We are now living in an entrepreneurial era where there are a lot of business being started everyday all over the world. Here in Zimbabwe, despite the economic hardships that the country is facing, a lot of people have considered starting a technology based business and its something great. The technology sector has a lot of potential and unlimited opportunities, but not everyone makes it.
Zimbabwe has already embarked on a number of programs like STEM to promote technology advancement in the country, among other concerns. But there are a lot of problems that the affecting the growth and development of a vibrant technology sector in the country.
By Pearson Mbendera
Economic hardships, lack of a vibrant startup environment, foreign currency shortages are amongst the problems facing Zimbabweans wishing to start a business in any sector.
Here are some of the factors you have to consider before you start your own technology business.
There are a lot of costs involved in starting a business, from acquiring the assets needed to hiring personnel, from paying for licences, legal fees, softwares and systems to hiring good employees for the business and many other costs. Starting a business takes a lot of money. During the pre-launch and just after the launch of the business, revenue will be low thus the business operations will have to be funded some other way and it will drain your coffers.
A business doesn’t just start making money overnight, and if you don’t have deep enough pockets, the business will close down even before you have made a mark on this earth.
Expertise and passion
Anyone can have an idea but not everyone has the expertise to turn that idea into a product or service that can be sold.
But its not just expertise in creating the product, but expertise in other business topics like management, marketing, sales and other necessary skills. If you do not have all the relevant expertise, you may have to hire people with the necessary skills and expertise to provide other functions like marketing
A lot of businesses fail because they neglect some factors that are important, they may create a good product but have poor marketing and selling skills that they don’t get enough customers to keep the business afloat.
Starting a business and making products or providing a service is one thing, having customers is another. People cannot buy what they don’t want so no matter how well executed a product can be, if people don’t want that product or service you are offering.
Any business idea need to be marketable, and solution oriented.The success of any business lies in its ability to provide solutions to problems. Given the fact that this country of ours is laden with problems, finding a solution and making a business out of it shouldn’t be too hard.
Some originality may also go a long way in ensuring that the product is marketable. There are a lot of people creating mobile apps that do the same thing that renowned international apps and this
While creating a copy-me-too product sounds like a great idea, it requires a market that is poised to accept locally made products than foreign products, which is not the case here in Zimbabwe.
Timing and Growth Potential
There is time for everything, sometimes bringing a technology too early may not be a good idea as the product won’t be well received and it will fail. Introducing it too late is bad too as the product won’t have much time left in its life-cycle to make a good enough impact and give a good return to the owners.
When introduced at the right time, a product will have a lot of growth potential, giving the business a better chance of survival in the long run and may even offer a platform for launching other products and services.
So think about all this before you start your technology business and have dreams of turning into a Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. It takes a lot to make it, especially in this country.