Hi dear, welcome to Entrepreneurship Monday on BeInspired Show. You will agree with me that entrepreneurship is one concept a lot of persons have not fully grasp. So today on the Show, we have a Startup Manager at the South South Innovation Hub, who has been managing Startups and entrepreneurs for a long time now, he will be sharing with us the meaning and practicality of entrepreneurship. Meet Mr Osayi Tres Omokaro.on BeInspired Show
Who is an entrepreneur?
Basically, I will take my personal definition of who an entrepreneur is. An entrepreneur is someone who identifies a problem, solves such a problem in a manner that cost less than it will take him to sell such a solution, hence making profit through the process. An entrepreneur is someone who is optimistic, who is creative and innovative. He is a risk taker, self starter and an open minded person. He is not swallowed, nor locked up and unwilling to explore.
An entrepreneur is an explorer, he is someone who wants to dare new things. He is not afraid of stepping into the world, he wants to see what is behind the veil. So an entrepreneur is always daring. And for an environment like ours, the best time to be an entrepreneur is now when it seems like there is a lot of darkness, a lot of problems. What a lot of persons complain about, those are the things that makes an entrepreneur.
How important is entrepreneurship in today’s world?
The importance of entrepreneurship cannot be overemphasized. Entrepreneurship is not just a notion. Entrepreneurship is life. Entrepreneurship is a culture, it’s a thought pattern. In fact ‘entrepreneurship is the future‘. Entrepreneurship is what has moulded the society. One of the things about entrepreneurship is that, you don’t need to be a business owner, you really don’t necessarily need to own your business to be entrepreneurial. Whether you are doing your business or you are working for somebody, entrepreneurship is a life style that you must adopt.
Just imagine if every Nigeria wakes up everyday trying to solve a problem. Thinking what can I do to make this thing that is not working work better. I think if that culture can become the order of the day in our nation we would have said that we are really at the centre of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is just life.
Finance, being a vital issue in entrepreneurship, how do we manage finance as an entrepreneur?
Like we all know, money is to business what blood is to humans, and because of that it looks like eventually nothing happens without money. So money is at the centre of the whole thing.
Yes, I am one of those who would say that money is not the most important aspect of entrepreneurship. But to manage money, within the fares of business and entrepreneurial development, there are principles and policies you must just live by. Ordinarily, we are humans, you must properly manage your accounting. You must properly manage your books, you must take time to review your cost. You must take time to make financial projections. Business is something you do systematically. You must do your best to separate your business account from your private or personal account.
You must do your best to keep separate accounts because that’s one distraction that happens. Yes, the business is booming, and all of a sudden the Entrepreneur feels that there is a lot of money to be spent. You must be able to put yourself on salary and live within that salary. Just as you would do if you were being paid by someone else.
If you miss some of these little rudiments, you will just seat back and see that a lot has gone through your hands but not much is remaining to really drive the business. So money is very important and we must take steps to manage it.
What are some of the challenges faced by an entrepreneur?
The all big question! The very instant response to that is lack of finance. But base on my experience with entrepreneurs over the years, I’ve find out that lack of finance is not the number one problem. Yes, it falls as one of the challenges and we need to make financing options more available to Startups.
But I see that the number one challenge is the fact that we have people who have not taken time to finetune their idea, who have not taken time to take their ideas through the funnel of investor readiness. Based on experience, I have seen ideas, which have been thoroughly thought out, attracting fundings even while still on papers.
Yes, there are challenges, but I think if we have startups who can take the time to do the work, taking time to prepare and polish their ideas, fundings and finance will meet the ready idea. I have a few ideas I have shared with people and I have people who want to be part of it, while it’s still on paper because I have taken my time to think through it, I have taken my time to look at all the loop holes and they have been taken care of.
I just believe if we can spend time to give mentorship to Startups, exposing them to some of the vital aspect of business before they launch, that solves a whole lot of problems. And that is part of what we do at the South South Innovation hub.
What are some of the keys to remaining in business as an entrepreneur?
First, I will say, have a clear vision and objectives. Success to you might not be success to me. So when you are clear on what success is to you. You will pursue it irrespective of what somebody else feels, when you have a clear vision and you are ready to remain focus irrespective of what is invoke, when you have nurtured an idea, don’t stay put, be ready to tweak it, be ready to expand it, and blow it up! But pushing off an idea because you think it’s not working at the pace you want it to work is not the best thing.
Like I will always tell people, give every idea that three year period. Spend an average of three years on an idea and be sure that you have done your best and this thing is still not working before you can think about putting it aside. Stay focused.
Don’t chase investors, investors are like bankers, those who need money from the bank don’t get it, meanwhile those who don’t get pursued by the bankers to come take credits. Spend your time to build your business, investors will come and meet you. Ask for help when you need to. Talk to people who are ahead of you, talk to mentors, coaches who can guide you then develop a growth strategy and be sure that you are doing one thing everyday along the part of your strategy.
How would you advice a young and promising Startup or Entrepreneur?
There are a lot of distractions out there. My number one advice to Startups is that you should not let your background dictates your future. Just be tenacious and commit to your business, that’s one thing that is lacking today. First an investor that wants to invest even in your idea, wants to see your level of commitment. In finance, it’s called equity investment. People wants to see what commitment level you have put into an idea and like you know, every commitment you put into an idea will always pay off as long as you keep to it.
Surround yourself with people that are like minded. You can’t be on a journey and everybody you are mingling with is castigating what you are doing. They do not see what you see, before you know it, you are way off.