By Mel Mbugua
If you are going to run a business, you need to have the mindset of an entrepreneur. All the stuff you do from building a product to managing your team requires use of your time, energy and money.
In this age of the startup, many people are enthusiastic about becoming entrepreneurs. Energetic, bright people want to be the next mega-rich world-changer. So they set forth with their ideas which they think will revolutionize how the masses carry out their daily activities from Cape Town to Alexandria, Mogadishu to Cape Verde.
They register companies, build out their products and go out into the world to sell. Then comes the idea that they can get investors to help build the empire. And this is when reality checks in. Questions like: ‘What is your business model?’, ‘Who is your team?’, ‘What’s the market potential for this product?’ are thought to be complicated. But are they really complicated?
Place yourself in the investor’s shoes.
If you had resources which you were looking to put into a new business, what would your primary concerns be? You have worked hard to find these funds to invest, and you are looking for good returns on your investment. Would you toss all your money,energy and time into a half-baked concept with no foundation in research and a shaky team of bright but ungrounded ‘superstar’ entrepreneurs with no prior experience and no mentors?
Consider yourself and your business from the investor’s point of view. Do you carry yourself in a way that suggests you can be trusted? When you speak, how well do you demonstrate that you understand your domain? Is your product really that awesome? Is there actually demand for it and can it sell in the long-run? Your team, are they great at what they do and what is your plan to improve the team’s overall competence?
Can You Convince Others?
Remember that it doesn’t matter how awesome you think you are: if you can’t convince other people to buy into your business, you really don’t have a business. Since you are investing much of your time, energy and money into this startup, consider whether the idea is worth your investment in the first place. When hiring, think about whether the person you are bringing on board is worth investing in and what kind of value they will return to the business. Even consider the long-term value of the networks you are spending time building.
Think like an investor, because you are already one.
Mel Mbugua is the Project Lead at iHub Consulting. iHub Consulting exists to meet two needs: the need to make Kenyan techies competitive in the global field and the need for quality tech systems. (Read More Here). Mel coordinates the teams on different projects. Mel’s blog.
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