5 Quick Tips That Guarantee Business Success In Africa.

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Africa's population is close to a billion and people are moving rapidly to the cities, discretionary income is also predicted to rise sharply within the next 5years. That means more houses, more cars, more TV's and more of everything!

Yes you should be excited!

Where in the world will you find a young consumer base and a rapidly emerging middle class of the sort of size you find on the African continent? Nowhere! These powerful fundamentals are driving the influx of individuals and  business into the continent that want take advantage of the vast opportunities that exist.

In this article we attempt to outline 5 basic ways to prepare yourself for success, If you're doing or hoping to do business on the African continent. These five rules apply across countries and cultures on the continent and will ultimately affect your effectiveness of doing business on the continent.

Be respectful to local culture

It is very important to recognise that Africa is not a "country", but a continent with 50 countries and each country is diverse. So you will be more successful if  you learn the culture of the region where you will be doing business and respect their values. Never try to impose your values but always try to stay true to them by creating a balance with local culture. One thing African people have in common is they are very welcoming and a foreigner that understands and respect their culture will ultimate be considered as one of their own.

Develop networks

I'm sure you have heard the phrase your network is your net-worth. One common thing across the African continent is the value of  personal relationships. So building and maintaining good relations is paramount for doing business on the continent. You should be prepared to invest time and effort in building up and maintaining relations. Good personal relationships will provide you strong foundation to further your cause and will make doing business in your chosen region easier. Don’t focus just on your potential business partners only, build your network across different sectors.

Avoid politics

Always remember why you are there to do business, grow and make money. Whilst its important to build a network  that includes politicians always avoid the game of politics. If you don't it will always come back to bite you in a hard way.

Due diligence

As with anywhere in the world you need to assess risk. You will need to understand where to expect challenges: culture and languages, laws, trade barriers, logistics, intellectual property rights, personnel and bureaucracy. Set up a solid business plan, set clear goals and ambitions, know your niche market and do market research. Without this knowledge, setting up  a successful business operation will not be possible.

Stay calm and manage your expectations. 

In Africa having the wrong expectations will ultimately set you up for failure. Expectations will allow you to accept the challenges you will face. Even though opportunity is rife there are no easy pickings you will have to work hard to succeed.


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