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Important Steps in Starting A Successful Business

We have seen it time and again where a business moves from 3 employees with $1000 a month in revenues to $10000 a month. What happens next is that, they start hiring people to do jobs that they could have assigned to one of the current staff members with a pay raise.

They move into more plush offices and maybe even decide they need more ‘company cars’. Before they know it, there are too many people in the company whose work does not necessarily impact the bottom-line or sync with the brand’s vision. Very soon they are praying for money to pay salaries and looking for loans and investors.

Bootstrap your business if you have to.

If you want to be an internationally known photographer, start with your town. There are events happening everyday that need good photography. Talk to event management companies or friends and find out who is about to have a baby shower, a wedding or a party. Speak to your local church and find out which couples are getting ready for marriage and offer your services. This will help you gain enough traction and also spread word about your services.

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My mother once saw a company she wanted to supply automobile parts for, but didn’t know which parts they would need so she devised a plan. She followed their trucks to their loading stations and asked the drivers for the names of their mechanics. She then approached the mechanics and they told her which parts were usually faulty. This information helped her to tailor her pitch for the company. The alternative was to sit in her office and wait for business to come knocking on her door.

There is nothing wrong with starting with what you can manage for a while. A big company can either be big in terms of profits or in terms of staff size.

These do not always come together. What you must consider is what works for you. If you want to build a global coffee shop franchise with 5000 locations then build one. On the other hand you could also build like Sukiyabashi Jiro, a world-renowned sushi restaurant, with only two locations. The most popular location is said to have only ten seats in the building.

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Ask yourself what you can manage effectively before taking on more than you can chew. Can you efficiently handle ten more full-time employees? They may only be interns but consider the cost of resources, time and energy before adding people to your team.

There are very few brands that started by creating 20 products and 30 brand extensions. There are countless examples of successful companies that started with one product. When we created the MiG Shuffle app for the iPhone in 2009, we could only afford to have a few images on it but we launched it anyway. At the time, our developer was living in the States. I had just graduated from university and two of our illustrators were freelancers whom I had to convince to come to my home before we could get any work done. We could have waited for an extra programmer and five more images but we shipped anyway and that has led to more projects in later years. Interestingly, with the exception of our programmer, I was the only one who owned an iOS device (first generation iPod touch). The recommended approach here is to make one product that is good enough to sell and ship it ASAP.

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If you bake delicious cupcakes and have dreams of raising money for a TV show, I recommend you starting a home delivery service until you gain enough traction or save a substantial amount of money. The feitdirect.com website says, “All FEIT products are made by hand. Numbers are sustainably limited – we will only produce what the available materials allow. Members will be given first opportunity to pre-order FEIT products.”

Many of us have dreams that are bigger than our imagination or resources at the moment.

The best way to start is to take a few productive actions every day. For example, my book started out as a blog. Every day I would read and write, read and write, read and write and then I would do some more reading and writing. To chop down a big tree, you can start by chopping at the trunk a little every single day. After a while, the tree will come down.


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Jeffrey Manu is an Internet Marketing Consultant and Business Growth Adviser to creative entrepreneurs who want to 10x their growth in 12 months. He runs Growingstartup.com and a tech and media business.

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Ghanaian Twin Brothers Launch 0207 Def Jam Label to Champion British Music Culture

Universal Music UK has today announced the launch of 0207 Def Jam, a new frontline label and the UK home of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label, with a stellar cast of execs including the appointment of highly respected industry executives and Ghanaian London-born twin brothers, Alec and Alex Boateng as co-Presidents.

0207 Def Jam, which takes the first part of its name and inspiration from a telephone code in London as a nod to the music, culture and art the UK is famed for, is partnering with the legendary Def Jam label which has shaped and propelled cutting-edge hip hop culture around the world for over 35 years.

Alongside his brother, Alex takes the helm after 10 years at Universal Music UK, most recently as president of Island Records’ first Urban Division which has played an instrumental role in shaping the current and sustained trajectory of UK Black music. After taking the role in 2018 he oversaw UK campaigns for Drake, Tiwa Savage, Buju Banton, Nav, Giggs, Unknown T, Ray BLK, M Huncho, Tekno and Miraa May whilst also spearheading the campaigns for George The Poet’s debut book release, British film, The Intent 2 and UK based clothing brand/label Lizzy. Alex is a member of Universal Music’s Task Force for Meaningful Change, which was created as a driving force for inclusion and social justice. He joined Universal Music in 2010 in a digital role at Island Records before going on to hold positions in marketing and A&R, a period which included campaign launches for Tinchy Stryder, Drake, The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj as well as A&R for artists including JP Cooper, Sean Paul, Jessie J, Dizzee Rascal, Donae’o and Big Shaq.  He started his music career balancing a marketing degree with DJing, multiple shifts at radio and running his own marketing and promotions company with his then BBC 1Xtra colleague G Money, moving on to consulting roles with Atlantic Records, Polydor and AATW. 

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Alec joins 0207 Def Jam after seven years at Warner Music, most recently as co-head of A&R at Atlantic, where he collected a clutch of industry awards and played a pivotal role in the commercial and cultural success of acts who have defined their era, including the emergence through to her chart-topping dominance of Jess Glynne, the revolutionary rise of Stormzy, Burna Boy’s rapid ascent to global superstar as well as the likes of WSTRN, Rita Ora, Kojo Funds, Stalk Ashley, Preditah and many more. A seasoned broadcaster, he also spent over a decade at BBC 1Xtra where he hosted the breakfast show for several years and a series of other specialist shows with a focus on breaking new British music. Alec remembers a passionate deep-rooted love of music as a child, evolving into DJing and leading the award-winning UK mixtape team Split Mics before halting university after he was headhunted to cut his teeth in A&R. First, he worked with Ministry of Sound and then began operating his own co-owned music company alongside the late industry lawyer Richard Antwi. Together, they oversaw a plethora of success with Wretch 32 and worked with artists such as Popcaan and Gyptian amongst many others.

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Alex’s former Island colleague Amy Tettey will be joining the team as managing director after 11 years, the past four as finance director, at the Universal Music label where she worked across the entire roster of Island artists including everyone from Amy Winehouse to Drake and Dizzee Rascal to Giggs. Alongside Amy, Jacqueline Eyewe and Char Grant join as marketing director and A&R director respectively. Jacqueline – previously senior marketing manager at Atlantic where she spearheaded the marketing of Black music – has been deeply rooted in contemporary Black music and culture for the last decade. She joined Atlantic in 2015 where she has worked with artists including Stormzy, Burna Boy, Lizzo, WSTRN, Kehlani and Cardi B. Char, whose 10-year career has been immersed in artist development and management as well as songwriting, joins from BMG Music Publishing where she has published the likes of Giggs, Ghetts and producers P2J, TSB and AOD.

Alec and Alex report to Universal Music UK Chairman & CEO David Joseph. He says, “Bringing the Boateng brothers together at 0207 Def Jam is an important moment in British culture. Alec and Alex have always done things their own way with success always quick to follow. They have already assembled an exceptionally talented top team with a clear vision for this exciting new chapter in the history of one of the world’s most famous labels”.

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Jeff Harleston, interim Chairman & CEO, Def Jam Recordings said, “It is a perfect fit having Alex and Alec at the helm of 0207 Def Jam. Their creativity, artist relationships, and connection with culture are all key elements that have made Def Jam such an important label for over 35 years. I have no doubt that Alex, Alec and their team will only make the label and the brand even stronger.”

Alec Boateng, co-President of 0207 Def Jam says, “Music, art and artists really, really matter. I’m super excited to play a leadership role in this brilliant new space we’re creating for amazing music and talent to live and evolve. A space which will support both our teams and our artists to be the best version of themselves.”

Alex Boateng, co-President of 0207 Def Jam says, “Especially in these times, this is a real privilege. I’m proud our collective journey now includes partnering a legendary label with a style that only London and the UK can provide. Looking forward to watching and guiding where the music and art takes the journey next.”

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