Harmony Attise – Ready To Start A Business? Don’t Just Start; Be Prepared To Run It

There are many reasons why people start their own businesses. From mind blowing motives to wacky and personal survival. Why did you start that business; why do you want to start a business?...
Harmony Attise. Columnist at WOSA

Someone recently told me; finding a job these days has become difficult to finding a wife. So he started his own business because he found a wife without a job.

There are many reasons why people start their own businesses. From mind blowing motives to wacky and personal survival.

Why did you start that business; why do you want to start a business?

The rise of startup businesses in recent years have been considered as a boost for economic growth by some economists and a means to support government efforts to developing its economies and reducing unemployment rates. Some experts have also shared views on how these startup businesses are structured, making it difficult to scale up and not easy for investors to also work with them.

Startup businesses are exciting ventures. Unlike established businesses are regulated and run by strict legal structures, startup businesses on the other hand are opened to discovering their business models in order to successfully scalp up into bigger firms. This includes their freedom to explore new cash revenues, market competition and daunting odds against success.

Startup businesses are everywhere. Almost every millennial is a startup business owner; which most of these businesses have no set goals, no defined prospect targets, financial projections and managerial intelligence. – Except to make profit and exist. Practically, only business ideas set into motion without a thorough or documented plan.

Is your business solving real problems or serving your pockets? Well, you could say, serving your pocket is also serving or meeting a need. Looking at the bigger picture, that is certainly not a good enough conception to start a business.

Data shows that, nine out of ten new businesses or startup ventures fail within the first two years of launching. There are many causes why they fail. Now, not every startup business may have failed due to the reasons below but, here are some few why’s:

1. Running ideas not business

Businesses have operational space. Even though some startup businesses can run without a premises, it’s a necessity for businesses to operate within a structure. Businesses have an identity and must be regulated. Here’s some truth; many startup businesses are just good ideas in motion and not regulated or planned businesses. This is one famous causes of startup business failures.

2. No plan

A business plan is your business put into writing or documented. It serves as a foolproof to your business success and growth. A business that is set to go with the flow is bound to fail. Again, seven out of ten startup businesses have no business plan. It’s only when they have some funding and investor opportunities, before they attempt putting one together. A winning plan includes your business details, goals, visions, services and products description, financial plans and projections etc.

3. Inadequate financing

A business’ financial strength can boost its growth and sustainability. Running a business requires money. Businesses have expenditures that needs to be taken care off – eg: operational costs, fixed and variable costs etc. Some startups fail because they have no money to sustain their operations or simply just went bankrupt trying to sustain their services..

4. Lack of competitive intelligence

The hard truths is; startup businesses do not have their own markets. They operate within existing markets, where most established businesses have more control and influence. To survive in such market, startup owners require adequate information about their target consumers/ customers desires and preferences. They must also learn about their competitors, what they offer, competition pricing, market analysis and more to stand a greater chance of survival.

5. No unique services or products

Services and products must be tailored to consumers needs. As most entrepreneurs would say; there is no such thing as a new business idea which has never been tried. But, the secret is trying ideas in many unique ways. For instance, there are various kinds of mobile phones on the market. What makes them different is their brands, quality, and features. Of much concern, you can hardly tell the difference between one startup services and products to the other. Competition has become rivalry and based on forced on price.

How To Be Prepared To Run The Business

The excitement of starting a business is not the same as running it. The frustrations have driven many startup owners into a state of depression. The financial burdens, management crisis, and constant innovation to meet demands are a few expectations to look forward to when running a startup business.

The surge to start a business, to be an entrepreneur, independent and be a boss, has depleted the beauty of business intelligence, passion and the satisfaction to which solutions are provided to people’s problems.

Some few tips to note;

1. Be Adequately prepared

Be prepared! In every sense of the word.

Physically; for the workloads.

Emotionally; for the challenges and setbacks.

Financially; for the growth and success of the business.

Intellectually; to make the best decisions in running the business.

It is a long way from mere ideas, to launching them, and to growth and profitability. You must be set and prepared for that journey.

Off course, these few lines may sound motivational, but sums up how ready you must be to run a business.

Don’t forget there are many other things you would need to run a successful business. These are a brief summary of how prepared you must be. ( Visit blog for article on how to run a successful business).

2. Be ready to embrace the challenges

Embracing the challenges of running a startup business does not just include the affairs of the business but also having a balanced life besides the business. Not most entrepreneurs have successfully been able to separate their personal lives from their businesses. The two are intrinsically connected.

The known hurdles that usually comes with running the business, such as stress, rejections, mental breakdowns, bad business decisions and failures, to list a few, can directly impact your personal life. You must be willing and ready to accept them as experiences and good business lessons.

3. Understand your business and market

To have a solid understanding of what business you are running, is the first step to succeed. I can’t state with facts about what percentage of startup owners, are well informed about their businesses, customers, competitors, and market but, an average of about twenty percent are quite educated about their businesses. Judicious decision

making, and a thorough knowledge of the venture you’re starting will also indicate where costs may be effectively managed or cut down in order to yield profit and to stay in business.

4. Match up to competition

Market competition is a necessary evil for growth and success; any good competitor can shut you out of business. Be excellent by all standards; in terms of brand, price, availability/supply and originality. Surviving competition is a gradual process. Have the patience to understand your consumers and learn from your competitors how they satisfy their customers to inform your strategies.

5. Fulfill obligations

Fulfilling business obligations are not only to your businesses. Businesses also have responsibilities to the environment within which they operate, country and economy. As a profit organization, you must fulfill tax obligations. The longer a startup business survives, the more its responsibilities adds up. Some startup businesses do not pay taxes because they may not be profitable, generating any income or have tax exemptions.

6. Be an entrepreneur

An entrepreneur is one who see problems as opportunities. They run problem solving businesses and make honest deals and contracts. Be sure to drive positive change, be a good organizational leader, have focus and be goal oriented. Don’t be in a hurry to be make millions at the expense of people’s vulnerability.

Entrepreneurs who run successful businesses are people who dare to be different and work hard to achieve results – be one.

Harmony Attise is the CEO of Commec Ghana Limited. Small Business Consultant & a Business Columnist. Follow Harmony on Instagram at harmonyattise

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WESTERN AFRICA
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