Forget it: What you DON’T need to establish a business (1)

by Okechukwu Nnodim

It is important to state some of the things which are not mandatory before establishing a business.

Management experts, human resources consultants and renowned economists interviewed by this correspondent say that there are some things that can be ignored when you want to start a business. Below are a few:

•Academic qualifications

This does not rule out the significance of adequate formal training and/or education. Experts say the internet, entrepreneurial groups and organisations, mentors and good networking makes it possible to learn a lot on your own. As prospective entrepreneur, you should not allow lack of academic credentials discourage you. It is important to have degrees, but the absence of such does not mean you will not do well in business provided you adopt the basic principles. Experts say as long as you are curious, driven and have a valuable skill set or the ability to offer something useful to others, you can become an entrepreneur.

The Chief Consultant, Supreme Management Consultants, Mr. Yinka Fasuyi, notes that once you start up your business, you can always update your knowledge in order to boost your productivity. He says the lack of credentials is no barrier to starting up a business and running it successful, but is an advantage which any shrewd entrepreneur can get with time. Entrepreneurship can be learned, experts say. You can study entrepreneurship by watching documentaries on successful entrepreneurs, interviewing entrepreneurs and reading books about entrepreneurship. You can look at it like it’s a sport or a craft and can study successful entrepreneurs and adopt some of their models to succeed.

Experts advise that you should not preoccupy your mind on what you don’t have, like B.Sc., M.Sc., PhD, etc. They note that the time wasted thinking about this should be used to generate ideas that will drive your venture steps further. Regardless of your background, your ability to educate yourself is key. Knowledge is power, so spend every day learning something new, whether it has to do with your industry, the world around you, e-commerce or the internet in general. Therefore, it is critical that entrepreneurs never stop learning and constantly look to innovate and evolve themselves and their businesses. An author says, “Entrepreneurs are like sharks; sharks must constantly swim in order to survive, and entrepreneurs must constantly learn to prosper.”

•An office

For beginners, every naira saved counts. This is why it is important to be creative about your work space. A shopping mall with free wifi or an empty garage around your area will do just fine. Build your small idea, whether in a garage or in an open space around your vicinity. Nurture this idea and bring it onto the streets while it’s still small so it can grow with you. If you cannot get a garage, consider sharing a space with other entrepreneurs. You should not allow that idea die because many established entrepreneurs never started with an office. Most started small and did not allow the excuse of not having an office hinder their business dream.

Millions

Fasuyi specifically stated that beginners do not need millions before starting a business. According to him, money does not fall out of the clouds and it is never easy to get all the funds needed to start a business. Experts say pursuing financial assistance from venture capitalists can be a very challenging and unnecessary step in the business-building process. They note that not everyone has the ability to start a business with a group of people and tap into unlimited venture capitalists for funding.

Some actually have to dig into the couch cushions and under the floor mats to find money and resources to allow things to grow.

You rarely need as much as you think to get started. It is also worth knowing that there’s something immensely gratifying and rewarding about being lean and independent. So keep your costs low and really ask yourself what you need to get up and running. Try to be conscious of significant windows of opportunities that would require you to grow much faster than you can grow organically. When you take advantage of this, you may not have any important reason to seek outside investors.

Permission

Of course, most of us were raised to seek approval and follow the rules. This habit is often carried over into adulthood. Experts say these approaches don’t apply to entrepreneurship. It is definitely important to get outside opinions or perspectives before starting a new business, but whatever you do, do not always allow other people determine your direction for you, especially when it has to do with business. Take whatever useful advice they have and ignore the non-useful stuff that they say based on incomplete knowledge.

Experts say the more unique your idea, the more resistance you will most likely get. But keep moving forward. You should realise that if these people had waited to get permission before they started their businesses, they never would have gotten to where they are now in the venture.

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

 

 

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