Seen all 18 reasons above why startups fail ? Good, now read on.
Technology in Zambia is growing at a steady rate but most of it revolves around larger already established organisations that are acquiring already made technology and putting it to use here. What about tech that’s made by Zambians, for Zambians?
There are many technological advances especially youth startups/entrepreneurs are trying to come up with, but they are doomed before they even start. Here’s why:
- Capital: We’ve actually met a lot of now-established entrepreneurs give the ‘you don’t need money‘ speech, but how does one even start if they can’t even afford transport money to go and meet a potential investor? However, if you must walk a million miles to make a pitch, do it! That’s the only way to put yourself out there enough to get noticed. Capital investments are hard to obtain in Zambia. They all want collateral. We hate that word, “collateral“, simply because startups usually have none to start with to assure investors of a refund in case their ‘project’ flops. We just need more investors to believe that some of these startups can work out. If private investors seem difficult to convince, try the Government.
- Competition from bigger brands: So many ideas pop up that already exist, and it’s hard to go up some of the major brands, or just hard to pitch to businesses to switch from the brand they’ve been using to a new locally produced one. There is an issue of trust, even if the new product is being provided for free as an experiment. It can be very hard to break brand loyalty, hence startup entrepreneurs must come up with products or services that really outdo the competition.
- Finding a great team: Yes, you have a great idea and you know how you want to execute it, but do the people around you have the same vision? God forbid if you do get financial investment your team may only be around to prey upon it, slowly wringing you dry of money. Watch your ‘team’ closely.
- Necessity changes: Keep a close eye on other ideas similar to yours ALL THE TIME. Huddling up in a lab behind closed doors may not be so great when you finally complete your ‘cool invention’ and find out something better was created while you worked late into the night. You would have wasted time, resources and nights spent awake.
- Platforms for service provision: How is your service/product being provided? For example, if you set up an app, is it compatible with many devices? Is it user friendly? Who should use it? Ask yourself all the questions you need to, even ask others to ask you about your product before you release it. Have a small test group to give you feedback about what you’re working on, to avoid rolling out a, to be very polite, shoddy product.
Hope you now have a clearer head, now go get that startup started!