I know a lot of Nigerians in the Diaspora, who have tried to set up businesses back home. The move to set-up businesses basck home is challenging but can be very rewarding. The twist is, somewhere along the course, some of the people that have embarked on this move have returned after losing or wasting all their money. When they arrive back, they have an array of complaints: like -“I was duped by 419.”-“The people I put in charge were pocketing my profit.”- “My marketers kept falling short of target.”-“I was pumping money in and money was not coming out.”
udeozochibuzo Blog recently decided to conduct analysis on a fact finding mission to see why these individuals lost their hard earned money, and indeed, if it was really possible to successfully relocate to Nigeria and start a business. We liaised with many well known and reputable law firms, banks, media companies to create a platform on which budding Nigerians could relocate home to set up and successfully run profitable companies or find a good job. We were able to gather a lot of useful information and have compiled, for your information, a 10 point agenda to starting a successful business in Nigeria.
POINT 1 – IDENTIFY YOUR BUSINESS
- What product or service do you want to sell/ render?
- How much do you know about this product or service?
- How much experience do you have dealing with this product or service?
These are questions you need to ask yourself. There is no point trying to relocate to Nigeria to run a cyber cafe when you don’t know what a PC is. Yes! If you lack knowledge about the business, how do you evaluate the business?
POINT 2 – UNDERSTAND YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE Is there a demand for this product or service you want to import? Let us look at shipping a 40ft. container of electric heaters to Lagos, Nigeria. The shipping cost is next to nothing compared to the heaters you purchased at rock bottom price at Curry’s end of season sales. After good calculations you stand to make a profit of 400% per heater. Wow! NICE? Who is the mugu (fool) in this situation?
POINT 3 – WHAT IS YOUR USP (Unique Selling Point)? just like Olamide the popular artist will say Considering the sweltering heat in Lagos; I guess we would have identified that we don’t need heaters in Lagos; we need air conditioners. The demand for air conditioners is very high, the same way the demand for heaters is high in the UK. So the question is how do you enter the market and convince people to buy your air conditioner over that of Mr. A, as he has been supplying air conditioners for the past 35 years. Better price? Better quality? Warranty? Guarantee? Delivery? Easy access? YOUR UNIQUE SELLING POINT!!!!
POINT 4 – DO YOUR MATHS Starting up a new business and the relocation process don’t come cheap. Make sure you complete an extensive financial forecast of X amount, over X years. Your business financial forecast must include things like: company registration, company premises, cost of acquiring goods or delivering services, shipping cost, transportation, marketing, staff, etc. Your personal financial forecast should include things like housing, welfare, school fees, health insurance, transportation, staffing and fuel for the generator. Sometimes, we forget to include the minute details which can escalate that end up as crisis. When you have the financials identified, you now have a much better understanding of your proposed product/service. The demand is healthy, and we have a feasible USP. You now know whether your proposed business will work or not.
POINT 5 – WHERE IS YOUR BASE? Office? Home? Outside Nigeria? It very important that you choose your base location very carefully. There is no point wasting money on an office when you can initially work from home. There really isn’t much point setting up a business in Nigeria if you do not intend to spend much time there overseeing your business and making sure that it doesn’t collapse.
POINT 6 – GET YOUR BUSINESS REGISTERED This is important you are able to conduct business legally in Nigeria and ensure no one else can trade with your company name. There are various types of company registrations, depending on your business type and size that you will need to consider.
POINT 7 – GET THE RELEVANT PAPER WORK Company registration is not all you need. Depending on your business there are necessary documents you will need to acquire. Say you want to market a health or beauty product: you will need a NAFDAC certificate and number.
POINT 8 – SAFE GUARD YOUR CASH You will need to establish bank accounts with a reputable bank for all your financial dealings. You don’t have to wait till you get to Nigeria to put these in place. Get them done as soon as possible, so you can begin to transfer necessary funds over.
POINT 9 – GET A TEAM TOGETHER No man is an island. You will definitely need people to assist you in setting up and growing your business. A team doesn’t necessarily mean tons of people. You could start off with just you and your personal assistant, or driver, or manager, etc. Don’t believe you can do it alone; you’ll be worn out before you start. You need your brain to do the thinking, so get someone to help with the developing and actualising. Learn to delegate.
POINT 10 – GETTING YOUR BUSINESS OUT THERE You can’t do any business by yourself for yourself. Someone needs to pay you. How do you let people know that you exist? Good PR. Notice I haven’t used the word marketing, I used the words “public relations”. No matter what business or profession you are in, or what services or products you provide or sell, effective press and public relations play a key role in building success. A good corporate image and reputation is essential and greatly influences customer choice. You will need to define your brand, build and protect your image and reputation with effective and affordable communications and promotions. Use effective, highly targeted and focused PR and marketing campaigns to get the results you are looking for. A fresh approach brings results. Don’t waste money on massive marketing campaigns that cost an arm and a leg, but have no defined target audience; you are not Coca-cola yet! Set timely targets for yourself and your staff to increase maximum input.
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