I wish to congratulate Kwese Music for scooping the grand prize at the first ever Startup Weekend Harare.
The excitement exhibited at this event just goes to show that we do indeed have plenty of potential entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe who can’t wait to get their new projects off the ground.
I know there are thousands of brilliant ideas around. However some remain unimplemented as the owners keep on threatening to startup but somehow just don’t get up to it. If you are one of these people, you better get up now and start doing something to get your idea off the ground.
If you are waiting for someone to give you startup money, I have sad news for you; the money ain’t coming. Instead you should be doing these things:
- Getting to know your market. As was said by Industrialist Mr. Kumbirayi Katsande, one of the judges at the Startup Weekend, a product can only be successful once the market has accepted it. We come up with lots of ideas, most of which will fail in the market. The more ideas one thinks of, the more likely that one will turn out to be the mother lode. Many exciting Apps were exhibited at the Startup Weekend. Whether they will become successful commercially will only be seen from the reaction of the market. So one needs to know the market they are targeting very well in order to know if there is indeed demand for their product. Market knowledge also involve scoping out competing products and services to determine what makes your product different. You will not get to know your market while sitting at home. You need to get out there among real consumers and get to know their problems and needs so you can provide a solution. Start by talking to your friends and people you know to find out if they might be interested in your product.
- Create a prototype and test it in the market. You have received feedback from the market. The next step now is to build the product and test it in the market. Let some friends try it out. Request them to give you honest feedback. Use the feedback to adjust your product to fit customers’ real needs. You can even offer the product for sale on your website to test the demand. Those first buyers can give you some valuable feedback. Your startup is not a business. It is an experiment to develop a product that customers want with the objective of enabling you to identify a viable business model.
So what are you waiting for? Get to work, study your target market and start testing your product or service among real customers.
Find out more insights on this subject on page 35 of the May issue of BusinessLink magazine, which you can download for free for this week only at http://smebusinesslink.com/magazine.
Please email your thoughts and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phil Chichoni is the publisher of BusinessLink magazine and founder of Admiral Business Systems (Pvt) Ltd
May Courses continue
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- How to Write a Winning Business Plan. Fri 23rd, Thurs 29th.
- Effective Marketing and Selling Strategy for Solid Results. Module 1: Thurs 22nd, Sat 31st.
All courses $20 (BusinessLink magazine subscribers $15), inclusive of handouts, Guide book, breakfast and refreshments. Times: 0830- 1200. Full details at our website on the Training Courses and Seminars page or call 0772 854 301.
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