5 Tips On Starting a Small Business in Nigeria; The Business Essentials

There are hundreds of businesses out there pulling in Millions daily in Nigeria. But also, there are thousands closing up everyday around the globe and in Nigeria (mostly).
So, how do you get to not close up or run out of business after months of starting up? In what ever business you intend doing in Nigeria, Here are 5 things to look out for before even starting:

#1: The Environment

The environment determines whether you'll run out of business or stay put and make profit gains. Let's take for example you want to start a poultry business in a student environment, students buy eggs and also, they buy kilos of meat everyday. The students will be your main audience or customers, even if people who are not students buy the eggs, the main chunk of purchase will definitely be the students. An opposing example would be starting a boutique business in a small village somewhere unknown. Villages consist mainly of old people, grand parents, farmers & fishers. These people are comfortable with their lives and even when they have the opportunity to upgrade their current status, most of them wouldn't. So, starting up a business like a boutique in such a village would be a huge failure in the short and long run. Then, on the contrary, setting up a shop to sell building materials in a student environment would be a no-no. Most of the students are from outside the community and not indigenes. Such a business would be profitable when the environment is dominated with working class indigenes who get promotions and build new houses, who would want to purchase their own tools to work outside their homes and who would want to hire materials for construction or building purposes. So, the environment matters. Take it into consideration.

#2: The Location

The location in this sense is a lot different from the environment. Let's say you've got the right environment, but your location in the environment mattered too. For example, in Ekpoma, Edo State in Nigeria, the school makes the environment lively. The school is the focal point where all students meet, but there's a town far away from the school environment. Most students will relax and sit back in their houses if they know they'll spend approximately $1 to get what they want because your shop is in Town, and they don't want to go that far. So, where you establish your business matters a lot even in the wrong environment. You could start a right business in a wrong environment and make sales enough to keep you in business if you're well situated or centrally situated and have a right marketing strategy.

#3: The Customers

The customers are basically people who buy from you, while the potential customers are people who have the tendency to buy from you. How you mingle with the few people who buy from you on a daily basis or who you serve on a daily basis matters a lot. Customers won't run coming to your place at once, they come eventually and in small numbers. As days roll by, your customer base will begin to increase exponentially or decrease drastically depending on your attitude towards them. You should know what they want and how to leverage on that to make a living out of their needs. Whatever you sell, customers want satisfaction and if you don't deliver in a unique way, then there's no difference between you and the person selling or trading or rendering same services in a corner down the street. Create value.

#4: The Market; Competition

Hardly is there any market without competition, even on the internet, the competition is getting stiffer by day. Whatever niche you want to operate, there are competitors. They're the MC (Mega Competitors or Steppers), the MCC (Layers or Middle Class Competitors) and the FC (Fresh Competitors or Starters). The MCC and MC are usually the ones making all the gains meant for you. Why? Because they've been there and mimicking their strategy won't work for you. How do you get in front of the competition? Because of this problem of being a Starter or Fresh Competitor, nobody almost knows you and so you won't make it to stay in business. I once taught making a difference is what it takes to be unique, but in a community where everyone is trying to be different, you'll find yourself back in the crowd.

The MC and MCC basically control the market, they manipulate price, they also affect people's income through irregular increment in prices. For example, Dangote is almost in every market, affecting sales. The brand is a MCC to newly established local rice, salt, or cement industry because it's well known and trusted. Small new companies need to be more innovative to remain in business and feed their families, but wait, there's a redlining, the competition.

#5: Promotion Strategy

Promotion is not to be left out if you want to mega in no time. Millions of businesses in Nigeria don't engage in promotion. They manufacture and sell, and though may have a number, maybe a thousand customers or more, but its nothing compared to the millions that'll be informed with the right promotion strategy. Business promotion strategies in Nigeria will be broadly discussed in another post. Farewell.