Some of what I said about expanding a business without borrowing money has been questioned. Those who have experience riding a bicycle are aware of how challenging it can be at first. You will fall frequently and possibly sustain injuries, but eventually you will become more adept at riding and will even be able to do so without holding the handles.
In business, the starting point is always weighty. Unfortunately, a lot of people mistakenly believe that once they launch their businesses, everything will run smoothly.
The starting point will never be obvious because it is difficult to determine the ideal moment, location, and industry. The required amount of capital is challenging to raise.
It is a process, so if you want to succeed, you must be prepared to put yourself at the bottom and work your way up. Start off without a shelter, even under a tree, and keep growing until you get exactly what you want.
I only had one hundred dollars.
I had just enough money to launch my brick molding business when I registered my company, which was worth $100.00.
I needed a truck to transport supplies and deliver bricks to clients if I was going to run a successful brick molding business. To mold bricks, I needed to hire workers. For production, I had to rent a brickyard. To name a few things, I needed cement, a brick molding machine, stationary, protective clothing for workers, branding, and advertising. All of these required a down payment of at least $50 000 point 00, but I only had $100 00 to launch this business. I think a lot of us today are dealing with a similar circumstance. You want to open a business, but you only have 1% of the necessary funding. What then ought to you do?
When all was said and done, I realized that I only needed P1000, which is what I had on hand. 00, which is equal to $100.00, how am I supposed to launch a company that needs $50,000.00 with such a meager sum?
Because they are so crucial to comprehend, I keep stating the same numbers.
This is what I did; I had a vision that I knew was worth more than $500,000, but the funding I had at the time was insufficient. Numerous people who are currently in the same predicament are frantically knocking on doors in search of funding from banks, relatives, and friends, but no one is responding.
You understand why no one is eager to back an idea. You need to get started and demonstrate to the public that something exists in reality as well as on paper.
Our initial stock was molded.
In my case, I never wasted time looking for money; instead, I simply thought about what I could buy with P1000 ($100,000), as it is known in Philippine currency.
Only 10 bags of cement, priced at P55 (roughly $5.50), could be purchased with this amount. With the remaining money, I hired one person to help me produce bricks and purchased river sand, a hand brick mold, and brick production supplies.
It took weeks before we sold anything after we had molded our first stock and were waiting for customers. While we waited for our first customer, we spent our time watering the 380 bricks and arranging them so beautifully.
We decided to create a vegetable garden in the brick yard because there was some space there at the time.
After two weeks of no sales, we finally had a customer come in for the first time. He was just looking around and told us he needed 1000 bricks, so we increased our inventory. We only had 380 bricks on hand, and we lacked the funds to buy more, but I promised to up the stock anyway so I wouldn’t let him down. Another customer came before the end of that same week, but she wanted 800 bricks, so she paid us the entire amount.
To get the 380 bricks to our first client, I rented a truck. Since each brick cost P4, or 40 cents, the customer gave us P3, or $320.
After six months, I added another 12 workers.
I put every penny to use by purchasing more cement and river sand for brick-making. This time, I bought more cement, and since we produced more than 1000 bricks, I was able to deliver the balance to our customers and call the other one who needed 1000 bricks.
Thus, this cycle continued until our revenue started to gradually increase. After a month, we began selling vegetables from the vegetable garden at a discount to the women selling goods in the shops. Another revenue source was that. Since I did not receive a salary, I used my earnings from selling vegetables primarily for self-maintenance and to purchase airtime.
I had hired more than 12 people after our company had been operating for six months. They were all dressed in branded work suits bearing our company’s name, Skhano Ltd. I was able to hire a truck full-time so I could make deliveries.
I succeeded in purchasing our first truck within our first year of operation.
This is undoubtedly a practical lesson that shows that, if you’re determined, you can start with the least amount of money and increase it.
With what you have, you can launch a business as well.
I started my business with just equivalent to $100.00 and within two years it was worth more than P500 000.00 (equivalent to $50 000).
When starting a business, it doesn’t matter how much money you have; what matters is the vision you have and how adamantly you want to see it through.
Someone today said, “I have a business idea worth a million dollars; I need funding of about $100,000, or a loan.”. You will never receive that money from my sister or brothers. If you take your business seriously, get up and start growing your $10 into $15, then $20, and so on until you reach your objective. The only option is that. Never waste time creating lengthy, profitable business plans that you will submit for funding. You still need to learn the business even if you receive that funding.
It was a useful lesson to learn and understand my business when I was working with limited resources. To try it today is my challenge.
by Dr. Barnabas Marambire.