I do receive messages from different people in Nigeria, who have started an animal husbandry business and why some has recorded success, others are failing as a result of some common mistakes. But today I will help you by showing you the 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Starting Animal Husbandry business in Nigeria.
Each time someone calls to tell me that he is not able to sell his/her fish at profit or he/she is not able to get market for his broilers (as a poultry farmer)then, I knew something is wrong somewhere. If you’re planning to go into agribusiness (or any business for that matter), I shall advise you take note of this 5 common mistakes people make when starting and running their animal husbandry business in Nigeria.
Starting an Animal husbandry business in Nigeria? Avoid these mistakes;
1. Not investing time in market research
Starting any successful business is like a game of soccer or warfare. There is a time (a very crucial time) needed for the preparations and research is vital.
Yet, most people are yet to understand it. There are also three components in the market (every market, I mean), which potential businessman/woman must pay attention to.
These components are; the target audience, the intermediaries (wholesalers and retailers) and the competitors. Most Nigerians simply don’t consider or give deep thought to any of these factors or forces whenever they think of going into any branch of the animal husbandry business.
They usually think that or state that, “All I need is to raise chickens, pigs or fish and sell to make money”.
That’s like a footballer saying, “All I need is to get to the field with my feet and play, then win”. Well things don’t work that way as accurate preparations are important for every success.
These three above mentioned components are forces that could determine your success or failure in whatever business you’re thinking of starting, including animal husbandry.
2. Not having a target market
About two month ago, a man from Imo state in Nigeria called me. When we were talking on phone, he told me, “Sir, I have grown up fishes in my fish pond but I’ve got no market to sell them”.
I pitied him, but there was no way for me to help him. There are things I should tell him, but he couldn’t bear my “preaching” at that terrible time he was.
What actually should I have told him?
“When next you intend to start a business, make sure you have a target market for your products, services or goods”. Most people make these common mistakes! (Hopefully you’re not). They simply heard that, “fishery business is very profitable” or “you can make a lot of money from piggery” and then jumped into the business, without considering who and who will buy their end products.
You should simply know that common sense dictates that you know firstly where you’ll sell what you intend to produce before embarking on it.
As you’re planning to go into any branch of the animal husbandry (or any business whatsoever), you have to take time to research and find out the market segment of the people you intend to target and who will be your buyers.
3. Thinking like a mere farmer
So many people are in business in Nigeria but are not business-minded. As an advocate of business education, about few weeks ago, I was having a discussion with a friend who is planning to start a business in Nigeria. I told him that, “I’m business-minded and think every idea from the business point of view”.
When starting an animal husbandry business in Nigeria, you have to know this as this is very common to many Nigerians who are into the business. They simply think, “I’m a snail farmer” “I’m a pig farmer” or “I am a poultry farmer”.
You’re NOT a poultry farmer (or a snail/fish farmer) yet. You’re a businessman/woman that deals in fish, poultry or pig, etc.
Hope you got my point! Having a business mind-set comes first, before being a farmer. If you think you’re a farmer, your scope of operation will reflect your mindset and reduce your business` potentials. When you see small business owners with poor customer-care, poor record keeping, no branding, etc. you’ll know that it all starts from the way they see and operate their business.
Try to see things from the business perspective!
4. Negligence to business education
Most Nigerian “farmers” (isn’t that what they call themselves?) don’t think about business education.They only think about how to raise birds and chickens or pigs and snail. No wonder they are potentially backward. Everyone who intends to be successful in any business (including animal husbandry) must seek business education. How many business books have you read in the last one year? None? So, how then do you intend to swim through the tough waters of doing such business?
The easiest way to learn how to climb a mountain is to learn from someone who has once climbed a tall mountain. The reason why we’re reading business books, increasing our knowledge is to learn the art and science of entrepreneurship from those who have achieved success the in that business path. Business (including animal husbandry) is tough, very, very tough. It’s like a war and that’s why the failure rate is alarming in Nigeria and to succeed, you have to know what others (your competitors) don’t know.
How else would you achieve it if not by reading remarkable business books.
5. Expecting quick riches
This is clear mistake most people make when entering a new business in Nigeria. They have the idea of making huge amount of money in limited amount of time because there mind is not intended in solving customers’ problem or making things better for people but it just focuses on profit. I had a discussion with a friend who bases abroad but wants to return back to Nigeria with the idea of making millions from a week of launching his business. I tried to advise him that the road to success in business is not all that smooth because a lot of things are to be considered including the competitors and government regulations and a clear analyzing of the swot analyses will help him run his business but he is in a haste to make millions.
Just like some people have the idea you could make millions in poultry, fishery or piggery business?
Yes, it’s possible but not by magic and not within a month of start. It takes time to edge into the business and get saturated for your business principles to start becoming effective.
Please do write to me when you make your first 10 million in Animal husbandry after heeding to these advises.