The business journey – Part 2

The business journey – Part 2

Jakarasi

In my last article I highlighted that creativity is the first action you need to do when starting a new business venture. Creativity will help you to identify opportunities that might not have been thought of by anyone else even by your customers.

Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Henry Ford would have not invented the automobile if he wasn’t creative. Creativity makes you ask questions that have never been asked before.

Once you have identified a business opportunity you need to develop a business plan that you will use as a guide in exploiting the defined opportunity. A business plan is a written description of the future direction of the business.

It helps you put together your ideas. It is very critical for an entrepreneur to prepare a business plan if the venture has to succeed because during the process of preparing the plan you have to answer a lot of questions on opportunities, your strengths, challenges and risks. With a business plan you will be able to set goals that your venture should achieve.

The major components making up a business plan are the mission, which explains the purpose of the business and the vision statement, the goals and objectives that you would like to achieve, the capital requirements, the description of the product or service you are offering, the resources required, how you will obtain these resources and manage the business.

The business plan will also include the financial projections resulting from running the business for three or more years. This exercise is very time consuming but it is very essential.

After preparing the business plan you need to determine the resources required. It’s important that you firstly assess the current resources that you have and see the gaps that need to be filled. You should look at those resources that are critical for the running of the business.

During this phase the entrepreneur should identify sources of finance, skills required and any resources related to materials and machinery. One has to be very careful to ensure that one does not underestimate the amount and variety of resources needed. Insufficient or inappropriate resources can affect the future survival of the business.

Having determined the resources required your next step will be to acquire the needed resources in a timely manner but ensuring that you don’t lose control of the business if you are inviting investors into the business.

It’s important that as an entrepreneur you strive to maintain a controlling ownership particularly in the start-up stage so that you will be able to drive your vision with minimal interference. However as the business develops, and you grow the business you will probably need to finance that growth.

This might require you to relinquish some shareholding and also controlling interest in the business. As you identify suppliers of the resources you should ensure that you structure deals that enable the resources to be acquired at the lowest possible cost. Your finance should be provided at a cheaper rate, your raw materials should be at a competitive cost and skills should also be acquired at competitive rates.

The forth phase in the entrepreneurial process would be to manage the business enterprise. After acquiring the resources the entrepreneur must now use these resources to implement the business plan.

The hired employees should be placed in their positions on the organisation structure set up to run the business. It’s vital at this stage that control systems that will ensure the efficient and effective operation of the business are put in place.

The final phase deals with deciding on the future prospects of the business in terms of its growth and development. During this process you compare the actual growth of your business against the planned growth and then you can decide measures to take to achieve the planned growth if there is any deviation.

About the author

Stewart Jakarasi is a business & financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy and performance management. He provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, business planning and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations. For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts: sjakarasi@gmail.com or +266 58881062 or on WhatsApp +266 62110062

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