After exactly one year in entreprenuership, this is the biggest lesson I have learnt- that there is so much to learn!
So if you are now thinking of starting a business or are currently involved in a startup, I hope these lessons benefit you.
A year is a very short time in business
By the time you finish creating , refining and testing your concept, forming your team, designing your logos , building a website, obtaining your company documents, showing up at events and meetings and attempting to sell your first product, 12 months would have passed and you may not have made a sale!
This is particularly true if you are not working full-time on your startup because you are in school or working elsewhere.
So if you have huge expectations for your business, count the first year out- unless you are the exception to the rule- that one brand that explodes from nowhere and goes straight to top in a matter of months – especially in the movies.
Your Team is everything
Weeks ago, we organized a very unique event in a popular hotel in Accra. As the programme went on, I leaned against the conference room wall and observed people come in and register, pick their name tags and start participating. That sight moved something in my being.
Individually my teammates are very bright but the experience people get when they attend Newaccra Magazine events can simply not be delivered by one person, no matter how bright they are.
If you are now forming your team, I humbly suggest you pick people who demonstrate potential and believe in the vision. Believing in the vision is so important because some of your early projects may not be profitable and you want people who will understand, not people who will seize your laptop and call the police because you couldn’t pay them their allowances on D-day.
Your relationships count
If I could go back to my years before entreprenuership, I would have made more good friends and built more quality relationships.
You’ll realize very quickly that people you knew before starting in business will be the ones making things happen for you early in business. My classmate’s efforts landed me my first job after University. We grew our mailing list by partnering another classmate, I met two prospective clients through former work mates. It goes on and on and the more people you have looking out for you, the better.
This is one reason I am so grateful for my business partner who is naturally good at building relationships and who teaches me to get better at this.
If you are now about to start, please invest in genuine friendships. Don’t do it because you are expecting some gain. It is completely unpredictable and you can’t tell who will introduce you to your big break so be genuine.
I wish you all the best in entrepreneurship. Remember I am no expert, just another guy pushing something. If any of these benefits you, we thank God. If not, well, I have only been at it for a year, so what could I possibly know ?