In my last article on “Starting a business in Afghanistan,.” I described the importance of starting a small business in Afghanistan.
The following article contains my perspective on “How to start a small business.”
The following are some of the essential points that might help you start a new business in Afghanistan. It is not entirely the same as starting a business elsewhere around the globe.
- Find your passion: the first step towards starting a business that stands out of the crowd (become successful) is finding out what you are made for. Starting new businesses always comes with good and bad times. It needs a lot of hard work and attention. Hence, one might feel mental pressure due to problems such as financing the business or else. Therefore, If the only driver for starting a business is money, you will not be able to cope with the challenges you might face while successfully setting your location. This is one of the reasons for the failure of a number of businesses. When one’s reason for starting a business is more than only making money, then hard times will not affect you and your business because your passion drives you towards a direction that you strive to reach.
- Do not re-invent the wheel: starting small businesses and startups always come with innovative ideas. Successful businesses solve severe problems like PayPal that introduced the online payment method. New ideas take time to be tested in different markets, and after the test, the founder can understand if it can be a successful business. Considering the problem that you want to solve, it is not always necessary to be the first on earth to test the idea. First, observe the problem, find out what do you want to solve. Once it’s clear what do you want to do, then start looking for solutions elsewhere. Try looking at those countries that have similarities with the context in Afghanistan. You don’t have to invent a solution and test it. However, you instead have to try localizing your answer, this will save your financial resources and time while reducing the likelihood of the failure in new businesses as we have a long way to go as a country that deals with conflict for so many years. This means many problems and, of course, opportunities for entrepreneurs.
- Find the pain point: typically, businesses start to solve a problem. No problem means no potential for business. It describes a situation whereas a business you will not survive if you are not solving a real problem or serving real customers. While working on the issue, one might have to have the following points in mind: a. The problem market. Is it a personal problem for you, or you think others are also dealing with it? So, the larger the market size, the more the profit. b. The problem pain level: you have to find out it is a problem that hurts people and gives them pain, or is it just a problem that people want it to be solved, but no one is ready to pay for the solution. So, the more serious the problem, the more potential the market has.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people: set your goals wisely (refer to my article for goal setting). Once you have your goals set, take a look at your current circle of friends and surroundings. Are they the kind of people who think and act the same as you want? If so, then keep them around. However, if they did not, start looking around and identify those who can help you achieve your goals. These people will help you think and feel differently. For example, you can validate your idea, find suppliers, and think about things you have never considered the same before. Therefore, don’t lose the chance and upgrade your surroundings with those who can help you get closer to your goals.
- Find the right business partner: the idea is energy, which attracts the same powers. So if you think about starting a business, think about it while working hard on it. This will attract likeminded people. Also, as startups and small businesses, you will need services and products to run your business. Most of these products and services will cost a lot, especially in terms of recurring expenses. Therefore, having a business partner in your business will help you share the burden and costs while also sharing the profit. So far, the concept of owning the whole place was a dominating mindset but now holding small pies in different businesses is the new wealthy mindset. Hence, finding the right business partner will undoubtedly benefit one.
- Join an Incubation Program: Incubation programs help you set up your businesses by giving you practical advice and mentorship. Through incubation programs, you will get to know other players in the market, successful businessmen and businesswomen, and that will help you with:
a. Setting up your business
b. Networking with mentors
c. Finding investors
d. Changing your idea and polish it before officially initiating it
Do not forget to stay tuned for a new interesting article on “What to start as a business in Afghanistan.”