In planning and starting a business, you need to first have an idea. It might be a product you’ve always wanted to make, or a service you feel people need. It might even be something people don’t know they need yet, because it hasn’t been invented!It can be helpful to have people who are bright and creative join you for a casual brainstorming session. Start with a simple question like: “what shall we build?”
The idea is not to create a business plan, but about generating some ideas. Many of the ideas will be duds, and there will be quite a few ordinary ones, but a few will emerge that have real potential. You also, need to define your goals. Is it financial independence you want or you want something small and sustainable, that you love doing and want to derive a steady income from? These are the things that are good to know very early on.
You will need to create a business plan. A business plan helps to define what you think you need to launch your business, large or small. It summarizes the sense of your business in a single document. It also creates a map for investors, bankers, and other interested parties to use when determining how they can best help you and to help them decide whether or not your business is viable. In a nutshell, your business plan should consist of the following elements:
Write an executive summary that describe the overall business concept, how it will be monetized, how much funding you will need, where it stands currently, including its legal standing, people involved and a brief history, and anything else that makes your business look like a winning proposition.
Describe your business more specifically, and how it fits into the market in general. Who will you be selling to, and how will you deliver your product? If you are a Corporation, Limited Liability Company, or Sole Proprietorship, state that, and why you chose to go that route. Describe your product, its big features, and why people will want it.
You must know your market if you are to be successful, so spend a great deal of time analyzing just who it is that will want your product, and how you plan on appealing to them to take cash out of their bank account and give it to you. What is the size of your market, will there be opportunities to expand the initial market, and what are your sales potentials? Friend, when you understand these variables, you want to sell them to the person reading your business plan.
As you develop the above sections, you will learn who your key competitors are. Find out who is doing something similar to what you are planning, and how have they been successful. Just as important is to find the failures and what made their venture fall apart.
How will you create your product? Is it a service that you are offering, or if it’s more complex—a physical product? How will it get built? Define the process, from sourcing raw materials to assembly to completion, packaging, warehousing, and shipping. Will you need additional people? Friend, all of these things must be taken into account.
Who will lead, and who will follow? This has to do with your operation. Define your organization, from the receptionist up to the CEO, and what part each plays in both function and financials. Knowing your organizational structure will better help you plan your operating costs, and fine-tune how much capital you will need to function effectively. Keep in mind that your business will continue to evolve and that this will be a rough idea of who is needed to keep things functioning; as the business grows, you’ll likely make changes to the hiring plans to fit what is happening at the time. Also, in a number of cases, the “staff” is you and whomever you can consult, such as your lawyer and accountant. This is fine, as long as you show that you’re prepared to pay for external advice and help until your business is ready to take on staff.
And finally, describes how much are you plan on spending, and how much you’re making. Since this is the most dynamic part of your plan, and perhaps the most important for long-term stability, you should update this monthly for the first year, quarterly for the second year, and then annually after that.
I would like to state this again, it is the obligation of every good citizen to assist the nation in its growth by owning and operating his or her own business. Each business that provides some kind of useful product or service adds to the total significant output of the nation as a whole. Therefore, if Liberia is to rise and be developed to the level of a productive nation, it would take each and every one of us concerted efforts to get Liberia there and am glad that Liberia is getting there. For as it is a said, small incremental step, with consistency will take you there.
You will be your own boss and the captain of your destiny—maybe even a captain of industry. Is it hard? Is it challenging? Absolutely. Do you have to be wealthy and well-educated with a lengthy resumé? Not at all! Can you do it? So how do you do it, and make it work? It is simply by planning. There are some tried and true ways of creating your own business, and there is no time like the present to get started!
Friend, when you shall have gone through with your business plan, then you will need to move on with naming your business and team. The below write-up will help you:
First, you will have to create a working name. You could even do this before you have an idea for the business, and if the name is good, you may find it helps you define your business idea. As your plan grows, and things begin to take shape, the perfect name may come to you, but don’t let that hinder you in the early phases. Create a name that you can use while you plan, and don’t mind changing later.
Second, you will also have to define your purpose. Will you do this alone, or will you bring in one or two trusted friends to join you. This brings a lot of synergy to the table, as people bounce ideas off each other. Two people together can often create something that is greater than the sum of the two separate parts.
Third, think of some of the biggest success stories in recent times of individuals that have partnered together in business and have become successful. Business leaders like Aliko Dangote, Bill Gates and Carlos Slem Helu. Note that partnership brings out the best in people on both sides of the equation, and in the end many have become billionaires. Is a partnership a guarantee of being a millionaire? No, but it doesn’t hurt! Friend, I want to say this again. Partnership is the preferred way for business success and increased investment. Take advantage of it whenever you have the opportunity.
Friend, there are off course many ideas for developing a small business, but the decision to work whatever type of business that you decide to own and operate is up to you. The only thing that you need is the desire and then an action plan. Your action plan, coupled with your creativity and imagination, you can go to worlds far beyond what you can currently see. It does not require large sum of money to own and operate a business. No.
The presentation here might seem simple, but to have a proper business you would have to plan properly and organize a business strategy so that your effort do not turn out to being nothing more than another dead end job. Although you wouldn’t need money before you get started but starting a small business require work, and for those who have no money to start with, your most precious asset is your human labor.
(Chealy Brown Dennis is a marketing and business development consultant. He is also a much sought after motivational speaker and offers training in leadership and organizational development, creative sales and marketing, strategic planning, wealth creation, team building and management and offers on-location and train-the-trainer formats. He can be contacted through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on phone at: 0886-264-611 or 0776-545-394)