Writer and Social entrepreneur.

Startups have started becoming exceedingly popular in the Nigerian eco system, though it has not reached its maximum point, as there are numerous ideas still out there to explore, but no one has given it even the slightest thought. It is one thing to want to create a startup, it is another to actually create the startup, and lastly and very importantly, to scale through its challenges.

There is no startup that has had no challenge whatsoever. Even the likes of Jumia, Konga, Andela and so on faced their own challenges when they started. In fact, they are still facing some challenges now, only that it is much lower.

Having observed startups for some while now, I have noted some challenges which are common to a whole lot of them. These challenges, if not properly and well handled, could deal a very strong blow to the startup, and its founder. Most successful startups have succeeded as a result of an ability of the founder and the team to rise above the challenges they face, not letting them limit their progress.

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I would be listing out some of these challenges and how you, as an entrepreneur can scale through them. Please note that this is a function of my observation and research. Not first hand experience.

  1. Financial Challenges

The very first thing an entrepreneur has to worry about aside from having a killer idea, and how to go about it is getting financial support (capital) for the startup. Even though most entrepreneurs have been advised to start small, the fact is you still need an amount of money to start “small”. So how would you go about getting the needed financial support.

How to scale through?

There are sure many programs that encourage the growth of startups, thereby requiring them to pitch their startups before them and in return, provide startup funds for the pitchers.

Aside from this, some people might not be interested in these funds maybe because the providers require equity or some other forms of token in return. If you are part of this set, you can source for funds from family and friends, and still find programs that provide funding for startups and do not require anything in return.

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  1. Market Breakthrough

When you as an entrepreneur launch into a particular industry, except if your startup is exceedingly unique, you must surely meet other brands that are in control of that industry, having a large market share. This then brings up the question on how to break through the market.

How to scale through?

If you ask me to use two words as an answer to this question, I’d tell you to “be unique”. Once you launch into an industry, do your research and compile a long list of your competitors, follow their fan pages, see the needs of their customers, then provide for that need in your own product while also doing all other reasonable things the brand does. The would help you to a larger extent.

  1. Expansion Challenges

Once, you have the ability to start your own startup, and have gotten a fair share of the market, the next worry should be expansion and setting out plans to carry out a coup d’etat and eliminate your competitors – if that is even possible. But anyways, you should have well drafted plans to acquire as much market share as possible. Sometimes, this move might not seem possible as your competitors are very big guns with lots of money, maybe like MTN Nigeria in the telecommunication industry, Samsung Mobile and Apple in the smartphone industry and so on. Still, all hope isn’t lost.

How to scale through?

Now, in a case like this, my recommendation for you is to invest as much as possible in targeted ads. Use as much advertisement channels as possible to reach a particular audience that would prove useful to your business. Another thing you might need to do is to keep investing and reinvesting your profits. First invest in expansion now, and be sure to reap its fruits in the nearest future.

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I have decided to compile this post because of how happy I always am when I see new startups springing up daily. Though, startups might be just a small percent of our present, they are 100% of our future. Feel free to tell us about your startups, challenges you have faced and how you have scaled through them. We hope to meet you at the very  top of the game.