By Emmanuel Odoemelam
If your life will get better or worse it is up to you. In the same vein, if your previous business idea will see the light of the day, it is up to you.
In recent times, we have seen all kinds of financial support programmes for startups and SME entrepreneurs, yet the number of people who truly need the funds can’t access it. The few that had access to the funds have very little to show for the funds accessed.
World Bank recent facts on African Startups show that; Nigeria sends the most requests for funding, Kenya gets the most funding. South Africa gets the most investment.
With this in mind, every aspiring entrepreneur in Nigeria should know that it is time face reality. It was John F. Kennedy who said, “do not look at what America can do for you, but look for what you can do for America. I take the license to paraphrase it, do not look at what investors, banks or government can do for you, but what you can do to make your idea a reality. In case investors or government funding comes along the way, that can be a plus. But don’t seat back and waste while waiting for external support.
Here are ways to finance your business yourself.
Start With What is Doable: Starting with what is doable entails looking for what you can make. What you decide to make is up to you. A lot of people are more interested in shopping online and what they fail to realise is the fact that some of the goods they order online were things made by people. What can you make that you can display for sale on Jumia and Konga online shop?.
Sell It!: If you don’t want to make something, you can decide to resell something. Do you have used clothes, shoes, electronics, phones etc. that you don’t really need for now? Why hold on to things when you can resell them to raise seed capital that will help you launch your business through which you can achieve your financial goals and replace the things which you sold with a higher quality ones. Some of the platforms that you can use in reselling your used items is www.jiji.ng or www.olx.com.
ng. You can also sale at the open market.
Sell A Service: For instance, if your goal is to raise capital to publish your book, you can start by blogging and also register your blog with site where you can get paid by offering services online. Example of such websites are www.elance.com, www.
skillshare.com, and www.fiverr.com. Some people are good writers and they easily write, as a result of that they think it is something easy, but what they don’t realise is that there are people who need such services and they are willing to pay for it.
Barter To Get What You Need: You can’t totally completely start a business without capital. For instance, if you will sell your services online, you will need a laptop and internet access to operate the websites. If you have a skill of designing website, you can decide to design a website for someone who sells used laptops in exchange for a laptop or if you have computer maintenance skill, you can decide to be maintaining computers for a cyber cafe owner for free in exchange of free access to the Internet with their system. For example, when I was going to launch my book, the hall I proposed to use cost seven hundred thousand naira, which was too expensive for me. But there is a church that has paid for a whole year for the hall. I had to barter by facilitating a seminar on how to start a business for the church members in exchange to use the hall for my book launch.
Be A Sales Man: A young man I interviewed on my radio show recently, told me how he started his tyre business. He went with his aunt to buy a tyre, only for them to realise at the point when the vulcanizer was about fixing the tyre that they bought a 2010 tyre at the price of 2015 tyre. That led the man to study about tyre after which partnered with a friend who’s father sells tyre and together they designed a website where people can buy tyre online. From my observation, I realise they don’t stock tyre, they only pick up tyre from his partner father’s shop and supply. All they do is just the job of a sales man: market a product via their website and make sales. What do people need around you that you can find a distributor of that product and be the sales man for online or offline.
With this little piece, you can fund yourself if no one decide to fund you. I wrote this piece so that you can stop giving those excuses of lack of capital is the reason I’m stuck. Paul Adefarasin, often say, excuses are the tools of the incompetent, the monument of fools and those who use it are not wise. I hope this 5 lessons will help you stop using lack of funding as an excuse for your business venture.