Do you want to start a business? We offer you a framework to help you do so. Remember that your business will depend first on you, then on the activity and finally on the environment. The framework we propose is a set of eight questions.
STEP 1: WHAT DO I WANT TO DO ?
Specify your idea in as much detail as possible, noting the type of activity, the products or services proposed, the location of the activity and the target market.
STEP 2: AM I ABLE TO DO IT ?
This activity may require particular skills and/or qualities, do you have them? If you answer YES, then go ahead! If NO, then seek to acquire the necessary skills before you start, or drop it.
STEP 3: WHAT IS MY MARKET?
Ask yourself questions that will help you to know whether your business meets a need: Who will I sell my products or services to? Who are my competitors? What are their prices ? Will I be able to sell at the same or lower prices and make money? How will I promote and distribute my products? What will my turnover be ?
STEP 4: WHAT DO I NEED FOR MY PROJECT?
To develop this activity, you will certainly need equipment, facilities (water, electricity, building, etc.), a start-up fund, permits, etc. Make a quantified and costed inventory of your needs in this order; then contact your local council, your Sub-Divisional Office, and specialised advisory bodies.
STEP 5: WHAT DO I ALREADY HAVE AND WHAT DO I NEED ELSE ?
Take a census of what you have that you can contribute to your project. If you have everything you need, then go to step 6. If NO, then make a quantified and costed inventory of what you do not have that is necessary for your project.
STEP 6: WHERE AND HOW DO I FIND WHAT I DON'T HAVE ?
This is the search for funding. This can be in the form of participation in the project (donation or repayable loan, in kind or in cash). This is where your conviction and self-confidence can lead you to seek out funding organisations, partners or associates. Be aware that you must always provide your own funds.
STEP 7: WILL THIS BUSINESS BE PROFITABLE ?
Make a small analysis of the profitability of your business. Analyse all your expenses and estimate your income. Will you make a large profit? Will you be able to support your business and yourself? If your answer is YES, then continue to the next step. If NO, give up and look for something else.
STEP 8: HOW DO I START MY BUSINESS ?
Do exactly what you have planned with your potential partners. Don't back out and don't do it halfway, for whatever reason. If by any chance unforeseen events have occurred which have significantly destabilised your financing plan, seek new resources before you start.
In any case, you should carry out or commission a good feasibility study of your project.