How To Start a Business In Nigeria (Updated)

Do you agree with me that Nigeria is a fertile ground for starting a business?

In fact, a lot of entrepreneurs who started with nothing, but just with the right mindset have been able to make great exploits on their endeavors.

In this article, I will show you what it takes to start and remain successful in any business you want to venture into in the Nigerian soil.

Hope you’re ready…? Okay, Let’s go!

Like I said earlier, Nigeria is a fertile ground for businesses, I mean every part of Nigeria. Never make mistake of thinking that businesses can only thrive in some selected cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt or Abuja.

Believe me, every city in Nigeria especially the capital cities are good grounds for businesses. Take for instance, a lot of people travel from Port Harcourt to Aba to make purchases of goods and services. Same is applicable to many other cities.

So, never be discouraged by the city you live. That business in your mind can thrive in that your city if and only if you site it at the appropriate place in your city.

Aba, Onitsha, Enugu, Kano, Kaduna, Uyo and other cities are good enough for business. So let’s take a look at some criteria you must consider if you must do and succeed in any business in Nigeria.

  1. You Must Be Prepared To Be On Ground In Nigeria

With the help of Internet, one can run a business in Nigeria from any country. But I want to advice, if your business is at the start up stage, you don’t have to run it from a distance. You need to be physically present all the time.

The mistake a lot of Nigerians in Diaspora make is starting up a business and handing it over to someone to manage while they leave the country. In this kind of situation, we have seen businesses of this kind close down.

My dear, if you are really serious about establishing a business in Nigeria, then you must be willing to be on ground to run the business for at least ‘one year’. By doing so, you will have much knowledge of the business interaction with the Nigerian environment. By so doing, you will know how you can plan for expansion.

  1. Do Not Do Business With Your Family Members Or Close Friends

This is a very crucial matter when it comes to starting a business. From my little observation, I have seen this brother or close friends mentality which in some cases makes one reluctant at a business.

If you are just starting a business, I will advice you don’t use your family members or close friends. You can only ask them for financial help and it shouldn’t go beyond that. Employ staff at your own capacity and works with them. It pays than working with family members.

Business in Nigeria most times don’t go as planned, but just remain steadfast, seek professional help, incorporate your company and make sure your back is covered legally.

  1. Make Sure You Have Proper Knowledge Of The Business

If you must be successful in your business, then you must be skilled and competent in that business. Competence is the by-product of knowledge spiced with experience while skill is the ability to do something well. Skill is developed over time through training.

But believe me, acquiring a skill these days is very easy than before provided you can make use of the internet especially YouTube.

Don’t start a business simply because it was recommended to you by someone, or maybe because you saw another person progressing on it.

Invest time in learning everything you can about a business before you invest your money. By so doing you will broaden your knowledge and believe me, knowledge will definitely pay off.

Hope you’re getting me…? Okay let’s continue.

  1. You Must Have A Short Or Long Term Plan To Employ People

As a new and a small business, you may choose to have only you working for you. You can operate from your home, a little shop or an office. Take for instance, when I started Visible Online marketing agency, I was just operating from my home while I work every time with my Laptop and my Android. Today, I’ve been to many cities in Nigeria on digital marketing services and training.

Believe me, there’s nothing wrong with starting small. But as you grow in business, you will need to employ competent hands and I advice that you shouldn’t wait till then before you plan towards it, start now.

  1. Get Capital

To successfully start up a business, you need capital. By capital I don’t mean you should have heaven and earth, or maybe be of a capacity with Aliko Dangote, I mean any reasonable amount that can help you at least for a start. It must not be in millions.

I know of a teacher in Aba who quit teaching and decided to start up a lesson centre in his house where students preparing for examinations can come for their preparatory classes on his subjects. He told me the money he invested then was the money he used to get packets of marker and a white board which is not even up to 40,000 naira. I must tell you, today his lesson centre is very big that I can’t really estimate the worth now. But he has many teachers working under him presently.

So, study that your business and know what it will likely cost. But in case you do not have capital you can approach financial institutions to assist you.

You may as well consider other sources.

  1. Make Sure The Business Is of a Greater Demand

What’s the aim of a business if not to solve people’s need?

A business becomes profitable if and only if is targeted at solving a particular need the people are having. Thus when the need is there and a business is there to solve the needs, then the demands for this business will be high.

It is very important you avoid businesses that doesn’t provide goods and service that is in demand. Research your proposed business, and ensure it is able to solve some of customers wants and ensure also that it is one that is lucrative before you venture into it.

Some businesses are longer profitable as they used to be simply because people no longer demand for them. Imagine going into the business of chalk sales or production when you know a lot of schools today no longer use chalk.

Please before you start, make you feasibility study properly. Then, you will come out with a better result that will help you profitably in the business.

Hope am communicating…?

Okay… Let’s take the next one…

  1. You Must Be Patient and Consistent

Remember that success is not an overnight flight. This nugget is especially for those hoping to rake in their first million naira profit in the early months of commencement of their business.

Business is not Yahoo-Yahoo! So never expect to hit millions in just one month. As an entrepreneur who just started his business, you must learn to be and consistent in your business. At the early stage, believe me, the profits may not be encouraging. But even at that, Keep Moving.

Though, It is very much possible to rake in large profits in few months of setting up a business especially when so much capital and hard work are put into the business, but the truth is that it doesn’t always work that way.

Success can never be achieved or attained by sudden flight; it is a product of consistent, unyielding effort. I advice you stop looking for just the most lucrative business to start, but also for the best business you are willing to stick to regardless of the surrounding circumstances.

So many great businesses in Nigeria never had opportunity of making up to one hundred thousand naira in their first year in business. But today they count daily in millions of naira. So, never expect to hit it big once.

Believe me, you’re on a great flight to success if you stick to all of these advice.

I want to see you succeed in your business in Nigeria.

Written by: Chukwuma Gordian. A Nigerian SEO expert and Digital Marketing strategist. He is the founder of Visible Online Marketing Intelligence. He has helped businesses across Africa to achieve  quality online visibility. You can contact him on: +2347034708233,

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