start a business

How To Start A Business In Uganda

In Uganda today, a good number of young people are looking to start up businesses with hopes of earning something. Uganda has a great number of opportunist young people with almost 10% of them starting up businesses,  a 1/5th of whom are failing before the end of the year. As a young person who seeks to be successful, one should know that starting a business is a risk and this involves strategic planning, key financial decisions, a series of legal activities, et Cetera. However, these 10 steps can properly guide you on how to start a business in Uganda.

Step 1: Make Business Research

Let’s assume you already have a desirable business idea right at the back your mind, now there’s need to benchmark and try to match it with reality. Is your idea feasible? Is there a possibility of it succeeding? Is your business going to going to solve any problems of fulfilling a certain need? How best can you know this? Do a market research through focus groups, prospect customers, talking to those who have succeeded and maybe trial and error this will help you weigh your idea. Now through the market research the following questions will be answered;

  • Is your anticipated product actually needed by the people?
  • Who needs it?
  • What is the competition like?
  • How will you beat the competition?

Step 2: Write A Business Plan.

Remember proper planning prevents poor performance. A business plan is a summary of how you (the entrepreneur) intends to organize and implement the various activities necessary and sufficient for the venture to succeed. This ideally makes planning one of the most important aspects if one’s venture is to succeed, therefore an entrepreneur should spend quality time to come up with a standard, feasible and visible business plan.
A business plan is intended in answering the following questions;

  • How much will it cost you to provide this product or service to my customers?
  • How will you increase the volume of your business?
  • In what ways will your business offer a better deal than your competitors?
  • What kind of people will you need to hire?
  • Can the work be done without these people?

Step 3: Source and Plan For Finances

To begin with, before seeking financial help you need to create a budget for your initial period. This will guide you on what amount of money you need and where to allocate it. Your budget should cover;

  • Company Registration Costs
  • Rental costs
  • Capital for Inventory
  • Salary
  • Bills
  • Transport among others

Next, if you do not have financial resources, take advantage of the various existing financial options say a bank loan, personal savings, parental support or investors that understand you want to start a business.

Step 4: Choose A Business Structure

Your business can be a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company or a limited company. Whichever entity you choose, have it in mind that it has a big impact on the types of taxes you are bound to pay, the number of individuals you employ plus the business name. If you are not knowledgeable enough on which entity or structure to take up be wise to consult a lawyer or colleague that has done this before before you take any steps.

Step 5: Register Your Business Name

Picking a business name should be thought through critically, normally an individual is made to apply for the picked name by Uganda Registration Services Bureau. The name is then searched through a database to pass the similarity, desirability tests to ensure it’s availability. If results show similar names then another has to be used until it passes this stage. In the case of successful results, this is your green card to start a business any day.

Step 6: Aquire Business Licenses and Permits

A variety of licenses and permits  apply to different businesses depending on the class of the venture and location. One may need to make thorough research to understand what license and permits apply to his or her business. Note that this paper work is very vital before one can legally start operating so it’s highly advisable to have a lawyer in the presence.

Step 7: Select A Business Location

You need to choose whether to buy or rent your working premises, where to work from home or move to public space.  Not forgetting there’s a new option taking Uganda by storm which is sharing work space through hubs that support young people looking to start a business. Plus you will need to choose whether to locate near the market or the source of raw materials all intended to reduce on the costs incurred in production. You need not to forget that all these considerations depend on the type of business you are venturing in.

Step 8: Recruit / Arrange Your Team

If your business requires you to recruit workers, it’s at this point that one has to recruit, however an entrepreneur should take his/her time, identify the various positions to be filled plus stipulating their responsibilities and the skills needed by those to fill these positions. If it’s a sole proprietorship and you are going down the business lane alone still you may need to organize your team including your mentor-ship, family or business coach all who will support in the process.

Step 9: Start the Business

Now that almost all that is required is in place, you have recruited the appropriate team, and the work place is set. Get back to your schedule book and close the planning stage in preparation for business opening stage.

Step 10. Market / Promote Your Business

Now that your business is up and running, you need to lay strategies on how to attract more customers to your business. Remember you are the business owner, you know best who your customers are so only you can best understand how you want to be noticed by them in the market.

Once all this is done, consistently work towards bettering your venture each and every day that passes but keeping in mind that success does not happen overnight.



4 thoughts on “How To Start A Business In Uganda

  1. Pingback: Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize for Enterprises (CHF 400’000 Prize) •

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