The Plunge: Things To Know Before You Jump Into Business

The Plunge: Things To Know Before You Jump Into Business

Editor's note: Welcome to The Plunge, our series for aspiring entrepreneurs. Over the next week, we will provide useful information that will help anyone intending to start a business in Nigeria avoid the dangers that come with starting out. Please, share this series with as many people as you can. Thank you.

For those who have dreamed of the freedom that could come with owning a business and pictured what it is like to build an organisation of their own, this is a reality checklist. We're not trying to dampen your enthusiasm or scare you, but many people have gone into business and then wished they had not, or wished someone had explained a number of things to them before they took the leap. We don't want you to ever be in that place, so pay attention, please.

1. Your dream can blind you.

Dreaming is great but it can give you a severe case of tunnel vision. Your perspective of business should not be limited to your fantastic concept and how much money you can make from it. Open your eyes, research the market and answer these questions:

What need(s) can your business meet?

Can your business match the competition?

What do you have that the established businesses in that market don't have?

2. You need a steady income.

In an ideal world, your business will take off from the start and you'll be flush with cash in no time. But look around you, is this anything close to being an ideal world? You can and should be optimistic about the success of your business, but optimism isn't going to feed you. In the early days of your business, you will need a separate source of regular income. This could be a job or money you've saved to live on while you get your business off the ground. Either way, know that starting a business will take a toll on you physically and financially. You must have funds to take care of yourself.

Questions to answer:

How much do you have to live on before your business makes any money?

Can you afford to focus on my business completely?

Do you have a backup money plan? 

3. You need a plan.

What's all the fuss about having a business plan? Well, the people who start without one often end up in a bad place. The same way you (hopefully) have a life plan, you should have a game plan for running your business. Let's be clear, there's no perfect business plan. But even in the uncertainty of market conditions, you must have a method. It will help you stay organised and on track to meet your goals. 

Questions to answer:

What will you sell to customers?

Where will your business operate from?

How will you reach your customers?

What principles will guide your business operations?

4. Mentors are useful.

Not to bail you out when you run out of funding but to guide you toward better decisions with their experience. A person who has done what you're trying to do with a degree of success will always be able to provide perspective and help you learn how to succeed faster than if you walk the path alone. Everything you need to know about finding the right business mentor is here.

Questions to answer:

Who has succeeded at what you are trying to do?

What networks can you mine for good mentors?

What do you or your business have that will attract a mentor?

5. You might need to get out.

Before you reject the possibility of failure, ask yourself some 'what if' questions:

What if the business fails?

What if I don't enjoy it as much as I think I will?

What the profits are just not enough to do much with?

This is life, almost anything is possible and preparing for an unwanted outcome is a necessity not a sign of a negative mindset. You should set up a backup plan, something you can fall back on if your venture doesn't survive. You can keep the door to regular 9-to-5 work open, consider an alternative stream of income or invest in someone else's business as a safety net.

Questions to answer:

Do you have a source of income to fall back on if the business fails?

How can you develop yourself to make money without the business?

What can you invest in as a backup plan?

Did you find this article useful?If you did, please, let us know in the comments section below and share.

More Things To Know Before You Jump Into Business

More Things To Know Before You Jump Into Business

Tap Into The Power Of Referrals

Tap Into The Power Of Referrals