Cake cafe owners with open sign

5 Tips to Consider when Launching your Own Business

If launching a business and being successful at it was easy as entering a store to purchase a piece of your favourite cake,  more than 4% of the newly launched businesses will manage to reach the 10-year mark. 

Almost everyone’s dream is to have their own thriving business, however launching a successful business is no small feat. If you want to launch a business and be successful at it, start putting things in place early enough to give yourself a higher chance of success.

Without further ado, here are some tips that can be adapted to starting a business, regardless of what sector your business operates in. Let’s dive in.


Black small business owner smiling at the camera while standing in her shop. Happy businesswoman managing her clothing orders on a laptop. Young female entrepreneur running an online clothing store.
                                Young female entrepreneur running an online clothing store.

Do Your Research And Come Up With A Plan

A popular quote says “failing to plan is planning to fail”. This rings true as one of the most important aspects of doing anything. 

Nonetheless, the most important aspect of planning is to figure out the most salient questions of what, why, how, and when. The Answers to these questions are important as they will help you figure out and understand what makes your business different. You can then follow up with lots of research. Coming up with a plan without research is as bad as not having a plan. 

A plan for a new business has to anticipate and address almost any question that may arise during the actual process. 

That said, a business plan should encompass the business idea/product, target audience, market conditions, and competitor analysis, structure, and source of funding. It will act as a sort of map for your business, validate and put your thoughts and hopes into writing. Moreso, it will convince and answer questions from anyone who wishes to commit to your business. 

Your plan should cover and address all and any questions such parties may have. Questions like what product/service to sell and how it will be sold. How the business is structured, and how the capital will be gotten and used. What other requirements are needed among other things? It should show that you have done your best to anticipate issues and suggest solutions to such problems beforehand.

It should also serve as a guide down the line even though you can amend it as situations change over time.

Get Your Documentation In Order

Before you proceed, your business whether online or physical should have the necessary documentation sorted before it is operational. This is to ensure it is a legal entity. 

Though the documentation requirements can be more or less. It depends on the type of business you are running or intend to run. Importantly, register the business name, and get applicable permits and licensing to ensure your business is not disrupted nor resources wasted when you begin operations. 

You should also ask questions and seek expert advice to make sure that these documents are filed properly and all requirements are understood concerning the structure of your business. In many instances, the requirements or documentation for a business varies at each level of government. 

It can also be based on structure, so getting proper help will ensure that this is reflected in how it is done.

Get Your Finances Together.

Once you get your business plan and documentation in order, you can then proceed to get your finances together via savings, salary, loans from family or corporate institutions. 

Your type of business structure is what determines how you source your funding. Some will only require minimal amounts that can be gotten from savings or family and friends. While others will need business loans or venture capital financing. 

Financing your business is not just about your start-up capital or where it comes from. It is also about how you handle your profit, income, and expenses over time. Being diligent with the money for your business is very essential. Many businesses have gone down the drain as a result of money mismanagement and reckless financial decisions. The proper structure must be put in place to manage your business income and keep it separated from any other.

Be Solution Oriented

Going through the difficult process of launching or putting your business out there will tax you mentally and physically. It will involve doing a million and one things almost at the same but it doesn’t have to be so. A way is to find and join a community of doers on Swaptime that can proffer solutions to specific skills you need to grow your business

Another major tip that will work at all stages of your business is to be solution-oriented. Your business should provide a solution or solutions. The steps taken to set up your business and the way you put your business out should continually remind your audience that you are solution-oriented by fixing a e real customer pain.

This is because people usually resonate with solution-oriented businesses. Even if it means paying a premium for your service or product as you are selling a combination of value, the product/service, and brand experience which should all reflect. The best resources/tools or services are not determined by cost but rather by what return it’s giving for the amount paid. 

Customer satisfaction is the result you should pursue. That’s because the opinion of your customers will go a long way to aid the success of your business. The happiness your customers derive from your business will stem from not only the product or business but their overall experience.

So, it’s important to optimize everything and give the impression of a solution-oriented company

Never Stop Growing

This is a very important tip to always remember as change and growth are very essential to the health of any business. 

Gaining knowledge is a life-long process. A business owner should constantly research their industry, competitors, the markets they exist in and so many other areas. This puts them at an advantage and contributes to develop strategies for sales, marketing, and structure as they are the key areas of any existing business. 

Knowledge also contributes to innovation. Innovative ideas will help make your product/ service visible to your audience, and convert visibility to sales. Also, it will streamline your business process to be optimal and ensure your business grows at a good pace. 

Remember that growth is not just about new ideas or concepts. Be consistent with tried and tested methods that give results. A combination of learning and finding new ways to apply your learning is a continuous business cycle.

An illustration of some creatives working on a project and a list of skills available on swaptime

SwapStories Case Study: Divalukky x Nwando

SwapStories is a collaborative and interactive newsletter for sharing weekly stories of individuals and businesses on Swaptime that have successfully collaborated. Swaptime is a software tool that helps creators build more efficiently by allowing them to swap skills they require to grow with other users in the community. The usefulness of Swaptime can be found here. This offers a solution-driven platform where anyone with a skill can connect with other like-minded talented people to solve mutual customer pains.

Despite the numerous limitations in getting from point A to B while growing a personal or professional brand; knowledge, skills & talent are abundant, and these can be leveraged to increase the chances of success for all parties involved.

Illustration of creatives in different stages of work

As we continue to test and grow, we are glad to introduce SwapStories.

The first case study features the luxury fashion brand Divalukky and Nwando for social media content for both their brands.

Divalukky is a Luxury fashion house and brainchild of designer, Anita Chialuka who is very passionate about fashion and art. Growing up, Anita knew she had an aesthetic eye and an unconventional approach concerning fashion when she saw herself deconstructing dresses and engaging machinists to sew them into creative, intricate patterns and forms. Inspired by artistic structures around her and empowering iconic, her goal has always been, to make strong women feel sexy and empowered simultaneously while wearing her designs. Anita’s love for art, well-constructed dresses and elaborate designs discovered during different phases of her life, greatly influenced Divalukky aesthetics. 

Swaptime Collaboration between fashion designer Divalukky and model, Nwando

Nwando Ebeledike is a multi-passionate creative and the founder of Swaptime. She believes in the future of collaboration as a tool for growth. Her success in all her entrepreneurial pursuits can be traced to collaborations at one point or another with other skilled creatives & entrepreneurs. She is a firm believer in the magic that can potentially be created when two like-minded dreamers come together to create something brilliant! Using her experience in building communities around a shared vision, Nwando wants to encourage and inspire freelancers, creatives & small businesses owners to collaborate, learn and grow together in the process.

SwapStories - Swaptime Collaboration between fashion designer Divalukky and model, Nwando
Swaptime between Divalukky & Nwando

When asked about the greatest benefit of matching and swapping skills on Swaptime, Anita said ‘I loved the fact that expectations were set from the beginning – We agreed to 1 hour of time & 3 designs to shoot. I will definitely be using Swaptime again to find designers, pattern cutters and any skill that will be useful in further growing my brand’.

The Swaptime mission is to aid mutual personal and professional growth through collaboration. We look forward to sharing more SwapStories with our community!

Swaptime means growing together. 

Illustration of 4 people holding a 2 piece puzzle

Swaptime - Successful Together

Why Swaptime is Necessary

Swaptime Content Creator Background Vector Illustration of Freelancer Blogger and Video Vlogger Production Can use for Poster or web Design Template
At Swaptime, we are working to make building a collaborative process.


What is Swaptime?

Swaptime is a software tool that helps creators build more efficiently by allowing them to swap skills they require to grow.

Swaptime is a two-sided trade by barter marketplace that enables users to trade their skills with one another without using money as a form of value exchange. I believe that if creators come together as a community to leverage skills that we have mastered; we can collaborate to grow faster and make a difference in the way we work and live. Building products should be accessible to every creator regardless of geographical location or economic background and they should be able to contribute their value to creating impactful and life changing products. That’s where Swaptime comes in! We are creating a platform that will connect businesses and users that want to complete projects through skill-based exchanges.

As a first time small business owner years ago, Swaptime is a product that would have helped me to grow faster. The Swaptime mission is sustainable and impactful growth though creative collaboration. The vision is to provide tools that allow creatives and entrepreneurs to scale with collaboration and innovation, by connecting them directly to a global network of partners looking for specific skill sets. Swaptime is the smart solution for connecting talents globally in order to tackle unsolved business problems, find opportunities and create mutually beneficial solutions.

As a millennial and gen z founder; we learn to wear so many hats to get our businesses and brands from point A to B. In the 5 years that I have grown businesses or worked as a consultant for startups, I have learnt no-code development, product design, business planning, strategy, market research, graphic design, photography, content creation and community management to name a few. While I grew my businesses organically without the assistance of venture capitalists or investors; I still had to sacrifice time and income to take on the responsibilities of owning and growing my own businesses; taking years to grow because of lack of access to capital. What if we could trade the skills we have already developed and mastered for the skills that we need to grow further without investing additional income? That is the idea behind Swaptime. Here is a list of 10 Must-Have Skills to Exchange on Swaptime Today

How does Swaptime work?


As we continue to focus on market research, testing, building and iterating while bootstrapping, we have created an MVP that allows freelancers and businesses to collaborate and grow faster. Please join our waitlist on Swaptime – to create a profile which will consist of your contact information, the skills you have, and also the skills you need to grow. We will manually match you with a Swaptimmer who has the skills you need. Once value has been determined; then the project can start. We have designed the platform for ease of use and clarity on what to expect when submitting a project and collaborating with a Swaptimmer.

The final product we are building will use Artificial Intelligence to match skills and provide a list of potential swaptimmers to match the right skill to the right project in real time. Value is always determined by the two people or businesses swapping skills. Once value has been negotiated and accepted as equal, the project begins with a set timeline. At the end of the project, we will have a rating for both ourselves and the other groups involved. Both parties will be notified of the final rating and will also be able to rate each other for future tasks.


Why is Swaptime necessary?


Community is recession proof. If the currency gets devalued, and there is an ongoing recession that leads to high interest rates, increased cost of living crisis, reduced access to loans and VC funds – we can and should look to community. In times of economic strife, ingenuity thrives. Businesses must evolve to become more robust and independent than ever before; to prove viability in an impactful way. At Swaptime, we believe in the power of communities and collaboration.

As a thank you for being a supporter in what we are building, early users get 3 months free once we launch. Swaptime will adopt a subscription model for access to the platform upon a successful launch. Although details have yet to be decided, we will adopt a fair and flexible pricing plan that makes it easy to access the platform and access the skills you need to grow.

We would love you to be a part of our start up journey. To sign up to join our community of creators – please visit Swaptime and start growing today!

There are a few ways to support as we grow in public – please follow our social media channels for updates on Instagram and Twitter.We will also have a way for you to give direct feedback as we develop our product and take our community to the next level!

Thank you and we look forward to the future of Swaptime with you!

Woman sitting in her office smiling into her phone

9 Tips and Strategies for Pricing your Products and Services

Launching a business can be challenging. Unfortunately, figuring out strategies for pricing your products and services is no walk-in-the-park either.

Pricing is one of the most critical business decisions because it directly impacts your sales volume.

Setting your price too low could cause a setback in your revenue, and if you put it too high, you may miss out on valuable sales.

Most entrepreneurs hardly ever bother so much about their pricing strategy. Instead, they probably check the price of a similar product online and then adjust the price by a few margins before it is ready for sale.

Price is a powerful growth lever when you set your pricing right. So, if you are a new business owner and find coming up with a price for your product or services quite intimidating, here are nine pricing strategies to help you better understand how to set the correct prices.


1. Know your costs

Products and Services are pretty different when putting a price on them. However, the primary thing is to know your costs and then consider your profit. 

For a product, this means understanding the cost of production, process, overhead, raw materials, human effort, packaging, etc., and then mark-up the product and how many you need to sell to turn a profit. 

On the other hand, services give you great flexibility in setting your prices. The downside is that there is no formula for setting prices and applying them in your business. 

Pricing services can be more complex than pricing products because you can often calculate the cost of creating a physical product. In addition, services are more subjective to the worth of your staff’s expertise, rent, and time value. 

At the very least, you want to ensure that your price covers all direct or indirect costs.

2. Competitive Pricing

Instead of considering costs or customers, competitive pricing focuses on the existing market for your product or service. 

Your homework is to research your competitor’s pricing strategies to determine your price range. The range should have both high and low ends.

3. Rate-based Pricing

This is also known as hourly pricing and falls into the Service providers’ category. It is common to find Consultants, Freelancers, and coaches using this pricing model to trade their time. 

The good news is that you get paid for every hour of work, which is very lucrative. However, clients are not so keen on hourly pricing because they are wary of the service providers who might want to work more hours to make more money instead of being efficient.

4. Price skimming

Skimming introduces innovative products at a high price until there is market competition, and the price gets reduced over time.

Think of smartwatches. The launch of a new type of smartwatch can be set to a high price by the manufacturer since there is no other competition yet.

This pricing model is suitable for businesses that are entering emerging markets. As a company, It allows you to latch on to early adopters before future competitors join an already-developed market.

5. Penetration pricing

This pricing strategy is the opposite of skimming. It involves starting at a low price to penetrate an existing market. The price is set low to attract customers and gain market share. 

This strategy leaves consumers spoilt for choice and the flexibility to switch between brands offering the same product at a lower price. The advantage of this strategy is that it can promote brand loyalty effectively.

Once the objective of being at consumers’ top of mind, the price is then raised.

As much as this strategy can yield success, you should be aware of the risk factor, like taking losses upfront to have a firm footing in a market.

6. Value-based Pricing

Value-based pricing centres around how much customers are willing to pay, as opposed to what it costs to create a product or render a service. The entrepreneur has a massive advantage when value-based pricing is implemented well.

To do this, you must understand your target market and competitors’ pricing.

This focuses on the price you believe customers are willing to pay based on the strength of the benefits your business offers them.

If you have clearly-defined benefits that give you an edge over your competitors, you can charge according to the value you offer customers. 

Though this approach can be profitable, you can lose potential customers whose purchases are determined only by price and give room for new competitors.

This pricing model is best for merchants who offer unique products or SAAS.

7. Premium pricing

This pricing is for businesses that create top-quality and unique products and market them to high-income earners.

If you want to adopt this pricing strategy, be sure you are developing high quality that customers will perceive to be high value. 

Along with this pricing, you will likely need to develop a brand strategy that positions your product as “luxury” or a “lifestyle” that will appeal to your ideal consumer.

8. Pay What You Want Pricing

Think of this as a donation-based pricing strategy. 

It allows the customer to decide the price of the product or service they are paying for.

Including the “suggested price” as part of your “pay what you want” strategy can increase your profit margin more than when you set a price.

9. Consider other factors

Asides from the cost of production, there are other price determinants you need to factor in.

For instance, the impact of VAT on your price, price differences for different areas or markets, online price, etc.

Do you intend to reduce product profit margin to get a higher margin on others? What about payment for customers, whether instant or in instalments? 

All these are things you need to consider. But, most importantly, focus on your cash flow.

Stay on your toes

For sure, prices cannot be fixed for long. 

Things change, be they demand or inflation in the economy, influencing your price. Therefore, you will have to adjust your price to keep up with the market. 

Be abreast of current trends in your market and take customer feedback often to ensure your prices are favourable.

All these different strategies have pros and cons, but knowing your needs ahead will inform your decision on which methods suit your business.

 Above all, be sure the strategy covers your costs and includes a margin for profit. 


10 Must-Have Skills to Exchange on Swaptime Today


Have you wondered about doing a skill swap and exchanging a skill? Or have you ever been stuck with a challenging issue that you can not figure out because it is not your field of expertise?

Here we explain how you can grow your business with skill exchange.

Every one of us has a skill or a particular knowledge that can be of great value and benefit to others. These skills can come in handy on a platform like Swaptime. Swaptime is a function of reciprocity that allows you to offer your skills to others in the ecosystem in exchange for their expertise. 

So, instead of spending considerable time trying to figure out a problem that is not in your field, Swaptime is a great way to get jobs done efficiently, and you get to save costs in the process. 

We will match you with profiles based on experience, background, and interest, and in turn, you will make meaningful connections that can help you achieve your goals.

So, if you find yourself stuck on a task you could be better off outsourcing to someone else, here are some skills you can trade for the skills you need on Swaptime. Please note the list of skills to exchange here is not limited to what you can get or offer.

Let us get started on them.




1. Copywriting

Anyone can take a blank page to write down anything, but not everyone has the skill to write persuasive and compelling copy that will spur people to take action.

Copywriting is a professional skill that involves developing and creating advertisements across various brands; those who have this skill are called Copywriters. They possess a range of skills in addition to their writing skills that include different content types—like marketing materials, digital and print content— and communication skills, creative thinking, technical skills, research skills and more.

Copywriters may have content writing skills, but not all content writers have copywriting skills. Both skills are different from each other.

Female translator working on a document
Swaptime Copywriter

2. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is vast, which is why there is a plethora of knowledge about electronic marketing.

Marketing skills are now an essential part of most businesses. However, to remain relevant in the field and competitive, a Digital Marketer needs to have the most important digital skills. Skills like SEO, SEM, Content Marketing, Data Analytics, Copywriting, Social Media Advertising, PPC, and Email Marketing are invaluable in marketing.

Digital marketing can be complicated if you do not have the skills and talent.


3. Web Development

Web developers are at the digital age’s front end (pun not intended). The websites we browse, the E-Commerce platform we order stuff from, and the news updates we get online are all made possible with the expertise of web developers who design and build the websites. 

Their blend of skills involves Creative Thinking, Project Management, Responsive design, HTML/CSS, Analytical skills, Responsive design skills, JavaScript skills, Interpersonal skills, Testing and debugging skills, and Back-end basics.

4. Photography

They say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and we couldn’t agree more. Imagine some of the favourite things you’ve purchased after seeing a visual representation of them. Would you have bought them without images of the product? A book cover or a snapshot on a food delivery app. ?. Photographers tell multitudes of stories that captivate a viewer and have them begging for more.  

5. Influencer Marketing

Influencers are thought leaders in a particular field with a knack for persuading and shaping the opinions of their target audience. Influencers are essentially the face of the internet because they help drive consumers to your business or campaign. As a result, many companies count on them for success. So, what if you could swap a skill with an influencer? Well, now you can. 

Photo of stylish and fashionable woman viewed on mobile phone
Swaptime Influencer

6. Content Writing

Content writers have become one of the most sought talents on the internet. They cut across even the unsuspecting sectors such as pharma. They help you convey your message by crafting it in a way that appeals to your audience and keeps them engaged. 


7. Graphic Designing

To start with, Graphic Designing combines art and technology to create visuals that solve problems by employing the use and composition of colours, typography, imagery, and form to communicate ideas. The best logos and flyers are often love at first sight for a significant portion of your consumers, a delicate invitation to engage with you to see where it leads you. 


8. Video Editing

Video editing can be time-consuming and requires a great deal of expertise. Yet, it’s an integral part of modern-day marketing because it links images and sounds to create an emotional feel. The outcome of your video can either make or mar the message you want to communicate. That is, using a professional for your video editing is appropriate.


9. Fashion Designing

A fashion designer brings your imaginative sketches to life. Behind every fashion icon is a talented designer that can visualise the aesthetics they sought to create. So, define the moment you’re dressing for and let Swaptime do the magic of actualising your dream fit by pairing you with the right person.  

10. 3D Animation 

3D Animation takes digital bjects and brings them to life through motion and movement. This is useful across various industries like film, education, fashion, architecture, marketing, arts and gaming amongst others. An animation allows you to see your idea in motion and is a great marketing tool.

We would love to hear from you. Please tell us what skills to exchange you want to see on Swaptime in the comment box below.


Black man in glasses rendering 3D cartoon on computer while working in home office
Swaptime 3D Animator

Do not forget to register on Swaptime to get to swapping!

5 people working on their laptops

Swaptime – Growing Businesses with Skill Exchange


Several people joining hands in the middle
Swaptime means Community

As humans, our time is as valuable as money. That’s why the metaphor “time is money” is as true as steel.


That being said, it is a thrilling experience when your time is fetching you tons of money, particularly if you are rendering your services to a business.


However, the same can’t be said when you are the one paying for someone else’s time – especially if you are a start up or want to grow your business. 


This is because not everyone who desires to start or grow a business has the absolute financial capacity to launch. While some may have the funds to establish a business from start to finish, others may not be in that same box. This in turn may cause the business to lag behind, and fail to launch on projected date. As the various economies worldwide prepare to enter or are already in recession, the time to go back to community is now.


If you fall in the category of the latter who wants to launch or start a business, this article is the good news you’ve been waiting for. Remember we established that “time is money” from the first paragraph of this article. The interesting part you are yet to figure is, time is also a currency you can use to grow your business on Swaptime. Now, before you ask how you can use your time to grow your business, first, we’ll explain what Swaptime is. Shall we?


So what is Swaptime?

A web and phone view of a blogpost
Swap time with web designers on Swaptime

Swaptime is a service exchange community for Creatives, Entrepreneurs, Startups, and Small Business Owners where anyone can exchange skills they have for skills they need. 


How Swaptime Works


Here is how Swaptime works and connects you to the skill services you need: 


You head on to Swaptime, upload the skills you have and the skill services you need to be rendered to you or your business.

Swaptime will then match and connect you to the service you need, as your profile will be shared with other people who are interested in the skill you offer, and vice versa.


You will have the option to review the profiles that show interest in swapping skills with you. So when you accept the offer, you can proceed to swap skills with the profile you chose.


For instance, if you are a UI/UX designer that needs a technical writer for content, You will get a  list of technical writers that are looking to swap skills with UI/UX designers and you can pick based on profiles of people that interest you most. Or say you’re an influencer looking for fashionable clothes to grow your personal brand, and there’s a fashion designer out there looking for an influencer to create content for the brand; the app connects you both and you swap your skills for his or hers instead of paying with money.


How to Grow your business with Skill exchange

The good thing about growing your business with skill exchange or swaptime is that it eliminates the process of having to incur additional costs that could be useful to other areas of your business. Additionally, you get to use your time and skill as a currency to grow your business.

A photographer shooting with his camera
Swap time with photographers on Swaptime

Asides that, growing a business and transforming it into a successful enterprise requires more than passion. It also demands workin both hard & smart, perseverance, and expertise in your field. As an ingredient for success, you need to be proficient in a set of fundamental skills that businesses require to thrive.


Equally,it is also important to know from the onset what skills  you have, what skills you need to learn, and most importantly, the skills you need to delegate to others. 


There are some important skills you will need to grow your business, but if that skill is the one you lack, you can decide to learn these skills over a period of time yourself, or you can exchange that time with your skill for an expert in such specific areas of skill that you need.


That way, you don’t have to go overboard with finances that could help in growing other areas of your business and you can connect with a community of builders with similar values.


On a final note, one of the most important hacks in propelling your business is Delegation. Knowing what and when to delegate is very crucial to the success of a business. 


Of course, it can be a challenging decision to make when it comes to delegating duties or skills you don’t have to others who are good at it. This is especially true for most first timers starting a business.


Remember that growth is important, and you can put that time into focusing on the big picture instead of spending countless hours trying to learn that skill so you can do the job yourself.  


You are not doing your business a favor by denying it the right expertise and growth it needs. So, don’t be afraid to delegate the parts you are not an expert on.


Register today on Swaptime to grow with us!