Opportunities are around you all the time. They do not disappear in difficult times (in fact , they are greater). As the world offers more problems to solve, the person with the ability, knowledge, creativity, and drive to solve problems will see more opportunities than ever.
With the emergence of the digital world, a single person armed with the power of a laptop and the Internet can be a force overnight. So there’s opportunity and ability. All you need now is an idea and the courage to act on it.
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Step 1: Design your business to succeed
Being an entrepreneur is not that big a deal. You just need to provide a valuable product or service. It’s just a matter of deciding the level at which you want to play the game.
Most new entrepreneurs get excited about a product or an idea that will make them rich. The thing is, the success of a business is created before there is a business.
Once you understand the different components that make up a business, it becomes much easier to design businesses as well as evaluate good ones from bad ones.
As the world becomes crowded with more and more products, the businesses that survive and do well financially will be businesses that focus on serving a deep market need, rather than just increasing their revenues.
Step 2: Understand that Every business owner needs a team
Onyinye has an outstanding recipe for chocolate cakes. Everyone loves them and people are always asking to buy them. She sees a business opportunity and starts a bakery.
She’s excellent at baking the cakes, but when it comes to accounting, sales, marketing, and legal issues—important aspects of any business—she is ill equipped and no longer enjoys her work. She just wants to bake cakes.
Now, all of a sudden, she’s no longer a baker. She’s a bookkeeper, lawyer, and marketer, and not doing well at any of them. The same thing can happen to an accountant who goes into business and finds out he has to be a marketer and sales officer too, or the lawyer who focuses too heavily on the legal aspects of the business and prevents his own success.
As a business owner, your chance of successfully exploiting business opportunities is much stronger if your management team has a track record of success in the business or industry of your proposed business. Your team also includes your outside advisors. Proper guidance from your accountants, tax advisors, financial advisors, and legal counsel is imperative for building a strong, successful business.
Although these advisors can be expensive, their advice can provide you with an incredible return on your investment by helping you structure a strong business while avoiding pitfalls along the way.
Step 3: Master Cash Flow Management
Cash flow management is a fundamental and essential skill if you really want to successfully exploit your business opportunities. Cash flow is to a business what blood is to the human body. Nothing can impact a business more dramatically than not being able to make payroll.
Proper cash-flow management starts on the first day you begin your business. It is shocking to see a perfectly good business go down just because the owners are not financially literate. Many small business owners fail because they do not know the difference between profit and cash flow. They fail to realize that profit and cash flow are not the same things.
Financial literacy allows you to read the numbers, and the numbers tell you the story of the business based on facts. Good cash flow managers review their cash position daily, looking at cash sources and needs for the next week, month, and quarter. This allows them to plan for any large cash need before it becomes a cash crisis. This type of review is imperative for a company that is growing quickly.