I have been fighting daily since April 2014 when I went started UrBizEdge Limited fulltime. I first had to battle despondence in the first year when I couldn't get clients who would pay me enough to cover my expenses. Then I had to battle my own marketing weakness and lack of negotiation skills. I am still battling it just that now I am facing multiple battles at once. From getting winning market share to managing corporate politics to going to market with a mass market products to building a team so the business will stop running me.
And like they say: the enemy that couldn't kill you has made you stronger. I have been able to go beyond some impressive milestones -- the first being that I am now fully committed to entrepreneurship. I am now beyond the reach of a paid employment. It might look like an insignificant thing but if you have tried quitting a job to set up your own business and are constantly having to reject job and partnership offers especially when you were struggling to get your business to become cashflow positive, then you will truly understand the huge significance in not being entice-able by paid employment.
The second milestone is that I have figured out the ultimate go-to-market blueprint. Learned it the hard way but now it's hugely paying off. I know now how to get the market for whatever I am selling and how to sell whatever I am good at.
The third milestone is that I am now a better and ambitious warrior. The main difference between Baba Sakiru Limited and Dangote Industries Limited is purely one of entrepreneurial skills and ambition. I have managed to study many hugely successful entrepreneurs, better my battling skills and got a mountain size ambition along the way.
And all through this intense journey, I hugely benefited from being young and inexperienced. Being young enabled me to put in an incredible amount of mental and physical energy. To learn a crazy lot within a short time and to try out many things. I have tried out every task myself before outsourcing some of them. There is no aspect of my business that I am not intimately knowledgeable on and I have tried a lot more than my competitions. I have created more resources out there and shown a deeper level of domain expertise than them. And that is because I am able to work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week and the entire 365 days in a year. I don't go on vacation or go for social events or face the distractions a family man faces. I have been able to master even new technologies and broadly apply old technologies better than others who don't have that advantage of youth. And the natural result is that I get businesses they can't compete for, even with all their clout and connections.
Another huge beneficial factor is getting in with no business experience. It helped me have no preconceived way of doing things. It allowed me to give out a lot for free when a more business-savvy person would have put a price on them from day one. It allowed me ignore the very market all my competitions were targeting -- corporate clients. We are probably the only company focused on Business Data Analysis and prioritizing the individual customer over company customer. It looks counter-intuitive but it turned out to be a great business strategy. By focusing on the very end-users rather than the HR and corporate gatekeeper who is in charge of doling out corporate training and projects, we have a more healthy and diversified customer base and still get the very corporate clients the competition focus on. Also, in order to overcome the low value per transaction with individual customers we had to come up with products we can sell to many people at once (at scale) that will generate as much or even better than the typical corporate client deal.
The combination of those two features is the source of our unique advantages in the entrepreneurship war. And with a small marketing and logistics team over the last two years I have been able to do a lot more than some with thrice our team size. We have a published book, a published online course, a monthly training class in Lagos (quarterly in Abuja), vendor to many big organizations, won special projects that require new technology or rare knowledge domain expertise and have a lot of online visibility. I took the war to a terrain unfamiliar to the competition because I didn't know where the battle field was.