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Entrepreneurship 101 | BetKing

Entrepreneurship 101 | BetKing

2019-02-20 
| Posted in Kingmakers Corner

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

When you’re making an important decision, you’re practically staring down a hallway of unopened doors, unsure of what lies behind each. Really! Making decisions is never easy – What University will you go to? What will you study? What will you do for work? Who will you marry? Will you have children? How many? Like all of these, “What business will you start?” is a very important decision to make, it shouldn’t be a reaction to how well a friend’s business is thriving or how much money you stand to earn if you try.

 

Where to begin?

First, you need to understand why you are starting your own business

Decide why you want your own business and pen it down so you can stay focused. The happiest people are those who not only attained their goals but realized they did and took the time to enjoy their success.  Starting your own business is giving everything you have for possibly a long time with no guarantee of financial success; but if done right, the satisfaction of choosing your own path makes a 14-hour workday seem like an adventure than work.

 

Start as soon as you can

Do not wait for the perfect moment, because you’ll end up waiting forever.  People in their teens/twenties are too young, in their thirties must be financially secure for their children, in their forties are used to saving, and beyond fifty they are told they are old and it’s too late.  If you want to start something, start now – make it happen, now, today, as soon as you can.  If you must, hold a vigil to draft your business plan.  Tomorrow will turn into next week, a month into years, and in 2025 you’ll wonder what the business could have been if you had only acted.

 

Don’t resign from your day job

Things move a lot slower than you plan or expect them to; projections that have you earning 200k in profits meet the reality that you've barely made a thousand.  In situations like this, it’s better to have a steady source of income.  Yes, you’ll grow slower; but unless you have someone who can cover your primary expenses, try to hold on to your salary and adjust to better managing your time.

Planning

Have a plan

Business situations change and business plans are scrapped, but if you’ve worked through multiple scenarios, thought up the different possibilities, you’ll be better equipped to meet any market challenge.  Planning ensures you to think through ideas and allows others to review them and point out strengths and weaknesses.

 

Take the road less travelled

A lot of intelligent people have started clothing lines and shoe brands in Lagos.  Unfortunately, most of them are in industries overflowing with creative people and as such, they struggle for relevance and might never live up to the lofty expectations set by Prada, Paul Smith, and all the other overachievers.  If you have a networking skill set, consider going into an industry that critically requires your services and where you would be a valuable resource rather than a commodity; like owning a BetKing shop in a busy market.

 

Adopt a lean financial structure

Account for every kobo.  Venture capital funded companies receive all the press and attention with their multi-million-dollar investments, but most small businesses are bootstrapped.  And that is a good thing; it forces you to be economical as to what you spend money on and forces you to seek a return on investment for every naira spent.  The truth is that the absence of funds forces a determined person to ratchet up their creativity.  Tales of how BetKing Super Agents started are pointers that will be shared soon.

 

Learn and contribute to your field

Everyone that wants to be relevant in their field knows that they need to learn about the industry.  But if you want to be the best, take it to the next level.  Greedily consume everything written about your market and start learning about other industries with the goal of understanding how ideas in these industries can be applied to your field.  When it becomes hard for you to find new industry data, sit down and write about your experience.  Nothing makes an education like the discipline and research required to contribute to a field of knowledge.

 

Persistence

Starting your own business is a marathon, not a sprint.  It’s long, gruelling, and there are stretches where you’ll get tired and want to quit. You will have days that have you backsliding and weeks that you appear to be stagnated; worse your competition may appear to be growing faster.  But measure your progress over defined periods, and from this perspective, you’ll see just how far you’ve grown.  View success as profitability and staying in business, not being better than the competition (they may not be doing as well as you imagine them to be) ….and if they are, then you can play catch up.

Become a Kingmaker

Believe in yourself 

If you don’t believe in your business or idea, why should anyone else believe?  The key to being successful is to have properly prepared – develop your business plan, run through the numbers, and ask the hard questions early.  After you’ve done all of this, you’ll find it’s rare that someone can fluster your confidence or ask a question that you haven’t heard before. 

 

Lastly, lose your Television

Surprisingly, you’ll find the time you never knew you had; stop watching life and start living it.

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