A-Z of Building a Successful Business in Africa


Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

Plagued with high levels of unemployment, the African country is faced with an enormous task to create jobs for its exponentially growing population. I love this opening sentence because it goes out of its way to show me that people at the helm of affairs are thinking about their nation’s well-being, but I have a problem with this exponentially growing population bit. I guess those who sell birth control pills are not doing well at marketing.

However, this article isn’t about birth control but about birthing successful businesses in Africa and here is how:

1. Why are you doing what you are doing?

I know you want to make money, I know you want to employ people but if those are the reasons you want to start a business, you will end up shadow boxing till the day your business liquidates. You have to have an ultimate goal –your vision, and what you intend to achieve –your mission. These are beyond nice words for PR and company websites, because when the challenges that are associated with starting a business in Africa hits you, those words will form your character, culture, and drive.

2. Focus on growth not activities.

It is very easy for you to get sucked into a lot of operational activities and you forget to drive initiatives that with foster growth and sustainability. It would be a wrong move for you to let such happen. Decisively deal with the day-to-day tasks but ensure you have ample to implement growth initiatives.

3. All stakeholders must hold stakes.

Do not invest in a startup whom the person in charge has nothing at stake. He/she is likely not to have that extra zeal that sees a company through to success because as soon as there is a storm, the entrepreneur is likely to abandon ship. No one wants to invest in futility so dear entrepreneur do not leave everything to your investors, you must have your own quota.

4. A good product sells itself.

This I have found to be true in all my years of business. If your business is genuinely meeting a need then it is bound to see the future but if your business (products and service) is bad, then shut it down and send me the money so I can help you out.

The trend spotted in Africa that spurred us to writing this article is the increasing number of entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial landscape in Africa is fast multiplying and in my book, its growth is at par with the exponential population increase.

Watch world, Africa is coming!