In this fast-paced world driven largely by digital technology, almost everyone dreams of being an entrepreneur and starting a business that they are passionate about. It begins by identifying a problem and finding a solution to the problem.
Solving an identified problem and generating a successful venture from it, begins with a thorough thought process, in-depth analysis, market and technical know-how, and a clear and well-thought-out strategic plan. Though this may sound easy to implement, many entrepreneurs are faced with many barriers that they have to surmount to have a successful venture.
Some, out of the fear of failing pull out from pursuing their passion while some others do not take the ‘entrepreneurial plunge’ at all. The few who do have to face the long and arduous journey of turning passion into a successful business.
In an interview with Ghana Talks Business, Edward Calys-Tagoe, owner of Calys-Tagoe Farms shares 3 major barriers he faced when he commenced his business and how he overcame them.
#1 Access to Finance
One of the biggest barriers to entrepreneurship is access to finance or capital. Almost everyone is embedded with a business idea. But no matter how good the business idea is, capital is needed to fund your ideas to make them a reality. Edward Calys-Tagoe had this to say about how funding for his business proved difficult.
“I approached about 4 banks in early 2000 with my business plan. They each told me they know I have the passion; your business plan is fantastic but the agricultural cycle is too big, and the risk over there is too huge hence, we cannot help,” He recalled in the interview.
This barrier did not put a dent in Edward Calys Tagoe’s plan. Instead of sulking and giving up, he channelled part of his salary into his business venture to commence operations on a small scale. Up to today, he continues to do so to ensure his business lives up to the vision.
#2 Customer insincerity
According to Edward Calys Tagoe, another barrier he faced as a new entrepreneur was customer insincerity. This he says has the potential to kill a new business.
“You sign a contract with your client, in which your client may require you to supply let say x amount of meat products and give them two (2) weeks to pay you back. But when the two weeks is due, they start to give you stories,” He explained.
To surmount this hurdle, he goes into an agreement with the client to take a 50% down payment, before delivering his meat products. After delivery, he takes the remaining 50% balance owed.
#3 Employee Pilfering/stealing
According to Edward Calys Tagoe, he began with seven (7) workers. However, the new business had numerous incidences of stealing and pilfering of the livestock and fresh meat by some of the workers. As a result, he slashed his workforce to only two (2) people. Hence there are only three (3) employees (including himself) currently working on the farm.
To fix the problem of employee dishonesty, pilfering and stealing, Edward noted that he decided to do most things himself and then train his children to join and take over the business.