Everyday a lot of people leave the corporate world to become entrepreneurs. Reasons could vary from the individual feeling it’s time to venture out, a person losing a job, or out of sheer curiosity to have a thrill of the entrepreneurship journey.
The experience of starting a business would undoubtedly change your life forever. It’s an event you’d never forget because it comes with only two perks: success or failure. You could luckily fill a need for a service everyone needs and make a lot of money within a short period (for example, Aliko Dangote, both the richest man in Nigeria & Africa’s richest man, quickly returned the loan his grandfather gave him in less than 6 months when he was only just 21 years old, instead of the agreed 3 years because he ventured into the less populated sugar industry), or you could run in circles starting business after business because none seems to be able to attain profitability.
Success and failure are facts you will have to come to terms with. You’re more likely to fail in your first venture than succeed. But vast knowledge and pure resilience would make you a success story for everyone to learn from.
Here are five things you must know before starting a business in Nigeria or anywhere in the world:
1). Make Sure You Are Solving A Problem:
People majorly pay for products and services that solve problems they’re currently experiencing. It could be the help of someone to assist in taking care of children, a drug to relieve a pressing headache, or an umbrella to protect you from the rain. If your product or service solves a pressing problem, people would pay for it faster than anything else. In times of economic recessions, people focus even more on what they need than what they want. Discover what problems people in your local community are facing, create a real solution, and you’re in business!
2). Ideas Are Cheap, Execution Is Not:
Now you’ve gotten a wonderful business idea that you believe would make you a lot of money. What next? You setup an online or a physical store then you sit and expect people to come. Sorry! Your current account statement will be in more of a negative a year after, than when you started a year earlier. The excitement of an idea will cloud your judgement. No matter how great you think your idea is, make sure the numbers add up, else it would end up a failure. Without a real plan, the right team, and proper funding to execute your idea, you’d be way behind where you started two years later. Execution is everything. Remember, what’s worse than wasted money is wasted time. Get the facts straight and your execution would payoff in the right direction.
3). Research Your Market & Know Your Competition:
A full understanding of the market you’re trying to get into is important if you will record any success at all. Make sure your business plan covers this comprehensively. If you’re unsure of writing a business plan, this article would alert you to the top 10 most important reasons you must have a business plan. Identify your potential competition and study what they are already doing. By knowing what is working and what is not working for them, you’d know how to better place your self. This would help you deliver a great unique value proposition (UVP) that no one is currently offering and would help acquire customers faster than you should have.
4). Location Is Too Important!
If you’re not rightly placed, you’d get very little results, if any at all. Been at the right place and at the right time can never be grossly over-emphasized. No matter what your business is about, you must always be targeting the right people in the right places. If for instance you want to import and sell clothing in wholesale, a place like the Mandilas market at the Lagos Island in Nigeria would be a good place to start, then you could silently find other less crowded wholesale markets customers patronize that only few of your competition are aware of; if you want to sell movie tickets online, placing an ad at the cinema or at websites where people go to find news about upcoming movies would be a great place to start. If you target customers in the wrong places, you’d be reaching uninterested people and before you realize that, you’d run out of money.
5). It Is Not A Part-Time Job:
There’re few part-time millionaires, and there’d never be a part-time billionaire. Succeeding in your business means putting your all into it. Understanding what areas are working, what areas aren’t, realigning your strategies and finally settling on the real path to success. You cannot achieve this by running your business part-time. If you’re not ready to give up whatever else you’re doing to focus on growing your venture, then you might never succeed
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