The ABC of Starting and Building a Thriving Business in Uganda

Jan 20, 2019 | Business Ideas

Thriving BusinessMost people in Uganda, when they think starting a business, their mind concentrates on capital. Yes, startup business capital is so important and hinders many people from starting businesses. However, it’s not the only issue that you should focus your mind on because you can have the money but still fail to build a thriving business.

I know people, who had money and started businesses, but their businesses collapsed within the first year. Why do you think they failed to build a thriving business? The answer is that, they thought that when you have startup capital, it is enough to venture into business. Think twice before you start any business! And if you want to succeed in business, here are the ABC of starting and building a thriving business.

What is the ABC of Starting a Thriving Business?

In my experience, the success of any business depends largely on the way you establish it. As you think starting a business, consider the following points to be important:

  1. Make a niche discovery
  2. Think having a unique product or service
  3. Have a memorable business name
  4. Make a business plan
  5. Register your business

Make a Niche Discovery

Make Niche DiscoveryI have always received requests from people on the kind of business they can do. Unfortunately, I always find it difficult to figure out which business is suitable for everyone. The onus is always upon you to discover a viable business idea. What I have done before is to list down here a number of low-cost home business ideas. Though this list is not exhaustive, it helps you to awaken your mind.

If you find yourself lacking in generating a business idea, I have written several articles on how to identify and generate viable business ideas. Please read these articles to help you:

One, How to Identify the Right Business Ideas

Two, How to Assess the Business Ideas You Have Generated

Three, How to Generate Business Ideas Through the Brainstorming Technique

However, having a business idea alone is not enough. Usually, most people have an idea of what kind of business they can do. What they may not know is whether the idea will work or not. And this is where the secret of starting and building a thriving business is. If this is the situation you find yourself in, please take a breath.

One of the first steps to consider before you start any business is to make a niche discovery. Your success will depend largely on how well you go about this aspect. For more information on what a niche discovery is, its importance and how to carry it out, please read this article: Make a Niche Discovery before You Start any Business.

Think having a unique product or service

Vegetable BusinessOne of the reasons of failing to start and build a thriving business is not having a unique product. Uniqueness is a key to business success. However, most people in Uganda are lazy to do their own research. They simply jump into any business because they see other people operating it. That’s risky indeed.

Before you start your business, ask yourself how the product or service you intend to offer is going to be different from others. Uniqueness could be with the product or service itself. It can also be the way you intend to provide the service or product. If you need to learn more about the importance of having unique products, please read this article: Unique Products: How Uniqueness is Key to Business Success.

Have a memorable business name

Business NameThe name you choose for your business can either lead you to success or fail you. Your business name is always your first impression with your clients. They see a sign with your name and they either remember it or forget it. A business name identifies who you are and what you offer. It helps customers to find you, talk about you and recommend others to you. So it’s very important.

Because business names have power, you should be careful when selecting a name for your business. Business names can be emotional. For instance, a name such as FACO can offend or attract clients. I have heard people associating it with the word to “F…” Sorry I cannot mention but I think you get the point right.

When selecting your business name, choose a sticky name which will help you to build a thriving business. A sticky name is one that customers can easily remember and attracts attention.

Make a business plan

business planIt’s always beneficial to start a business with a plan. If you’re already in business and you don’t have a business plan yet, think creating one. Starting a business without a plan is one of the reasons why people fail to build a thriving business.

Never start a business without a business plan. Creating a business plan is not hard. You can do it yourself if you learn a few things. Alternatively, get someone to develop it for you. It will save you a lot.

The business plan will help you to achieve the following:

  • It helps you to carry out research on the products / services, targeted customers and competitors.
  • A business plan helps you to know how much money you need for the business.
  • It enables you to get finance. If you’re seeking finance for your business, banks and investors will need a business plan to be sure that your business will be successful and profitable.
  • It helps you to know where you’re going and how to go there. This enables you not to run your business blindly. With a plan, you work out the business goals you want to achieve and the strategies to achieve them.
  • A business plan gives you control over your business. You can step back to see what works in your business and what needs improvement.
  • A business plan helps you to know the risks involved and how to prevent them.

While it’s important to have a business plan to build a thriving business, it’s equally important to know that it isn’t a document you write once and store in the drawer. You have to review it and keep it up-to-date when circumstances change.

For more information on planning, please follow our blog posts on business planning.

Register your business

Having gone through all the above processes, you then embark on registering your business. For more information on how to go about it, please read this article on starting a business in Uganda. We can be helpful when you need a company seal.

What is the ABC of Building a Successful Business?Successful Business

  1. Be fearless and have the enthusiasm to run your business.
  2. Start small to go through the learning curve.
  3. Equip yourself with business skills.
  4. Be ethical when running your business.

Be Fearless and Have the Enthusiasm to Run your Business

One of the challenges of starting a business is overcoming the fear of jumping into business in the first place. This is so common with people who are used to a monthly pay cheque. Another challenge when they finally succeed in starting one is lack of perseverance and enthusiasm.

With business you have to persevere to build a thriving business. For you to be able to persevere, you must have a lot of enthusiasm. For more information on this, read our article on Successful Business – Your Success Depends on your Mind and Enthusiasm.

Start Small to Go Through the Learning Curve

One of the mistakes most Ugandans who want to start business do is the temptation to start big. They invest a lot of money to start a business. This is dangerous, especially if it’s your first time to venture into business. And when you do so, you risk losing all your hard-earned money.

I would therefore advise whoever intends to venture into business to start small and then grow gradually. This helps you to go through the learning curve and to build a thriving business.

Equip yourself with Business Skills

Business SkillsIf you don’t have business skills, it’s hard to build a thriving business. It’s important to know the skills you have and those that you will have to learn or delegate to others. With skills that you don’t have, focus on learning them over time. Alternatively, you can either hire employees that are strong in specific areas or engage the services of professionals. The following are the business skills that you need for your business.

  • Communication skills – one of the ingredients to business success is your ability to communicate effectively to your customers. Acquiring assertive communication skills will help you to build a thriving business.
  • Strategic planning
  • Delegation skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Sales and marketing skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Team building skills
  • General management skills
  • Cash flow management skills
  • Financial management skills
  • Time management skills

If you want to know more about each of them, get a book and read. But we shall also discuss them one by one on this blog.

Be ethical when running your business

Business EthicsEthics involves learning what is right and wrong and then do the right thing. When you are in business, you have to put in place business ethical standards. That’s when you will build a thriving business.

However, most Ugandans follow prey to unethical business behaviors which have led many to collapse. One of the business ethical values that spoil businesses is honesty. Be honest in your dealings to survive in business. There are other values like respect, responsibility, hard work, reliability, consistency, open-mindedness, efficiency and many others.


Starting a business is not easy. It has never been easy at all. But building a thriving business is also another difficult aspect. For you to start and build a successful business, you should take into consideration the above points.

Do you have a question or additional information to share with us? Please use the comments section below to ask or comment.


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