What Can a Small Business Learn from Africa’s First AI Influencer Agency?
As a person just starting out a business, you’ve probably heard tons of advice. Though some are good, many will not really help you much.
You’re probably tired of hearing generic advice like work harder than your competition, invest in your team, or other calls to spend money you currently do not have. While all this is sound advice, what you really need are action items that you can directly apply to your business and this is where Nelson Aseka comes in.
Spurt! recently hosted a workshop for small business owners about ‘How small businesses can build sustainably’ and Nelson Aseka the guest speaker had a lot of key insights as to how any small business owner can grow their business. As the founder and CEO of AIfluence, Africa’s first AI-powered influencer marketing platform, he has hands-on experience in marketing and technology which he has combined to help build a company from the ground up. Nelson believes that having a unified approach to business is the best way to achieve your goal, you need to combine tech-enabled systems with work culture to have a holistic business. Here are some of the advice he gave for startups.
1. Get Experience in Working in a Startup
Building a startup from the ground up comes with its own unique challenges. As a business owner you should have experience in working in a startup, either by once being an employee in a startup or taking part in a startup incubator/accelerator program where you’ll learn useful skills.
2. Know your market
The purpose of starting a business is to offer a particular product or service to a particular group of people or organizations. Understand your target audience, use technology to upscale your business, and turn your target audience to a community of people that will advocate for your product. It is important to take time to learn about your ideal clients, what they need, what they are currently settling for, where they hang out, and how they consume products or services similar to yours. This should be one of the first activities you do when starting your business because it will allow you to create a product/service that will address an existing need.
3. Build a strong foundation
In the beginning, you might have to multitask and occupy all the roles in your company. On top of being the founder, you will be the HR, the accountant, the marketer, and the sales rep. During this stage, you will learn about the needs of each role, this will enable you to know the right skillset you need to hire to fill in that role and what that individual has to achieve in his role. Identify the key departments you need to put together and understand every aspect of your team.
When you start hiring, the way you interact with the new team members sets the foundation of your business’ culture and communication.
4. Leverage tech
Use technology to your advantage, as a small business owner you don’t have the luxury of unlimited human resources, the more technology you use in your business, the fewer human resources you will need. Using technology for most business operations could significantly lower your expenditure while ensuring tasks still get done. Automate some aspects of your business and use platforms like Sync! to help you manage our projects efficiently and affordably.
5. Hire the best
When building your team, you need strong and reliable members on your team to push the business forward. You need a leadership team this comprises people who are experts in their fields. Hiring the best means paying them well and as a new business, you may be low on cash so in addition to paying a competitive wage, use vested shares. Vested shares that are locked in for a specific period of time ensure your employees are well compensated and are giving their best at work.
If you are still unable to afford the best talent in the market, hire for attitude. Employ individuals with a good work ethic, a determination to grow, and a willingness to go the extra mile. One way of getting access to qualified individuals is to hire using a recruiter or making use of platforms like Sync! by using Sync! You eliminate the need of hiring full-time staff and this saves your resources, this allows your business to grow and use the returns/profits to expand the team.
If you missed our workshop that discussed ‘How small businesses can build sustainably’ you can watch the recording on Youtube to catch up on all the insightful tips Nelson gave
Sync! a talent connector and project tracker. This platform aims to highlight and fully utilize the continent’s vast people resource by bridging the job gap created by the traditional structure’s numerous difficulties. Sync! users have complete control over the platform due to its intuitive and interactive interface. Sync! has workroom capabilities to facilitate cooperation, as well as an end-to-end solution with safe payment and security measures that protect both freelancers’ and customers’ interests. Businesses worldwide may now benefit from the freedom and independence of working with freelancing workers in Africa without committing to a long-term contract.