There’s a secret I want to share. Matter of fact, I am not supposed to share it because it is one of my strong points in winning my competition once I launch my startup. However, I feel it’s not necessary keeping it all to myself. Fine, we have more start-ups in Africa in this age than ever before, and they all seem to be waiting for the glorious day when Africa will be fully matured for their ideas. Personally, I am waiting for the year 2023 because I believe by that time, Africa will be ripe for our ideas.
We have seen other start-ups like Paystack and Flutterwave take the lead founding the companies even when it seems like Africa wasn’t ready for fintech. Now, we are seeing that there is hope. Here’s my point: whatever startup you are building, it will be wrong to be building for the future without carrying your audience along. I believe it’s not yet clear to you and I will simplify it now.
Let’s take a practical example:
I am founding an edutech company and my prediction is that by 2023, Africa will be fully positioned to let my idea scale. It will take an exponential growth because other factors that have been setbacks will be fixed. However, I did something quite interesting. I brought out the blueprint of my business model and looked at how my target audience are expected to behave at that time and compared them with their behavior at this time; there’s a huge difference. It means that something needs to be done between now and 2023 to align them from their present state to the expected state. The product isn’t bad, the roadmap isn’t wrong but the audience is wrong.
Matter of fact, I cannot get an audience for my product by 2023 if I do not create the audience. This is Africa, we will continue to remain the way we are unless we are influenced by an external factor. A practical example is the fact that we have so many edutech start-ups emerging in different parts of Africa, I call it the edutech boom.
The edutech industry is a huge one that I personally believe will be worth some billions of dollars in the coming times. These edutech start-ups have good business models and roadmaps; they also have online platforms they are building. However, the average African youth prefers to get value for free, so how do you scale with the online platform?
I’m pretty sure a lot do not take this into consideration. By 2023, there should be good internet connection, mobile phones should be accessible, however the target audience will still want free value which means there will be a huge problem for such businesses. This is exactly what I was saying that it will be wrong to build your startup without carrying your audience along.
So what do you do? Is there a way out?
Definitely, there is a way out. I’m pretty sure you never realized this. It doesn’t just apply to edutech, it applies to other fields as well. You as the founder is optimistic that by a particular year, things will normalize. However, have you really looked at the behavioural pattern of your target audience? Will they automatically adjust by such time? I don’t think so.
Here’s what you need to do: You need to create a structure that will direct them from where they are down to where you want them to be. More like you’re building your own audience which is the case. There will be so much competition by such time in the future when Africa becomes ripe. Every startup will be in a rush to convince their target audience that they are the best.
Wrong business thinking.
This piece is to expose you to the fact that you can own all the audience if you succeed in being in their minds. By that time, you do not need to compete with competitors because you own the hay. Whoever owns the hay owns the horse. While it might be difficult creating a structure to keep your target audience in track from now till where you want them to be, it is the best shot. Behaviours change overtime. What if by 2023, Africans decide that they prefer physical learning to online learning? You’ve built your online platform but by 2021,they had a shift; you lose.
You need to create a roadmap to keep them on track and that’s another huge secret. The aim of this post is to make you aware that you need to begin to get the hay ready now, and not wait till the horses arrive at the manger. But then, they might prefer to eat meat and you lose because your whole structure is built on hay.
You can own the horses, find how to make them keep valuing hay.