TSL means The Shanyi Life, a passionate platform for business, faith, lifestyle and organisers of TSL Conferences which is a Pan-African conference focused on millennial and young adults. The conference is interested in exposing young people to opportunities, support and tips on how to create the life of their dream and make maximum impact in their 20s.
The Convener, Grace Okoli (CEO, The Shanyi Organisation) is a 25 year old African Woman from Anambra State Nigeria and passionate about fulfilling purpose and making impact. At the conference, awards were also given out to publicly honour and showcase African youths in diverse industries who are thriving excellently by affecting lives positively through their works. This year’s conference had the theme, The Millenial CEO: Thriving in a Mature Market. The 3 panel discussions focused on these topics:
• Hassles of A Stu-Preneur: Keeping your sanity, profit and Grades. Panelists: Chineneye Nzom (Founder, RejuvAfrik and The VoluntersHub), Dr. Elizabeth Peters (Founder and Editor (Elizabethpeters.com), Iyanu Ajayi (CEO Marplestreet NG) and Andrea Odu-Obi (Media Personality).
• Mastering Social Media, Hacks for Global Business Growth. Panelists: Tricia Ikponmwnonba (The Small Business Fixer), Kenneth Ndubisi (Founder, Cashless Youth), Olubunmi Fajuyigbe (Founder, She Learns Here) and Alice Dako (Founder, Colors and Grey).
• The Millennial CEO: Thriving in a Mature Space. Panelists: Amifeoluwa Yakubu (CEO, Dibiyan Home of Fashion), Olajumoke Tawose (CEO, Gracie’s), Victor Fatanmi (CEO, Fourth Canvas) and Grace Okoli (CEO, The Shanyi Organisation).
LESSONS FROM THE CONFERENCE:
“Everything you do in a business is a process and only the right business structure will help you thrive in a mature market; If you cannot explain your process in simple terms then you don’t know what you are doing and if your business cannot run in your absence then you have no business. When you put in the right structure into your business you won’t need to struggle and your business will be sustainable.
The business structure defines all business activities including, staffing, cashflow, business ideas, implementation, savings and every step to be taken as regards a business. All plans for your business must be put into writing in a proper perspective; this business plan develops a culture for your business, gives clarity to employees about the company, their duties and expectations from each of them. Some areas that needs structuring in your business include: the process (growth, stagnancy or declining), record keeping, customer service/ quality control, staff recruitment, social media presence, leave/holiday for staff, feedback mechanism, cashflow/savings, customer’s record details and the list goes on. Remember that every money you make from your business regardless of how little it is, must first go into the bank before it is spent; this helps you give a monthly or yearly account of your cash flow and explain your bank statement” (Tinu Smith).
A stu-preneur is one who owns or runs a business while schooling, you need to understand that you are not like every other student so you have to make certain sacrifices; understand that challenges will come but decide intentionally to always be happy doing what you do. Take a pause when you need to, remember that you are human; make a schedule, know your customers but know yourself more. Comparison is the thief of happiness so take your own lane and stop thinking that someone is thriving better than you are. Stand by your principles, put some value on yourself; some of your customers would leave you but those who appreciate you will stay.
In the 21st century you must leverage on the use of social media for global business growth, create an online presence for your business no matter how small the business is. Discover where your customers are hiding and find them; know what social media your customers use often and understand how the media works. Ensure the visibility of your business by registering it on google maps.
Focus on posting amazing content, engage your audience intention and be active on other people’s pages, use keywords and hashtags. Your picture on social media must be beautiful and relevant; you can use any of these mobile applications to create your graphics designs: Canva, designer, word cloud, etc. Social media stories go a long way to reach people who are not even following your account. Some of the social media platforms to use for your business are: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, websites, etc. Facebook is still the largest social network. Understand how it works and use it to your advantage. Be consistent and always show up. Know your niche and what you want to be known for. Your bio on social media is just like your complimentary card so it must be brief but detailed and catchy enough to get attention.
Entrepreneurship needs discipline so if you cannot save on your own then you are not worth getting a grant. As a business owner you need a profit and loss sheet; it helps you understand your how much goes out and what comes in as profit. Learn to keep your overhead cost low by getting more value at a lower cost. Know your monthly breakdown volume, it helps you to spend wisely according to how much you earn on a monthly basis. Before someone would give you a grant, they’ll need to know what value you can add before they go ahead to place value on you. Don’t just spend the profit as it comes in, rather use it to grow the business and learn delayed gratification; it helps to control your spending. It is easier to get grants by volunteering at international conferences, ensure you have a standard, documents and an idea you can pitch, get your initiative registered at either the state level or under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), join relevant communities that share opportunities on grants e.g, globalsheepers and make sure you follow people who share such opportunities on social media.
Written by: StacySpeaks (2018)
Pictures credit: @tsl_africa