A small business is a profit-oriented entity that is independently owned, operated and organized to provide specific goods or services to a pre-identified market. Small businesses are usually sole-proprietorships or partnerships. International brands like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Guinness and Facebook all began as small business ventures. Your start-up may be the next renowned brand or conglomerate, but it all depends on its foundation. The following are tips on how to start a small business:
IDENTIFY YOUR PURPOSE
People start small businesses for different reasons and these reasons determine certain factors like the type of business, the size, strategic implementation and many other factors. If the purpose for starting a small business is to meet an immediate financial need, then the intended small business must have the capacity to yield immediate returns on investment. However, if the purpose for starting a small business is to pursue a long-term dream, then a longer return on investment period should be adopted.
PROCESS THE IDEA
The inception of all businesses is the birth of an idea. If the mind can conceive it, it is achievable with a great amount of effort. It is usually recommended to start a small business with a brand new idea or recreating an existing business idea to make it even more innovative. Every idea needs processing and it can be done by:
– Sampling opinions
– Examining existing market trends
– Conducting product and market research
– Determining feasibility
– Analyzing the cost
– Developing a business plan
IMBIBE THE FOLLOWING TRAITS
VISION: Do not always wait for opportunities to come knocking on your door. You must learn to spot, utilize and maximize opportunities.
SELF BELIEF: You must believe in yourself and your product (or service). If you do not believe in it, you cannot sell it.
FLEXIBILITY: Remember that things will not always work as you planned, and you must adapt to situations that are beyond your control in business.
FEARLESSNESS: You must be completely fearless when starting up a venture, with the belief that it will succeed regardless of the challenges ahead.
PASSION: Your desire to succeed must outweigh the challenges you will face.
TENACITY: Be persistent, tireless, resolute and diligent.
START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
Raising funds and converting prospects to clients can be a herculean task for small businesses but it does not have to be so. The best place to start a small business is within your circle of interest. It is easier to convince a friend or relative to patronize your new start-up, than it is to convince a complete stranger. While friends and family may pay for goods or services in advance, strangers may not. In the same vein, it is easier to breakdown required business capital into small units and raise it among family and friends, than trying to raise large funds from strangers or financial institutions you share no history with. Start your small business at home. Sell your products and services to family members, neighbors, colleagues and friends. If you cannot sell to them, it will be difficult to sell to others.
LEGALIZE YOUR BUSINESS
Register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission and join relevant unions and bodies. Also seek legal advice when necessary.
IMPLEMENT YOUR BUSINESS PLAN
Put your business plan to work. Do everything you said you would do and make necessary adjustments along the way.
REQUEST FOR REFERRALS
Ask every satisfied customer for referrals and your client base will grow in leaps and bounds.
SAVE AND GROW
Do not spend everything you make and do not spend what you don’t have. Save to increase your income generating capacity in future.
Adereti Best Emmanuel is content developer, motivational speaker, biographer, poet, author and an on-air personality. He was a speaker at the recently concluded Lagos State conference for Head of Budget/Planning Depts of all Lagos State LG’s/LCDA’s. He is the Head of Operations, YT&T Global Vision Ltd and also a freelance business consultant.
Twitter Handle: @bestonradio
234Finance is an online hub that promotes African Entrepreneurship. We feature small and medium sized businesses on the platform, shedding light on the current and future developments in diverse sectors across Africa. We also provide free resources, share opportunities and events on our platform that entrepreneurs can benefit from and thrive in Africa’s tough business landscape.