I just got to realize why most start-ups fail. They are in a rush to always get funding. Most founders do not spend time on testing, and hardly deepen insights on the business. Most things are in their heads, and most of the followers (workers) do not even know where the founders are going.
Yet, the founders want to get funds, they want to get millions of dollars, and they want to be the next Facebook.
For me, every stage of my idea has been tested and we know the next phase. I actually had my road-map and followed it from day 1; I have not deviated. I only cancelled out approaches that didn’t work but I’m still on track. Mind you, lots of approaches wouldn’t work as you keep iterating.
If you know the number of hours and blood that I have spent in research, you will understand the challenge. I must know my potential customers like the back of my palm. For this mission, I have spent over one year doing that.
My team members see this, they have also said this and this wouldn’t work, and this and this will work. The biggest mistake in my entrepreneurial journey was to think I’d make it quick. That I’d make millions of dollars after 6 months! I was so naive on entrepreneurship.
Now, I know entrepreneurship, I know how I can sail on the murky waters especially when you’re trying to solve a problem that has been in existence for long. You need to be careful.
I have seen many start-ups come up with businesses that I try to imagine how the founders hope to make profits on them. I mean some of the ideas can never scale even under the sea!
I reached out a Kenyan entrepreneur after I felt I had all my data gathered together and the business plan solid. I needed him to come on-board as an investor. He said the idea was awesome and he would love to invest. So he asked a question that changed my life
“Is this business running already?”
“This is the exact reason I approached you”, I thought in my mind. I need you to invest in this idea and let’s make this work; I’ve got all it takes.
He said; “I love your idea, it’s cool but sorry, I invest in running businesses”. That was a blow, I mean a slap on my almost a year idea planning, but I learnt something. I knew I was in for it; yes, it was time to face the running part. I need to make it running. But how?
How do I run without funds? When I mean funds, I’m talking about huge sum of money.
Another marathon of planning began, we must run this, we need very big money, and we need very big money. How do I get?
So I started pushing it. Mapped out the parts that will not require huge money; I will recommend the book Lean Startup.
This has taught me that it’s possible to test my idea step by step and not necessarily spend so much at once. This book pushed me to start staying awake at nights to plan and execute.
Yes, nobody told me to start making classrooms my night house. I know I have reached a stage where I needed to test for something
Entrepreneurship is a lonely road. It doesn’t necessarily have to be this difficult though.
I was still testing the experiment for weeks till I watched another video that finally cracked the code.
The entrepreneur said; “If you cannot sell eggs to raise funds, then nobody should invest in you to start poultry”
That was all I needed. I needed to sell eggs. That means a part of my idea needs to be running and bringing money. Yes, I must be able to generate money one way or the other.
Simply, are your eggs selling? If not, it would be hard to get funds for that poultry business plan. Sure, not many poultry businesses in Nigeria focus on selling the meat – nonetheless, the eggs remain the business.