I am Onyinye, your new community manager in Lagos SME boot camp.
When I planned this introduction, I thought I’d do something more elaborate; tell you my name, share a bit about what I’ll be doing in Lagos SME Bootcamp, and end with asking you to tell me the kind of topics you’d like us to cover.
But well, things seldom go as planned. With the heated debate over VAT, Facebook’s network crashing suddenly yesterday [I’m sure you spent several minutes thinking it’s your network provider], and our excitement over the success of the first edition of Ibadan SME Bootcamp, this is a typical case of too much news, too little time.
So I’ll skip the lengthy introduction (for now) and instead, share a really nice picture of me (I’m sure it will suffice because we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words).
Born Onyinyechi Egwu Nwankwo but would rather be called ‘Onyi’
Loves to scroll through twitter, discuss social issues and occasionally have existential debates (even I don't know what this means)
Hopelessly in love with reading and while I advocate against having a favourite book, mine is ‘When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Klanithi’
The new community manager for Lagos SME boot camp. [so essentially, I’ll be part of the team writing and curating all the content you’ll see on all our social and other digital channels]
Ask me absolutely anything about your business and I will reach out to our industry experts for solutions
Now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s delve into the hottest issues right now: Facebook crash. Or should I say, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Oculus, and Facebook workplace crash?
I won't go into all the details because you already know it. But as a business owner, there is one lesson for you: DO NOT LAY ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET.
Imagine if Facebook and its family of apps are the only channels you use in engaging with your customers, this means that you’re going to spend an undefined length of time away from your primary business channels.
What are we saying?
It’s time to explore other digital channels as backup for a time where it might happen again. Build a mailing list.
Write on Medium or Substack [we’ll talk about this in subsequent newsletters].
Set up a blog if it applies to your business.
Start a YouTube channel.
Discord/Telegram groups for service providers
Have a record of your customers’ phone number. Explore SMS marketing. You might never know when these channels will be a great option B.
Moving on to the VAT issue, there’s no end in sight. Should FG concede VAT collection to the state? We are not here to say. Our focus is how it will affect your ease of doing business, especially as a small business owner.
For instance, if you expand your business to Ibadan, you’ll be dealing with two agencies with possibly different rates for VAT (your current location and Oyo state), which is quite complex.
Distribution of VAT should be based solely on contribution, Let me explain. Currently VAT is distributed on a 50/30/20 model. 20% is based on contribution, 50% on equality and 30% population. A better way will be to share it, such 80% of the VAT a state generates is given back to them and the local government gets the other 20%. Have I gotten your attention? Watch an interview with Ayo Bankole on Channels as he explains this VAT subject in detail.
Before I go, I thought to mention that we’re still reeling from the success of Ibadan SME Bootcamp. We had over 700 attendees, 9 speakers across 7 industries covering critical topics like tax and accounting literacy and management, leveraging government opportunities, and using tech to access funding .
The highlight of the Ibadan SME Bootcamp
The Business Pitch Competition: We provided MSMEs with unique value propositions and proven sustainable business models with soft funding to help their businesses scale
Winners of the competition included; Temitayo Johnson, CEO TJL Signatures; Alice Adeyeye, Founder & CEO Safebelle Foods, and Taoheed Alimi, CEO Limta farms
The fourth edition of the Lagos SME Bootcamp is set to hold on November 18, 2021 at the Ballroom, Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. We would appreciate it if you can help share our banners on your social media pages and we will make sure to repost (please tag us on your post @lagossmebootcamp)
Omo e be like say the tori don dey long, it was really nice reaching out to you, I would be on standby to read comments from you.
Till next time,
P.S. Here’s my personal email email@example.com You can reach out to me with questions, suggestions, and inquiries. Send anything, and I promise to read them all and respond to you in good time.