November 11, 2019 All Things Fintech in Africa

How to start a Startup in Nigeria

How to Start a startup in Nigeria

Have you ever thought about building a Startup in Nigeria?  Then you probably need the strategies I will share with you in this informative article.

Building a business from the inception of the idea itself demands a lot more than wishful thinking. It needs an elaborate plan that should transform that vision into a tremendous and successful structure. If you want to build a successful startup in Nigeria, you must pay heed to each step in this guide. Without a perfect step by step plan in place, it just as though you are flushing money down the drain. And so here are the major steps you need to kickstart your startup in Nigeria.

Step 1 – Evaluate yourself

Many business owners skip this step only to encounter many problems later on when their personal skills are called to question. It is important that your business reflects not only the needs of society but your passions. Maybe you are better off with a 9 to 5 job rather than being your own boss. Or maybe you will do well in a business that simply requires your money while someone else does the hard stuff. You can never know the truth until you have assessed your strengths and weaknesses. You can begin this assessment by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is my purpose in life?
  • What are my strengths
  • What am I passionate about?
  • Which skills do I have? Which skills can I gain within the next week or month?
  • Can I afford to spend my time on this knowing that many businesses fail?

Step 2 – Create the idea

Have you ever given a thought to what makes a killer business idea? Well, you really have to. In a country like Nigeria, there are many popular business models. But you will agree with me that a whole bunch of it is seriously saturated and you might never be able to bring in something to it. So, what do you do? Nigeria probably has a lot of problems in different sectors, so there’s something out there for you. You may also be faced with the fact that funding might be a problem. But it rarely ever is, if you can do some odd jobs, save 80% of your salary and leave like a dog for a year. One more little trick, if your business idea is not exactly new, you should brainstorm a cheaper and faster way to get your hands in it.

Step 3 – Do a market analysis

Whether your business idea looks new, there’s always a similar one in the works. Check out the kind of people that will probably patronize your business. This includes their age, profession, buyer persona and possible ways to market it to them. Not every business idea should be marketed on the internet at the initial stage. And not every business demands a house to house visit. Always remember, there’s no such thing as a business without competition. You may have one even if it’s not a direct competitor. Take your surveys beyond the internet, go out to the market. See how people would react to your solutions. Ask randomly. Who knows you might meet like minds like you who will be your partners? You may also receive insights that would further refine your business concept.

Step 4 – Seek counsel

You should be very careful with this step. Some people with unlimited resources and connections can steal your idea. So, check with your friends and mentors. You don’t have to give them the full idea, just a hint of the real deal. Whatever service or product, you might likely offer, you can build a prototype. If you are looking at opening a service-oriented business, try selling these services for free to see the reactions to your business. If you have a product in mind, you can also develop it and share with your friends. By doing this, you will receive constructive feedback that could move your business to the frontiers.

Step 4 – Draw your business plan

The next step is to place all the information you have gotten into a clear, structured business plan. Some Nigerians have been known to skip this step and still build something good. But, again with a business plan, their business would have taken a lot less time to hit success. A business plan does not only help you start without hitches. It can also help your business handle success admirably.  Yes, I have seen highly successful companies get acquired by others or hit bankruptcy because their owners were not looking far into the future. You shouldn’t look at a business plan as something you need for a loan application. With a business plan, you can kickstart your business in only a month with all the operational and seed capital you need for the next 1 year.

Step 5 – Make it official

Under the laws of Nigeria, anyone can pick your business name, sell a carbon copy of your products and get away with it, if you did not register your business. It’s a really scary thought and you shouldn’t be caught in such a situation. It’s even amazing to know that registering your business won’t really cost a lot of money. Depending on the type of startup you have in mind, your business can be registered for as little as ten thousand nairas (10,000). Aside from registering your business, you may need some licenses or permits if your business is health related. You will also have to register with the Tax authorities. Since nothing ruins a business like one whose corporate reputation is called to question, you can’t afford to skip this step.

Step 6 – Get finance for your startup

This is equally an important step. There are many ways to get financing for this step. You can get funds from friends and family, seek a small business grant, get an Angel Investor, use equity financing or get a loan. But you should always check the pros and cons of each kind of financing. In all things, you should also evaluate your personal finances. If you have money problems, you should consider getting a budget in place as well as a job on the side.

Step 7 – Develop your product or service

Next, you need to put your product together. For instance, if you will be manufacturing products, then you have to scout the market. One more tip to add, there are new ways to sell goods directly from the manufacturing outfit without doing the actual production yourself. This is new business models you can seek out. However, you should always check out the alternatives, pros, and cons of the business model you choose. On the flip side, if your business is service-oriented, then it is time to build an excellent portfolio of past jobs. This is not a money-making segment because your services will be offered for free or next to nothing. But, make sure your clients know its only a sample stuff so they don’t come back expecting the same treatment later.

Step 8 – What location appeals to you?

The location today is nothing like the past. Many successful startups in Nigeria have well established “kitchen offices”. So, you may or may not need a brick and mortar shop. Make sure to check out the pros and cons of all kinds of the location before making your choice. In addition, whatever location appeals to you the most, you should understand that your potential customer’s buyer person would determine the location that is suitable.

Step 9 – Marketing and Sales

This step is a bit of a combination of marketing, sales, and teamwork. Yes, you will need a team. This does not mean you need employees. For instance, some members of your team can be a social media influencer, whose followers need your products. You may also need an employee, partner or freelancer, it’s simply a matter of clearly stating out your goals and objectives. With the right team, you can begin reaching the right market of people for your business in no time and get good returns in no time.

Step 10 – Growing your business

There are a million ways to grow your startup. Whether you are building an innovative product, acquiring another business or kicking into a trending platform, you need well-crafted goals. You need to set goals, objectives and from time to time come back and reevaluate your progress. For some business, it is wise to evaluate every week, others do not need evaluation for up to six months. By evaluating and changing the structure of your business plan, you can keep an eye on your competition, get a hold of new opportunities and improve your marketing campaigns.

Kickstart your startup in Nigeria by using these steps and strategies. However, you must realize that your work will never be done. Yes, it’s important you don’t get high on your own success. You need to keep researching the market, seek new team players, improve your product and before you know it, you will hit tremendous success.

Also Read; Five Online Payment Platforms and How To Use Them

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