Measure everything

Advertising and marketing ideas are nearly unlimited, but our resources are limited. That is why we should keep track of every Naira or Dollar we spend on such endeavours.

Do not just throw your money “away” for advertising in newspapers, magazines or blogs. Keep records of where your business leads are coming from, take records of which channels are not working and channels that will work but will need some more work.

I do not think startups should be too concerned with brand building activities. The goal should be to find the product-market fit before your money runs out and then scale up your business. As fast as possible.

Measuring things like these eliminates wastage.

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Watching The World

 


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The Jobberman morale booster

The same 2009 ASUU strike that changed my life forever by giving me enough time to build Gistcaster, also gave Ayodeji Adewunmi, Olalekan Olude and Opeyemi Awoyemi enough time to start an online job search company; Jobberman.

(Gistcaster went on to crash and burn a few years later, but today’s story is not about how much Gistcaster sucked, but about how well the Jobberman project fared. )

Last week, One Africa Media announced that they had acquired 100% stake in Jobberman and our 3 heroes will now move up to One Africa Media where they will now be directors and be able to produce more good results. This deal must have been worth millions of dollars. (Neither party announced figures, but OAM recently raised about $10 million and we know that a great chunk of that money went into this deal. That is all I was able to gather…)

Awesome!

In this Internet times, the ability to build business empires from scratch is here. Anyone can literally write a better future for herself and mint as much money as you decide you need.

So, if you are yet to start something in this space, what are you waiting for? With so many opportunities in the Nigerian web space, the only regret you will have in 5 years time is that you did not start sooner. This Jobberman deal is a great win for the entire Nigerian market and a greater morale booster for a hustler like me. My morale is high, time to produce more good results.

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Watching The World

  • Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, Google just acquired Timeful Inc. Timeful is the second company Yoav Shoham (a Co-Founder and Chairman of Timeful Inc) is selling to Google in less than 5 years.

 


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In hunt of customers

Without customers, there cannot be cash inflow, and without cash inflow, we cannot stay in business. Business growth is one of the major focus areas of every business out there and for a small, young business like us, growth is crucial. If we do not acquire new customers, we will die.

We spent a great deal of April solely focused on growth. Just like Elon Musk who moved all his staff at Tesla into sales temporarily, we also actually deployed everyone into sales. The mission: growing our customer base.

It has really been an interesting endeavour, working like that, talking to prospective customers and getting them to patronise us. We are a stage whereby I cannot really say if we have found our product-market fit yet, one cannot rule out making another pivot on the things we do, to these end, our conversations center around the problems our target market are currently having, and what is wrong with the current solutions they have. We actually spend less time pitching and more time trying to understand our target market.

Focus on solving a problem, not selling your solution

First of all, I have been trained that as an Entrepreneur, I should focus on the problems I want to solve and not on the solutions I am building. If the solutions I propose do not resonate with the target market, it will lead to a failure. So rather than fail, I believe in pivoting to suit the target market.

Talking about the target market…

Deciding on a target market is quite a tricky affair, for starters, it has to be big enough to make a profit from, yet small enough to make it possible to reach them with available resources. We are building out interconnected products and services to help businesses come online and make more money and enjoy the convenience digital technology brings.

Such a big mission that somehow finding the small niche to use as a starting place is a daunting task in itself. Jamsa is starting off with laptop advisory services, CloudPitcher is taking off with managed WordPress hosting, bulk messaging services and ecommerce and these are services needed by any business you can ever think of. We do not have the resources to reach every business in our target Nigerian market as at now, but we are now focused on a few places.

The art of selling

Going from the first hello to the first exchange of services for cash is the real thing. We are having our arms and legs everywhere and also looking into all sorts of partnerships that will help move to the next level.

We are hunting for customers. Big time!

This post originally appeared on the Omnific Works blog: http://omnificworks.com/general/in-hunt-of-customers/

 


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Some other things

A quick riddle: “If 2 people do exactly the same things, will they get the same results?”

Physicists will say YES, but every other person knows that this is a bold NO.

If 2 people do exactly the same things and then end up with very different results, then some other things are definitely responsible. In physics, we say 2+2=answer, but in real life it seems some other things are involved. Rev Areogun always says that in real life 2+2x=answer, where x is the summation of all the powers working for or against you.

If the powers working for you are more than the powers working against you. You win.

To succeed in life therefore goes beyond acquiring knowledge and dreaming up cool ideas in dozens, it goes beyond branding and raising a lot of money, it goes beyond working 7am-7pm everyday. Some other things are involved.

 


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Braced up for the worse

It seems to be the worst week ever; combine lack of power supply with lack of access to petrol inorder to keep the generators running. Economic and commercial activities ground to a halt all across the country.

In business, we pray, hope and prepare for good times. But we also have to ensure that in times like this, we have enough reserve to handle the crisis on ground.

In your line of work, what can happen that will completely cripple your productivity? Can you handle the worst case scenario should it ever come knocking?

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Watching The World

 


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Find a niche, not a nation

A niche can be defined as a distinct segment of the market.

For increasing the chances of survival of your new business, it is always better to start in a small way by focusing on a subset of users rather than everyone. You might find it easier to market to and truly completely satisfy the needs of a well defined niche than an undefined nation.

The trick is to ensure that you are the very best option for the people you wish to serve and this becomes harder to do as you grow bigger and bigger. Facebook was able to find its firm footing by starting from a niche and then expanding into everywhere, Google was just a search engine for many years.

Perhaps the reason you are yet to launch out or truly record any good success is because right now you are chasing a nation that you do not have the capacity to handle. Perhaps you need to find and focus on niche, we all do.

__________

Watching The World

 


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