The African Entrepreneurial Journey.

The goal of being an entrepreneur in Africa is often as a result of many factors working in alignment in order to necessitate the push for the venture. To shy away from mincing words, Africa may not always be the most friendly of places for an entrepreneur to start up a business venture.

From hurdles like finding capital, age consideration, gender consideration, personality, swindlers, improper problem assessment, lack of proper planning and general unfriendly economic structures, the challenges of being an entrepreneur can put the most innovative business ideas and solutions into the cupboard to never see the light of day.

On the journey to becoming an entrepreneur, the first step is not the availability of funds or social privilege, but rather the desire to solve a certain problem or alleviate problem areas with a solution. As you go through your daily life, you may encounter systems that you feel are not working well and could be boosted to work more effectively or products that you feel need to be created or updated. The solution may take some time in forming, but a determined will and an open mind to different ideas and avenues can help make this an exciting and rewarding journey of innovation.

After the mostly mental stage, it is now time to test the effectiveness of your solution. Different things react differently to different users in different conditions / environments. Create a physical or more tangible solution and allow a trusted or “waiver-signed” sample group to test out your solution. Testing is one of the most crucial stages in the entrepreneurial journey. Many startups forget to give this stage the utmost importance and often rush to release products that are not ready for the diverse market.

Please take note that even with the importance of testing, it is important to secure and protect your intellectual property. Enforce that a test sample from a random selection sign waivers that prevent them from stealing your ideas and marketing off of them.

Now that, as an entrepreneur, you are sure that your solution works, you go ahead and look for capital to pursue your idea on a big scale. Big scale, in this instance, is relative. It can mean servicing 50 users or 5000 users. It all depends on how your solution is structured and who the target market is.

Finding capital can be hectic and crucial, and often this is the stage that kills many entrepreneurial dreams and aspirations. Financial institutions such as banks are reluctant to give you funding because of varying reasons which may include but is not limited to lack of trust in your business as an investment. For this reason, it is important for entrepreneurs to not undermine alternative means of monetary injections like crowd-funding.

Quality assurance is an avenue that should not be underestimated. Make sure that your products and services are top-notch and exactly what you promise to your clients. As you begin mass production of your service or product, ensure that you keep your quality standard at an appreciable level. Underhanded tactics, like mixing with materials of lesser quality, application of harmful substances to offset cost are detrimental to the credibility and longevity of your business.

This last avenue is one that never ends and requires constant improvement and finessing to ensure that your business is strong and meeting targets with scalable growth. This is the application of effective business management systems. This includes ensuring that your business targets are met or surpassed, ensuring maximum output from staff or collaborators and proper accounting systems.

It is understood that not all entrepreneurs are well-versed in business management systems before launching their businesses. This is why it is advised for businesses to apply the use of POS systems as an automated way of keeping track of key business details, like sales, customers, suppliers, inventory, reports and expenses.

When searching for a POS system that understands the African business ecosystem, look no farther than KudiGO Storefront. With a keen sense of what the African business industries especially retailers desire from a POS solution, KudiGO provides a one-stop solution to all automatable business processes like;

  • accounting (through an integration with SageOne accounting software),
  • varying payments methods like Card and Mobile Money (one of the key integrators making this happen is Interswitch),
  • printable receipts (made possible by the thermal printing feature of the Smart Android Terminals),
  • an expense module (to keep track of expenses made by businesses in order to properly calculate profit and loss)
  • Customers’ module (which keeps track of all recorded customers that patronise your business, this could help with targeted advertising and discount offers).
  • ecommerce platform integration to help connect with more customers online)
  • WhatsApp integration (to help take advantage of the widely used platform to interact with clients and automate processes)
  • Offline desktop functionability (to help you run your businesses smoothly even in “network-sparse” locations / areas).

Complete oversight of all business dealings is one of the main things KudiGo StoreFront promises African retailers. Records of business activities are safely kept in a secure cloud that ensures that loss of information is a thing of the past.

The journey of being an entrepreneur is not an easy one but in order to achieve the world and Africa of our dreams, we all need to put our best foot forward and explore new ways to bring about positive change.

That problem that you see in the hospitality industry, go ahead and solve it.

That flaw you see in the way an existing product works is just waiting for you to get up and correct it.

The new way you wish to see buildings being built is looking for you to implement it.

Take the leap. #DoIt

The African Entrepreneurial Journey. was originally published in KudiGo Inc on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.