For the majority of women in Nigeria, entrepreneurship is a necessity. There are no jobs or viable alternative options, however, from writing a business plan to coming up with a name to hiring employees, a startup can seem overwhelming.
Many Nigerian women who have always wanted to start their own business never do, simply because they are weighed down by the process and unsure of what specifically is required. It is no secret that women in the startup world generally face a series of unique challenges. Not only are they significantly outnumbered by men, they also find themselves intrinsically disadvantaged either by the limited funding or a dearth of high-power female role models with actual experience.
There is no secret formula or tactics when it comes down to what make female entrepreneurs thrive. Instead, what it takes to succeed is, in a lot of ways, gender neutral as the steps one needs to get there similarly should not be confined to gendered lines. At the moment, the investing community is predominantly made up of men investing in other men, making it even much more difficult for the women to hold the reins. With this in mind, Jovago.com, Africa’s No 1 online hotel booking portal has rounded up 5 start-up secrets for Nigerian women who are keen on building a successful startup anyway and fulfilling their dreams.
Do not overthink it.
Unlike men, women are much more likely to ask the question: “What if?” Starting anything is challenging, but the female tendency to worry can prevent them from making the first step. Do not second-guess yourself, even if the idea is a moonshot.
Overthinking breeds fear which can stop you before you begin. Thoughts about the risk of failure, humiliation, and criticism that may come along the way can overwhelm the desire to start, especially when you have other people to care for besides yourself. However, the biggest risk is not trying. You will never know what you are capable of until you jump off of the edge entirely.
Simplify your mission.
Invest time to defining and breaking down the structure and goal of your business to the simplest form; be specific about what it does and what it represents.
If you nail down a 60 – 90 seconds synopsis, it will yield a lot of dividends throughout the life of your business. Again, a simple mission makes drafting a list of actionable steps you can take everyday to work towards your startup easier.
Arm yourself with patience.
Patience is a virtue that can be learned. It may take a much longer than expected to achieve your goals, but it is important to remain passionate and patient.
Understand that every business will have its up and downs, surround yourself with positive thinkers and be in touch with mentors, preferably other female entrepreneur with actual experience as there are issues only female founders encounter.
Never underestimate the importance of having role models. Try to learn from their experiences and how they managed to survive during the most difficult times. This gives you strength and motivation.
If possible try forming your own group of female founders and meet up regularly. If you can hang around long enough and accept the challenges that come your way, it will only be a matter of time before you achieve your goals.
Invest in a good watch.
The aim is not to look chic, but more on showing how important time is to you.
As a Nigerian women in the startup world, high chances are you do not have a lot of nor brand equity, so it is important that you use your time wisely Your greatest asset is your time. Time management is essential to the success of any startup.
A founder has to determine how to best employ each hour of the day to make the biggest impact on her brand. Wasted time means wasted efforts in building the brand of your dreams.
Do not transfer aggression.
While it is essential to surround yourself with an awesome team, it is important to also remember that you are going to need them to overcome all the obstacles that come with starting and maintaining a company.
The success of any startup lies on the team and not only on how well they manage their specific duties, but on how well they are managed as well. You will need to have a firm grip on you emotions and learn to stay away from transferring the aggression that comes from strong emotions like fear and anger to your team while managing them.
Be as stern as you need to be, but nothing good comes from you bringing your lack of emotional control into the work, chances are that you will create a wall or divide between you and your team, and that will certainly have a negative effect on output.