In the last decade, there have been more entrepreneurs in Ghana than ever because many people are fed up of working hard to make the dreams of others become a reality while theirs lie on the shelves collecting dust.
Three out of every five startups fail after a minimum of three years of inception even in the greatest economies of the world and throughout a discussion I got to know of some major factors which contribute to the failure of these startups.
1. The non-existence of long term plans & systems.
One common mistake that cuts across startups which fail to survive is as a result of non-existence of long term plans and systems in their business plans. Long term plans provide a focal point, a target or goal to be achieved at a particular time hence you work towards that goal without being distracted.
To run a business successfully, one needs to put in place structures. A set of mechanisms and rules on how things should be done at every point in time. These structures define your business practices; the methods, procedures or rules you employ in the pursuit of your objective.
The failure to inculcate this into your company brings about inconsistency in the way and manner you conduct business due to the fact that there is no particular pattern being followed.
2. Not Focusing on building a lasting business first.
Entrepreneurs are motivated by various things such as the desire to solve a situation facing society, commercialize a hobby or bridging a gap, just to mention a few but the ultimate goal is to generate income from whatever business you are committing your resources to.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you are doomed if you focus more on making money than to build a firm and a solid foundation for your business idea to stand the test of time. Building a solid foundation simply means:
- First and foremost, you and your business’ integrity should be without a question. Be transparent as possible.
- Also the quality of your service or product should be of the highest standard. Know that you are in a competition and mediocrity won’t be accepted by consumers.
- Educate yourself extensively on the business you are venturing into. Research on and draw proper marketing strategies.
- The Internet is a powerful tool in driving businesses. Make good use of social media.
3. Living an ostentatious life.
Entrepreneurship is a long winding lonely road which requires a lot of commitment and sacrifice to be able to survive on. To attain the status of a successful entrepreneur, you need to deprive yourself of certain pleasures for a period of time. Even when your business is gaining grounds, you continually need to channel your time, energy and resources to the growth of your business.
But what do we see, young entrepreneurs in the haste to live ostentatious lives. Instead of ploughing back profit for the expansion of their young business, they tend to satisfy their pleasures at the expense of their business by living luxuriously; sometimes spending part of their startup capital.
You are copying wrongly if you want to live life like an entrepreneur who has been in business over a decade. Note that Kwame Despite (one of Ghana’s most successful entrepreneurs) is driving in a Rolls-Royce not because he has been in business for five years but decades.
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Source Beauty is pushing the boundaries of Egyptian e-commerce
Egyptian e-commerce: the county’s digital drive has not yet gotten to the growth typically seen in European countries and North America. However, as businesses have started shifting online, customers are now following suit, resulting in the gradual development of the digital eco-system.
Innovation, such as digital marketing, is reinventing the consumers’ path to purchase. The Egyptian e-commerce market is expected to grow at a rate of 33% annually to approximately $3bn by 2022, according to Oxford Business Group.
Source Beauty and disruption
The increase in e-commerce comes from rising internet penetration rates, driven by connected and digitally savvy millennials. Several platforms, both locally and internationally, such as the direct-to-consumer beauty platform Source Beauty, have disrupted the beauty industry in the region to drive their growth by truly connecting with their customers.
By being aware of the changing consumer behaviour trends in the e-commerce landscape, service providers like Source Beauty are continually fostering customer engagement with a community they have created. The customer service team, along with the editorial and marketing teams, respond to each comment and direct message, making customers feel listened to.
Lydia Schoonderbeek, the founder and CEO of Source Beauty, said:
“Egypt has traditionally been a price-driven market. After devaluation and high inflation rates, people have become much more price sensitive. People are consuming less and are shifting away from imported products due to price, accessibility and inconsistency in supply. As a result, they’re looking for local alternatives.”
In line with its digital transformation and financial inclusion agenda, the Egyptian government has set in place directives to raise the limit for electronic payments for individuals via mobile phones to EGP30,000 (USD1,905) per day, and EGP100,000 (USD6,350) per month, since March 2020. Traditionally, 70% of online purchases were cash on delivery, which has proven to be a major challenge to e-commerce growth throughout the region. This preference has changed to credit card payments, increasing to 30% from 16% due to the spread of Covid-19, but it remains to be seen whether purchasing behaviors will be affected in the long term.
The CEO of Source Beauty further added that, the company had seen substantial growth thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with existing and new customers wanting to limit in-person beauty services and adhering to social distancing and mask-wearing requirements. Beauty customers, she says were changing spending habits, moving towards products that allow them to recreate the salon experience in their homes and protect them from the potential impact of an increasingly digital lifestyle. Finally, she believes they have seen customers prioritising skincare and haircare purchases over makeup.
The question is, ‘Is anyone in Egypt going to buy beauty products online?’. Who thought people would buy books on the internet from a website called Amazon! Well, the answer seems to be YES. Consumer spending in Egypt on non-essential goods has reached EGP 3.90bn in 2020 and is set to reach 8.81bn in 2021, according to FitchSolution’s 2021 Report.
According to the Egyptian e-commerce beauty company, Source Beauty, it believes that the world is in an era where consumers are looking to associate with brands and not products, to make their beauty purchasing decisions and this is where homegrown brands like theirs will doubtlessly lead to economic growth in Egypt.
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