With the increasing levels of youth unemployment in Kenya, Africa and across the globe, there have been calls and interventions to ensure more opportunities for job creation.
Calls championing for entrepreneurship have been experienced and heard now more than ever, with every one vouching for their business ideas and viewing entrepreneurship as the only sure way to address the ever rising unemployment rates in the world today.
Most of us have been made to believe that with entrepreneurship, our economic problems will be all sorted out and in a few weeks time we shall be smiling all the way to the bank.
This notion has left many youth focusing more on how to get money to start businesses, with less or no focus at all on the process of launching and running a business. More and more money lending institutions are ready to loan a youth any amount, most of them hoping the young person can sustainably pay up the loans without giving attention to build their capacity to actually run that business. (read more on this in the next article).
As an aspiring business person, it is important to realize that there is more to running a business than acquiring the capital.
So you do have that idea in mind and you see a great vision of a successful business raking in millions in annual turnover? You probably have already secured a significant percentage of the funding required to launch it? Just maybe all plans are on course and you are ready to have your first client in a few weeks time?
Well, that is great! However, I call upon you to take a step back and reflect on these important questions you should ask yourself before launching that business idea;
What is the ‘WHY’ of your business?
This in simple terms is asking; what problem is your business solving? You need to realize that the greatness of any business does lie somewhere in a day-to-day social problem. You will only have the zeal to accelerate your business effort daily when you have an identified problem that you are solving for profit.
The ‘WHY’ of your business connects your money-making spree to your passion, always have it on your fingertips.
What resources do you need?
Resources are not only financial but also in human and in kind. Businesses take several months, some even years to give reasonable returns to the entrepreneur. with this in mind, you need to think of the most necessary resources you should have to ensure sustainable operations, for at least 6 months to 2 years, depending on your business.
In as much as it is good to start small with the little you have, it is also great to have projections of the resources you will require in the short-term and in the long-term, so that you know clearly where to inject any returns you make for a sustainable business.
Having a business mentor is another key resource you should not overlook. Throughout your business operations you will experience high and low moments. The least you can think of at such moments is giving up. You need some experienced mentor to give you moral and strategic support at such times as well as celebrate with you every high moments in business.
It is great to have business idea with an awesome vision, but its even greater to have someone holding your hand through process.
Who are your competitors?
Every business does have a competitor. When you are set with a business idea, it is important to carry out a detailed market research, understand your existing competitors and their strategic approach to the business.
It is advisable to take time and understand strategic of your competitors so that you can identify possible existing gaps that you can leverage on to launch your business in a unique way.
Why should we choose your business over your competitors?
Speaking of competitors, do you realize that they have been in business longer than you….. probably with a vast client base already ?S Scary right? Well this scares every new business person.
However, competitors have already set the pace for you; understanding them helps you set up a unique business model, offering what they may have overlooked. Ti is therefore important to think through what makes your business unique that clients would prefer it over a competitor.
Lat week my local ‘mama mboga‘ (vegetable vendor) decide not just to wash raw Irish potatoes for sell, instead she went ahead to peel them off, cut into small pieces and sell in pack of 50 Kenya shillings. That made her business stand out among the other vendors because it saves me time i would haves spent peeling and cutting them into pieces while at home—- a simple version of value addition, right? Always strive to stand out in business. This can only happen when you understand what your competitors aren’t doing!
What is your definition of success?
What does business success mean to you? Informed by the ‘WHY‘ of your business, it is important to have a definite definition of ‘success’ for your business. This will help you understand where to put more effort and resources as well as understand the uniqueness of your business.
How ready are you to Risk for a Reward?
The ‘Risk Vs Rewards Scale’ clearly states that greater risks result in greater rewards. As you venture into a business for rewards, you need to understand how much risks you are ready to take in order to get your desired reward. Are you able to handle all risks involved and keep at it until the rewards start flowing in? That is the mind-set of entrepreneurial person.
All in all, nothing is more fulfilling than waking up everyday to build your own empire, see it grow and learn through the process. If you have that idea or are already in the process of building that business, today is the only best time to start.
Do not, however, rush into it without good knowledge and understanding of what you are walking into. I hope this article helps you make an informed choices before starting that business.
I wish you well in your journey of entrepreneurship. I am always available for a chat.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org