I know you want to, but don’t!

A lot of business starters (not entrepreneurs) are always quick to do three things; (1) forming a team, (2) registering the company and (3) getting a business plan. These things are as vital but not prioritized in the early activities a business starter should undertake. Data from CAC shows a high count of non-performing/passive registered businesses in Nigeria. Also, a number of Business Developers frequently lament about seeing business plans they developed go unimplemented. A lot of business starters are unable to comprehend the entirety of business plans developed for their use.

Business starters are quick to set up teams and share responsibility portfolios (CEO, CFO, CTO etc.) even when they are not mentally capacitated to handle the responsibilities attached.

I have thought through the starting up process for most part of the last 3 years and I’ve got these thoughts to share with you on a better way around it;

1. Conduct a paper research on the industry and market you intend to play in. A paper research because you need to have notes to revert to if you eventually make it to the business planning phase. Not all business concepts should pass this phase. Once you clearly see your business concept is not viable, dropping the idea is not giving up. Rather you have an opportunity of not going far in the wrong direction, but rather putting your scarce resources to better use (trying a new business concept or gaining more knowledge, insights and work experience)

2. Find the right mentors to direct you closely (preferably experts in your circle that are in a similar line of business). You will be getting so much information & insights at no monetary cost.

3. By now, chances are you understand the entire business processes, start to finish, including all the bottlenecks involved. Go ahead, profile your closest competitor. Understand their strengths and weaknesses and have solutions to all their challenges/problems.

Following through these highlighted guidelines will see you translate from a business starter into an entrepreneur. And as regards the three things I highlighted earlier you should not start with, your mentor will advise on how best to place these activities as they matter most to your starting process.

Elias is a transforming man looking to build stuff that will last forever. He delights in exploring the key elements that enables starting businesses scale flexibly. He has 3years+ consulting experience with concept-phase startups and SMEs across South-west Nigeria.

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