In the introductory parts of this series, I promised to devote a post or two to folks who do not currently have any businesses running and will like to kickstart something.
Caveat: I do not have an MBA yet and I am not an expert in the field of starting and running Businesses. Every advice I give in this post and others in this series are strictly my opinion(s) and/or opinions I agree with.. They have worked for some folks but they are not 100% guaranteed to work for everybody.
With that said, let us proceed.
What to start a Business?
Start with these 3 questions:
- HOW? and
It is that simple! just make sure it is in that order.
Now let us break it down.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it
Those were the immortal words of the world famous Simon Sinek and I quite agree with him.
So You want to start a Business…. WHY?
You are offering Me a product or service… WHY should I patronise You?
I believe the first point of call when You want to start anything not just a business is to ask yourself WHY and then go ahead to sincerely provide answers that can convince You first before reaching out to others.
A lot of us tend to start the conversation with WHAT we do but give little thoughts to WHY.
Take for example, I build Websites and Apps…that is what I do…but WHY?…because I want to make your work easier, faster and more efficient. I want to help You process in 3 days or less what will normally take you 3 months, I want You to be able to reach people beyond your immediate environment and even outside the shores of Nigeria… that is WHY I want You to have a website.
I believe You understand now?
Let me use one more example,
Apple as a company has a compelling why and that is why people patronise them.
I am typing this post from a MacBook, the price of the Mac can buy at least 5 HP Laptops but I still chose a Mac why?
Because Apple gives me LUXURY and SUPERIOR QUALITY… this beautiful Lady right here runs on 16GB of RAM, her battery can last more than 12 hours, keyboard is comfy and backlit so I can work even in the dark, and She has never hanged since She came over to my place.
Even though She is expensive, the WHY was sufficient enough to convince Me.
Do you understand?
So You want to start a Shoe business?… Why?
Before your business, we have been buying and wearing shoes…WHY should we stop patronising our current shoemakers and start patronising You?
Why? Why? Why?
Until You can figure out the WHY, I will advise You not to proceed.
Even if it entails going to a Mountain of Fire, Shiloh or “Ori Oke WHY Me”, first figure out the WHY…then You can proceed.
I want to believe You are here because You have figured out your WHY?… otherwise, “Please exit and drop the metal object You have in the box”..LOL
The next important question to answer after the WHY of your business is the HOW.
Now that You have a strong and compelling WHY?
Say You want to provide more durable and comfortable shoes at a price cheaper than the Guccis of this world… Bravo!.. I will like to patronize You…but HOW do You intend doing this?
This is where your IMPLEMENTATION, SUPPLY CHAIN and VALUE CHAIN comes to play.
So You want to provide shoes that are cheaper and better than Gene Bendi’s, how will You go about it?.. Do You intend to manufacture using locally sourced raw materials or You want to outsource to China or Bangladesh where You can cut costs on labour?
You want to sell groceries to a particular Niche of Customers, do You want to sell online using a Website and an App OR do You want to rent a shop at a location closest to your target customers?
How answers How You intend to achieve your WHY.
If You have taken the pains to answer the first two questions, then this one comes very very easy.
As a matter of fact, majority of people that say they are in business are sitting comfortably on this table. Unfortunately most didnt answer the first two questions so their business are not standing on the TRIPOD.
So if I walk to You and ask You WHAT DO YOU DO?
Given the two answers You have answered previously, I bet it will be easy for You to tell me that “You provide shoes that are more comfortable, durable and cheaper than the current expensive ones in the market by manufacturing them from locally sourced raw materials”.. Intelligent answer right?.. Yes.
But look closely at the answer, You only gave me the answer to your WHY and your HOW.
What I am saying in essence is that once You can answer your WHY and HOW questions, then answer the WHAT question should be a problem.
P.S. Often times, your business’s vision, mission, core values and strategic objectives are somewhere lying in the answer to your WHY and your HOW.
I hope You learnt a thing or two from this article?
And by the way, the concept I just explained is called THE GOLDEN CIRCLE OF BUSINESS .
See You in the next post.
I am Seun Ogunmola I help People and Organizations to leverage on Technology to achieve their goals Faster, Easier and Cheaper.
I also write on diverse subject areas including Finance, Business, Productivity and Governance.