Sunday, 14 February 2010

A different kind of Val

(Strictly for the young)
YES. If the men in your life have suddenly left on business trips, or emergency lecture retreats, or have headaches, or swollen faces that means they cannot be seen in public, or accidents or dead grandmothers (different from the ones that died last year and the previous year, because they have parents and step-parents), or creditors they are hiding from, or emergency facial surgery, or chicken pox, then yes! It must be the day dedicated to St. Valentine!
I have been the best girlfriend this month. No way was I going to let myself be broken up with before this momentous occasion; the time when one gets gifts because it is mandatory, and one doesn’t care to be honest!
It is almost like your salary -- pay me my money/give me my gift! And since I have spoken at length about the people who like to say Valentine’s Day is commercialised and they feel you should show love everyday (boring, yawn, where is the remote, change the channel), today, I would like to dedicate my article to those lovely people who once again, have forgotten to buy a gift!

It’s Sunday, it is Valentine’s Day, and it is the day you are about to become a lonely person, because you forgot to shop. You had all the opportunity in the world oh! From January 1st till today, but life got in the way, and now it’s too late. Or is it?
Think about it; those who have bought their gifts already have the most boring gifts ever -- chocolates, wine, perfume, cake, shirts, shoes, trip to Dubai (chei! Bore me anytime with this one), teddy bears, and so on. But you have a chance to turn your forgetfulness round and make it good!
Here are some cool gift ideas that I bet you never thought of!

Water: Don’t laugh! Water has moved on from the tap water we all drank from when we were still content to run around in our shorts and before we thought boys (or girls) were disgusting, and then when we thought our world would end without them.
In fact, that is the point!
We have moved on. Sadly so!
So, this Valentine’s Day, get your loved one a borehole... or at least some bags of pure water to last them for a long while!

Generators: The reason for this is self-evident. Love is all about caring about the other person, and the perfect love gift should reflect what the other person needs most.
What do we need most in Nigeria? Power! And since PHCN is currently on a break (they must be, we don’t have light), then the best thing to do for your loved one today, is quickly buy a generator. Or two.
For the second backs the first one up. In other words, one generator, and ‘the other NEPA’

OjutiNEPA or Candles: OjutiNEPA are some creative lamps that will make for great ‘thinking outside the box’ gifts. And as for candles? Oh come on! When did we stop being creative? Candles are the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day!
Pick up the roses you see on the road as you go (or steal from other peoples’ bouquets to make yours), and go with a number of candles.
To be on the safe side, splurge on the scented, non-‘cele’ white variety. You will be killing two birds with one stone — creating romantic atmosphere for dinner, and, providing light since PHCN is still on break. (What, you thought they would be back by the time you got to my next line. Where do you live? Ghana?)

Petrol: Hello!
What better way to say ‘I love you’ than to queue for hours for petrol so your beloved does not have to?

Mosquito Repellants: Since the mosquitoes in Nigeria now carry picnic baskets, complete with cutlery and napkins to feed on us, it is clear that we must also wage war on them. So while the other lovelorn people are buying scented lotions and oils and perfumes, you combine yours- lotion and mosquito repellent.

AS you get to the end of this article, you may find yourself welling up with gratitude as once again, SuperTosyn saves the day!
If you want to say thank you, please send me a gift. But I am old-fashioned and boring; after all, my idea of the perfect night is one spent in front of the television. Keep my gifts simple and boring. But please keep that trip to Dubai; I am not trying to be put on a watch list!

Running your school business (2)

(Biz tool Kits)
DEPENDING on the type of school you intend establishing, make sure there is value addition to your educational offerings.
You can offer computer education, skills acquisition/technical educational classes, etc, and include facilities like a swimming pool, a basket ball court, a football pitch; or added offerings such as Literary and Debating Society, Writers’ Club, Computer Classes, Art and Craft, Cookery Classes, etc.
These facilities/offerings will set you apart as a top educational services provider in your neighbourhood. They will also determine the class of pupils that’ll attend your school and the fees you’ll be charging.

Pricing for your school
This is determined by what category of students you want to serve. There are schools for low-income, middle-income, middle-upper and high-income families.
The category you fall into will be determined by the following factors: your target market; your location; your educational offerings; the facilities you have; the composition of your staff; fees charged by the competition, etc.
Carry out a market survey regarding the average pricing by the competition. Your pricing depends on the category you are serving.
Nevertheless, whatever category you are, you can lead the pack by adding extra value and incentives to the normal educational offerings of your school business.
Above all, lavish your student population with compassion, love, understanding and support for their growth and development.
When you love and treat children right, they will disturb their parents not to stop them from attending your school as long as they live in the neighbourhood where your school is.
Do you know that at a population of 2,000 students at N50,000 school fees, your income as a school would creep into N300 million. And from the calculations made, it also means that the more school fees you charge, the more your income would be.
Another thing is this; you don’t have to start big. With vision, determination, hard work and excellence, you can build an educational institution that can meet the intellectual needs of our people, while creating a successful business in the process. For space constraints, I wouldn’t be able to go into other details.
But with a good business plan, which my company can provide for you, you would know how to register your school, develop an HR plan, put in place an aggressive and creative marketing plan, design necessary financial statements and other important components to guide your operations and be able to further make money for the business through exploiting different backend opportunities.
There is a need in the education sector today. You can be a part of those who will help in the development of future Nigerian leaders. Education is the bedrock of any society, and a lack of education will make a people inferior and subservient to other nations. Apart from the business angle to it, your input in this sector can turn many rough diamonds into pure, precious and priceless diamonds, giving birth to the nation of our dreams.
Olotu is the CEO/Lead Consultant, DEAIM Innovative Resources Ltd.,

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