It is not easy to be a successful entrepreneur in a climate like Nigeria. However, countless founders are braving the challenges and have become successful.
For example, Shola Akilade And Ezra Olubi, the founders of Paystack which was recently acquired by Stripe can be considered as successful founders. As long as your startup is providing an innovative solution to a problem and it is gaining traction, you can be counted as a flourishing founder.
For budding entrepreneurs, these tips will no doubt help you become successful.
1. Develop a business plan
A business plan materialises your ideas onto paper and helps you to envision how your business will be operated. In brief, your business plan should at least answer the following questions about your business:
• What is your product or service? What are your priorities?
• Where will you be operating your business? Where do you want to be in five years?
2. Be frugal
Think twice before buying anything or signing a lease. To determine if the expenditure is a necessary and good investment, refer to your business plan and ask yourself how your purchase will contribute to the success of the business, as well as any additional costs you could be incurring, such as depreciation and maintenance costs. Always aim to do more with less, and look for ways to reduce costs, such as bartering with other companies.
3. Continuously educate yourself.
Be a voracious learner. You can attend live seminars or classes online. You can also read books by a successful entrepreneur you admire. Even if they aren’t in the same field as you, you could learn a lot from both their successes and failures. Observing how they solve problems can give you tips on resolving your quandaries.
4. Build a winning team.
Behind every successful business is a reliable and competent team. This can include engaging an online personal assistant or working with a skilled accountant. The key is to recruit the best people to help you achieve your goals, but more importantly, people who share your vision. Every teammate might bring a different skill set to the table, but the entire team should always be on the same page about the company’s vision and values.
5. Find a mind-body-soul balance.
Make sure you eat healthily and find time to declutter your mind. Your personal wellness is as important as your company’s bottom line. Even if your office is at home, find ways to unplug from work and recharge by going for a walk or exercising to release some endorphins (your body’s natural feel-good chemical). Excessive stress is detrimental to your health. Remember that your business thrives only if you do.
6. Take advantage of free marketing tools
Some free marketing tools such as Google My Business and social media can be used for marketing and promotion. Many businesses create Facebook peer groups to spread the word and interact with like-minded people.
7. Find a mentor
Having a mentor you can trust is a valuable asset. Whether you’re in a mastermind group or have stayed in touch with your former teachers or other business associates, guidance is always valuable. Work with someone who has climbed that very mountain you are trying to navigate to shorten your learning curve.