A skill every entrepreneur ought to have.

The other day I found myself having to pitch to an intetested private investor.He wanted to invest in campus doctor and wanted me to convince him into buying into the idea. Now my sales skills aren’t that great but yes, I can do a good job selling anything. It’s one skills I have been forced to learn over the last five years as a business owner and entrepreneur.

Campus Doctor is a health care medical firm offering “prepaid health care services” targeting primarily young adults in higher institutions of learning like universities, institutes and tertiary schools. I started.
Currently we are doing telemedicine through our campus doctor app through which students can access free medical consultations and counselling.They can also do this through our social media platforms and hot-line.
We have about 800 active users on the app which also helps ladies track their periods and enables students take their prescriptions on time with reminders from the dosage reminder. The idea/business is at implementation/growth stage.
We are working towards running our own health facilities around Kampala,Mukono,Nkonzi,Mbarara and Gulu from which these students can access health care services and medical attention whenever they need it. The facility will be accessible to students who sing up to our plan that will costs $80.
This money is credited to the students account and using their medical card they can access medical attention whenever and the cost is deducted off their card. The beauty of this is they can access this care anytime and their money doesn’t come with timelines of when they can spend the money. So even if it takes them 1 month,1 year or 3 years to spend the money it it’s okay. What matters is their card balance and for as long as they still have money on the card they can continue to access medical care.
Uganda has over 45 institutions of higher learning and averagely over 300,000 students annually in these institutions. With the young population (55% of Uganda’s population is below 15 years) these numbers are projected to continuously keep rising for the next 10 years atleast meaning we are looking at a $24 million market (now) in Uganda alone with a 10% annual growth capacity. The future plan is to slowly expand across Africa in the next 20 years.
We’ve so far invested $11,000 of our own money into the venture in it’s 1.5 years and look to invest more from within ourselves (existenting shareholders) and external private investment.
This brief got him interested and right away commiting $5k as a show of commitment with a promise to increase this investment after we’ve furnished him with all the paper work, pitch deck and full business plan. That was a brief of my pitch, I dont know how I did but atleast I managed to close down $5k ??.
For any entrepreneur, sourcing funds is one of the hardest parts of the job. Convincing people not only to see your idea and long term vision but to get into their pockets and put money into your idea. It takes identifying the right people because not every one has that long term investment mindset more so here in Africa where the investment culture is still so young and weak. You have to be in position to make your case for investment in a very simple and clear way to understand.Once you master how to do that then chances of closing down some investment is high.
You need to be a good sales person to be able to sell your idea to potential investors and this is a skill you horn with time and continuous practice. This is the most important skill any entrepreneur worth their name can have especially if you’re talking big ideas, big investment and big long term impact and returns.
Jaluum Herberts Luwizza is a Speaker,Writer, Columnist with the C.E.O Magazine and Contributor with the Nile Post.He is also a Business Consultant with YOUNG TREP East Africa’s No.1 Business Management and Consultancy firm that helps people start and grow profitable businesses.
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