I have been privileged to work with a lot of startups and as I am in one myself. When I birthed the concept of my business in 300 level, I had no idea I would not be Dangote by now; the idea made so much sense and had a lot of financial prospect…idea is one major key, but the door between idea and success is the journey called implementation. I have done a lot of unbelievable projects I mostly don’t talk about and I have been blessed by awesome human resource team. The journey had a lot of sleepless nights, endless plans and I lost a lot of money (A huge part of my first invested seed was stolen and prioritized wrongly).
People always say young people should not be in entrepreneurship, it was not a choice for me, I could not just see myself tied to a routine for the rest of my life; it scares me, and there are too many problems in this life to be solved. I have learnt a lot from it and it has basically directed by thinking pattern and interest in details. I think about product success rate faster and can predict a lot of weak points in businesses because I have had a first-hand experience and has been consulted by majority of my peers in their startup. Probably the most important advantage is that it gives you a sense of focus towards what you really want to do in life.
The challenge for me cannot be under-emphasized
Lack of trust and support: Some days will show you so much success and some will flatly tell you that you are not capable. My first organised event, most friends and a lot of people promised to show up but we were less than 10. I printed a lot of handbills and made expensive posters, I learnt immediately that your idea does not matter to most people you meet until you start making money. My pains were much; I went for a presentation once and a man told me that I should cut my hair as he would not even allow his son to keep such, I have been looked down upon just because I am young, some folks will take undue advantage. A job that is of high quality might be charged for a mediocre amount; I submitted a proposal once and the man was really interested till he saw me physically, then he started misbehaving and dictating. I learnt to decrease physical meetings.
Lack of finance; there was the courage, zeal, passion and all those things motivational speakers talk about but there was simply no money. All these startup investment jingles and chants takes you through a lot of bias and scrutiny majorly because the person that will love your brand will basically need to see it through your lenses, this is most times not achievable till implementation starts. So you are better off using your savings and starting small if not, you may never get an opportunity.
Low network; Again let us even assume you have the vision and the money, who you know matters a lot. You will never land some big projects because someone influential needs to vouch for your competency. Never do a lazy work or shallow business, impress anyone that would pick interest in it.
Uncertainties and risk; people love to advise! They see a lot of loopholes you overlooked, some will practically talk you out of the idea.
If you must succeed……
Start already! Many people more connected and richer than you are thinking of almost the same thing. Before you know it, you will see your idea on a billboard.
Know your audience, season and location; one of the most important factor is location; I wonder the reason most people sell ice in winter. You don’t need to start pure water business just because others say it is profitable, evaluate your environment if they truly need it. Don’t just start a business, ask if it really solves the need of some specific set of people
Stroke of genius; be creative and dynamic, the world is already filled with mediocrity, Be so good that they cannot ignore you.
Read books; Most people do not even research on what they are starting, you need to learn how businesses operate.
Have a continuous plan; never stop planning, every next phase is another starting phase!
Learning never stops; do not feel like a boss when you have a little change in your pocket, learn to learn from people and things around you. Ask questions, ask for help if you don’t know it. Do not be arrogant
Be relevant; make sure you are always involved in a continuous process of contributing to others. The business idea is not just about you, it is also about as many people as you can drag along, success cannot be sustained if it is not composite. Not contributing is a real case of eating alone and dying alone.
Patience; I often get anxious sometimes and forget this; you need to be proactive, and you also need to be patient. The truth is money grows on trees but you have to patiently cultivate the tree and consistently nourish it.
I am sure there are more, you are free to add your opinion