RAP Bank

Thursday, August 29, 2013

You Don’t Need Millions to Start A Business – You Can Start Small

It baffles me when I listen to ‘wanna be’ entrepreneurs nag about their inability to start up a business due to unavailability of funds. The truth is this; most of these young chaps don’t have what it takes to become an Entrepreneur. I have seen people start up their businesses with no cash down! The game of Entrepreneurship is a number’s game; you have got to start from
somewhere and be smart about it.  These days, getting money for start up is tedious, the Banks request for collateral; individuals find it difficult to entrust their money to anyone; and it’s worse if you are perceived as a young starter. It takes the grace of God to get start up cash from individuals. During my NYSC year in 2009 I had written a business proposal to a lady who was interested in helping me after I told her I would love to go into business after NYSC program. The budget was over N1,500,000, she was initially interested to help but declined after she discussed with her friend who advised her against giving money to a young chap to invest; she said there was not guarantee I would keep my part of the bargain. Long story short, she narrated her ordeal with a young chap who made away with her N3,000,000 two years before; she explained to me she no longer felt comfortable with the arrangement due to fear of losing her money again. Well, just like they say, ‘once bitten, twice shy’. With that being said, it is advised to start on a small scale and grow the business; with this strategy, you understand the business and gain more experience. Even if you fail as most businesses do, you will fail on a small scale.

Do you want to know how to start without millions?
Do you know you can start a business without cash? Yes, I did it! Well, the system works based on trust. Some months back, I had desired to add an extra source of income to my paid job as life in Abuja is expensive, I contacted my Dad who imports stock jeans from China; he had sent me over 150 pairs of Jeans which I sold with a profit of between N300 – N800 on each of the pairs. I had paid back the money for the goods and started making orders with my profit. Yes, I know your reaction! Well, it’s your Dad! This strategy can work for anyone. You can make a deal with a store owner, you can sign a Memorandum of Understanding, give him details of your home address with a form of identification. The trick this, when you approach anyone for deals like this, do not beg! Make them an offer they cannot refuse. If he sells for N1,000, offer to pay N1,100 on each item if he agrees to your demand; this strategy is just for a start, you can later bargain as you build trust. If you don’t try, how can you be sure it would work or not. If you observe carefully, most wholesalers now seek the services of marketers/re-sellers in order to make more sales so this makes it easy for you. Before you proceed with this strategy, please make sure you have done your due diligence; you need to ensure you have a target market for the products. The best products to sell are products that offer solution to problems; weight loss products sell like crazy, but you need to be sure the products work!

What if you had only N10,000, How Can You Start With It?
I read about a young female undergraduate who made N150,000 in 2 weeks just with N10,000 start up. Are you surprised? Don’t be! It’s common sense. Do you know there are online stores where you can buy quality products for dirt cheap in China? You don’t have to go to China. These trusted stores accept Nigerian Master/Visa Cards, you have the product shipped to you here in Nigeria. Have I already given you an idea of what to do? Still want to know more? With N10,000 you can buy few quantities of a select product as samples, walk into your target stores and make them a deal! Show them the samples of the products and offer to get more for them if they can pay half of the money in advance. Please always identify yourself when you do this. Most people might not feel comfortable with the arrangement since they don’t know you, but believe me, a good product will make people want more of you. Secondly, you need to exhibit confidence in order to make this work. I assume you already know that part else you shouldn’t consider yourself an Entrepreneur! One cool evening after my 8-5 job, I had walked into a boutique to meet with the owner; I came in with a smile and greeted her. I asked about her business and family, and then I told her I had some stock jeans and chinos that would boost her sales. She told me she wasn’t ready to buy but she could take a look at it. I brought in the trousers; she took a look at the materials and immediately asked me for the price; to my surprise she took 20 pairs immediately with part payment. Guess what? I had called her the following month to inform her I had new stocks, she requested for 30 pairs again!

Other Marketing Strategies
A simple marketing strategy I advise is FACEBOOK! I feel sorry for people who spend hours on the internet adding new friends and engaging in meaningless chats! Most Entrepreneurs have recognized the use of social media to promote their products and services. You can create a fanpage for your products and pay for adverts. Imagine what happens when you have over 10,000 targeted fans on your page? What this means is when you post an update with your product or services, 10,000 people get to see it. What if 1000 people purchase your products, do the mathematics! Like I said earlier, it’s a numbers game.

Honestly, there are lots of ways small businesses can start up; all you need to do is to take action and start with what is available. Have you heard of how graduates and undergraduates are leveraging on the use of the internet to make money? Do you know you can raise money for your main business by working online? Do you know you can render services online with the little skills you have? Even without skills you can outsource the work and get paid for it! If you don’t know this yet, then you are still living in the past. There are hundreds of ways to start up your business without having millions of cash. All you need to do is this – ‘Follow who know road.’
To your success.

Ikenna Victor Agina.


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