Millions of Nigerians have dreams of starting and running their own business, being in control and not taking orders from anyone. They want to wake up anytime they like, give orders and not take orders, and travel wherever pleases them.
When you look at the life of an average successful entrepreneur, it looks glamorous from the outside, making people with 9-5 jobs want to quit theirs and experience the feeling. While this belief may have elements of truth in it, in reality entrepreneurship is far from this.
Most successful entrepreneurs/business owners have endured challenging periods and situations at various points in time, and many more face unique challenges every day.
The advent of the internet and social media has however changed the dynamics of owning a business, and with as little as a phone and an internet connection; you can practically start and run some several types of businesses from any location.
Saying the internet is powerful is an understatement. With the advent of the internet, businesses that you otherwise wouldn’t have known existed have been made possible.
Businesses are able to give as much information as they can to consumers about their business, provide contact information, including email, and even offer their products/services online to consumers who may not physically be able to go to the area of business or do not want to have to.
Social media platforms have also added an advantage and given people an easy way to advertise whatever form of business they are into in a cheap and convenient manner.
Nairametrics attended a Nigerian Internet Entrepreneur Conference organized by Nairabet owner; Akin Alabi. A host of successful Nigerian Entrepreneurs were in attendance including Opeyemi Awoyemi (Co-founder of Jobberman), Jason Njoku (Founder, Iroko Tv), Daryn Wober (CEO Ventra Media), Craze Clown (CEO, House of Craze), and a host of other speakers who shared their opinions and experiences on how to run an “internet’’ business or any business in general, and their general experiences on the entrepreneurship journey.
Here are some key points we were able to gather from some of the speakers:
Opeyemi Awoyemi ( Co-founder Jobberman):
- Be Careful Who You Take Advice From:
When the average person wants to start a business, it is normal he/she seeks advice from all sorts of people, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You have family, friends, neighbours and well-wishers who throw their 2 cents or opinions on whether your idea would work out or now.
If your goal is to end up as a Bank MD or CE, who would it make sense to seek advice from? Of course a Bank MD who has years of experience in that field that can mentor you on what it takes to be successful in that role.
The best person to take advice from is those who have done what you want to achieve or something similar to the business you are going into.
- Look To Add Value Not Money:
When Opeyemi started Jobberman, he made a rulw with his Cofounders about not going to chase after investors looking for money. They were going to focus on the service they render and make sure they add value to hundreds of thousands of lives. Fast forward years later, and an investment of $1million came through from Tiger Global.
He had earlier started other businesses where he was focused on getting the business plan ready and getting investors to pump in money even before any form of execution. For one reason or the other those businesses never worked out.
The key is to focus on running your business properly and creating a valuable product or service, that even if investors want to own a part of your business it will be on your own terms and not you going cap in hand to look for money which may not end up being a good deal.
- You Have To Have Something That Drives You:
As an entrepreneur, you have to have what drives you to succeed. Something beyond money, yes money is good, but it’s the drive that keeps you going when things are really tough and everything seems to be working against you.
Opeyemi said what drives him was creating something that would impact on hundreds of thousands of lives, That was what made him start Jobberman, and with over 45,000 companies registered on the site, over a million job seekers or employers have been affected positively in one way or the other. His next drive is to start a business that would impact billions of lives.
Jason Njoku (Founder Iroko Tv):
- You Don’t Need Permission From Anyone To Start Any Business:
You are the single most important factor in determining how far you can succeed. Do not take permission or seek permission from anyone regarding whether or not to start your business. The best time is now.
No amount of advices, mentorships, conferences, books or whatever anyone tells you will determine if you will succeed in your business. You are the single most important factor in determining whether or not you will succeed.
For example, you do not need a computer degree to start an Internet business; you don’t even need to register that business immediately. All you need is a solid idea and the will to execute and you are good to go.
Go close to where your customers are. The original idea for Iroko TV actually came from Sim Shagaya (Founder of Konga). When Jason first came to Nigeria, he literally didn’t know anyone but what made him succeed with Iroko was his decision to move to Festac, which is close to Alaba market where his customers are.
CEO of House of Craze:
- You have to be active on as much social media platforms as possible:
The Ceo of house of Craze, runs his comedy business with just his phone. He takes videos and pictures with his phone and edits everything all by himself before he posts them.
He pays special attention to all the social media accounts relevant to the business, such as facebook, twitter, instagram and youtube.
In general, starting a business is a lot easier now than in the past because of how the internet has made things easier. So their is no excuse for you to keep waiting to start. The time is NOW.