Choosing a Business:
What do you like to do? If you are enthusiastic about a particular business, it will help keep you going in the tough times.
What do the local people need or want? Go to your proposed location and live there for a while. Talk to people. No business will succeed unless there is a felt-need in the potential customer base and you must understand that need, it may be different than you think.
Can you make money at this business? Look at how much you can sell your product or service for and how much it costs to produce or provide it. Typically you have to sell something for twice what it costs you in order to stay in business. Don’t give your product and services away, you’ll go out of business quickly and it helps no one in the long-run.
This is not an easy process – 80% of all businesses fail before five years.
Should I be a CEO?
Who will be partners and how do we distribute the load?
Who has ultimate authority for various decisions?
Who will you have as mentors?
Who could serve as an advisory board?
What is your feeling about profit? Is this a real business?
Who will handle the cash?
Who will keep track of the cashflow? When starting out ‘Cash is King’.
How will your business affect similar local businesses? If you will be financially supported in some way, will you have an unfair advantage?
How will you make the business sustainable?
How will you treat corruption?
Garry is a retired businessman who has been mentoring small businesses for the last 20 years. He has been involved in cross cultural business activities for the last 10 years and has visited 20 countries during that time. Garry and his wife are doing small business training and funding in a restricted access country in Asia. Having started, grown and sold his own business he understands the trials, potential pitfalls and necessary success factors of day to day business activities. He continues to learn and share about the cross cultural aspects of business and especially the need to learn about and manage expectations in the local cultural context. Garry is part of our ‘Ask a BAM Mentor’ panel of mentors.