Starting a business is not an easy task. Get it from the expert. Starting a business enterprise can either make or break you. How many times have you heard of great men and women that started big companies and ended up flying from the roof-tops of some of the prestigious skyscrapers landing on the pavement?
There are a number of questions you must ask yourself before you begin a business enterprise:
Are you starting a business because you saw somebody else succeed in a certain business?
What is the driving force behind your starting a business?
Are you starting a business because you are under pressure to make money?
Are you targeting to make a kill out of your business enterprise and be able to own that big house, big car and a beautiful wife?
Are you starting a business because you want to succeed in life? Be able to pay your bills and lead a happy life?
Tips to starting a successful business:
Many people that I meet want or wish to start a business driven by greed and lust for money. Majority are young people that are not contended with their jobs because it doesn’t offer much to satiate their desire for a fast life with a lot of entertainment and excitement. These are young people that just saw somebody being successful after they started a store. They see how fast the store has grown and how successful somebody has become and they wish to plunge themselves into the arena. They therefore wish to own as much property, for to them, being a successful businessman means owning a fleet of cars and visiting big clubs in town surrounded by socialites. You see what I mean? In other words, such a young person has no dream whatsoever as to why he started the business in the first place. They end up taking a huge loan from a financial institution and investing heavily only to discover later that business is not a piece of cake. Soon their shop is auctioned and they get back to step one. They end up frustrated. They resort to drinking and careless lifestyle in order to drench their depression. They soon leave behind them footprints of stories of how big their business was at one time.
Don’t be a copy-cat
I have met numerous people that got into business because they saw someone else succeed. As they say, “don’t judge a book by its appearance”. Don’t be quick to copy someone because you don’t know what they have been through before they reached where they are. You don’t know the history behind their success. A good number of tycoons are actually skewed and crafty. Some of them might be evading tax. Some might be receiving illegal goods from suppliers. I know of a pharmacist that used to receive drugs from government hospitals. You see, his goods came cheap! In no time, he had the biggest drug store in the street. Other copy-cats attempted business in the same line and up to date, they are still managing with meager stock, hoping that people should get sick more often. Therefore, decide on your own line of business driven by your own targets. Have a plan, stay focused.
Select a Niche
Select a niche that is very suitable for you. You could pick on an area that you are familiar with. Take football for instance, How many of you enjoy watching it? Personally, I have no interest in football because “it involves grown men chasing after an inflated piece of skin”. The action is also so predictable. So, would you find me investing my time watching football? The answer is NO! Because any time I have forced myself to watch football, I have found myself falling asleep within the first 15 minutes.
Business is the same. If you choose to deal in, let’s say, snail farming, yet you loath snails, chances are that you are setting yourself up to fail because sooner than later, you will switch off just the way I switch off when I watch football. Secondly, having little or no knowledge about an area means that you are most likely going to make mistakes and this will greatly affect your business and profits.
If by any chance you discover an opening in an area that you are not quite familiar with, then it’s prudent that you invest your time and money in doing some research before you begin your business. Let’s say you would wish to invest in internet marketing, you could enroll for a course to learn the intricate details involved in all this before you start your business.
Investigate on market trends, risks involved, prices, and future prospects. You can’t afford to go in blind. Remember this is your money and you can’t afford to invest it on something that will make you losses.
Get an expert. Hire an expert to assist you with your planning and operations. Find someone to lead you through. This someone must be objective and unbiased. They should tell you exactly what to expect and the way it is. If you want to cut down a tree, spend one hour and fifty minutes sharpening your axe and ten minutes cutting it down. Preparation is paramount. Prepare well before you begin.
Business is all about willingness to take risks. It is all about investing big if you hope to get big returns. If you fear investing you money, you won’t succeed as a businessman. Actually, you must act with the bravery of an idiot in order to succeed. Let people tell you, “You are mad”. Very soon they will be wondering how you made it.
I know of this guy that started a store in the most unlikely corner of the street. I kept on wondering how the heck someone could make such a huge mistake. You know, I was conditioned to think that business is all about location and can you believe that I believed such crap? (now I am wiser). Three years later and this is now the busiest street ever! Now you ask yourself, “How did he know?” Actually he didn’t, he simply took the risk to invest in a strange location. He let people wonder. He invested in advertising. People went to buy in that corner. Now as we are talking, the guy owns a fleet of cars and three stores. He now supplies goods to traders. Now this is where taking risks can get you – from a single store with no vehicle to a business empire.
Patience is a virtue
Let nobody lie to you that you will start seeing the fruits of your labour immediately you start a company. I have seen companies that took five years to realize their dreams. Others take two years running on losses but when their stars start shinning, there is no turning back.
Think about it, most of the time when a successful person is being interviewed on television and this question pops up, have you realized that they always say they started a few years back? Do they say they started yesterday or last month? You must therefore be willing to face the challenges that come with the commitment no matter how hard it is. Financiers might be on your neck and your employees might take you to court because you can’t afford their pay but that does not mean it’s time to throw your towel in. Soldier on and don’t look back. I know of an employee that gave up on an insurance company when he realized that he wasn’t making much. He moved to another company and stayed there for two years. The company that he left quickly came up and after the two years it was the leading insurance company in the country. The interesting part is that the employee went back to his original company to seek for a job. The CEO is a good person for he granted him his job back and right now this friend of mine is the manager. So you see? This guy thought the future of this company was bleak and he ran away. Get my point? Be patient and you will soon realize your dreams.
Have more than what you need
Ask yourself this, how are you going to survive for a year, maybe two before your business picks up?
You might have gone for a loan from the bank. You will definitely hire a building and a few workers. All this requires money. If you get exactly what you need and you spend it all, you will be in for a rude shock. In most cases also, you are most likely going to spend more than you anticipated, at least 20% higher. If you start off with the exact amount of money you budgeted for, you are most probably going to discover that you are short of funds. Therefore, what this means is that you have to over-approximate your budget just to be safe.
Don’t give up
Have you noticed that once you are chasing after a lady, she eludes you and when you stop chasing she lets you know that you gave up too early – that you were not serious? Don’t ask me how it works because I am not a relationship expert but your success in business is that lady. You are not sure of her next move and you don’t know if she will disappoint you, but you keep on pushing. Those that have pushed on will tell you that they won the heart of the fair lady in the long run.
If you are geared towards being a successful businessman, never give up on your dream. Somebody else will take up from where you left and succeed. Take your time and be optimistic that things will get better. Believe within yourself that it will pick up. What we believe actually comes to pass. This is a race that you must complete.
People will definitely tell you that you have to be unique in whatever you are doing. True, being original is important. However, what is the use of being original and selling nothing? Can you imagine starting a Chinese restaurant and focusing specifically on Chinese foods in a town where there is no a single Chinese? Who will buy your products? Don’t tell me you will organize for a seminar and teach people how to eat Chinese foods. This is going to be an uphill task. You would rather start a restaurant that offers common foodstuffs then have a special offer of Chinese foods. As people continue consuming the common product, slowly by slowly they will start appreciating the Chinese food and before you know it, your hotel will be filled up with people holding chop sticks! You get the point? Don’t be too unique, stay relevant and pretty soon you will start realizing your dreams.
To wrap it up, just remember that business is also about hope. Only optimists can comfortably take risks.
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