‘’A million ideas run through my head’’ this is a popular saying for some of us. While some struggle with the problem of having no business ideas; others have no idea what to choose. Truth be told, at the end of the day you cannot do all things. Business ideas are like babies. One child receives more attention than the other.
I am a Leo and an avid Stan for zodiac signs; I come up with an idea today and in less than 4 hours I have opened social media accounts, a corporate mail, sent out links to all my friends. “The idea is pure genius and is definitely a banger! “Lo and behold less than 2 weeks down the line the fire start to burn out, the idea does not seem so great anymore or if you are like me you ask ‘’did I overestimate the market value of this product or service?’’ ‘’Are people blind to this great opportunity?’’
This year I decided to focus on one idea and pursue it to its optimum. Safe to say we are in the seventh month of the year and I have no concrete recipes. Various opportunities for exhibitions have emerged and I tell myself ‘’you are not ready, take your time and get it right’. The girl that was burning with fire is suddenly cold and laidback, is that the solution to the dilemma? Definitely not! It took me a lot of engagements with family, friends, reading books (Including the bible! Honestly all the answers are here) and a few personal experiences for me to get to this point where I realized there is no straight answer to this situation. However, there are certain truths that can help make the road easier;
· Write it down – There is nothing as important as your idea book. If your house burns down today make sure you carry this book and your address book (You can include your passport if there is time). Date your entries and be astounded at how your ideas have evolved over time.
· Leanstack It – Since I came across leanstack I make sure to refer it to everyone I know. This asks the right question and helps you discover whether your business model is sustainable, useful and feasible.
· Have a Business Plan – Not many of us work in the financial sector hence, no one is expecting a world class proposal. However, even if it is a rough sketch answer some important questions, how much money (Liquidated capital) will I need to get this idea off the ground? What is my target audience? What is in the market presently? What real estate will I need (An office, etc.). This will help guide you in your future plans and also let you know if you are equipped to start with your idea or if it is even feasible.
· It’s okay to start small – We all have an image in our mind of where we want to be, but as the saying goes Rome was not built in a day. Start small and keep your eyes on the goal.
· It’s okay to fail – Most successful people did not become successful off their first idea. The person who has failed is the person who stops trying.
· Talk to the right people – Surround yourself with like minds. They make all the difference you will need.
· You are not the only one that has this idea – The sooner you realize everyone is thinking, the sooner you stop procrastinating and start working on that idea!!!!!
· Try to focus on one thing at a time – not everyone is great at multitasking. Focus on one business idea for a while and build it to an amiable level before starting something new.
· Discern the opportunities to pursue – let me make this simple. Read up Cambridge analytics.
· Choose your business partners wisely – choosing the wrong partners can destroy your business before it begins. Be careful with doing business with friends. Not all relationships can stand the strain of starting a business.
· Marketing – No matter how great an idea is, poor marketing will always limit you. Get out there! Use sponsored ads, offline marketing, word of mouth, etc.
· Support other brands – We all know at least one person that owns a brand. If you can learn how to support brands the universe will support yours as well.
· Register your business – You can start with a business name. In this age where customers are skeptical of using online vendors, registering your business is boost of confidence for your clients. This also make you eligible for TIN ( Tax identification Number ) and a corporate account ( Honestly why mix your personal money with your business money) . mylaw.ng registers business name from 20,000 Naira upwards and throws in TIN registration free. They also have a Corpers discount so you can check them out.
· Take Customer Relationship Management Courses : Nigerian businesses are clearly bad with customer service. One customer you treated badly can drive away ten potential customers. Take CRM courses online, read articles on this. This will also teach you how to handle rejection from a customer.
· Have an Investor Pack – Once in a while a silver cloud comes along and you find an individual ready to invest in your business. You might need to make series of presentations and truth be told you do not want to be caught unawares. You don’t know what an investor pack should contain? Don’t fret! Check out this link
· Keep proper records – you don’t have to be an accountant to know you should keep all receipts concerning your business (some can be allowable deductibles for tax purposes). Secondly, keeping proper records of your cost, expenses, sales, etc. will help you know whether or not you are making profit. It will also help expose leakages and wastages.
I know for a fact that I could not have stated all the tips to run a successful business. What do you think I missed out? Waiting for your comments.