In this age of technological disruption and idea theft, three of the best ways to write the vision, make it plain and run with it is to write your business plan, design a logo for it and get it online – Pat Obilor
Happy New Year, perhaps you want to start a new business this year and you have been bogged down by so many complex traditional means to start and grow your business. Well, this is your 2017 starter-pack and they are just 7 clues; this information is as practical as can be because i am not telling you what I have not done, it is a direct practical guide of how I set up Mogulettes Africa and other source of income business in 2016. If you start off trying to have everything in place or all the money you need, your ideas for that business will become overwhelming, larger than life and it might weigh you down so all you have to do is start, you can structure and establish fully as things progresses.
MOVE TO BIG CITIES
You might not agree with me and that’s okay. Having visited some big cities like Lagos in Nigeria, London in England, Newyork or California in America and China in Beijing, I have come to understand that these are places where you can challenge your belief system and reconstruct your energy for life. They are so big, so commercialized and so filled with opportunities and the challenges you need to fuel your passion especially for people in creative ventures or traditional businesses. Whichever applies to you, there are mysteries about these four cities in the world that makes you very uncomfortable and drives you towards achieving your goals. Although big cities are saturated and over populated but if you are positive enough, it can still take your single self/ family as it takes others.
For me, it was Lagos, I moved into Lagos officially in January 2016 after schooling and years of travelling the Lagos/Ibadan express way. I finally decided to settle in Lagos because I was convinced I needed to be there to boost my career in the media and find myself somehow; my education and growing up was outskirt and even if the city where I grew up is fast growing, I just was eager to change my comfort zone and Lagos has always been a part of my drive and in my spirit man. Anytime I see Lagos, my whole essence brightens up until I moved in officially.
First I was confused, restless and didn’t know what do with my life and for some days, I felt like going back to my comfort zone. The greatest shock was that, no one even knew me and back in Ibadan, I taught I was a star in the media sphere but coming to Lagos was an eye opener for me so I started to build my career afresh and getting the motivation I needed daily. That is the kind of reality you get when you change locations, leave your comfort zones and go to cities that are technologically driven and competitive; but hey, If you are not an ambitious person, its fine, stay where you are and enjoy your status quo life but if you want to achieve that big dream you cannot go a day thinking about which is not feasible where you are right now, then challenge your limits and try find yourself in areas or cities that will make you restless and goal oriented.
DO A TEMPORARY BUSINESS PLAN
A business plan makes you feel ready and well structured. As time goes on, you can begin to gather the things you need to set out with that business. Writing a business plan must come from inside of you, it is your idea and you need to passionately express it in words without complexities so anyone reading it could have an idea of what you want to do or what your services or product is all about. If you don’t write out your ideas, it remains an idea and ideas are fluid, you may forget, but when you pen it down and put a stipulated or temporary date, it becomes a goal and that gives you a sense of pursuit and purpose.
For starters, all you need is a starter pack business idea, what is it all about, vision, products or services you want to offer how you will generate revenue from it etc. all these ideas must be put together on a temporary letter headed paper which you can design yourself or have someone do it for you. As tools, you will need a laptop and some gadgets like flash drive or email so you can be able to save and print documents as you put your thoughts on paper. You also need some list of potential companies you can send introductory letters to, all these comes in way of a business plan.
DO A LOGO
Have a logo for your business, services or product, it must be a well thought out logo that carries the image of what your business idea represents. The colour, concept and use of words must be prude, original, attractive and well branded enough for people to want to make more enquiries about what you offer.
GET ONLINE: I once quoted that: “Write the vision, make it plain, not only in a book but in the tablets of your hearts and of course, online too. Technology has disrupted our lives and influenced how we do things daily and it thus means that, our social and career lives are being influenced too. Social media today is a watch dog for our business and ideas and has really been a major booster for business in most businesses since its inception. If you have an idea or inspired to pursue a goal, don’t just note it down on a longlist, if you do, you might achieve some or just loose the idea because you are not under watch and the fear of starting out may set it. But, if you do as quoted above, miracles starts happening because people know about your business idea and you will be inspired to deliver that goal which now rest in the hearts of millions of people across the world.
Today there are so many businesses that are thriving online even without a physical office because they are well positioned, marketed and targeted to the right audience. So whatever your business idea is, once you are certain about its objectives and your logo is designed, put it online and network with the right minds or mentors that is abreast of that business to. I will give you a scenario, Mogulette Africa won’t be here today if not for social media platforms, when the idea came, I didn’t even have a plan or know what to write about it but I was quick to open social platforms for it. It was the daily followership that further empowered me to structure, legalize the name, and build a more formidable presence for it and the journey continues this year and everyday.
CREATE A PAGE/PLATFROM – create a platform for it, if it is a product you want to sell, put it on an e-commerce site, if it is lifestyle or content, have your own blog or website, it give you a sense of credibility and professionalism. Let the page or platform of your products and services be well dedicated, official and straight to the point, have an official email, an address or a phone number for people to reach you and this means you have to work on your own personal brand as the brain fueling the business, when people meet you, let them see you in that business and let them be inspired to work or become your client.
TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT: in every occasion and any opportunity you have, sell yourself, sell your business, have a complimentary card which also conforms with your letter head, go to events and ensure you exchange contacts with people, network, write to your social contacts, do a customized T-Shirt that carries the name of your business and try do a small handbill or flier. More importantly, this year, endeavor to engage and form meaningful relationships with your social contacts; they are there to network too. Reach out to them and tell them about what you do or ask them what services you can render to them in relation to what you are doing, don’t just comment on post, click likes or follow, what are you following them for and why are they following you if you are not harnessing the opportunities to engage?
START THE WORK: Finally, do the works. You have made the noise about your idea, you are getting some followers, people are beginning to ask you questions, so now is the time to get aware to your government, commercialize it fully, open a bank account for it, get a legal adviser and an account auditor for your business. You can also start producing some petty things under your business brand and when your clients need grows, you then increase your capacity to deliver more. Also build a team or form partnerships if it works for you, make enquiries on how the product is sold or how best to deliver good services from people in that line of business or take a related course that will help you learn more.
In conclusion, it’s not a big deal to own or start a business. You don’t need plenty money or loan from any bank, 50,000 in Naira can get you going if you are prudent enough, you don’t need a big car or an office with 10 staffs yet either. So whatever business you want to embark on in 2017, make sure it is something you are passionate about and it goes in line with your vision or life goals and you shall succeed. I wish you a joyous and successful year but remember this… the right time may never come, the right people might never show up and the right courage you need may never come so always learn to do it afraid, so go ahead and just do it because you are enough.
Do you agree with me and what other ways can you set up a business this year? Tell us!