The prospect of Africa’s economy is looking good at the moment. In the last few years there has been a significant improvement in economic growth particularly with the numbers of new businesses starting. In 2019 alone it was growing at twice the global average compared to other economies in the world.
Although the pandemic hit hard in 2020, it is still possible to be successful. If you have a business idea you are keen to get started on then now is the time to begin, instead of waiting for the ideal job opportunity to appear you can create your own instead. Here are some suggestions to bear in mind as you begin.
Identify Your Skills and Passions
First of all you need a passion in life or a skill that you can perhaps teach others to kick start your business ideas. Ideally you will want to be investing into a business area which you are knowledgeable in and will enjoy spending each day working on. Before you know it you could be like one of these successful young African business entrepreneurs who have established themselves within their particular fields, by thinking of innovative ideas and pursuing them.
Having access to finances will be important to get your business up and running. You certainly need to have money set aside before you even begin starting your business and create an emergency fund along the way. The key is aiming your financial resources towards the areas of your business that need it, instead of being frugal and not spending money on anything. At the same time you do not want to overspend recklessly either. It is best to write a business plan and begin from there where you will need to spend money.
Areas where you are likely to need money towards are.
- Other members of staff, even if it is just freelancing to begin with initially.
- Ingredients and packaging if you are making a product.
- Technology equipment such as laptops or a business landline if it is office based.
- Office furniture and accessories
- Delivery company to post goods
Creating a Memorable Brand and Logo
If you think about all the major companies that exist which you are easily able to distinguish from their brand logo alone, it demonstrates the effectiveness of this form of marketing. Just by looking at the colours and shapes of the image you are able to recognise the company behind it. This is the importance of successful branding. Though these companies invest significant amounts of money towards advertising, this is the same sort of aim you should have as well.
You want to create a logo and brand name that is catchy and memorable so that consumers can easily identify your business and what it is about.
The benefits of doing this are.
- It can help you generate more business if you are an established and well known company.
- It provides your company with authenticity.
- Enables you to appeal to a new audience.
- Allows you to stand out from your competitors
Once you have established your business brand and identity you then want to start raising awareness of this. The best place to begin with is social media. You can easily set up a free Facebook or Instagram page whereby you can create a business page that advertises your business brand and services. You can also browse around for other marketing opportunities to boost your brand awareness such as leaflets to advertise in your local area or creating business cards to distribute to people.
The Importance of Social Media Marketing
You can use social media automation as a tool to help you cope with the amount of posts your business provides each day. It can be quite a time consuming task to think of the number of posts and content to provide to your audience to grab their attention. But you also want to build up a rapport with your customers so it is important to actually reply to any queries or complaints to demonstrate that you value their custom.
Social media marketing can help you in these ways.
- Creating creative content such as a quiz or questionnaire can help gain your customers interest and help you establish what they actually want in their product.
- Establish loyal customers who would be more likely to repurchase from you.
- Advertise any new and exciting prospects about your business for free to millions of people.
- Allows you to try various branding techniques to see what works and what does not.
- Actively engage with your target demographic.
- Allows you to see how your competition is using social media as a marketing tool.
Building a Good Team
Initially when you start out you might want to be covering most aspects of your business, but there is only so much you can tackle. It is also important to reach out for help and start building up a good team of people that will bring something positive to your business and will help it grow.
- They can provide skills that you might not have.
- Allows you to complete more tasks throughout the working day.
- Helps you deal with any customer queries quicker, providing a better customer experience.
- Provides a more enjoyable working environment when you have company.
- Provides employment for other people.
- Allows you to discuss, collaborate and think of new ideas.
The Importance of Passion and Persistence
Although the prospect of venturing into the business world on your own and beginning from scratch may seem daunting, if you have an idea and vision you are passionate about this will certainly help. It will provide you with the determination to turn an idea into a reality. You need to be prepared for difficult times and it might seem slow to begin with but ultimately you might find yourself in the position of one of the many successful African entrepreneurs that exist today.