In a time that everyone especially the youth is on toes to fulfilling a dream, many of us are entangled in a world so in turmoil that you side step every time you want a forward step.
You are done with your tertially education, at this point you need to get into money making ventures, you either get a job and wait for that payslip or start your own business. I can clearly say at this point in time I know none of them is easy. Both require hardwork, both with merits and demerits according to what your comfort zones are.
One thing is for sure, everyone has that business mind deep inside, we all have a muted ambition at an entreprenueral dream, we all would wish to be at a lead position,make our money as the bosses of our decisions.
For those of us who have tried it we know the benefits, fun in it and satisfactions that make your hunger to grow bigger and bigger. Making that money is one difficult a venture that every point of your growth is so important you keep it as a treasured moment of your life. On the flip side you get myriad breaking points in your days, you get frustrations and regrets, you miss your meals because you are busy with equal likeliness to being cent broke, you lose a customer who doesn't understand you are just starting out, and another because he doesn't want to see you succeed. You become enemies with your landlord and your creditors make it a point to register in your call logs everyday.
There are many dynamics into starting a business, most which I hope to share from my experiences but I feel I need to wait and have them reviewed from all the documentations. Maybe one day I will have to write about them, but in the meantime am in the learning stages myself.
We always have questions about starting a business and below I will cover some that I have been asked. These compilation is important because they are the same set of questions I widely asked before I started out and found myself still suffering from inadequate preparations and sometimes just a difficult dynamic point of application.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE NEW BUSINESS OWNERS MAKE?
Spending money on creating "image", such as taking space in an expensive shopping mall. Rather spend money on building your customer base. Remember customers are the drive, without them all you have is your stocks and the funiture in your office on top of a huge rent paid in advance.
HOW DO YOU PRICE YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE??
We simply compute this by taking the cost of providing that product or service, then add a profit margin. Your profit margin should be compared to a risk-free interest rate, e.g. that of the Govt. 91 day Treasury Bill, plus a business risk margin. After all, the business should pay you for taking the risk. Then ensure that cost + profit margin (91 day TB + business risk margin) matches or undercuts your competitors' pricing.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO STARTING AN SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISE-- SME??
This is the same as getting to buy that matching high heel to match the handbag and the dress in your wardrobe. Or even the business suit for your interviews and presentations. They all need capital. Your can use your money to get that or get a store owner to give you credit. The latter option means you need an excellent credit record.
IS IT BEST TO GO SOLO OR TO HAVE BUSINESS PARTNERS, AND WHAT QUALITIES SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR IN A BUSINESS PARYNER??
A partnership in a business is like a marriage. It depends on the partner. A partner may bring benefits such as capital, but like a spouse, he should share your vision and values.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE A BUSINESS WEBSITE??
Very. A business website is a must if you want customer's to find you.
START SMALL. HOW SMALL IS SMALL??
Small enough to pay your bills and break even with the income you are receiving.
WHEN MAKING BUSINESS DECISIONS, SHOULD I USE MY HEAD OR HEART??
Your head, always.
IS IT TRUE THAT THE MOST COMMON MISTAKE MADE BY ENTREPRENEURS IS NOT HAVING ENOUGH FINANCES??
YES, especially since it takes a while to break even. While you establish your business there is more money going out than coming in, so keeping your expenses low is vital for survival.