By: Benahili Ojeme
While the idea of increasing your earning capacity by becoming an entrepreneur in Africa may seem enticing, many factors often hinder the growth and enlargement of African startups. These factors may include research limitations, inadequate capital, lack of government support and of course, the unavailability of adequate technical and technological infrastructures.
Despite these circumstances, a few African entrepreneurs have defeated the odds and established globally recognized multi-million dollar companies. When asked how they achieved this, they all seemed to provide the same answers!
Here are eight useful tips to help grow your small African owned business into a global sensation.
1. Plan And Execute
A significant cause of unproductivity in most small businesses is the lack of a defined starting point, midpoint, and endpoint. Setting goals helps identify the exact actions you need to perform to get some work done. Make your company’s goals S.M.A.R.T, i.e., Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. To achieve this, you need to evaluate and reflect on where you are and where you want to be. Find out the steps that’ll get you there, define them clearly, outline your goals and make them S.M.A.R.T.
2. Assemble A Solid Team
Your Team is the foundation of your business. Investing time in bringing together like-minded individuals dedicated to actualizing your company’s vision is very important especially in your company’s infant years. After putting together a team, it is essential to maintain a healthy relationship with them having in mind that because they are human beings, they also crave friendship and positive interaction.
3. Provide A Positive Work Environment
The lack of attention paid to the working environment in most African businesses is the number one cause of unproductivity. If your work environment is messy, unhealthy or disorganized, fix it immediately. The calmer your situation, the easier it is to concentrate.
4. Enjoy The Process
Almost every business expert stresses the importance of celebrating your company’s milestones and enjoying your growth process. Whether it’s celebrating getting your company registered, or securing your first office space, it always pays to take a step back and reflect on how much progress you’ve made. This habit helps not only the business owner but the employees, as it inspires everyone to work harder and look forward to accomplishing more goals as a team.
5. Follow Required Protocol
While it may appear more convenient to disobey government policies and bypass protocol, successful African business owners think otherwise. Although the process of getting your company registered or adhering to tax laws may not be favorable, especially in your company’s infant years, It’s worth it in the long run.
6. Be Accountable
Instant gratification is a threat to both human and organizational endeavors. It is essential to document every transaction your company makes in its early stages. Most financial organizations that issue out loans and grants have made this a requirement because it shows how fast a business is growing.
7. Stay Informed
Be mindful of the effects of changes in the economy on your company. It is also critical to pay attention to technological advancements in your field, new ideas, techniques, and whatnot. Take courses and encourage your employees to do so as well.
8. Develop Marketing Strategies That Suit Your Demographic
Research your target audience and draw up a strategy on the best way to reach them. If you can not afford physical banners and billboards, running sponsored adds on facebook, twitter or Instagram may be just what your business needs. If you can not afford to pay a professional to manage your campaign, consider taking an online course on social media marketing.
The last piece of advice we have for our upcoming multi-million Dollar businesses is never to give up.