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Preparing to Start a Business, Here is your Start-up point.

Many people nowadays are rushing to start one business or another. If you ask them what is/are their driving force, you will get things like the business is good; my friend is making it in it so I think I can; I have capital so I just decided to start a business; I hear the business is lucrative; the profits are high etc. It is not surprising that just as they are running to start a business it is the same way they are running to stop it or failing or going bankrupt in business. But why do many people fail in business? What is the secret of starting and growing a successful business? What are the things I must do if I wish to succeed in business? These questions and more I shall discuses below.

First to start and succeed in business, you most start with a plan. Planning is the pillar on which many successful businesses are standing. To succeed in business one must sit down, take a break and draft a SMART plan. Planning should be given more time and attention. A plan should not restrict the operations of the business. A plan should have a means for frequent and continuous revision. A plan should anticipate the need to be flexible, and it should have a system to allow us to measure how we're progressing against the plan. In addition, a plan has to become the basis for executive time management. It should inform the way we plan, the evolution of our executives, and the time that we spend, in the way we spend operating our business. The better your plan the more chances will be that your business will succeed (Remember, IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN YOU PLAN TO FAIL). Every successful business you see today started with an effective planning and every business that had failed or gone bankrupt was simply because of poor planning or no planning in most cases.

What is SMART? This is the acronym for Simple, Measurable, Accessible, Realistic and Time bound.

Simple: Your plan must be simple, straight to the point, not including unnecessary facts. A simple planned business will enable you to see all the milestones and notice slight changes in your business. Many people draft plans they themselves can read not follow up after some time.

Measurable: Your plan must have a means to measure success or failure. It must have milestones by which you can sit back and see your progress. Milestones are very important because they clearly point out the directions of the business.

Accessible: Your plan must be accessible; it must be within your scope and must be accurate. Stop drawing plans with goals that are not foreseeable.

Realistic: Here is where most enthusiastic people go off. They set goals that are not obtainable. If you must set a goal, it must be one that is obtainable. Stop aiming too high at a go, you will certainly get there just take one step at a time.

Time bound: Your goals must be set with a time frame.  Time is usually measured in terms of a month, three months or six months. Setting goals in years will not help you monitor the milestones in your business and your business may crash before you know it.

As you plan to start-up a business, it worth your while to pause and answer the “W” questions. What, where, why, who. Many people don’t think about these questions and they hardly succeed in their business.

WHAT: What is the nature of business I am about to start? What are the products and by-products?  What are the resources (land, technology, house, raw material, labour and capital) I will need to start?

WHERE: The next question one has to answer is the WHERE? Where to locate the business? Note that most businesses that crashed or crumbled at early stage were because of wrong location. Location is very important in business set up. Some businesses do well in a static location while others need a mobile setup. Your business type will better determine the type of location. Also some businesses are best in urban areas whereas others are good in a village setup. Some are better in areas with easy internet access while others need areas with cold climate.

WHY: Many fail to address this question properly and therefore fail in their business. WHY you are going into a business is very vital to the business success. Are you venturing in it because a friend is succeeding in the business? Are you venturing because its gain per unit is good or because you don’t have a job and therefore you just want something to do? Are you venturing because you hear it is lucrative? If any of the above is your reason of starting a business then I advises you to do something serious with your time. Just because someone you know is succeeding in it is not a guarantee that you too will succeed in the same business. Your drive to succeed in business must come from within. It must come from your heart, a force that will keep you on even when the business is taking the down curve.

WHO: Your target population is also very important. If you are thinking because you love the product and run into the business remember that you will not be the only one to consume your products. It will be totally wrong to start a pork business in a Muslim populated area since they will not be interested in your product.  It is best to choose a business with little gain but widely consumed than a business with huge gain but hardly consumed. A good business is one in high demand round the year.

You can now start a good business but understand that you need to keep it going. You need to monitor your business frequently and take appropriate actions. I will come back with inside on how to grow your business. Keep reading!!!

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