This article is about John, a high school graduate, who started a business with N5000.
John has always nursed the idea of being his own boss.
He knew from the beginning that the journey from school of entrepreneurship was not going to be an easy task. But he was determined to achieve his goals.
Read on to see how he went about it.
John was motivated to go into business after seeing his very good friend, Andrew, who went into business and became successful and rich.
Start business with 5000k: Started As A jobber
John’s first and foremost constraint was how he was going to raise capital required for his business.
Notwithstanding this, he was prepared to do any legitimate job provided he was paid for his services.
Consequently, at various times and places,. he worked as a gardener, messenger and even as a gate man.
Be A Hawker
John decided to start by hawking wares from street to street and market to market.
At first. the idea of hawking or doing direct selling from street to street did not appeal to him, but he had no choice.
It will be recalled that when the Nigerian civil war ended in January 1970, that was how many Igbos in the South Eastern States of Nigeria started to rebuild their lives.
In particular, that was how Onitsha, the commercial hub of marketing in Nigeria grew to its present status.
Start business with 5000k: John sold rat killers and mosquito insecticides
After saving some money from his menial jobs, he started to buy and sell rat killers and insecticides to the locals in his immediate community.
To enable John succeed, he was able to:
- Identify your target audience
- Know where they hang out,
- Ascertain which time of the day they can be found at home.
Consequently, he was able to ascertain that the locals were always at home as from 5.00 p.m. daily.
To kick start the business, he need to buy:
- A basket,
- Some bottles of insect and rat killers
- And a whistle
With his basket containing his products, he went from street to street blowing his whistle so that potential customers could hear him.
Be long, the locals began to identify with him. He became popular. They bought from him because the area was infested with rats and mosquitoes.
John bought a wooden truck
He decided to buy a wooden truck with two wheels.
With this, he was not able to carry his wares with him, moving from place to place.
The immediate advantages to him was that he was able to:
- Carry more goods
- Move faster
- Reach more remote areas
Consequently, John was able to make more sales and profits. His business began to grow.
Start business with 5000k: He rented a store
John decided to rent a store when his business began to grow.
Furthermore, some customers where they could find him on days he could not come to their area.
Because of increase in demand for his products, John decided to hire a sales boy to stay in the store and sell people who needed his products.
John was able to reason that if he combines his outside sales with sales in the store, he would be better for it.
Most importantly, John did not forget to give his sales boy all relevant instructions on how to attend to customers. He drew from his experience selling in the streets.
John bought a sales van
John was truly an entrepreneur in the making. He bought a sales van fitted with a loudspeaker which blared music and advert audio recording to support his marketing campaigns.
Consequently, the vehicle covered even wider areas. He was no longer blowing whistle.
Start business with 5000k: He registered a business name
As John’s business began to flourish, he registered a business name: JOHN AND SONS ENTERPRISE with Corporate Affairs Commission.
The Corporate Affairs Commission is the government agency responsible for registering and regulating the activities of companies and small businesses
Going forward, John decided to attend a workshop where he learned how to manufacture rat killers and mosquito insecticides.
John built a small factory
He decided to build a small factory, employing just two casuals.
Because he was not able to produce in large quantities, his production cost per unit decreased.
He was, therefore, able to sell more at cheaper prices.
Furthermore, he was more able to compete in the marketplace.
The best part is that he was able to make profits after deducting his operating expenses.
Start business with 5000k: Incorporate A Company
When his business became full blown, he incorporated a private limited liability company.
John was, therefore, able to work his way from scratch to the success; thus realizing his dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Most importantly, he was able to achieve his goals of:
- Owning your own business
- Being your own boss
- Creating jobs for school leavers
- Giving back to society
- And enjoying financial security.
By Samuel Ijenhi
B. Sc. Accounting [University of Benin]
Benin City, Nigeria.