inspitories xvii: lr

September 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Inspitories is my made up word for inspirational stories on young people I find interesting. They are usually interviews of other entrepreneurs, like myself, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting, stumbled upon online, or dug up that motivate me. Enjoy and get inspired!

For most of middle school, I had a best friend. We were almost inseparable. For a while, both teachers and strangers alike thought we were twin brothers. After correcting numerous people countless times, we started claiming to be! I think that led him to coin Twin Raiders, which became a clique of four friends, with code names: Syber, Vesta, TJ, and Kere – Seyi, Sylvester, Tunji (his late cousin), and Samson respectively. Like most Sylvesters, my nickname evolved into Sly. His, however, stuck all through high school; still is even.

Though no longer best friends, we’ve have managed to keep in touch and remain friends for about twenty years now. We, however, still have a few things in common – penchant for watches, one sister, got just our moms now, movies/TV addiction – he’s probably the only person I know who watches more movies and TV shows than I do, and I watch over twenty every week lol; and surprise, surprise, business.

Seyi is a master salesman. He could probably sell beef to a cow. He started off selling watches while in college, and this year, I noticed he’d started car sales – he identified a niche (which he shared with me), and now, he’s not just selling them, he can’t hold on to them long enough!

I admire his drive and entrepreneurial spirit so much. When I thought of setting up shop in Nigeria, he’s one of the few people I met with to educate me on the terrain. Through his help, I opened up a Konga.com store for Pearl Kreations. No regrets. If like most people, you’re wondering how he’s getting by on watches [and cars] sales, trust me, he does fine! It’s my pleasure to profile the street-smart and tenacious Syber.

seyi-labinjo

Seyi Labinjo
Managing Director & Chief Marketing Officer
Labson Renmax Company

Birth Name
Seyi Hafiz Labinjo

Age
30 (as of 2016)

Skill(s)/Talent(s)
Marketing

Art/Business Name
Labson Renmax Company

Business Profile


Labson Renmax Company is the parent company of LR Watches and LR Autos, which provide high-end timepieces, and new as well as certified pre-owned automobiles respectively, at affordable rates backed with great after sales service.

I started this
Small scale in August 2008 selling entry-level wristwatches to university students.

I’m driven by
My passion, from the onset, to provide products and services with the customers’ satisfaction being key.

Past Works/Portfolio

  • Merchant on Konga.com
  • Sales Analyst/Moderator on Nairaland.com (Autos Section)
  • Official Timepiece Stockist on Dikkos.com

Contact me

greatness

August 21, 2016 Leave a comment

I’ve been thinking a lot about greatness and mediocrity. What makes one person great and another average? Is it destiny or fate? Is it beyond or within our control?

The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor – Vince Lombardi

I believe that if you want to stop being average, choose to stop being average! Greatness is a choice, and it’s achieved by becoming progressively productive in your daily routine and life decisions. Strive to be better than who you were yesterday. Set high goals and try to see things beyond the realm of possibility. You’re in competition with no one, but yourself, so train yourself to be better. Greatness eludes people who only strive to be average.

answer

July 17, 2016 Leave a comment

There is a book called The Enemy Called Average by John Mason. I recommend it. I’ll share some things I learnt that seem so simple, but will make a world of difference if you adopt today.

yes-and-no

One of the tricks of the devil is to get us to say yes to too many things. Then we end up being spread so thin that we are mediocre in everything and excellent in nothing. There is one guaranteed formula for failure, and that is to try to please everyone.

There is a difference between something that is good and something that is right. There comes a time in every person’s life when he must learn to say no to many good ideas. In fact, the more an individual grows, the more opportunities he will have to say no. Perhaps no other virtue is so overlooked as a key to growth and success. Becoming focused is a key to results.

There is power in the word “No”. No is an anointed word; one that can free you from burdens you really don’t need to be carrying. No can be used to turn a situation from bad to good, from wrong to right. It can also allow you to devote the correct amount of attention and effort to God’s priorities in your life.

I’m sure that as you’re reading this, some past experiences and present situations come to mind. I’m sure you can even recall many situations where no or not right now would have been the right answer. Don’t tell those put you down; just don’t yourself through that kind of disappointment in the future.

Yes and No are the two most important words that you will ever say. These are the two words that determine your destiny in life. How and when you say them affects your entire future. Saying no to lesser things can mean saying yes to the priorities in your life.

marriage

June 16, 2016 4 comments

Like a lot of young Nigerians in my age range, the older generation [and married friends] have been on my neck on getting married. At almost all social events, all I hear is “When are you getting married?”, “Se a ma tun se ti wo naa?” and so on, all I do is smile or reply “soon”. Over here marriage is an achievement, just another notch on the belt. Don’t get me wrong, I’d absolutely love to settle down someday, and by God’s grace, at the right time, I will. Besides, what I’ve realized is they’re not so much asking when I’m getting married as when my wedding day is, and there’s so much to marriage than just the wedding.

Almost every little girl dreams of her wedding to her tall and handsome knight in shiny armor. She has her dress, she has her plan on how everything will play out, and for the longest time, she looks forward to it. It sometimes gets worse as they get older. I wonder if any thought goes into what happens after the wedding? Here’s a hint – not 24/7 romance; reality happens.

marriage I think no one should rush you, neither should you rush yourself into marriage; God-willing, you’re gonna spend the rest of your long life with this person. Before getting married, I think the people involved need to know why they’re getting married. The years we’ve put in isn’t good enough. We can’t wait any longer is no good either. We’re running out of time/last chance isn’t even close. We love each other is half the answer. Obviously, love is absolutely necessary for any healthy and mature relationship to flourish, but it is insufficient on its own. You should want to get married because you are compatible – because you have similar interests, because you’re the best of friends, because you’re supportive of each other, because you want and enjoy many of the same things, because you understand each other, and of course, because you love each other. Healthy long-term relationships that stand the test of time are based on love, respect, and compatibility.

Dr. Daniel Rutley, who wrote an article I read on some years, is a strong advocate of compatibility in relationships. He says getting married just because of love is dangerous, infantile and immature, but that countless, supposedly mature adults do this every weekend for that single reason alone. He says self-identity is completely formed by the 27th year of life (even many older adults still struggle with who they are), so if you get married before your identity as a separate autonomous human being has formed, you interfere with this process.

He also says there are two other aspects of compatibility to consider when choosing a mate or deciding to stay with one, is the issue of lifestyle and personality – do you like the same movies, restaurants or types of vacations? Do you have a healthy style of conflict resolution, a money management system, the same long-term goals, and so on? Are you similar in character, curiosity, vitality, intellect, appearance, sexual passion, artistic interest, adaptability, self-concept, moods, communication, kindness, autonomy/closeness, humor, sociability, energy, ambition, education, spirituality, values, morals and ethics? He says this list only scratches the surface, but it is a guide for you to consider before taking the plunge. You can follow this link to read the complete article.

There is a lot of compromise in the best of relationships. It is however important to note that each time there is a compromise, someone gets less of what they want, and after a while, it can become exhausting. The greater the similarity between the two people – including emotional health and maturity – the better the chance of the relationship working long term.

plan

May 29, 2016 Leave a comment

It’s my birthday today. I’ve gotten lots of great gifts from my lovely family and loved ones. I’m feeling so happy and magnanimous that I’ve decided to share what goes into the preparation of an excellent business plan; well, the way we do it at Herança Financial. I’m expecting guests from 2:00 pm, so I’ll make this quick.

planThe first part should be the Executive Summary. As part of the name implies, it is a summary of the entire document. This means even though it comes first, it is usually prepared last. Essentially, it should have briefs on the most important aspects of the company to banks and prospective investors – profile, market analysis, start up cost, and projections.

Next is the Company Overview. This is where you put in the profile of your company (logo too, if you have one), your motto/slogan, your clear-cut mvvpp/mission, vision, values, philosophy, and positioning statement; your products/services and the pricing, your management structure, and the equity distribution of your company.

The Marketing Plan comes next. It is most likely going to be the bulkiest part of the plan. It should have a comprehensive profile of your primary and secondary target markets, analysis of your competition (direct and indirect), SWOT analysis of your company and the competition, your competitive strategy/unique selling point (usp), your market share analysis and potential, and your marketing strategy for making sales to your target customers.

Next, if you choose to or would find it advantageous, develop a Networking Plan. This will basically list places where you’d regularly socialize (to market yourself and your business), your goals (to meet mentors, investors, and/or prospective customers), your budget, and the frequency of attendance.

Then, it’s time for the Operations Plan. Here, you list prospective location options and analyses of the various locations (including zoning and the layouts), required personnel (yourself, included) and respective job descriptions, and the compensation plan (wages/salaries, overtime pay, bonuses, severance packages, study leaves, maternity/paternity leaves, and so on).

Another optional section is Government Assistance. You can include this for your personal use and/or to demonstrate you’ve done your homework on grants available to entrepreneurs and SME owners in your industry and proposed area of operation.

Finally, the most important section to banks and investors, the Financial Plan. This will house your balance sheet or personal net worth statement (if your company is not yet operational), start up cost/SUCs (include the utility bills projections and wages for defined length of time), your revenue model, sales forecast/projections (monthly, quarterly, and Year One to Year Three/Five), loan repayment structure, and [projected] income statement.

If you want to go the extra mile, like we do, put in a Customer Service Plan. This will have your code of conduct, dispute policy, employee discipline and evaluation practices, social media decorum, and so on). You can also add your Corporate Image Package/CIP. This will simply have samples of your brochure, business card, invoice, letterhead sheet, and flyers).

That’s it.

If it seems like a lot of work, it’s because it is!

You can always contact Herança Financial for assistance.

All the best!

 

ska redefined 2016

April 10, 2016 Leave a comment

In my special way of marking The SKA Legacy this year, I decided to review the profile of the company. I hope my dad is proud and smiling down from heaven. Continue to rest in perfect peace. As I started, two or three years ago, I continued with an air of professionalism and simplicity.

The SKA GroupOVER AND BEYOND™

Profile

The SKA Group goes over expectations and beyond. It is constantly raising the bar for excellence in innovation and service. Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, The SKA Group Incorporated is a leading, privately-owned, multinational, diversified business conglomerate. It owns and oversees the operations of several companies with interests spanning various industries all over the world. Through the dedication of its employees worldwide, The SKA Group remains one of the most admired, dynamic and profitable companies in the world.

History

The SKA Group began as Pearl Kreations on Monday, January 28th, 2008 in Hamilton, Ontario, while Sylvester Kay-Adade was a freshman at McMaster University. Circa September 2009, the vision for The SKA Group was conceived and implemented. By September 21st, 2010, it was officially registered in Canada under the laws of the Province of Ontario. As Pearl Kreations became more successful, its profits provided the necessary capital for the exploration of new industries. The result gave rise to real estate firm, Ransrive Realtors in November, 2009; and clothing company, Suave Clothing in February, 2010. These were preceded by the acquisition of accounting firm, SKA Ventures in June, 2009; and followed by the development of innovations firm, Sylver Productions in August, 2010. Presently, The SKA Group owns Café Euphorie, Herança Financial, Pearl Kreations, Prestige Academy, Ransrive Realtors, Suave Clothing, Sylver Productions, and Vecasyer Hotels & Towers, as well as controlling interests in RCubed-Merit LLP and Spinners Incorporated.

Mission

The SKA Group will relentlessly provide superior quality products and deliver exceptional service, while thriving to be the best and exceed expectations in all its business and social endeavors.

Vision

The SKA Group aims to be recognized as the global brand with a drive for innovation and heart after perfection.

Values

Integrity
We believe in consistency in the right values.
– Fairness: There is no discrimination; everyone is equal and every job is vital to our brilliant success.
– Hard work: Excellent results are not manufactured, but accomplished through hard work. We understand that and are very familiar with it.
– Lawfulness: All our actions and activities are in total obedience, and in complete accordance with the law.
– Quality: All our products and services are always held to the highest standards.
Leadership
We believe in leadership by example.
– Accountability: We account and take responsibility for our actions, and conduct ourselves responsibly and transparently in all situations and at all times.
– Entrepreneurship: We are creative, innovative and ready to take calculated risks.
– Perfection: We are performance-oriented and put our best into everything.
People
Like every family, we trust respect and trust each other, and that attitude flows right from the top to the branches.
The people make the company, and our people are the best employees, executives, and partners; hence, we are the best company.
Service
We make everything about our patrons because it is.
– Community: A good community produces good people. Our people are good people because they come from good communities.
In order to maintain the balance, we give back through caring for the environment, maintaining old and raising new fundamental structures, and providing basic necessities to lacking communities.
– Customers: Customer service is paramount to us because without our clients and customers, we would be non-existent. We are committed to continually provide value through our products and services.

Subsidiaries

Every business venture is held to the highest standards, operated efficiently, and pacesetters in their respective industries.

ska-in-2014
Café Euphorie is the chain of state-of-the-art cafes designed for and with the quintessential business executive in mind.
Herança Financial is the global, small business management firm which deals in the provision of top-notch financial advice and solutions for small and medium scale businesses.
Prestige Academy is the educational institution which delivers quality, unparalleled educational services. These services include entrepreneurial education, financial management education, middle school education, high school education, private tutoring, and renowned etiquette & grooming classes.
Pearl Kreations is the collectibles company which manufactures, retails and supplies superior quality pin back button-badges for a variety of corporate, personal, professional, national and international events and purposes.
Ransrive Realtors is the real estate company which provides temporary and permanent accommodation through the letting and sale of commercial and residential properties.
Suave Clothing is the unique clothing venture which retails luxury accessories from reputable brand names, manufactures and sells its own line of bespoke dress shirts, dress pants and suits, and provides wardrobe consultation services. It also produces a biannual style online publication called The Suave Series.
Sylver Productions is the innovative firm which provides unique products and services that meet untapped customer needs. It developed, manages and operates proprietary services like Citymail™, TixItUp™, Datlik™ and Wefyl™.
Vecasyer Hotels & Towers is the collection of the most stylish hotels and resorts worldwide which offer 5-star accommodation with first class professional treatment and quality services.

The SKA Group also has partial ownership of:
RCubed-Merit LLP – the outfitting firm which highlights and optimizes the potential for various living spaces by redefining the outlook of the rooms, offices, homes and work spaces through the reorganization and restructuring of their overall presentation. The SKA Group has fifty-one percent (51%) ownership.
Spinners Incorporated – the agency which provides expert advertising services and solutions to its clients. It also uses its ace designing skills and creative wordplay to make befitting logos, catchy names and impressive slogans for its clients’ businesses, events and products. The SKA Group has seventy-five (75%) ownership.

All subsidiaries operate independently, but are monitored and regulated from its headquarters, SKA Tower, under the management of the President of the conglomerate.

readiness

March 22, 2016 Leave a comment

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things” – Peter F. Drucker. It is important to understand that a position of leadership is one of service and not solely of control. As a leader, you have to cultivate the ability to influence your subordinates positively.

leadership

In a company, the supervisors are one of the most important figures, as they directly interact with the employees. As a supervisor, you should promote employee engagement. If employees aren’t engaged or motivated, there is a problem. The nature of the job/ position is similar to that of a coach and a judge. They have to practice firmness and fairness. In order to do this job effectively, they are required possess these traits: intelligent, good role models, have desire and drive, honest, intelligent/knowledgeable, respectful and self-confident. Most supervisors have some or all these traits, however, sometimes their personalities come into play, making them either people-centered or task-centered.

People-centered supervisors emphasize interpersonal relationships, while task-centered supervisors emphasize technicalities. Being either has its benefits, but also has its shortcomings. For example, people-centered supervisors tend to be caring and lenient, but sometimes get too involved in the subordinates’ affairs. Task-centered supervisors are mostly focused and result-driven, but tend to be demanding.

Due to individual differences, it is sometimes counterproductive to focus on interpersonal relationships, whereas less work gets done; or to focus on tasks, whereas there is no team spirit or quality work being done. The best way to handle to handle employees effectively is to find a grey area – blending task orientation with people orientation to find a middle ground. This middle ground is called situational leadership.

Situational leadership emphasizes adjusting the leader’s communication style to the readiness (or maturity) of his/her subordinates. Readiness is the extent to which a subordinate demonstrates the ability and willingness to perform a task. Ability in this context refers to the knowledge and experience of the employee. Willingness in this context refers to the confidence and commitment of the employee. However, please note that readiness is task-specific, not global. Positive performance in a specific task does not translate to positive results in all tasks.

There are four (4) levels of readiness which suggest the appropriate level of supervision a subordinate will require. Readiness 1 or R1 connotes unable and unwilling; that is, the subordinate lacks knowledge and confidence to execute a task. Readiness 2 or R2 connotes unable and willing; that is, the subordinate lacks knowledge, but has the confidence/ is committed to executing a task. Readiness 3 or R3 connotes able and unwilling; that is the subordinate has knowledge/experience, but lacks the confidence to execute the task. Readiness 4 or R4 connotes able and willing; that is the subordinate is experienced and confidence enough to execute a task.

As earlier stated, by following the different levels of readiness, a supervisor will understand the subordinates and provide the necessary guidance to make that employee effective. A R1 subordinate requires supervision 1 or S1 which is the telling/teaching stage. A R2 subordinate requires supervision 2 or S2 which is the selling/encouraging stage. A R3 subordinate requires supervision 3 or S3 which is the participating/co-dependent stage. This is means they require occasional supervision. A R4 subordinate requires supervision 4 or S4 which is the delegating/dependent stage. Subordinates in this stage require little or no supervision in order to execute tasks.

Whatever type of supervisor you are or the mix of subordinates you have, credibility and trust are necessary in order to exercise leadership. It is key for your success that your subordinates believe in the ability, character and integrity of their leader.