How to build a Business

How to build a Business

Postby Richard Akindele » Sun May 03, 2009 8:57 pm

There are so many highly educated Nigerians who do not know what to do with their education. Many end up wasting way in the world of 419.

I would like to present ideas about how to set up a business for yourself that could make you a comfortable living, or even untold wealth that could propel you into the ranks of the super rich.

1. First and foremost, you need something to sell. So determine what it is you want to sell. This could be goods or services.

2. Identify your consumers. Would there be a demand for your product? You need to conduct feasibility studies to establish demand.

3. Identify competitors. If the market has already been cornered in that business, you probably won't do very well. The best kind of business is one where it's first of its kind. You need original ideas to succeed in Business.

4. Once you've established that demand exists, it's time to write up a plan. This is the crux of the matter. You need a roadmap for what you plan to do.

The quality of your write-up would facilitate finding investors later.

Take for example, you want to go into poultry business. It's not enough to just have a general idea. You need to break down everything into tiny little details.

- Cost of the building.
- Cost of an electric generator, or solar energy generator.
- Cost of fitting the building with hen combs.
- Electricity, gas, water, phones, Internet, computer, security, etc.
- Cost of a veterinarian.
- Cost of chickens, chicken feed, drugs, wood chip, etc.
- Cost of incubators.
- Would a car be required?
- Cost of egg storage.
- Government licenses and regulations.
- Lawyers' fees for drawing up legal documents.
- Who are going to be your customers?
- How to handle accounting.
- How many employees you need to start with.
- How to deal with crooked, lazy, troublemaking employees.
- Cost of advertising: TV, Radio, Newspapers, Internet.
- Visit other poultries to know how they operate, and what challenges they face.
- etc.

Now you see where I'm going. Basically, you break the business up into very minute details, and create a bound copy of your analysis. Each every bullet point above for example would be expanded into several pages of detailed information.

You need to enumerate all the pitfalls in the business, and how to solve those problems. E.g. If somebody eats your chickens or eggs, falls sick, and you're sued, how do you plan to handle that? Another example would be how you would handle Chicken flu on your farms.

In short, your write-up should demonstrate a deep knowledge of the business.

5. Once you've created this detailed write-up and cost analysis, it's time to shop it to investors.

There are people with money who are looking for something to invest it in. If an investor see the potential of your business, he'd invest in your rather than put his money in a savings account.

An investor would like to own a part of your company. The percentage of your business owned by an investor would be directly proportional to the size of his investment.

How do you find an investor?

You can start locally. Put an ad in the national newspaper.

Look online. You can search online for keywords like "investors", or in our example above, "poultry investors".

Contact successful businesses in the same field you want to go into, and propose to them to expand to Nigeria. Be smart about contacting big business though, as they might just steal your idea and leave you out in the cold.

If you're feeling brave, and you can get a bank loan, you can also try that.

If we don't start thinking differently, no new dreams are going to come. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It's a myth that you need to have a lot of money to start a business. By employing my idea, you may not need any money out of pocket.

Putting a business plan together the way I've suggested above is very hard work. A good plan could easily take 2+ years. However, more detail means easier time finding investors.

Richard Akindele
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