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6 Tactics To Implement When Scaling Up Your Startup Business

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Image: entrepreneur.com

Having started my company in 2015 with a borrowed laptop from my father’s living room where I lived, I have watched Platinum Africa Solutions Limited grow from a little idea into a company that is creating more value in the African continent. Here are a few things I have learned in scaling up from the startup phase.

 

1. Maintain the old lifestyle.

Don’t buy a new car yet. Don’t rent a new office space yet. If you have been running remotely, keep running that way for some time. Keep running in the same space until there is really the need to get a new or bigger space. Renting a new space or buying a new car does not necessarily add more revenue to the business when you would be paying more bills. Scaling in most cases happens slowly, so if you begin scaling with more expenses, you would actually be scaling debt-fully.

2. Don’t hire more people yet.

When scaling, you are tempted to hire more people with the assumption that, more people would bring in more results, revenue, and profits. Truth is, that is not the case. Try to create more maximized results with the same number of people you are scaling with. It helps you notice the exact gaps you have in your team and the kind of expertise or people you need to add on to your team.

3. Be keen on your work culture.

As you grow, you need to pay attention to how you get work done. Scaling may come as a surprise and often you may not be very much prepared for the entire shift. More clients will be calling. New partners will be approaching. Everything will be happening so fast that you may be tempted to just focus on the figures and revenue. If you are going to be a solid organization, you need to build a solid work culture as you scale up.

Also Read Black Space App CEO, April Jefferson on entrepreneurship and connecting black travelers to their culture

4. Strengthen partnerships & collaborations.

Partnerships make you more credible and it is a great way to create more value for your customers or consumers. In this regard, be very intentional. Do not be so carried away by the big brands. Align your business with partners who share in, and respect your vision and mission as a company. Not every good company may be good for you as a partner.

5. Be picky.

You grow with clients, your process, team, partners, improved services and products, and even with your brand image. Be very careful about the kind of changes you make to your products and services. Be selective about the kind of clients you work for or sell to. Be selective about better work processes that create more value, save cost and are more effective. Above all, know that even when you think no one is watching, someone is actually watching. Your brand image is being built the most when you are least looking. At this stage, it is very important to know what you do not want!

6. Create more revenue streams.

Continually explore all the aspects of your business with the potential of making more money. Also, be on the lookout for ways to cut down on unnecessary or avoidable costs.

 

Credit: Derrick S. Vormawor

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African Entrepreneurs in Jack Ma Foundation Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative Win $1 Million

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$1 Million Awarded to African Entrepreneurs in Grand Finale of the Jack Ma Foundation Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (Source: Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI)

The aim of the prize is to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.

ACCRA, Ghana, November 17, 2019- Last night the Jack Ma Foundation hosted its first annual Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) grand finale awarding $1 million in prize money to 10 entrepreneurs from across Africa.

The ANPI is a flagship initiative of the Jack Ma Foundation, created by Jack Ma after his first trip to Africa in 2017. The aim of the prize is to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future. In its inaugural year, nearly 10,000 entrepreneurs from 50 countries across the continent applied. The Jack Ma Foundation has committed to running the competition for 10 years.

The finale event, called “Africa’s Business Heroes,” was held in Accra, Ghana, where the top 10 finalists pitched their businesses directly to four prestigious judges including Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation; Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba.

The specifics of the prize pool division is listed below. Each finalist is receiving a share of $1 million.

The top three finalists were:


“It was an incredible honor to be named Africa’s Business Hero. I was truly inspired by my fellow winners at today’s Netpreneur Summit. The Africa Netpreneur Prize will give me the resources to grow LifeBank and expand our presence in Nigeria and throughout the rest of Africa. I look forward to continuing my journey to solve problems and make a significant impact on the future of Africa,” said Temie Giwa-Tubosun, Founder and CEO of LifeBank.

The remaining finalists, who each received $65,000, are listed below:


“The finalists who competed in ‘Africa’s Business Heroes’ should be an inspiration for Africa and for the world. Each of these entrepreneurs looked at big challenges facing their communities, and saw them as opportunities,” said Jack Ma, Founder of the Alibaba Group and Jack Ma Foundation. “It is my strong belief that entrepreneur heroes, like these finalists, will change the world – creating companies that drive inclusive growth and opportunity for the continent. Everyone is a winner tonight.”

“This competition demonstrates the overwhelming entrepreneurial talent that exists across Africa. I’m very excited about the future of industry and entrepreneurship for this continent,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group. “The top 10 truly show the limitless potential of African business.”

“What really struck me about the finalists was that they each addressed specific African problems with a specific African solution in a fresh way, leveraging technology that wasn’t available previously,” said Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group. “If this is an indication of the future of entrepreneurship on the continent, then Africa’s future looks bright.”

Also Read: Meet Mariatheresa S. Kadushi, Founder of M-afya, A Mobile App Providing Health Information In Native Languages In Africa

“Africa’s Business Heroes” will be televised in a two-hour special throughout Africa. The journeys of the finalists as well as their pitches and business insights from the judges will all be included in this exciting television event.

You can watch “Africa’s Business Heroes” on the following dates and channels:

  • December 13, 2019 – ROK 3 on DSTV
  • December 14, 2019 – NOVELA and Sports Focus on StarTimes


Check your local listings for specific channel and airing times.

The initiative will host a pitch competition where 10 finalists from across the continent will compete for $1 million in total prize money every year through 2028. All entrepreneurs across Africa, are encouraged to apply. Entries for next year’s prize will open in the first half of 2020.

Follow @africanetpreneurprize (https://bit.ly/2pqInf) on Facebook, @AFNetpreneurs (https://www.Netpreneur.Africa/)   on Twitter for application details.  For photos and videos from the finale event, please visit Alizila (https://bit.ly/2qWkxgf)

Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI)

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Egypt, PRL sign train engines contracts worth $466.3M

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CAIRO – 16 November 2019: The Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) signed with PRL (Progress Rail Automotives) a number of contracts worth $466.3 million after a meeting with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi that took place last week.

The American company will supply 50 train engines over 22 months, carry out long-term maintenance for 41 engines by June 30, and upgrade 50 others within 30 months since the conclusion of the deal. The company will also provide maintenance services and spare parts for those 141 train engines for 15 years. The value of contracts will be secured through soft loans, except for $27 million that will be paid by ERA’s treasury.

In July, ERA endorsed the technical specifications of two passenger railcars to be supplied by Transmashholding in September. Those are part of a contract to supply 1,300 railcars. One of the railcars will be tested in Hungary, so it will be granted the safety certification by the European Railway Agency. The other will be tested in Egypt. Afterwards, the first batch of railcars in the contract will be delivered in accordance with the timeline set by both parties.

The contract states that 650 railcars will be supplied from Hungary, 500 will be delivered by Russia, and 150 will be manufactured by Egypt under the supervision of Transmashholding. An Egyptian locomotive factory will be established as part of a plan to localize the locomotive industry in Egypt and transfer the know-how to workers, technicians, and engineers in the sector. The factory will produce the 150 railcars and also provide maintenance services.

The representatives of ERA and Transmashholding agreed to hold further visits and meetings to study the possibility of cooperation in rail infrastructure, mobile rail, workshops, new lines, and maintenance of existing railcars.

In the same month, an official source told Egypt Today that ERA needs 12 rail test machines to detect and repair defects in railroads revealing that contracts to purchase eight of those are being finalized.

Also Read: Meet Mariatheresa S. Kadushi, Founder of M-afya, A Mobile App Providing Health Information In Native Languages In Africa

ERA will receive four rail test machines worth €8.5 million by the end of 2020 supplied by an Austrian company with which a contract was signed a few months ago. The machines will enable the authority to better diagnose defects in the railroads which would increase the safety, and inhibit derailment accidents.

Egypt Today

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Venture Capital for Africa Launches First Dedicated Online Training Program for Africa’s Business Angels

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Mentor-Driven Capital has a critical role to play in supporting Africa’s entrepreneurs

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 15, 2019- 10 free training modules boost ability of participants to become high-powered mentors and savvy business angels; Mentor-Driven Capital has a critical role to play in supporting Africa’s entrepreneurs.

Over the past two years, VC4A has successfully implemented Mentor-Driven Capital programs in Nairobi, Lagos, Abuja, Cairo and Hargeisa, bringing together aspiring business angels and connecting them with promising startups. Based on learnings presented and gathered, as well as video interviews done with experienced mentors and mentees, VC4A has now launched an online course on ‘Mentor-Driven Capital’.

Many startup ecosystem studies across Africa have shown that there are limited local (angel) funding sources as well as a lack of well-developed mentorship networks in most African cities. This is why VC4A, with its local partners, has designed a program that addresses both topics at the same time.

Any startup requires cash to operate, but it is the application of capital in smart ways that secures greater impacts and returns on investments. Mentor-Driven Capital has a critical role to play in supporting the continent’s entrepreneurs. It is also where a good local business angel can make the difference between venture failure, survival and success.

First dedicated online training program designed for Africa’s business angels

According to VC4A CEO, Ben White: “Since VC4A’s offline programs can only reach a limited number of participants, we’ve decided to create an online course that captures much of the content of the recent mentor-focused work. Anyone who is interested can now take advantage of the first dedicated training program designed for African business professionals keen to guide Africa’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs to success.”

Also Read: Meet Mariatheresa S. Kadushi, Founder of M-afya, A Mobile App Providing Health Information In Native Languages In Africa

The goal of this course is to boost the ability of participants to become high-powered mentors that support entrepreneurs while also learning to think and act like savvy business angels. Participants receive expert guidance, training, and hands-on support. The things aspiring mentors need to bring to the table are their valuable time, knowledge and networks.

Course structure

The course is divided into ten modules. Each module is introduced by a presenter and accompanied by short clips where experts share their opinions about the same topic. The modules are:

– Introduction to Mentor-Driven Capital

– Becoming a business mentor

– Structuring the mentor relationship

– Investing your time

– Investing your network

– The angel investor mindset

– Developing an investment strategy

– Investing your money

– Common startup challenges

– Tips for success

GET STARTED TODAY! Visit: http://bit.ly/2Qq0xx1

Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A)

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