Starting up a business can be generally tasking - more energy, time, money and expertise may be required to birth a viable business into existence. When the needful are not done, things may go wrong that may affect the life span of the business. In Africa, this is also the case as many businesses get ruined from the word 'go'. There are several dos and don'ts to reflect on while setting up an African Business, some of which are:
1. Understand the 'WHYs'
Understanding the reason for setting up a business can be very vital in sustaining it and enforcing its existence over time. The 'WHYs' are the reason for setting up the business in the first place. Though businesses grow to diversify into other businesses for various other reasons, the purpose of setting up the business should be primal in any consideration with regards to anything that concerns the business. Businesses exist to solve problems, for its existence to be sustained, it must learn to solve these problems effectively and efficiently. Whether it be for profit or for non-profit, the reason for creating the business should be well established.
2. Do market research.
Start researching about the composition of the market, the market size and your potential rivals or partners within the market. For example, you can conduct interviews by telephone or face to face. You can also offer surveys or questionnaires that ask questions like “What factors do you consider when purchasing this product or service?” and “What areas would you suggest for improvement?”
3. Build a Team
A team is made up of two or more people who work together to achieve a common goal. In business, organizing in teams allows a company to benefit from the skills and perspectives of employees from different parts of the organization. Creativity thrives when people work together on a team. This helps to blend complementary strengths and builds trust.
4. Know your Partners
Before the business fully kicks off, get to know your partner - their previous engagements if any, why they want to be in the business, their percentage contributions and revenue sharing formula. If you start your company with co-founders, you must agree early on about the details of your relationship. Not doing so can potentially cause enormous problems down the road.This will help put you at ease and prepare you for the bulk of the work ahead.
5. Build a Great Website for Your Company
You should devote effort to building a great company website. Prospective investors, customers, and partners are going to check out your site and you want to impress them with a professional product. Here are some tips for building a great company website:
- Check out competitor sites.
- Start by sketching out a template for your site.
- Come up with five or six sites you can point out to your Web developer to convey what you like.
- Be sure the site is search engine optimized (and thus more likely to show up early on search results).
- Have high-quality content.
- Make sure your site is mobile optimized.
- Make sure the site loads quickly.