Guest Post

Essential Cs that Startups in Nigeria can learn from

It’s easier to create an enterprise than sustain.

It is even more important to create a sustainable system for an enterprise than the foundational element of just starting it. Why do some startups fail? Big Question.

What’s the essence of creating a start-up if you can’t sustain its existence within the marketplace? 

According to small biz Trends on start-up failure rates statistics, of all small businesses started in 2014: 80% made it to the second year; 70% made it to the fourth year; 62% made it to the fourth year and only 56% made it to the fifth year. 

Given those numbers, a bit more than half of all start-ups actually survive to their fourth year while the start-up failure rate at four years is about 44%.  To successfully run a start-up, a street smart entrepreneur must constantly work on these 7Cs. These points are some of the critical factors that help sustain a start-up especially in a clime like ours—Nigeria. 

The first C is the Creation of value: This hinges on the production of value-driven products, disruptive & innovative processes & problem-solving services. As a start-up, you don’t just join the bandwagon of business for the sake of belonging.

Computer, Business, Laptop, Technology, Internet

Customer or Client: This goes beyond just creating customers. It is more about the positioning of your product & service, customer identification, customer retention & management and understanding necessary insights that help your business serve the target audience better. 

Know your Competition: Aside from market mapping, any start-up that wants to succeed in a highly competitive business environment like ours should map & analyse their competitors. What they do & don’t; what they ought to but aren’t doing. These pointers should make up for your strength as a start-up. Capitalise on your competitor’s weaknesses by providing what don’t but should. Innovate on their strengths.  

Competence, Cooperation & Coordination of a skilled multidisciplinary team is sin qua non. An effective co-operation should be enabled within the workplace to have a formidable force to withstand and evolve to meet the relevant needs of the market. 

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Company communications and culture is very crucial for every start-up that wants to succeed. This covers how your start-up communicates its offering, positions itself within the market, sustain its narratives and build a positive perception in the minds of target audiences to drive sales and sustain huge returns on investments. 

The last critical C represents Cash flow. This is one critical area most start-up founders and managers don’t take too serious. In my decade-old experience in business and entrepreneurship, I found out that most start-up founders exert more efforts in running after venture capitalists than taking care of their cash flow. Aside from raising funding for your start-up, understanding and managing your cash flow is as critical to the success of a start-up. Understanding the numbers & what they imply, revenue optimization, assets acquisition, investments & reinvestments, diversification are very important parts that you should focus on, in running a successful startup.

Written by Ayodeji Adeogun (An avid Print Business Consultant)