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The business journey – Part 1




The business journey starts with creativity. Michele Shea said “Creativity is seeing something that doesn’t exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God.” Starting a new business venture is a process which starts with being creative. You need to find opportunities, evaluate them and develop them. Being creative can be unsettling to the inner man, because of fear of failure. The external forces can also resist novel ideas. You need to put all the effort if you have to be creative and come up with new ideas.

The process of establishing a business goes through phases of firstly identifying and evaluating an opportunity or idea, secondly the development of that opportunity into a business plan, thirdly determination of the required resources to exploit the opportunity, and finally the management of the venture.

The process of identifying and evaluating potential opportunities for a business venture requires one to be creative, be alert to possibilities.  As you try to identify or generate ideas you should look at your personal and entrepreneurial skills and competencies and then match these to the prevailing environment and future circumstances. There could be an unmet need in the marketplace that you can fill by using your skills and competences. In some cases if you have a certain hobby that you enjoy so much like cooking or photography you can use that hobby to fill a need in your community and thereby start a business venture. You need to think outside the box or actually get out of the box. You need to be creative. Creativity is not so complex. The obvious might be what you need to get that novel idea. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple said “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” Business ideas sometimes come from your interaction with customers, competitors and suppliers and your business associates. Through your conversations with these people you will pick possible opportunities or problems that need a solution. You might also identify business opportunities when working on other projects. Whether you have identified the opportunity through your interaction with customers, business associates, or employees each opportunity must be carefully screened and evaluated. The evaluation of the opportunity is very critical because it allows the entrepreneur to assess whether the specific product or service has the returns needed to justify the investment in the resources required. The evaluation process involves analysing the risks and returns from the project, looking at the real and perceived value, looking at whether the venture fits with your personal skills and your goals as an entrepreneur, and lastly whether you will have the unique competitive advantage to survive in the competitive environment. You need to assess the market size and how long you can exploit the opportunity as you evaluate the risks and rewards. The risks reflect the market, competition, technology, and amount of capital involved. The return or reward of this opportunity needs to be viewed in light of any possible subsequent opportunities as well. For the opportunity to be a success it must fit your personal skills and goals, and also you should be able to invest the necessary time and effort and make the necessary sacrifices.

Opportunity evaluation or analysis requires that you focus only on the opportunity and not the whole business venture and this provides the basis for making the decision of whether or not to act on the opportunity. During this analysis you will look at the product or service that you will provide, assess yourself and your team to see if you are capable of exploiting the opportunity or you will need other skills. You also need to analyse the processes or activities and resources needed to translate the opportunity into a viable business venture. You need to assess the sources of funding the initial venture as well as its growth. The assessment will look at the market that needs to be filled, any protection or patents that you need to safeguard your idea, what is the competition like, is there an international market or competition and finally you should see exactly where the  money in to be made in this activity and how you will make it.

About the author

Stewart Jakarasi is a business & financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy and performance management. He provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations. For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts: or +266 58881062 or on WhatsApp +266 62110062


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