ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Start Smart And Start It Now!

It is common to hear intending business owners bemoaning lack of adequate funds as being the major set back on their path to entrepreneurship.

One of such persons, is Mike.

Mike had for some months indicated strong interest in fish farming, but seemed to be limited by: “I do not have enough money yet”.

Below was my discussion with Mike

Me: Have you been trained in fish farming?

Mike: Yes, I have

Me: What species of fish do you intend to farm?

Mike: Catfish

Me: What pond type do you plan to construct?

Mike: Concrete pond

Me: Why concrete pond?

Mike: It lasts longer.

Me: Do you have a marketing network?

Mike: Not quite, but I’m working on that.

Me: Do you have any experience in fish farming

Mike: No, I just got trained.

Me: How much have you budgeted from your business plan?

Mike: N650,000

Me: How much do you now have?

Mike: A little above N200,000

Me: What is your monthly financial plan for the operational running of the farm

Mike: 20% of my monthly income from my teaching job will take care of the monthly running of the farm.

Me: What start-up and operational expenses will N650,000 cover?

Mike: Land, cost of building 2ponds, cost of 1000 fingerlings and 700 juveniles, and medicals,

Me: Where do you live?

Mike: Kubwa, Abuja

Me: Do your parents own a home in Abuja?

Mike: Yes

Me: Then start from your parents backyard.

Mike: Not possible! My parents have plans of erecting a one-bedroom apartment at the backyard in no distant time.

Me: Yes, it’s very possible, except there isn’t enough space.

Mike: Space is not the problem, but the idea of constructing a concrete pond there, is the problem.

Me: Then use a tarpaulin pond instead.

Mike: How?

Now, this is what a tarpaulin pond looks like:

It’s a mobile kind of pond, made of thick tarpaulin mounted over a four-legged frame

The frame enables the tarpaulin to take the shape of a cuboid. When the weight of the water in is much, the four legs can be doubled to withstand the pull. Its is usually of various specifications, 5mx5mx1m, depending on the number of fishes.

After explaining to Mike, he saw that his farm was actually closer to him than he previously imagined.

He went for a brief market survey for a quality tarpaulin, he eventually got a suitable one, and immediately got a wood worker to build a strong wooden frame.

Within 8 days, the pond was ready, waiting to be used.

Within 3 weeks, he had started his fish farming business, though, a little fewer than he previously budgeted.

Within a space of 3 months, Mike had built a good relationship with other fish farmers, and they were indeed very supportive. With the support of other farmers, a marketing network was opened to him.

Note: He built the network by associating with fellow fish farmers, who saw his passion and creativity.

The point is this: Limited start-up capital is indeed a challenge, but an entrepreneur who is passionate shouldn’t be limited by that. What makes you an Entrepreneur is your ability to creatively pursue your goals.

Plan big, Start small, and Start now!

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