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STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS By Ogooluwakitan Adenmolu

Published by Ketu Breeze Newspaper

The idea of starting your own business is very appealing to a lot of people. Apart from the general conception of being your own boss and having the capacity to control the affairs of your business, being an entrepreneur can indeed be very rewarding and fulfilling. However, many businesses never survive the first year of their set-up. Closer home, in Nigeria, it is estimated that out of every 10 businesses that start up every year, only two are prone to survive. These numbers are indeed shocking.

However, it is not impossible to start and manage a successful business. The information below will help you plan for a successful start to your entrepreneurship journey.

Is entrepreneurship for you?

This seems like a weird question considering the fact that you are reading an article that says “starting your own business”. However, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to go into entrepreneurship when you do not have what it takes to be one.

Your Grand Idea

Every business starts with an idea, innovative or not!
You will need to spend a lot of time researching about your idea and developing it in such a way that it is viable, sustainable, profitable and meets a need. One of the advantages of being an entrepreneur is having the freedom to work on something you are passionate about. Passion about a business idea is good and in fact critical to the success of the business. However, it does not always translate into profitability, hence, the need for comprehensive research. Your need to identify:

Need/Demand for your product or service
Willingness to buy your product or service
Target Market
Distribution channel
Marketing/Promotion need and channels
Your competition and how you can position yourself above them
Profitability of your idea
Government regulations regarding your idea

Your Business Plan

Your business plan can be as simple as a 12-page document or as comprehensive as a 20-page document. The need for a business plan is for you to sufficiently define your business idea in practical terms and to create a road map for executing your idea. Your business plan allows you to identify and address risks, make predictions and forecast. A business plan will showcase your product or service, how to plan to make profit and the exceptional team that can bring the business to a reality. It should include market data and tests to show that the product or service will sell, estimates for your start up costs, projections for sales and profits short and long term goals for the company. A good business plan includes the following essentials:

Introduction
Executive summary (statement of business purpose)
Description of business
Marketing analysis and plan
Competition
Operating Procedures and plan
Management Plan
Financial Plan
Personnel
Breakeven analysis
One to three years summary
Assumptions upon which projections are made

Your Business will be registered soon!!!

Choosing the right name for your business is as crucial as the other elements of starting your business. Your business name should be unique, easy to remember, describe the products and services you offer and of course be approvable by your country’s company registration body.

Registering a business is however more than deciding on your business name, it includes determination of the legal structure of your business and organizing your business as a legal entity. The right legal structure for your business is dependent on a number of factors such as the level of control you wish to have, your business vulnerability to lawsuits and financing needs.

Once you have identified the legal structure best suited for your business, the registration process will be clearer to identify as different registration processes apply for different legal structures as well as locations.

Determine the legal structure of your business
Prepare and certify documentation
Register Business Name
Register with State Revenue agency
Obtain Licenses and Permits
Open a Bank Account

Your Business is now Running

Entrepreneurs often report that getting finance is the most challenging aspect of starting a business. There are both government and private sector sources of financing that you can tap into to get your business off the ground.
Government Financing
Private sector financing

Your business location is another important aspect of running your business. When deciding where to locate your business and how to arrange your office, store or facility, you might consider the following:
Choosing a Commercial Building: Weigh the options available to you based on accessibility, nearness to your target market, financial resources and need.
Home-Based Business: Working from home is one of the most economical ways to start your own business, especially if you can find a way to get your goods or service to your consumers. It is advisable that you create a work area that is dedicated solely to your business and equip it with necessary tools and equipments as may suit your need.
E-business: E-business is about using Internet technologies to provide superior customer service, streamline business processes, increase sales, and reduce costs. You can leverage on the internet to serve as a platform to project your business.

Build a winning team:

Bring on people who understand your company’s goals, complement your skills and fill in the gap. Develop people management skills so that you can effectively manage and train your employees.

Fight inexperience with research and advice. Ask Questions!!!!

Manage your business. Be an entrepreneur.

Get your copy at News stands at Ketu, Ojota, Ikosi, Alapere, Magodo, Mile 12

Information is key to liberation

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