Last Updated on July 31, 2020 by Henry Ibeleme
I get a lot of people often ask me, “Mr. Henry, How can I become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria?”
Going by the situation in the country, entrepreneurship is becoming a path most appealing.
Becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy path. There are lots of people who began and couldn’t make it after a year. But when you start with the right mindset and guide, success becomes evident.
This article is going to be a detailed guide on how you can begin this journey.
Before you proceed, take note that it is going to be a long ride. However, it would be exciting provided you’re a born entrepreneur.
Before you begin, I would advise you to read up on Why Businesses Fail In Nigeria. That article would give you a head start.
Table of Contents
- Who Is An Entrepreneur?
- How To Become An Entrepreneur In Nigeria
Who Is An Entrepreneur?
The standard definition of an entrepreneur is someone who sets up a business or perhaps, marketing and taking financial risks to make a profit.
How To Become An Entrepreneur In Nigeria
1. Start Thinking Like An Entrepreneur
The first step to becoming an entrepreneur is to think like one. Without having an entrepreneurial mindset, you won’t be able to survive the treacherous journey ahead.
Entrepreneurs are a rare breed of humans, with a unique view of life. They often view the world in its worse, thereby seeking for ways to improve it.
The life of an entrepreneur is one of discovery. Instead of seeing the beauty, they see the problems. Not only do they know the problem, but they also fight in solving that problem.
Today, the world is better, all thanks to entrepreneurs like Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb and Nikola Tesla, whose dream was to ensure energy is never a problem.
What about the trending rocket scientist, Elon Musk? These are scientists who harbor the entrepreneurial mindset, and they are changing the world today.
To think like an entrepreneur, you have to discover a problem and a profound solution. When you’re able to execute that, making money becomes easy peasy.
Mark Zuckerberg discovered a problem, inaccessibility when it comes to communication. He wanted to connect the world and make it a global village, and that gave birth to Facebook.
The owner of Nairaland, Seun Osewa, is also a typical example of an entrepreneur.
If we’re to span away from the digital world, we talk about great entrepreneurs like Dangote, Tony Elumelu, etc. These are people with an entrepreneurial mindset, and they were able to become wealthy by solving problems.
Do you want to become an entrepreneur? Start thinking like these great entrepreneurs. Discover problems and think of ways to solve them.
The reward for solving a problem in our society today is wealth!
2. Find Your Niche
To become an entrepreneur in Nigeria, you need to discover an industry where you can dominate. It could be in the medical industry, agriculture, education, sports, etc.
Finding your niche could be somewhat hard, especially if you’re yet to discover yourself and purpose.
You can invent a technology right from your garage, or perhaps start a lucrative business in your locality.
You don’t need to be a jack of all trade, as that is a prerequisite for failure. You need to discover a niche and dominate as an authority.
Only when you have done that can you expand and become the giant you always want to be.
There are many businesses you can start if you’re not among the one percent of the world population who have a talent for a new invention.
The real estate business is a lucrative route, including transportation and energy. There are many states in Nigeria where a cinema doesn’t exist.
These are lucrative economic opportunities that you can exploit and become a wealthy entrepreneur here in Nigeria.
You can succeed in any business, but most companies in Nigeria fail because of a poor business location, mismanagement, or lack of vision.
3. Get A Mentor
If you’re new in the entrepreneurial world, then you need the support of someone experienced. That is someone who understands this strange world and can guide you.
I am a certified entrepreneur in one of the best entrepreneurial universities in Nigeria. After four years of mind sensitization, skills, and understanding management rules, I have decided to be your mentor through this platform.
Aside from me, you can connect to crucial individuals who you admire so much and has access to.
They would help reconstruct your mindset to that of an entrepreneur, even share some insight that would help.
A good mentor should be able to educate you, not make the choices for you. The path of every entrepreneur in Nigeria is unique and different.
What you need most is education, and that would guide you into crafting a niche for yourself.
A mentor would teach you the ropes and guide you into taking your first baby steps. You do not need to make mistakes; it is best to learn from the mistakes of others – your mentor.
The problem with most prospective entrepreneurs in Nigeria is that they are not coachable. They need a guide, but would still act as though they know more than their mentor.
With such a trait, becoming an entrepreneur becomes very slim.
4. Determine If You Need An Education
Apart from your mentor, does your niche requires you to grasp some skills or knowledge? You can’t invent a mechanical mechanism if you do not know mechanical engineering.
Likewise, some businesses need you to understand the industry and terms to succeed.
The real estate business is a typical example. Without knowledge of the industry, you will never know what foreclosure means, what it means to make down payment, or even understand the steps to closing a real estate deal.
That same way, you can’t start a transportation business, food business, and numerous other businesses in Nigeria without first knowing about the industry. That is why education is vital.
There are numerous seminars, skill acquisition centers, and schools where you can learn more about your ideal business.
When you know the basics, success in your business becomes easy. But when you begin without any knowledge, you find yourself making numerous mistakes. If care isn’t taken, it might lead to failure.
5. Begin With A Plan
If you want to become an entrepreneur in Nigeria, then you must be ready to plan. One of the characteristics of an entrepreneur is the ability to take calculated risks.
When an entrepreneur discovers an opportunity, he first conducts a feasibility study.
What Is A Feasibility Study?
A feasibility study aims to uncover the strengths and weaknesses of an existing or perhaps, proposed business venture.
It entails learning about the threats, opportunities, and existing natural resources. The word “Feasibility” means “Doable.” Is the business doable?
That is the purpose of a feasibility study to know if the business is doable or not.
Before you pull your resources, time, and energy into a business, you need first to know if the business has the potential to succeed.
If the business is doable, you can go ahead and begin drawing a business plan.
But if it is not, based on the competition, available resources, and lack of knowledge, you might need to dump it for another idea.
After discovering your business, draw a business plan with the assistance of a business consultant.
I always advise my students not to buy these business plan templates being paraded by some mushroom blogs. These business plans do not reflect your business and are entirely useless.
They sell the same business plan to thousands of people, which is a flaw as every business is unique.
To become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria, you need to get it right from the beginning, and that entails having a reliable business plan.
Without this essential element, your chances of success become very slim.
6. Work With The Right Team
If you want to become an entrepreneur in Nigeria, you need to be able to work with the right team.
At the infant stage of your establishment, you might find yourself working alone. At that stage, I prefer not to call you an entrepreneur but a sole proprietor.
Until you begin to hire extra hands in your business, only then do you worth being an entrepreneur.
The journey of an entrepreneur is exciting and intense, and you need great minds to succeed. Usually, you’re not the only business in the marketplace.
There are numerous others like you who want the same thing you want.
Now, how would you beat these competitors? How would you have your share of the pie with these dragons competition with you?
With the right team, you become a formidable entrepreneur who is not afraid of the competition. You do not know everything, so your team will always supplement your lack.
The above line is worth tweeting.
You might need to employ an accountant who understands figures and taxes more than you. A business attorney would also help, especially during legal issues.
You can also hire a contract entrepreneur who assesses your business and workers and gives you ideas where you need to improve.
You are an entrepreneur, but an entrepreneur with a degree in entrepreneurship is way ahead when it comes to pulling together resources to make a business work.
To become an entrepreneur in Nigeria, you don’t need to be afraid to work with a team. They will give you the luxury to focus on the big picture.
7. Master Digital Marketing
The backbone of every successful business is marketing. Take a look at giant companies like Coca Cola, MTN, Indomie, etc.
They are always gracing our screens with their thought-inspiring adverts, reminding us how beautiful life is with their product.
Let’s face the fact; most of these companies offer no real value. But they have succeeded due to their marketing strategy.
Take Coca Cola, for instance.
Through the help of the internet, getting your products and services in front of potential customers is easy. There are numerous ways you can do this through social media, blogs, forums, Google AdWords, etc.
Any entrepreneur who is yet to harness the power of digital marketing is missing tons of opportunities.
If your business doesn’t already have a website and a blog, now is the time to make that happen.
Create social media handles, and link them all up to your business website. Not only does it buff up your online presence, you take a step further in building a brand.
You can only become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria if you’re able to market your business well. When you fail in that department, you will find yourself closing up within two years.
8. Buy An Existing Business
In case you have the finance, but don’t want to go through the draining and overwhelming processes of starting a startup, you can buy an existing business.
But you still have work to do, as you need to discover a business that is promising and has potentials for greatness. Not all business is worth buying, as they can be time bombs.
You need a total evaluation of the business before you exchange it with your money.
Without a proper assessment, the company might crumble in the ground after a year of acquiring it. Ask yourself:
- Does The Business Have A Target Market?
- What Challenges Is The Business Facing, Can I Solve It?
- Is The Business Location Good?
- Why Does The Owner Want To Give Up The Business?
- Am I Familiar With The Industry?
These questions would determine if the business is worth acquiring or not.
Apart from starting a business from scratch, acquiring a business venture is the fastest route to become an entrepreneur in Nigeria.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria is possible, especially if you have an entrepreneurial mindset and spirit.
The journey of an entrepreneur is exciting since it promises freedom and financial fulfillment. Before you move over, what are the challenges you’re facing when it comes to being an entrepreneur?
Use the comment box and share it, and I’ll guide you with a solution. Don’t forget to subscribe by using the form below!