Thursday, 2 August 2018

How does an Incubator help you build your business from the idea stage to revenue stage?

Hello Everyone,



I missed yesterday's post because I had actually not completed the profile on the selected Entrepreneur that we wanted to let you all know about. But not to worry, next week will be so action packed.

But in case you wanted to read a story of inspiring young Entrepreneurs, read one of our previous stories on Entrepreneurs that are actively playing their part in the development of the country.

1. Demilade, Creative Director, BeautyonitsOwn
2. Tochi Friday, CEO, Smarter Languages
3. Emmanuel Otegah, CEO, Dice Devices


"It is difficult to start and grow a business in Nigeria."


Probably much harder, than navigating the traffic in the picture above.


But the truth is that a lot of young people that start businesses in Nigeria usually go it all on their own and this makes the possibility of success even much more bleak. I want to present to you the opportunities through which young Entrepreneurs can leverage on communities and ecosystems to build their businesses.

One of the most potent ways is to get involved with Incubators.

WHAT ARE INCUBATORS ?

In my opinion,

Incubators are focused on helping Entrepreneurs build their businesses from idea stage to product-market fit stage which the company would have the team and the capacity to hack and handle exponential growth in their customer base.

It is after this point that an accelerator can come in, usually with a sizeable investment to support the startup to achieve exponential growth in their business.

But that is not why we are here for at the moment.

A typical startup comes in 4 phases.

1. Ideation Phase



This is typically when the Entrepreneur feels that a particular idea has the potential to access a substantial market and make profits after selling that product/service to the customers. This is the stage where they would typically carry out market surveys to actually determine if their perceived customers actually require that product or service that they are thinking of introducing to the market.

2. Pre-startup Phase



At this point, they have a business idea that has defined the problem, the potential customer and the highlighted the processes involved in providing that product/service to potential customers and possibly begins to work on the initial product/service that they would offer to their early adopters.

3. Startup Phase



At this point, the business has a bit of structure, a team working on the product and they have an initial product typically called an MVP (minimum viable product), they usually use this product to see what the customers think about it and then iterate it continuously until they get a product that customers enjoy and easily refer others to use you. This point is called product-market fit. It is a place where the business has a model that is easily replicated over a larger market over multiple cities. Companies at this point, usually have revenue and are steadily growing their customer base/community.

4. Early-stage/Growth Phase


At this point, these companies have built a product that works and are looking to replicate this model and grow their customer base exponentially. At this point hiring staff and specifically setting out roles and departments become really vital so that as they grow their customer base they have the capacity to handle the workload.


There is a 5th Level, But often times this is when a company seizes to become startup, it is established and they have internal processes and a well structured operational process.



HOW DO INCUBATORS HELP?



An incubator, typically helps you grow from Phase 2 to Phase 4. Which usually is the period where most startups fail.

So I am going to speak from experience here,

Uche and I felt that we had things figured out, I mean we had customers and we started getting deliveries on a constant basis, but we realized that we needed exponential growth and things weren't building up as we expected. It made us feel that perhaps there was something we weren't doing so well.

We made a move to apply for The Next Economy Programme that is run by Enspire Incubator because we had had a friend that successfully went through this programme last year and has built her business successfully. 



For us, it was something we really needed, we were open to even start from scratch if it meant growing our customer base exponentially.

Fortunately, we were accepted onto the programme and for the past two weeks that we have been on the programme we have gone through rigorous in-depth analysis and for the first time today we were able to understand the importance of understanding the mindset of our customers and how they respond to different product/service offera and the importance of not just focusing on a customer purchasing our product but how they came about finding us and making the decision to buy from us and how we can leverage on that to build a community of customers users and fans that would not only help us make money but to create a company that becomes part and parcel of their lives.



It has been extremely hectic and I feel like quitting everyday. This programme has taught me what it is actually means for a startup Entrepreneur to be gritty. I look forward to the time that I would reminisce and smile behind the wheel of my G-wagon at the struggles that I am going through at this point.

But the benefits have been endless,

1. Business Mentoring and monitoring. 

We work with a mentor, name withheld, and he monitors our progress on a daily basis to ensure that we are meeting up with our expectations.

2. Business Analyis. 

A number of us here got accepted because we had a minimum viable product and customers that were using our service so imagine them telling to scrap everything you have been doing and starting it from square one. Enabling you to understand what problems your customers are facing and using those problems to get the solutions that you provide for the customer. You do not add a feature that you feel is necessary because you feel it is right. You only work on what the research provides for you. 

Lol, trust me. It is a science compared to the art that the ideation process gives to you.

3. Organic Growth

This is one reason I respect the team at Enspire Incubator because they are focused on enabling you to grow your customer base, users and social media followers organically and deliberately forcing you to develop innovative methods to build your community. They help you erase the fad of constantly looking to raise money from other startup competitions and focus on the realities of the business which is getting customers. They usually use the popular saying,

"Your customers are the best way to constantly raise money for your business"

And truthfully, for the past two weeks we have been focused on building strategies that we would be executing over the next few weeks that we would use to grow our community and by extension our customer base.

It has become increasingly important on why we need to be "deliberate" in everything we have been doing since the start.


Incubators help you build your idea into a working business. Apply and get into an incubation programme today!


I cannot share all this information with you and not get anything in return. 

We want to find out your challenges with Logistics in Nigeria, so that you can use HubbonNG.com and stick with us anytime you need anything shipped within Nigeria and definitely across the world!

Help us fill this form and become part of the HubbonNG community and join us on our journey to build Africa's most efficient Logistics Company.



Before you go, if you run a business in Nigeria and you want to build your online presence you should sign up on our HubbonNG Business Listing Platform by clicking HERE

It is FREE!

This enables you to get your parcels shipped at affordable rates and it enables us to share exciting opportunities that you can leverage on to GROW your business. Sign Up Today!


Many thanks for reading,
Best regards,

Ejieji Muna
(Co-founder, HubbonNG)

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