Business is the exchange of goods or services for money. Nigeria is a country blessed with numerous business opportunities due to its large population and vast resources. Owning a business in Nigeria is interesting because you solely own and direct the affairs of your business without supervision or pressure from a boss.
As interesting as it sounds, owning a business in Nigeria is tasking and requires having the basic knowledge of the business as well as commitment and dedication to make the business work. To become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria, there are practical steps that you must take. Failing to take these steps can lead to grave loses and ruin your business success.
In this guide, I share with you 5 practical steps to owning a business in Nigeria that is thriving and long-lasting.
1) Have A Proper Self Examination
Self-examination is key when making plans to own a business in Nigeria. It involve asking yourself the following questions:
- Is the business passion driven or money driven?
- Do have the required skills needed I need to run the business successfully? Or, do I have to acquire these and other skills?
- Do I have the leadership ability?
- Is the startup capital available?
- Am I prepared for the risks involved in this business?
The questions above requires a sincere answer. Yet, don’t be too quick to give an answer to them without thinking through thoroughly. If your answer to these questions are YES then you are on the right track to becoming an entrepreneur. If the opposite is the case, then you need to sit back and so some work on yourself before starting a business in Nigeria.
2) Do Proper Market Survey
Market survey involves understanding customers, market, and competitor’s conditions. Before you can own a successful business in Nigeria, make sure you have a good understanding of such business by conducting a proper and thorough market research/survey. A good market survey must be conducted because it can make or break your startup. It majorly helps to reduce risks.
The steps involve in conducting a good, profitable market survey includes:
a) Customer Conditions. This which include finding the answers to the following questions:
- Who are my potential customers?
- What do they do?
- Are the potential customers willing to pay the stated price for the good/service?
- What are the customer’s peculiar wants and needs?
b) Market Conditions. This includes finding the answers to the following questions:
- Purchase trends of my market
- History of the market
- Growth of the target market
- How large is my target market?
c) Competitors Conditions. This includes finding the answers to the following questions:
- Who is my competition?
- Why will customers choose me over them (the competitors)?
- Are they (my competitors) going to affect my business negatively?
- What are my competitors’ strength and weaknesses?
After conducting your research or market survey, put your analysis into action and revisit from time to time. Your market survey will help you to know if you can thrive, survive, break even and make profits in your proposed business line/location or not.
3) Draw A Feasible Business Plan
I used the word “feasible” here because it is one of the characteristics of a good business plan. A business plan must be workable and attainable. When it comes to starting a business, plan and write a good and feasible business plan which will serve as a guide when you want to start executing your business.
A feasible business plan must be unique, practical, attainable, problem solving, and market worthy. Make sure your business is providing solution to a problem or problems in your environment. By means of solving this/these problem(s), it will generate a source of income for you. Make research by asking questions from people within the environment and focus on how to create something unique and by far better and cheaper than what is already on ground. Also, seek the advice of existing entrepreneurs in and outside your proposed line of business.
4) Get The Required Start Up Capital
Every business needs capital; it is the fuel that feed the business. Business capital is used to describe the money, labour, products, time, energy and other resources invested in a business. It is also known as startup capital. Your startup capital is basically your budget in the business plan. Businesses are run by money then skills, effort, and commitment can come after. Therefore, it is very important to source for your capital as soon as your business plan is ready for swift action.
Where the required capital is not available, there are different sources of funding for businesses across the country. Some of the business capital sources include taking of bank loans, obtaining grants, taking cooperative loans, equity, investments etc. Besides these, you can also get money from Crowdfunding platforms to finance your business startup.
Startup capital is as important as the business idea itself as it will be used in funding the day-to-day operations of the business. Most businesses/business ideas die due to lack of funding hence make sure that you have enough startup capital for your business.
5) Do Proper Business Registration
In Nigeria, registration of business is paramount. Business registration in Nigeria is undertaken by a governmental body known as Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC). Registering your business with the CAC validates and authenticates it. Business registration with CAC involves registration of business name, generation of business code and issuing of Business Registration Certificate (a.k.a. Certificate of Business Registration). It can be done online or any CAC office closest to you.
Owning a business in Nigeria is awesome but this could be challenging at times. However, there is no hard and fast rules to it. You must do your market research, prepare your business plan, get your capital ready, and register your business. Owning a business is one of the keys to financial freedom; a demanding task but the best decision when properly managed. If you follow the steps discussed in this article, you should be able to start and run a successful business in no time.