Chat with Olugbenga Agboola, CEO, Flutterwave

Olugbenga Agboola is co-founder and CEO of Flutterwave, a pan-African payments solutions business.

 

1. Describe one of the toughest situations you’ve found yourself in as a business owner.

As an entrepreneur, every day I’m fighting just to stay alive, to scale, and to grow. It’s like firefighting has become part of the job description.

In 2016, I faced one particularly tough situation, I was pitching Uber to be their payment processor in Africa. I was in San Francisco and nobody knew Flutterwave.

I didn’t know what Uber would say. I didn’t sleep for days, as I needed to figure out how we would execute if they came on board. We even had lingering doubts about whether we even had the right capital and skillsets. But after sending the proof of concept, they finally signed on. It was a crazy few days.

2. What business achievement are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of having brought a group of people together to build an amazing company.

Every day I realise we’ve done a great deal of work in impacting lives, not just for our customers, but also for ourselves. Growing the company from one person to over 100 employees is like a miracle.

The company has grown so big that I don’t know everyone as I did in the past. I pride myself on knowing everybody’s names, what they do, their background. But it was at the moment after we reached the 100 mark that I realised we’re scaling so fast that I simply don’t know everybody. And that’s a good thing.

3. Tell us about your greatest weakness as an entrepreneur.

My biggest weakness is assuming everybody thinks the way I think and assuming everyone can solve problems the exact way I want it solved.

I can hold multiple conflicting views in my head at the same time for the same problem. I don’t believe one answer can solve a problem; I believe you can have multiple answers to the same problem. So I get frustrated when people don’t see that there’s not only one way to solve a problem.

I think being deeply analytical can prevent this quality from negatively impacting our company. Before I take action, I might have thought about it a million times. I’m more analytical than action biased.

4. What conventional business wisdom do you disagree with?

I don’t believe that you need prior experience in something to do it well. I’ve seen instances with people who have extensive experience in a subject matter but perform the worst in that subject matter. And I’ve experienced instances with people who have zero experience do well because they’re generally curious. If you want to do something, just go for it.

Also, there are some things that you hear in the Valley about building a business that is often taken as a universal truth, but wouldn’t really work in Nigeria or other African markets. A key example is sacrificing revenue for growth. There’s no unlimited capital in Africa for entrepreneurs. You don’t have the chance to make a lot of mistakes, unlike folks in Silicon Valley.

I think maybe the next five, 10 years, it will be easier for new entrepreneurs to focus on actually building companies. At that point, hopefully, I’ll be a billionaire and have unlimited capital to invest in startups, and there’ll be more opportunities for younger folks to build without worrying about failure.

We have this massive opportunity in Africa, but what we need to do is build real companies, not focus solely on high growth.

5. Is there anything you wish you had known about entrepreneurship before you started?

Oh my God, maybe I should have taken that Microsoft job and be like my friends right now who are SVPs and making ridiculous amounts of money! I’ve stopped courting Microsoft but, if I were to go back in time, I would still go down this road.

The only advice I would give myself now is to say ‘no’ quicker than I did back when I started the business. I kept thinking that you have to be nice. But now I don’t think it’s worth it.

Overall I think it’s been a great journey. It’s been challenging. Nobody promised it would be easy, I taught myself that a long time ago. Nothing is going to be easy, but we are where we are, and we move on.

 

Flutterwave is one of the most important financial service providers in Africa today from the perception of global markets. It is now valued more than UBA, First Bank Holdings, Access Bank, Stanbic IBTC, and most banks except GTBank and Zenith Bank in Nigeria.

UBA – N239 billion

Access –  N275.475B

Stanbic – N444.240B

First Bank FBH – N260.241B

REACH YOUR AUDIENCE ANYTIME WITH BULKSMS

Bulk SMS Solution, like normal mobile marketing, gives you the ability to market or deliver your mind directly towards your customers’ or associate hands in real time.It seems that wherever you go these days people are playing around on their mobile devices, regardless of where they may be .

On top of the personalization abilities of bulk SMS, you will also be given the ability to reach your customers no matter where they are located! They don’t need to be watching TV to see your ad, they don’t need to get on the internet to see it, they don’t need to be driving by your billboard, and they don’t need to be next to a radio to hear it. Your customers could be on the toilet and they will still receive your text message, open it, and read it.

Get started on your bulk SMS campaign today and see the AWESOME benefits it will give you and your company!

WHY YOU MUST GET A WORDPRESS WEBSITE

You can be anywhere and Do biz Any other place in he world simply with a good website. Today, i want to show you in detail on what i started teaching last on building a website with wordpress plugins

SPEED:

Website speed is essential to your online business, if you want Google and your site visitors to love you. So here are the plugins I used to speed up my website:

  1. W3 Total Cache– this plugin dramatically improves the speed and user experience of your site.
  2. WP Smush.it– I use this plugin to reduce image file sizes, thereby making my website load faster.

SEO:

What’s the point of having a website if your target audience can’t find you online? To be at the top of search engines, I used the following plugins for optimizing my blog posts, pages and images:

  1. All in One SEO– helps you have a fully optimized WordPress site.
  2. SEO Friendly Images– Automatically adds alt and title attributes to all your images. Improves traffic from search results.

SOCIAL

  1. SumomeSocial Sharing Tool – If you want to encourage your blog visitors to share your content with their network of friends, then you need an attractive social bookmark button. Heartfelt thanks to email guru, Noah Kagan for this useful plugin that makes it easy for my blog readers to share my blog posts.
  2. JM Twitter Cards– makes it easy for me to integrate Twitter cards with my site and customize them. Twitter cards for websites are important if you want to entice people to click your website links.

LIST BUILDING:

So you’ve been able to attract visitors to read your beautifully crafted blog posts. Great! Now do you let them walk out the door forever or get them to join your newsletter for future engagement? I chose the latter. Here are the plugins that enables me build my mailing list all year round:

  1. PopupAlly–  I use this exit intent pop-up plugin to get my blog readers and buyers to join my newsletter or get a discount code, just when they are about to leave my landing page for other sites. Cool eh?
  2. MailChimp for WordPress– I turned my contact page form into a permission-based list building machine using the checkbox feature.

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT:

These plugins help me keep an eye on irrelevant comments on my blog.

  1. Akismet– the best way to protect your blog from bad comments and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep.
  2. Disqus Comment System– this sophisticated comment system replaces your default WordPress comment system.

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT:

As an online business owner, I need to make it easy for my web visitors and prospects to communicate with me. These plugins made that job of keeping the conversation flowing.

  1. Contact Form 7– Without this form, my contact page is useless.
  2. ClickDesk Live Support – Live Chat – Help Desk Plugin for Websites– I can’t count how many customers I’ve gotten through this live chat plugin. ClickDesk allows you to receive live chats & calls on your WordPress dashboard, Gtalk or Skype.
  3. Leadin– this easy-to-use lead tracking plugin helps you better understand your web site visitors. From monitoring where my leads came from, up to the point of filling a form on my site, this plugin tells me everything I need to know about my prospective buyers.
  4. Testimonials Slider– If you want to convince people to trust you and buy from you, then this plugin helps you display happy customers’ testimonials on your product or service landing page.

SECURITY:

As you know, WordPress sites are prone to attacks by hackers. Wait a minute! Which content management software (i.e. Joomla or Drupal) isn’t prone to vicious attacks by hackers? Anyways, these top three plugins help to secure my website:

  1. BruteProtect– It keeps your site protected from brute force security attacks even while you sleep. A blessing to WordPress users.
  2. Limit Login Attempts– After 2 failed login attempts, it blocks the ip address of the hacker for as long as you want.
  3. WP-DBManager– It does what it says. Schedules back up, optimize and repair your website’s database on autopilot.

ANALYTICS:

Like management consulting guru – Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets improved.” Therefore measuring my online marketing efforts is vital. These plugins helps me monitor website traffic and track events.

  1. Google Analytics by Yoast– this popular plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics to your WordPress blog.
  2. Jetpack by WordPress.com Stats– enables you to monitor your WordPress Site Stats via the dashboard and on your android smartphone.
  3. ClickTale– if you want to track how and where people navigate, scroll to or click on your website, this heatmap recording tool is your go-to plugin. To get started, create a free account oncom.

ADVERTISING & REMARKETING

This plugin helps me retarget online visitors on Facebook using Facebook conversion ads campaign.

  1. Facebook Conversion Pixel– this plugin enables you to add Facebook Conversion Pixels to Posts, Pages, or any other custom post types.

E-COMMERCE & PRICING

I never knew that a day will come when I will be able to convert a section of my website into a full-fledged ecommerce site like Jumia, Konga and Amazon. These Woocommerce plugins helped me achieve that.

  1. Woocommerce– this popular e-commerce toolkit helps you convert your site into an online store like Konga.com and sell stuff like clothes, fashion, food, or downloadable products. Beautifully!
  2. VoguePay Woocommerce Payment Gateway– Many thanks to Tunbosun Ayinlafor creating this plugin. Now you can accept online Naira payments such as Interswitch, Etranzact, Mastercard and Visa cards on your website. Setting it up for my digital marketing book store and my clients was a breeze. Move over Interswitch! I don’t have to cough out a whooping N150,000 just to use your platform.
  3. Woocommerce Checkout Manager–  Since I sell virtual downloadable products (ebooks) for now, this plugin trims unnecessary billing form fields on my checkout page, such as physical address, country, last name, etc. If you don’t want to scare your buyers away with long forms, trim the fat with this plugin.
  4. Easy Pricing Tables Lite by Fatcat Apps– allows you to create a Beautiful, Responsive and Highly Converting Pricing Table in Less Than 5 Minutes. No Coding Required. You can link to your woocommerce shopping cart.

WELCOME TO THE FUTURE—A FUTURE OF SOFTWARE

We are a part of the script which tomorrow’s society will play out . Together with our partners and clients we consider how we can create a welcoming future –developing sufficient and smart living . Season and times has changed like the metamorphosis of a butterfly from an egg.   The business world has changed also. You can’t compete in today’s business if you don’t embrace innovation created by software developers . How many of these innovations have you adopted in your business? How do you manage your inventory, how do you manage your staff and students, security is not left out. etc These solutions surround us ,making lives better and brighter

We at topsoftsoft are thinking of a future whereby the challenges of POWER generation can be solved with a software . A future where fuel will be replaced with a smart codes. We are thinking of future where Data centre cannot be needed because it with be converted into a small box  like a laptop. We are working hard to contribute to the sustainable development of nation. Welcome to the FUTRE-a future of software development.

GAME OF BUSINESS — BY CHIGOZIE ONOH(HILLTOP LAB)

‎RULES FOR HANDLING SALES REJECTION….

 

Rejection is inevitable in life, much so inevitable when u are selling but u may not get discouraged if you know how much to expect…

Research claims that it takes about 30 calls on average to get an appointment with a prospective client…only 2 or 3 out of ten clients will return your mail or call, it’s still likely that none out of the 3 that returned your call would do business with u immediately………….      ‎

Business requires patience and having this knowledge of what sales ratios are is going to help to immunize you to rejection, though this ratios vary depending on your business or what you sell….

RULE NO 1…..DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY ; many solopreneurs ( individuals who own companies) take rejection personally. They feel they are the one being rejected, they wonder why they are being rejected, they keep thinking if there is something they didn’t do right, if they are in the wrong business, if the business line is too crowded, if there is something their competitors is doing that they don’t know..    Rather than looking at rejection as a learning opportunity, they blame themselves and shy away from trying again..

 

RULE NO 2….SET LONG TERM GOALS;  Think of the company u are building as an institution not a one yard dash, your first major priority should be to let people hear about your company, let them know what u do, let your company’s name and your unique services b a song in your mouth..  Accept “NO” with a smile, appreciate  the client who says “NO”, after all, he spent time to listen to your sales pitch, ask for an opportunity to speak to them in future, understand that companies have been rendering services to d clients u want to take away, so b calm, b creative, b consistent with your professional approach, offer d best products, submit unique samples, give d best price…

 

RULE NO 3….DEVELOP A ROUTINE ;  Draw out a time table on how to do your business, hv a particular no of clients u must reach out to on daily basis, make sure u call or email at least 30 new clients per week, keep in touch with your old clients, send a ” Thank u note” to those who refer clients to u, call to check on those who called you for product enquiry , hv a particular day of the week when u must go out for campaign n promotion using words of mouth…

RULE NO 4…BUILD RELATIONSHIPS ; Do not reject prospects after they reject you, someone who rejected u today can become your client tomorrow.  Keep the door open, stay close to your phone, one good client can get u 5 new ones ..nothing is as good as a solid n understanding relationship in business, if she wants u to call her madam, do it with smile on your face n joy in your voice.

NB: more to the sales we make is our relationship with people, it’s easier for people to buy from u once they buy into you…

RULE NO 5….REWARD YOURSELF ; Many people know how to cry in hard times but never know how to celebrate in good times. Whenever u make  good sales with good profit, buy yourself a gum or sweet, take yourself out, buy d best sharwama, enjoy a cold stone ice cream, don’t buy d small size, don’t make yourself feel small, treat yourself as though u won a million dollar, how u feel about yourself affects how u behave.  Discuss your sales success with only those who encourage you, let them know u are succeeding, they will rejoice with u, they will clap for u & motivate u to do more .

Written by Chigozie onoh…..(2015 copy right reserved)