With a population of close to 200 million people, a large number of this figure; youths with considerable buying power, Nigeria is still the dream destination for investors in Africa.
Nigeria is a guaranteed market for any investor if only they know how to navigate their way through the semi-complex landscape, abide to the dos and dont’s and more importantly have a great idea and are willing to create paths that would lead to the idea’s accomplishment.
Here are some steps that any entrepreneur no matter how big or small, learned or not should take if he/she wishes to have a very successful business in Nigeria. One thing is sure, with the right idea, mindset and a little bit of luck or favour, anyone can succeed in Nigeria.
Have a great business idea
Every business originates from an idea but while some fail after a while, others blossom over the years and remain standing many decades or even centuries later. To start a business in Nigeria, you must have an idea of what you want to do, how you want to do it, where, and when.
You must weigh your strengths and weaknesses; and see your potential business through the eyes of your prospective clients. Nigeria has the population to absorb any product that is backed by a strong business idea. The problem with businesses in Nigeria has never been the market but the ideas behind the business(es) .
Are you adequately prepared for what you are about to step into? Are you willing to live it out 24/7 and make it a part of your life? One thing that has always separated businesses; even those in the same sector, has always been the level of drive, knowledge and ability possessed by the people that run them. Read relevant books, study the market you intend to break into, study the best competitors in that market, attend seminars, network with the right people and prepare your mind for a dogged fight in the first phase of starting out.
Running a business in Nigeria is no piece of cake considering the number of competitors one may have but nonetheless, it is very profitable and if you equip yourself well enough, welcome to Eldorado.
Study your intended market
This is actually beyond testing the waters. Jumping into a business that you know nothing about can be financially suicidal. As an entrepreneur, before you venture into any business, research about the market’s viability, study your would-be competitors and the whole industry. Never go into any business you have no passion for and also never jump into any business without performing an industry and market analysis just because someone says it is highly profitable. Verify every piece of information you need to know yourself and if you can, get proven professionals to do so.
Get a good business plan
Now you can do this yourself or contract a qualified hand to help you draft one. A proper business plan is essential if you are serious about growing your business. Create a robust plan and use it as a road map to your destination because in truth, that is what it is. Aside from providing you with clear set goals and objectives, your business plan also provides you with a reference point to return to at any point in your business development. A lot of people overlook the business plan without understanding the implications but in truth, it is one of the most crucial aspects of business. In fact, it is the second most crucial after the idea.
Get a good location
Another major factor to consider before starting up any business; your location has a lot to do with the success of your business. There are several questions you should ask yourself before picking a location for your business but in the end the major question should be where would I be more visible and accessible to my prospective customers? If you can answer this question correctly, then you have your right location.
Get your business registered
While most businesses overlook this for a very long time, it is advisable that you get it done immediately or make it a short term plan. There are several options to pick from; sole proprietorship, limited liability or public liability form of entity. Get your business name registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission office nearest to you. You can either do this yourself or get a lawyer that would help you, so you don’t make any mistakes.
Put your funds together
This is one of the biggest hurdle entrepreneurs face; getting the finance they need to fund their business. While this is a major headache, there are several ways by which you can source for the funds needed to start your business. The fastest way however is to get leverage such as bank loans, credit line, striking a deal with a bigger player in the industry or getting a contract. Just select the one that suits you best.
Start your business
After all this there is only one thing remaining; and that is, actually starting your business.
We at PitchOffice are here to help you because that’s what we do.
Programme Name: Dragons’ Den – TX: n/a – Episode: n/a (No. n/a) – Picture Shows: Peter Jones – (C) BBC – Photographer: Andrew Farrington
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