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How to start a business in Uganda

How to start a business in Uganda. Starting up a business is not as hard as you may expect.

With the correct guidance and a good attitude, anyone can readily start up a business in Uganda. Business is all about barter trade.

You trade your product or service for the customer’s money. That is what a business is all about. Nothing more.

How to start a business in Uganda

The question that should be on your mind, however, is what product or service am I going to trade to my customers in exchange for their money?

If you find an answer to that question, you are ready to start up your business.

For all of you who are still contemplating what product or service they can offer to their customers, this guide is for you. Business ideas to choose from your business

We will simplify the process of starting up a business, right from how you get a business idea to when you open up your shop to your customers.

If you promise to read this post, you will see how easy it is to start up your own business in Uganda and how possible it is for everyone to start a business here in the pearl of Africa.

Let us look at the steps involved in the startup of a business.

Step 1:Look for a problem in your area.

A business is nothing else but a solution to a problem. As you are planning to start your business, this is the question that should be on your mind. “What problem am I solving?”. Until you find an answer to this question, it is not advisable to start up a business yet. 

Problems can be found in many different ways. But majorly problems are found in two ways;

  • By looking at the challenges you face as a person or,
  • Looking at the challenges faced by other people. 

After coming up with a problem, the next step is looking for a way to solve that problem. It is this solution that will later be turned into a business idea.  

Step 2: Come up with a solution

After getting our problem in our society either from within(the challenges you face personally) or without(the problems faced by other people), the next step is to develop a solution to that problem. This is by far the hardest step in starting up a business. 

Business solutions are majorly two types. They are either;

  • Products or,
  • Services.

Product-based solutions are those solutions that can be physically touched for example bread, a car, chapati, and many more. Service-based solutions are not touchable. Examples include Airtime, Internet, Counselling services and many more.

Examples of business solutions that provide products include; hotels which provide food, hardware shops which provide building materials, farming which provide vegetables and many other businesses. On the other hand, service-based businesses include; Counsellor who provides counselling, a mechanic who repairs spoilt electronics or cars, and many others.

Product-based solutions are so many as compared to service-based solutions. But no matter which type of business solution type you want to use, consider the following;

  • The type of people you are making the solution for. Will they like products or services?
  • The nature of the problem itself. Does it require a product or service?
  • The cost of production. A product or service solution, what is cheaper to manufacture?
  • Your expertise. What are you skilled in? is it its products or services?

After determining the way how you will deliver the solution to your potential customers either through products or services, you will then go to step three which is carrying out market research.

Step 3: Carry Out Market Research

Market research according to Investopedia is the process of determining the viability of a new service or product through research conducted directly with potential customers.

Having a solution is one thing and it being of value is another. Market research helps you identify the value of your solution to your community.

If your community feels like your business serves them no purpose you better change your product or your business at large because they will not support you with their money and time.

Carrying out market research helps you test your product’s value to your customers prior to investing a lot of money in your business and time because you may waste your resources for nothing.

Ways to do Market Research

  • You can go and meet your potential customers and ask them if they like your product or,
  • You can make a sample (Minimum Viable Product MVP) and show it to your customers and ask them if they like your product
  • Start your business but with little investment and test and see if customers will like your business and then invest more money in your business.

A point to note: Market research is so crucial especially if you are going to start a business that has not been done before in your area.

If your new business is similar to other businesses that are already running well in your society, you can skip this step because there is already a market for your product since many other businesses like yours are doing fine.

Market research is like a report card to show you if you should go ahead and start your business or don’t start it up.

If you successfully complete your market research and see that your business can be profitable and is valued by your potential customers, you go to the fourth step which is legalizing your business.

Step 4: Business Registration

After completing market research successfully and seeing their businesses as viable, most people start their businesses straight away but they forget a crucial step which is business registration.

Business registration is the process of officiating and legalizing your business with the legal bodies concerned with business in your area.

In Uganda here, we have the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) which handles this. Most people do not like registering their businesses because they see no value in this process but they are mistaken.

Registering your business has many advantages which include;

  • Get a unique business name that can not be used by any other business or organization,
  • Getting funded by the government through the government grunts,
  • Getting partnerships with other NGOs which normally partner with well-registered businesses.
  • Getting tax benefits if you register your business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC)

To register your business you need to visit the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB). For More details about business registration, there is a complete guide here from URSB.

After registering your business, you pay the necessary authorities for the licenses of operation. Here in Uganda, we pay the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) for business licenses.

Step 5: Startup Your Business

In this step, there are two substeps. They are;

  • Preparation step
  • Opening up step

Preparation step

In this step, you prepare your business for the grand opening. It is during this step that you clean your room if it is a shop and stock it up well. 

If you are going to manufacture the products, you start manufacturing if it is a retail shop, you start preparing your business and shopping for your business and open it up when it is ready.

Opening up step

This is the final step in how to start a business in Uganda opening up your business to your customers. If you have a hotel, it means starting cooking for your customers. This is the final step of your journey.

After the long journey, you now enjoy your research, persistence, and determination to share your solution with your customers and your community.

If in case you have seen this all and still have not come up with a business idea, don’t worry.

We got you covered. Here is our list of Profitable Business ideas in Uganda 2020.

Your Turn…

That is all that is needed to start up a business in Uganda. It is so easy to start up a business in Uganda and not as hard as people say.

What is your say on starting up your own business in Uganda? Is it hard or so easy?

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