• September 25th, 2018
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Starting a business in Namibia

Business & Finance
Business & Finance

Talitha Jario Many people dream of owning their own business, but the prospect of the leap scares them. They fear they will not live up to expectations or will simply waste their precious resources on something that might not succeed. As many successful entrepreneurs will tell you though, risk is part of the package. Everyone risks failing, irrespective of how much time they put into fulfilling their dreams. So, what are some of the things you should be considering before you decide to take the leap? Obtain a licence to operate In Namibia, before any business transaction can take place, you need to have a licence to operate. There are general business regulations required from the Ministry of Trade, along with other institutions. If you are entering into a specific industry, confirm whether you need specific licences to trade, such as permission and licences to sell a particular product or service, perhaps offered by the manufacturers. You should always check this before starting out. Remember, operating without a licence or failing to comply with business regulations can result in disastrous repercussions for your business, both financially and legally. You need resources It is an unfortunate fact of life that cash is king and no business, regardless of how excellent or creative the idea is, can survive without adequate financing. In the first instance, you need to identify what it would cost you to not only start the business, but also to cover monthly expenses until you start making a profit. You should also consider other resources such as skills development, equipment, and any facilities you may need to assist you in delivering your product or service. Knowledge and skills If you are considering entering an industry in which you have no formal qualification or skills, it is important that you acquire relevant knowledge on the subject matter. Research thoroughly and consider attending courses relating to the sector. Identify your target market The first question you need to ask when starting a business is who will buy your product or service Remember, businesses exist to address consumer needs, whether they serve to simply life or enhance leisure time. They need to speak to your customer’s needs. It is also important to ask yourself whether the market is ready for your product or service – timing matters. You should recognise that you cannot appeal to every consumer and you should not try, although you can segment your strategy in ways that enhance your product or service’s appeal to different demographic groups. Sustainability in business in vital A business can be feasible and have market potential, but is it sustainable in the long run? You need to ask yourself some serious questions at the beginning of the process to ensure ongoing success. Ask yourself: are you dependent on natural resources such as minerals, water and electricity, or can your business be replaced by innovative technology, such as an automated system that allows clients to cut you out as the middleman? Be aware of market trends Following market trends and keeping track of changing consumer habits will allow you to adapt to consumer needs and wants. The things that you may think are important to them may not be, do not try to predict without evidence. First World countries often influence trends, so keeping track of the global market also places you at an advantage. Count the costs A business requires sacrifice and so you need to identify from the beginning what you are willing to give up in order to grow your business. This will include the amount of time you devote to it and how willing you are to cut expenditure and begin saving to add to future business projects. Examine your external environment Does your external environment support your business idea? We do not really have control over factors within the external environment. Whether these factors are connected to the weather, political climate or regulatory framework, you need to assess whether these external factors would have an impact on your business. Examine the risks There are general risks and those specific to your industry, which you will need to identify and address. Left unchecked, these can affect profit, service delivery or your company’s reputation. Issues range from theft and negative customer reviews through to increased operational expenditure due to either importing goods or an increase in utility services such as water, electricity, or rent. These are some of the things you need to watch out for. Then look at their potential impacts and the steps you could take to address them. Develop your sales strategy It is not simply enough to identify your target audience. You need to know how your business will make money and what strategies you need to employ to attract and retain customers. Also, consider the ways you will make potential consumers aware about your product. If you want to maintain the lead in your market, what actions will you take to remain on top? Competition is fierce and businesses are entering the market every day so think of effective methods of securing your spot in the minds of your customer. In conclusion This is merely an overview of key things you need to consider when seeking to start a business, although it is by no means exhaustive. Remember, when you start a business, there are numerous things to consider, and many of them are specific to your industry. Do not get caught out. * Talitha Jario is the owner of The Public Relations Box, which offers public relations consultancy services to Namibian businesses
2017-10-09 10:20:11 11 months ago
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