What does it takes to start advertising business in Nigeria today? For me, it takes a careful understanding of how advertising business in Nigeria works. This starts with you the would-be Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company having a sound understanding of the workings of this business in and out.
Sound knowledge of the technicalities involved in advertising business in Nigeria, the cost, how to raise a team and their portfolios, how to get clients, etc. is a MUST if you must do well in this business.
One good way to acquire these skills is to become an intern at a functional and long-established advertising business in Nigeria. This would equip you with the nitty-gritty of this business; it will help you to understand the nature of this business, the pitfalls to avoid, and how to overcome these pitfalls if your agency falls into them accidentally.
Yes, you need this knowledge even if you choose to hire someone to manage this business for you. It is always important that you understand any business that you want to do very well before venturing into it.
But wait! I almost missed the most important point here. Did I explain what advertising is? No. Sorry. Let me explain.
So, What Is Advertising? What Does Staring A Successful Advertising Business in Nigeria Entail?
Advertising means communicating to people in the language that they understand. It is the science and art of speaking to reflect or reconfigure the mind of the target audience to accept what you are offering them.
To achieve this, you need to reach them at their level of understanding and advertise to them in tandem with their culture. This means that from idea conceptualization to production and then release of an advert, you must be clear in your message, keep it engaging, and entertaining. These will help you to achieve grand success in this business.
Advertising is more of psychology than philosophy. This is because advertising influences or changes the perception of the target audience to buy or subscribe to what you are offering. That is why you create the awareness in the first place –to sell an item or an idea to the public. Hence, it is very important that you properly understand your target market before setting out to advertiser create an advertising business.
To understand the business sense and ethics of advertising business, proper training is a must and this is what I mentioned earlier when I talked about going for internship. What follows this is a proper market research on Nigerian advertisement industry so that you understand the rules, the ethics and what sells here.
Steps To Start An advertising business In Nigeria
Acquire A Business Name For Your advertising business And Get It Registered
Acquiring a business name that resonates with your agency’s goals is important. This step is the first you have to take in the process of establishing your own advertising business. The name should clearly show your purpose and people should be able to figure out the services you offer with asking little or no questions.
After figuring out your business name, you have to get it registered. This business name must include Board of Directors one of which has to be an Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) certified member.
The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) was established by the Advertising Practitioners Act No. 55 of 1988, as amended by Act No. 93 of 1992 and Act No. 116 of 1993 (now Advertising Practitioners Registration Act Cap A7 of 2004).
In a case where you already have a business name, you would still be able to add a new member with APCON certificate as a board of director, this step is very essential in approving your application through the registered government agency.
If you do not have this certification, it should not be seen as a setback owing to the fact that there are other ways to bypass this situation. What you need to do is explained below:
Get enrolled to get your diploma certifaction while you seek out an individual that already possess this certification, formally include him/her as a board of direction in the shares of the company. This solves your problem.
Have Suitable Budget For the Business
Capital is very essential for the success of any business. Although for startups, getting capital to start might seem to be a herculean task. Small ad agency can be a low-cost start-up since you primarily offer services rather than final products. But you would most likely need to get loans or investments. You can turn to two choices when faced with this challenge.
Banks – You file for a loan in the bank for a few months to a few years which will cover the cost of startup and even keep you running for the mean time.
Private Investors – There are people out there who want to make an investment in a business that looks promising. They can be friends, family or even other business owners. You should draw up a contract that clearly defines if they are just providing a loan or they are buying into the company. This will prevent problems in future.
Also getting freelance copywriters, graphic designers will help you reduce the overhead cost even further. As your business grows, you can get some in-house employees to offer you primary services.
Get the Essential Advertising Business Materials
We live in a technological world where almost any business needs to have an online presence. This is why you need to build a standard website for your business.
You should include your contact information on the website and also keep it updated. Hiring a professional to help with this task is your best bet, he would be in charge the hosting and maintenance of the site regularly.
You will need to get the following done, before starting your advertising business.
- Gather media kits that list advertising rates, demographics and specs.
- Make yourself known to sales representatives at the media outlets you plan to use regularly
- Put together a portfolio of past work you have done in advertising, if you have been in the industry, this will be your selling point to your potential clients.
Here is a list other technological gadget you should consider getting:
- Digital cameras
- Office Telephone
- Photo Scanners
Other things you need include your company’s business card, stationery, tax certificate, high-speed internet service etc.
Business Management and Specialization
Management should encompass setting and policing of revenue and profit targets while also paying attention to the operational coordination skills which will drive the establishment to success
The advertising industry has a broad spectrum and you should be clear from the start where you want to specialize in. Specialization will make you more focused and thereby making your goals easier to accomplish. Here are some types of advertising:
- Print media
Draw up A Business Plan For Your Ad Agency
This is one of the essentials for your business, you will need to make short- and long-term plans. This will assist you in securing loans and investment, it will also help you see a clear path that your business should follow.
You can pay someone to write a business plan for you, there are a couple of writers online willing to do this and should not cost much.
You can also consider writing it yourself, watching a couple of videos on how to do it or getting a template should do the trick.
Your business plan should include:
- Executive summary
- A clear description of your business
- Profitability projections
- Operations plan
- Financial Plan
- Market Analysis
- Market demand
- Competition analysis.
Join Advertising Industry Trade Associations
There are many Advertising Agencies in Nigeria most of which have been in the business for decades before yours. So, being a part of an association, or belonging to an Advertising Industry Trade Union holds its perks.
It allows you to be constantly involved in what is going on in the industry, with the association holding regular meetings and seminars to keep you up to date. It will also create an avenue where you can brainstorm with like minded people and get new ideas on how to run your own agency.
Source Clients For Your Advertising Business
Having set up all the essentials for your ad agency, you need clients to stay in business. This requires employing certain strategies that will help you attract the right kind of audience to your agency. Start by creating a list of business you want to work with.
You should make sure your website is well groomed and presents a good online presence for your brand. Create some social media pages to further extend your brand awareness and make people interested in what you do.
Make sure you include your contact details on your posts so people will be able to reach you easily.
Advertising mediums can also serve as a means to advertise your own agency. Running targeted ads will help you gather the right amount of audience that would be interested in what you offer.
It is essential for you to have a database of your prospective and existing clients. This will make it easier for you to send out quick advertising campaigns.
You should also make sure you keep adding new clients contact details to your data base. There are a bunch of online tools that can help you with this task.
Market The Business, Especially On The Internet!
We live in an internet age. Even though it is quite essential to have a physical office, not having an online presence for your business can set you at a really great disadvantage. With the internet boasting of over 4.6 billion members, on the internet especially the social media is where your business must be. Becoming a virtual online agency can be done in two ways;
The first involves having a web presence where you control the clients account and offer them superb customer service and account management.
Another way is to set up your website in such a way that enables the clients to be able to build their own ad campaigns. They would have the flexibility of choosing the media format, frequency and even the budget. After this is done, you can now start managing the account on their behalf. However, this second method involves a lot of website programming and database management.
Starting and growing an advertising business in Nigeria is one that is more than just good concepts and ideas. This is because of a lot of complexities it involved. Meaning you really need a certain level of experience before you can perform well in this industry.
It is good to start small, choosing to specialize in a part of advertising which is very lucrative but many has seemed to ignore. An example is the digital advertising arm.
Regularly updating yourself with what is going on in the advertising industry will keep you in the game. Subscribe to trade publications that are targeted towards ad agencies. Attend conferences and seminars in advertising and related fields, this will give you opportunity to expand your network and see new trends in the industry.