What you need to know before you venture into business

What you need to know before you venture into business

In many developing countries most youngsters complete their education with no hope of getting employed. If they do they will be doing menial jobs for which they were not trained to do or where they can’t apply their knowledge.
I would however like to tell these young people that all hope is not lost. You can determine what your future should look like.
Former president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, said: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

You might find yourself on the streets but you can still do something about it. Your past or present condition should not determine your future.
Millionaires are not found in employees, but they are birthed out of entrepreneurship. If you decide to follow this route of being your own boss, where you carve a future for yourself, you need to know what to expect on the side or how you need to behave for you to come out stronger and successful.
Opportunities of what you can do abound. There are great ideas which you can turn into business opportunities. But the best idea would be the one that solves a need in the market. An idea that a customer is prepared to pay for.

So before you jump onto an idea assess the need for the product or service that you want to provide. Is there a market need for your solution? You can do a quick snap survey on the streets to ascertain the need.
After having decided what you want to do you now need to turn your dream into reality. Colin Powel once said: “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” You need to move into action. Don’t waste time by procrastinating. Come up with your plan of action.

Don’t spend too much time planning but planning you should do otherwise you will be planning to fail. However too much planning causes paralysis.
Take steps, take action towards your desired goal to bring your idea into existence. Unless you desire to make things happen nothing will. Stop thinking and start doing. Implement your idea.
Be prepared to take risks.

What you are about to do will be as clear as mud. You will not have all the information about the market, the product or the future. You have to have courage and take action. The future is very uncertain and will remain so. Victor Hugo said: “The future has many names. For the weak it means the unattainable. For the fearful it means the unknown. For the courageous it means opportunity.”

To manage your risks take small, smart steps towards your goals and learn from your previous steps before you take the next move.
This journey is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Don’t expect to make all the money in a day. You will have to take your time to grow the business.
You will face failure along the way. You are bound to make mistakes but you need to turn the failure into an asset. You should learn from failure. The inventor of the light bulb Thomas Edison tried more than ten thousand times to invent the light bulb but failed.

He commented, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10 000 ways that won’t work.” You should not be afraid to try new things because you are afraid to fail. Our greatest weakness is in giving up. We should keep on trying until we succeed.
To build a successful business you will have to give up total control of the company. You should know that you might have to invite partners into your venture. Get those who share your vision and will take the risk as you are doing.
They should be able to bring those skills that will complement what you have. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Play on your strengths and let your team members or partners take care of your weaknesses.

Don’t be a bottleneck in decision making by wanting everything to pass through you. You should learn to delegate some of the tasks.
Delegation empowers your team members and your subordinates and motivates them into action. Your business will not grow if you try to micromanage it. Your customer is your number one asset and number two is your employee. Take care of them.

Your existence is determined by the customer because he buys your product. And the employee drives the company.
Learn to collect payment for your goods. Cash is king. You can’t survive if you don’t get paid for your products or services.
Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely pursuit. You will need to keep motivated. You will encounter a lot of obstacles that will drain the energy out of you. You will face rejection, discouragement and frustration but don’t quit. As long as you follow your vision and keep focussed you will succeed. Remain passionate about your vision.

Some people will tell you that what you want to do is impossible. You should not listen to such talk.
To keep going you therefore need someone to lean on to revitalise you. Your family should help you to keep motivated or you can find a mentor who will be your cheerleader when the stakes are down.

As the business grows you will need a board: to give you new perspectives and ideas. A board should be made up of individuals who have experience and will bring in varied skills into the business. They are people you talk to and are able to provide honest feedback.
Finally: “Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be.” as was said by the American actress Joy Page.

l Stewart Jakarasi is a business and financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy and performance management.
He provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, preparation of business plans and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations.

For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles or in strategic planning facilitation please contact him on the following contacts: sjakarasi@gmail.com or +266 62110062 or on WhatsApp +266 58881062

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