LIONESS ESSENTIALS. OUR LATEST CONTENT.
Ep. 13: Lioness Radio Show --- This week’s episode of the Lioness Radio Show is truly a global one. Melanie Hawken drops into New York to talk to the truly inspirational Julia Pimsleur, self styled Chief Empowerista and author of the best selling book, Million Dollar Women. Next, she travels to beautiful Lusaka in Zambia, chatting to serial entrepreneur Ruth Mbewe, founder of R M Farms, about what it takes to juggle multiple businesses. Finally, she returns to Maputo, Mozambique, where she talks to Anila Mussa, founder of IzyShop, about what it’s like to be first to market with a new online retail concept.
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TODAY'S ENTREPRENEUR ADVICE
Don't try to be a perfectionist....
"The problem with so many aspirant women entrepreneurs in Africa is that they are perfectionists and they are afraid of failure or starting too small. So instead they keep endlessly planning and striving for perfection but never actually get around to starting. So the advice is to just start, with baby steps at first, and then grow organically from there - but, ultimately, just start."
- Teta Isibo is the creative mind behind Inzuki a dynamic young Rwandan brand specializing in jewelry, accessories and interior decor hand-made primarily from local materials. With no background in fashion or business, Teta quit her job as an urban planner with the city of Kigali to start her own business. Today Inzuki (bees in the local language) is part of a wider Rwandan cultural Renaissance. The company’s product design philosophy is a fusion of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary style, which has helped Teta gain a pool of clients from South Africa to the USA.
IMAGE OF THE DAY
IN FOCUS THIS MONTH - AFRICA'S WOMEN IN TECH
100 LIONESSES PROJECT
In the early years of any business, most entrepreneurs are just glad to have clients, even those that are small and high maintenance, or the large companies that you use as loss leaders to build your name - it is all about cash-flow and building momentum. And that’s fine - for a while - but this approach is not sustainable in the long term. The secret to success is being able to identify where the business is most profitable, which clients are delivering the most income and best return on effort investment, and then focus on those. It means perhaps letting go of those high maintenance clients that are simply not bringing in enough revenue for the business, or alternatively, raising prices to the point where it makes business sense to retain them. Profitability momentum comes from keeping a close eye on revenues and workflows, researching market rates to stay competitive and relevant, and continually evaluating effort to profit ratios.
I read a quote this morning that made me smile, and which I thought I would share. It goes: “Ordinary people say: It's Friday! Self-employed people say: It's Friday?" There is a ring of truth about this question that will resonate with all entrepreneurs I am sure. However on a personal level, I still definitely experience that Friday feeling each week, which is perhaps strange for an entrepreneur for whom every day is a work day. But there is something about sitting back at the close of business on a Friday and reflecting on what has been achieved, what still needs to be done, and planning for the week ahead. It’s also a day when I like to meet up with fellow entrepreneurs for a catch-up cup of tea and a chat; or with our impact partners to talk about current and future plans; or just visit the women entrepreneurs in the Lionesses of Africa community at their retail shops to find out how business is going, and to check out new products. So, I plan to continue enjoying my Friday feeling!
Have yourself an inspired entrepreneurial day! - Melanie