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Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the First Steps to Take When Starting a Business?
As the first Malawian to establish his own bank, Dr Thomson Mpinganjira understands what it takes to succeed in business. In a recent speech, Mpinganjira encouraged people to diversify their business offerings, as this would result in lower investment risks and therefore an increased chance of success.

Aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners should work towards developing a ‘circle of competence’ – meaning that they should focus only on their area of expertise, investing within the limits of that circle. This ‘circle of competence’ could be a particular industry, a type of business model or asset class, an investment style, or any other area or topic of expertise. Whatever the topic, the circle should be well defined ahead of starting a new business venture.

What Are the Best Tips for Starting a Successful Business?
When starting a business, entrepreneurs should not rely on loans and borrowed money to start their venture. Instead, entrepreneurs should only borrow money or take a loan to expand a business that they have a full understanding of – or that has proven itself to be successful or potentially successful.

Aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs-in-the-making should learn to spend less and to save more. Before establishing a new business, build up some savings by setting aside a certain amount of money from your monthly income, placing it into a separate savings account before giving yourself the opportunity to spend it.

Do this religiously – just as the government takes its taxes – to ensure that you spend less and save more. In the beginning it is better to start small, building savings regularly and consistently. Concentrate on the smaller, day-to-day achievements, leaving the big, overarching goals for a later date.

Building a reputation as a trustworthy, reliable businessperson is another crucial step towards success in business, so make sure that at every stage you are forging strong and positive working relationships.

What Is the Most Important Tip for Investing Money Successfully?
There is no single answer or universal formula for success, but whether making investments or aiming to save money, the key to success according to Dr Thomson Mpinganjira is to take small steps, whilst also being open to taking risks.