Do you want to learn how to start your own business while embracing a step by step guide? Today, that is all we are going to be talking about. Get set to learn as we break this down in a rather different way. Then get ready while we break it all down for you.
Nigeria, the giant of Africa is home to several entrepreneurs who are all doing exceedingly well; while recording giant strides in their businesses both locally and internationally. While we can speak about successes, there are still clearly a ton of entrepreneurs out there who also aspire to do great things and who the tips below will greatly guide as much as possible.
Having a business of one’s own in itself is very interesting and rewarding. It is not only rewarding, it grants you an absolute monopoly over your time. You have no boss to answer to while you end up becoming an employer in the long run.
Entrepreneurship in, itself, is a vast field that many have plunged and dug into and it still holds many potential areas; waiting to be explored. There are challenges as well as rewards, ups as well as downs, pros as well as cons but the output far outweighs the input.
Many people take the step of starting a business with much positivity, enthusiasm, excitement, big dreams and in good faith but most times find themselves giving up easily or going back to their nine-to-five jobs. Often times they find it difficult to sustain such business; this is not due to lack of passion or skill but rather lack or inadequacy of accurate information or knowledge needed and preparedness.
Therefore, I am more interested in offering an interesting, detailed and step-by-step practical take for anyone looking to venture into the world of business and becoming not just successful at it but be able to sustain such business and also thrive.
Step 1: Know Yourself
Many people know what business is by an idea or what they see others doing, they do not know the full-blown definition of business and its intricacies, therefore not knowing what it entails and whether they are cut out for it or not.
There is a belief that some people were born with a natural gift for business and will pull it off effortlessly while some school of thought believes that anyone can succeed at a business if you put your mind to it. Whatever school of thought you support or side with, the essence lies in knowing exactly what business is and what it entails before you venture into it.
Let us quickly see some definition of business.
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, Business means
- A commerce or mercantile activity engaged in as a means of livelihood.
- An industrial enterprise
- Dealings or transactions especially of an economic nature.
- A serious activity requiring time and effort and usually the avoidance of distractions.
Wikipedia also aptly defines business as the activity of making money by producing or buying and selling products such as goods and services. Simply put, it is an activity or enterprise entered into for profit.
From all the definitions above, two germane things are established;
- Business is time consuming
- Business is in the form of goods and services.
From the above, you can start to make up your mind about what business means to you and what aspect of business (goods or services) will your passion or interest fit into.
Step 2: Appraise/Examine Yourself
If you have made up your mind that the business niche is for you and you are ready to start one, then there is a serious call for self-examination. in this self-examination; consider these questions to give yourself a boost.
Skills: Do I have the needed skills to run this business? Are they rusty? Do I need to sharpen or update them?
Capital: Do I have a capital already set aside for this business? Do I have what it takes to raise one?
Leadership: Do I have what it takes to employ, lead and manage a team? Do I need to develop myself in this area before venturing out?
Passion: Do I have the passion and motivation needed to make this business successful and sustainable?
If you are able to answer these questions truthfully, then you are good to go.
Step 3: Establish a Business Idea.
When it comes to starting a business, an idea is the first thing to put in place. Still, not all business ideas are tenable and achievable. You need to come up with a practical, unique and need meeting business idea.
The best way to do this is to look at what problems or needs exist in your environs, single out the most pressing and come up with the best possible way to solve such a need while making a profit out of it. For example, if you are located in a rural area of a town and you need to go into the main part of the town before you get drinkable water to purchase, you might want venture into procuring and selling of pure water (sachet and bottled) in your area, this way, you are meeting a glaring need and making your money.
To achieve this, you will have to make some research, ask questions from experts in that field/area and seek advice.
Step 4: Conduct a Market Survey.
You cannot afford to skip this step. It is called a pilot study or a market survey and it is very germane to connect to your potential customers and ask them their opinions or feelings towards the need you will like to meet for them. This is to ensure the practicability and the probability of the business to thrive and succeed in such an area.
Also, a market survey helps you identify existing and upcoming competitions, it brings to light their products and services, their modus operandi, their possible flaws and how you can build on them or improve in order to make you stand out among them.
It is important to note that this should be done with the utmost intention to use the feedbacks gotten to determine your mode of business; it will be foolhardy to get low positive feedback and still venture into that particular business. It is not 100% sure that it won’t kick off or succeed but it is not 100% sure either that it will.
In essence, there is no point in starting a business today and it is coming apart at the seams or failing tomorrow, which is why it is important to learn the intricacies of the business and its viability in the intended environment.
Step 5: Create a Business Plan
After you have gotten the green light on your business idea from the market survey conducted, the next step is to come up with a business plan.
According to Wikipedia, a Business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.
Whether you are looking to start a small or big business, a business plan is highly important as well as needed; it is the blueprint of your business, the structure to your business plan that will guide you in establishing and running it. It also helps you to stay focused and organized; it further helps you to keep track of your goals, the processes involved, finances and many others.
A Business Plan majorly contains the following:
- Objectives of your business
- Problem definition
- Loophole/gap existing
- Intended solution
- Market potential
- Existing competitions
- Business model
- Your dream team
- Finances involved and
- Your overall vision (projecting into the next five, ten years).
Step 6: Get a Capital
Every business requires not just skills and passion but a capital which will be used to fund the procurement of goods and/or infrastructures and also run the day-to-day operations of the business.
Some already have savings to start up a business and are able to produce the capital when the time comes but if you do not have the required capital to start the business, there are different ways to secure one or source for funding. This includes Bank loans, Equity investments, grants, partnerships, etc.
It is important to ensure that there is enough capital that will not only start the business but cater to it during financial straits so that the business will not go under or spiral down.
Step 7: Register your Business
Many people overlook this aspect but it is as important as having a business idea or having the capital to fund it.
Register your business with the government of your country or any statutory body empowered to handle such. In Nigeria for example, we have the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) at the Federal level and then businesses are also encouraged to register at the state level with the Chamber of Commerce (COC).
Registering your business gives it authenticity, validity and frankly gives you peace that there will be no disturbance or disrupt of your business from the government or anyone for that matter.
Step 8: Tax Registration
The next step is to get your business registered at the tax office.
Tax-related issues are managed by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS). This is where you will send the value-added taxes (VAT), company income taxes and withholding taxes. Once you are done with this process, you will be given a tax identification number (TIN) which you can use for your tax processes. Several tax offices are located all over Nigeria, it is of utmost importance to locate the closest one to you.
This step is as important as registering your business, you can grow and expand without fear of your business being seized or stopped by the government.
Step 8: Create a Team
If your business is a one-man show, then you may not have the need to create and build a team but if your business is going to need more hands to make it successful, then you need to look into hiring the right kind of folks and building a strong team.
You want to hire the right kind of people who buy into the vision of your business because the success or otherwise of your business mostly depends on the type of team you manage. If you get the right set of folks, then you can be assured of continuing productivity and growth of your business.
Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account.
Opening a corporate bank account gives integrity/credibility to your business.
If investors are interested in your business brand, it also gives them the assurance of your transparency while also helping to keep track of your financial records and separating it from a personal account.
Step 10: Grow your Business
Growth is vital and very important to the survival of your business.
It doesn’t matter that the business is running, if it remains stagnant, it is just a matter of time before it dies. Therefore, you must ensure that you do whatever it takes to grow your business.
The growth of a business hinges on many factors. These factors could be;
Steady cash-flow: The more cash-flow a business procreates the more capacity it has to develop and increase. Therefore, make sure that you have the right tools to help you keep track of your cash-flow from the onset of your business.
Great team: As mentioned above, a great team that buys into the vision of your business, possess excellent customer-relationship skill and goes the extra mile will increase the growth of your business.
Stay updated: The business world grows every day, there are always new things to learn, new and easier ways to do things, and you need to keep updated in order not to be left behind and inherently, lose out.
Step 11: Leverage on Online Advertising
Finally, one such way to boost your Business is to leverage greatly on online advertisement. Delon.ng, top classified ads website in Nigeria avails you the opportunity to post free classified ads in Nigeria. You can post Books in Nigeria ads, Fashion Design. Are you a budding Real Estate Entrepreneur? Of course, you are not left; Luxury homes in Nigeria ads are also allowed free of charge.
20 Most Profitable Businesses to Start in Nigeria.
Many people have a passion for business but can’t seem to conclude on what exactly to do. I have compiled a list of business ideas I strongly feel is profitable and ones you can duly consider. The good thing, most of these businesses don’t necessarily require a huge start up capital.
- Food services (mobile, home delivery, catering services).
- Editing and Proofreading.
- Courier business
- Transportation service provider.
- Real Estate.
- Social Media Manager for businesses.
- Digital marketing and online selling of goods.
- Graphics Designing.
- Laundry Business (home services, setting up a shop).
- Gymnasium centre or Personal Trainer.
- Cleaning Services.
- Bed-and-Breakfast Lodge.
- Event Planning.
- Stylist and Selling of Hair products.
- Travel Agency.
- Day-care Services (for babies or pets).
- Make-up Artistes and selling of beauty products.
- Interior Designing.
- Product/Business Reviews online.
Please note that most of the businesses listed above can be started and operated from the confines of your home for a start or with the use of a even a small office.
So what are you waiting for, embrace opportunities today!