COMMENT | Michael Jjingo | True! Even as COVID-19 is easing out, after ravaging several sectors, the thought of being an entrepreneur and running a successful business remains the dream of every ambitious young person. However, when it comes to laying down the foundation of a business, a lot goes into making it happen. With the advent of technological innovations in most industries in recent years, young people are aspiring to become top-end entrepreneurs, as they aim to change the dynamics of the business we knew.
Generally, the common notion among many entrepreneurs is that the best time to kick-start your business idea is when you are in your early 20s. However, this myth seems to have created a lot of pressure on young and hardworking would-be entrepreneurs who want to make a name for themselves in the market. But, several people have explored entrepreneurship at a later stage.
Interestingly, some reports indicate that the success ratio of people who set up a business in their 20s is actually the same as for those who become entrepreneurs in their 50s. The reports state that there seems to be balance at play.
While the young entrepreneurs tend to be more tech-savvy and reluctant towards taking risks, the older entrepreneurs get an advantage from their vast experience, business skills, access to finance and key industry contacts or clout. This is the reason young people should be mentored.
Meanwhile, the tide gets tougher as the young people acquire families and other responsibilities. It is clear that the people who are in their 30s and 40s enjoy less success from their ventures due to responsibilities such as family, not being willing to take huge risks, and saving for the tougher days. This comes at a time when they are still balancing the boat.
Undoubtedly, launching your venture gives you the liberty to execute ideas, make amendments to your policies at any given time, seek more funding from various sources, and create a healthy working environment. Though it may look easy, there are some factors that budding entrepreneurs need to take into consideration before starting a project.
It is always better to research about the business idea. Once an entrepreneur gets a dream idea, it is very important to ensure that it is doable. Putting one leg in by way of research and assessing your competitors is the key in determining the customers’ needs, purchasing power, capital etc. In addition, this also helps in increasing engagement with your potential customers and building a product that will attract demand. Moreover, the clarity about budget allocation and funds requirements will also be addressed.
The business plan is key. As you are launching the business, there will be several targets and goals which you might have thought of when you first conceived of your idea. Successful businesses use this plan as a roadmap to determine which direction the company is moving. In this plan, the most important things are a statement of purpose, market analysis, product descriptions and competitor analysis. These help you to set a clear target for every department and assess the accomplishments over months. It also assists you with zeroing in on your objectives and procedures.
Once you have developed the idea and arranged all the resources that have the potential to grow your business, it’s time to validate your business on legal grounds. This includes registering your business with URSB, securing the right trade licenses and permits, and getting a TIN number. This enables you to operate the business without any roadblocks. It will also provide a platform for raising funds in the future and help you create a brand name in the industry.
Financing is an important element when planning the launch of your business. Gathering the right amount of funds is also an uphill task for budding entrepreneurs considering that business loan offers from banks and financial institutions can be limited since your company is new. Every business needs some amount of finance, therefore you need to have clarity about the kind of business which you intend to launch and the reliable sources that can bail you out monetarily during the crisis.
With banc-assurance in place, proper insurance coverage should be sought from your banker. It is an important protection to the business from natural calamities and other business risks. In addition, there are other areas such as professional/ fidelity coverage, workman’s compensation, commercial property insurance, and more, which need to be fully protected. This helps businesses to resolve any matter within the proper framework of risk cover.
Well, you can’t build your business without having a (GTM) go to market plan in place. In today’s digital age, marketing and media coverage are essential in order to highlight your products or services.
A strategic plan coupled with appropriate media coverage can scale up your brand much faster. Promotional activities about the company on popular social media websites, along with features in newspapers or digital news portals, is the best way to market your business effectively.
The writer is the General Manager Commercial Banking at Centenary Bank