5 Steps you must take before you open a business in Nigeria
It is simple to start a business in Nigeria. All you need is to find out about some common business ideas and concepts which are perceived to be profitable and carried out by many people and invest in them. In this case, you are aware of the amount of risks involved and the level of commitment required. Little or no form of innovation is expected. They are basically retailing and typically informal. Individuals with huge sum of money may begin as whole-sellers and distributors of imported/manufactured goods, and some may combine whole-selling with retailing in order to increase their revenue and hence their profit.
Where the individuals have acquired skills in areas such as tailoring, soap making, food processing, bead making, carpentry, mechanic, welding, shoe making, painting, photographing, animal husbandry, fish farming, horticulture, etc with some business skills, it is assumed that they are ready to start and run their own businesses based on the skills acquired.
The above descriptions represent majority of businesses in Nigeria today, albeit there are handful of businesses that are well developed and relatively entrepreneurial and innovative in the country.
Before you start and open a business with the intention to make the world a better place, meet needs, make substantial profit and maintain leadership in its industry and sector, here are five (5) important steps you must take:
- Self-Assessment: Starting and running a business of any kind is an entrepreneurial exercise and requires some basic entrepreneurial skills, attributes and behaviours to be successful. You must demonstrate a great deal of independence and self-discipline, self-confidence, aptitude for decision making and problem solving, a propensity for rick taking, flexibility and organizational skills, perseverance, unflagging tenacity, a great capacity to work and boundless energy, self-control and tolerance, optimism and enthusiasm, leadership skills and dynamic personality, effective communication, public relations and sales skills, open-mindedness and free-spiritedness. In addition, you must have a knowledge of oneself, sector of activity, market (target clientele and competitors), common business practices, management practices (finance, human resources, marketing, operations, inventories, etc), and general knowledge which makes a person informed and interesting.
- Idea Generation: People have needs, wants and fears. On the bases of these motivations, desirable and feasible business ideas can be discovered. Business ideas are generated in order to solve societal problems. You can also start a business in Nigeria through strategic alliance/partnering, acquisition, and franchising. At this stage of your business development, you are expected to contemplate the legal status of the business. It may take the form of a sole-proprietorship, partnership, limited company and cooperative registerable at the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC.
- Business Plan: A business plan helps you to determine if your business is likely to be viable, and focuses your efforts to improve your chances of success. It contains information revealing the strengths and weaknesses of the business, the customers, competitors, skills needed, marketing and financial plans, etc. A good business plan is a source of funding for the business.Financing: The sources of business financing include commercial loans from banks, account receivable (supplier financing), government loan guarantee program, personal savings, loans from friends, family members and relations, etc.
- Start/open your Business: Congratulations. You can now open your business to the public. It is up to you to keep your running and successful. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. Your mentor, your small business specialist, your family and friends, each will be prepared to help and support your decisions, your hopes and your dreams.