Kizito Okorowu August 29, 2016
causes of small business failure nigeria

When starting a business in Nigeria, many business owners have this euphoric feeling that they have finally made an impact, so to say. However, it’s not just enough to start a business. The glory is in building that business into a massive employer of labour and a values based entity.

Some folks have opened their first business on the back of boisterous confidence, ambitions of get-rich-quick avenues to instant wealth and a latter life of zero work.

These folks have been given a rude awakening and have witnessed a reality laden with insecurity, more working hours than they ever envisaged and paltry sums in revenue.
Therefore in building a solid business, entrepreneurs need to avoid certain errors in order to have the all important good start.



2 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Business in Nigeria


1) Never Let Passion Outspace Your Business Plan

 Some say owning a business is not for the faint hearted. I agree to an extent. One needs a concrete enforced heart to be able to grapple with the varying issues that plague business owners. This is why I’ve opined thus in this first point. Most folks get carried away with their passion for what they do. This is understandable considering the fact that most passion projects have been the basis for many renowned entrepreneurs affluence today.
However if you allow passion to outpace your business plan, you’ll fall into the cold hands of bias. This will spell doom for you as you won’t be able to see your business in the right light.

If it’s bleeding money, you’ll chalk it off as the necessary sacrifice you have to offer on the altar of patience. That’s foolish in my opinion. Don’t get so excited with your business proposition that you overlook the model on which the business will thrive on.
There are some business owners who meet investors thinking that their idea is the best kept secret since the discovery of coca-cola. Some even expect the investors to hurriedly sign blank checks for them only to find out that their ideas can’t answer the most basic of questions like when will the business break even?


2) Life Experience is Not Business Skills

Some business owners think that their experiences in life qualify them to run a business venture. They feel that what they’ve gone through is a big enough reason for them to set up businesses that will dominate the landscape for decades. This is a fallacious supposition.

 Do you think that because you’ve taken tons of tablets, you can now become a certified pharmacist? Or do you think that spending time reading books simply qualifies you to become a political appointee? I doubt. You see friend, business is a different ball game. You may have been the Chaplain prefect in secondary school or you may have been the Hostel chairperson in your university days, all of these doesn’t still guarantee your success in business.

In the business, what you don’t know can hurt you. Personal experience has no bearing when distinguishing between a mere seasonal fluctuation in price and a drop in the quality of production. Knowledge does. Knowledge and skills  helps you identify what can significantly affect the growth of your business from something as basic as the impression customers get from your logo to ample data about your business culled from analytic tools.

There’s a need for you to invest in relevant business knowledge to grow your business. The key word being ‘relevant’. Never downplay the role of getting specialized training in business in order to build your business acumen. It’s a necessary ingredient that will determine how much of a success you become. Take note!


In addition to these two points above, it’s important for all business owners to also give room for growth in their business. Growing a business like I said earlier is not about quick fixes. You don’t start a business with thousands of naira and expect 8 figures to happen over night. That’s fraud, sir. This makes me detest fast growth without emphasis on laying the right business foundations and premise. When you grow too fast, you leave your business open to setbacks. To put things in perspective, many entrepreneurs are in a mad dash to hire new folks. Nothing bad with this at all. However, there’s everything wrong in hiring when there are little or no spaces available for such hires.

This also applies to your marketing and sales efforts. Even your IT arm is not left out of it. Can your present servers handle the increased traffic you’re touting?

My advice for business owners is to subscribe to a model of patience and concrete efforts behind the scenes to build reputable and long lasting businesses. The large corporations didn’t get to where they are currently on a quick speed basis. Granted, there may have been monumental  leaps that would surely have catapulted their growth prospects. I am certain that for every monumental leap they experienced, they would have had series of incremental leaps.

I hope this article has been a treasure trove of valuable business insights. Do share your thoughts with me in the comments below. I’ll be glad to respond to them. Cheers!

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