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We currently live in a world led by communication and new technologies that are being developed at a dazzling rate. Mobile applications, which emerged in the 1990s, have become an unavoidable global phenomenon. These even compete with websites and attract millions of users. Each year, companies who want to access this market delve into marketing strategies that focus primarily on apps. So, what makes apps so appealing and what can they bring to your business?

Mobile apps: a way to improve your brand

The way your customers view your company matters. By getting an app for your business, you will develop a modern and innovative corporate image. This will help in the branding process and will later appeal to the majority of global consumers. You will also specifically respond to the needs and desires of consumers in terms of communication, modernization and accessibility.

A way to retain and acquire new customers

Speaking of accessibility, apps allow you to remain closer to your customers. They provide your clients with an easy and fast way of contacting your company. Unlike a website or a phone number, the application is always within their reach on their phones. This will also reduce chances of your customers going to competitors. Mobile apps increase your company’s credibility through reviews and comments, which will attract potential clients.

Enhanced communication with your regular customers

Access to mobile apps is easy. You can download an app within seconds and use it at home, at work or while on the move. In addition to being accessible, they allow you to communicate with your clients in a way that websites do not. Notifications, for instance, are incredibly useful to remind your customers about events and sales. They appear directly on your clients’ smartphones and make for great advertising.

Mobile apps increase productivity

Apps are also popular among entrepreneurs for management purposes. They help to optimise sales, increase communication among employees and improve productivity. Aside from an app for your business, you can consider creating one to manage and relay information. From booking to accessing product information, everything is more readily available to your staff. Your customers may also find apps easier to navigate, thus reducing the risk of dissatisfaction.

Intelligent apps to offer better services

Why carry out surveys among your customers when your app can do it for you? Intelligent apps are very useful to collect and analyse information. This includes:

  • the number of times the application is used
  • the frequency of use of certain features
  • the location of your clients
  • the products they prefer

The list goes on. Apps allow you to understand your customers, their tastes and their needs better to offer a customised service. In addition, mobile apps have perfect synchronization with social networks. This enables consumers to share content from the app directly on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. By doing so, they are providing free advertising for your company, leading to increased sales and popularity.

In short, it does not matter whether you are a large company or a local business. Acquiring a mobile application will allow you to meet the expectations of the current market. Decide on the services that you wish to offer via the app and encourage its use among your clients. The results are bound to be positive.

To raise money and start a small business, there is nothing better than investors. These individuals and/or companies pour money into your project, leaving you free to make it thrive. However, sponsors do not provide funds easily. They may also not invest at all if they do not find the idea to be profitable enough. To raise your chances of getting sponsored, you need a truly brilliant idea and solid preparation. Find some tips on ways to get funding below:

Consider joining an incubator for your start-up

You just got your idea for a start-up and you are new to the idea of entrepreneurship. If your project is an innovative one, you can consider joining an incubator. These organisations assist entrepreneurs and help them grow their idea into a flourishing start-up. They provide various types of facilities, such as access to legal services and to a work space. These incubators, such as Turbine, can help you to connect with like-minded individuals and thus create a professional network. They will eventually provide you with the means to get funding for your start-up to grow.

Make your activity visible to investors

Sometimes, businesses do not need much funding to launch on a small scale. Once this is done, you can attract investors by making your activity as visible as possible. Become trendy. Get media attention and work on your popularity on social media. Use influencers and SEO tactics as much as possible. Getting popular in Mauritius is easy since its population is quite small. Journalists are also always on the lookout for innovative subjects to cover. Make your business famous even before you present it to potential investors. This will considerably increase your chances of getting a sponsor.

Know your business from A to Z

The key is to arrive to your presentation well-prepared. If you are unsure about your idea and/or your charts and figures, you will not paint a reliable picture of yourself. The investors will not deem you capable enough to carry out the project. In other cases, they will not deem the project itself worthy enough. An investor is looking for a leader, a ship’s captain. A captain who does not know its ship cannot lead it on a successful journey.

Prepare a rock-solid business plan and revise accounting and management basics. Work on your public speaking skills and rehearse your presentation before the actual day. Focus on communicating your vision and on displaying its potential. You already know your project and your market by heart. So you need to impress with figures to bring credibility to your project.

 

Once you obtain funding, you should work on building sales rapidly. A start-up will only become a fully-fledged business if it demonstrates rapid growth. Investors will also be more at ease about sponsoring your project if they see quick and satisfying results. A fast-growing company will give less opportunity to competitors. Aside from sponsors, you can consider other options to raise capital. These are crowdfunding, money-saving and loans, amongst others.

Developing your business abroad seems simple thanks to the Internet. However, internationalisation can fail without a good prior study of the competition, the market, and/or cultural codes.

Digital activities are continuing to grow internationally, partly due to the facilities that the Internet offers to entrepreneurs. It is easy to slack off with the advantages of technology. It allows you to create an activity with the prospect of developing it internationally, all without moving from home. This does not mean that it is effortless. To expand on an international scale, you will need to grow your expertise and multiply collaborations. Therefore, staying at home and taking it easy is not a real option.

Below are some key steps to take when planning to launch your business abroad.

Analyse your business’s performance with regards to the local market

Before considering the expansion of your business on the international scale, you should conduct a study about its current performance. Are local customers happy with the services that it offers? Is your business successful at the local level? If the answers to these are yes, you should try to understand what makes your product/service appealing to consumers.

If you are unfamiliar with the local market or the behaviour of your customers, you can ask them directly. Set up a feedback form on your website, e-mail your clients with questions or conduct a satisfaction survey. The information that you gather will allow you to identify what makes your product attractive to your consumers. This data will be crucial when you start working on internationalisation.

Understand the expectations of the target foreign market

Your product may be the best and most attractive in its local market. There is still a possibility that it will not work at all in a new geographical area. Various entrepreneurs face this problem when they attempt to expand abroad without carrying out prior research.

Determining the readiness of the target foreign market to accept your product is easier after studying its demands. It is also helpful to determine whether the competition is already established and powerful or not.

Be patient and take your time to determine the above factors instead of rushing in unknown territory. If you are lucky, you might struggle a bit in the beginning and learn as you go. With a little less luck, you will most likely fail to go with the trend and you will fall behind.

To avoid wasting your time and effort in an unsuccessful foreign business adventure, study carefully and prepare a viable plan.

Make your business adaptable

Observing the market and understanding it will also allow your company to adapt to its differences.

Adapting is necessary for the successful integration of your business in its new market. Be they languages, symbolism, colours or messages to convey, some are not well accepted in certain cultures. As they, your company should work to blend into the cultural mould of the destination market.

The prior research that you carry out will enhance your adaptability. You will be able to both merge with the culture and offer something new to the market. This is one of the formulas for success that are perfectly calibrated to an international deployment.

 

International growth is one of the most exciting and complicated stages in a business’s life. It can open up the market and the number of consumers within the enterprise’s network. It can also be catastrophic for development if it is poorly managed. Take the time to analyse and understand the new market, its cultural codes, its competition and its consumers. As said above, your product may be the best locally, but it must adapt to succeed internationally.

Be they comedians, YouTubers, models or even bloggers, they are more importantly the new faces of Mauritius’ influencer marketing sector. For example, Vincent Duvergé and his friends can be seen at Chantecler, while Neeshi Beeharry is the brand new endorser for Patel Optics. Influencer: is it a promising job?

From YouTuber to influencer

Probably one of the most recognisable faces across the Mauritian Web, Vincent Duvergé, under 25 years of age, is already a major influencer. The young YouTuber quickly seduced his audience thanks to his parodies and mimics on the video platform. Today, brands contact him to promote their products. Making use of a familiar face that Mauritians already appreciate seems to be a winning formula for many companies.

What is influencer marketing?

Companies are increasingly using social media to get closer to their customers and gain greater visibility. Influencer marketing thus refers to the use of the popularity of influencers to promote products and services. This method is gaining in importance in Mauritius and throughout the world. Considering that 70% of millennials rely on the recommendations of influencers before making a purchase, there is no longer even a trace of doubt. The vast majority of young adults seek inspiration from influencers, and brands are not about to let this opportunity slide.

Driving trends and promoting sales

These social network “people” already have a substantial number of followers. This popularity enables them to influence a lot of users. This can be achieved through product testing or by becoming a brand ambassador. One such example is Laetitia Darche Sauzier, Miss Mauritius 2010, who is now an ambassador for Huawei in Mauritius. However, popularity alone is not enough to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. These influencers must also act as true professionals.

What type of future awaits influencers in Mauritius?

Few Mauritian influencers can currently make a living out of this “profession”. However, the companies or agencies with which they collaborate regularly send them gifts and products to test. Depending on their popularity, they can be contacted by several brands. Joel Capillaire, who has more than 9,000 followers on his Instagram account, is hired by three brands. He even happened to go to Malaysia and Singapore to take pictures for a travel agency. However, income is not stable and until this concept grows in Mauritius, most of the influencers have another simultaneous occupation.

Influencer marketing on a worldwide scale

Nevertheless, at international level, a large number of influencers manage to succeed. Swedish blogger Lina Lindholm covers 100% of her life costs through the means of her Instagram account, which currently has more than 100,000 followers. The same applies to female YouTuber Lilly Singh, aka IISuperwomanII, who now has 14 million subscribers to her channel and no less than 2.5 billion views on her videos. A true success story for the 30-year-old, and certainly a glimmer of hope for our talented young Mauritians!

Every year, thousands of start-ups are born and you might be one of them. While you may have found the right way to develop your business, you still have to work on gathering an audience.

Good communication is the key to promoting your start-up, but this year calls for new ways to attract attention. Strategies such as web advertising, telephone marketing and the creation of a website are simply not enough anymore.

Following the shift in trends, new marketing strategies have been developed. Here are some of them:

 

Develop a content marketing strategy

Content marketing is one of the first solutions you can turn to. Apart from being extremely affordable, its benefits are also more effective.

You can create any kind of content to attract the attention of your audience. From blog articles to infographics, including videos, podcasts, guides and white papers… you have a wide choice! Having various types of content will increase the chances of them being shared on social networks and going viral.

You can go even further by transforming one type of content into another. For instance, a video can be created from various blog posts. This will allow you to capture the attention of a larger audience around the same topic.

However, any content marketing strategy that you decide to implement should go through SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

Being careful about SEO will be essential to boost your visibility on search engines. To ensure that your content is optimised, you should firstly try to learn more about SEO on the internet. You can also turn to SEO professionals.

After creating your content and optimising it for search engines, you will have to promote it. You can do so via your site, in newsletters or on social networks.

A content marketing strategy should allow you:

  • To make your mark within your industry
  • To be credible in the eyes of netizens
  • To educate your audience about your products or services
  • To Improve your SEO and bring traffic to your site

Some tips

Make sure you know your target before you start creating content. Afterwards, you should regularly measure the performance of your strategy so as to improve it.

Creating webinars

Videos are currently a very popular format. They can be used to create an enormous variety of content: interviews, testimonials, presentations for your company, and many more. So why not webinars?

You can easily introduce your company to the world via Facebook Live or on YouTube. Videos also allow you to promote your product(s) or service(s) by stating its/their characteristics and benefits.

Some tips

Promote your webinar a few days or even a few weeks before actually posting for more viewership.

As for the presentation, it’s always a good idea to favour an enthusiastic tone. Netizens usually pay more attention to dynamic presentations.

 

Partnerships with influencers

Influence marketing is ‘the’ strategy which works for adverting.

While it may not be as strongly present on the Mauritian advertising scene as it is abroad, influence marketing is a very promising strategy. For this strategy to be effective, choose web stars who communicate to a target audience similar to yours. This will allow them to effectively promote your products to a wider audience.

 

As seen above, 2019 is not the year for widely spread marketing systems that are slow-rising. Instead, it calls for innovation and favours those who are strategically creative. So do not hesitate to try new ways to promote your start-up; it will need the boost.

 

A start-up begins with an idea, which then slowly expands with the addition of other ideas. Still, the process to actually transform the idea into a start-up is significantly more difficult. Many aspiring entrepreneurs give up or do not succeed due to the obstacles they meet prior to launching their business. The common mistakes can, however, be avoided via careful planning and education. Below are some of the most important steps that precede the debut of a start-up.

1. Round up your ideas

As said above, the initial idea which motivates you to begin a start-up can be quickly surrounded by other ideas. While all of your ideas will seem interesting, some may be good and some may be detrimental to your progress. Deciding what to keep and what to discard is a very important step in the path to launching your business. It will help you define your target market and refine your idea so it is fit for generating income.

2. Test your idea, product or service

Before investing all of your savings in a start-up, you might want to test your idea. Validating your product can save money on unprofitable ventures. It will also give you a better idea about the reception of your service. Tests of this type can be conducted in several ways. One of these is to create ads about your product and to see if people click ‘BUY’. If customers are not tempted to buy your product before it launches, chances that they will do so after are thin.

3. Create a business plan

Creating a business plan is a step that many business starters skip, which in most cases results in their downfall. A business plan can be helpful in many ways. For instance, launching a start-up requires funding. To access the necessary money, you are likely to look for investors of some sort. These investors are more likely sponsor a business which has a clear-cut, realistic and profitable plan than a blurry idea. Also, drafting a business plan is not difficult. It is but an elaborate summary of your business’s estimated growth during its first 3-5 years. It should also include ways in which you plan to take your start-up from point A to point B.

4. Join an incubator

An incubator is a good option, one of the best even, if you are a new entrepreneur. To give your business a better chance of survival, you need to surround yourself with the right people. This includes lawyers, potential associates, and investors. In this sense, incubators allow plenty of chances to network. Your start-up is bound to benefit from an environment in which you can communicate and exchange ideas with like-minded individuals. The support from the incubator can also be helpful when contacting investors so as to secure funding.

5. Get started with branding

Another mistake that business launchers make is to skip branding. Making your brand known to your potential clients even before you start selling to them is very important. It will build the foundations for your customer base and will give a good boost to your launch. You should make sure that your brand reflects your product/service and that it is catchy enough to be remembered. Once you launch your business, you can then grow your brand via social media networking and blogging.

6. Create your website

Nowadays, having an online presence is as important, if not more so, as having a physical location for your start-up. Indeed, your business needs to appear on browsers when people search for keywords on the internet. This is very important as it will increase your credibility, help in your branding and ultimately lead to sales. However, websites take time to build and take even more time to get viewers and clicks. Getting started on the creation of a website for your business before its launch is therefore crucial.

 

It goes without saying that the six steps mentioned above are merely the tip of the iceberg. There are countless other procedures that you will go through prior to launching your start-up. That will also only be the beginning. Even more work awaits you after the opening of your business. Maintaining the upward curve of your start-up’s growth can be as hard, if not harder, than getting it started. Therefore, if you wish launch a business, the time to start working on it is now.

Sure, Silicon Valley may be the first place that comes to mind when you think about startups. If you have entrepreneurial dreams, why not launch your start-up in Mauritius? Mauritius is ranked among the first countries in Africa and surely has a lot to offer to new entrepreneurs.

What is a Start-up?

A startup is a young company that is just beginning to develop. Startups are usually small and initially financed and operated by a handful of founders or one individual. These companies offer a product or service that is not currently being offered elsewhere in the market, or that the founders believe is being offered in an inferior manner.

Start-up VS SME

It’s no surprise that many are confused with start-ups and SMEs. They’re both established by entrepreneurs. They’re small in terms of revenue and number of employees. So, how are they different? Both are pursuing different business models and with significant differences in intent, function and funding options.

A start-up is temporary (usually lasts for 6 months) and it’s all about trial and error. For a start-up, it’s all about experimenting and testing your business model. The entrepreneur is usually uncertain about its target group or they are looking for a proper channel. Then they will start experimenting and searching for answers to the product they are trying to sell, checking out the market’s niche and how to maximize your revenue from the right customers. Finally, they will be able to grow it faster once your business model is settled and stabilized.

An SME is more permanent and it starts out with a structured organisation that focuses on the delivery of value to its already-known customers. An SME does not need to change its business model. Which means, at this stage, an SME is established with a stable and successful business model. SMEs are driven by making a profit and intend to secure a financially sustainable spot in a local market for the long run.

Launch your start-up in Mauritius

Now is an exciting time to witness the making of a startups scene, boosted by the returning Mauritian diaspora and local change-makers. And on a small island, you have the privilege to feel part of something huge! Want to launch a start-up? Why not?

Over the last 18 months, coworking spaces have popped up in each major business hub of the island. If you’re looking for a startup’s hub, The Turbine which a converted sugar factory turbine is the place to go and is the first startups incubator of the island.

Startups fill the void in society and create new ways to provide products and services to consumers. Mauritius being a developed island has still many unknown possibilities for new businesses for some beautiful years ahead.

8 steps to follow to Launch your Start-up in Mauritius:

  1. Conception of project/Business idea
  2. Preparation of business plan
  3. Deciding on form of business
  4. Choosing the right location
  5. Registering the business
  6. Look for funding sources for the project
  7. Implementing the project
  8. Planning and Organising Business Activity

How much does it cost to initiate a start-up?

Many people underestimate startup costs, and start their business in a haphazard, unplanned way. This can work, but it is usually much harder. A start-up might cost nothing but can also cost a lot of money depending on business nature. The 3 main costs incurred by start-ups are as follows:

  • Startup expenses: These are expenses that happen before the beginning of the plan, before the first month. For example, many new companies incur expenses for legal work, logo design, brochures, site selection and improvements, and other expenses.
  • Startup assets: Typical startup assets are cash (in the form of the money in the bank when the company starts), and in many cases starting inventory. Other starting assets are both current and long-term, such as equipment, office furniture, machinery, etc.
  • Startup financing: This includes both capital investment and loans. The only investment amounts or loan amounts that belong in the startup table are those that happen before the beginning of the plan. Whatever happens during or after the first month should go instead into the Cash Flow table, which will automatically adjust the Balance Sheet.

These will vary upon business nature – a simple Marketing Agency might need only some thousands of rupees to start but a small manufacturing agency might need some hundreds of thousands to start.

How can La Turbine help start-ups?

As an incubator, La Turbine help start-ups (businesses with either a tinge of innovation or an innovative concept/idea) to be established sustainably in their respective market. In their incubation program which lasts a year, La Turbine accompanies the entrepreneurs in taking the best decisions to achieve their milestones and objectives.

They are provided with a one to one weekly coaching and access to field experts in La Turbine’s network, potential investors, business angels and in many cases their first clients. A series of tailor-made workshops are designed for them to level up their entrepreneurial skills.

The incubated start-ups get free access to our networking and entrepreneurial events. Basically, they are considered as being a part of La Turbine. As mentioned before, La Turbine is a start-ups incubator with a co-working space. For the first six months, the incubated start-ups get to use the co-working space and its amenities freely. The last six months, they get a preferential rate. (This soothes their numbers)

When: Monday 29 October, from 16hr30 to 18hr30

“Is it interesting to accelerate my company’s growth with the financial and strategic support of external investors?”
Compass welcomes at the end of this month Lars Lindgren, Venture Capitalist and Swedish Business angel accumulating 35 years of experience.

Lars will lead two workshops on the capital investment:

  • A training for the entrepreneurs
  • A discussion for the active or potential investors

The workshop aims at helping you understand the advantages and inconveniences, to build a partnership with investors: business angel or investment fund.
The purpose is to give you elements of reflection to think about a partnership, but also to explain the different stages to build and maintain it.
This initiative is an essential requirement for the take-off of innovative projects in Mauritius: something that means a lot to us!

We are pleased to invite you to this first meeting. The presentation will be in English but Lars is bilingual.
Go on Facebook for more info!
If the idea seduces you, if the subjects presented below interest you, then confirm now!
To book your spot, RSVP on hello@compass. mu or hello@turbine.mu, or contact us on our website! Limited places available.