Key Takeaways from SFANLiveChat: Strategies for Successful Business Growth

by SFAN Staff · Business advice

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 · 3 minute read

SFAN image

third edition of
#SFANLiveChat was held on January 14, 2017. This
brilliant session hosted two highly esteemed serial entrepreneurs:
Romeo Effs,  the Business Gladiator, Strategist & Fixer and Anie Akpe, founder of IBOM LLC , Innov8tiv , Women In Tech Africa and NetworqApp

Below are five key takeaways from the discourse.

Before you launch, create a vision for your business 

any sailor or captain, he’d tell you that you can have the best
airplane or the best ship in the world but if you don’t have a compass
to navigate your way, the entire crew will keep drifting endlessly. The
same is true for your business. When you think of launching a business,
Anie says, you have to ask yourself the following questions: “what is
the purpose? Who is interested in what am creating and will they buy
what am offering?” This thought process will help you to align your
business with a great vision.

But, in defining the vision for your business, you must ensure that you include vivid images and signposting.

use myself in this instance,” she continues: “My goal is to lose
weight. In order to lose weight, I have to have a vision of what I want
to look like. From that image, I now decide what is my projected time
frame? So with a business, you have to envision what you want to see in
the next 1, 3, 5 or 20 years. The time frame helps in bringing your
vision to clarity. No vision or dream is too big.”

On financing — think outside the box 

Robin Sharma once
said that ideation without execution is a mere delusion. However,
turning your idea into a viable product or service that is backed by a
great team often requires a lot of funding. 


Startup funding depends on which part of the world you are in, Romeo explains,
“Some markets are more mature than others. In the UK and USA, there are
mature Angel Networks and government schemes to help entrepreneurs. In
other parts of the world funding often come from family and friends or
traditional places such as the bank or credit cards. 

Unions and Crowdfunding are equally other viable options. But, a
brilliant way to finance your idea is to get an order and then walk into
the bank or to someone with this order and ask them to fund it. You
could also try invoice factoring if you get an order; ask customers to
pay part up front, but, in the absence of these, you have to look at
personal things of value that you can sell to get money to put into the

On creating a culture of accountability — unleash the power of goal setting 

According to a McKinsey report ,
among the biggest challenges faced by businesses trying to build their
organizational capacity is the lack of accountability and buy-in. In
order to get accountability, you’re going to need to set goals, Anie
stresses. “Your Goals quantify and define what happens next. Now,
questions you need to ask yourself as it relates to your team include: 

  1. What is the background and reason for establishing this team? 
  2. Who and how many people will be depending on the output of you and the team? 

more team members feel involved in defining the answers to the
mentioned questions, the more they will embrace accountability. Overall,
make sure you focus on creating a consistent shared-purpose team

from Jacksonville, Florida, William Jackson emphasizes the need to
ensure that your team is as passionate as you are about the business
goals and mission.

On key performance indicators — start with the rate of conversion 

A lot of businesses fail because they do not use the right metrics in
measuring performance. Depending on what your business is, Romeo
recommends, the key metrics you should use to measure your growth are
the number of leads, the number of completed transactions, the rate of
conversion, the average sales value, the sales margin over products
sold, and the cost of goods sold or cost of customer acquisition.

state that business metrics should be compared to established goals or
business objectives,” Anie says. “As a wise business owner, you must
ensure that you have the right technology that helps you measure these
key indices: sales revenue (include marketing cost, price changes and
discounts that you have given) and repeat business (customer loyalty).”


a traditional level, it’s imperative that you create benchmarks by
looking at what’s going on in the industry. Whether you’re a new or
established business, you need to pay attention to your daily completed
goals compared to the monthly and yearly goals.

On maintaining consistency — internalize them 

advice for maintaining consistency in your business process is that you
make them a habit — get them entrenched in your business and team.
Creating a consistent message could require that you “outsource the work
to a professional to produce in batches in advance, and then reuse on
all platforms. Find the right technology to enable efficiency and

you need to “know your ideal customer and build that tribe — the market
where you will be selling. Build a consistent process to manage cash
flow. Trust your gut and trust the process. Never stop; just keep
stepping up and getting things done. Implementation is constant, it
never stops — it is the entire journey not a phase of the journey. It
is; execute, evaluate, adjust, execute, evaluate, adjust and the cycle
goes on and on.”

buttresses the fact that there are free software tools to get started
with at the initial stages of your business as it relates to your
budget. “When a business is smaller, it’s easier,” she says. “The best
advantage for consistency is when you use it to measure your results —
you can create accountability and consistent message about your


you want to jump-start your business in 2017 or any year, it’s
important that you create a vision for your business, remain consistent
with your process, and research the tools and platforms that connect you
with your target audience. “Stay focused! As the phrase goes; 'Just do
it.' Do your research and put fear aside,” Anie recommends.

Join thousands of young Africans launching their careers.

Get free career and entrepreneurship tips delivered directly to your inbox.