Whether you are a local or foreign entrepreneur searching how to start a business, the following are steps that should generally guide you
However, there are some processes that have been tested and proven that almost every serious entrepreneur have followed in not only starting, but succeeding with their businesses in Ghana.
These steps on how to start a business may work out differently in the Ghanaian context compared to other places, but others are pretty the same.
For example, like businesses elsewhere, business ideas in Ghana are mostly generated from talents, hobbies, passions; or ruthless exploitation of need. However, a careful observation reveals that the latter is more the case, where entrepreneurs take advantage of scarcity in agriculture, business to business service delivery or technological improvements in one sector or the other.
Whether you are a local or foreign entrepreneur searching on how to start a business, the following are steps that should generally guide you:
The first step to starting a business anywhere in the world, including Ghana, is getting a workable business Idea. This is essentially the service or product, you wish to render. It is usually called your value proposition.
For example, you can decide to go into fresh juice production, or quail farming. As stated earlier, most business ideas are generated from a need of the immediate market, a hobby, or a skill.
After you decide exactly what kind of service to render, the next step will be to find out if their other competitors inthe market, and how they are rendering their service. This will help you understand their strengths and their weaknesses. It is also important to gauge how satisfied their customers are with their service, and how to beat them.
Whereas the flaws of some competitors are obvious, others may not readily be, but this could mean that you either look for an alternative market, or propose a partnership.
This directly follows your analysis of the competition. At this point you decide what differentiates your product from others. This could be a quicker way of delivering the service, providing the same quality at a cheaper price, or finding a way of cutting the production cost of the service in order to increase profit margins.
This is when you test your idea and the Unique Selling Proposition in your target market.
You can do this with a Minimum Viable Product, which, when exposed to your target market will give you a first- hand inclination as to what they think about the product and the price they will be willing to pay for it.
This process could be quite different depending on the kind of business and kind the product.
For a new product, for instance, you may want to teach the market how to use it. This means lots of sampling exercises where you give out some amount of the product for free. If it is a service, however, you may want to offer it to a chosen group of clients for cheaper than planned or for free in some cases. These clients form the core base of your initial clientele.
After you are sure that a market exists for your product, and you perfectly understand what your customers want and expect, you are ready to register your company and get the needed licenses required to start you business. Of course at this point you would know if you can meet the needs of your customers.
After registering the business, you are ready to pool resources together to start your business. You need seed capital for production, key partnerships with service providers in your production chain, financial partners, and other partners who will contribute in coming up with the key resources like office space, amongst others.
I will however advice that you start as lean as possible, bootstrap and grow organically. I however concede that some businesses will have to grow fast and grab the market as quickly as possible.
Do you remember the core customers you exposed your business to in the Validation stage? They become your initial customers and the foundation of the growth of your business. When properly satisfied, they will become the ambassadors of your company and draw more customers to you. Use simple marketing methods like referrals and bundling to quickly grow. Also get testimonial from your initial customers to help you start your PR campaign.
Wish you all the best as you start your business today.