By Nakamanya Lukayya
Starting a Business in Uganda requires quite a number of things that nobody will tell you before you start, they only manifest themselves after you make mistakes and have to start all over again if you are patient.
The Homeland Newspaper caught up with Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho, a Journalist and Entrepreneur in Kampala Uganda with interest in various enterprises.
He said that many of the factors should be considered, but here are a few that you must do before you start any business in Uganda and these include:
- Plan ahead
Profit is not immediately guaranteed and this is where a lot of people go wrong, Make sure you’re financially secured to cover losses should they occur.
Without proper planning, you will run out of cash trying to make up for unexpected losses and this is how most startups grind to a halt.
Have enough capital to sustain your business (depending on the type) for a few months before you realize profit.
- Identify your market
I remember starting a clothing thrift shop along a busy road. I was sure my business would take off because of its location.
The first few weeks proved me wrong; the road was busy alright, but it was located in an area of very low-income earners who hadn’t a coin to spare on extra shoes or clothes.
I ended up closing the shop as I was using my own money to pay for rent, money which I hadn’t factored in.
Ensure you have a market for your product before you begin. Location is of uttermost importance.
- Classify your product
Classifying your product will help you know how frequently it is needed by your market. Electronics are fast moving, but not as much as food products and clothing.
Networking is simply unavoidable if you want to be successful. Get word out to as many people as you can about your venture.
Don’t network blindly either; if you provide transport services for example, it would only make sense to meet with people who require transport services often.
Be smart. Networking also helps you meet people in the same field who will provide useful insight on how to run the business.
- Work on your marketing strategies
Marketing takes any business to a better place than it would have been without it.
The more people know about your product/s, the more customers you will have resulting in more profits.
If you’re not tech savvy and cannot use social media, bring someone on board who can.
Create a website if you can and make sure it’s frequently revised. Have free products to be used for trial as some individuals like to “see to believe”.
- Identify your competition
Do adequate research on who is offering the same product as you are. Visit their location, watch how they operate, visit their social media, check out their pricing and so on.
Most importantly, identify their weaknesses. Understanding your competition will give you a better footing when you land in their field as you will be equipped with necessary knowledge and you will know how to capitalize on their weaknesses for your financial gain.
- Be up to date with legal matters
Being up to date with legal matters is one of the things nobody will tell you before you start a business.
Find a name for your business by searching whether it is available online or or go Uganda Registration Services Bureau [URSB] or do an online search.
Register your business at the URSB office near you, so that you start operations legally.
Blindly setting up a business without following the law can land you in trouble and you may end up losing your business.
Imagine picking a business name that already belongs to another person, group, or corporation. You could be sued for it.
- Don’t quit your job too soon
Unless you have reliable backup, don’t quit your job to focus entirely on your business. Have a team that can take care of the nitty gritty so that you can keep your job.
For those who have insufficient capital, for example, this will work best as you can be sure of available funds every month to sustain your business. What if you quit your job and your business fails? Operate cautiously.
- Make sure it’s your passion
You will excel at something that you love to do, no doubt. If it is your passion, you understand it fully and know what you require to take it to the next level.
You will always have new ideas to make it better. Additionally, you will not easily give up when times get hard.
- Seek advice
Before you start a business, don’t overwhelm yourself with all the details. When you’re stuck, seek a mentor to help you move from your difficult point.
Talk to family, friends, colleagues, or acquaintances.
You will be surprised how much knowledge other people have that will come in handy for your business.
Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho,
Founder & CEO, The Homeland Media Group Ltd,
Reach him on whats-app +256 752 207186 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org