A letter to the startup: bottom up to failures, some winnings and a profitable new year!


Whew! Such a sweet relief from the year’s strenuous routines for a luxury rest during the holidays. “But, do entrepreneurs go on holiday breaks?” Rather an unusual but amusing question a colleague recently put forward to me.

Indubitably, it’s a tough business world out there, all jeers no cheers but you deserve a rest! If machines can get maintenance days to remain fit for its purpose and perform efficiently, why would entrepreneurs deny themselves from absolute healthiness and proficiency?

Here’s a brief insight to addressing his question: “My approach is to start from the straightforward principle that our body is a machine. A very complicated machine, but nonetheless a machine, and it can be subjected to maintenance and repair in the same way as a simple machine, like a car.”–Aubrey de Grey, English author and biomedical gerontologist.

The year 2017 has not been satisfying for many entrepreneurs- startups especially. An inception year for some, leap leads for others, stagnation and poor performances etc. 2017 has counted many businesses that have been liquidated, shutdown and totally drowned in bankruptcy, while some were cushioning in high returns and productivity.

How was your business resolution list? You probably even included a personal resolution as well that may have looked away from reality. We all did have our tall list of business and individual successes for the year 2017 but lost to a few hard lucks here and there: inconsistencies, poor strategies, and even sheer laziness.

Even so, successful entrepreneurs aren’t always the people with successful habits. Along the way, I had to form workable habits which run in contradiction to the entrepreneurial habits that worked well for me. I didn’t have to fit in holes that out-shaped my abilities. I have always emphasized on finding yourself in the process that works best for you and can achieve results.

The Failures

Startups rise and fall. This year has seen incredibly awesome startup businesses fail. It’s nothing less for the big gamers too. Most African startups have not had the luxury of the big cash injection for a major growth, let alone have a chance to find the best product to fit the market.

Some of these failures are attributed to ridiculously jaw dropping business ideas, market misfits, lacking of talented teammates, and to no startups support system.

The international startup scene has also seen challenging times, and that is not to give you some comfort to hopefully good days ahead, and according to Tech Crunch and Business Insider, some of those that failed include Beepi, Juicero, Jawbone, Quixey, and Mapple.

Dear Startup,

It has indeed been a difficult year for many entrepreneurs and businesses but many more startups will spring up. Don’t worry about how soon you will fold up. Failure is part of the game but don’t enjoy the failures, just learn from them.

To Winning

Winning is an attitude. To win, you need to know what it means to fail, be willing to work harder, commit to the tasks, and push yourself to perform. To be a successful business, you have to be emotionally neutral to winning and losing. This is probably one of the most difficult challenges of any startup. The vast majority of unsuccessful businesses fail not because of management but mostly because of poor decisions with respect to shallow industry knowledge and business intelligence.

I have been asked many times about the best winning strategy and structure for startups. This should not be a big problem if you know what your business is about and have a model that best sells your business. A good business model can help to make the right decisions and put the right structures in place. Just do it right.

If you’re a first time founder, it is never a shame to discuss some tips over with some seasoned entrepreneurs. If you’re a growing startup, learn from the past. This is your business. You are building it. You’re driving it.

Be set for growth, profitability, and more prospects

The key to many successes is to be prepared to learn. Challenges inspire growth and prepare you for things you’re not equipped to handle now but the best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.

It’s okay if 2017 may have slammed some heavy debt weight right in your face and looking forward to a poor turnover to end the year.

I never intended to share this secret with you but, here you go: over the years when our company hardly made any significant returns but, sustained operations through personal coins and mere chances, we did a few things that projected our situation in a better direction. Here are a few points to note:

  1. We were never crippled by fear to fail: we were prepared for it.
  2. We reviewed our current activities, cost, and other factors.
  3. We analyzed the good, the bad and the uncertain.
  4. Every new month, we find it important to take stock of the past months and reflect on failed strategies, little successes and re-man aging projections.
  5. We reduced costs with non-performing operations to sustain quite performing ones to create a balance. Now, this takes a little more than just running a business to assess the imbalance.

On a personal note, our exclusive startup subsidiary ranks high in supporting startups and medium sized companies shape up and run successfully. We will love 2018 to be a year that more millennial would consider daring into other business sectors with our business support systems.

It is almost always difficult making predictions about what the next twelve months of a new business year will have in store, but never limit businesses forecasts for the new year. The uncertainties of the game and the risks entrepreneurs take impacts the transformation and boost businesses need to succeed.

Your annual business report should not be a reason you fail to plan for the new year. You may not need a comprehensive end of year report, but a brief business year in review will go the mile to shape your forecasts, goals and new strategies for 2018. The setback will be to think like a small business.

Start preparing for a successful 2018. Eliminate some bad business habits and begin practicing some good business ethics. Another year from now, you will wish you had started today.

Here is to another chance for you and your team to get it and build it right.

“Making money is an art and working is art and a good business is the best art.” – Andy Warhol, American artist, director and producer

Merry Christmas and a successful 2018!!!

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