On February 27, African Gist hosted its first international conference at the Social Media Week Lagos 2018.
You probably noticed our excitement knowing we would be meeting our Lagos community. We were also very excited about hearing what our guests would teach us on how to become a badass entrepreneur in tech and creative industry.
Bringing on stage Mr Gossy Ukanwoke, founder of Beni American University and Mr Ikenna Okonkwo, co-founder of Heels.com.ng , both business owners and investors we knew we would get learnings from the best.
We took a lot of notes and selected some takeaways to share with you guys.
Here is what we can remember from their intervention:
1. Never mix personal money with business money – G. Ukanwoke
While starting a business always make sure you don’t mix your personal money with your company’s money. Indeed, the first mistake of an entrepreneur is to make no difference between the two accounts. How will you justify your spendings if your use your business money to take care of personal expenses? An investor will see it as a lack of seriousness. You need to be very strict and find a way to keep both accounts separated.
2. Specialize in ONE field – I. Okonkwo
An investor needs to see his investment goes to a business owned by someone who actually knows his field very well. We know it can be tempting as young entrepreneur to mention all the field you have skills in, but you need to start by choosing only one field and focus on it, train and be the best in it.
3. Surround yourself with a team – G. Ukanwoke
No investor will invest in a single’s man/woman business, make sure you surround yourself with a team. Indeed, there is more in several heads than in one.
4. Make sure your team can work without you – G. Ukanwoke
An investor needs to feel like he is investing in a business which is working no matter what. He needs to see the business still working when the boss is not around. Make sure your team gets the best training and knowledge to become independent and make the business run.
5. Advertise your business – I. Okonkwo
Get loud about your business! Nobody will advertise it better than you so make sure you do. Be loud on social media, make sure your relatives understand what you do, write articles on every platform you can use. Make sure the World hears about your business.
6. To scale up your business outside your country, get an partner from the diaspora
If you want to scale up your business outside your country, your better partner with somebody from the diaspora living in the country you are targetting. That person knows the ground much more than you and it will make you save time.