As an entrepreneur you are built with the traditional belief that the purpose of any business venture is Profit as it’s the only means by which your business will stay afloat. In the quest for profit many resources are required and plenty are available cost free to us, but we seldom take advantage of them. Your business would greatly benefit from those resources instead of reinventing the wheel. Examples of such resources include:
Training – No one individual knows it all, and the more you know the easy it is to execute. Your business will constantly need trained personnel, specialized skills as each day presents new challenges that have different solutions. Sometimes back using note books to record all our daily business transactions was the norm of the day, but as we entered the computer edge, it now cost less for the business to have a computer and trained user to record these transactions. In view of this I encourage entrepreneurs to take advantage of any training opportunities availed to them by the government, NGOs or any other group. Make use of those experts that disseminate the information to learn something new or different from them. Remember education is one thing no one can take away from you, once it’s stored in your brain.
Networking events – Climbing up the ladder means taking more steps than others below and what better way to do this in business and corporate world, than to mingle with as many business owners and corporate heads as possible. Networking events offer individuals the ability to mingle with different sets of people that could be turned into customers, partners or suppliers. They also offer the opportunity to know of the grapevines that are dominating Liberia on various topics. Most importantly they offer you an opportunity to sell your firm. First Friday is a good example of a networking event in Liberia. Held every first Friday of the month invitees come from various backgrounds of the Liberian economic sectors to catch up on the latest. When invited, treat it like sales pitch and be arm with business cards for distribution.
Internet – Offers perhaps the widest range of resources that can be tapped by an individual or firm. There are multiple articles on various topics that could suit your situation. There are also social networking groups like Facebook, Lindell, Yahoo and others, where one can create adverts and gain customer loyalty. One can also join specialized professional groups depending on your career path or business.
The auditors’ forum, finance net are amongst the many different web based support groups available on the internet. Besides assisting you with peer support, they offer challenges from a global perspective, giving you an opportunity to be diverse by learning from other cultures. If you pose a situation that is affecting your current business or work place, you will receive multiple solutions from the group based on their own experiences. You can then draw from these answers the one that best fits your case.
There are also websites that are strictly dedicated to offer you advice on how to run your business efficiently. Visit the sba.org by the American government that is aimed for small business development. They have tremendous resources and short online courses that could boost your business acumen. The material covered there is very useful even to us in Liberia as businesses face similar challenges. Google also has several solutions for small scale traders including the ability to create your own blog or webpage even if you are not a computer savvy. There is also the google group where you can store company data and spreadsheets if you have other branches that share the same business information.
Micro Finance – Although Liberia’s financial sector is slowly rebuilding postwar era, there are few but strong Micro finance service providers that are willing and able to lend worthwhile ventures. As my intention is not to promote any group over the other, I will not mention names. However the Micro finance facilities are a good way to capitalize your business as they offer better concentration to micro and small scale traders who form the base of their clientele.
The list is endless on the many resources available to you that will assist your business to grow. Particularly take advantage of the internet and you will be amazed at your own capabilities to learn something new. As survival is for the fittest, take advantage of the opportunities because they are as scarce as the resources.