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8 Pieces of Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs Before the Lonely Journey

To be an entrepreneur is a call many have attested to and rightly so because of the enormous benefits society derives. Have you felt strongly that entrepreneurship is your calling too? You are not alone, but what differentiates success from failure for most entrepreneurs is heeding to wise reasoning as you embark on this lonely journey.

From the thoughts shared by the insightful membership of The Spirited Hub Facebook Community. Here are eight solid, not mincing words and factual advice contributed for you who wants advice as you aspire to become an entrepreneur.

1. Be Prepared to Embrace the Risks.

Life itself is a risk. Not taking a step a risk and doing so is riskier. This is not to scare you but expose you to the cold reality. You have taken the first risk which is making the bold decision to become an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship is a risky venture but worth it… focus, and stay committed to your chosen venture and fall in love with what you do… challenges will definitely come but be tactical and play accordingly.” – @Ebenezer Essuman

2. Ponder on Why You are advised “Don’t Do It!”

“If you are able to find reasons why you think I should not tell you not to do it, then you my dear friend have found your own reasons why you should do it. I find that when people arrive at conclusions for themselves they do a better job at sticking to it.

Now, qualities, virtues and advices work for everyone differently. Some people breakthrough because they are patient and determined, others are very impatient and a minute spent on something is too long too much but that impatience drives them to try so many things and kaboom! one works and that’s their breakthrough.

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People will focus on one thing, what if you are innately wired not to focus on one thing? I will tell you don’t go into entrepreneurship? If you feel offended and have the need to debate it then voila! you are already an entrepreneur because if there is one thing all successful entrepreneurs do, it is that they do not let anyone tell them they can’t or should not do anything.” – @Nora Delali Kumahor

So on your own you begin to ask yourself why you shouldn’t and if you truly want to be an entrepreneur, the fire in you won’t quench and will give you every reason back to answer you “I will do it and I’m prepared for all the challenges ahead.”@Battseeyon Fynn

3. Failure is a Necessary Evil.

How many times have you failed at doing something? On the issue of failure, research and you will realize that for many achievements by successful entrepreneurs you celebrate today, repeated failures was an inevitable tool for success, so be prepared.

“Be prepared to fail many times. But it is not failure if you learn from that error and not repeat it. If you are not willing to fail and still go on, then don’t start.” – @Marricke Kofi Gane

4. Getting Mentorship is a Must.

Mentorship involves being guided and given right directions by experienced entrepreneurs who have long passed your stage of the journey.

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“There is a huge difference between folks who have made it and those striving and doing their best possible. There is a secret, the former knows something that the latter doesn’t. I would advise, have a mentor and be humble in all circumstances to learn because experience is another way of teaching.” –  @Ishmael Cudjoe

5. Pursue that  Dream, Reward Will Come Later.

Your business idea did not come to you for nothing. Consider the number of people who will be direct beneficiaries if you bring that dream to reality. There are others who also have dreams just as yours, but you know how best it should be executed.

“I will encourage them to go ahead and follow their dreams. I agree because failure teaches you virtues such as patience and humility which makes you want to learn and grow (perseverance). I also think in the initial stages and perhaps throughout the entire life of that project/initiative, one should focus more on meeting the satisfactions/needs of that particular initiative and money/rewards will follow later.” – @Monica Tetteh

6. Solve a problem.

Successful entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Mo Ibrahim, Strive Masiyiwa, etc. are all considered great not for the fat bank accounts they control but for the services and products they developed which go to solve a specific problem society is facing. Money won’t come when customers don’t believe in the business.

“Is my idea trying to solve a problem in society? Passion is key.”  – @Issah Adil

7. Don’t Start Without Market Research.

All businesses operate well in particular niches. Your product is not meant for all the 7 billion human beings on earth but for a specific market with peculiar behahiours. For a market where many have both failed and succeeded, you need to pull resources together for proper research into your market providing the basis for you to decide if it is worth pursuing or just a mirage.

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“I will urge the fellow to research into the chosen field to know if there is a market.” – @Kingsley Gbeho

8. Answer the question, “How Will You Make Money?”.

Apart from the impact your business idea will make on the society, the essential ingredient of success and staying in business is your company having inward cash-flow. Furthermore, for your business idea to be attractive enough to potential investors, one question you should be prepared to find answer to is how you will make money or what is called having a Business Model.  You are in business for profits and when it’s difficult finding answers to this question, you may regret you started.

After going through these pieces of advice and mentally prepared for the lonely journey. You are on your way to fulfillment.

Credit: Membership of TSH Facebook Group.

Are there other pieces of advice you want to share with aspiring African entrepreneurs? Leave your comments.

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Source Beauty is pushing the boundaries of Egyptian e-commerce

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.

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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.”

Egyptian e-commerce
Founder of Source Beauty, Lydia Schoonderbeek

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.

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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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