Career Tips / Blog

Starting A Small Business

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Piggery Farm

Starting A Small Business could be an herculean task. To most, it takes a lot of courage to brace and to others, they continue to procrastinate … others only think about it when the going gets tough; many others contemplate on it when they are frustrated at their employed places of work or are out of job. Whilst many others take years to dream, ruminate and, talk about it, and discuss it, a number of others plan it, research it and hope to see when the best opportunity presents itself.

The wise ones start the plan when the going is well and good – they begin the process of self-dependence, planning for their exit as my former boss once told me that he planned his exits from organisations he worked the day he resumed duty. I bought his idea and learnt from him when he explained that he never wanted to be caught unawares.

I talk about it because I have traveled on that same terrain … i understand the bumps on the path and I pity many when they lose their jobs and have nothing to hope on. You need not say or feel you can not own a small business. Believing that you can not own or set-up a small business is as good as saying you have nothing to offer to life!

I tell you, without mincing words that with authentic self-audit, sufficient experiences, good planning and adequate financial understanding, the dream of owning a small business can come true.

Consulting with experienced brains in your choice-field could also assist at the early stage of the business.

Learning also from this crop of entrepreneurs will help you avoid the most likely pitfalls and put you on a good pedestal.

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A Sewing Mistress

In this wise, one is required to diligently research the business ideas and its market before embarking on it to avoid regrets. You are enjoined to also attend seminars, training, conferences where you could be afforded the opportunity of learning and asking salient questions on bordering issues on the intended business. Here you come in contact with experts and captains of industry who would be of support and be there to allay your fears. They also will advise you on how you can get financial supports too.

Moreso, it affords you the opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs from other markets who may not be your direct competitors. This could be very, very beneficial to you both in the short and long term.

My Candid Advice:

First, you are advised to follow your passion as Warren Buffet once said that, “passion is what keeps you going when the going gets tough”.

Going into a business that has great potential is good, but it is better to go into a business you are passionate about as most times things don’t go the way we had planned. I had watched many jump from one business to another because they have bluntly refused to audit themselves and follow their passion! They also do not understand that businesses are like tides … and several factors could determine this – economic, socio-political, natural factors etc.

Visualize the biggest businesses in the world today: Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, MacDonald’s etc. The common factor amongst these businesses remain the fact that the businesses were built around the passion of the founders.

Secondly, trying to establish a small business, entrepreneurs must look at the bigger picture. Most times they focus only on the product(s) they intend to sell and ignore market forces! It shouldn’t be so.

Thirdly, in attempt to establish a small business you should also seek out financial advisors for proper financial guide as they will assist you in data and information generation and also fine-tune your business plan. You require their professional support to succeed.

Again, you must be able to choose an advisor who will be willing to support you to succeed. You don’t need one who will always concur. He/ she should be able, in your discussions, to tell you the two sides of every option you so plan to adopt and the potential risks inherent.

The advisor should be experienced to be able to assist you to review and refine your business plan as this is extremely important in the planning/ formation stage, as this is intended to reduce the error margin.

As soon as the business plan is put in proper perspective, you can then request for a guide on the implementation plan: start-up cost estimation, bank account opening procedures, criteria for obtaining business loans etc. Your financial advisor should also be able to connect you to an HR Consultant, Accountant, Legal Counsel and others who would be relevant to you as a small business owner. The Legal Counsel would assist you with registering a business name cum company and other sundry issues.

You should also learn more to understand your niche market, client and competitors and put up good marketing plan for your business because marketing is an essential and critical tool in any business.  In this wise, think also about on-line marketing because this is where the world lives.

At this point, you need to set target and goals for yourself which should be SMART compliant: – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely

Reduce Your Expenses: You are expected to consider ways to reduce your expenses – administrative/ running cost etc.

Pitfalls to Avoid:

i) Don’t be in a hurry to make it – avoid falling into the hands of fraudsters (online and offline), occassioned by inordinate plan to excel above others, greed, recklessness etc

ii) Work hard to earn your niche in the chosen field

iii) Don’t be fixated on one definite strategy – exploit other methods both in marketing, sales etc and accept changes where necessary as the world is dynamic;

iv) Passion is key as it is the great driver that will assist you in times of challenges and create your career path;

v) Learn to use social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Whatsapp etc) depending on your area of business;

vi) Your customer service is also important as satisfied customers return and unsatisfied ones tell many others the bad services and experiences he/she had received from you.

vi) Be polite in your approaches;

vii) Make provisions for publicity – learn from Coca-Cola who in spite of her popularity still invests in publicity/ advertisements.

viii) Embrace technology to simplify your work

In Starting A Small Business, you are seriously ADVISED to avoid the temptation of dipping your hands also into your finances for personal reasons.

You should be able to manage and keep records of your financial transactions for periodic audit and analysis as this is expected to reveal your performances over a given period.

Again, avoid providing services or sales on credit, if possible, to friends and relations as most businesses are crippled by these.

While the list of pitfalls are inexhaustible, if these are adhered to and implemented, you will experience exploits in your new business start-up.

Contributed by Agolo Uzorka Eugene, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene + George Consulting Limited (

Agolo Uzorka
the authorAgolo Uzorka

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