Nigeria is currently grappling with an economic recession. This situation was fueled in part by a drop in oil earnings which accounts for over 70 percent of the revenue of the Government. In addition, years of poor fiscal planning and a reactive monetary/forex policy also contributed to the recession.
In spite of the economic challenges, Nigeria continues to post impressive ratings with regard to setting up business. With a population of over 150 million people, the presence of such a huge and diverse market can be a boom for any business.
If you desire to start a business in Nigeria, you must be prepared to pay attention to the nuances and peculiarities that influence the business climate in Nigeria. You can use the following tips to set a business in Nigeria:
1. Develop a Business Idea
Nigerians grapple with a lot of challenges as they lead their daily lives. And you should take note that challenges are the bedrock upon which businesses are built. In order to do business in Nigeria, you should be able to offer a good or service that solves a challenge/need. Once you have that in place, you can then structure your business operations to meeting that need at a minimum cost in order to earn reasonable profits.
2. Identify your Target Market
So, you have decided to do business in Nigeria and you have developed your business idea, the next step is for you to identify your target market.
A target market is a body of existing and potential customers/clients that are in need of the good/service you provide and are willing to exchange value for the item or service.
Say, for example, you have decided to sell educational instructional videos. Your ideal market will comprise students who can afford to buy the materials, parents, and guardians as well as educational institutions. Your marketing strategy should be geared towards attracting the attention of these customers to what your business offers.
3. Put in Place a Marketing Strategy
Now that you have identified your target market, it becomes imperative that you put in place structures and processes that will allow you get the attention of members of your ideal market.
These methods will constitute your market strategy. You will have to decide what mixture of platforms will be the most effective in reaching out and communicating the value of your product/service.
Will you utilize bulk SMS? Will you distribute flyers and posters at strategic points in your vicinity? Will using social media platforms be an effective marketing tool, especially for the younger members of your target market?
Whatever marketing strategy you choose must be pragmatic and take into consideration the peculiar characteristics of the Nigerian business environment.
4. Draw up a Business Plan
A key strategy for doing business in Nigeria is having a robust business plan that encapsulates all the aspects of your proposed business.
Your business plan will contain useful information such as an executive summary of your business idea, an analysis of your target market, your unique selling point and market advantage, financial projections and income revenue streams as well as other pertinent information.
What a business plan does for you is to give you a solidity and launch pad with which to guide your operations. A business plan should also be flexible enough to accommodate anticipated and unexpected changes in the Nigerian business climate.
5. Register your Business
In order to successfully engage in business in Nigeria, you must give legal status to your business venture. At this stage, you must decide what structure will work for your business idea. Do you want to run the business solely?
Or will you like to partner with others and split both profits/losses accordingly? Whatever structure you decide to choose must be given legal recognition by the relevant agencies in Nigeria such as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
6. Operate from an Accessible Location
A hallmark of doing business in Nigeria is your ability to be reached easily by existing and potential customers. The chief considerations for you will include whether to site your business close to your target market. In the instance of selling educational materials, it will be advisable that you set up close to or in the educational institutions of interest to you.
In addition, you must tune into the realities of conducting business over the World Wide Web and have a user-friendly website. This will cater to customers who may want to place orders for your products remotely from any location.
7. Obtain Necessary Permits and Business Licenses
It is necessary that your business conforms to the laws/stipulations in the land. This will include you paying for operational and business licensing fees. The agencies that your business will be dealing with on a fairly regular basis includes the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC), the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the State government of your area of operation as well as the Local government.
You should take a note of their charges and endeavor to pay them as at when due.
8. Commence Operations
Doing business in Nigeria sometimes means that you will have to set sail on the business waters, even when it is stormy. In order words, you may not have to wait for the right conditions before you start your business. Once you have observed the most basic steps, then you can begin to test the waters with your product/service.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, you must be determined and focused in order to achieve your aims/objectives in your business. You should also have a disposition of being informed about the latest happenings in the business environment in Nigeria.