HOW TO START A BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
HOW TO START A BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
The basics of starting any business in Nigeria and the world at large first begin with an idea. The idea must first of all be birthed after a long period of brainstorming. Once you feel and you are sure the idea is good enough for you to start a lucrative business, the next step for you to follow is to fashion a realistic business plan.
Business plan is one of the fundamental elixirs when starting your journey as an entrepreneur. Without a well written business plan, fashioned to the existing realities of today’s present market, your investment in your business might just be tantamount to a “snake swallowing your money”. Therefore, I have explained below steps to follow so that you can make that business idea of yours realistic and have a flourishing business.
Have a Business Plan
In life you will agree with me that proper planning is the prerequisite to been successful. Same is akin to business. When you finally decide to venture into one you will need to plan well so you will not fail in the long run. Thus, fashion a good business plan that encapsulates every aspect of the business and follow it diligently.
According to survey carried out by Pulse, it has been estimated that over 85 percent of start-up business owners in Nigeria operate without a business plan. So if you really want to succeed in your business endeavors, make a decision to separate yourself from the pack. Decide you are going to be an “Omega” and get a business plan. In other words, no matter how small or informal you want to start your business, please and please have a well written business plan and if you cannot write a business plan, get professionals to do that for you.
Carry-out feasibility study
People often time end up investing in business opportunities because a friend or relative told them the business is lucrative. But that should not be the case because you have to consider looking at the existing realities. Thus, there are more than a thousand and one reasons why you should carry out a feasibility study before deciding to start a business in Nigeria.
One of the reasons why you should carry out a feasibility study is because the Nigerian market is highly competitive. So do not invest your money without rigorously ascertaining the viability in the business you are about to start. This is basically where most Nigerian entrepreneurs fail. So break out from the crowd.
Your business location matters
Choosing the best location to start a business in Nigeria is very important. This is dependent on the type of business franchise you want to venture into. You may choose to site your business within your neighborhood or in an industrial area, it all depends on the result of your feasibility study. What you should not do is to site your business in a bad location. For instance, if you intend to deal on merchandise, it is pivotal you choose locations like Aba, Port Harcourt, Yaba, Alaba, Idumota and Onitsha as a location for your business but if it is not merchandise perhaps any other commodities you will be dealing on, make sure the location you choose would be a place your business brand will flourish and you must be well prepared to face the challenges of the environment.
Register your Business with the CAC
After mapping out your business plan, carrying out feasibility studies and choosing a location for the business, the next thing in line to do is registering your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria popularly known as CAC. The Commission is a body that is in charge of registering business entities in Nigeria. There are CAC offices in all the 36 states of the Federation including Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. So you can register it in any of the CAC offices closest to you or you can choose to do it online as the process could be done online.
After registering with the Corporate Affairs Commission, the next step to follow is registering your business at the Tax office. The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are in charge of tax related issues. This is where you will be sending Value added taxes, business income taxes, and withholding taxes. Thus, it is really pertinent that you get registered at any Tax office that is closest to you. After the registration process, you will be given Tax Identification Number (TIN) which you will utilize for every of your tax processes.
Source for Start-up Capital
After making up your mind and finally decided on becoming the latest entrepreneur, you will need to procure the essential capital to at least get your business underway. Starting a business in Nigeria is not ‘child’s play’ to say the least. So before venturing into one, make sure you have the required start-up capital. Financing a start-up is one of the biggest challenges faced by emerging entrepreneurs in Nigeria. There are various ways to source for capital for your start-up. One of those ways is networking with prospective investors, getting loans from banks or borrowing money from friends and family. I strongly advise you do the former because it will be of immense benefit to you as a person and your business. However, be careful so you do not start your business accumulating debts. Debt is only lucrative when the money is invested for capital gains.
Launch your business
It is time to start your business. But do not think it is all going to be rosy. Even roses have thorns. However, look at the bright side and do not fidget. You should not be like those who go into business with the unrealistic dream of blowing in a day. Having a stable and successful business that can weather the storms will take consistency, sustainability, financial acumen and excellent operational strategies. After going through the aforementioned steps, the real deal begins. There is that tendency you will be scared of so many things which one of them is the fear of failing, have it in mind that you can only learn when mistakes are made. The likes of Aliko Dangote, Wale Adenuga, and Tony Elumelu et al have failed one way or the other. But they all choose to rise up and make good efforts towards growing their businesses irrespective of the challenges they encountered on a daily. So to succeed in Nigeria’s business terrain, you need guts and wisdom, and with a little bit of luck you will leap above every civil bound. Do not hesitate; launch your business because it is time!
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