Starting A Small Business could be a herculean task. To most entrepreneurs, it takes a lot of courage to brace and to others, they continue to procrastinate. Some take years to dream about, ruminate about it, talk about it, and discuss it. Others plan it, research it and hope to see when the best opportunity presents itself for Starting A Small Business. I talk about it because I have traveled on that terrain.
With sufficient experience, planning and adequate financial understanding, the dream of owning a business can come true. Consulting with experienced brains in your choice-field could also assist you at the early stage of the business. Learning from this crop of entrepreneurs will help you to avoid the most likely pitfalls and put you on a good pedestal. In this wise, you are required to diligently research the business ideas and its market before you embark on it to avoid regrets.
You are enjoined to also attend seminars, training, conferences where you could be afforded the opportunity of learning and asking salient questions on bordering issues on the intended business. Here you come in contact with experts and captains of industry who would be of support and there to allay your fears. They also advise you on how you can get financial supports too.
Moreso, it affords you the opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs from other markets who may not be your direct competitors. This could be very, very beneficial to you both in the short and long term.
Foremost, you are advised to follow your passion as Warren Buffet once said that, “passion is what keeps you going when the going gets tough”. Going into a business that has great potential is good, but it is better to go into a business you are passionate about as most times things don’t go the way we had planned.
I had watched many jump from one job to another, one business to another because they have bluntly refused to audit themselves and follow their passion! Visualize the biggest businesses in the world today: Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, MacDonald’s etc. The common factor amongst these businesses remain the fact that the businesses were built around the passion of the founders.
Secondly, trying to establish a small business, entrepreneurs must look at the big picture. Most times they focus only on the product(s) they intend to sell and ignore market forces! It shouldn’t be so.
Thirdly, they should also seek out financial advisors for a proper financial guide as they assist in data and information generation and also fine-tune your business plan. You require their professional support to succeed.
You must be able to choose an advisor who will be willing to support you to succeed. You don’t need one who will always concur. He/ she should be able, in your discussions, to tell you the two sides of every option you so plan to adopt and the potential risks inherent. The advisor should be experienced to be able to assist you to review and refine your business plan as this is extremely important in the planning/ formation stage. This is intended to reduce the error margin.
As soon as the business plan is put in proper perspective, you can then request for a guide on the implementation plan – start-up cost estimation, bank account opening procedures, criteria for obtaining business loans etc. Your financial advisor should be able to connect you to an HR Consultant, Accountant, Legal Counsel and others who would be relevant to you as a small business owner.
You should also learn more to understand your niche market, client and competitors and put up good marketing plan for your business because marketing is an essential key in any business. In this wise, think also about on-line marketing too.
At this point, you need to set target and goals for yourself which should be SMART compliant:
Reduce Your Expenses:
You are expected to consider ways to reduce your expenses.
i) Don’t be in a hurry to make it – avoid falling into the hands of fraudsters (online and offline)
ii) Work hard to earn your niche in the chosen field
iii) Don’t be fixated on one definite strategy; exploit other methods both in marketing, sales etc and accept changes where necessary as the world is dynamic;
iv) Passion is key as it is the great driver that will assist you in times of challenges and create your career path;
v) Learn to use social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Whatsapp etc) depending on your area of business;
vi)Your customer service is also important as satisfied customers return and unsatisfied ones tell many others the bad services he/she had received from you. Be polite in your approaches;
vii) Make provisions for publicity- learn from Coca-Cola whose despite her popularity still invests in publicity/ advertisements.
In Starting A Small Business you are seriously ADVISED to avoid the temptation of dipping your hands into your finances for personal reasons. You should be able to manage and keep records of your financial transactions for periodic audit and analysis as this is expected to reveal your performances over a given period.
Again, avoid providing services or sales on credit, if possible, to friends and relations as most businesses are crippled by these.
While the list of pitfalls is inexhaustive, if these are implemented you will experience exploits in your new business start-up.