Please help me give a warm round of applause for our guest blogger Simi, a budding strategic business consultant passionate about helping women, the youth, and bringing out the best in Nigeria’s human capital. Please read and enjoy!
Nigeria’s economic scene has evolved to a state in which entrepreneurship is the order of the day – the new “black” if you will. Entrepreneurs are churning out amazing concepts daily because there is now a constant flow of Nigerians hitting the streets to pursue their passions. While it is a good thing to start your own business, it appears there really is not much being said about the realities of starting a business in Nigeria. So would you like to know the secrets no one is talking about when it comes to business in Naija? Then here we go!
1. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN
You alone bear the responsibility of whatever happens to your business. “Full stop” “End of discussion”. Except of course, in instances of partnerships or collaborative agreements with other companies, so you have to understand that If the business fails or experience glitches, you solely and neither your staff nor your service providers bear the responsibility. No matter what you think or any excuse, you have or who you feel is responsible, you must be ready to take ownership as the visionary and leader.
2. BUSINESS IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY…AND THERE AIN’T NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT
As attractive as owning a business looks, it’s not for everyone, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. So if perhaps you venture into a business and some months or years down the line, you realise it holds no interest for you or you find you just can’t cope, you do not need to beat yourself up over it. You can just pull the brakes and focus on building your career. It does not make you any less serious or prosperous than the die-hard entrepreneur. Different strokes for different folks.
3. THE 6-MONTH THEORY –
It is said that the first 6 months of a start-up is the testing period. Here, get ready to accrue possibly some losses, face disappointments, and maybe make loads of money and lose every single kobo shortly after. You may even find yourself re-strategizing, losing partners, or workers or finding out you need to provide services you didn’t previously plan for. So if all is not rosy at the beginning, do not think it is an anomaly.
4. DO NOT ALWAYS GO THE DIY WAY
In a bid to cut costs, many starts up owners try to go the ‘Do-It-Yourself’ way for many things.
However this is not always feasible. Your foundation matters a lot, as it is the bedrock for how the business will turn out in later years. Trust me you do not want to spend your hard-earned cash on repairing a DIY mistake. Itemise the start-up concerns you do not know much about and search for experts on them. Do not let funds hold you back; you can always find experts willing to charge you low prices. If funds are not available, why not try a trade by barter plan.
Find an expert you can render a service or give a product in exchange for their service. There is always a way around every situation. A Yoruba adage says ‘Nkan ti ko ba lenu ko le gbon ju eyan lo’ meaning ‘whatever does not have a mouth cannot be wiser than you a human being.’
5. USE SOCIAL MEDIA
The social media terrain has evolved into something bigger than it used to be. Social media is an effective and cheap tool for start-up businesses when it comes to putting your brand out there.
Please when employing the use of social media, let do it with finesse. Let your conversation be creative and with impeccable grammar. Endeavour to set up accounts relevant to your business with a professional sounding name. The best social accounts for Nigeria are Twitter, LinkedIn, instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
So that’s that! My custom-made mite, just a teeny-weeny extra: The internet is one of your best pals in this century, make the most of it!
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