Mr Dipo Davies is the publisher of Castles, a leading Real Estate magazine (launched in 1999), and Founder at Realhouse Communications Limited. He won the 2006 Fate Alumni Model Entrepreneur Award. Committed to strategically identifying and providing solutions to problems, ensuring that publications always get to the right audience and consumers, he has built his business from lessons learnt over time. We were glad to have him at the Creative Architects 2019.
You have to be a believer.
Speaking from his wealth of experience, Mr Davies shared how he started his company at a time when there was not as much advancement in technology as there is now.
At the time he started, most people did not understand his idea. Having made several efforts to push further, running adverts and seeking vendors proved unyielding; the initial results were not encouraging but that didn’t deter him from the goal, even when it seemed like the business wouldn’t survive. This went on till he and his team at the time, finally took advantage of an opportunity presented by the market, and this time the results were better.
More profound with this experience was the fact that they spent less this time than when they initially started out and how the new opportunity was defined differently by the market.
Business is still business, whether you’re starting in 2019 or 1999
With this, he shared some of the lessons learnt from his personal experience as an entrepreneur:
- Critical thinking and understanding of the market will prevent costly mistakes.
- The business idea is the distinguishing factor.
- In many cases, the amount of money you need to get a business going is not as much as you think.
If you pay attention to what’s important, you can start up with a lot less than you think.
What is a business opportunity?
Mr Davies defined a business opportunity as what you can sell to others to gain profit which is satisfactory to you. A business opportunity is subjective and personal to an entrepreneur, what one person sees as a profitable opportunity, another might see as a waste of time or just a lot of stress.
As an entrepreneur, your business should neither run nor frustrate you. Entrepreneurship is a very lonely journey, therefore you should decide for yourself what you want. Thus helps you identify the right business opportunity and correctly analyse the market.
Critical factors to consider as you launch your startup
- People: who are the founders and the employees?
- Opportunity: what are we selling? Who are we selling to? How fast can it grow?
- Context: Certain factors in the business environment cannot be controlled by you.
- Risk and Reward: When things go wrong, how will the entrepreneur respond?
Giving some real-life examples, Mr Davies explained that the business plan will always be wrong and one cannot predict how the market will respond. Observe the market as you go on with your venture and let the market be your guide.
If you offer a product and realise the customers want something different, make adjustments rather than lament about how the market is not responding to you. You should critically look at the opportunity you’re trying to take advantage of from a detached perspective.
questions to ask about your customers
- How does your customer make decisions about buying a product or service?
- To what extent is it needed? Based on customer behaviour, you’ll understand if they require your product or service out of a compelling need or as a complementary purchase.
- How much does it cost to support a customer?
- How easy is it to retain a customer?
Entrepreneurs must move quickly on their ideas or opportunities may no longer exist. So instead of in-depth analysis; successful entrepreneurs adopt more practical approaches.
You have to move with the market if you want to make a successful venture out of your business.
Mr Davies’ story of perseverance, commitment and success with Castles Magazine is the encouragement every intending and existing business owner needs. You don’t have to make certain mistakes if you learn from the lessons shared by those who once did.
Watch the full video below and get inspired.
Click to download his full presentation.