Last Updated on July 31, 2020 by Henry Ibeleme
Phew, I know exactly how you feel. This unexplainable rush to start a business in Nigeria, make money, and feel successful.
Trust me when I say, I’ve been there – pursuing success, striving to start something meaningful can be exhausting. Sometimes, you might feel there are some unseen forces at play.
Your journey in life begins when you discover your purpose in life. That purpose is the only thing that will lead you to wealth and happiness.
I am not talking about starting a business; I am talking about fulfilling your purpose.
When you discover purpose, your purpose will automatically become a business, and it will finance you.
Do you know the fascinating aspect of it all? These are things you enjoy doing, things that come very naturally. You just flow!
You become a freaking billionaire just by breathing alone. That is what happens when you start a business that aligns with your purpose.
Do you understand why I was emphasizing on purpose? That is the only single factor that will determine your success and happiness.
Without further ado, here are the necessary steps to start a business in Nigeria.
Table of Contents
1. A Business Idea
Do you remember that talk about discovering your purpose? Now, that purpose will determine your ideal business.
I wrote a comprehensive article you should probably check out later, on 100 Business Ideas In Nigeria. This article will give you an idea of a business you can do in Nigeria.
If you have a passion for music, perhaps your ideal business will tailor toward the entertainment industry.
For me, I have always been intrigued by writing, cinematography, and so on. Do you know what I did? I aligned by businesses to cover my passion.
For example, I am a freelance writer and blogger, and I am exploring the world of filmmaking.
If you’re a passionate drummer, you can create a business out of that passion.
But the massive block that stops us is the HOW!
Explore Your Possible Streams Of Income
Think of that thing you can do very well. It could be something you learned, something you can do that others can’t
What is that thing that makes you feel special?
My dear, that tiny little thing that makes you glow is your ticket to wealth.
Miss Angel was born in a middle-class, poor home in West Africa, and her dream of starting a business was fogy.
She was a remarkable singer, but she had no money to record an album, nor does she have a mentor or sponsor.
One day, on a hot afternoon, after drinking a bottle of coke that was becoming a habit, she decided to explore other options.
What other ways can I make money from my talent? She asked herself.
One aspect struck her, and she glowed even more – the internet.
Though she didn’t have a computer, she made efficient use of her smartphone to start a YouTube channel.
Her camera wasn’t so great, nor was her microphone. But you could tell from the videos that she was passionate and talented.
A few months later, her channel hit 50,000 subscribers. She was getting countless sponsorship deals, advert placements, and product review gigs.
A peasant who could barely earn $70 a month began to make $10,000 every week.
For a moment, it felt as if everything was working for her favor. She remembers the dark days, the struggle.
She remembered how she stood awake all night, working on a video. She remembers the numerous times her phone had hit the ground, and how many times she had to redo a cut.
It was frustrating, hard even!
But here she is, self-made!
They say that a picture can tell a thousand stories. I put it to you that a good story can change a life.
If you can grasp the above story and apply it, you will discover the path to wealth. You will find that missing puzzle.
2. Conduct A Market Research
After discovering that incredible business idea that aligns with your purpose, now is the time to turn to the drawing board.
From your research, you will find out if your business idea is feasible and lucrative.
In this stage, you’re gathering information, learning about your target market and business environment.
Most importantly, you will want to analyze competition and forecast your chances of survival.
As much as it pains me to tell you this, you still need to hear the truth. There is competition out there.
I am not going to tell you to beat them or do something out of the box.
Although you might need those tips sometimes, the most important thing is delivering value and solving problems.
When you’re consistent with these qualities, you won’t have to fight for customers.
Knowing how the market operates, the laws, potential threats, and opportunities are the reason for market research.
It doesn’t cost anything!
With that tiny device you’re holding right there, you can start right away.
Simply input the name of your business on Google. No doubt, there will be millions of results.
Most of them are guides on how to start, and so much more.
Through these available materials on the internet, you can find out more about your dream business. You might even discover a need that has been left unattended.
You know what that means, innovation!
3. Write A Business Plan
After your market research, the next step to start a business in Nigeria is to write a business plan.
I wish I have written an article on that, but I’ve been so lazy lately.
However, you will learn a lot from Eugene Zaremba on how to write a business plan.
A business plan is crucial if you’re serious about starting a business. I remember telling one of my professors in class that a business plan is a blueprint.
That wasn’t a satisfactory definition of a business plan anyway, but it clarifies its importance.
Without a great business plan, you’re like a blindfolded madman wandering through a dangerous city at night.
Does that give you an idea of the importance of this incredible piece?
A common mistake I find some aspiring entrepreneurs make is to buy business plan templates from some self-acclaimed business blogs.
You need to understand that every business is unique, including yours. A business plan template is very useless.
You don’t need to know how to write a business plan, but you can work with a business consultant.
This individual will walk you through the steps and observations. Most of the time, they offer professional advice and information that will help.
Services like this are not cheap, but they are a step in the right direction. You need to ensure you’re on the right track, and a business plan does that.
4. Fund Your Business
Look how far you’ve come.
You have a business idea, done your market research, and have gotten your business plan ready.
Now, what next?
The next step is the capital. That is where 80% of business ideas hit the rock.
Most likely, people claim the business is too capital intensive. They whine about how hard it will be to get that money.
Other times, they dwell in self-pity because they believe they are at a disadvantage, being unable to fund their dream.
When you come to the knowledge that money is not the problem, you will discover even a bigger truth about yourself.
Perhaps you were afraid of failure or losing money. Who knows, what if you start that business and fail, and everyone laughs at you?
Who knows, they will make you a topic of discussion every night, talk about how a failure you are.
Yes, that is fear stopping you, not money – fear.
When you get past this fear, you will explore options to fund your business, like borrowing from family and friends.
You can seek grants, or take extra jobs just to save more money.
At this stage, you can even take a loan without collateral. A lot of lenders have been springing up lately.
My roommate borrowed over #200,000 last week without collateral just from an app.
When you get past the fear of failure or being a loser, you will discover that money was never a problem.
5. Business Location
When writing business guides, I always make it a duty to talk about business location.
Depending on the kind of business, the location matters a lot. Sometimes, it even determines the success of a business.
There are lots of businesses today that are location sensitive. In the sense that if they are located wrongly, it will affect everything.
One tip that helped me a lot to discover a fantastic business location is to think about my target market and resources.
I want to make sure that the location is close to my target market. Secondly, the resources needed for a smooth business operation need to be in proximity too.
If you want to start a business in Nigeria that will become a giant company tomorrow, think of the long term when picking a location.
Ensure that the place can be expanded, especially when you decide to take the next leap.
Getting a good business location is not easy, but it will mean everything. Take as much time as you can, and get the ideal location for your business.
6. Choose A Business Name
You don’t need to overthink this process. If you sought my advice, I would say go for something abstract.
Take Facebook, for example. What does that even mean?
What about Twitter? Apple? Do they sell apples?
Do you understand why you shouldn’t overthink this process?
When you pick something abstract, you can build any business around it, and it will blend.
Instead of BerryLips, Go for BerryCosmetics. That is if you don’t want to go with something abstract.
In that case, go for the general terms.
When choosing a name for your business, you must ensure that you adhere to some tips. They will ensure there is no regret in the future.
Availability – This is in terms of a domain name, social media handles, and business name registration. You need to ensure that these are free before you start creating brand awareness.
Also, there are lots of software used for business name ideas. They are free and come in handy.
Simply head over to Google and punch “Business Name Generators.”
The website will pull up lots of unusual names that might appeal to you.
When you find a business name that feels at home, then you’re one lucky entrepreneur.
Not all of us end up liking our business names, even when it becomes a billion-dollar company.
7. Register Your Business
The business world is like a bloody arena hidden beneath the earth. In that world, anything can happen.
The most common war fought on this battlefield is often legal. That is why you need to be on the right side of the law when pursuing your dream business.
Start by registering your business with the corporate affairs commission. They will ensure another business entity doesn’t use your business name.
The benefit that comes with registering your business is tremendous. With a business name, you can take loans, apply for business grants, attract investors, and so forth.
It is like the doors of opportunities suddenly blew open, shining down on your business.
Later, when your business is stirring toward success, do not forget to hire a business lawyer. Most times, your competitors, clients, or workers might want to bite more than they could chew.
In such situations, you cannot be sued, only your business. Secondly, a reliable business lawyer will help navigate this storm.
There are hundreds of business cases springing up in court every day. Don’t, for a moment, think you’re too special to find yourself in those corridors.
To start a business in Nigeria, registering your business is a crucial step that will change everything.
Guess what? It is very cheap – #10,000.
8. Open A Bank Account
If you registered your business, then your business is eligible for a bank account.
All you need to do is visit your favorite bank. While sipping your cup of coffee, which is literarily impossible here in Nigeria, they might help open an account for your business.
They will most likely require the certificate proving your business is registered and some other materials to confirm its genuineness.
When it comes to starting a business in Nigeria, you must admit that it can be thrilling. It is true; if you’ve worked out the processes like funds.
With your business account, you can send and receive money from clients without hassles. The bank account will bear your business name instead of your name.
That is called, keeping things on a professional level. You might not know this, but giving your personal bank account to a business client is unprofessional.
If you’re a freelancer, there is nothing wrong with that. But a business aspiring to build a strong brand must have a business bank account.
9. Hire An Accountant
I don’t like talking about numbers. I have never been a fan.
It was only by divine providence that I was able to graduate with mathematics as among my courses.
My phobia for mathematics got me worried at some point, cause I knew numbers are a huge factor in business.
If you’re like me, that means you will need an accountant.
Back in school, I was able to ace my mathematics because I had a friend. This friend of mine was Einstein of mathematics.
Since I was da Vinci when it comes to other non-mathematical courses, we were able to help each other succeed.
I didn’t know mathematics very well, but my grade was above average. That same way, you don’t need to be a number eater to succeed in business.
All you need is the right resources to compliment your skills. Henry Ford said he doesn’t need to know everything when he has access to people that knows everything.
Does that strike a chord?
An accountant will ensure that your taxes, income, expenses, and customers are tracked. You might not see it now, but an accountant will help a great deal.
10. Open Business
Congratulations, you have finally launched your business. Anyone can start a business in Nigeria, but not everyone succeeds.
It is a challenge, causing you to fight, to rise above the failures.
Entrepreneurship is a tough road. Did I say tough? It is a disturbing and depressing path.
But, the reward always comes, crashing down on us like a gigantic tornado. When you think of the prize, it should motivate you to give in your best.
There is one rule I always work with, and it has been helping me hit success in anything I do.
I am talking about the two-year rule.
This rule is all about focusing on one goal or dream for two years, no matter if it’s succeeding.
In other words, you keep doing whatever you’re doing, not minding if things are going well or not.
That doesn’t entail being nonchalant. You will need to keep delivering value, improving, and learning from your failures.
Failure is something that will come, don’t think, for a moment, you won’t meet this nasty bastard. You certainly will.
Its purpose is not to stop you, but to make you stronger, smarter, and more motivated. Thomas Edison failed 1000 times before discovering the light bulb.
Failure doesn’t make you a failure. What the process is telling you is to try something different, maybe you might get it.
The reason most businesses fail is because their owners were simply impatient.
What a wonderful article this is. But sorry, there is no end.
The path of an entrepreneur is like a journey with no end.
But when you understand how your passion works, and how its business environment work, creating wealth becomes a hobby.
Before I sign off, I want to hear from you. Tell me about the business you wish to start.
I will be here to offer some advice, guidance, and support.
Also, don’t forget to subscribe!