp etc, is good at search engine optimization and is on top of the latest online communication trends. The whole point of going to the trouble to create a JD is so you have a crystal-clear framework you then use to deduce and decide your competencies.

Credentials are not competencies

Competencies could be technical (“hard”) skills such as the ability to analyse large data sets or the ability to develop financial statements. However, they could also be “soft skills” like the ability to communicate effectively or work well with others. They could be personality traits such as assertiveness (showing confidence) or flexibility (being easily adaptable). In your case, they will be whatever combination of these things are tailored to your organisation’s requirements.

Defining required competencies is integral in Nigeria because of the fundamental flaw in our education-to-employment pipeline. Our education system teaches students academic theory and neglects practical instruction and the development of industry­-relevant skills. Everyone believes, we, as employers, focus on a university degree as the most relevant qualification for employment. Therefore, young people zone in on this milestone believing it will equip them for the world of work. When we, in turn, do not use competency-based hiring practices which elevate executable talent over academic theory, we perpetuate this misunderstanding. There is no pressure on educational institutions to adapt their curricula for job-preparedness, or partner with our industries in order to create work experience opportunities which will enable graduates to become an optimizable pool of talent for us. Prioritising competencies in the hiring process instead of using academic qualifications as a proxy for skills is the only way to recruit candidates who can perform the real-life tasks that we require of them in order to meet our business goals.

Are your needs met by their skillset?

Why are defining the competencies so important? Because they keep you from getting distracted and wasting your time. Let’s say in your search for the boyfriend/girlfriend we just talked about, you meet someone who is very kind to beggars, has a PhD in engineering, loves gospel music and saves up money to take a trip abroad every year because they want to broaden their horizons. Though these are all positive attributes, they do not match your mandate. Without your list of competencies (presentable, attentive, caring, funny, lighthearted, a fan of Afrobeats, concertgoer, lover of Burna Boy) you could very well fall for this generous, well-educated, God-fearing, world traveller. You might be enamoured with them in the beginning. However, it will very soon become clear, when they drift off while you are talking about your day, or tell you Afrobeat is demonic, that they are unsuitable for the JTBD.

Without deducing and deciding on desired competencies, we disempower ourselves in the recruitment process. With just a JD (what we need to get done) the only question becomes whether the potential talent is willing to do the things we require. We are asking and they are answering. What equally matters is whether they are able to do the things we require. They are seeking and we are choosing. Deciding what we need makes the first step of the recruitment process(creating that JD) worthwhile. It makes the next step (figuring out who we are and our journey to demanding these things) meaningful.

  • Article by Misan Rewane

Misan Rewane is co-founder and CEO of WAVE, an organization focused on rewiring the education-to-employment system to create a level playing field for every African youth to access the skills and opportunity to become what they imagine.


Covid-19: Osinbajo, Okonjo-iweala, Kaberuka outline measures to revive the economy, boost SMEs

Yemi Osinbajo, vicepresident of Nigeria, has said the Muhammadu Buhari administration would formulate policies to aid local production of goods, while also creating the requisite environment to aid local industries.

Osinbajo said the administration plans to invest in the housing sector by building 30 million homes for Nigerians in five years, while the labour and raw material would be sourced locally to create jobs and boost local industries.

He stated this on Friday while featuring in a Covid-19 webinar interactive with the theme: ‘Economy sustainability beyond covid-19’.

The interaction was organised by the em manuel chapel methodist Church.

The interaction also featured Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala former finance minister in Nigeria and current chair- Gavi, the Global Vaccine Alliance, and Donald Kaberuka, former president of the African Development Bank (ADB).

Osinbajo further said that the Federal Government was planning to boost the power sector by investing more in renewable energy, liberalising the sector to encourage private investment in whose tariff would be service driven.

Speaking further, Osinbajo added that the liberalism of the power sector had reduced the subsidy regime and saved a huge significant amount of money for the federal government.

According to him, “If we have a cost effective value chain it would make the Gencos and Discos to have their value chain. The critical thing is to make the market based system work.

“NEC has proposed a system where the Gencos can go and negotiate the price with their customer on service. Through this we can reduce the subsidy regime which has consumed money in the country.

“We intend to build 30 million homes in five years it is an opportunity to grow the local industry and develop the housing programme; We thought we can generate jobs, because we intend using local materials, the engineers, architecture would all be source locally and we can give them 20 or 10 houses to build in some states.

Also speaking Donald Kaberuka advised African leaders that providing a relief package for the citizenry to cushion the effect of the covid-19 was crucial than projecting economic growth.

Kaberuka identified policy inconsistency as the reason for retarded growth witnessed in several African countries over the years, while urging Africans to take extra precautionary measures toward safe-guarding the economy and empowering their citizens because the Covid-19 may stay for long.

“This is a crisis like no other, the government has reduced lockdown because people have to survive; what is happening to families matters, providing support for households is more important than saying my country is growing at 7%,” Kaberuka said.

Also speaking , Iweala outlined the achievements of the African Union (AU) in mitigating the virus in the continent, stressing that AU was putting measures in place that make newly discovered vaccines accessible and affordable to every class of persons in the society.

“The lockdown was necessary because of the increasing number of the virus across countries in the continent and it was to tell the people the severity of the infection.

“We don’t want a situation where the vaccine, if it is discovered, is bought off by the rich countries, that is why we are taking measures so that the poor countries can see it,” Iweala said.

Source –


Here’s Why a Mobile Accounting App Can Improve Your Small Business

Are you an entrepreneur who is always on the go? A small business owner who travels for work? Or are you a travel enthusiast, but also really keen on growing a successful business? If this sounds like you, then adopting a mobile accounting app might be just the thing for you. After all, there must be a way to improve your business while on-the-go, without sacrificing the needs of your business or your clients.

If you’re in the same boat, then read on to discover a few reasons why (and how) your small business can benefit from adopting a mobile accounting app for your bookkeeping purposes.

A Sense of Immediacy

Small business owners are increasingly coveting the ability to work on their businesses from anywhere. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or simply don’t believe in a standard 9-5 workday, cloud-based accounting software works like a charm to help provide flexibility.

However, not all accounting platforms offer a companion accounting app. Moreover, not every accounting app out there is the right fit for your business.

Accounting software that has mobile accounting apps offers much greater mobility, flexibility, and therefore immediacy. In an age of instant gratification, forgetting to bring your books to Mexico or struggling to access your financial reports while out at dinner just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Serving your Clients Well Through the Payment Process

Knowing your clients’ needs are important: how else do you attract, maintain and retain customer loyalty?

But doing good work for your clients is only half the battle. In the accounting world, invoicing can be the hard part and is just as important.

Set up strong internal invoicing processes to not only help minimize rework but to demonstrate to your clients that they should be paying you on time and consistently.

Mobile accounting apps are designed to help you serve your clients from literally anywhere. As long as you have your smartphone, you have access to the important stuff. You can upload expense details on the fly, send a well-crafted invoice while you’re eating out, or access financial reports when an investor requests for them.

If your invoices are unprofessional and late, sent out in inconsistent manners, numbered incorrectly, or consists of calculating errors—how do you expect your clients to take payments seriously, or at all?

With your mobile accounting app, you also increase the likelihood of your ability to send invoices to your clients on-time—which directly translates to them doing the same for you. After all, respect is a two-way street.

Grow Technological Capabilities

Adopting accounting software is a big leap. Particularly when a mobile accounting app is thrown into the mix. But when used correctly, a small business owner can use it as a tool to improve their business.

Accounting software that offers the use of a mobile accounting app provides numerous benefits to entrepreneurs and small business owners who are in the pursuit of growing their business. Some of these include: providing a sense of immediacy, serving your clients through the payment process, and the ability to grow your technological capabilities.


Business Loan: Advantages and Disadvantages

Business loans serve as a powerful tool to help fund, launch, and grow a small business. As a small business owner, you may be looking to secure financing to maintain business operations, expand locations, invest in new equipment, or hire more employees. A business loan helps you achieve all this.

Not sure if a business loan is right for you? In this article, we break down the advantages and disadvantages of taking out a business loan, as well as questions to ask yourself if you’re still overwhelmed.

Advantages of Borrowing

Receive an influx of cash to grow your business
The easiest and most obvious way to gain major cash flow is to take out a business loan. If your business is at a stage where it’s ready to launch, expand, or grow its operations, business loans are a good choice. Compared to other funding options, you access a relatively large amount of capital for multiple purposes.

Maintain control of your business
Unlike borrowing equity (where business issues shares), taking out a business loan from the bank provides you full control over your business. Banks don’t get involved in any aspect of running your business, which means as a business owner—you retain full control and management over your company’s operations, while still reaping the benefits of extra cash.

Interest is tax-deductible
The words “tax-deductible” probably ring in your ears: it’s great news. Interest on your business bank loans is tax-deductible. This is particularly so with fixed-rate loans, in which the interest rate does not change throughout the course of your loan. This makes it much easier for small business owners to budget and plan for monthly loan payments!

Disadvantages of Borrowing

Tough to qualify
Unless you’re a small business owner with a considerable track record of valuable assets (i.e. real estate), then, unfortunately, it’s highly difficult to obtain business loans. Like applying for a mortgage, banks are extra careful with lending. They want to make sure that you can pay them back. Often, borrowers must provide the bank some sort of guarantee, such as having their personal assets seized in the event the business fails and is unable to repay all or part of a loan.

High-interest rates
Another disadvantage of small business loans is high-interest rates. In addition to that, often the amount a business qualifies for is also not enough to meet a company’s needs.

Borrowing money at a high-interest rate serves as a disservice for the business, as it often has to deal with the business loan and additional funding to cover funds not provided by the bank.

Questions to ask when considering a business loan
Borrowing money for your business comes with its pros and cons—as with any business decisions that involve money. If you are still unsure about whether a business loan is right for you, here are several questions to reflect on:

  • How much funding do I need?
  • What is the timeline in which I need the money?
  • Do I qualify for lender requirements?
  • And if so, how do I plan to spend the money?

9 Life-Changing Financial Tips Everyone Should Know Before 30

If you don’t tell your money where to go, you’ll be asking where your money went.

  1. Business owners make the most money in the long run…. That’s probably not surprising, but it comes with a high price. Usually, most business owners start off very slow. It takes years and years to build a truly profitable business, but once they get over that hump, the sky is the limit in regards to income. Keep the faith.
  2. People that work in sales have high earning potential… Medical sales, stock brokers, insurance brokers… pretty much any position that has the ability to earn commissions or bonuses can grow into a lucrative career over time. Even if a salesperson frequently switches jobs, typically they change to higher paying opportunities with greater payout potential as their careers mature.

The number one rule of budgeting: pay yourself first.

  1. Just because someone makes a lot of money, doesn’t mean they keep a lot of money. Let’s face the facts, if you make over $1 million per year but you spend over $1 million a year, then you are broke. I’m talking about everyday bills as well as expensive cars, designer clothes, jewelry, fancy dinners — there’s plenty of ways to give your money away. The number one rule of budgeting: pay yourself first. Just because you’re making a lot of money now doesn’t mean you always will. Automatically transfer the amount you want to save each pay period into to a separate account, and the needless stuff will weed itself out.
  2. Inheritance matters… Those blessed enough to be given a financial head start have an incredible advantage in making down payments on houses, starting businesses, or maxing out retirement contributions more quickly. Not coincidentally, this same group of people tend to have parents who have educated them on personal finance, and tend to be significantly more prepared to build wealth than the average person. This should be the ultimate goal for our children, but we must start taking steps now.

“If you don’t tell your money where to go, you’ll be asking where your money went.”

  1. People that don’t track their spending often end up in financial strain… Perhaps counter intuitively, those with higher bank account balances are usually looking at every little expense and challenging every fee on their account. They know precisely where every dollar goes. On the other side of the coin, those who do not have much money are typically less aware of how much they spend and are being charged. Keep an eye on your expenses!
  2. 401k investing is critical… All W-2 employees should definitely look into their company’s 401k program. Company’s often incentivize participation in 401k plans by annually matching some percentage of your contributions. People who max out their 401k accounts and IRAs have a much more realistic chance of retiring comfortably than those who don’t. This, over time, can be a game changer even for someone who does not have a relatively high income. Free money for doing right thing!
  3. Having a good credit score is invaluable… People with good credit have the ability to build wealth via increased purchasing power. Loans are much more expensive for folks with bad credit. Having a good credit score is akin to being a straight-A student in high school or having a great relationship with the Principal. You can get away with more and have a lot more freedom than the average student when you’ve built a rapport. A bad credit score will always slow you down when trying to build wealth because banks won’t be nearly as willing to loan you the money you need.

If you’re going to take a risk with credit, use it to try and make more money.

  1. Debt can make or break you…. Having a great credit score to borrow funds for cheap is one thing, but knowing how to properly manage the funds is another. In reality, debt should only be used to build wealth or gain some type of monetary return. Property, businesses, and personal education are all great examples of good debt. Sadly though, most people abuse debt by overspending with credit cards on things that offer no return that they typically can’t even afford in the first place. If you’re going to take a risk with credit, use it to try and make more money.
    Note: You can keep easy track of your score with apps like Credit Karma and Mint.
  2. Real Estate investing can be a great wealth builder… Owning a home is great, however owning an investment property is even better. Multiple streams of income are they key to building wealth. People that own investment properties are able to diversify their income and make mailbox money. On top of the opportunity for increased income, savvy investors can buy and flip homes in order to potentially see even larger returns. The choice is yours!
    Financial health is a building block of life and should be taken just as seriously as your physical health. I hope this will help you in any way possible!

Trey Parker, MBA


How to run your company when you are the only staff

As a Startup, you might have little to no funding. This lack of financing, unfortunately, will make it difficult for you to hire the staff you need from the onset.

I also struggled in the early days of starting my business. I was the one sweeping, opening and closing the office for the day. I became the accountant, salesgirl and front desk staff. I was everything in my business. As you might guess, the proverbial one-man squad. This situation was an exhausting and demoralizing experience, especially for a new startup with little or no funding. I had a choice, to either quit and see the cup as half empty or to see the situation as an opportunity to get intimately connected with every aspect of my business from bottom-up. I chose the latter. I decided to see the glass as half full. This dose of optimism helped me create the system and structure that worked for my business. To this end, I want to show you the three things you can start doing from today to cope when you are the only staff in your company.

Set realistic timelines

Being the only staff in your company implies that you will be the one that will implement your service delivery system from beginning to the end—or at least be in charge of the process. The downside is that if for health reasons or unforeseen circumstances, you are unable to meet up, you will disappoint your clients.

Disappointing your customers is not the best practice. It erodes credibility and the trust customers have in your business. This lack of trust will affect future jobs from the customers you disappointed. Therefore, you need to find a way to ensure you don’t disappoint your customers.

One way to do this is to give realistic timelines for project closeout or delivery date. If you know you can deliver a job within three days, the wise thing to do would be to extend this by 48hrs to cover for any incidentals or unforeseen circumstances. Moreover, if everything goes well as you have planned, you will register your name as the organisation that delivers ahead of projected time, which will be a bonus for your business.

But then, some customers will come to you and tell you that they are time-strapped and would compel you to agree to unrealistic delivery time. This rushed briefs usually happen to service organizations, that is, printers, advertising agencies, experiential marketing firms etcetera. As a startup, I would not advise you to reject any opportunity. However, be sure that you have made contingency plans to meet the deadline and are willing to pull in an all-nighter by making the required sacrifice. Otherwise don’t agree to the time. You can charge them extra for express service delivery. The additional charge is not about being greedy; it is to make up for all the adjustments and extra cost you will incur to be able to deliver quality products or service in record time.

However, there are times where the challenge is not about delivering on time; but executing a specific task which you do not have the technical know-how to deliver. What you do at such point is to outsource.


Outsourcing your service is one way to satisfy your customers, even when you are the only staff without the risk of losing them to your competitor.

For example, while working for an experiential firm, we had extreme deadlines to submit briefs. There was no way we would meet the stipulated time without outsourcing some of the work. We did this all the time, and this method helped us win many accounts with minimal mistakes. The rush of it, the adrenaline while you are working. The uncertainty and intensity of brainstorming and ideating under pressure can negatively affect your output if you do not have the right expertise in-house or on the table. In the manufacturing sector, take the fashion industry, for instance, as a designer, you can partner with several tailoring outfits to produce your designs along the value chain. A protégé of mine runs a publishing company, but, he doesn’t own a printing press. However, this is not a deterrent to him. What he does is to partner with a print house to handle all the heavy lifting, while he does all the design, editing and ISBN.

Therefore, when you get a contract to do a job, and you know that all the skillset required for the timely delivery of that job is not available. The wise thing to do is to outsource the work to your partners. This method is cheaper than hiring a full-time staff whom you may not be able to sustain due to the sporadic nature of jobs coming into your business.

A caveat: Do not just outsource to anybody. It is your name that is on your final product. So, be thorough when selecting your outsourcing partner. Your name is important, and as a startup, you do not want it associated with poor quality and missed deadlines. You want to do jobs and create products that will attract more customers. So, do not compromise on quality!

One of the realities of outsourcing is that you may experience loss of time between job commissioning and delivery. To save time and increase your income, you may need to acquire ancillary skills.

Acquire ancillary skills

There are times when you may need to finish specific tasks at the same time. A case in point is that if you run a digital marketing startup, you may not be able to hire a graphic designer full time to augment your content development strength. If you have to wait for a graphic designer to do a design and send back to you each time a job comes in, you might not meet up with your deadlines. In such a situation, what you need is to acquire ancillary skills.

To be clear, it is not every skill you can acquire. For instance, I cannot tell that protégé of mine whom I spoke of earlier who owns a publishing firm to learn how to operate a press machine. Asking him to acquire this skill may distract him from his core. But assuming he is a skilled writer but does not know how to do graphic design, I will advise him to learn graphic design skill or use Apps such as Canva or Designrr to augment. This skill will help him finish his work in record time without suffering the delay of having to call a graphic designer and the ensuing back and forth that would inevitably follow.

So, as you run your business, do not allow your limited staff strength to keep you from soaring. Give your customers a realistic job delivery time, outsource certain services and acquire any skill or machinery you can combine with your core to make you consistently meet your timelines.

Don’t forget to write to me on or Please send in your business issues let us resolve them together on this page. I would love to read from you.

To your continued success.

Keep Sparkling!

Muna Onuzo

The Startup Doctor.


Types of Business plan

. The traditional business plan uses some of the nine sections that make most sense to the business.
They include:
Executive summary
Company description
Market analysis
Organisation and management
Service or product description
Marketing and sales
Funding request
Financial projections

2. The lean business plan projects fundamental facts about the company. The most well known is the Business model canvas, developed by Alex Osterwalder. Its features are:
Key partnerships
Key activities
Key resources
Value proposition
Customer relationships
Customer segments
Cos structure
Revenue streams

Browse about the types of business plans to choose the most suitable for your business.

Note: after conducting your research and you still don’t know how to write your business plan, consult the services of a professional.