7 PRACTICAL STEPS TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS 

 1.   Identify a business idea 

Every business starts with an idea, to start a viable business, you need a viable business idea. A viable business idea comes from identifying a problem you can solve, or a gap you can fill, or people’s dreams you can fulfill. You can make a list of them, match these with your passion and your skills. Then you can narrow the list to one or two. Check out other businesses doing the same or similar things, profile them, and think of how you can improve on what they are offering.

A viable business idea can also come from identify customers’ pain points in an existing business offering and finding ways to improve or eliminate those pain points.

In today’s digital world a key strategy is to access how available digital technologies can simplify complex processes, or remove these pain points.

 

2.   Develop a business plan

This is very critical step in starting your own business, unfortunately, it is most of the time ignored by aspiring business men. Your business plan is your business road map. The business plan basically comprises of the following;

·        Executive summary

·        The description of the business.

·        The market strategies

·        The competitive analysis,

·        The design and development plan;

·        The Operation and management plan

·        And the financials.

 

Your business Plan should answer the following questions

·        What is your business goal?

·        Who are your target market?

·        What technology will you apply?

·        What is your business goal?

·        What differentiates your business?

·        Is there a large enough market segment that will value this difference

·        Is the thing that differentiates your product defensible.

·        What is your business model?

·        How will you raise start-up funds.

·        How will you raise start-up funds.

 

3.   Access start-up funding 

You need a start-up capital. It is great if you have the funds needed, but even if you don’t, that should not stop you, there are many viable options to raise funding for your business. X-ray the different options and activate the one that is most feasible for you and raise the needed capital. Read more …

 

4.   Decide on your business legal structure

Sole Proprietorship – This is a type of business entity that is run and owned by one person. There is no distinction between the owner and the business.

Partnership - this is where two or more people share the liability and profit of a business venture.

Private Limited company -  is a separate legal entity from the owners. Below are some conditions for registering a private limited company in Nigeria, this may vary slightly from one country to another.

·        Must have a registered office in Nigeria

·        The company name must not be identical to any other company already registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)

·        There must be at least two shareholders who are above 18 years

·        The company must have at least 10,000 authorized share capital

Public Limited Company… differs from private limited company in that it may be quoted in the stock exchange 

It is better suited for large organizations, it must have at least 500,000 authorized share capital.

5.   Register your business accordingly

Register in line with the laws of the land. It may be best to get a lawyer to guide you especially if it is a limited liability company. This conditions and procedure varies from one country to another. In Nigeria, you need to register with the Corporate affairs commission (CAC).

 

6.    Build a team:

You need a team to build a successful business. This is very critical to your success. So review your needs and mobilize team that will drive your business.

Tips to building a great team

·        Facilitate communication

·        Use consensus to reaching major decisions

·        Encourage listening and brainstorming.

·        Skill is important and character is key

·        Have a corporate culture. Set ground rules

·        Act as a harmonizing factor.

·        Right responsibility to right people

·        Define responsibilities

·        Give your team members sense of responsibility

·        Lead by example

 

7.   Drive your business

After all the above have been done, get to work and execute your plans, nothing good comes easy. You need to work the talk.  Set milestones, monitor and measure progress. Review strategies and adjust where necessary.

You have planned, now the plan must be followed with pursuit to achieve the desired goal.