Implementing a new business can be tasking because of the multiple steps that need to be taken, which may involve licensing, drafting a business plan, sourcing for funds and identifying a good marketing strategy.
However, business consultants have often argued that entrepreneurs need not wait until they have a huge capital base before they venture into business as many great businesses today started with little capital. They advise that an entrepreneur can start small and grow the venture gradually.
According to them, there are limitations to developing the right skills and business ideas that entrepreneurs wish to pursue and the availability of capital may not be the only prerequisite to starting a business.
In starting a new venture, experts have highlighted some decisions and plans to make and implement
Identify a viable business idea
People get a lot of business ideas everyday but experts say not all ideas can be translated into viable enterprises.
When such ideas are conceived, the entrepreneur may get excited. However, experts say that the idea can only be of value when it can translate to substantial income in the long run.
A business consultant, Mr. Olumide Babatope, says, “It has been discovered that entrepreneurs find it easy to think of many business ideas but are at a crossroads when it comes to implementing them. As a result of their lack of experience they encounter difficulty when taking crucial business decisions.”
According to him, several opportunities that have evidently made other people successful can serve as a good business idea when pursued in the same way or with innovative angles to them.
Experts define opportunity as an idea that can be implemented. Therefore, to make it feasible, Babatope says the availability of resources, the technical knowledge, its market acceptability and the expected returns from the venture are criteria which have to be met.
In order to meet the criteria, he says a business idea must pass through the planning stage successfully.
The market strength, what exactly is needed, how long it will take, how much money is needed and the kind of people that are required must be determined.
Start the business plan now
The Chief Executive Officer of Angela Itambo Company, Mrs. Angela Ihunweze, says a business plan must be written in a language and tone that is interesting, in order to retain the attention of the person reading it and must have implementation milestones.
“For aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs, the knowledge of how to write a business plan is essential,” she adds.
According to Babatope, this act may not be practicable because along the line, they will realise that some of the plans may have to change.
Babatope says, “Business planning is a continuous process that has to be reviewed and upgraded along the business lifespan. The steps have to be laid out including the concepts, the raw materials and monetary requirements.
“Do it one step after the other. Envisage that you are trying to solve a puzzle, therefore don’t move to the next item without finishing the earlier one.”
Among the points to consider when planning are the likely risks attached to the business and ways of managing them, he says.
Babatope adds that the people who will key into the vision, their skills and compensation should be part of the plan.
He says questions that must be asked should include what are the start-up costs, how many people do I need to hire? How much money can the business make? How will this impact the business?
Other questions to consider are: How is my product or service different or better than other products or services? Who will buy the product or service? Why will they buy the product or service? How will the product/service be promoted and sold? Who are my competitors?
Take accounting decisions
Keeping financial records is inevitable, either for sales made, or an expense incurred and paid for. Experts say this must be kept for a minimum of seven years or more.
According to them, documents such as bills, receipts, invoices, bank statements, should be kept as evidence that your records are accurate. Financial advisors advise that financial statements must provide a clear picture of the financial state of organisations.
Babatope says everyone affected by the business’ financial condition must have access to the financial information and be able to analyse it to draw conclusions about the business’s performance.
He says financial records in all types of businesses have similar characteristics, adding that a few of the most common records are cash, credit, depreciation, special asset, tax, and payroll records.
“When hiring for the post of an accountant, one that seems like the right match for the organisation’s need and with the right certification must be considered,” he suggests.
Marketing strategies to utilise
Experts note that marketing strategy allows an organisation to find out opportunities in order to increase sales and achieve a competitive advantage.
Draw the customers’ attention by using compelling messages, either in advertorials, e-mail marketing, direct marketing and jingles.
According to Babatope, the focus of the message should be on what the customers actually care about, not what the marketer thinks they care about.
“Take the incredible features of the product or service and talk about how they directly help customers. The benefit to the customer may be that it saves time or money,” he adds.
In direct marketing, the consultant says marketers should try and make the message personal by asking their customers questions to help the company identify challenges with the usage of products or services rendered
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