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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Five Growth Principles for Budding Entrepreneurs

By Adepeju Jaiyeoba
Today, let's talk about business growth and the principles that spur them. As always, I will be drawing from my personal experience.
1. Realize that there are opportunities in every problem. It could be an opportunity to learn or start something new. The Idea for Mother's Delivery Kit occurred after meeting a baby whose umbilical cord had been severed with a rusty blade infecting him with neonatal Tetanus. Dig out the opportunity in that problem before you today!
2. Large doses of patience and persistence. So you have this big dream for your project and hope that someday your product will be in every home or get everyone talking about you but it just doesn't seem to be happening yet. Relax, keep at it, continue to build innovative products, make strategic contacts and keep shinning in your own little corner.
3. Listen to your Market. I know you think your product is awesome and will make a hit like Tuface's African Queen but pause for a while after prototypes have been sent out and listen to your market. There is nothing in our Mothers Delivery Kit that isn't the result of feeling market pulses and meeting a need. Your ultimate consumer determines your growth. Listen to them!
4. Don't just listen to your market, analyse their feedback and act! I remember Mother's Delivery Kit had up to three modifications before arriving at the present pack we have. I also remember that the two new kit variant we currently have are a result of market demand and needs. Listen. Analyse. Act. I can't say this enough!
Staff assessing Mother' Delivery Kits
5. Never lower your standards! I know times are tough for businesses and the economy isn't even smiling but lowering your standards and cutting corners on quality could have dire consequences on your growth. I remember meeting a manufacturer who was trying to introduce a cheaper delivery mat to us. 
Our medical team tested the level of absorption of this new mat and found it was very low. So even though we would be making more profit from the mats we decided against working with that manufacturer because it would mean lowering our quality and standards. If we say we are giving you the best sterile supplies for childbirth, it's only fair we keep our promise.
These are the five growth principles that have helped and are still helping me. I hope you find them useful too.
About the Author
Adepeju Opeyemi Jaiyeoba (OD’s June YPOM ) is a Nigerian trained lawyer and founder of Brown Button Foundation, an NGO established to help curb the high mortality rates in Nigeria. She is a White House Emerging Global Entrepreneur 2015 and a 2014 Mandela Washington F

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