HOW TO START A BUSINESS IN GHANA (PART ONE)
The Ghanaian economy keeps growing everyday and it is the wish of the government that more businesses are set up to help speed up the growth of the economy. It is our wish that many of the youth would rise up with business ideas that could help support the economy and themselves as well as foreign investors who wish to do business in Ghana so as to reduce the rate of unemployment in our dear country Ghana.
To help motivate the youth and foreigners to take a step in this direction, here are some useful information to guide you on starting up your business in Ghana.
Step 1: Develop the business idea
The first step to running a successful business, generally, is to come up with the unique business idea. All businesses are unique but not new.
You do not need to generate an idea that has not yet been invented; that is almost impossible so whatever it is that you are able to come up with does not necessarily have to be new.
It can be something that is so common or not yet common in your part of the world.
The only thing it should be is to be unique; that is it should be an idea that would either fix the problem with the already existing business or to change the whole experience with the existing business.
Before, we used to pay huge sums of money to the television, radio and newspapers for information and advertisement; as a matter of fact, we still do; but then the Internet came, not necessarily to replace these media but to make the search for information easier and simpler as well as to make it easier for advertisers to reach every corner of the world.
Also, when brainstorming for that idea, keep in mind that it must be something you have knowledge of and would love to do; it should not just be about the money. As the saying goes, you can only be successful when you have fallen in love with your work.
Step 2: Know your inner circle
After generating the idea, the next task is to find out whom your inner circle is.
The inner circle here is used to describe your competitors and targeted customers; which sex group is your business aimed at, what age group, which demographic area are they and at percentage they constitute in the countrys population; just to name a few.
This task is for you to have every possible idea about the business you are about to start so as to know what you are up for and against.
This will help you in every other step and decision that you may take for your business in either the short or long run. It will also give the firm grounds to run and control your business.
Step 3: Write a business plan
A business plan is very essential for the success of a business. It is a carefully crafted document that outlines every detail of the business. It is with the business plan that you can generate funding and investment for the support of your business.
Here are a sample information that you should provide in your business plan:
- Executive summary
Your executive summary is the summary of your business plan as a whole. It is the most essential section of every business plan.
It is brief information about the location of your business office, what you plan for the future of the business and why your business idea will be successful. This section should highlight the strengths of your overall plan.
The executive summary is one of your best chances to grab a potential investors interest if you are seeking financing.
It should include your mission and vision statement, company information, financial information, products or services, growth analysis and summary of future plans.
If you are a startup business, you will not have that much information as an established business, therefore, stick to your strengths; which are your background and experience and also demonstrate that you have done thorough market analysis as indicated in step two above.
- Company description
This section is for the provision of a high level review of the different elements of your business. In the company description, describe the nature of your business and list the demands that you are planning to satisfy.
Explain how your products or services meet these needs. List the targeted market that your business will serve and explain why you believe your business will be successful.
- Market analysis
As indicated in step two, before launching your business, it is important to research and study your business industry, market and competitors. It is when this has been done that you can be able to make an in-depth analysis on your findings in this section.
In your analysis, you must include a description and outlook of your industry, information about your target market, distinguishing characteristics, how much market share you can gain, pricing and gross margin targets and your competitive analysis such as your market share, strengths and weaknesses etc.
- Organization and management
There are different legal structures of every business. Identify the best organization and management structure for your business and outline them in this section.
It must also include detailed ownership information such as names, percentage ownership, forms of ownership, etc; the profiles of your management team and the qualifications of your board of directors. Who does what, why are you bringing them into the business and also give a detailed description of each department and its function?
NB: These information are not necessary if you are a sole proprietorship business.
- Funding requests
If you are seeking funding for your business, use this section to outline your requirements. The section should include information such as your current requirement, any future funding requirement over the next five years, how you intend to use the funds you receive and any financial situational plans for the future such as debt payment plan, selling your business, buyout, etc.
- Financial projections
The following is a list of the critical financial statements to include in this section.
Historical financial data. If you own an established business, you will be requested to supply historical data related to your companys performance.
Prospective financial data. All businesses, whether startup or established, will be required to supply prospective financial data. With all this information penned down, your business idea is now becoming a reality.
To add more flesh to your ideas, read the part two of this article or download our infographic for a vivid idea on how to start a business in Ghana.