Ventures Africa runs a series called The Diary of an Under 30 CEO,which has become my Financial Handbook.You see,I am theoretically one-Whatever that means,and I want to be a good one.Through the ‘pilka pilka’ of reading this,I have taught myself some stuff on entrepreneurship.
Making Small Money Big
You see,there are two ways to make money in this world.
1. Sell a million shillings product to one person/company.
2) Sell a one shilling product to a million people.
Any which way, you become a millionaire but the best method is to have product that sells for Sh1.00 and sell to 1 million people. Through that everybody can afford your product without breaking a safe”.
This is the same weapon being used by the rich men in our nation and continent at large; masses foot their bill unconsciously. They keep spending bob by bob enriching some people. Since they can’t innovate, they keep paying to use innovations. No wonder the Holy Bible says we shall collect from the hand of the poor and give to the rich.
Apparently, you don’t just swing into action without having a thorough plan of how you are going to hit the market right and leverage on our population to make a fortune.
These steps will be of great values in helping out;
- Take a deep breath and ask yourself if you are truly ready to go into a business – don’t deceive yourself.
- Identify your strength in terms of what can you do to help people out – a flash back on your past could help.
- Create a niche market out of your strength – don’t be a general merchant, at least for now.
- Research into the field; SWOT analysis – Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat, Competitors etc of the business,
- Map out you strategy
- Gradually execute your action plan.
- Go into the market with the mind of rendering service, not making money. Late Steve Jobs once said and I quote; “we don’t sell gadgets, we sell comfort to people so they can live life easier”. Apple is presently the most valued company just by making lives easier.
- If you are going to bootstrap the project, start small. Pushing 10% of your saving s into it won’t be a bad idea. Never inject al your life saving s into a business.
- Start selling to friends, family, colleagues etc – charity begins from home
- Package your brand
- Don’t be scared to hurt your fingers – Yes, this is business. Some things would go wrong along the line, try to sort them out instead of quitting.
- Expand fast but slowly – starting a business means sharing ideas with competitors.
- Blue and red ocean - as it is in life, it is always good to be a trailblazer, get to the market before others, build loyal customers, enjoy monopoly for a period and get set for a stiffer environment
- Pump your profit back into the business – this helps for sustainability
- Measure your growth.
Don’t listen to those who think there is a shortcut to wealth. There is no shortcut. You might as well get that out of your head right now. Wealth is created when you provide something interesting of value, unique to people who demand it either faster or cheaper than the current providers. Until then, you will be trading hours for money and you’ll always think you’re underpaid. “Find a need and fill it” is the old mantra and it is still quoted because it’s true. In today’s world it should read “Create a need that only you can fill well quickly.” Then you’ll be on your way to wealth. The lesson learned: figure out where there are unmet needs and figure out a way to fill those needs by turning them into opportunities in form of a product or service that people will happily pay good money for.
Learn how to negotiate-This can save you a great deal-bargain on everything, including a maadazi in a hotel if its possible! Prepare by educating yourself and always be willing to walk away because “The doors of wisdom are never shut.” Benjamin Franklin
Money doesn’t spoil, it keeps. Start investing early. I don’t know about you but if I look around me, how much stuff do I have to show for the money I got as a kid? Not much. Invest early but I guess that is well reflected in this great quote: “Winning is not everything but making the effort to win is.” Vince Lombardi
Don’t do Multi Level Marketing “business” that requires you to sponsor new distributors. They are all scams. You have been approached by GNLD/FOREVER/TIENS guys, right? You are not “DIRECTOR of your own distribution network”–you are a commission-based salesperson relying on the liquidation of your social capital (i.e. alienating your friends and family) to make any money at all…and 99.5% of people in MLM’s lose money, as has been shown again and again in numerous studies. The only profit you can ever make is by turning what would be called “customers” into “distributors” and then taking the money from the 99.995% that lose money in the organization and giving it to the 0.005% at the top (the people who started the whole “business” in the first place). Stay away no matter how glossy the brochure looks and how enticing the holiday package sounds.
But then, like Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
Education is very important so stay in school. Don’t quit. Sure you’re bored now, but wait until you’re in a dead end job that you can’t stand but you’re afraid to lose. The power of self-discipline can never be underestimated especially in business world when you have to employ people.
Finishing your degree will open up many more opportunities than you currently realize. Arrive on time, do your homework, study, and treat your learning process as if you were at a real job because these are the skills that you will need once you have started your business and are on your way to making your millions (in your dreams) but then again like Eleanor Roosevelt said “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
Now that you want to Resign and Start a business
Yes, it is possible . . . . But the truth is if you want an initial freedom, being an employee is better than starting your own business because you will never do 9 -5 on your business. Business owners spend every minute thinking and working on their project. No weekends, No Xmas, No Easter. Every day is a working day.
So before you resign from that job to start your own business, you must know that entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted . . . . . it could be more demanding than the job you hate with so much passion.
Even if you are not truthful to everybody, it will help you a lot if you can tell yourself the truth. Do you think you have the courage to push your own business? Many left their jobs, ventured into business, failed and rushed back to the labour market.
Before you turn in that resignation letter to escape the 9 -5 syndromes, sit back and answer these questions:
1.Why do I want to start my own business? Is it because I hate the stipend I get from my employer or I had this plan of being on my own a long time ago?
2. Is my office environment; boss, co-workers, infrastructure pushing me away?
3.Can I combine my 9 -5 with my business tentatively?
4. Am I gaining any experience from this paid job?
5. Will I miss anything if I resign now?
6. How much do I know about the business I want to start?
7. How do I cope if I fail to breakeven in 2 years? (Backup Plans)
8. Do I have a little money set aside that can take care of me for 3 months?
9. Am I really ready for a change?
Resigning from a paid job to start a business is not as easy as we think. Talking someone into it is even more difficult. The best advice is to sit down and talk to your mind. Whatever decision you make now determines where you will be in future. Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Now is the time
Waiting for the right time to start your own business is tough. The time is never right . . . . .expenses on expenses – You need to take care of your family, push your social status higher, do personal development, cater for the known and the unknown, spend some money on wants and needs. The capital will never be enough to start!
No matter where you are and what you are presently; a student, job seeker, uneducated, employed . . . the best time to build the next 10 -20 years of your life is now. Whatever is planted now will be a giant with many fruits in decades if properly managed.
Mark Zuckerberg had many reasons not to start Facebook in 2004. Yeah! No capital, dearth of technical ability, he was still in school and his GP could suffer, some friends didn’t support him, no idea of how to monetize the startup …but despite that he got started and I’m happy to tell you he made the Forbes list of world billionaires, and very soon FaceBook would be available for you to trade on wall street. His tree is just 8 years old.
There are many success stories that tell us to start, stand the storm and win the game. Business is not an automatic success and requires lot of planning to get on board.
Let’s share a few points together:
- Understand what you want for your life
- What is your present background – Passion and Qualification
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- What are your competencies?
PART B (Sketch it down on a notepad)
- Write out 5 business ideas you have
- In front of each idea, write the estimated capital and how many months needed to set up
- Write out different ways you can use to raise minimum capital
- Do your research
- Pick one of the ideas
- Write out your implementation plan
- Gradually start implementation
Starting now doesn’t mean having everything set. It takes time to conceptualize and execute, so don’t rush yourself, just make sure you start the first step of putting your ideas together and move to the next step.
SEE YOU ACROSS THE RIVER,FRIENDS!