Young entrepreneurs discuss in their office, in a building offered by Eurobank's startup accelerator programme EGG in Athens, Greece, February 22, 2018. Picture taken February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Costas Baltas
Getting expert guidance is one major step in launching your own business successfully. Reuters

Steps to consider before taking the start-up route



When it comes to becoming a great entrepreneur, the sky is the limit. You don't need a degree in business, and you most certainly don't need to come from a family of businessmen. What you really need is the passion and determination to see it through.

If you are at the start-up stage, or planning to become an entrepreneur, then you most likely have the passion already, but do not know where to begin.  

The following steps can help turn an idea into your dream business.

A one-to-one session with yourself

Why do you want to start a business? Is it because you need extra money? Is it because you believe that your product will improve the lives of many? Or is it because you want to be your own boss? You need to be brutally honest with yourself. Then determine if you have what it takes such as: What are you passionate about? How much money do you have set aside? Do you see yourself doing this for the long run? 

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Read more:

Monetise your talents to become a ‘serial entrepreneur’

Recognise the habits holding you back from success

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Conduct market research

Are there other businesses doing what you plan to do? If there is, how will you distinguish yourself? How will your business help your community? And most importantly, will people be interested in your business?  

It's important to not limit yourself to one research type. For example, don't depend solely on surveys, ask people other than your family members to participate. Conduct online and offline research, or host a focus group.

Test your business

Before you launch your business, put it to the test. If you have a product, this is the part where a focus group comes in handy. Let people interact with your product and service and seek their feedback. Interactions from those who don't know your product can point out an issue you have missed. Take their feedback, improve your offering and put it to the test again. This could take a while but remember it's best to improve your product first with a small group of people before officially launching it and then having to deal with negative comments from a wide range of audience.

Develop your business plan

I see many entrepreneurs skip this crucial phase. A business plan is a document that describes how your business will evolve from its start to the next three to five years. It's not stagnant but will need updating as you go along. You should include: your business description; market analysis; competitive analysis; marketing strategy and your financing strategy.

Get some mentors onboard

You could do this in several ways, either by working with a mentor one-on-one or working with an incubator such as Sheraa in Sharjah that will help you develop the business. A mentor is like your sounding board and their expertise will help you avoid errors many start-ups and entrepreneurs fall into.

Scout a location

This could mean an online presence only, or an office, or a store. This will differ according to your operation's needs, as well as customers. But things to consider include: whether your operation needs to have a physical store or not; accessibility and parking for customers; competition's location; rent cost and utility bills; as well as proximity to your target audience.

Tie the knot

Last but not least, before you launch your business, get all the legal aspects out of the way to avoid any negative implications, and it's best to consult a lawyer.

Make sure to register your business, get all the necessary licences, set up a business bank account and register all patents, trademarks and copyrights.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer who manages her creative consultancy in Abu Dhabi

5 of the most-popular Airbnb locations in Dubai

Bobby Grudziecki, chief operating officer of Frank Porter, identifies the five most popular areas in Dubai for those looking to make the most out of their properties and the rates owners can secure:

• Dubai Marina

The Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence are popular locations, says Mr Grudziecki, due to their closeness to the beach, restaurants and hotels.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh482 to Dh739 
Two bedroom: Dh627 to Dh960 
Three bedroom: Dh721 to Dh1,104

• Downtown

Within walking distance of the Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and the famous fountains, this location combines business and leisure.  “Sure it’s for tourists,” says Mr Grudziecki. “Though Downtown [still caters to business people] because it’s close to Dubai International Financial Centre."

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh497 to Dh772
Two bedroom: Dh646 to Dh1,003
Three bedroom: Dh743 to Dh1,154

• City Walk

The rising star of the Dubai property market, this area is lined with pristine sidewalks, boutiques and cafes and close to the new entertainment venue Coca Cola Arena.  “Downtown and Marina are pretty much the same prices,” Mr Grudziecki says, “but City Walk is higher.”

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh524 to Dh809 
Two bedroom: Dh682 to Dh1,052 
Three bedroom: Dh784 to Dh1,210 

• Jumeirah Lake Towers

Dubai Marina’s little brother JLT resides on the other side of Sheikh Zayed road but is still close enough to beachside outlets and attractions. The big selling point for Airbnb renters, however, is that “it’s cheaper than Dubai Marina”, Mr Grudziecki says.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh422 to Dh629 
Two bedroom: Dh549 to Dh818 
Three bedroom: Dh631 to Dh941

• Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah's proximity to luxury resorts is attractive, especially for big families, says Mr Grudziecki, as Airbnb renters can secure competitive rates on one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh503 to Dh770 
Two bedroom: Dh654 to Dh1,002 
Three bedroom: Dh752 to Dh1,152 

RESULT

Copa del Rey, semi-final second leg

Real Madrid 0
Barcelona 3 (Suarez (50', 73' pen), Varane (69' OG)

EVIL DEAD RISE

Director: Lee Cronin
Stars: Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Lily Sullivan
Rating: 5/5

Aston martin DBX specs

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8

Transmission: nine-speed automatic

Power: 542bhp

Torque: 700Nm

Top speed: 291kph

Price: Dh848,000

On sale: Q2, 2020
 

Company Profile

Name: Nadeera
Based: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Founders: Rabih El Chaar and Reem Khattar
Sector: CleanTech
Total funding: About $1 million
Investors: Hope Ventures, Rasameel Investments and support from accelerator programmes
Number of employees: 12

Company profile: buybackbazaar.com

Name: buybackbazaar.com

Started: January 2018

Founder(s): Pishu Ganglani and Ricky Husaini

Based: Dubai

Sector: FinTech, micro finance

Initial investment: $1 million

Draw:

Group A: Egypt, DR Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Group B: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi

Group C: Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania

Group D: Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Namibia

Group E: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Angola

Group F: Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Guinea-Bissau

The alternatives

• Founded in 2014, Telr is a payment aggregator and gateway with an office in Silicon Oasis. It’s e-commerce entry plan costs Dh349 monthly (plus VAT). QR codes direct customers to an online payment page and merchants can generate payments through messaging apps.

• Business Bay’s Pallapay claims 40,000-plus active merchants who can invoice customers and receive payment by card. Fees range from 1.99 per cent plus Dh1 per transaction depending on payment method and location, such as online or via UAE mobile.

• Tap started in May 2013 in Kuwait, allowing Middle East businesses to bill, accept, receive and make payments online “easier, faster and smoother” via goSell and goCollect. It supports more than 10,000 merchants. Monthly fees range from US$65-100, plus card charges of 2.75-3.75 per cent and Dh1.2 per sale.

2checkout’s “all-in-one payment gateway and merchant account” accepts payments in 200-plus markets for 2.4-3.9 per cent, plus a Dh1.2-Dh1.8 currency conversion charge. The US provider processes online shop and mobile transactions and has 17,000-plus active digital commerce users.

• PayPal is probably the best-known online goods payment method - usually used for eBay purchases -  but can be used to receive funds, providing everyone’s signed up. Costs from 2.9 per cent plus Dh1.2 per transaction.

Racecard

6.35pm: The Madjani Stakes – Group 2 (PA) Dh97,500 (Dirt) 1,900m

7.10pm: Evidenza – Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (D) 1,200m

7.45pm: The Longines Conquest – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 2,000m

8.20: The Longines Elegant – Conditions (TB) Dh82,500 (D)

8.35pm: The Dubai Creek Mile – Listed (TB) Dh132,500 (D) 1,600m

9.30pm: Mirdif Stakes – Conditions (TB) Dh120,000 (D) 1,400m

10.05pm: The Longines Record – Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (D) 1,900m

Four scenarios for Ukraine war

1. Protracted but less intense war (60% likelihood)

2. Negotiated end to the conflict (30%)

3. Russia seizes more territory (20%)

4. Ukraine pushes Russia back (10%)

Forecast by Economist Intelligence Unit

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

No.6 Collaborations Project

Ed Sheeran (Atlantic)

A general guide to how active you are:

Less than 5,000 steps - sedentary

5,000 - 9,999 steps - lightly active

10,000  - 12,500 steps - active

12,500+ - highly active

Will the pound fall to parity with the dollar?

The idea of pound parity now seems less far-fetched as the risk grows that Britain may split away from the European Union without a deal.

Rupert Harrison, a fund manager at BlackRock, sees the risk of it falling to trade level with the dollar on a no-deal Brexit. The view echoes Morgan Stanley’s recent forecast that the currency can plunge toward $1 (Dh3.67) on such an outcome. That isn’t the majority view yet – a Bloomberg survey this month estimated the pound will slide to $1.10 should the UK exit the bloc without an agreement.

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that Britain will leave the EU on the October 31 deadline with or without an agreement, fuelling concern the nation is headed for a disorderly departure and fanning pessimism toward the pound. Sterling has fallen more than 7 per cent in the past three months, the worst performance among major developed-market currencies.

“The pound is at a much lower level now but I still think a no-deal exit would lead to significant volatility and we could be testing parity on a really bad outcome,” said Mr Harrison, who manages more than $10 billion in assets at BlackRock. “We will see this game of chicken continue through August and that’s likely negative for sterling,” he said about the deadlocked Brexit talks.

The pound fell 0.8 per cent to $1.2033 on Friday, its weakest closing level since the 1980s, after a report on the second quarter showed the UK economy shrank for the first time in six years. The data means it is likely the Bank of England will cut interest rates, according to Mizuho Bank.

The BOE said in November that the currency could fall even below $1 in an analysis on possible worst-case Brexit scenarios. Options-based calculations showed around a 6.4 per cent chance of pound-dollar parity in the next one year, markedly higher than 0.2 per cent in early March when prospects of a no-deal outcome were seemingly off the table.

Bloomberg

GRAN TURISMO

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Stars: David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Archie Madekwe, Darren Barnet

Rating: 3/5

MATCH INFO

Euro 2020 qualifier

Norway v Spain, Saturday, 10.45pm, UAE

65

Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

Stars: Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman

Rating: 2/5

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

Profile of Hala Insurance

Date Started: September 2018

Founders: Walid and Karim Dib

Based: Abu Dhabi

Employees: Nine

Amount raised: $1.2 million

Funders: Oman Technology Fund, AB Accelerator, 500 Startups, private backers

 

Landfill in numbers

• Landfill gas is composed of 50 per cent methane

• Methane is 28 times more harmful than Co2 in terms of global warming

• 11 million total tonnes of waste are being generated annually in Abu Dhabi

• 18,000 tonnes per year of hazardous and medical waste is produced in Abu Dhabi emirate per year

• 20,000 litres of cooking oil produced in Abu Dhabi’s cafeterias and restaurants every day is thrown away

• 50 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s waste is from construction and demolition

Inside Out 2

Director: Kelsey Mann

Starring: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri

Rating: 4.5/5

Schedule for show courts

Centre Court - from 4pm UAE time

Johanna Konta (6) v Donna Vekic

Andy Murray (1) v Dustin Brown

Rafael Nadal (4) v Donald Young

Court 1 - from 4pm UAE time

Kei Nishikori (9) v Sergiy Stakhovsky

Qiang Wang v Venus Williams (10)

Beatriz Haddad Maia v Simona Halep (2)

Court 2 - from 2.30pm

Heather Watson v Anastasija Sevastova (18)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (12) v Simone Bolelli

Florian Mayer v Marin Cilic (7)

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre, six-cylinder

Transmission: six-speed manual

Power: 395bhp

Torque: 420Nm

Price: from Dh321,200

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre, flat six-cylinder
Transmission: seven-speed PDK
Power: 510hp
Torque: 470Nm
Price: from Dh634,200
On sale: now

The Land between Two Rivers: Writing in an Age of Refugees
Tom Sleigh, Graywolf Press

Elvis

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Stars: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge

Rating: 4/5

The specs: 2019 GMC Yukon Denali

Price, base: Dh306,500
Engine: 6.2-litre V8
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Power: 420hp @ 5,600rpm
Torque: 621Nm @ 4,100rpm​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​Fuel economy, combined: 12.9L / 100km

The specs: Fenyr SuperSport

Price, base: Dh5.1 million

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 800hp @ 7,100pm

Torque: 980Nm @ 4,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 13.5L / 100km

Mia Man’s tips for fermentation

- Start with a simple recipe such as yogurt or sauerkraut

- Keep your hands and kitchen tools clean. Sanitize knives, cutting boards, tongs and storage jars with boiling water before you start.

- Mold is bad: the colour pink is a sign of mold. If yogurt turns pink as it ferments, you need to discard it and start again. For kraut, if you remove the top leaves and see any sign of mold, you should discard the batch.

- Always use clean, closed, airtight lids and containers such as mason jars when fermenting yogurt and kraut. Keep the lid closed to prevent insects and contaminants from getting in.

 

More from Armen Sarkissian
PRISCILLA

Director: Sofia Coppola

Starring: Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi

Rating: 3/5

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Blue Beetle

Director: Angel Manuel Soto
Stars: Xolo Mariduena, Adriana Barraza, Damian Alcazar, Raoul Max Trujillo, Susan Sarandon, George Lopez
Rating: 4/5 


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