Don’t quit your day job: Experiment with your idea. Find out what prospective customers think and whether there is a market for your product.

Get the paperwork out of the way: Attend to regulatory requirements early, so that you don’t waste valuable selling time once your business is launched.

Be prepared: Don’t launch before you have systems in place for record-keeping, invoicing, book- keeping and customer care. These keep your business running while you focus on sales.

Build up sales before you launch: Ideally, get a few regular customers before you go into the business full-time.

Get some suppliers on your side: See if your suppliers will give you a few months in which to pay while you are starting up. This way, you don’t have to get loans to buy supplies.

Start slowly: Some products or services may sell better than others, with less infrastructure and cost. Start with these to get the cash flowing.

If borrowing money from family and friends…

 DON’T be too relaxed about financial agreements.

 DON’T ignore the possibility of failure.

 DON’T ask for more than they can afford to do without.

 DO keep them regularly updated.

 DO be open to their advice.

 DO consider being mentored.

Five venture capital basics
1. Build a management team:
Experience and the ability to grow the company is the number one priority for most investors.
2. Make your business plan stand out:
Show the potential of your idea. Be concise and tell the truth.
3. Approach the right investor:
Don’t waste your time on people who have never put money into a company like yours.
4. Know your market:
Compile statistics, interview potential customers and read trade journals.
5. Network, network, network: Develop relationships with attorneys, accountants and people who have investor connections


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