I can hardly believe I’ve been working at Kenya’s leading start up for 15 months now and today marks my last day! Jumia Kenya, Africa’s first successful startup has been a unique experience and I’m hardly the same lady I was before. Throughout my journey, I have written down lessons as I grew and I hope these are a good investment of your time.
Lessons from a Start Up: 1
Sacrifice. It is common knowledge that start-ups are fast paced. Most of the time, the official 10 working hours were barely enough to get all my work done. Not that I was slow, but every project was about going above and beyond. Luckily, everyone on my team understood this and many a night we would leave late. My house became literally a bed & shower!
Lessons from a Start Up: 2
Invest in your personal growth. When I felt that monotony was creeping in, I would identify what I felt was a loophole in the business, took ownership and present it to the MD. Through this, I have worked in 4 different roles and learnt new skills at each one. I have since grasped best practices that have enabled Jumia to be leaders in the e-commerce.
Lessons from a Start Up: 3
Make a difference. Luckily, Jumia has different departments that all work in sync as one unit. I was able to conceptualize, source and on-board local designers for a section onsite to help them sell their brands which you can check out here. I was also able to merge two accessory categories, thus boosting sales.
Lessons from a Start Up: 4
Everything’s got to have a deadline. So don’t procrastinate. The MD allows a 24 hour window to respond to emails, I simply found it easy to get it out of the way at once.
Lessons from a Start Up: 5
People. Team. I have been fortunate to work with a highly professional and dynamic team working around the world. We would have weekly calls and exchange ideas via Skype and Google hangouts! Oh the power of the internet! Special shout out to all community managers working in Africa!
Lessons from a Start Up: 6
Cut costs. Investors require value for money. This does not mean that you should spend on anything. Learn to establish what’s important according to your goal and closely monitor your spending!
Lessons from a Start Up: 7
Social media is everything. In this day and age, every business ought to be on social media and take it seriously. Taking care of Jumia’s social pages taught me the importance of brand engagement in achieving whatever goal one has set in place. I also learnt to prepare a contingency plan as anything can happen, especially during major campaigns. I know for sure that I want to continue creating awesome content for digital brands.
P.S- Interested in applying for Social Media Associate?
Lessons from a Start Up: 8
Think outside the box & challenge yourself. I remember the first campaign that left me in awe was Mobile week 2015, when we highlighted a unique mobile phone brand daily. I thought it was a genius idea and it was implemented successfully. People will also remember you for what you did.
Lessons from a Start Up: 9
Listen to your body. Black Friday 2015 was crazy! I barely slept the night before, and survived majorly on adrenaline on the day of the crazy sales. I then went on to work throughout the weekend and a few days later, my body simply crashed and I got really sick. Rest when necessary.
Lessons from a Start Up: 10
Enjoy the ride. For the longest time, I looked forward to Monday! My journey at Jumia was fun and every experience will stay with me throughout!