In every business environment, opportunities for business abound. It is only required that for a business to thrive, someone has to be responsible by deciding on which areas of business to search for and use the opportunities.
For the purpose of guide to prospective small scale industry operators, there are various industries that offer more suitable opportunities to entrepreneurs. However, for the purpose of small scale industry operation, the industries can be compressed into 5 categories.
- Services: No economy can function without the infrastructure that services provide in the form of transportation and communication, and without government services such as education and healthcare. Therefore, we should believe that services lie at the very hub of economic activity in any society.
A service has been defined as an activity or series of activities of more or less intangible nature that normally but not necessarily take place in interactions between customer and service employees and/or physical resources or goods and/or systems of service provider which are provided as solutions to customer problems.
Service as a business, enables the entrepreneur to provide specialised or technical services to customers (clients), individuals or firms. From all indications, service provision as a business usually provides a good starting point for entrepreneurs who may not have much money to cover initial outlay that other businesses demand.
- Retailing: Irrespective of the level of complexity of relating in our business environment, a simple way of viewing it is that it involves buying from the wholesaler and selling directly to those who will either consume or use those goods-individuals or firms. The functions of the retainer involve making an important contribution to the completion of the productive process; achieved mainly through ensuring that the produced goods and services are brought into contact with the consumer, as well as providing him or her with the opportunities for satisfying his or her wants.
- Wholesaling: The wholesaler is usually located at a point between the manufacturers and the consumer. They service retailers and are usually independent. For the entrepreneur to decide to go into wholesaling, there is a need to understand its nature.
a. Wholesalers sell manufactured goods to retailers who resell to consumers.
b. They also sell to industries who use such products to manufacture other products or render some services.
- Manufacturing: Manufacturing involves sourcing for the relevant inputs, organising them appropriately, processing same for the purpose of producing outputs or finished goods. The entrepreneur must note that manufacturing as a small scale business, if operated with relevant strategies, is more enduring but costs more money as initial investment.
- General construction: This involves initial construction, rehabilitation of houses, structures, industrial equipment and buildings. With skills and relevant strategies, this can always be a successful start-up. Money required for a take off would go into purchase of equipment and hire of employees. One interesting aspect of this kind of business is that a “mobilisation fee” is usually received from the client before work is embarked upon. The percentage of such payment made in advance will however depend on the agreement between the construction outfit and the customer.