5 mistakes to avoid when starting as a web entrepreneur in the DRC

5 mistakes to avoid when starting as a web entrepreneur in the DRC

When you’re starting as a web entrepreneur, whether you start as a creator, freelancer, agency, or other in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), you need to know these five common mistakes and avoid them, if you want to take advantage of the digital economy and be successful in a country of many trials and tribulations.

Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when starting as a web entrepreneur in the DRC:

Mistake number one: not registering your business from the get-go

You won’t get good business opportunities and sign high-paying clients in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) if your fiscal situation isn’t in order. Besides, to access many of the tools indispensable for business such as payment solutions, the registration and tax numbers are often a pre-requisite.

And trying to work around it is like being constipated for months; it could kill you (in this case, your business). In a video game, it would be the same as trying to play level 20 while you didn't finish level one because your business registration is your level one.

With that said, you should aim to begin the registration process as early as possible before you even go around pitching on freelancing platforms like Upwork, high-paying clients, and medium to large companies; this will save you time and energy.

Mistake number two: not having access to a generator

Want to work slowly or not at all? Try not owning a generator or not having access to someone who owns one. That’s a surefire way to go out of business as a digital entrepreneur or web entrepreneur, because the electricity in the DRC is notoriously unstable.

Mistake number three: not accepting payments both nationally and internationally

This goes without saying. If clients cannot pay you easily, you won’t get paid. And it’s a mistake to only be able to accept payments either internationally or locally because you risk losing business opportunities if you lack the means to securely collect payments from local and international clients online. An example of one such payment method that offer international and local payment options for people in the DRC is DPO Pay.

Mistake number four: Not having a portfolio of relevant work in your niche

This is an extremely important step that, when taken with great care, can benefit your new business as a service provider. Portfolios are a great way to showcase what you can do for your potential clients. They can open doors that would stay shut otherwise.

If you’re starting without experience in your niche, consider working on free or low-paying projects and passion projects at first to use them in your portfolio later. This will help you hone your skills before pitching higher-paying segments of your target market, which are also risky targets.

There is no point charging a steep fee if you’re going to deliver subpar results, as this could damage your reputation. If you do have relevant experience, especially in corporate, then you should use it to your advantage by providing case studies that show the potential client your problem-solving skills and abilities to get results.

Mistake number five: not setting up your sales and marketing funnels

Marketing and sales funnels are what successful online and offline businesses depend on to generate leads and revenue. Since running out of money isn’t an option for staying alive (both in real-life and in business), you need to set up a system that will bring in income almost automatically so you can focus on serving your clients. This system is called a funnel.

Consider a marketing funnel as the precursor of a sales funnel and a sales funnel as a subset of a marketing funnel. A marketing funnel is a system that helps you automate your marketing efforts to guide your target customer through their customer journey and usher them into your business pipeline, whereas a sales funnel is how you streamline the buying process from the sales pitch to customer satisfaction.

Infographic summarizing the 5 mistakes to avoid when starting as a web entrepreneur in the DRC

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Priscille B. Fatuma is a freelance digital marketer and the owner of Priscille's Pens and Scribbles. You can find Priscille on Instagram and LinkedIn.