Young Startups have been tasked to focus on building reputable brands and creating value in business rather than striving to make money as their priority.
With the general mindset of making money being the current major focus of most up and coming entrepreneurs, speakers at the CFA's Startups Hangout for the March Edition are of the opinion that creating value and building brands remains the critical factors for achieving sustainable business growth.
Addressing entrepreneurs at the event, Nkemdilim Begho, CEO, Future Resources Software Limited, stressed that creation of value in a business, as well focusing on how to build the brand should be the primary objective for Startups.
Begho said money should never be the primary objective when starting a business, as this would not provide the ingredients to building a sustainable business in the long run.
"Whenever, I ask up and coming entrepreneurs why they want to venture into business, if they tell me money, I tell them it doesn't work that way. I always tell them to focus on creating value and building a brand, which has helped me till this moment", she said.
"When I started my own business, it was never easy. I didn’t pay myself salary for over five years let alone thinking of hiring any employee. In spite of all the challenges, I kept on going", she added.
The Future Resources Limited boss, however, charged the Startups to be strategic with pricing whenever a client shows interest in their services.
Begho explained that most times, clients do not know exactly what they want and the inability to explain in detail to them in a simple language they understand makes this become an issue.
"Some clients don't even want to pay for your services. Some will under-price your services. You, however, need to be strategic and charge exactly what will work for you. If you charge less than the real cost, you will never grow your business.
"On the other hand, you need to understand what value you are offering to your client and be able to explain in simple terms the 'what, when and how', before implementing a clients project", she opined.
"When you communicate these things at the initial stage, it becomes easy to avert hurdles in the process of implementation", she said.
Continuing: She charged all the entrepreneurs to always develop skills at every point in their career and make it a responsibility to grow day after day.
"The only way I get impressed with my employees is when they grow on their job, develop skills and learn fast from me. This way, I get impressed with their performance and that is what all entrepreneurs should be doing", she concluded.
In his words, Atul Kshetry, a successful business mentor who has led IDM Services Plc through a fast track diversification process, said focus and patience would go a long in way in the entrepreneurial journey.
He explained that Startups have the wrong focus on business, which is commonly driven by money, at the same time jeopardizing integrity.
"When you start a business, be rest assured that the minimum years of getting returns is five, sometimes seven or even ten years and that means, patience. When you don't have patience, then, it becomes a problem.
He, however, tasked entrepreneurs to make their employees shareholders in their businesses and by so doing, some level of integrity will be injected into the business.
On hiring staff, Atul's maxims are "sincerity without ability is useless; ability without sincerity is injurious; but ability with sincerity is priceless", so, go for staff with ability and sincerity when hiring.
"I have always made sure that integrity rules in every busines that I get involved with, meanwhile, making employees shareholders in the company triggers a sense of belonging and responsibility", he concluded.
CFA's Startups Hangout is a monthly program sponsored by CFAtech.ng, an online technology media, where entrepreneurs meet, learn, and network.
The Next edition of the CFA’s Startups Hangout holds on the 21st of April, 2017 at Adna Hotel, GRA, Ikeja.
For more information visit: http://startups.cfatech.ng