How to Start a Small Business in Gambia

You have got a business idea, but you are not sure how to start a business? Then, this how to start business guide is for you. The post discusses the seven key steps to launch your first business successfully. The fact that starting a business can be very costly on your small savings and time, it is therefore advisable for anyone to do some research on their ideas before starting the business.

how to start business

1. Assess Yourself

The first and critical step for any successful business startup is the preparedness of the founder. The preparation means your passion and commitment to start a business. No matter what type of business you intend to start unless you have the desire and commitment, you cannot be a successful entrepreneur.

If you want to start a business, it is important to assess your preparedness to run such type of business. There may be no wrong or right approach, but self-assessment help you think about critical aspects of yourself before investing your hard-earned money. It can include key skills, experience, time, passion or family support to operate such type of business.

2. Check your Business Idea

What kind of problem does your business intend to solved or the need it will fill? An idea should only be called a business idea when it will solve someone’s need or problem. The need can also be a possible gap in the market or created via adverts and promotions. This is the most important step as it validates your business idea.

3. Understand the Potential Market And Industry

A market consists of customers whereas industry consists of sellers. Assessment of the industry and market is a very critical step before you start a new business.

  1. Customers – people who will buy your product or service. Who are the target customers? What is the potential demand?
  2. Suppliers – Where will you get your input products and services to enable you to serve the customers.
  3. Competitors – any business that sells a similar product/service or substitutes to your own product.
  4. Economy – An idea about some economic indicators can help you plan better.
  5. Technology – With the development of social media, technology has become the major growth factor for many startups. How you intend to use it?

4. Your Business Plan

Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan. –Tom Landry. 

Start-up business plan is a key document that includes the summary of key goal and how you plan to achieve them. It also includes analysis of resource requirements and utilization. It helps in deciding whether to go ahead with an idea to start the venture. A business plan is a critical document for most external sources of funding. You do not have to write a whole book but the concept is to put your mind to the paper which will serve as a guide.

5. Structure Your Business and Make It Legal

You have to choose the right legal structure of your business. Do you want to set up a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or sort of corporation? Each structure has its legal and financial requirement. For example, the cost and documentation requirement for limited liability company will be numerous compared to a sole proprietorship. The decision to choose a particular structure can be complicated in some countries. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult the professionals before concluding the structure. This is even more important if you are not setting a sole proprietorship firm or general partnership.

6. Get the Capital

Good idea, huge potential and good structure but who will finance the business idea? You would have mentioned about the sources of finance in your business plan. Now you need to mobilize the capital to start running the business. There are many cheap business ideas but to start a business, you will need few dalasis.

7. Get Started

Pay for the lease or use your house and get started. If you are using your house, make sure your lease agreement didn’t disallow it. Buy the inventories and equipment, hire staff, lunch and open to the public. Remember you should leave some cash in the bank account for your day to day operations; we called it working capital. You should also create social media page for the business. Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are media that will give you a free promotion to their users.

Now that you are live and running, please stick to the business plan but be flexible to change as this time could be a trial and error.

Good luck and I will be happy to hear from you.

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About Ebrima Sawaneh 118 Articles
My Name is Ebrima. I write about personal finance, small business, and The Gambia to support young people. I am an accountant, banker, and Amazon international bestselling author. Feel free to drop a message or download my free eBooks - HERE read


  1. Thank you Sir. this is what i was looking for, very easy to read and understand. I would like to start catfish farming in URR but sometimes i got very scared to start this bussiness. this will be my 3rd bussiness since i graduated from high school in 2007 but none of the 2 business have been successful. thank you for sharing this great idea.

  2. Thank you very much my boss and my former Lecturer at MDI. I went through this wonderful lesson but I benefited a lot from it. I am doing business with my brother while working on my own personal petty business. I am looking at ways and means how to improve my personal business and this have me another step forward in achieving my dream. Thanks Mr Sawaneh you are my hero.

  3. Hello, I found the article interesting and thank you. I’m a graduate at the university of the Gambia with a BSc in Banking&Finance. I’m a qualified a qualified tailor and currently running a personal business but not getting the necessary support. I’ve caught the the attention and held interview with 2 well known medias (What’s on Gambia and West coast radio) but am still yet to see the desired outcome. As a graduate I have the passion of running my own business so need help. Thank u

    • Thank you Mustapha for sharing your experience with us. I believe you are on the right track. Your desired outcomes will be achieved with constant commitment and focus.
      What type of business are you currently running ?

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