Now for those who are eager to start a business or invest in Nigeria, there are a few criteria you must meet; so as to ensure you are well positioned for success.
1. You must be prepared to be on ground in Nigeria
Yes, I have had so many people call me to talk to me about the possibilities of starting a business in Nigeria while running it from overseas. Now the honest truth is that you can successfully operate a business in Nigeria without being physically present; but not in the startup phase of the business.
You just don’t start a new business, turn it over to someone and travel out of the country; hoping that the person you handed your business over to will do a good job. This is one of the mistakes most Nigerians in Diaspora make.
If you are really serious about establishing a business in Nigeria, then you must be willing to be on ground to run the business for at least one year. Secondly, forget about doing business with your family members or close friends; it usually doesn’t end well. Rather, I will advice you seek professional help, incorporate your company and make sure your back is covered legally.
2. You must have knowledge of the business
To succeed as an entrepreneur in Nigeria, you must have skill and competence. Competence is a product of knowledge mixed with experience while skill is something you can develop over time through training. Please don’t start a business blindly simply because a family member or friend recommended such a business, the result of such a venture is usually devastating. Invest time first to learn everything you can about a business before you invest your money.
3. You must have a short or long term plan to employ people
To keep cost low, you may choose to start as a self employed entrepreneur operating from home, a shop or an office. There is nothing wrong with starting out this way, after all; I started out as a self employed entrepreneur working from home. But as you grow in business, you will need to bring in competent hands. However, you shouldn’t wait till then before you plan towards it, start now.
4. You must have capital
There is no much explanation to do here. To successfully setup a business in Nigeria, you must have capital. This is needed to get things done. Now when I say capital, I want to emphasize that it doesn’t have to be a million dollars. You can start with the little you have even if it is just enough money to get a laptop and an internet connection.
5. You must make sure your proposed business has an evergreen demand
Another mistake you must avoid is starting a business whose trend is dying. Take for instance a cyber café business, this business is dying because the trend is shifting towards mobile connectivity. Why go to a cyber café to access the internet when you can do it more cheaply at home?
6. You must always remember that success is not an overnight flight
Yea, this one is especially for those who are looking for a business to start that will provide a steady cash flow or a return of 30% – 50% in approximately one year. The truth is that it doesn’t work that way. Success can never be achieved or attained by sudden flight; it is a product of consistent, unyielding effort. So stop looking for the best business to start, instead; look for the best business you are willing to stick to regardless of the surrounding circumstances.