By Temiloluwa Paul
If you have a business idea or venture you want to birth, there could not possibly be a better time to get it going. 234Finance is glad to ease you into the process. It is common knowledge that the hardest part of any worthwhile plan is beginning it in the first place. If you ever feel reluctant or anxious about starting off your own business, here is some motivation for you.
Every great business enterprise is founded on an idea. For most entrepreneurs, generating ideas is hardly a problem, however generating income to build those ideas is. Money, fiscal investment, principal, seed capital, cash at the end of the day, is the bottom line. It also seems to be the first serious problem an SME is likely to encounter. In fact, it is a problem that haunts many businesses; be it start-up or co-op. However, when factors like the economy, government policies and infrastructural availability are thrown in; it seems Africa isn’t entrepreneur-friendly after all.
It is no news that a global economic recession is afoot and Nigeria is dancing on the edge of it. Now, we can analyse this fact to no end, then blame the governments; present and past and moan about our circumstances OR we can be solution-oriented. Believe it or not, SMEs are the bedrock of an economy. If you are an entrepreneur, this means the success or failure of your business has the capacity to build or break the economy. If you wish or plan to be an entrepreneur, this means your prospective venture could present a much needed boost to economic growth. If you’re not an entrepreneur, this means you should take notes.
We all have the potential to do our bit to enrich ourselves and the nation by expanding a great idea. Now you have a great idea and a vision to implement, all you need is a few million naira (or dollars) to get going, right? How about starting small? Better still, how about this… just start. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
It isn’t often that a start-up becomes an overnight multi-million Naira brand. Most of the time, it takes a few years to get there. So until the limelight comes, just start. If you don’t have capital, start. If you don’t have clients, start. If your business competitors have the capacity to crush your business, still start. Even if you can’t think up a name for your business, just start. To be successful, you need to leverage a good idea with ACTION. If you are convinced your idea can solve a problem in exchange for value in cash or kind, you need to build on that idea.
Remember this, ideas are a dime and implementation is what’s important. Start with what you have, who you have and what you know. Test your idea by sounding it off on others. Research, research, and research some more. Record your observations, findings, feedback, mistakes, wins, profits, sales and losses. Save up some money and print business cards or items branded with information about your business.
Be passionate and knowledgeable about selling your business offerings and ideas. Introduce your business ideas to people you meet and solicit them as clientele. Seek out people or organisations to donate your services to, in exchange for recommendations and referrals. Sell yourself on social media platforms; a lot of them are free.
The first step to any great venture is to begin. If others started and succeeded, why not you? When you take steps of implementation, you learn more, earn more and add value. You also attract social capital and influence. All these can help you build a framework to translate your business idea to an enterprise and then, to an institution. Remember the capacity of your business idea can grow the economy and earn you income. You just have to start doing something about it.
You can read further on steps to consider when starting up your own business. Here, Fola Daniel Adelesi shares practical actions you will need to get started.
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Author: Temiloluwa Paul
Temiloluwa Paul is a teacher, consultant and freelance writer. She loves to support SMEs and is preparing to launch her own food processing business. Temi’s areas of interest include education, art, lifestyle and career development.