Nigeria has the largest economy in West Africa and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Cool, right? This means that there are untapped niches and small-scale and large-scale industries that you can actually invest in or start and you would make it.
With the high rates of unemployed graduates and low rates of job opportunities, many people are considering starting their own business. However, running your own business is stressful although it is a good career and life choice. It also needs you to invest quality time and focus into it. You must start by expecting that you have to live in your work before it kicks off and starts running properly.
While there may be many different opinions on how to start a business, a list has been put together to help you make sure that your business starts on the right track. Here are some 7 steps (with babies) that will ensure this happens.
1. Come up with an idea.
You want to start a business, you need an idea for it before you can even think of getting funding or any other thing. If you need a clearer idea on the kind of business you want to run, you should carry out market research. This will help you know those things or services people need and are willing to pay for. Market research will also help you to know people and companies that are offering the same service you want to offer. But, know that your new business idea must be something you have a passion for and something that you can do better than those already doing it.
Here’s something else- you must consider how possible your business idea will be to achieve. Would people actually pay for it? Would it bring enough profit that would worth or surpass the time and energy you’d invest in it? Can you actually make it work? You must ask yourself these questions.
You also need to make sure that your business idea is as unique as it can be. It will make your business more successful and also eliminate serious competition. Make sure your business has a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that will positively make it popular, thereby getting you more customers.
Do you have a business plan?
A business plan is very important because it will determine your cost of operation, your potential market, and the obstacles you may have to face.
Your business plan must be solid enough to be presented to investors. So, you need to determine the basic cost of operations. It will help you to know how much money is needed to create that service or produce that product you want to offer. Your cost of operation will include production costs, workers’ salaries, shipping, taxes, work-space or office rent, and more. Knowing your cost of operations will also help you know how profitable your business will be…unless you want to run your business blindfolded.
You must also be realistic about who you want to buy your product or service. How many people do you think will want to buy your product or service? How much do you think they will pay? If after market research you discover the figures are too low in comparison to how much you would need to stay in business or even the profit you’d make, then I’d suggest you reconsider or change your plans.
Also know those problems that may stand in the way of running your business effectively. For example, know your competition and what they’re offering- if their products are less expensive than yours people will most likely for theirs. Also, if they’ve had their share of the market for a long time, it will be hard for you to break into it.
Know the laws and regulations around your market niche especially those that concern taxes. Also make sure that the equipment you’d need to use won’t be too expensive to run your business.
Where’s your marketing plan?
A marketing plan is also very important in starting a business. You need to write up a budget, create marketing ideas that fit into the budget as well as to plan timing and location of marketing strategies.
Once you have a general idea of how much money you’d need to work with, write up a budget for marketing. This will help you know how much money you have to spend on advertising.
You must also research on different marketing ideas that will fit into your budget. If you don’t have much money to spend, you can always use social media which is effective and requires little money.
You can also plan the timing and location of marketing once you know the kind of marketing strategy you want to use. Timing and location involves knowing the most effective places to advertise as well as the time of day, month or year to advertise in those places that will reach your target market.
Also confirm that the kind of marketing strategy you want to use will work for your target market. For instance, advertising a new app on print newspaper won’t work well but if you use social media…it works. If your target audience is restricted to a locality then there’s no point advertising in another city or state.
Enjoying this so far? Well, watch out for part 2 of this series. Don’t forget to leave a comment, share or like the post.