Whether you are an Entrepreneur or desire to be one by chance or choice, driven by impact or profit, there are a number of things that are crucial to the growth of your Business or Ideas. These nuggets, in my opinion, represent what could change the face of doing business in Africa for Young Entrepreneurs.
• Focus- Every Entrepreneur will at various stages of their entrepreneurial growth hear that passion translates into a call to find a need to solve or a need to be created and solved. Often, the passion we have remain mere intentions/ideas and may not become successful businesses because the ideas we carry are not the success we seek, the businesses established are what define success. For many Young Entrepreneurs, determining among this lot, a clear concise vision and focus on that one true idea and its possibilities that best represents who you are may make the difference for you. Having an array of things you do or are good at is cool as some will tell you, what ticks is a clear focus on one thing that works, that you are known for, that has a definite bigger picture in industry terms could do the trick for you.
Create and Rethink Value!
• Value – The biggest challenge for many starting up is finding that unique value proposition that clearly outlines the need the market yearns for. Importantly it continually understands what Customers want and whether a company’s product or service is commensurate with the needs of the market that isn’t static. A company’s true moment of success is its ability to continue to offer value to its client over their lifetime through winning new clients or maximizing repeat purchases from existing clients.
Create and Improve Your Product or Service Offering!
• Product Development – Will hype, photoshoots grow your Business? Personal branding will only reinforce brand perception based on the product or service your company offers to an existing or new market. Real growth is driven through tangible and intangible products and for the most part, your brand perception holds real value when you can speak in real turn-over and contribution to taxes about your Business than simply looking good, speaking well or posing for the camera to be respected as an Entrepreneur. If your Product isn’t actively marketed beyond the owner’s personality, you don’t exist as an Entrepreneur.
Create or Improve Team Culture!
• Team Building: You cannot succeed on your own as a Young Entrepreneur, and in today’s economy you won’t find the right talent anywhere, except you can mould attitudes, train and inspire only to the extent that the employee hired is willing to bear. Increased motivation may help increase productivity but hire more for Loyalty and Attitude than for the skill potential employees claim they possess.
Build Your Capacity!
• Capacity: Without the relevant understanding of modern tools and demonstration of knowledge in Administration, Performance Management, Team Building, Sales and Customer Service among others you will become obscure and obsolete as an Entrepreneur.
Real Growth Trumps PR!
• Financial Performance: Financial Performance is tied to sales, financial reporting and controls but importantly without key metrics to assess and grow sales, you will not grow as a firm or Entrepreneur. Research on ways to measure Client Growth, Sales, Tools to check finances, appropriate Budgeting and proper Governance structures to increase your success rate as a Young Entrepreneur. Implement more OKR’s than KPI’s.
Without increased Sales, Your Passion is meaningless. Without measurable Impact, you cannot define your level of Impact.
• Growth and Sales- Regardless of the PR you build around your company, without tools to measure Performance you will never succeed if you don’t have the numbers to back it up with a reasonable baseline to demonstrate real growth. Without a proof of concept that shows real growth or potential, you risk overestimating your potential.
Your Partner must reflect the future you want!
• Business Partnerships: Your Business is only as good as the Partnership agreements you draw up or enter into to help you run/manage your Business. Seek Counsel, Invest in the Process, Build Trust above all, do what you said you will do.
• Hiring: Truth is you may never get the best of talent on your first hire. Loyalty, Attitude, should be qualities you look out for in Staff beyond Skill.
2018 is a year of numbers, growth, turn-over, governance, product and brands and certainly not about you my dear Young Entrepreneur. It’s no longer about You! Build that business and let’s celebrate Your Business because you made it work, not because You are the Business!
John Armah is the CEO of the Orios Group. He is empowering young Ghanaian Entrepreneurs with Training, Investment, Strategies and Policy Advocacy to tackle some of Africa’s brightest problems in Health, Technology, Agriculture Services and Art.
He has over eight years in Business Advisory, Strategy and Development Services. An Award-winning Entrepreneur and Business Strategist with a passion for Startups Development and Growth in Africa.
He is currently the Board Chairman for Junior Achievement (JA)Ghana, as part of JA Worldwide, named as part of Forbes 30 Under 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa (2016).
He was also named among the 20 under 40 Most Influential Business Leaders in Ghana by award-winning Business World Magazine (2015). Mr Armah voted the 12th Most Influential Young Ghanaian (2016).