Friday, 31 July 2015

9 Sweet Ways to Save Money on Vacation

Vacation trips could cost you money, but researchers say that it is good for the overall well being of an individual. So once in a year taking a trip is actually not bad. I have always said cut your clothes according to your size, you can remain within your country but travel to other states/counties or you can travel to other countries it all depends on your pocket. Before going on any trip, ask yourself first, can you afford the trip? If no, please do not travel cause it will do you harm than good. However, I have great tips on saving the overall costs on vacations without compromising your experience. Here they are.

1. Make a monthly contribution towards your vacation.

2. Buy your airline ticket like 6 months before your travel date, that way they are cheaper. It is still the same airline, the same journey but at a cheaper price.

3. Reduce your baggage, leave unneccessary items at home. Its a vacation not a relocation. That way you do not get charged by airlines.

4. If you are there for less than 7 days, book your hotel in advance, check online for the hotel that gives you the best value for money .When you book your hotel in advance they are cheaper.

5. If you are there for 1 - 2 weeks or more, rent a room rather than staying in a hotel. It is cheaper that way.

6.Exchange your currencies (halal) before travelling, check for the cheapest place online  to get a good exchange rate.

7. Purchase tickets for tourism in advance, they are cheaper that way

8. Eat the hotel's food once in a while.

9. Do not roam when you are out of the country. The only one that will be benefiting from it is your network provider.

Halal means anything lawful Islamically.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Making Money in the Real Estate Market

To invest in the real estate market in some developing nations you will need at least $1000 . If you cannot afford such an amount of money at the moment or you cannot tie up such an amount of money at the moment, there are so many  other markets (like the gold market) you can make money from.  I said to you in my past articles that Land will always appreciate because it is limited in supply. In Nigeria, it is safe to say that some areas increases by 300%  every  2 years. It depends on the area some lands go for $1000  approximately and some others go for as high as $800,000, wait for it to appreciate and sell the land. You are not in it to build. From the sale you have made, look for another cheap area to buy the land and sell again. Buying Lands in some developing nations might be a little bit risky cause I have heard of situations whereby the land was purchased from the wrong hands. Minimize the risk by buying the land that is on the list of well  established real estate agencies. Well, if you have more cash, you can build a house on the land and then sell the house. I am aware of people that have made good money from doing that, but it is capital intensive. You make more money by building and selling a house than just selling the land. That's all for today, hope you have gained a thing or two.

Keep checking my blog regularly. Cheers!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Guides on starting your own business

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Anyone can start a business, however, it has to be something you are passionate about. Today, I am going to be giving you tips on starting a new business. My e-book 'How to become a successful entrepreneur' which will be released on the 3rd of October, 2015 will give you a deeper knowledge on running a successful business. It will be priced at $5.99, so start saving up(smiles) However, this article will still impact good knowledge on starting up a business, hopefully you will want more. The e-book will talk about marketing, organisational behaviour, accounting and finance, business ethics, information systems, leadership skills, business strategy and others, so be prepared.

The first step you need to take when you want to start a business is to develop an idea, it has to be related to something you are passionate about and it has to be realistic. The next step will be to develop the skills required like if you want to provide make-up services then get the required skills, if you want to provide IT services get the education needed (it could be a professional course). I know that it is quite expensive to attend universities in developed nations, however, professional courses are not so expensive. It could be a short course, that will be influenced by the level you are willing to take your business too. Be rest assured any skill can be developed, it all as to do with your determination and your effort. The next step will be to identify your target market, is it a particular age group? is it for men?, afterwards understand that market and then work on developing a product that will give them what they want. 

You will then have to come up with a business name, your business must portray the right image and must be competitive. You will then have to develop a business plan, that will include your goals, sales target, how you intend to penetrate the market, strategies to be used, financial estimates (halal) and others. This business plan will help you measure your progress generally. Then,  develop a strategic plan that will help you stay competitive in the market. Business and statregic plans will be dealt with at a deeper level in my e-book. 

The next thing you would do is to work on your supply chain, make enquiries  about reliable suppliers who sell the best materials or equipment at a very good price and start to develop a relationship with them. Then raise capital for your business following the guides in my previous articles and register your business. If I give $1000 today, you won't know what to do with it because you got it unexpectedly and you might end up spending it lavishly, but if you have plan and then I give $1000, then it will be spent wisely since you already have a plan for it. So you need to draw up your business and strategic plan first before raising capital. Advertise your products (goods and services) and then start selling.

Halal means anything lawful Islamically.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

How to Make Money from Gold

We used to operate in a gold standard system in the past, it is common knowledge that we presently operate in a dollar based system.  A system where each country measures the value of its currency against the dollar for the dollar based system and the gold for the gold standard system. The gold used to be a yardstick for measuring the value of a currency, although it is no longer used to measure the value of currencies these days, it has maintained it's prestigious value.

Gold a very valuable metal, its prices depreciates at times and appreciates other times, but looking at its trend over 100 years, the prices have always appreciated over 10 years or above. From 2006 to 2015, the gold price per ounce appreciated by 200%, while from 2002 to 2015 it appreciated by 300%. So Long term investors go ahead and purchase gold. You must always pay zakat on the value of your gold. Gold can also be transferred from one generation to another.  I have always said store away save some money in a halal account for unexpected expenses first before making other forms of investments. Apart from these savings helping you when you need to pay for an unexpected expense, it will also prevent you from converting your investments before they have yielded you some profits. After having some good cash in your halal bank account, instead of continously saving your money buy gold. For short term investors, you want profit immediately, the gold price like every other commodity is influenced by the level of demand and supply in the market as well as speculations on demand. My tip to you will be to watch the market, even if the price depreciates, it will still appreciate eventually during short term, so wait for it to appreciate and sell it then. Buy in large quantities so a lot of gains can be made cause it normally appreciates between 5% to 20% in short periods. It was observed that the gold market performed better than the stock market in 2014 in the UK.

While carrying out my research, I was informed that a lot of scrap items have gold in them, some people make $1000 per week selling the gold in scrap items. It requires little to start the business, personally I think the business is for men. However, do not just throw away scrap items (laptops, desktops, cell phones, microwave e.t.c), sell them, yes even if they do not work anymore. Gold is generally are normally purchased to serve as a form of security during volatile periods and yes it serves the purpose.

Make sure your gold business is halal

Halal means anything lawful Islamically.

Keep checking my blog regularly. Cheers!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Financial Vicious Cycle

Back to the real matter, quality thinking yields quality results so spend time with individuals that would influence your thoughts positively. Your mindset goes a long way in helping you achieve your goals. Some people might try to discourage you, just because they couldn't achieve it does not mean you can't. Henry Ford says if you think you can't then you can't and if you think you can then you can. I am challenging you all to achieve financial growth. By being in a vicious cycle, I mean spending time with people whose thinking pattern are not of high quality. When you tell them about pursuing a goal, or when you start pursuing a goal, they come up with reasons for you to not go after that goal. You can do two things, face them and let your positivity rise above their negativity or just avoid them. The people in a vicious cycle remain stagnant and never achieve growth, cause the productive thinking of one will be discouraged by the thinking of another. So if you spend time with people that you notice that anytime you want to do something that will bring you growth ,they will just say something to discourage you then challenge their thoughts, you can help them leave their stagnation that way.
For individuals who are always coming up with reasons to not go after your goals that are good for you, for others and the community as a whole, you need to start challenging your thinking pattern. Remove the emotional barriers by taking steps toward achieving the goal, never procastinate. A lot of individuals have beautiful goals, beautiful ideas but let their thinking pattern discourage them from going after their goals. 'A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new' Albert Einstein so do not worry about mistakes. Aim for excellence not perfection.

While some people don't get tempted easily, others do. So if you get tempted easily, limit your contact with people who like spending money all the time (like wanting to hang out all the time) or people who can't stop talking about things they own. This will prevent you from spending money lavishly. Some cultures encourage people to use money to oppress others, please, do not be oppressed. Money should not be used as a tool to oppress others. Take steps toward your financial growth one step at a time through clean processes. Do not let the thoughts of others discourage you from achieving financial growth. Anyone can achieve financial growth with the right mindset. Good Luck. Challenge for the month for you all, save $300 in a halal bank account. Cheers!

Halal means anything that is lawful Islamically.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Emotional Health: A trendy thing in Business

Individuals feel and react differently in relation to various situations. A situation that might bring stress to a particular person might not even bother another person. Emotionally healthy people are not overwhelmed by their emotions, they have self respect,  they are able to consider the interests of others, they are able to deal with challenges easily and all other characteristics. A good emotional health is required for carrying out day to day tasks in business and not just business but generally. The way you won't drink dirty water is the same way the emotional health should be taken care of. There are few actions that can be carried out daily to enhance your emotional health and they are as such; drinking 6 cups of water (liquid cause it could be a cup of juice or hot chocolate; please one cup of juice and one cup of hot chocolate) . Good nutrition is another factor that can enhance your emotional health. Cooking your food rather than eating out. I am not saying don't eat out at all, 1-2 times a week is not bad.  For some people, they feel lazy when it comes to cooking unlike those of us that we like cooking.

There are some actions that a person may carry out that he/she will enjoy and it brings he/she benefits(like those that like cooking), there are also some actions  that a person may carry out that he/she will not enjoy and it will bring he/she benefits (like those that feel lazy to cook). When these actions are carried out repeatedly and you start to reap its benefits sooner or later they would become actions you carry out that you enjoy and brings you benefits. There some actions that a person may carry out that he or she will enjoy and it won't bring any benefit (like eating out all the time or eating sugary foods all the time), minimize them. Eating six portions of fruits/vegetable daily, 2 portions  can be eaten at every meal (well balanced diet). 6-8 hours of sleep is required daily and 20 minutes of exercise is also required daily. Fish and nuts are good for the emotional health. A good emotional health is required in business cause it helps you stay competitive and deal with business challenges easily. 

Keep Checking my blog regularly. Cheers!

How to Prevent and Deal with Debt Crisis

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Are you having difficulties managing  your debt ? Are you feeling overwhelmed by debt? Do you want to prevent debt problems? If you answered yes to any of the questions then you are reading the right article. If you are feeling overwhelmed by debt, read my earlier  post "Emotional Health: A trendy thing in business" . It will help you.  For you to be able to deal with daily tasks you have to take good care of your emotional health. No debt difficulty is unresolvable, it might not be resolved immediately but you can be rest assured it can be dealt with. In the UK, if your debt is up to £5000 or above they have a government scheme that can help you write off up to 80% of your debt. While in USA, they also have so many debt relief option schemes. So your first step will be to check your country for schemes that will help clear part of your debt. The next step is to stop digging, do not incur additional debts. JUST STOP!, then reduce your spendings, yes I know you are used to a particular lifestyle. It's just till you are able to turn your negative figures to positive ones. Now look for another source of income, you can get another job and the income from it should go strictly towards your debt. For developing and under-developed countries where the unemployment rate is higher start selling something that requires little money to execute. Little drops of water makes a might ocean. 

For individuals that are not in any debt crisis and want to prevent it. Do not spend money you don't have. Someone once told me about borrowing money to give a friend, don't create financial problems for yourself by trying to help someone. The person did not want to give out the money but just did not know how to say no. Helping people is a good thing, but it should always be within your capacity. If you do not have the capacity to give say No, the people that truly care about you will stay with you no matter your response. Some people would not want others to think they cannot afford the money and then they get into a psychological state of wanting to prove themselves, please be true to yourself and just because you don't have today does not mean you won't have tomorrow so let it go let them think you are broke. It will do you more harm than good to give out money you do not have. After receiving your income save (halal account) at least 1/3 of it before you spend it. Have two sources of income. 

Always make a financial plan for at least 3 months, in your plan make room for unexpected expenses. It is known that people who make long term financial plans are more successful at managing their finances. Stick to the plan. Have a financial goal, like I will save $500 monthly and you can renew your goal bi-annually or annually. Cut your clothes according to your size, thus, do not live above your means if anything live below it, that way an occurrence of a financial challenge (for example adverse changes in source of income), you will have the ability to cope well, since you are used to a standard of living below your income. Diversify your investment (never put your eggs in one basket). Always pay your religious obligatory payment, you will get blessed for it. Hope you have gained a thing or two. Check this blog regularly for a post on what your budget should look like. Cheers!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

7 Ways to Challenge Impulsive Purchases

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Impulsive purchase is an unintended decision to buy a product (goods and services). A lot  of companies set up traps to lure consumers into impulsive purchases. Pastry shops will display delicious looking pastries, other shops will display candies, chocolates e.t.c. While, we all have made an impulsive purchase in the past, it comes to some people naturally to spend little on impulsive purchases and for others they have little or no control over their impulsive purchases. It has been observed that, averagely, impulsive purchasers had higher incomes but lower wealth. Impulsive purchase is one of the reasons some individuals end up bankrupt (halal). For those of you that have little or no control over impulsive purchases here are its consequences. It has been observed that individuals who spend more money impulsively end up having the worst financial outcomes. A study showed that individuals who made the highest impulsive purchases were 3 times more likely to become bankrupt. Impulsive purchasers end up having debt problems, they even take up credit cards (do not take credit cards cause they deal with interest and taking interest is a sin) If you are having debt problems or are just interested in preventing debt problems watch out for an article on this blog that will deal with it. 

If you have a little or no control over your impulsive purchases don't worry their are steps to take to challenge this little control of yours. You must take this action on a regular basis, and hopefully sooner or later you will gain control. Here are the steps:

* Make a list of items you need before going shopping for goods and stick to it.

* Discounted items are just one of those traps I was talking about that companies set for unsuspecting consumers. If you do not need the item even if it is cheaper, you might find it tempting, do not purchase it.

*Reduce the time you spend shopping; the less time you spend shopping the lower your probability of making impulsive purchases.

*If you normally have food cravings, eat a healthy meal at home before going shopping.

*Pay with cash and not your debit card that way you will be able to keep track of your spendings. Leave your debit card at home, some individuals say they are prone to impulsive  purchases when they are with their debit cards, only use your debit card at the ATM and drop it back at home.

* Make a little room for impulsive purchases on your monthly budget and do not exceed that little room.

* Do not use shopping carts, cause you might have the need to fill up the cart.

When you are about to break any of these rules, just remember the consequences debt problem, bankruptcy (halal debt), little wealth and others, that should put you back on track.

Halal means anything lawful Islamically.

Are you in a financial vicious cycle? check this blog regularly cause I will be dealing with ways to get out of it before it ruins you. Cheers!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

How to invest your money

Some people want to invest but do not know how to go about it. Investing your money to achieve financial growth is a good thing for everyone. You can either invest your money in the capital market (halal), real estate market (halal), commodities like gold (halal), oil etc.  I spoke about the risk appetite for businesses in my last post 'managing risks'. Risk appetites should not only be used in making business decisions but also be used in determining how individuals should invest their money. So you need to ask yourself some questions like what will be the impact of losing this amount of money that you are about to invest on your life and that of the people in your life. Will it affect you drastically, if yes then do make low risks investments. In other words, know the amount of money you can afford to lose. The amount you want to make from the investment  (investment goals) should also determine how you should invest your money. The time you can tie up this money for should also help determine how you should invest your money. The money market (halal) is a good place to save money for individuals that are risk averse. 

For people with medium risk appetites, investing in the shares (capital market (halal)) of companies whose financial statements have been analysed is advisable. However, diversifying your share portfolio helps you to minimize your risks, by diversify, I mean do not put your eggs in one basket, invest in different sectors, different stock exchange market (halal stocks) that way a loss in one market/sector can be compensated by the gain in another.  Shares (halal) can be invested for long term purposes or short term purposes, that will be dependent on your investment choice. For long term investors, people who want to tie up their money for more than 1 year, investing in commodities like gold(halal), oil will be advisable cause they will increase over a long period. The real estate market is advisable for people who have a lot of money they are willing to tie for a period longer than one year. Land will always appreciate in value, although buildings will depreciate, the appreciated value of the land will always bypass the depreciated value of the building.  The risk involved in buying a land is medium, just make sure you buy the land from the right people like going to a registered agency. The return from owning a land for a period longer than one year is high.   Some investments (halal) might cost additional charges. An investment should be well diversified, investment in different investment markets and sectors.  

Halal means anything lawful Islamically. Zakat must be paid appropriately. Keep checking out my blog regularly. Cheers!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Managing Risks

All business activities carry an element of risk inherented in them; this business activities include financial activities, operating activities, marketing activities and activities that involves dealing with employees. It is important you determine risk at an early stage of your business. The risk appetite of your business should determine the risk management approaches that will be used. Risk appetite is the risk a business is willing to take to achieve its goals. The business must have the capacity to deal with the consequences  of the taking the risks and it must be acknowledged by all major contributors.

The risk appetite must reflects your business plans and strategies. I mentioned business activities earlier now I am going to give you some examples of risks for  each activity. Financial activities include  financial forecast that are not accurate, cost estimates that are not accurate, adverse changes in tax rates etc. Marketing activities include decrease in demand for products (good and services), a new major entrant into the market, changes in the taste of customers, the introdution of a more competitive product by competitors etc. Operating activities include problem with suppliers, difficulties with information systems etc. Activities that involves dealing with people include recruiting and retaining employees etc. 

After risks have been identified you must now assess the risk which involves assessing the probability of the risk occurring (whether its low, medium or high) and assessing the impact of its occurrence on the business (whether its low, medium or high). You should use the risk appetite of the business to determine what class (high, medium or low) the probability of risks falls into and the impact it will have on the company. Both quantitative and qualitative measures should be used, quantitative measures may include financial targets or earning volatility, qualitative aspect may include reputational impact and legislation compliance. Dealing with risks involves four main approaches which includes

* Avoidance: If in the opinion of your business the probability of the risk occuring is high and the impact on your business is also high then the risk should be avoided. That means you should eliminate all factors that will lead to the occurrence of such risks.

* Reduction/Mitigation : If in the opinion of your business the probability of the risk occurring is high but the impact on your business is low then the risk should be reduced/mitigates. You identify ways to mitigate or reduce the risks.

* Transfering risks: If in the opinion of your business the probability of the risk occurring is low but the impact  is high then the risks should be transferred which can be done by means of insurance, through business contracts with suppliers, customers, employees etc

* Absorbing risks: If  your business believes the probability of the risk occurring is low and the impact is low then the risk should be accepted since the consequences of its occurrence can be easily dealt with.
You should review the risk management approaches used by your business regularly, cause a potentially low risk might become high due to changes. You should also measure risk management approaches against key performance indicators. Keep checking this blog for more finance and business tools. Cheers!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Moving Nigeria from a developing to a developed Economy

It is quite easy to blame the government for the reason Nigeria is still developing. As much as I believe that the government plays a vital role in Nigeria. I also believe each individual play a role in Nigeria, you can either be part of the problem or be part of the solution. Little drops of water makes a mighty ocean we say, as such each little contribution made by each individual will be that drop or drops of water that will end up making that ocean.  Some individuals are into yahoo yahoo (thats rubbish), why not use your brain for something that will be productive for yourself and for the nation. One good action by an individual can contribute positively to the impression about safety in Nigeria. As a potential investor why would I start a business in country If I don't  believe that most people in the country are full of integrity and credibility. As such play your own part by being a person of high integrity. A country full with people of high intergrity will attract investors which will lead to the creation of more employment opportunities and as such contribute to the growth of our GDP. You can also play your part by using our local products that way those companies can grow and therefore contribute to the development of the country.

The government plays a vital role in Nigeria, leadership they say is by example. Inspire the youths of today positively. It is common knowledge that funds meant for the general public are being transferred as their own personal funds to foreign nations. How that add value to you by doing that I still can't understand. Yes you have the funds but yet your generations will still suffer as a result of that action, you will suffer as a result of it cause of bad roads one which can cause your own accident, robbers which can attack and other factors. Allah says man shall reap the reward for the good he has done and pay for the evil he has done. You are still going to be punished for it so why do it? Even if there is no punishment for such, integrity is beautiful. I must commend the Lagos State government for their contributions so far, Lagos has experienced some developments.  Nigeria has been blessed with crude oil, it generates income from exporting crude oil but yet it still imports refined oil. Government please work on the refineries and stop importing refined oil. The reduction of importation will contribute positively to the GDP of Nigeria, it will also reduce the cost of petrol, diesel and so on in the country and money saved from such reduction by individuals can be employed in other areas like starting a business which will contribute to sustainable development of the country. Constant power supply is also another factor, a step as being taken to make the sector a private one. I believe it will contribute immensely to the development of the country cause it will reduce the overall cost of carrying out business activities in the country and as such attract potential investors. 

I also believe prices for the power supply will be competitive just like what happened in the telecommunications industry. The agricultural sector used to be our major source of income before the crude oil was found. Do not only have one source of income. The government should work on developing the agricultural sector again so it can also yield a high income for the country. The teachers in primary schools should incorporate subjects that will stimulate creativity in children. This creative side can also contribute immensely to the development of products by Nigerians that will be respected all over the world. Hopefully this post will be a little drop of water that will form part of the ocean. I know it won't happen overnight but it can happen eventually with persistent actions toward the development of the country. Nigeria is beautiful and blessed.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Raising Capital for Business

There are so many ways capital can be raised for setting up your own business. It can be raised by yourself, from your immediate family and close friends. Capital can be raised by yourself by working first for another company and not losing focus of your main goal. Work first, go ahead with any job you are comfortable with and raise that capital. Another way  capital can be raised is from your immediate family members. Immediate family members will most likely loan or even dash you the money cause they care about you. Loans from family members should be at 0% anything other that do not accept it. 

Capital can also be raised from close friends, ask them to borrow you the money, tell them what the money will be used for and give a particular date that the money will be returned. Loans from close friends should be at 0% too, anything other than that do not accept it. Do not deal with interest, it is bad for you. Please adhere to the date given, integrity is key as well as goodwill.  No one can make it by standing alone, you need a team, you need money etc to make that business a successful one.

Keep checking my blog regularly, Cheers!

Packaging in Business

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What makes Nando's different from a regular shop thats sells grilled chicken, rice , burgers, wraps etc is the packaging.I love Nando's food (halal). The way the products (goods and services) are packaged  will lead  to the feeling that will be attached to the brand. Virgin trains make you opt for their trains first because of its ambience. Except in situations where the trains are not available. The way a service provider presents itself goes a long way to influence how customers will perceive the company,

Staff members must look good, or if you are just starting and its just you, you must look good as well. For example, if you are a makeup artist. The makeup on your face should promote your products (services and goods) as well as your dress sense. A lot of people like beauty. The quality of the products should be high, the way its presented must be nice and  it should be sold at a good price. Two chinese food shops within close range to each other, one's food is delicious , served in a large container and sold at $3.80 while the other's food is just so so, served in a smaller container and sold at $3.90.  Ofcourse, we already know what shop will attract more customers. A company that is trying to bid for a project, the staff visiting the place, looking fabulous will be the wise thing to do.  The way you look is the way people are going to treat  so go ahead  and make a good impression looking goods while selling high quality products at competitive prices.

Halal means anything lawful Islamically.

Spirituality: A Delicious Nourishment for Business


The basis of any good thing is for you to have a good foundation in Allah. He leads, He guides, He sees it all .  He sees the end before you do. A prayer asking Him for guidance and following His advise is the most important in any business. Working hard to achieve your business goals also gives attributes to Allah cause you are working for it and thus once He thinks you deserve it. He will bless you with success.

A lot of people are so concerned about what people will say when they are about to start a business that will add value to their lives. As long as you are comfortable about it do not let the thoughts of others (not even mine) deter you from pursuing your business goals cause at the end of the day one man's food is another man's poison. Follow the godly advise and guidance. We all know the difference between right and wrong, if the business is bad for others and the community please do not embark on it. A business that will earn earthly and heavenly rewards is what you should pursue. Guidance do come through dreams or advises from someone who has experience in that business field.

Keep checking my blog regularly. Cheers! Allah is the greatest, He has no son. He has no partner. Never associate partners with Him.