Monday, 5 January 2015

Vusi Thembekwayo at the 2014 Eric Kinoti Entrepreneurs BootCamp

Vusi Thembekwayo shared about everything start-ups ~from ideation, launch to managing growth + scaling a business and fundraising. Here are 10 quotes/ take aways from his awesome presentation at the 2014 Eric Kinoti Entrepreneurs BootCamp



1. F**K FIRST! 

You do not have to be the first mover always, you can still something that has been done, but do it better than anyone else! Most entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors can and are at times fixated on being the first in the market. Google wasn't the first search engine, Facebook wasn't the first social network, and you don't have to be the FIRST to succeed. F being FIRST 

2. FIND THE PAIN:

The deeper the pain the bigger the profits!
Vusi on ideation and problem identification ~ finding that itch/ opportunity.

2. A business plan is USELESS, but it helps you think through your business. Ideas are like a mistresses, they come and go. Do not get married to one, stuck with one for so long ~ it's okay to have many ideas and just like mistresses, all ideas are beautiful. Your business should should evolve to remain competitive, and keep pivoting till you get to that product~ market fit.

4. Do not be everything for everyone. Be the BEST in something. Its the only thing customers will care about. Vusi on finding your niche in a competitive marketplace.

5. Push up the perception of what you are selling. Value matters, not the price. If your customers ask for the price first, you are either targeting the wrong customers or you are not articulating your value proposition well.

6. Part time effort gives you part time returns. EFFORT = REWARD......Is your business a side hustle? Remember we all have 24 hours in a day!

7. Turnover is VANITY, profit is SANITY, cash is REALITY! Your business must be able to GENERATE $$.

A business with sales can almost solve all its other problems!

8. FIRE YOURSELF

Start working ON your business not IN your business. Fire yourself and slowly get soldiers for the battle. In the early years of your business you will do almost everything from sales, accounts, admin, business dev, cleaning and etc but as you grow hire the best people and let them do their job! As a founder, you are like that general in the army, and so you should be able to lead your troops, provide tactical support and intelligence. Key thing: Don't lead from the battle front, send your soldiers!

9. Eat more than you can swallow then chew like hell. Vusi speaking on managing growth and scaling a startup.

10. CONSUME THE RIGHT PR:

What do you read? Forbes? Techcrunch? Being an entrepreneur is tough, it's not as sexy or easy as it appears on stories & features on entrepreneurs and startups in the media.

During a group Q & A session, Vusi said an entrepreneur requires to do all these 5 things to grow the business

1. Passion: You have to love and enjoy what you do.

2. Access to markets: How do you reach your customers or users? You must sell!

3. Money: You need $ to invest in the business, secondly cash is king.

4. Branding and marketing

5. Strong admin: Running the operations and managing the business