Start A Low-Capital Business With Vocational Skills

In this article, I want to guide you through the first steps to starting a low-capital business from the vocational skills you have acquired. Suppose you want to start as a side business or venture fully into this new business; here are the basic things you need to do now to make money from your ideas. 

Explore ideas in our app. 

If you don’t know what business idea to start, please visit our JoadreTRIBE app to find some ideas. In the app, under ideas, we listed many ideas anyone can develop into a low-capital business. If you are unsure what you really like, use our “WHY” tool to learn more about yourself and the potential business that will fit you. So let us dive into today’s article. First, I will list nine different sectors that are not capital-intensive. Afterwards, we will look at the basic things you need to do, irrespective of the business sector. 

9 low-capital business sectors from vocational training.

  1. Fashion & Textile 
  2. Photography
  3. Makeup and Mask
  4. Skincare & Cosmetology
  5. Hairdressing & Barbering
  6. Carpentry and Woodwork
  7. Art & Craft  
  8. Nutrition & Fitness
  9. Videography & Film

I assume you already have a product or service, meaning a concrete idea in which you want to start a business. If you do not have a tangible product or service, please, take the time to develop one. In other app tutorials, we will release training videos this year that shows you how to create a product. Make sure to have our app. Now you have a product (service), the next thing to do is to understand the market sector. 

Understand the market before you start.

Understanding the market sector is the most crucial. What do I mean? You have to know who is offering what, who are they offering it to, and what kind of products or services is being offered. What exactly do the customers want, and what value can you add to the sector? If you want to earn money from what you offer, you must take this research seriously. 

Market research can be done through simple online research. Ask Google! Type in what it is you want to offer for which location. For example, you just finished vocational training in sewing, so your market sector is in the textile industry. It might be the fashion or home textile interior decoration sector. Identify this. Depending on where you are, that region is your first market location. So if you live in Abuja and learned sewing, your market is the fashion industry in Abuja. 

Identify your client base. 

By identifying your concrete market, you can narrow down to know who you want to target. Go further to find out who your potential customers are. Remember that if you need more information, you can go the traditional way and walk the streets to find out who the major sewing companies are, what they offer and who they offer it to. Now that you have gathered all this information, go further to concretely identify the kind of clients you want to serve. Learn more in this blog about understanding the customers. 

Do you want to sew for males, females, or children? If it is for males, what do they do? What can they pay for sewing an outfit? What kind of outfits do they want? Can you get the needed supplies to offer your products or services properly? Who would you buy your supplies from? All these questions must be answered and written down. You can look at our business planning article to get deeper into developing this aspect. 

Adapt and refine your product and services. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of the market, what about your product? Does your existing product or service fit the demands and needs of the market? Would your product provide added value for the customer? If it would identify the concrete values it offers and capture them in black and white. You will need this knowledge later during promotional activities. 

If your product does not serve this market properly, you can adapt your product. Product adaptation is so crucial to selling more. Find out product reviews of existing products. If it is online, you can check popular selling sites to see the kind of reviews customers leave, both positive and negative. Of course, ensure your product or service covers the positive reviews and offers a better solution to counter the negatives. If you need help finding information, do it the traditional way, talk to people, ask, visit those offering products already and judge for yourself. 

Establish your basic legal setup for a low-capital business idea. 

Too often, people start a business without actually starting one. In today’s society, if you have a proper setup, your business does not exist. You might be scared of the financial investment needed, but often it is a little. Find some essential legal advice relating to registering a business in your region. Many regions have a minimum registration process, like in Nigeria, you can register just a business name which would cost less than 40k Naira. 

To register a business name, you must decide what the name is, an address, telephone number, and email. You have to determine what your brand name would be. It can be the same as your business name, depending on your product or service. If you offer a tangible product like cosmetics, shoes etc., you might want people to remember your brand, so you will need a recognisable and easy-to-remember brand name. After choosing one, you have the option to trademark it. If you cannot ford this for now, simply send yourself an email with the brand name as proof that you thought about it. 

A crucial tip for the brand name.

But before you conclude on a brand name, check the trademark office to see if that name is taken or is available. Also, check the domain register online to see if that name is available. YOu do not want to have a brand name or print packaging and realise you cannot use it because someone else already owns it. After you have done all these, make sure to open a bank account solely for your business in your business registered name (not in your brand name if it is different from the registered business name). You might need a referee to have a business account, so find at least two. 

These are just a few steps any business in these sectors above would need. Staring a low-capital business is easy; you simply have to do the work. We published a few opportunities for you to get funds to start your business, but remember, most funds, be it a loan, investment or grant, would require that you set up and have a business plan. In future training in our app, we will release a course on starting a low-capital business as a step-by-step guide from vocational skills to the actual launch. I wish you good luck on this entrepreneurial journey. 

Connect with us, and get our app.

Our Joadre organisation runs a film production branch which aims to connect African filmmakers with their European counterparts to develop projects that cut through the shared historical experiences of both continents. Alongside our film production, we created our one-stop digital incubator app to bridge knowledge and service discrepancies for African students looking to start a business. Get the app (Android version) here. For IOS users, a web app is available here at Sign up for our newsletter here to get consistent resources via email. If you want to contact us, use our contact form or consult us through the app. 

Thank you for reading to the end. 



I am Joana, a Nigerian-born Austrian-based entrepreneur and activist. Founded Joadre in 2012 and continue to develop content to engage and empower African SMEs.

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