Archive | November, 2014

Starting A Succesful Business: What It Takes

9 Nov

It takes a lot of courage, passion, focus and determination to get any business off the ground to success. People tend to mistake starting a business with going to school to get grades or being sent on an errand. Its far more than that. Every successful business owner has a very long tale to tell about how they started their successful businesses. Not all businesses are going to be successful. Some are just special purpose vehicles to achieve a particular aim while a large majority is to leave a legacy for family,someone or in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson ” to leave the world a bit better”. In any case, starting a business is a different ball game entirely.

Any one starting a business should consider a lot of things. I started a bakery/confectionery and restaurant business seven years ago and I tell you, its not a bed of roses at all. Many businesses have failed because they ignored the little things that count much than the big ones. If you ask me from my experience what are those things an aspiring entrepreneur should care about, i would be glad to offer the following tips.

EXPERIENCE

In order to start a business, a new entrepreneur should endeavor to gain some experience from an organization. When you work in an organization, it exposes you to how it is managed and as part of the team you gain an insight into an organizations’ heart, its written and unwritten rules, business model, short, medium and long term plans. This exposure is sacrosanct. Two things come up after the exposure. You are educated in the art of managing¬† a business and gain experience in doing so. Business is practical and not taught in any MBA university class. Its also a reason why Mark H. McCormack wrote the book What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School.

EDUCATION

Formal education is still going to play a very strategic role in today’s international business environment. Whatever it is, formal education is still needed in organizations functions namely: finance,personnel(HR), production and marketing. Education makes it easier to hire to hire the right staff for the right position and get the best of performance from them. Education is so dynamic these days that a lot of people find themselves in a very different field or profession apart from what they studied in school.

RESEARCH

Research is the key to understanding any business or industry. It helps you to understand the pros and cons of establishing and managing a business for the long term.Research work exposes you to the impact a business environment has on a business, challenges, risk factors in the industry and long term impact. Research on any business can come in many forms. It can come as a result of your work experience or from someone else experience, a business case study or a  business plan. I cannot over emphasize the importance of research to a new business. Every aspiring entrepreneur needs to do that before embarking on a journey into the business world.

BUSINESS MODEL

There are so many business models out there and you have to choose which one would serve your purpose. All business models are grouped into the following. Organic Growth Model signifies the model that makes use of the internal resources of an organization to expand its business. Acquisition model makes use of buying up other similar organizations to carry out business expansion. As a new entrepreneur, you have to employ a business model that suits your personality. Whether you have enough money or not to start a business, your business model is important.

STAY FOCUSSED

So many new entrepreneurs are carried away by just little success, a reason why so many fail after five years. A new entrepreneur is the focus of the organization and he is the chief architect of the direction of the organization. As a new entrepreneur you have to be vigilant in managing all aspects of the organization and its staff. You are the CEO, CFO, COO and General Manager, reporting only to yourself. You take responsibility for every action of the organization and monitor the activities of staff. This helps you implement every letter of the original business plan.

STAFFING

Every organization is measured by the quality of staff it employs. Its not just a perception but a fact of business life. From the cleaner to the Head Honcho, its very important one employs qualitative staff. Organizations are running away from the cost of training new recruits. Instead , they employ experienced staff to do their job with less supervision. However, the new entrepreneurs business is the best starting point for these recruits who are mainly fresh college and high school graduates who are looking for an opportunity to jump start their career. A new entrepreneur can develop his staff from scratch and his organization can be a reference point in many resumes.

SUPERVISION

Be prepared to lose a lot of sleep. Supervision of experienced and inexperienced staff in a start up is no cup of tea but something else. Supervising your employees helps you know their abilities and weaknesses in order to help get them better.

START UP CAPITAL

A question on every entrepreneurs mind is how much really do I need to get this business started? As a new entrepreneur, your start up capital should be adequate enough to start any business of your choice. Start up capitals also depend on the business model to be employed or according to your business strategy.

PASSION

Passion has no financial value but it is the intrinsic value of any business. As a new entrepreneur, you must be able to put your hearts out to the success of the business. The success of your start-up is your success and you are representative of that success at every given time. You are a reference point anytime the business or start-up is mentioned.

SOCIALIZE

When you socialize, you open dozens of opportunities for yourself and your start-up. You create awareness about your business and get to know a lot of people in and outside your sphere of influence. You are informed of the latest gossip or news about the industry and polity as you meet people from all walks of life.

STORMS

Every start-up will always hit a brick wall no matter how well it is managed. But how you manage to get out of that brick wall defines your future in business.

JOIN A PROFESSIONAL OR TRADE ASSOCIATION

When you start a business, you must make it a point of duty to join a trade association or a professional organization regulating your business. It is important as your organization will be part of any changes made by that trade association which will equally impact on society.

Starting a business is not bread and butter but a refining and defining experience. It’s not for the feeble but bold and courageous and focused.

Thanks for stopping by.