What do you need to start your own business?

The Zimbabwean economic landscape underwent some fundamental changes this year. The introduction of multiple foreign currencies stopped the hyperinflation and ushered in significantly improved market conditions conducive to business. Genuine entrepreneurs can now engage in legitimate business and take advantage of the existing big demand for various goods and services.
Starting a business is not as difficult as some people fear. Here are the basic essentials needed for starting your own business today:
1. A good business idea. A good business idea is something that solves a problem, fills a gap and meets a real need in society. A great idea is something that no-one else is doing, or something that you can do better than everyone else. You must know of at least one customer willing to pay money in exchange for your product or service.
2. Hunger for success. Business is not a walk in the park. To succeed you must first have the desire; the greater the desire the greater the achievement. All successful entrepreneurs have developed certain traits: huge ambition, imagination, persistence, passion and conviction.
3. You need a mission. You need to start with the end in mind, what you want to be remembered for, both in business and in life, when you are gone. The mission will act as a beacon, keeping you focused and in the right path until you reach your destination.
4. Create a Business Plan. Developing a plan, with dates and targets, invokes your thought processes so that you analyze all that it takes to start your business. It minimizes surprises and helps you focus on the most important things that are necessary to the success of your venture. The plan will not be static, but you will change and modify as you go and circumstances change.
5. Expert advice and support. Successful entrepreneurs recognize that they are not experts in everything and focus on what they do best. They seek expert advice and support in the areas of business which have no expertise. There are several ways of getting advice and support: hiring a business building coach or consultant; joining a Master Mind group; finding a mentor; reading appropriate business books and journals; attending training workshops and seminars.
6. Do what you love. Business is hard work and constant challenges. The road is long and wearisome; most businesses start making money after a number of years. To stay the course, you must select at the beginning something that you love and enjoy doing. If you are not passionate about the business you will give up if you do not see instant income and success. People who pursue their passions stick with it and make it work in rough times and in good times.
7. Count the cost. Plan your finances. Starting a business does not mean instant income. The business may make losses in the first few years; you need to plan how you will survive during those lean times.
The requirements for starting a business may seem difficult, but they are not insurmountable. Nothing good in life comes cheap anyway. But the reward will be worth the effort. So go, start working on your business now!
Phillip Chichoni is the author of the upcoming book: 4 Weeks to Start Up- How to turn your idea into a successful business in a month! He has also produced a number of publications designed to help new and existing entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, including Business Planning Simplified and High Impact Low Cost Marketing Strategies for the Growth Seeking Entrepreneur. You may contact him by email: chichonip@yahoo.com, or phone Harare 04-581230.
Today’s quote: The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
-George Bernard Shaw-


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