ENTREPRENEURSHIP:BASIC REQUIREMENTS TO KICK START AND GROW A SMALL BUSINESS - PART 2

....................Continued from part 1

9. CHOOSE A LOCATION:  Not all businesses need a location for start-up and even
after  start-up.  Better still, some businesses do not need a location. Such businesses can
be operated via the internet, from home, through phone, etc.  Your business may not
need a location at start-up or even after start-up. It all depends on how you are able to
think through and coordinate your activities. ...... 

Some entrepreneurs insist on getting a location before even thinking on what to sell or produce. That is a wrong approach to business, as it may result in confusion, unnecessary delays and losses.  Know what you want to sell and how to get it across to customers first, before deciding on location.

In choosing a location for your business you need to consider the following: competitive price, spacious interior, good surroundings, good security, Access to power supply, good road, spacious parking lot, easy access for pedestrians, and many more.

 Ways of choosing a business location will be discussed as a topic as we progress in our series.

10. GET BUSINESS PERMIT: Taxes, levies, and licenses, operational permits from local, state and federal government, pending on the nature of your business. Do make inquiries about permits and how they apply to your business.

 Getting a business permit is not applicable to every business, especially those that operate from home. It is mostly applicable to businesses with physical location.

In some countries like Nigeria, local and state government demand more from small businesses than the federal government. Go the tax office nearest to you and get a tax identification number. You will be enlightened on how much is required of you per time.

Also, there are some associations you must join in some industries before you can start your business. Go look for the association in your industry and identify with them.  Example: to start up a Pharmacy in Nigeria, you must be a member of Pharmacists Association of Nigeria. To go into manufacturing, you must be a member of manufacturers association of Nigeria.

For those processing packaged food, you may need to get approval from NAFDAC.

11.  HAVE A START-UP DEADLINE:  Introduce your idea to the market on or before a stipulated deadline.  From the point you make up your mind to start, aim for 30 days or less for actual start-up time and do whatever it takes to make it happen. 

Don’t wait for things to happen, make things happen for yourself. You don’t have to wait for everything to be 100% ready.  Just put your offer out, things will take shape as time goes on. 

Don’t delay, don’t second-guess and don’t procrastinate. Once the intuition is there, Act! Remember, delay is dangerous and procrastination is the thief of time.  

Tell everyone you know about what you’re doing.  Don’t just tell them. Ask them to tell others. They may not need your products or services at the moment, but the people they know may need it. Call them at regular intervals to remind them.


12.  START SMALL:  Choose a business that needs minimal start-up capital to avoid much stress in fund raising and for your pocket to be able to carry your budget. Minimal capital is an affordable capital and capital you can fore-go in the case of uncertainties or eventualities. Consider uncertainties more when you are new to a business.

If your dream business requires a significant investment to start, you can breakdown your dream into pieces and start somewhere. Better still, you can start a business that you can afford for now.

In course of doing the business, you will acquire the required entrepreneurial skills, and save money from the proceeds of the business to enable you have capital for your dream business. Even if you are not able to save enough, your track record as a business person can make it easier to get support from people around you and organizations.

13.  PUT CUSTOMERS FIRST: Treat your customers as kings. Business is value for value exchange. Devise means of serving your customers better than anyone in the market, in your own little way. Don’t think you can just give your customers anything and collect their money. If you are with that mindset, you will not last long in business.

Always make sure they get more than they are paying for or at worse, exactly what they are paying for. After all, you are in business to serve them.  Remember, we are not just talking about starting a business; we are concerned about growth & sustenance.

14. INSIST ON CASH FLOW: HIGH TURNOVER IS THE WAY TO CASH FLOW. Always choose cash payment opportunities. Go for a business you can get paid cash quickly. As a small business owner, you need cash and you need it now. It’s not advisable to run a business that you have to wait for 60 to 90 days before receiving payment.

If you are selling or supplying goods, make sure they pay you within a maximum of 21 days. If you render services, insist on mobilization before starting the job. Mobilization is an advance payment.

Don’t tie down your money in inventories. Inventories are stocks in your business. Try as much as you can to get goods that are in high demand so they don’t remain in your hands for long. Excessive inventories will tie down your money- avoid it. You need high turnover. High turnover is when you sell off your goods fast and have cash in hand.

15. MINIMIZE COST: you must not spend money to get all you need. There are some things you can get without paying. Even when you have the money to pay for things, try as much as you can to see if you can get them for free.
  
 I am not saying you should get it for free from the sellers. what  I’m saying in effect is, talk to people you know that have it and are not using it presently, they may be pleased to assist you with them.

Know what you are buying with every cent and why, and what you expect from that cent in return and when.


16. BE UP AND DOING: Be prepared to take on multiple responsibilities. Even if they are things you don’t love doing, you just have to do them yourself to move your business forward. As a small business owner, it’s possible that you will be everything in the business, such as, Admin, marketer, secretary, office assistant, purchasing officer, accountant and what nots.

I don’t like marketing, but when I started my business, I had no choice than to do it myself.  I don’t really like being on ‘somebody’s case’ for any reason. But I had to do it; I must to be on ‘people’s case’ so they can patronize my business. 

You need to timelessly multi-task yourself to take your business to the next level. If you are doing it on part-time basis, and you need an extra hand, get the right manager or assistant.

Click here for part 3

'Make Every Moment Golden'

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