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Sani Ibrahim
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa,University
Agricultural economics and extension
100Level, Nigeria.
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Are you thinking of starting a business?
How do you know when you are ready to start a business?
I do not believe everyone should start a business. Now we
have this culture of people wanting to be entrepreneurial
without knowing what it takes. Entrepreneurs are now the new
rock stars because of Instagram and social media. They think
that it's easy, anyone could get started. It is simply not the
case. I believe these are the top 7 things what not to do when
starting a business.
#1) Don't Start A Business When You Are Desperate
It's very easy to disguise ourselves and say we're going to
start this business and we're going to make a profit in 3 - 6
months. Most businesses don't make money that quickly,
some don't make any money in the first few years. It is not
easy to get a business going, so don't start a business when
you've got no money and don't start a business when you're
living paycheck to paycheck. So don't start a business when
you're desperate.
#2) Don't Start A Business If You Don't Know How To Close
I'm talking about how to sell, how to influence, how to make
that sell in business. Nothing happens until a sell is made. A
lot of people say, 'Oh, I've got an idea'. So what? Unless you
know how to turn that idea into a product or service that
people want to buy, how to get your product service in
people's hands and you know how to communicate, how to
close in exchange of money. It doesn't mean anything! The
ability to close, the ability to sit down with someone face to
face, on the phone, on camera, in video, on social media -
That's the key. If you know nothing about selling, you're not
qualified at the moment to start a business.
#3) Don't start a business if you don't understand the industry
What do you know about the industry? Who is your ideal
customers? How to reach them? What are their frustrations?
What are their goals? What qualifies you to be in this space?
How much you know them? Do you have any credibility? Do
understand what they're going through on a daily basis. Do you
understand the emotional needs?
Can you fully answer the above questions?
You have to have something that is truly unique that you bring
to the marketplace that is different from everybody else. You
can add more value or solve a problem that's not being solved
at the moment. Your success in business is largely
determined by how well you understand your industry.
#4) Don't Start A Business Simply Because You Are Sick and
Tired of Your Job or You Hate Your Boss
If you are sick and tired of your job, get a different job. It
doesn't mean you should start a business just because you
don't like your supervisor or your manager. It doesn't make you
ready. It doesn't mean you are equipped to be your own boss,
to be in business for yourself. It is a different game. Now, I'm
not saying don't do it. I'm saying do you know what it takes?
#4) Don't start a business Out Of Ego
How are you going to support your family?
How are you even going to support yourself? How are you
going to support your business, all the expenses, all the capital
investment, what does that come from? These are tough
questions you should have good answers because out there,
the business world, it is very cruel. And every single day
someone is trying to put you out of business or trying to take
customers away from you. Are you ready for that? Are you
ready for that fight? Do you have what it takes intellectually?
#5) Don't Start A Business Simply Because Your Family and
Friends Tell You It Is A Good Idea
Your family and friends, they're not your customers! You need
to get direct feedback from the marketplace, from strangers,
from people who don't know you. People who don't even want
to support you.
Not because your family and friends, your mom, your wife, your
husband, your cousin, your sister say it's a good idea.
You want to know if it's a good idea or not?
Go to the bank, try to get a loan, tell the bankers and they'll tell
you if your idea is actually good or not. You want them to be
brutal? You want them to be honest? Show them the plan.
Show them your idea. See what they say. Take the feedback,
take that constructive criticism and you go back and revise
your plan.
#6) Don't Start A Business Thinking How Much Money You
Can Make
An experienced entrepreneur doesn't think about how much
money I could make but about break, about how much money
they could lose, before they go out of business, how much
time they have.
Have you ever thought about how much money you will lose?
What if it doesn't work? What if it takes you way longer than
you think? What if it costs you twice as much as you think?
What if it takes three times as long as you think? How are you
going to handle that? These are very, very good questions you
need to have answers for. It takes time to be a good
entrepreneur. You have to be a realist. You have to look at the
facts. You have to look at the data. You have to look at the
numbers. It's not just about having an idea.
#7) Don't Start A Business Unless You Are Willing To Commit
10 - 20 years to the business
Before going into the business, you have to think about long
term. Think about 5, 10, 15, 20 years. If you exit in 5 years and
you'll walk away with a lot of money, good for you.
It's going to be tough. You're going to face a lot of obstacles.
It's going to be very, very stressful. It comes with a game and
that's part of being entrepreneur.
Are you ready for that?

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