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Simple Ways to Start and Run Your Business

It all begins with ideas, plans, taking actions, strategies,  marketing research, performance and competition analysis, innovations
It has been established that entrepreneurship begins with starting and running a business of your own. The first task you need to settle in your journey to becoming your own boss is to decide on what business venture to embark on. After you have come up with a business idea, the next line of action is to take the first bold step, having a strong conviction that the business venture you are embarking on will succeed.

The vital steps in establishing good business ventures are as follows:

  • Description of the business
  • Start up costs and sources of finance
  • Pricing
  • Marketing and competitors (you have to know your target groups and incentives)
  • Profitability potentials
  • Expansion ideas/new ideas
  • Sustainability

You should consider why you actually want to go into the business, you need to establish in yourself what you want to achieve from the business. There must be a defined purpose you are set to pursue, if not you will be swept with the tides of time. It is believed that the person who knows 'how' will always have a job. The person who knows 'why' will always do it better. As a would be entrepreneur you need a razor sharp entrepreneurial skills.

After knowing the vital steps in establishing a good business ventures, and you have come up with a business idea, start up cost and financing sources should be the next most important thing in any business. Very high capital may not be desirable for a start, unless one is well trained in the chosen business.

It is advisable that one begins by learning all the rudiments of the chosen business. For example, one can start with the production of sachet water (what is commonly known as pure water here in Nigeria) and graduate into the production of bottled water and so it goes. Your source of financing may come mostly from your personal savings, especially in this part of the world where no one is willing to help the upcoming business. So our ideas about business and services should be restricted to those ventures that could be sustained within available financial resources.

The following point should be taken into consideration when starting up a business.

Pricing

Whatever business venture chosen, initial pricing should be competitive with the market average. For example, when GLO telecommunications entered the Nigerian market, its charges were lower than those of MTN telecommunications that has already been in the market. This made a lot of people to love and embrace GLO. Just a little deviation from the norm does work wonders, especially when a business is just being launched into the market. No matter how saturated the market is, a little deviation from the price your competitors are offering will go a long way in helping your business to gain recognition and patronage.

The holy book said "Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom, and in all thy getting get understanding". Wisdom is highly required in starting up your business. Whatever you try to achieve, apply wisdom, also understand the nitty gritty of the business as the scriptures above. Take a look at this example, Mr. Lawal, the owner  of Uncle B Custard powder, demonstrated a high level of wisdom when he ventured into production of custard. As at the time he started production, custard powder were everywhere already. The market was highly saturated.

In order to beat  the competition, he came up with an idea that works wonders for him. He started his own custard production by putting his product in a five Naira sachets and hawking them around with his wife. When his competitors saw his progress, they decided to emulate his method. He went ahead and started adding sugar and milk to his own custard without disclosing this to the public. This business strategy beat his competitors hands down, as they could not understand why more people preferred his own custard to every other one in the market.

Marketing

You must know your target groups, where and how to reach them. At the initial stage, it is advisable to market your products from door to door, creating word of mouth awareness. Try to offer freebies that will attract your prospective customers to want to try out your products. Story has it that Indomie noodles started by going to schools, children parties and for each outing they go they give out pencils and books to children to attract them. They even cook Indomie and formulate Indomie rhymes for the children. Today, Indomie is a household name. It has dominated the market to the extent that every other noodles to comes into the  market is tagged "Indomie".

Quality Control

Maintaining quality, having good distribution channels and instituting good pricing should be considered greatly. These are very important tools for the success of your business.

Profit Consideration

For any business to be successful, the income inflow must be higher than the cost of production and distribution. This must be your guiding principle. In starting out a business, it is advisable to start small, as the business progresses you can then invest in more money.

In any business, there are intrinsic factors that are best handled through observations and experience. These factors are not theories but practicals. They include production process, timing and marketing potentials. For example, in the case of bread production, you will need to know when to add yeast, and all the correct things to do to make a good bread, and for it to be ready for distribution early enough to meet customer's demands.

Before you set out to any business venture, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What environment are you planning to operate in?
  • What are the market potentials?
  • What expansion leverage is available?
  • What government regulations are relevant and what is the effect?
  • What are the relevant religious beliefs? For example, you cannot use some raw materials to make some products. An instance of this is using animal fat to make soap. A major animal fat is obtained from pig, which is a forbidden animal to some religious body.

In market potentials, look  for the aggregate market sustainability. For instance, while agriculture may have market everywhere, some other business ventures might not thrive in some other parts of the country. Also note that various government  regulations, and diverse religious beliefs  may also prevent certain products from doing well in some parts of the country.

While coming up with business ideas may be a difficult task for most people, it is my pleasure to offer you suggestion of small business ideas to start with here in Nigeria and make a whole lot of money from. You can go into production of household consumables such as shoe polish, body cream, body lotion, toothpaste, detergent, laundry soap, insecticides, medicated soaps, candle, safety matches, toilet soaps, methylated spirit, ice cream, different types of juice, disinfectants, etc.

There is a huge market for anyone that goes into the production of any of the items listed above. There is no family in Nigeria  that does not use household consumable, such as those mentioned above. The best part of it all is that most of those business ideas can be started with little capital.

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