Starting a business
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Are you thinking about starting up a business of your own? Do you have a business idea but you are not sure on how to proceed? So many people wish to become their own boss, tired of being bossed around and given deadlines and increasing workloads without a corresponding increase in monthly pay. This article is about how to plan and start your own small business.

The thought of leaving a paid employment can send shivers down one’s spine. With all the perks and ‘financial security’ that goes with it such as a monthly/weekly flow of income, assurances of pension, etc., it is really a tough decision to take considering the financial responsibilities you shoulder and the life you are already used to which you are not willing to let go off for anything less or unsure. You will rather opt for the paid employment and keep that great business idea where you think it belongs in the face of uncertainty ─ in your thoughts!

While some are pessimistic and unsure about taking that bold step, there are others who are willing and excited about making that bold move and taking a step in the direction of financial freedom and entrepreneurship. These are those who are genuinely tired of the routine and want to break the daily cycle.

Spot an opportunity; turn it into a business

Your ability to identify opportunities and grab them with both arms is very essential. Not everyone can identify one when it presents itself but for those who can are the special breeds that will excel. Procrastination is one enemy to your entrepreneurial dream and the “fear of the unknown” is another that can never allow you live your dream. This article outlines the steps you can take right now to develop profitable business ideas.

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Give it a name

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When you have a business idea, the first step is to think of a name. Your business name defines your business. A business name should be short, apt and easy to remember but very catchy and relevant to the business sector you are venturing into.

 What’s the plan?

Do you have a clear idea of what kind of business you want to start? A clear business plan will keep you focused and provide a clear sense of direction. You will know what to expect, when to start making profits and how much you expect to be making. You will who your competition is, how to address some of their shortfalls and what your entry strategy is.

A business plan will show what resources are available to you and how you expect to get what you don’t already have. You will know who your potential clients are and how to reach them.

You also need to do a cost analysis to find out how much is needed to start up the business. This can be very challenging but important. You don’t go to war without being adequately armed. My advice is to keep it as low as possible so you don’t get delayed or discouraged. You can get extravagant later.

Funding

Once you have determined the amount needed for start-up, it’s time to raise the funds from various sources – savings, redundant funds, loans from family and friends which in some cases could be outright contribution to your business (dash ─ in Nigerian parlance). You could also take soft loans from financial institutions or cooperatives. Here are practical ways to raise funding for your business. If you need angel investors, here is how to find and approach them.

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Marketing

Next step into your entrepreneurial journey is to market your product/service – you can’t be winking at a lady in the dark. There are various ways of doing that which includes the internet, social media, adverts on TV, flyers, posters; exhibitions, words of mouth to people around you, etc… This depends on the sector you find yourself and the size of your pocket. You use what best suits your business.

Pricing is another important stage. You need a price system that will keep you afloat in business yet profitable. Customers’ satisfaction is the key.

You will make mistakes but be determined to stay in business and believe in yourself and your business.

Keep at it

As an entrepreneur, you get to choose your own business schedule and so it could be tempting to want to cut down on your efforts and slow down productivity. The early stages needs discipline; you can afford longer hours of rest and leisure when you are established. So just get moving and don’t rest on your oars till your business is very firm and grounded. This might not happen anytime soon because there is so much work to be done and it will take a whole of time.

Start acting on your business ideas now and throw away the worries that come with them. Don’t wait for the perfect time or conditions. Your time starts now!

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