At the ongoing Startup South Conference in Uyo, my firm, we hosted a session to discuss brand visibility as a means to access the market with Startups and emerging businesses.
The panelists submitted as follows:
1. Before you strive for visibility, make sure your product is good enough for the market. It may not be perfect, but let it be good enough to worth your effort.
2. Don’t be satisfied with friends and families patronizing you. Your business hasn’t really been tested until you start selling to people who don’t know you.
3. Leverage friends and families to gain referrals. Seek their feedback and urge them to mention to their friends, colleagues, neighbours, and so on. Offer an incentive if you can.
4. Say it. Nobody knows what you have to offer unless you tell them. So every opportunity you get should be used to say what you are doing. Of all your personal contacts and social media friends, how many know what you do? Talk and post more about what you do.
5. Create a brand for yourself, particularly an identity that makes it easy for people to spot you. It could be your name/moniker, hashtag, tagline, and so on.
6. Choose the right social media platforms. Go to where your targets are and publish the right content consistently.
7. Leave no stone unturned as you go along. WhatsApp status, Linkedin, physical meet-ups, target events, and so on.
8. Ask. If you need exposure on any platform, try to network your way to a contact person and be willing to exchange value.
As you seek visibility, keep working on developing soft skills like negotiation, meeting people (networking), emotional intelligence, and others.
Every viable business operation has a threshold before a breakthrough, what happens in three months for business A may take one year to happen for business B, just keep doing your possible best per time.
Branding is ultimately about winning in business, so we publish articles to equip you with strategic business insights for success. Before launching deep into any business, you should settle down to answer some critical questions. These questions are like guiding lights that drive the course of your business plan and helps you develop the best pitch.
You could develop these questions after a proper market survey and analysis. They should be based on your daily observations of the market, the product you are sending out and the reactions of the target customers. You must consider the challenges your product or service might face.
Recently, one of Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs, Strive Masiyiwa, shared some tips on his Facebook page on what to look out for if you are trying to prepare a business or investment plan, which we thought to share with you.
Here are the ten things he shared:
1. What is your product or service and why is it innovative or unique?
2. What big problem does it solve and what is the market opportunity?
3. Who are your main competitions?
4. What traction does your venture have?
5. What are the main risks or challenges you face?
6. How does your venture make a positive social impact?
7. What is your venture’s current financial situation?
8. Was your model designed to achieve scale?
9. What milestones will getting the needed capital, help you achieve?
10. How will an investor make money if he or she invests in your company?
We are sure that the above questions must have taken you back to the drawing board. Let us know if you had a hard time answering them.
Written by Donald Alaye
We can help you with your business development plans. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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For the last couple of weeks, Funmi has been excited about starting up his own business. He had dreamt about this for so long that he could not believe he was just a step away from fulfilling one of his life’s goals. He had ensured that everything was in order, from drafting clear and concise vision and mission statements, to setting smart goals, to on boarding and training excellent team members. Funmi had it all mapped out, striking every dart on his target board. Yet his final success was to some extent dependent on one thing, investors!
Funmi, having played his role, began to search for potential investors and means of financing his business. Most of the investors that had shown interest in the business always asked for an outrageous percentage cut from the profit. After several setbacks, Funmi finally found an investor who was satisfied with the twenty percent shares.
After documents were signed and the deal was done, Funmi and his team set off to a smooth sail. They got their furnished office space, acquiring necessary tools for work and opened up the door for clients. A year later, when the investor had noticed the increase in sales and the accelerating progress of the company, the music changed for Funmi and his team.
Suddenly the investor wanted more percentage from the profit being made. His demands for daily reports and threats of withdrawing his investment that ran into millions of naira became all too overwhelming for Funmi. He thought of suing or paying the investor off but that would be disadvantageous for his firm.
Funmi continued to watch the investor parade himself as though he was the owner of the business. He spoke too authoritatively during board meetings and never hesitated to snap at workers who did not deliver on their KPIs. From the corners of his eyes, Funmi watched him, holding back the fury in him. Continuously Funmi wondered how a simple business deal could turn sour and initial helpers turn enemies. Still Funmi insisted on keeping his enemy closer until he figured what to do with him.
Like Funmi, several business owners have encountered such unpleasant business interference. Though the agreements between both parties might have started out smoothly only to take a different outcome at the long run.
It is likely that most would be overwhelmed and confused without a clue on how to resolve these kinds of issues. They are faced with a dilemma of making critical decisions that could either make or mar all they have worked for. Sometimes, companies go bankrupt trying to pay off their investors. Oftentimes, they are either shut down or sold off due to internal struggles.
How long do you think Funmi will hold this up and what is the best escape route for him?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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