Starting a Small Scale Business in Nigeria
Starting your own business is a great way to control your financial situation. It is one of the most powerful ways to take control of your life. There are so many business opportunities in Nigeria that one can do successfully. Many people are poor not because there are no opportunities but because of their inability to recognize the opportunities and utilize them.
The meaning of Poor according to Aghogho Arthur; “passing over opportunities repeatedly” and that is the problem of most people. They pass over opportunities without making use of them.
Contrary to what most people think, capital is not the greatest challenge in starting a small business. The greatest challenge is getting a very good business idea.
Examples of small business:
- Show room (viewing centers)
- Rental services
- Outdoor catering
- Sales of phones/accessories
- Quail bird farming
- Buying and selling – buying crops that are in season and selling off when they are cut of season e.g. soybeans, palm oil, dried plantain chips etc.
- Frozen food sales
- Poultry farming
- Cooking gas sales
- Jewelry making
- Hairdressing salon
- Nail studio – (Manicure / Pedicure)
- Make-up Artist
- Photocopy and computer services
- Laundry services
- Modelling and Event Ushering services
- Cassava production
- Used clothes sales
TIPS FOR STARTING YOUR OWN COMPANY
In starting your own business you must realize it is stressful and it demands your full and complete focus. It can also be a fulfilling experience professionally and personally.
- DO A SELF INVENTORY
Before investing any time or resources, evaluate yourself and see if you have the typical traits to handle launching a company of your own.
- Are you motivated?
- Are you able to adapt?
- Are you confident?
- Are you resilient?
“It is better to be ready and not having an opportunity than for an opportunity to come and you are not ready”.
…..able to do exceedingly, abundantly according to the power that worketh in you”. (Ephesians 3:20)
Don’t just start a business because something is in vogue or others are doing it. Develop a business concept that you are passionate about. From there come up with a product or service that you believe can enhance the people lives. In summary identify a need and try to build your business concept around meeting that need.
- TEST THE PLAUSIBILITY
Once you have settled on an idea, figure out how you can make it to become a reality. Is the product or service something that people want or need? Can you make a profit selling it? Does the product work?
A solid business plan will guide you going forward. It is needed for presenting your idea to potential investors. Your business plan should include;
- Mission statement
- A company summary
- An executive summary
- A service or product offering
- A description of target market
- Financial projections
- The cost of operation
- Identify your market; assess the market, targeting the customers most likely to make a purchase. Perform a competitive assessment.
- Determine the costs: do additional research and fine out the standard
- Establish a budget
- Find the right investors
- Listen to investors
- Set up a great support system
- Determine the legal structures
- Select a business name
- Register your business name
- Take advantage of free resources – ADP etc.
- Determine task obligations
- Secure permits and licenses where necessary
- Buy insurance where necessary
- Set up the books – basic profit/loss account, purchase books etc.
- Choose a business location
- Don’t worry about an office: you can start from home
- A patent can wait i.e. exclusivity can wait
- Be flexible – chances are your original ideas may be modified.
- Share your ideas with friends and family
- Ignore the naysayers – these are impossibilities cryers. Ignore them
- Don’t become angry: if your idea is rejected by customers or investors, don’t just succumb to anger. Find out what they don’t like, make adjustment and go back to them.
- Deliver the product or service fast.
- Offer new products or services
- Be patient
- Over deliver at first
- Blog all the time: don’t be ashamed to share both your triumphs and struggles, customers will enjoy your honestly
- Avoid fights with partners
- Don’t worry about dilution
- Hire a copywriter: unless you are an excellent writer, hire a copywriter to compose emails for highly targeted customers.
- Prepare for meetings: when preparing for a meeting with a client, read up on everything that is available.
- Don’t fear the competition: remember, when completion exist, there is a market for your businesses, use that knowledge to outperform a rival.
- Benefit from word of mouth: nothing beats some good old fashioned word of mouth marketing. Let friends, family members and influencers in your field spread the word about your products or services.
- Provide outstanding customer services
- Be sure your website functions
- Don’t be overly concerned by the economy: some of the best businesses were launched during a recession.
- Make sure clients pay their bills
- Find the right employees
- Assign responsibilities
- Know that honesty is the best policy.
- Remember that opposite attracts: hire people with skills and personalities that are the opposite of yours.
- Say goodbye to your social life: you are going to spend a lot of time devoted to the business.
- Recognize that you will be the final person to be paid: as the CEO, you are the last to collect your cheque. That is just how it works until there is adequate revenue.
- Arrive at a useful definition of success.
- Realize when it is time to move on: failure is inevitable, if things are not working out and you have done all you can, then put aside your pride and close up shop. Something like this is not easy to accept but it is the best.
- Don’t just rely on the advice of others; trust God.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things “Philippians 4:8 (KJV). As a Christian you must maintain your integrity. You must consult God before ever starting; because “for it is he who gives you power to get wealth” Deuteronomy 8:18.
GOD BLESS YOU.
Evang. (Mrs.) Maria. E. Oisamoje
President e- Grace Enough Foundation.