How to start a small business in Nigeria & grow big – 2018

9 Steps to start a small business in Nigeria and expand into a big successful business:

  1. Know why you want to start a business
  2. What skills do you have or can learn?
  3. Come up with a business idea
  4. Do your market research and get feedback
  5. Write your business plan
  6. Take care of official stuff
  7. Raise fund for your business
  8. Craft your product or service
  9. Lunch and grow your business

Now let’s have some concise, straight-to-the-point explanation of these steps.

Naira and Dollar
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Know why you want to start a business

The first question need to ask yourself before staring a small business is this: “why do I want to start a business?” What is your goal or reason? Do you want to be the person in charge, or because you don’t like your present job, or you just want some side hustle to supplement your current earnings?

Knowing exactly why you want to start a business will help you in your entire business plan, including choosing the most suitable business, investing the right amount of resources into the business, etc.

What skills do you have or can learn?

Running a successful small business in Nigeria or elsewhere can require a substantial amount of input of your own. This input can be anything from you can handle. It can be coming up with a business plan, raising fund for the business, knowing the limit of risk you can take, managing your business, connecting with people, branding, etc.

Knowing your skills will help you know the things you can do by yourself, when and how they ought to be done. This will allow you make maximum input in your own business.

Come up with a business idea

What is your small business in Nigeria going to be? This is one of the most critical point in starting a business because the decision you make here can make or mar your business success.

Your business idea is simply what business you want to do. However, it is not just as simple as that. This guide I found at might help on this:

Check some ideas here: Untapped Business Ideas in Nigeria AND 85+ Lucrative small business ideas in Nigeria with little or no capital

Do your market research and Get feedback

Market research is another critical thing about starting a business in Nigeria. It will help you identify your potential rivals or partners within the market, as well as the size of your potential buyers or customers, among other things.

Nobody wants to launch a business only to discover that the whole business idea is wrong or maybe not but that one minor but critical thing is missing in the business idea.

So, market research helps the entrepreneur to get a near accurate measure of the available market (potential buyers or customers) for the business even before it is launched. This is why it is very important to do your market research first, get feedback and adjust your product or business idea appropriately before lunch.

Write your business plan

Now that you have done a proper market research and got some feedback, it is time to create a clear map of how you business will evolve from when it starts to when you have the finish product and even after that.

Your business plan helps you look into the present and the future if the business, determine:

  • your business structure and team,
  • best location for your business,
  • your target market,
  • the strengths and weakness of your competitors,
  • funding,
  • budget for your product or service,
  • etc.

It is one document that tells where the business is going and how it intends to get there.

Take care of official stuff

Now you are getting closer. It could be the right time to take care of some official stuff about your small business. At this point you want to think about stuff like business name, tax, businesses registration, necessary bank account or payment channels, etc.

What you want to consider here depends on your type of business and things that applies to it, especially the most important ones.

Raise fund for your small business

There are many ways you can raise fund and get other resources your business will need. The approach you decide to take will depend on a number of factors, including what is easier for you, the size of your business, your finances, etc.

Some of the popular ways of raising fund for a new business include:

  1. Fund your startup yourself.
  2. Pitch your needs to friends and family.
  3. Request a small-business grant.
  4. Start a crowdfunding campaign online.
  5. Apply to local angel investor groups.
  6. Solicit venture capital investors.
  7. Join a startup incubator or accelerator.
  8. Negotiate an advance from a strategic partner or customer.
  9. Trade equity or services for startup help.
  10. Seek a bank loan or line of credit.

Read more about these popular ways of raising funds:

Craft your product or service for your business

Now that you have taken care of various underground works, it is time to create the product or services you want to offer. The approach you take here will depend on a some factors.

For example, do you need to hire some technical persons? Let’s assume your business needs a website; if you are not a web developer, you definitely need to hire a web developer to design and build your website. Your product may involve manufacturing in quantity, in which case you will need to contact a manufacturer for the job.

The advice entrepreneurs give about creating a product is this: “keep it simple and of good quality.”

Lunch and grow your business

From knowing why you want to start a business to crafting a great product, plus every other thing in-between, it is time to fully roll out your business and start getting some sales and generating revenue.

As you progress, you can start expanding your business. You can even target other sub-niches in your niche, expand into different markets, launch new products, etc.

The sky can be a starting point for a smart entrepreneur.

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I'm Arinze Anakor, nickname Zest. I'm an entrepreneur, a passionate software developer, mechanical engineering graduate, and "web addict."

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