By: Elizabeth Serwaa Addai Teacher – Business Studies, Economics Accra.
The increase in entrepreneurship education has risen the thirst for businesses especially amongst the youth. People have misunderstood the concept of entrepreneurship and business. According to business dictionary, “entrepreneurship is the capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit. whilst business is an economic system where goods and services are produced and exchanged for money”. It is very prudent for people to draw the line between the two and clearly specify which of the categories they wish to fall. An entrepreneur leads and makes a market for his ideas whiles a businessperson makes his place in the market with his effort. So definitely, an entrepreneur creates his own market without depending on an existing one.
Many businesses seem promising in the eyes of the youth and most of them who had the courage to venture into them immediately are not able to hold on for long time. According to Forbes, research shows that nine out of ten business start-ups fail. This certainly shows that new entrepreneurs are encouraged to work harder and smarter. What are the things that people are doing wrongly and what are the things they fail to do then?
Many young people would want to rush into materializing any business idea without proper planning. Building a business requires one to have a very good thought of it and produce the right documentation for it. At this level, it would be very easy to detect a weak business idea.
This leads us to the business plan. This document should harbor the objectives of the business. The objectives of a business are aims and what the business would like to achieve in a period. A market research could also be done to know the type of product or service that should be sold or rendered so that if there should be an alteration to the original idea it could be done quickly. The business idea should contain an estimated market forecast on purchases and sales. It should clearly state the capital for the business and how it would be funded along the way. Mind you many people think this process is time wasting but the good aspect of it is that it gives your business a sense of direction and will save you from the “failed business associations” for at least the first two years!
One other reason why business start-ups are failing is the owners lack of managerial skills. It would be quite interesting to know that some people with no business education or experience in any business field think they would have it easy to operate any business of their choice, which is in your wildest dreams! Take a short course in business management or administration or better still get a hands-on experience with a serious well-established business. It takes a gradual process to build a business and that would be shaped by a good managerial skill, do not forget that!
Insufficient finance can kill a business. Yes, start small but it should be adequate! Lack of funds to run a business can even make a great idea a weak one. Some small businesses use this excuse to produce low quality and cheaper product in the name of starting small. You need the money for a good branding. Why rush with your idea without a good funding so failure licks your idea away and sell it out? That is why a good business plan with financial forecast will keep your business alive.
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As an entrepreneur or a businessperson, you need to be smart. Be creative, innovative, multi skilled and customer relations should be on point. Apart from the external hands that causes business startups to fail like when your anticipated customers do not materialize or there is an unexpected competition or maybe some government policies indirectly affecting your startups, you should be extra prepared to make it with your idea. A well-planned business in most cases predict these external problems and can be prepared to face them.
Your business idea should be handled with extra care and given the needed attention. If it would take, five to ten years for preparation do that because those years spent will be repeated years of failure for many unplanned businesses but the moment you begin to strike all the failures will get it twisted!