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Plan on starting a business? Here is what you should know

3rd Feb, 2016

Starting a successful business is a dream many have and others have sought. With the high rate of unemployment, entrepreneurship is taking center stage in terms of avenues of making a living. Entrepreneurship is also key to the government’s blue print for vision 2030.

Many nonetheless fear starting up businesses citing the fear of risk exposure. They’re afraid of losing money and time and this blinds them from the full potential of setting up a well-planned out business enterprise.

This however should not deter those that are keen on starting a business. Done properly, setting up a business venture is one of the best ways of cushioning yourself financially for the future.

Entrepreneurship is the way to go for the unemployed, those not happy at their current jobs or those that want to be their own bosses.

Many however are apprehensive given the risks that come with starting a business. They need fear not though, because once the proper steps and procedures are followed, the business is set for success.

  • Research  on your business idea. If you want to start a hardware store or bookshop, find out beforehand what is required to set up such a venture. Key steps should include a study of the market: how many people require that service and how much they are willing to pay for it as compared to the current market rate? Find out how many people you can reach and the best means to reach your target.
  • Check out the competition.  Find out how many people offer similar products and services to what you have and the tactics they use to get customers. If for instance you want to open a hardware store and your area of choice has two other hardware stores operating, try looking for another prime spot. Once identified, use a different approach to attract customers by offering discounts, after sales services and colorful advertising.
  • Have adequate capital  to sustain the business from inception. Businesses are fragile especially when they are new. Adequate capital is required to cover the business from shocks that come from entering the market for the first time. A mistake most entrepreneurs make is to expect instant profits. However, the business should be nurtured until it stabilizes. For this, you will need enough funding to keep it afloat. Also ensure that you have a different kitty for personal use such that you do not end up using business cash for personal expenses. Ensure that you also have an emergency kitty for unprecedented incidents at work. Funding is an important and integral part of any venture. Consider putting away some money in a savings account, seeking financing from a reputable financial institution like banks or venture capitalists or partnering with like minded friends to set this ball rolling.
  • Register your business.  Pick a name and get the right paperwork in order. Find out what is required before setting up your business such as registration and compliance with various authorities. If you feel your business idea is distinct, consider registering it as intellectual property to protect it from duplication. In case your business venture involves manufacturing, it’s a good idea to get a patent for it.
  • Hire the right people.  If you’re the only employee, ensure that you understand your subject matter/business concept well enough to provide the best results for your clients. As the business grows, hire the right people for the right job. You will need experts, analyst, financial guidance and support staff. Factor in salaries for the hired staff if any. Try and get a mentor to help you understand obstacles and guide you in the art of entrepreneurship.
  • Embrace excellent customer service.  Businesses rise and fall due to good or bad customer service. Great customer service is what creates a difference between like businesses or businesses offering the same service.
  • Patience  is also required before the business gets its footing. Many give up too soon and instead claim business is too risky and not worth the risk. Your business plan should factor in the growth period and the desired results so that you don’t over expect and get frustrated.While there is no given route map for being an entrepreneur, most successful businesses are run by people who believe in nothing but hard work. Nothing comes easy, so put your best into it.
    Practice is the solution to success.

 

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