The perfect business plan

  • Madhusheel Arora, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Sep 14, 2014 12:42 IST

A recurring observation in the tricity is that setting up a business for their sons and daughters is a prime worry for the city’s retired officer-elite. A question often posed is: “Which business offers the most margins at the least effort? We have this-and-this property in …(and so on).” This leaves me stumped, not because there is no legitimate answer, but because of the least effort caveat in the interrogative.

Is there any business in the universe that can satisfy a doting parent that their ward is into a profitable-enough business and yet not stretching himself/herself?

Of course, the answer is no.

However, it is always the demanding customer that drives the market and the question is actually not as meaningless as it appears prima facie. In fact, this could be an opportunity for the sharp-minded traders, the academics and the researchers to, may be, come up with some plausible answers to the eternal business dilemma --- which trade offers most margins with the least little effort? To get an answer, especially for those interested in setting up a new trade in the tricity, it will make sense to know the kind of businesses kicking and running.

The first thing to do is to take a walk of the area where the property is located and see if your idea will gel with the environment. This might seem like a simplistic solution, but it is amazing that how many wannabe business owners/operators do not seem to have done this until very late in the planning stage. For instance, a place with no eatery around might, at first glance, seem like an excellent choice, but then will the area residents visit the market for your food alone? Something to chew over, perhaps.

After the walk, a market research survey is in order.

One needs to stand at a corner in a market and observe the transactions at various kinds of shops. For instance, at a garment shop in the area, how many customers enter and what proportion actually come out with the shopping bag. It will also help to note that if there is a confectionary shop nearby, what are the items sold and at what frequency?

It will help if a list can be prepared of the kind of businesses; it will never work to open a cosmetics shop in an area with student population, when a stationery and confectionery kiosk will have a better chance, any day. Of course, till now we have concentrated mostly on the external factors impinging on the business and that too in the narrow domain of services sector as that is what the tricity’s bread-and-butter is.

Now, we need to move to factors internal to the business holder/trader. If you have been diligent enough to walk around your locale and also worked on the lists and observation, all of which would have taken around a fortnight of study, then you obviously do not believe in the maximum margin, least effort adage. This suggests that you will run the enterprise successfully.

So, what are the best suggetions for the business to get into? Trust your observation and instinct and you will do well.

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