Posted: Wed, April 04, 2018 | By: Entrepreneur Workshop
The Brighter Brains Institute is now offering an Entrepreneur Workshop, titled iPROSPER.
The workshop was co-designed with Masereka Sebastian, a successful entrepreneur in the Kyarumba region.
BBI’s is to offering the workshop to groups throughout Subsaharan Africa, that have previously taken our Critical Thinking Workshop.
The outline is posted below:
iPROSPER - the Entrepreneur Workshop
This workshop has 7-Steps, to guide participants towards success in their entrepreneurial goals.
The 7-Steps are iAM, iRESEARCH, iANALYZE, iCALCULATE, iPLAN, iMANAGE, and iIMPROVE
The first step in the workshop is examining who we are and we we already know. Please write down answers to all the questions below:
What are my skills? What abilities do I already have, based on school grades, work experience, and how people praise me? (Examples: public speaking, mathematics, selling, farming, languages, computers, building, leadership, teaching, fishing, driving, art/design, etc.) Ask your friends, or workshop participants what know you, if your list is accurate and complete.
What makes me happy? Write down all the tasks you have performed that gave you pleasure. You will be able to work harder at entrepreneurial projects if you enjoy the activities required. (Examples: the same list as above, plus anything else that gives you joy.)
Who can help me? Write down all the friends and family members who can possibly assist you. Do you know people who are already successful at business who can aid you? Is there a collective, a business association, or women’s group that you can join - where people share entrepreneurial ideas? Are there people in your community who are wealthy and might be able to train you or employ you? Are there successful people who live far away, who can help you if you relocate? Are there people who always have great ideas, but not enough time to do them all - can you ask them for guidance? Do you know anyone who can provide you with goods at a low price, or anyone who can introduce you to successful people who can help you?
Spent some time trying to connect the answers to these three questions: Is there a skill you have that makes you happy when you work at it, and people who can help you turn that skill into an entrepreneurial business? Think hard, and write down at least three possibilities - entrepreneurial ideas that you have the skills for, that require work you enjoy, and you know people who can help you.
After that, write down at least 3 ideas that have very positive answers in two of the three categories. For example, if you have a skill that you enjoy, but no one to help you develop it - write it down. Or if you have a friend who will help you in a business you enjoy, but you think you have no skill at it, write it down anyway. Our goal is to come up with at least six entrepreneurial ideas.
If you are comfortable sharing these ideas, explain them to a friend, or other participants in the workshop. If you are worried other people will steal your ideas, you don’t have to share them.
iRESEARCH You now have at least six ideas for entrepreneurial projects. Write down each idea on a separate piece of paper, at the top in big letters. Under each idea, write down everything you need to learn to truly succeed in this business.
Write down the additional skills you need to obtain.
Write down all the competition in this field - are there other people in your region doing this work? Is your skill level equal to theirs? How will you compete against the others? What advantages or disadvantages do you have?
Write down everything you can read about business success in projects like yours. On the internet, look up articles on people who have been successful doing this type of activity. Read expert opinions on the future possibilities in the business you’re interested in. For example, are tilapia fish in increased demand in local restaurants, and for export? Are solar electric systems in increased demand? Write down everything you read on your intended business venture, but also, write down everything that knowledgeable people tell you.
Below is a long list of Advice and Warnings
Advice from successful entrepreneurs, explaining their success.
I had no competition, I was the only one in my village who was buying and selling passion fruits at that time.
I observed maximum hygiene during selling pans
I had adequate capital
I gave time to the business
I listened to the demands of the customers and could speak to the customers humbly.
I asked some friends and some business owners for advice.
I reduced business expenses
I got a loan from HOFOKAM micro finance and boosted the business.
I owned the room and did not have to pay rent.
I knew from my grandparent how to prepare sweet Katogo.
I always informed the customers of new products I had
I could add some Tangawizi to make my tea more liked.
I put my business in a busy place and made sure that I bring new things.
I made sure that my workers are clean
I gave some customers discounts and my customers increased
I woke up early and stayed in my business
Warnings from unsuccessful entrepreneurs, explaining their failure.
Some identified jobs/ businesses in which they had no skill.
Poor location of businesses.
Some used to get absent for many days and got to the business late.
Some traded in perishable goods like fish and tomatoes with stiff competition.
Some couldn’t observe hygiene at work
Some were not focused; they wanted to trade in this and that without seeing into the pros and cons of businesses.
Some were forced to do certain businesses by their husband, parents and friends
Some were tired with the work, heavy for them and were not happy.
Some businesses were far from their homes and they could not get to work easy.
Many responsibilities at home like cooking, looking after children, husband and animals.
Others failed because they became pregnant during their business time
Others failed because some suppliers stopped bringing goods.
Some could not withstand the traveling on pick-ups to go for business
Other failed because they lacked market for their products.
High business expenses like license, rent, transport, lifting luggage etc.
Insecurity, some businesses were stolen.
Depending on magic and prayers to make the business prosper made some fail.
Others because new traders who bring related products came in and customers decreased.
Some couldn’t calculate, they don’t do proper recording, no cash book in business, no contacts of people who they transact business with; don’t record profits or losses and therefore no communication.
A good number could not advertise for their businesses and few customers were aware of the busineses.
Also, write down all the ideas you have on obtaining customers for your business. In your research, find out how other people got started as entrepreneurs in this business. Did they grow their business by using the internet, or other media? If your idea is completely new, are there projects that are somewhat similar to yours, and have they been successful?
When this step is done, show your research to people you trust, especially those who have experience as entrepreneurs. Does the advisor agree with your research? DO they think certain facts are more important than others?
Based on the research you have done, which of the six ideas seem best? Pick the three best ideas, and continue.
Now you need to examine the potential and risks of each of your business ideas. Put the name of each plan on a separate piece of paper, at the top. Draw a line down the middle. On one side, at the top, write “Pros” - on the other side write “Cons.”
Under “Pros” write everything positive about this particular plan. Examples would be, “does not require lots of money to start” and “I have many friends who can help me with this” and “I have all the needed skills” and “does not require travel.” Examples of “Cons” would be “there are many competitors” and “does not make much money” and “is very dependent on rain” and “the work is not enjoyable.”
Write down all the pros and cons for each of the entrepreneurial projects. Be sure to include everything. Show the list to people you trust, especially people with entrepreneurial experience. Ask them for advice; did you forget to put anything down in the “Pros” column? Are there risks you forgot in the “Cons” column?
When you are finished, compare the Pros and Cons of each entrepreneurial project. Does one project have many “cons” but they are all small problems that can be solved? Does one project have only one “Con” but that one presents a big risk? For example, would you need to borrow a large amount of money at a high interest rate?
This is a very important step; be sure that you have thought of everything.
When you are finished analyzing each project, mark them as #1, #2 and #3, with #1 being the entrepreneurial plan that seems best at this time. #2 is second bast, #3 is third best.
This order might change after the next step is completed.
Get three new sheets of paper. Headline each paper with the title of one of your entrepreneurial plans. We will “do the math” now.
For each project, write down the cost of every expense item. Call this list EXPENSES. How much money needs to be invested? What items need to be purchased? Tools? Machinery? Supplies? Do you need to buy land, or rent office space? Are there advertising costs? Are there travel costs? Will you need assistants that need to be paid? Write down all the costs and add them up. Are you sure that these costs are correct? They to calculate your expenses per month.
Many entrepreneurial ideas fail because the costs end up much higher, much more expensive than the entrepreneur thought they would. Do Not Be Optimistic About Your Expenses.
Compare the expenses for each of the three plans. Which plan has the lowest risk, in terms of cost?
Underneath this list, write down how much money you think the business can earn. Call this list INCOME. Be cautious. Many entrepreneurial ideas fail because the income turns out to be much smaller than anticipated.
If you are selling an item or a service, write down how much it would sell for. Also, write down how long it will take to sell the item or produce the service. For example, perhaps you can sell 50 bags of tomatoes for “x” amount of shillings per bag. If so, how many hours of work and how long does it take to grow the tomatoes? Or perhaps - as a carpenter - you can make a book shelf and sell it for “x” amount of shillings. How long did it take to make the book shelf? You need to determine how much money you can make doing each plan, in a month. Write that number down under the list of Expenses and the amount of Income.
Compare the income for each of the three plans. Which plan has the greatest potential to earn a lot of money? Does one plan have very low potential income? Perhaps it is low-risk and easy to start, because it doesn’t require a lot of expenses, but — if it does not gain much money it is not a good plan.
Now subtract your expected expenses per month from your estimated income per month. This is very important. Your plan might make a lot of money, but if expenses are high, your profit at the end of each month will be only a tiny amount.
Write down your expected PROFIT at the bottom of each page.
If your expenses per month are actually a greater amount of money than your expected income, this is not a good plan. It is a terrible plan.
The best entrepreneurial plan is one with high potential to make money, that you enjoy, that is also low-risk (it doesn’t require a lot of expenses). Do you have a plan like that?
Which of your plans looks best, after analyzing the expenses and income? Which plan offers the most profit per month?
It is now time to put together a Schedule for your entrepreneurial plans. Get three sheets of paper, write the title of each plan at the top. Underneath each title, write all the steps you need to take to get the project started, and the dates you intend to take every step. For example:
March 1: Rent storefront
March 2: Paint storefront
March 3: Go to Kampala, buy merchandise wholesale.
March 4: get shelving for store
March 5: put merchandise on shelves
March 6: pass out fliers at market centre
March 7: open store
Write down all the required steps needed to start each business. Are there licenses or permits you need to get? Utilities you need to install? Products you need to buy? Write down everything you need to do before the business can start, and every activity that must be completed before the business can be started.
When you are finished writing everything down on the three schedules, look at each list. Is one plan easier to start than another plan? Will one plan start earning money in one month, but another plan won’t make money for four months? How important is that?
Are there obstacles in the schedule? For example, is a certain permit difficult to obtain? Is getting a loan not available for a long while? Is it possible to get all supplies quickly? How soon can you advertise your new business?
Compare the information on the iPLAN pages to the information on the iCALCULATE pages and the information on the iANALYZE pages. Is the most profitable plan also the one that is easiest to start, or is it that hardest to start?
Show your iPLAN information to someone you trust, preferably someone with business experience. Ask them if your schedules look correct.
Examine all the information you have gathered.
Are you ready to start your own entrepreneurial business?
Before you start your business, get a “cash book” where you record all your business expenses and income.
After every purchase and transaction, write down the date, the amount spent or earned, and other important information -
like the contact information (name, address, phone number, email address) of the person you did business with.
Also, obtain an envelope that you keep all your invoices and receipts in.
Being well organized allows you to operate effectively, easily access business data, prioritize, focus on goals and keep staff and employees updated.
Poorly organized behavior can irritate managers, staff, and customers, and waste everyone’s time.
Even if someone is brilliant, if they have poor business skills it will impinge on everyone around them,
and will lead to a general loss of productivity and effectiveness for business.
It pays to keep order in your physical surroundings, your office, and your computer files, as well as in your thinking -
it helps run the business as effectively as possible.
Also - be punctual for meetings and appointments, meet your deadlines and maximize your own and others productivity.
You want to be seen as dependable.
Strive to work smarter, not harder.
Key management and business skills include the ability to:
Pay attention to details
And to deploy:
Problem solving skills
Decision making skills
Evaluate your business every week, look at the costs and income information recorded in your cash book.
Consider ways you reduce costs. Consider ways to generate more more funds.
Evaluate your priorities on a regular basis. Don’t perform tasks out of habit
Think creatively of ways to expand your business.
You should never remain static in what you offer -
Constantly expand your products or services
Expand your marketing reach, and your client base.
Stay alert to changes in technology so you compete successfully.
Improve your business skills in the following ways:
- Plan and schedule next week at the end of this week
- Keep a list of what needs to be done. A list will help you to select what you can prioritize and what you can delegate
- Set goals with timelines
- Prepare in advance. Never arrive at a meeting or appointment without having prepared yourself as best you can.
- Prepare each evening for the following day, even if you just have time to read through your planned itinerary. This way your subconscious will work on details overnight and you may wake with great business ideas. Also you will sleep better knowing you have the day sorted out in your mind.
- Try beginning your day early. Many successful people have this habit. Productivity is often at its highest early in the day.
- Use an effective filing system so you don’t waste time looking for the right file or folder.
- Don’t undertake unrealistic deadlines -Say no if you have to, giving your reasons.
SUMMARY of WORKSHOP
You have successfully completed the iPROSPER Entrepreneur Workshop of the Brighter Brains Institute (BBI).
To conclude, we want to remind you that we are “Humanists.” We believe human beings control their destiny. Our actions decide the future.
Humanists do not believe in magic, superstition, spirits, demons, gods, or anything that cannot be scientifically proven to exist.
To be successful entrepreneurs, you will have to work hard at your tasks, and think smart. Your human ability, your imagination, and intelligence, and willpower, will assist you so that you can profit.
Education, Networking, Research, Analyzing, Calculation, and Planning can guide you to entrepreneurial success.
You can help yourself, because you are real, and you are smart.
Here is a list of two things that cannot help you, because they are not real, they are based on magic and make-believe:
1. Offering sacrifices to traditional African witch doctors, or paying them for magic potions, is useless. Giving them a hen or a goat will not help your business succeed. In fact, it will harm you — because you are giving away a valuable item and getting nothing in return. That is foolish business. Traditional African witch doctors have no powers at all, and you should not waste your money on them.
2. Praying to gods and giving money to Christian and Muslim priests, ministers, and mullahs, is also a waste of time and money. Prayers are a waste of time; there are no gods, saints, or spirits who will listen to you and give you what you want. Giving money to religious people is also self-destructive - you are only making them richer, and yourself poorer. Do not believe religious people when they tell you that if you give them money, their God will make you rich.They are lying. They are just making themselves richer with money that ignorant people give them.
To conclude: Your entrepreneurial ideas will work if you use your education, your creativity, your mathematical skills, and your organizational skills. You can help yourself.
People who try to sell you “magic” ideas cannot help you. They will only make you waste your time and money.
PROJECT PROPOSAL FORM (all project proposals sent to Brighter Brains Institute need to use this form)