How do you start your own Islamic business?

Was Escobar’s cartel career halal?

Firstly, it’s important to choose a business that is halal. If you take a look at what makes a business halal, you will find that it comes down to do business with respect for people and planet while trying to make profit. So basically, Muslims have been preaching for centuries that what western companies “discovered” as sustainable and environmentally friendly business just a few decades ago.

So, mind you that it’s not just enough to make money, the means need to be islamically correct for it to be blessed. So for those who went on a day dreaming trip after seeing the last episode of Narcos, better have a plan B. 

The ruling on Islamic entrepreneurship is not only about what you are selling but also talks about contracts, payment of workers etcetera.

Would you like to check whether your business idea is allowed in Islam? This website has summed it up nicely:

Knowing Moroccans > being Moroccan

After carefully assessing the legality of your business idea, it’s time to check whether people are actually in need of your product or service. Most people do this based on their gut feeling: “I’m Moroccan so I know what Moroccans want.” 

Sometimes they get it right, but more often they couldn’t be more wrong. Not because they lack the knowledge but because they are biased. Bias will make you forget to check the facts.

Luckily, bias can be put aside very easy: by doing market research. 

But to know who you need to ask your questions to, you will first need to know who your target group is. This should be described very precisely.

Here are some examples:
– Women, 18-25y, living in big cities, who are single and who have a university degree
– Men, 65+y, living in a retirement home 

You probably can name at least one product/service that is so typical for one group but wouldn’t work for the other group. That shows the importance of knowing your target audience, so you won’t end up serving the wrong crowd. 

Note: this target group will most likely change after the market research because you will probably find that some people aren’t interested and that you might include some others in the group.

This website shows you how to create a target audience:

Where do I find these people?

After creating a target group, you should try to find out where these people hang out, both online and offline. This way you can create a strategy to get to talk to these people.

To build on both groups from above:
– Instagram and other platforms, university campus, bars, movie theatres,  …
– Probably don’t hang out online but mostly in their retirement home

As you can see, it’s not useful to look for elder men in a university unless you are looking for your professor’s opinion.

Try to find a way to talk to them or present them your survey so you can collect more response.

Remember: the more people’s opinions you have, the more accurate your answer will be to their problems. If you ask one person, it’s possible that this person is the exception, and you might base your decision on wrong input. If you ask a thousand people, this problem will fix itself because the exceptions won’t weigh too heavy on the result.

Once you’ve done all this, my next blogpost will appear online in which you can read how to conduct a proper market research.

Author: Bilal Ben Ahmed

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