(Excerpt from the Book; Make it an Enterprise by; Oturu Emmanuel)
Business is not about money, it is about solving problems.
It is a common statement among our youths that they have not started their business for lack of cash or initial capital.
I once listened to Mrs. E. Okonedo (Dean, LBS) and she said “Express your idea in a marketable manner, look at the window not the mirror”. Permit me to add that you either focus on your limitation or on your goal. As young people, we need to focus our passion on the mathematical principle that reads “you start with the known to get to the unknown”.
The prevalence of poverty in our society and high unemployment ratio should be a serious incentive to drive your passion for entrepreneurship.
Encarta dictionary defines business as commercial activity involving the exchange of money for goods or services. Permit me to emphasize the keyword in that definition as “exchange of money for goods and services”. This leads me to my simple steps or ways you can start without money.
1.Think (conceptualize your idea);
You need to spend time on critical thinking in your pursuit of business.
Most of the ideas we think are not moving because of lack of funds are actually in their raw states in our hearts, mind or books. You must put your idea to a mental test challenging its viability, sustainability and risk capacity.
A friend of mine had passion for birds; he studied an animal health related course in the university as he ventured into poultry passionately with his NYSC savings. Few months later, the high mortality rate in his farm caused him to slaughter all his birds and sold them at a cheaper price.
Our problem is not capital, our problem is understanding the business. It is difficult to market an idea you don’t understand.
We watch reality shows like the Apprentice, Entrepreneurs etc, the applicants all come for seed grant but if you follow the panel closely you’ll observe that when the judges put these ideas to test many are flawed.
My question is “Why not focus on the flaws-fixing mechanism than on the funds?
If you fix the idea, you will get the funding.
2.READ AND WRITE;
Most ideas are in the heart of the vision initiator waiting for funding. Do you have a Business plan?
Do you have a marketing plan?
Do you have a strategic plan?
Do you have a short and long term plan?
Do you know how to write a business proposal?
How many books on business have you read?
How much information do you have on your business (Research)?
How many seminars/courses have you attended on your idea?
Do you have capacity (Knowledge, experience etc) to run the idea?
If we can read books in line with our ideas, we will change our approach.
Knowledge is power, Drew Faust said in his interview on the 26th of January, 2012 that “Knowledge is the currency of the 21st century”. Your knowledge of the business can facilitate your access to funding.
Funding is a catalyst at a particular phase of the business reaction but it is not the chemical or reagent to start the reaction.
“All glory comes from daring to begin”- Williams Shakespeare
The bible says “A lazy man said that he won’t go to work because there is a lion in the street”. Everyone has an idea but we all have limitations but only the courageous act on theirs and become successful. The bible says “He that considereth the wind will not sow”.
A friend of mine will always say to us “if you can’t soar, fly; If you can’t fly run, if you can’t run, walk, if you can’t walk, crawl…
Do something today in line with your idea.
If you can’t buy the machine now, partner with those that have or work for them to gain experience possibly for free.
If yours is sales, be a sales agent for already established businesses in your field until yo…Continue reading this on THE REACH MAGAZINE