The dream of every entrepreneur is to someday own a successful business. Starting and running a successful business in Ghana is a good idea because you can afford to do things when you want it without your boss looking over your shoulder. But as cool as it may sound, starting a profitable business is a very demanding task that only a few businesses survive.
As an entrepreneur, you should be able to identify profitable opportunities in the country. The Ghanaian economy keeps growing every day and it is the wish of the government that more businesses are set up to help speed up the growth of the economy.
However, the process of starting a business begins with an idea. Once you think the idea is good enough to build a profitable business, then the next step is to develop your business idea into a viable business plan.
A business plan is one of the most important ingredients when preparing the recipe for a successful business. Without a well-written business plan, your investment in your business may just be akin to flushing money down the drain.
In this article, I’ll be sharing with you the key steps and processes that you need to start a profitable business in Ghana.
- 1 1. Evaluate Yourself
- 2 2. Find a Business Idea
- 3 3. Conduct Market Research
- 4 4. Develop Your Business Plan
- 5 5. Register Your Business
- 6 6. Build Your Team
- 7 7. Develop a Marketing Plan
- 8 8. Grow Your Business
1. Evaluate Yourself
One thing you need to do before starting a business is to, first of all, evaluate yourself. You need to ask yourself some of these questions and answer them with all amount of sincerity.
- Do I have the skills needed to run this business?
- Do I have what it takes to lead or manage a team?
- Do I have what it takes to raise capital for the business?
- Do I have the passion and motivation to make this a success?
So, be very sincere with your answers and if the majority of your answers to the above questions are “YES”, then you are ready to start your own business.
Before you go further, I’ll recommend you read this insightful article “what no one will ever tell an entrepreneur“.
2. Find a Business Idea
There is no business without a business idea. However, not all business ideas are worth starting at all. Most often, the best business ideas are unique, practical, needed by the market and easy to scale. In the search for a business idea, start by looking at what problems exist in your environment and try to provide a solution to such a problem and monetize it.
And if your business idea is completely new, think of what your business can offer and focus on how to create something better and cheaper. You may need to ask questions from people, make your own research and as well seek for advice from entrepreneurs.
3. Conduct Market Research
Once you’ve got your business idea, you need to proceed to conduct market research. This research is to know your competitors and target customers; which sex group is your business aimed at, what age group, which demographic area are they and at percentage they constitute in the country’s 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.
4. Develop Your Business Plan
A good business plan is very essential for the success of your business. A business plan 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.
The major aspects of an ideal business plan include:
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 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.
This section is for the provision of a high-level review of the different elements of your business. In the business 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.
As earlier indicated, 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 of 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 for 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: This information is not necessary if you are a sole proprietorship business.
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.
READ ALSO: How to Raise Money to Start a Business in Ghana.
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 company’s performance.
Prospective financial data. All businesses, whether a 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.
5. Register Your Business
Registration of business is very paramount for everyone that wants to start a business. You should register your business with the government of your country or with the body responsible for business registration in your country.
The Registrar General’s Department (RGD) is responsible for registering all business entities in the country. To get started, read our comprehensive guide on how to register a business in Ghana.
6. Build Your Team
If you’re planning to run a sole proprietorship business, then you may not need to start building a team. However, if you’re going to employ people, you’ll definitely need to build a strong business team.
You are building a strong team for your business because these people are meant to contribute to the growth of your business but if the team is not well built, they can as well help to bring down your business. So do it build to grow and succeed?
7. Develop a Marketing Plan
Just like your business plan is important, your marketing plan is also extremely important. Many Ghanaian business owners start a business without a marketing plan or an idea of how they intend to promote and sell their products. This is a mistake you should avoid. Have a clear plan on how you intend to penetrate the market and outsmart your competitors.
8. Grow Your Business
Growth is vital to the survival of a business. Any business that is not growing will surely die no matter how long it takes. Make sure you do everything possible to ensure the constant growth of your business.
The number one metric to measure the growth of a business is a steady positive cash-flow. The more cash-flow a business generates the more ability it has to grow and expand the business. Hence, ensure that you have the right tools to help you keep track of your cash-flow from day one of the business.