Fourteen Causes of business challenges all over the world

1. Government policies: Government changes its policies all the time most especially when it is a new government, and these policies sometimes affect some businesses. For instance, when the Nigerian government placed a ban on the importation of goods like foreign rice, fairly used clothes, shoes, and bags which also known as Okrika and so on, people in these lines of businesses were badly affected. So government policies are one of the challenges in business.

2. Pandemic: Am going to use covid-19 as a case study. During and after the pandemic, many businesses shut down. Right now, some of the businesses that managed to survive are struggling to still be in business.

3. Natural disaster: Natural disasters like flood, earthquakes, hurricane, Tsunami, etc. is one of the major causes of business challenges. When they are natural disasters, nobody thinks of doing business all they think about then is how to save lives and properties.

4. Debt: Debt is one of the major challenges most businessmen are facing. People buy on credits and sometimes they don’t want to pay back. Most businesses have crashed as a result of this.

5. Change in technology: let’s use a typewriter and computer as a case study. Before computers were invented, people used typewriters, but as soon as computers were introduced, people stopped using typewriters. People who could afford computers bought them, but it became a major challenge for those who could not afford them. Another case study is the invention of android phones and photography. Before the invention of phones with cameras, people use to go to photography studios to take pictures. But today the invention of camera phones has made photographers irrelevant.

6. Increase in currencies: Increase in currencies is also a factor that affects business, most especially imported goods. This affects the prices of the goods and does not only makes it difficult for business owners to import goods but also for customers to be able to purchase them.

7. Increase in the prices of goods: When they are an increase in the prices of goods, people turn to cheaper alternative products and this can also be a challenge to the manufacturers of those goods. You can not be in business when customers refuse to buy your products and this can be a problem.

8. Lack of adequate finance: This is the number one cause of a business challenge. Money is the backbone of every business, so without money, you can not do much.

9. Lack of transportation means: Transportation plays a vital role in business. So lack of transportation means may affect most businesses, most especially those who are into supplies of goods. When there is no means of transporting your goods it becomes a problem as you will not be able to get your goods across to your customers.

10. Increase in tax: When there is a tax increase, some businesses are affected as a result of this.

11. Taskforce: It is in countries like Nigeria that you experience a task force. These guys claim to be working for the government and always attack business owners. So many businesses have shut down as a result of this. So some business owners have formed a union to enable them to fight these guys.

12. Lack of power: This is a challenge for most businesses, most especially businesses that depends solely on power. So they are forced to use a generator which is very expensive to maintain. So many promising businesses have crashed as a result of a lack of power.

13. Location: The location of your business matters a lot. Bad locations can affect your business greatly. Just imagine setting up a Bistro in a ghetto. Apart from the fact that the people within the vicinity won’t be able to patronize you, no prominent and responsible person would want to come to that area to buy from you. Also if your business is located in an area that is full of thieves and hoodlums, it will affect your business greatly most especially if there is no security.

14. Bad road: A business located on a bad road hardly thrives. Nobody wants to drive through a bad road to purchase goods, so this is can be a challenge

How to get people to sign up for your product before it officially launches

How do I get people to sign up for my product before it officially launches
It depends on the type of product. If your product is the type that requires packaging, then you have to ensure that you package your products very well.

Firstly, make your products attractive because people are attracted to beautiful and well package products. Good content with bad packaging hardly gets attention, so if you want to get people to consider your products, the packaging has to look good.

Secondly, make your package very unique. People like unique things. For instance, I was once a distributor with a dairy food company. The company kicked off in 2009. You will agree with me that so many dairy food companies have been in existence long before that time. So when they started, they used an oval-shaped bottle as against the usual square-shaped bottle that every other yogurt companies were using at the time.

It was the shape and beauty of the bottle that attracted me to the product. Then when I tasted it, I realized that the product did not only have good packaging it also had good content. Those were the main reasons why I joined the company as a distributor. In less than one year, the product was everywhere. People stopped buying other yogurt products because of this one. That is how far good packaging can take your products.

Finally, make sure that the content is good. Good packaging will only attract first-time customers, but good content will keep them.

Having put all these in place, the next thing to do is to create a Facebook page for your product and then advertise the product on social media. If you have money for social media ads, that is great. However, if you do not have money for ads, no problem, you can share it with your friends.

Because the product is still new, people may be skeptical about it. So you can give out free samples and then ask the people to help you advertise the products by writing comments on your Facebook page or other social media platforms.

You can also ask for feedback to enable you to improve on the product.

You can as well ask them to sign up and get one product free. People like free things a lot, so I think that will be a great way to start. Remember that for you to get your product into the market, you must be ready to spend.

When I joined the dairy food company newly, I gave every shop owner whom I went to market the product a sample each to convince them to buy. And I recovered all the expenses I made within a period of advertising within a short time.
In nutshell, you must be willing to make some sacrifices.


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#EndSARS: Access Bank announces N50b interest-free facility for businesses

One of Nigeria’s commercial banks, Access Bank plc, has announced plans to offer N50 billion interest-free loans and grants to business owners in Nigeria.

This is due to the fact that several business owners suffered loses due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the recent vandalization and looting by thugs who high jacked the #EndSARS protest for selfish reasons.

See Access bank’s official statement below;

“Now more than ever, we remain committed to our purpose of impacting lives positively. In light of the recent occurrences, we will be supporting Nigerian businesses with 50 Billion Naira interest-free loans and grants.

Ways to improve your small business

Consistent improvements to enhance your small business are critical for its success and sustainability. Things like monitoring cash flow consistently, utilizing social media for marketing, and recognizing your strengths while asking for help in areas that are less so can help you focus on improving areas of your business that offer the biggest gain.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to keep a checklist handy to remind yourself of the basic steps you need to take on a regular basis.

1. Keep Financial Score
Few small businesses have an accurate idea of the daily, weekly, and monthly numbers and financial trends taking place within the organization. It’s vital that you spend the necessary time keeping current on cash flow. If you lack the financial skills, hire an accountant, but still stay very much in the loop.
2. Set Goals

Similar to keeping score, setting goals and objectives is an essential part of your business success. Use the goals you set as an ongoing planning tool to ensure that you continue to move forward with your small business. For instance, try to increase traffic by a certain amount on your business website or blog. More web traffic can translate into added sales or customer loyalty.

3. Use High-Impact Marketing
Wasting money on ineffective marketing is easy. Seek out low-budget, high-impact marketing strategies to improve your small business. Test one or two new tactics and see which perform best before adding them to your marketing mix. Social media is an excellent low-cost and low-risk way to promote your business. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a few good tools to build a social presence and attract attention to your business.

4. Master Business Presentations
A powerful business presentation can help improve your small business’ performance. Start by learning the essentials of a memorable business presentation. These can include delivering an unexpected little pearl of wisdom to captivate your audience. That said, don’t overload your presentation with information. Keep everything relevant.

5. Monitor Trends
No business operates in a vacuum. Events and changes in the global landscape have an effect on your business. Stay current on trends and issues happening in your industry and local community. Even things that don’t seem relevant on the surface might have an impact on what you do, so consider all possibilities.

6. Sharpen Your Selling Skills
A high-return area for business improvement is the sales function. Whether you’re a one-person operation or managing a sales team, you must focus on sales improvement. To start, clarify your business mission. When you determine areas where you excel and who needs what you do, you will have a greater sense of vision and purpose.

7. Find Best Practices
Keeping everything transparent is an important underpinning. That means breaking down silos, communicating effectively, testing, and monitoring and approving your processes in order to keep everything running smoothly. Another example is documenting your processes to avoid any miscommunication.

8. Motivate Staff
Talented and motivated staff members can bring on big improvements in business. Learn what motivates your employees to higher levels of performance. Part of this is being willing to listen to input and insight from everyone on staff, regardless of position or seniority. Some of the best ideas come from those closest to certain problems.

9. Know Your Limits
Successful business owners have a clear idea of their limitations. By knowing your entrepreneurial personality type, you can manage your resources and find help in areas of weakness. This is a key driver to success. For example, if you’re great at sales but less experienced with bookkeeping, focus on sales and hire someone else to handle the books.

10. Take a Break
Running a small business is hard work. Sometimes the best way to improve your business and reignite your passion is to take a vacation. Don’t underestimate the potential value of spending some time away from your work.

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US crude falls below $15 a barrel as virus throttles demand

US crude crashed to below $15 a barrel on Monday, its lowest level for over two decades, as concerns about a virus-triggered demand shock and lack of storage eclipsed an output cut deal.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US benchmark, fell more than 19 percent to $14.73 a barrel in early Asian trade, before markets steadied and it clawed back some ground to $15.78 a barrel.

International benchmark Brent dropped 4.1 percent to $26.93 a barrel, before rising and stabilising at $28.11.

Oil markets have plunged in recent weeks as lockdowns and travel restrictions to fight the coronavirus around the world batter demand for the commodity.

The crisis was compounded after Saudi Arabia, kingpin of exporting group OPEC, launched a price war with non-OPEC member Russia.

Riyadh and Moscow drew a line under their dispute earlier this month when they and other countries agreed to cut output by almost 10 million barrels a day to boost virus-hit markets.

But prices have continued to fall heavily, with analysts saying the cuts will not be enough to make up for massive falls in demand caused by the pandemic.

WTI was hit particularly hard on Monday as analysts said there were concerns that its main storage facilities in the United States were filling up.

Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist with CMC Markets, said the plunge in WTI “reflects a glut” at the US facility in Cushing, Oklahoma.

The benchmark has now “decoupled” from Brent “with the spread between the two reaching a decade high”, he said in a note.

ANZ added in a note that “crude oil prices remained under pressure, as projections of weaker demand weigh on sentiment”.

“Despite the OPEC+ alliance agreeing to an unprecedented cut in output, the physical market is awash with oil,” it said, referring to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC partners.

“Concern continues to mount that storage facilities in the US will run out of capacity.”

The US Energy Information Administration said crude inventories in the world’s biggest economy rose by 19.25 million barrels last week, adding to the woes of the oversupplied world market.

Nigeria in 1min: Economic, Business and Financial Headlines

Oil Price: A Dead Cat Bounce in the Making? – Amidst weakening global demand for crude and uncertainty over the commitment among OPEC+ producers to extend production cuts, the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its latest forecast expects Brent oil price to average US$33 this year. Source CSL Research Read More 

Further Multi-Notch Sovereign Downgrades Are Probable in 2020 – The rapid deterioration in the global sovereign rating outlook due to the coronavirus outbreak and sharp fall in oil prices makes additional multi-notch downgrades likely over the rest of this year, Fitch Ratings says. Source Fitch Ratings Read More 

Fitch Ratings Cuts Oil Price Assumptions on Coronavirus Hit, Oversupply – Fitch Ratings has further reduced its oil price assumptions for 2020 and 2021 as the rapid spread of the coronavirus weakens the short-term global economic outlook and oil demand, resulting in very large oversupply. Source Fitch Ratings Read More 

Statement by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Nigeria – Nigeria’s economy is being threatened by the twin shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated sharp fall in international oil prices.  President Buhari’s administration is taking a number of measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus and its impact, including by swiftly releasing contingency funds to Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control and working on an economic stimulus package that will help provide relief for households and businesses impacted by the downturn. Source IMF Read More 

Oando, Aiteo, Seplat and Others Collaborate To Fight COVID-19 – Amidst the massive challenge of reining in the health and economic consequences of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the struggle of global governments to raise resources to combat the problem, a growing number of private sector actors have decided to step into the fray by providing financial and material support to public sector efforts. Source Oando Read More

African Development Bank Group Unveils $10bn Response Facility to Curb COVID-19 – The African Development Bank Group on Wednesday announced the creation of the COVID-19 Response Facility to assist regional member countries in fighting the pandemic. The Facility is the latest measure taken by the Bank to respond to the pandemic and will be the institution’s primary channel for its efforts to address the crisis. It provides up to $10 billion to governments and the private sector. Source AfDB Read More 

COVID-19 in Nigeria: Economic Perspectives and Mitigating the Risks – Despite witnessing wars, natural disasters and the Great Recession, this generation is witnessing a unique global health pandemic that has challenged even the most pessimistic of doomsday naysayers. The apocalyptic scenes across the world of desolate streets due to lockdowns seem to evoke Hollywood movie scripts than a true-life scenario.  Source Agusto & Co Ltd Read More

FG Slashes Budget, Sends To National Assembly For Review – The Federal Government has revised downward the revenue projection for the 2020 budget by N3.3tn from the initial approved amount of N8.41tn to N5.08tn. The revised revenue projection is contained in a proposal sent to the National Assembly by the executive.



Bump In Oil Price Ahead of OPEC Meeting Pushes Further Bullish Sentiments Across Markets

FGN Bonds

Yields continued to plummet in today’s session, with consistent demand seen from local investors across the bond curve. Demand was most skewed to the belly of the curve, with the 2027s maturity the most traded as demand swallowed the improved offers seen on that maturity. At the long-end of the curve, a dearth of supply saw bids dropped by c.21bps on the average at the segment alone. Consequently, yields compressed further by c.18bps on the average across the benchmark bond curve, meaning yields have tanked cumulatively by c.52bps this week alone.

We maintain our expectation for this locally-driven demand to persist in the near-term. In the wake of moves by the FG to cut its budgetary spending and increasing borrowing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect the DMO to revise its borrowing calendar for the quarter should the FG’s plans get the necessary approvals in place and thus adopt a more cautious approach mid-term.

Benchmark FGN Bonds
Description Bid (%) Offer (%) Day Change (%)  
14.50 15-Jul-21 6.07 5.55 0.04  
16.39 27-Jan-22 6.71 5.11 (0.61)  
12.75 27-Apr-23 10.01 8.91 (0.20)  
14.20 14-Mar-24 10.68 9.38 (0.01)  
13.53 23-Mar-25 12.15 10.61 0.13  
12.50 22-Jan-26 12.58 11.52 0.03  
16.29 17-Mar-27 12.34 11.95 (0.15)  
13.98 23-Feb-28 12.26 11.93 (0.19)  
14.55 26-Apr-29 12.31 12.00 (0.17)  
12.15 18-Jul-34 12.45 11.99 (0.15)  
12.40 18-Mar-36 12.54 11.89 (0.38)  
16.2499 18-Apr-37 12.64 12.23 (0.24)  
14.80 26-Apr-49 12.65 12.48 (0.06)  


Treasury Bills

It was another consecutive day of bullish trading of OMO bills today, as system liquidity remains buoyant. Rates dropped another c20bps across the benchmark OMO curve as banks remained heavy buyers for most offered maturities. At the long-end, rates continue to drop and face another resistance level as offers dropped as low as 11.00% in today’s session.

Bids also improved for NTBs today, especially for short-dated papers as demand from local retail clients continued to filter into the market. Consequently, rates dropped by c.5bps across the benchmark NTB curve.

With tomorrow’s session the last of the week ahead of a long holiday weekend, we maintain expectations sustained demand to close the week. There remains an outside chance of an OMO auction by the CBN to manage excess liquidity as well.

Benchmark OMO Bills
Description Bid (%) Offer (%) Day Change (%)
NGOM 5/14/2020 12.25 9.00 (0.25)
NGOM 6/4/2020 12.25 9.00 (0.25)
NGOM 7/2/2020 12.35 9.00 (0.15)
NGOM 8/13/2020 12.50 11.00 0.70
NGOM 9/3/2020 12.50 11.20 (0.50)
NGOM 10/1/2020 12.75 10.00 (0.25)
NGOM 11/03/2020 12.50 11.00 (0.50)
NGOM 12/01/2020 12.75 11.00 (0.25)
NGOM 01/05/2021 12.75 11.00 (0.25)
NGOM 02/02/2021 12.70 10.00 (0.30)
NGOM 03/02/21 12.75 10.00 (0.25)
Benchmark NTBills
Description Bid (%) Offer (%) Day Change (%)
NIGTB 2-Jul-20 2.15 1.00 (0.05)
NIGTB 1-Oct-20 3.20 1.00 0.00
NIGTB 12-Nov-20 3.80 1.00 (0.20)
NIGTB 14-Jan-21 4.00 2.00 0.00
NIGTB 11-Feb-21 4.00 1.50 0.00

Money Market

The Interbank market continued to be a takers delight, with rates remaining depressed, as system liquidity still opened buoyant (c.N460bn positive). OBB and OVN rates dipped by c.67bps to close at 2.83% and 3.17% respectively

With OMO maturities expected tomorrow, we expect the CBN to float an OMO auction to manage the high liquidity levels. Money market rates are expected to oscillate in tandem with liquidity levels in tomorrow’s session.

Money Market Rates
  Current (%) Previous (%)
Open Buy Back (OBB) 2.83 3.50
Overnight (O/N) 3.17 3.83


FX Market

Traded volumes at the I&E FX window picked up in today’s session, with the exchange hitting intraday highs of N401.45/$. Despite this, the I&E FX close, CBN Spot and SMIS rates all remained unchanged D/D.

The Naira ploughed back some gains at the parallel market, with both the cash and transfer rates strengthening by N1.00 and N3.00 to close at N415.00/$ and N430.00/$ respectively.

FX Market
Current (N/$) Previous ( N/$)
CBN Spot  361.00  361.00
CBN SMIS  380.69  358.51
I&E FX Window  384.83  383.00
Cash Market  415.00  416.00
Transfer Market  430.00  433.00


Global oil prices spiked today after OPEC’s President stated the expected OPEC+ cuts could reach up to 10 million barrels per day, which fueled another bullish rally for the NGERIA Sovereigns as well as other oil-related state papers. Yields dropped further by c.36bps on the average across the sovereign curve consolidating the previous day’s gains, ahead of the OPEC+ virtual meeting expected to hold tomorrow.

The NGERIA Corps tickers traded on a quieter note, as yields remained relatively unchanged D/D among most tracked papers, with only the UBANL 2022s having a significant move, weakening by c.4bps to close the day.