Hey Smartpreneurs! We had a fantastic session with the Co-founder and Managing Director of Plentywaka, Johnny Enagwolor. Prior to Plentywaka, Johnny held top management positions whilst developing the e-business units of banking giants like Stanbic IBTC and EcoBank, Nigeria.
Here are five(5) lessons for entrepreneurs from the impactful session
1. Know what you want out of your business: For Johnny, one of the reasons, he ventured into the transportation sector, is to get daily revenue. Prior to transportation business, Johnny was a realtor but in that space, revenue doesn’t come in on a daily. ” I needed something at that point that will give me that daily revenue. Something that when I’m sitting in my home, something should be working for me” Johnny said
2. Partnership is very healthy for SMEs: “People just run into business without looking for the right partnership and that can make business go into extinction”. For Johnny, he met with Onyeka Akumah (Co-founder of Plentywaka) who had similar bad experiences with transportation and they both decided to introduce comfortability, safety and convenience in transport. They infused technology with bus hailing and birthed Plentywaka
3. There is power in experience:
If you had a 9-5 prior to starting your own business, there would be some skills, habits or lessons in form of experiences that would contribute to the running of your business. It might not be your former job, it might be what you studied in school or something else entirely. What you already know or have been exposed to can come into play in your entrepreneurial journey but be careful to make sure that your acquired skills and knowledge only add value to your business. The need to follow up on technology, to know what next step to take in business, was developed in Johnny while previously working in the e-business unit of the banking sector.
4. Conduct research on the business you want to start: This will help you know how to start in the first place. Ask questions and talk to people. Research into the kind of business you want to begin. If you think your business idea has never been implemented by anyone before, do a survey involving your target audience or customers to see if that can buy into the idea. Find out what it entails to run such a business. “That’s the mistake a lot of SMEs and entrepreneurs make, they go into a space that they don’t even have knowledge about. You want to know government regulations that affect the space, what are you going to use to drive the space?” Johnny said.
5. Embrace technology and innovation: According to Johnny, for SMEs to stay strong and weather the storm such as the current pandemic, they need to involve technology and innovation in their operations.
Watch the session here