A young man approached me some time ago and told me about his longing to become relevant.
He gave me a blueprint of where he wants to be in the next 20 years. He hoped to be the CEO of a big conglomerate in the telecom industry.
Our discussion showed he was quite ambitious and can achieve much when granted the opportunity.
Along the line, I asked him the million dollar question which showed there was a thin line between being visionary and ambitious. “What is the immediate plan for achieving this ambition?”
Notice I used the word ambition and not vision. My choice of word was predicated upon the fact that I observed he was more concerned about making a name for himself rather than creating value.
His response was devoid of any realistic and tangible effort towards the actualization of a conglomerate. In his exact words, “…I just need capital now, if I can get like 20 million naira now, I’m sure it will be enough for me to start some where”.
If you give a visionless man 20 million naira, he has a high probability of losing over 80% of the fund in less than 3 years.
There are 4 things an entrepreneur have before before he starts considering raising capital or looking for investors.
The basic thing that should spur the decision to start up an investment is the need to solve a problem. If there is no problem to solve, then your business investment will have no relevance.
It is possible that the business under conceptualization already has other key players in the industry. An entrepreneur should be able to identify a dominant problem that other players have not solved yet.
I’m referring to out of the box ideas that are worth rubies. As insinuated earlier, a business idea must be able to solve problems.
Often times, ideas come half baked. They need to be nurtured and researched on. One may have a dozen business ideas, but a proper research will show the feasibility and productivity of such ideas.
An idea is the framework that a business is to be built on. Without ideas, one can lavish thousands of dollars without an apology.
3. Business Plan
A business plan is a formal document that contains the entire details about a business idea.
It should contain proposed geographical location, market surveys, financial projections, organizational structure, products and services, competitors, feasibility studies, and a number of other key details.
A business plan should be able to the mental, factual and statistical picture of a business and the problem it seeks to solve.
4. Relevant Knowledge In Choice Business And Industry.
Having a business plan is not really enough for one to seek for capital. More often than not, experiential knowledge of an industry is very important.
There are several practical business practices and challenges that one will never be exposed to until he/she is actively involved in the running of a similar business.
If you want to start up a dry-cleaning services company, try and work in one for about six months first. It will provide you with the technical and a little managerial insight that is needed for the running of yours.
If you don’t have the luxury of time to get engaged in acquiring the minimum experiential knowledge for setting up your business, then hire someone who does. Either way, the knowledge will save your business from untold mistakes and hiccups.