Business lessons for entrepreneurs are not unique to one sector or certain people but they cut across all sectors and they face similar challenges.
The journey is bumpy and draining and, on the way, you will always encounter a number of challenges but it all depends on the will and zeal of not giving up.
In our last After Office Hours, we had the privilege of having Terryanne Chebet, General Manager at Metropol TV not only share her journey in the media industry but also her journey as an entrepreneur being the CEO and Founder of Keyara Organics and a Director at Scarlet Digital.
The two companies, Terryanne says she built her businesses from the ground up and prides in just seeing the businesses grow daily.
She also said unlike most people her businesses are built not from understanding a certain space but just as a response to a challenge or something she was facing at the time.
However, she explains that the journey that is close to ten years now has not been quite rosy but it’s here, through the myriad of challenges that she has been able to gather a few business lessons:
One of the business lessons for entrepreneurs is putting together the right team. Most are the times that you will put together a team and they will end up disappointing you. Terryanne advice is that as an employer or a businessperson you need to bring on board people who understand the brand and are willing to share into your brand vision.
Hiring the right people is crucial for the success of your business and that’s why entrepreneurs should have a formal hiring process in place when looking for new staff.
Also as an employer learn to communicate with your employees this nurtures trust and loyalty from your employees.
By putting time and work into finding the right people, you will improve your chances of hiring the best performers and avoiding costly and painful mistakes.
Also look for people who fit into your company culture, and always look beyond the CV.
Once you have decided on the type of venture you want to start, the next step on the road to business success is figuring out where the money will come from to fund it. Where do you start?
Before your business can have any hope of becoming a legend (or even just profitable), you need to find a way to finance its birth. Most people opt for loans or other sources to fund their business, however, the best place to begin is by looking in the mirror.
Self-financing is the number-one form of financing used by most business startups. Terryanne agrees with this statement that while starting off there is so much going on and can be more draining. Self-funding your own business has less pressure and helps you really learn fast as you are accountable for your own actions.
Manage your business finances and Accounts well:
Knowing the state of your financial affairs back to front is one of the best ways to make sure the cash keeps flowing. Staying on top of your finances means you can avoid unforeseen business debt and have enough money to invest in and grow your business. This also helps one ensure that they do not get into trouble with the authorities when it comes to issues around tax evasion.
Network with the right people:
Today’s competitive marketplace, relationships, and networks are critical assets in a professional or a business toolkit. Networking with the right people Terryanne says helped position herself in a place where you will be able to source for the right customers for your product. Your network serves not only as a lead source for new business, but as a sounding board, a support system, and a news source.
If managed and nurtured well, your network can become a valuable part of your personal brand arsenal, allowing you to enhance and advance your reputation.
Ensure you have a great/ positive Social Media presence and visibility
Terryanne says that today, we live in a world where visibility is more important than your ability. Social Media has gone viral since Twitter went public in 2009 and later Facebook. To Terryanne, this was a big opportunity for her to set up her first business ‘Just A Brand’ that focused on helping brands position themselves online.
There are many advantages to cultivating your brand on social media, including that it can help you improve your customer service, allow you to communicate with customers and prospects on a new level, help you engage your audience and reach new audiences, help you build authority, and drive traffic to your website.
In short, a solid social media strategy can drive growth for your business by fostering lasting and loyal relationships with customers and prospects.
Find mentors and offer mentorship where necessary
It is important to have a mentor and a sober mind who will help you grow your business as well as encourage you when everything seems otherwise. Terryanne also advices that in return you can choose to mentor others. She, however, insisted that one should not offer mentorship if they are not willing to give their best.
On Consistency, Terryanne advised that this was a way of learning. The trick to delivering exceptional customer service is to do it, not once, not twice, but EVERY time your customers walk through your doors. The only way you can guarantee your products and service delivery will be the same each time is by ensuring all of your employees maintain the same Standards, abide by the same policies and procedures, and use the same processes, practices, and systems to perform their jobs at the desired level.
One to two businesses are enough to run at the same time
Running over two businesses at times can be draining especially on occasions where you are the sole owner of the businesses. This is a lesson Terryanne shared and she has since found a business partner for Scarlet Digital and sits in as a director. However, she said that when bringing in a business partner you also need to take into consideration a number of things including trust, their strengths and much more. She also plans to bring in a business partner for Keyara Organics.
Managing multiple businesses may sound daunting, but it isn’t impossible—a few procedural changes can help, writes this entrepreneur.