Tips For Small Businesses

This page is dedicated to providing useful information for small business owners in Madagascar. I regret that my Malagasy language skills aren’t good enough for me to present this in Malagasy, but can always use and translate this whole Web site into Gasy.

  1. WILL YOUR BUSINESS MAKE MONEY? Hahazo vola ve ny orinasanao?

The main reason you are opening your business is to make money so you can support yourself and your family. If your business is not going to make you money, then why even open it? It would make more sense to just take a stack of ariary and set it on fire. Making money is what this is all about.

This Break-Even Point Calculator shows how much money you need to make to just be able to pay (cover) your expenses. Once your expenses are covered, everything else is your profit, and THAT is what you need to help your family. You NEED profit. You’ll need to take your time when you complete the online form. Give honest answers about how much everything costs, and even though it’s designed for US Dollars, just ignore the dollar sign ($) and input ariary. No need to convert into dollars.

It will tell you how long it will take to reach your break even point, and the longer this takes the more your business will struggle. This report gives you the chance to modify the idea you have about your business (prices, number of clients needed, extra services you can offer, etc.). If your current plan doesn’t work, then maybe you need to change the location (for lower rent), increase or decrease the hours of operation, revise prices of individual items, create extra services you can sell, stuff like that.

In the end, you will need to decide if it’s worth the risk. Even the best business ideas can benefit from creating a business plan.

2. IS YOUR BUSINESS EVEN NEEDED? Ilaina ve ny orinasanao?

You know that the Malagasy people are really good at imitating others. And whenever I see a marketplace where there are a dozen people selling items, and each vendor’s display is identical to all the others, I always just shake my head because I know that NOBODY is making any money. This is a business model that has been duplicated all over Madagascar for years, and without giving it any thought, business owners think it makes perfect sense to set up right next to someone else, selling the exact items, same display, same prices, with virtually no difference. It doesn’t make any sense. You won’t make money like this.

One of the things you need to ask yourself is “Is my business even needed in the area I’ve chosen to open it?” That’s where market research is key. By looking around town, looking at competitors, looking at where people live, where they work, and go to school, you can get a better understanding of the whole environment. It will also allow you to examine competitors (people who have already opened the same business), see how many clients they have, and if you’re lucky, they may even share with you how much money they’re making. If there are already several other competitors in your intended area, you should think about locating to a place where the need is greater, which could make more money for you.`

Market research can help you find customers you might have otherwise overlooked, and can help you see if your business is unique, or what competitors you face. It’s all a part of identifying your market (those who will purchase your product), so you will be able to write a business plan, increasing the odds that your business will be successful.

3. LAUNCH YOUR BUSINESS. Atombohy ny orinasanao.

The link, below, covers a number of topics, including picking the best location, choosing the business’ name, opening a business bank account, and other issues (that don’t apply to the Malagasy).

Afaka miresaka momba izany isika

Once you’ve gone through these few exercises, if you need to talk to me to help you decide what you’re going to do, please contact me. I’m happy to help.

Facebook: Malagasy Lisa