Now that you have a business idea, what is the next line of action? How do you activate your business idea? Once you have a business idea that you are really passionate about and you already have the leading in your spirit to start, the next thing to do is to take action. To activate your business idea simply means to take action.
Procrastination can be very dangerous. Experts advise that you implement whatever business idea that you have within 24 hours. Once it’s more than 24 hours, the fear factors (i.e lack of capital, procrastination, lack of knowledge about the business et cetera) will start showing up. For entrepreneurs, it is often easier to come up with a variety of ideas for new businesses and more difficult to actually implement those concepts. A business concept is a bridge between an idea and a business plan.
It focuses one’s thinking so that the entrepreneur can identify the specifics of his/her proposed venture. Converting an idea into a business concept requires thinking about how the product or service will be sold and who will buy it, the benefits of the product or service, how it is differentiated from similar ones, and methods of delivery.
So, to activate your business, let’s look at the following points.
1. Develop a Business Plan
This is very critical step in starting your own business, unfortunately, it is most of the time ignored by aspiring business men. Your business plan is your business road map. The business plan basically comprises of the following;
– Executive summary
– The description of the business.
– The market strategies
– The competitive analysis,
– The design and development plan;
– The Operation and management plan
– And the financials.
Your business Plan should answer the following questions
· What is your business goal?
· Who are your target market?
· What technology will you apply?
· What is your business goal?
· What differentiates your business?
· Is there a large enough market segment that will value this difference?
· Is the thing that differentiates your product defensible?
· What is your business model?
· How will you raise start-up funds?
2. Access to start-up capital
You need a start-up capital. It is great if you have the funds needed, but even if you don’t, that should not stop you, there are many viable options to raise funding for your business. X-ray the different options and activate the one that is most feasible for you and raise the needed capital.
Raising capital to start own business is one major challenge that deters many from joining the league of entrepreneurs. There are however many options which if pursued strategically can still yield the desired funds, below are some viable options you can explore.
i. Personal savings
Personal savings is one good way of raising capital to start a business especially for someone who is presently in a paid job. This is a great idea because when you start your business with personal savings, it makes you actually your own boss as you are not answerable to any investor or bank.
ii. Family and Friends
Raising Capital from friends and family members is one very viable option of raising capital for your business. This may come as a gift, an interest free loan or loan with interest; in whichever form it comes, it may be easier to access than from banks. One advantage here is that the conditions and expectations from your friends and family will not be as stringent as that of the banks and other finance houses.
The entire funds you need may not come from one person, if you need for example a hundred thousand naira, you can make a list of five friends/family members that can give you twenty thousand naira each; or 10 persons who can give you ten thousand naira each.
Don’t be afraid or shy to ask especially when you have a good and viable business plan because these friends and family members will be proud of you when you succeed and will be glad they helped you or invested in your business.
iii. Bank Loan
Bank loans are still a major source of funding for most businesses, though getting loans from the traditional banks to finance a new business can be very difficult. Getting funding from banks can be challenging as most banks have tightened their lending policies. The banks’ major concern in all these is to safeguard the depositors’ funds and make some profit, by ensuring you can pay back both the principal and the interest that will accrue.
iv. Angel Investor
Angel investors are high net worth individuals who provide funds for start-ups in exchange for equity in the start-up businesses. An angel investor can be a wealthy friend, relative or church member who is convinced on the prospect of your business and decides to invest his/her money in your business and taking up part ownership of the business.
v. Venture Capitalist
Venture Capital is a type of funding for start-up or companies at early stage which are seen to have high growth potentials. These funds are provided by private investors who exchange this funds for equity in the company being funded.
This is the practice of raising money for business from large number of donors who typically give small portion of the total sum. This is normally done through an online portal or events designed for the purpose.
Some popular crowd funding sites include, Kickstarter, Crowdfunding for everyone, Indiegogo, Crowdrise, crowdfunder, rockethub etc.
There are still many other method or means of funding your startup business that we may not be able to talk about right now. You can do Franchise, supplier credit, sell of tangible assets and many more.
3. Decide on your business legal structure
– Sole Proprietorship – This is a type of business entity that is run and owned by one person. There is no distinction between the owner and the business.
– Partnership – this is where two or more people share the liability and profit of a business venture.
– Private Limited Company – is a separate legal entity from the owners. Below are some conditions for registering a private limited company in Nigeria, this may vary slightly from one country to another.
– Must have a registered office in Nigeria
– The company name must not be identical to any other company already registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
– There must be at least two shareholders who are above 18 years
– The company must have at least 10,000 authorized share capital
– Public Limited Company- differs from private limited company in that it may be quoted in the stock exchange.
Register in line with the laws of the land. It may be best to get a lawyer to guide you especially if it is a limited liability company. This conditions and procedure varies from one country to another. In Nigeria, you need to register with the corporate affairs commission (CAC).
4. Have an online presence
This cannot be overemphasized. Having an online presence can give your business global relevance. Open a social media account for your business name on all the most important social media platforms. Get a website for your business.
5. Build your team
You need a team to build a successful business. This is very critical to your success. So review your needs and mobilize team that will drive your business. Like the popular saying, “if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go as a team”
6. Drive your business
After all the above have been done, get to work and execute your plans, nothing good comes easy. You need to work the talk. Set milestones, monitor and measure progress. Review strategies and adjust where necessary. You have planned, now the plan must be followed with action to achieve the desired goal.