Monday, July 28, 2008

Decisions to make

This weekend was really chilled. I didn't do much, I have become addicted to Gossip Girls and have been watching the episodes back to back. Its a wonder how fascinating the lives of the young and wealthy are! I mean really, can peoples lives really be that dramatic at 14-17??

I have thought a lot about Entrepreneurship and have decided to give it a try. Lots of great advice out there

1) Make sure the business has growth potential and is targeting a neglected area in the market
2) It should preferably service a niche market
3) A business plan is essential before proceeding any further
4) It is not wise to quit your job in the early stages of setting up the business
5) Guard your ideas, be careful who you tell. A friend of mine nearly had his business idea stolen. The guy had already duplicated the business but was caught before he had done any serious damage. This doesn't mean you should't share you plans with people who will help you out with ideas and good advice, just be selective.
6) Get some experience in the business you are trying to get into.
7) Gather as much knowledge as you can about the industry.
8) Be realistic with your projections for the business.
9) If you decide to partner with someone, make sure they have a different set of skills to bring into the business
10)Don't R U S H. Proper planning is key.
11) Start small and you make small mistakes, start big and you make big mistakes.
12) Pray! Pray!Pray!

So with all this I have started to create my business plan. The problem with business plans is that the 'numbers' for Nigeria are just not available. I may be wrong but you don't find many research papers on Nigeria or surveys in a particular industry etc. Does anyone know where I can find useful resources?

Have a great week. I'll let you know how I'm progressing later on this week.


OluwaDee said...

I so love Gossip girl, cant wait for the new season.

I took a course on entrepreneurship recently, n all u said is so true.

Thinking of starting a business too, but my first step is to get experience in the area, to actually c if I really really want to venture into it.

goodnaijagirl said...

How exciting! Good luck as you prepare your business plan. Unfortunately I don't have tips on getting the numbers you need. I'm not sure how possible it is but could you circulate some sort of questionnaire?

Cheetarah said...

Tminx i usually charge for this ooo! Lol, check out Mintel, its a marketing research firm, they have figures, there is anothe rmajor one but its skips my mind, will let u knw when i remba, have used them in ages,
you howeva have to pay for these reports but they are pretty comprehensive. You can google ur business area and if ur lucky you mite find a free report, depends on how much time ur willing to spare to wade tru the junk,Another thing you can do is get a student in Uni of London to help you check the database at the London Business Lib in Moorgate abi Farringdon, I forget which!

Sorry sha, but you sha grab! I watch gossip girl for awhile then decided abegi i don old jare wetin,lol!

Vera Ezimora said...

Babe, I'm too caught up in your new uhm... layout. I love it!!! Do me too! As in... I want a new layout too.

As for the business plans, just make sure you send me some of the per blogger best friend.

ONADA Photography said...

all the best with this babe!! I cant wait to watch you blow up big time! You have great potential and there's no reason why you shouldnt succeed!

Naapali said...

good luck with your plans. don't be afraid to think big. said...

Try the world bank, they have a lot of figures on business in developing nations... You might be suprised at what you might find.

Depending on how much time you have on you, and what the project is, you might be able to come up with some pretty rough projections (that would work initiallyand get you far), it just takes some playing around and formola building; you get the information for part of it and use that to deduce the general information.

TMinx said...

Thanks for the encouragement Oluwadee, Onada and Naapali! :). GNG, thats a good idead, i might just do that. And yes Bobby, the World bank has some great figures, thanks for the leads Cheeterah.

Vera, it took how many hours to find I can't even remember the site I used..once I find it, i'll send to you!

C said...

Good moves. Good advice too Chetarah. I am soooo bookmarking mintel.

@Tminx - I guess how you research also depends on what your business idea is. If you can't find the figures you are looking for, you may have to take the hard route i.e. Questionnaires. A friend of mine had to do one and circulate within banks to get an accurate and current picture on the potential demand of the service he was looking to provide. He was able to answer multiple generic and specific questions and built a sample data from there. Now, cos practices/services per sector don't tend to vary too much in Nigeria what he got was reflective of general practice.

You could also target the top tiers (clients) of the sector you are interested in. If you can interest them with your product it will catch on to the smaller ones if they want to remain competitive...

Of course, you can increase your chance of success (i.e. returned questionnaires) via incentives , not bribes o, but maybe a few office items. Alternatively, if you know the right people...

Ms. Ken said...

I also wonder how teenagers lives can be dat dramatic,mine wasn't...but dey grow up differently frm us and then dey hav excess money.
Wish u success in ur business plans

notjustok said...

very good advice! it mays seem simple if you have not started a business before, but they all make sense if you have entered or are currently trying to get your business off the ground....

notjustok said...

o b4 I forget #12 may seem like it has nothing to do with business, but believe me it makes a huge difference... Pray for success and direction. Good Luck Tminx!

miz-cynic said...

its jst fear of d unknwn bt since ur doin researc,i knw u!l gt it rite girl.evn if it dsnt sm 2 click initialy,jst hng in thr.rome wsnt built in a new in blogsvil.u cd cm by my page anytime .i nd advice on layouts n d yda.its friday.huray!2 days of bliss

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine whose family are into books actually lent me a copy of one book by Ronald Cohen. The title is turning risk into opportunity.This book is great and you might really find out if it will be useful to you.

You can find out more about the book here or watch the interview with the author here

january said...

Hi, i'd like to say some few things regarding your foray into entrepreneurship if you will allow me to. Most times,when we get this bright idea about what we want to do, we often spend too much time on dotting out i's and t's carefully. I always tell people that once you have identiifed your niche, start immediately, don't wait to write a big book on your business plan. A two page summary is enough...cos what you need for now are simple outlines of how and where you are taking this idea to for the next few months. As situations change and evolve, you can add the bits and pieces to your plan cos it's a continous work in progress. Secondly,if you spend too much time strategising and writing without taking concrete steps, you may lose interest in the course of time. Just start from anywhere and anyhow you can start. I have dreamt of brilliant ideas over the course of 4years and have always proceeded to dot my i's and t's till I suddenly woke up to the realisation that i did not need all the theories and research anyway, so I started immediately without any further delays and today, i'm the better for it, In two weeks from now, i'll be launching my first e-commerce website business and from the reactions, i have got, i know i have something going on here. So, wish you all the very best.

january said...

According to Silver's law of entrepreneurship, which says that Valuation or wealth is equal to the size of the problem that you have identified times the elegance of the solution that will be sold to those who have the problem times the judgement of the entrepreneurial team. So, ask yourself, does my idea qualify for these terms? wish you all the best...

Lola said...

Hi TMinx!!!

Congrats on foraying into entrepreneurship oh. Myself, just took that great big jump and I can tell you it's such an amazing expereince I think. It's not easy by any means, but I think if what you're embarking on is your passion then it's worth every single minute of your time and effort!

Now on the second bit, you're in luck!!! what is the business I'm creating/running? A marketing consulting outfit. Our biggest pillars are marketing and business strategy, business plan development, and market research. I work with entrepreneurs and small businesses so you can see that it's fate that brought me to your website right this second! lol.

Someone mentioned Mintel. I must tell you as someone who's worked extensively with Mintel, Datamonitor and some of the other big research/informational firms that their data/reports is not very reliable (i would say 40-60% at best). They don't have ANY people or organizations on ground in Nigeria and most of what they give in their reports is mostly desk research and assumptions. World Bank data is better but again, that is IF they have data to even present. Theirs is usually basic.

Apart from the fact that this is my business I STRONGLY suggest you get in contact with a smaller firm on ground that can provide a more reliable and accurate data. My company, BRENTT Consulting, provides Market Surveys commissioned on particular industries. We have teams on ground that actually go out into your industry to collect, collate and report data. We also do market research, which is using the questionnaires to find out first hand, quantitative reports. Send me an email so we can discuss more perhaps.

Either way, don't go the Mintel route, unless you're getting their report for free. And DO, PLEASE DO write a robust business plan. A summary is easy to write but harder to convince real investors on!