“For I must tell you… sell when you can; you are not for all markets” – Williams Shakespeare
VENTURES AFRICA - The ultimate dream of every young man is to retire at 40- build mansions globally, sleep in London, wake up in New York and spend the evening in Nigeria; to live life to the fullest…
Dreaming big has never been a problem but turning it into reality is the key issue. It saddens my heart when I see young people with ideas that could rule the world, employ generations and even turn them into billionaires over time, approach and execute these ideas poorly, along with their little savings.
I was once told the story of a man who needed N15,000,000 (about $1) to start recharge card distribution business with paper projections that the business could triple the invested capital in 6 months. This was a man without prior experience in business, no record of being loaned money from a bank, no collaterals and nobody to stand for him.
He could not move forward with his idea because of financial dearth. He refused to start small. The sad news is that those that have money to shake the market, while he is still waiting for the big money to start, today, have replicated his idea.
Starting a business is not as difficult as being in business (existence). While trying to achieve the big dream of being the best corporation in Africa or in the world, learn to imbibe the KISS concept (Keep It Simple Stupid). A company started with just $20 could be worth $200,000,000 in the next ten years.
But how do you start small and scale big?
Go back to history and check top 10 companies. They started small, scaled big over time, then the money started rolling in from investors: Venture capitalists and Initial Public Offer.
So before you start that next business of yours, or launch out with your first idea, consider these suggestions:
- Take time to understand your business
- Don’t assume your business will be profitable in 2 months time – test the market to understand public acceptancE
- Spend less on overhead expenses – improvise or find alternatives.
- Build your network
- Keep records of daily, weekly and monthly performance
- Plough back profit
- Focus on your operations – it is the blood of your business
- After a year of running the business, ask yourself if you are doing fine
- Share your expansion plan with business consultants
- Improve on logistics while you still stretch the dollar
- Put your business plan together with 5 year projection based on what you did the first year.
- While your business is gradually growing, hit your network list for funds
- Replicate your success model - Scale fast
- Focus on the long term dream
- At this stage of your business, you already have loyal customers. So Deliver Quality to increase Income Quantity.
- Make everybody happy – customers, workers, shareholders, and yourself
- Keep growing!
The above steps could take years to yield the result you want- you don’t start a business today and think you will scale in a month. Instead of waiting forever to get everything you need to get the ball rolling, start with whatever you have now, and gradually expand.
Don’t stop dreaming big. But start small and start now.