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Technology and ideas advance at a rapid pace in today’s society. When practical and novel concepts are developed and implemented, they improve people’s lives by resolving problems and making daily activities easier. And this position is what gives rise to the founding of startups in Africa and beyond. 

A startup is an emerging business that is still in its formative years. It entails a person or group of people forming a new business when they see a need for a product or service. Startup businesses typically have large initial expenses and little revenues, necessitating funding from many sources including venture capitalists.

In this article, we’ll highlight essential considerations for anyone considering founding startups on their own in Africa.

Get an excellent idea first

In Africa and anywhere else, the place of ideation can’t be excused from building a startup that’ll thrive. Entrepreneurs that want to scale and succeed look for items/commodities that fit a need in a market. You’ll need to be sure there’s a market for your product by assessing the needs and wants of your target audience. 

It’s usually said that if your product idea isn’t easily appealing to at least ten persons, you may need to rethink it. As a result, you’ll be better able to zero in on the right product to develop and chart the course for your company. But before you put your plan into action, you need to investigate the market and examine the competition.

Create a company strategy

A company strategy is also known as a business plan. A business plan is required in addition to just having a great idea. A company’s aims and strategies for reaching its goals are laid out in a business plan. 

It also provides an outlook and strategy for the company’s future. And, usually,  investors in Africa and beyond are likely to support startups with a solid plan, according to data.

You’ll need a considerable amount of capital

Across markets, startup establishment costs vary. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to give a universally applicable minimum sum required to launch a business. More or less money may be required, depending on the nature of the business and the specifics of the scenario. 

It is possible to establish a startup/business for as little as $5,000 if you subtract the cost of equipment and salary. But setting up large enterprises with a dense workforce may cost millions. 

For a start, you as a founder will likely bear the major costs your inception incurs. While you may seek funding from venture capitalists or  banks, you may not land that grant or loan. And there are several reasons you may not get funding from investors as a startup, but that doesn’t mean your idea/business isn’t good enough.

Therefore, you need to be very calculative here, because, you’ll likely be doing the financial heavy lifting if you must start out.

Select the best hands you can afford to make your team 

Some problems simply require more brain power or know-how than you can muster. As a result, you’ll need help. However, you need to be careful in selecting individuals to work with you. You want people who are ready to put in as much work or even more than you would, to make your startup scale. 

Decide if you need a physical space

Regardless of your business idea for your startup, it’s almost impossible for you not to have envisaged immediately establishing an online platform such as a website, social media page and so on. However, depending on what your startup is about, you may or may not need a physical space. 

For example, if you want to start an ecommerce company, you may need to invest in at least a warehouse for sellers who want to list their products on your platform and keep them with you for faster shipping. But if you’re starting an airtime vending, and bills payments business, you may shelve the idea of a physical space for a start.

Regardless, physical space is crucial eventually, because customers will likely trust your business more. You don’t have to buy or build one for a start, you can easily rent first and work towards owning your space. 

Deploy digital advertising strategies

It’s one thing to have a fantastic product and it’s a different ball game entirely to get the word out there. Such promotion is most achievable in today’s world by employing different marketing strategies. 

To that end, think about promotional methods such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media advertising, content marketing, email advertising, and pay-per-click (PPC). You can also use more conventional channels, such as newspapers, television, and radio. However, using inbound marketing, which takes advantage of modern practices, is more beneficial.

Scaling your startup in Africa

While all the above are crucial to founding startups in Africa, they are just the tip of the iceberg compared to the work you’ll need to invest to thrive as a company.  You’ll need to do a lot to expand your online presence. It’ll take more to master marketing techniques to attract and retain customers. 

If you feel saturated or overwhelmed at some point, you may just look to acquisitions which have seemed to be the saving grace for many African startups of recent.

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