Startup Business Tips: How to Build A Successful Business in Africa 

Startups have taken over the African business ecosystem. Every day, there is a new start-up company in 56 countries that make up the African continent. While this is something to celebrate, it is worth considering how these start-up businesses will be successful. 

What is a Start-Up Business

Start-up businesses are newly established business stores, hubs, firms, or companies that focus on providing services to a particular marketplace. As earlier stated, some start-up businesses find it difficult to gain access to the market.

This article will provide tips for building start-up businesses (es). But before then, let’s have a glimpse at common mistakes every start-up business owner should avoid.

5 Common Mistakes Start-Up Business Should Avoid

Mistakes are inevitable in life; this also plays in business. However, as an entrepreneur, individual, or company, you must avoid some common mistakes.

1. Casting a Wide Net

Every business aims to serve and reach a wide audience. But have you ever wondered how it could be achieved? You start from a small audience. It is almost impossible to have a large audience at first. If you have a Harry Potter wand, start-up businesses should first avoid aiming for a wide audience.

2. Trying to Fix Everything Yourself

It is natural for a start-up business owner to want to carry out all the business activities alone. This is common among entrepreneurs. But the sad truth is you need assistance or someone to help you. Trying to fix everything will divide your attention.

3. Launching Without a Plan

The saying “if you fail to plan, your plan will fall” will come into play if you don’t have a sketch or plan for your business. Every start-up without a plan crumbles before the sight of the marketplace.

Read Also: What is Business: Meaning, Types, Sizes and Examples of Business

4. Refusing Adaptation or Pivot

Economy or climate changes might arise, and there is a need to adjust. Your inability to adapt to changes might cost you a fortune. But, on the other hand, it could be you have a change of direction in your business.  

5. Irresponsible with Cash Flow

According to statistics, 38% of start-up businesses fail because of a lack of financial ability to keep the business running. Capital is important to start a business; money to run it is another. Unnecessary spending only draws you to having difficulty with cash flow.

As a start-up business owner, if you can avoid these 5 mistakes, you should look at the following tips to boost your business, gain ground, and beat your competitors.

10 Tips to Build a Successful Start-up Business in Africa

1. Hire the Right Team

The progress of a business or company depends solely on the team you work with. They are the brain to help you achieve the company goal and help your business provide great services to your customers and consumers.

As a start-up business owner, hiring the right team with the same mindset is a sure way to improve the growth of the business.

2. Focus on the Established Revenue Sources

The established revenue in this context is your customers or consumers. Paying attention to existing customers helps to leverage your business. You have the advantage of getting a referral from them. 

It can be disastrous trying to pursue a lot of customers at the same time. The smaller you start, the bigger it becomes.

3. Advertisement through Social Media

Undoubtedly, social media marketing has been one of the marketing strategies for every start-up business, company, or organization. Apart from designing graphics, every start-up should have various social media with optimized profiles. 

A well-optimized profile should contain little information about you, your brand, or your business. The more informative your profile is, the more you trigger your target customers to patronize you. 

Your social media profile page serves as CTA to viewers or visitors. Your bio should contain an internal link to your website or landing page (if any).

4. Network Yourself

Networking allows you to connect with people of similar mindsets and with unique perspectives that can help you grow your business. This can be through attending events, conferences, and business summits. The connections and relationships from attending these events are always beneficial to your business now and in years to come.

While attending events to network yourself, it is also necessary to organize an event yourself. This will serve as publicity and brand awareness for your start-up business.  

5. Research Your Competitors

Research is a necessity for every start-up. Before adventuring in any business, you must know the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). 

You need to locate the space in the marketplace to fit in. Knowing what helps your competitors is a plus for you as it boosts your business. The following are the areas of research.

  • Area of business that needs attention.
  • How to flourish the business.
  • What will differentiate you from your competitors

6. Good Customer Service

Another great method of growing your business is to focus on providing good customer service. So how do you achieve this? 

  • By providing services that exceed your customers’ expectations. This will result in an unpaid marketing strategy. (They will likely inform their friends, family, and followers about your business).
  • Offering discounts to your customers to put a smile on their faces and retain them as your customers. 
  • Follow up to ensure your customers are satisfied with your product or service. This will help you build a reputation and boost your customer service experience. Lastly, ensure the best business phone system for your customer service team. Every customer wants their quest met as soon as possible.

7. Reduce Business Risk

There is no business without risk, but one should be knowledgeable enough to reduce and prevent some business risks. Risk in this context connotes threat. For a start-up business, the risk is inevitable for you. 

One certain way to achieve this is through your business insurance provider. Also, a law should be backing the business to avoid the “I thy know” scenario. 

8. Identify Growth Barrier

Undoubtedly, Africa has untapped business potential, but some African countries have poor infrastructure that hinders investments and growth. Identifying barriers hindering your business growth will help you understand your business more. 

And in the course of your research, you should also get familiar with the government’s policies that are prone to periodic changes. Other factors you should look out for are insecurity, corruption, and location.

9. Know Your Target Audience

Firstly, you need to know and understand the needs of the people before thinking of how to solve them. For example, many African countries are top producers of oil, and cocoa, while their citizens are deprived of the basic things to survive. 

Understanding the needs of the people will help you know your target audience, which in turn will help in the growth of your business. Therefore, consider running or starting a business that adds and improves the growth of the people. 

10. Consider Partnership and Strategic Alliances

As old as alliance and partnership are, it is still relevant in today’s business. A strategic alliance is a joint agreement on improving businesses taking advantage of the marketplace. You might not know all the dos and don’ts despite deep research, especially in fasting developing African countries.

Therefore, an alliance with a good partner to gain ground and build a good business foundation. In addition, alliances help you understand the dos and don’ts of launching your business in a specific location.

11. Leverage Innovative Technology Scheme

It will be wrong to start listing the benefits of technology to a business in this 21st century. But for the benefit of the doubt, I would mention a few.

You can consider having e-commerce websites to increase the chances of selling to a large number of people across Africa. It will help you save time, and energy for your customers. 

Innovative technologies will assist you to have updated and accurate records of your business. It will provide hints to know your customer behavior and their needs.

  1. Comply With the Legal Requirements

The last one on the list is to comply with the legal requirements. After doing your research, raising your capital, and finding a suitable place to run your business, you must endeavor to comply with the laws guiding the launch of any business. 

According to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), every new Africa-based startup business must register with the commission as either a citizen of Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Egypt, Cameroon, or Mauritius.


There are no laid down rules or guidelines on how to boost start-up businesses. However, the article has exposed you to five common mistakes start-up business owners make. Also, it has walked you through ten tips that will aid you in boosting your start-up business in African countries. 


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