SEVEN WAYS TO SUCCEED IN CAMEROON - as an Entrepreneur byRoland Fomundam.


The wrong mindset about doing business in Cameroon is believing that Cameroon has what you need to do business. That's your first step to failure. Assume that Cameroon does NOT have what it takes, and you challenge yourself to putting in place what is needed to make things work. If you are not ready for the challenge then DON'T GO TO CAMEROON TO DO BUSINESS!!!


Virgin markets exist every where in Cameroon amazingly only the churches, colleges and bars are making good use of them. Before you start a business - you must know who your market is - then you can craft the best product/service for them and to decide on the pricing. YOU MUST ALWAYS START WITH THE MARKET AND NOT THE PRODUCT/ SERVICE!! Now you can understand why some people say otherwise about doing business in Cameroon.

Back in the 90s I remember a gentle man who sold groundnuts in Buea by the name of Tigana. It was never about the quality of his groundnuts but the way he served it. Tigana has grown over the years and now owns several shops. Value can also be seen with the Dangote cement entry strategy over Cimencam. Similar to Njieforbi bakery, Santa Lucia etc over existing ones. It is all about value. Even the political parties sell value than the party itself - if you know what I mean. Value is what stays with the customer after the product has been consumed. SO think well when deciding what value to offer and what cost.

Watch people like Alain NteffBudi NorbertMarc Arthur ZangWilliam ElongFlavien Kouatcha etc and you will realize something peculiar about their models - the element of product innovation.

Most bars will simply change location, repaint and get new management and it works. Some churches will upgrade their miraculous and testimonial performances. Innovation is what keeps you in business longer than others. There is innovation of product/service/place - keep an edge in the market place. Our generation is the deciding generation for Cameroon - we have potential for the likes of Fords, Carnegies, Rockerfellas, Gates, Jobs, Bezoz etc. So, plan for the future and do so sustainably.


You can have an 'A' product but if you have a 'B' team - you will not make it. Alternatively, you can have a 'B' idea with an 'A' team and you make success waves. The team is everything you will need to succeed in Cameroon. Make sure to breed a team that is LOYAL, COMMITTED and PASSIONATE. Don't hire the RESUME - hire the REASON. Choose someone with PASSION over SKILLS - and TRAIN them for the skills. You can't go wrong with Skill and passion.

It could be very hard to get the right team at start - it depends what value to offer them in exchange - usually not money - exchange VALUE. Find ways to valuate your business and offer equity as needed. Make your team a part of the business so you all grow together.

Your identity is key. This could be achieved through several means: Social media is the perfect place to study and learn ways to stand out among others - see what others are doing and do something Unique.

Learn of the 7Ps of Marketing - talk to someone like Laura SenBobo Leennox LeennoxHans Tani Bongayen etc about packaging and branding. Go online - learn alot. Youtube has lots to offer. Don't waste your data commenting on irrelevant stuff. There is FREE information out there.

Most Cameroonian business people fail because they fail to be accountable or do so wrongly. They don't monetize their activities enough. Get the right accountant to design an accounting system for you that will give you a snap shot on cost and benefits to guide your decision making in the business. Business is all about the numbers - numbers don't lie though you can lie about the numbers. But you need to understand these numbers and multiply the numbers in your bank account.
I hope this helps someone make the best decision for their business in Cameroon. Share as much as possible - a business that gets better is a community that grows better.
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