The Best Way To Start A Business

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The best way to start a business is to first do it as a side hustle. Start it part time. Work on it in your spare time. Rather than think your business idea is too common and not worth starting, start it part time. Rather than only thinking about how to make money of that special skill of yours that is constantly getting you commendations, offer yourself hirable part-time, outside your day job hours. If you want to run a store selling specialized goods, it's much easier now, signup on Konga or Jumia and put up those goods for sale without having to spend hundreds of thousands getting a physical store first.

Whatever business you want to start, start it part-time. And start it now.

Figure out the final product or service you'll be offering your customers/clients and take the cheapest route to provide that product/service. If you do it right you will discover that you can start that business part-time regardless of how demanding your day job is. 

In my case, I wanted to start a consulting business. What is common in Nigeria is that consulting firms use a very western sounding name -- Jakes and George consulting, Royal Hilt e.t.c. -- and they get a well furnished expensive office space in the parts of Lagos that look great on business cards. But I asked myself what the cheapest route to providing the services I'll be offering is. And I found out that there will people who do not care where your office is or what your company name sounds like but care only about if you can get the job done perfectly or not. So without even setting up a company or quitting my job I began calling myself a consultant. I created online adverts marketing my services. I began getting calls. Sure I lost some businesses/customers because they wanted a company and not me, an individual, to do the job but I got many other jobs where what simply mattered was that I delivered. If I hadn't taken that leap I wouldn't have gotten any deals. If I had decided to get everything perfectly set before launching I would be launching too late and missing the useful experience I got from getting rejected by clients who wanted a company to do their work and also the skill sharpening experience from working on the jobs I secured. And after more than a year, I was getting so many deals I ended up having no weekends as I spent them on doing one client job after another and I had to make the decision to either slow down or face it full-time.

Now, I'm doing it full-time. And because I started it part-time and know what it is people want the most as regards my company structure I'm having an easy time setting up with just the requirements I need. I don't have a western sounding name because I found out that my clients cared little about that. I rather picked a name I love to use and that I can easily brand. I didn't get an office space first before getting a client. In my line of business, people want to see your office space only after they are at the last stage of purchasing your service or even after. I consolidated my resources on focusing on what mattered most -- adverts, marketing, equipment and getting recommendations -- than doing what I see others do. And I could do this confidently because I already have a wealth of knowledge about what my clients care about, all garnered from my period of doing this part-time. 

Having started my business part-time in a crude and almost incompetent way gave me valuable industry knowledge and a few clients that made transitioning into a full-time business easy. And I believe that no matter the kind of business you want to start, you can always start it part-time. You don't have to meet all the requirements, start from where you are, many customers will reject you and tell you why (useful information) and some will stick with you and get you referrals (building your customer base). But if you don't venture out, if you don't start at all, you will not enjoy those benefits and eventually end up starting your business the tough way.


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