Congratulations - that’s such great news. I love the insight on what it takes to build a marketplace in Nigeria.
I hope I’m not too late to benefit from your wisdom.
My questions are:
What do you feel is the best way to keep transactions between existing buyers and sellers within the platform. (i.e. ensuring hotels didn’t try to avoid paying your referral fees by dealing with customers directly, or customers from booking hotels they’ve been to without using hotels.ng). Is building restriction within your platform the best approach - or do you think it’s better to incentivise them not to (i.e. better customer experience than offline, loyalty program for staying within platform)
In the beginning while bootstrapping - how did you incentivize your workers tasked with bring offline hotels online if you can’t offer them a large financial package.
I really admire you awesome progress,not just financially but your all round impact to the hotel system,
would you be kind enough to invest a little bit of your time to mentoring my very very new Education Start up in making as much impact as you have made?
Thank you in advance.
Sorry, I missed your question. So I think it’s a perspective problem. Many founders see it as ‘their company’. They own this company and their word is law and it’s something that is intrinsically linked to them. I think they need to look at it from another perspective: a company is an entity of its own, and it’s a collaboration between people working towards a shared goal. The people involved in the company are you, the people working IN the company, and the people who believe enough in the company to put money in it. All these people own the company. You are one of the shareholders of the company, not the owner.
So what you want to do is bring in a new shareholder and partner into the company when you are looking for investment. It’s not someone coming to give YOU money, but someone coming to join the company as one of the people with a stake in it. It’s important then to pick people who will work to move the company forwards and upward. Partners, basically, not money givers.
As a shareholder, some of your net worth gets tied into this company. The faster the company grows, the more your net worth is going to increase. That share you hold in the company is your ownership of the company. That is a separate relationship between you and the company, compared to your relationship as the CEO. As CEO, your responsibility is to grow the company - and make decisions that are going to lead to the best possible result for the company. That’s a separate and different responsibility from your shareholding responsibility.
So I think it’s about perspective - if people understand the distinction between themselves and the company, and the distinction between their roles as CEO and Shareholder, they will start to understand what the role of the investor is, and the relationship he has with the company, and understand that he is not there to steal anybodies company.