With a population of over 200 million people and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) worth over $448.1 billion, Nigeria is unarguably fast taking the centre stage as the engine room of business force and the biggest economic hub in Africa.
This, without any iota of doubt, is more established especially now that more business ideas are being regularly conceived, practically generated and technologically driven to meet the mandatory demands of people vis-à-vis the global models.
Nigeria, though, is facing numerous challenges from security to poor academic value, poor health and lack of adequate living standards, there seems to be an extended chain of interest from both inventors and nationals leveraging the available market space to build their business in the "giant of Africa."
So whether you are a local or foreigner entrepreneur, these five steps will help you to grow and foreground your business:
1. Know the business you want to do and navigate your way through the market space
It is frequently said in economics that before diving into a business space, entrepreneurs and prospective business owners are expected to solve the problem of what to produce, how to produce, where to produce, when and for whom to produce for.
Since where to produce is in Nigeria, and for whom to produce are Nigerians and other nationals living in the country, it is expedient that you as a business owner know the current trend in the industry you want to dive into.
Whether goods or services, you must do market research and survey, analyse the demand, do the Strength, Weakness Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the industry and know how to outsmart your competitors.
Make your business flexible. And while trying to get a solid sense of how the market might change, explore the market more – and more because Nigerian market space is a business book of endless chapters.
2. Be strategic and let your modus operandi be more open to changes in the trend
The shift of business pattern in Nigeria is not a coincidence but a necessity and reality of the global trend. So while building your business brand, ask yourself often about what will be the fate of it in the next five years.
It is noteworthy to state that with a dimensional rise in literacy level, internet access and speedy rise in the number of social media users, businesses and business owners in Nigeria now leverage the advantage of advanced technology to promote their products and brands.
As a business owner, you must analyse the relevance of your goods service, make it problem-solving and solution-providing. Be strategic in solidifying your brand in a way that will build customers loyalty.
In Nigeria, customers have a way of sticking to a business they help build. You must not disappoint as you grow your brand and establish your business ideas.
3. Follow the rule and be on the side of the regulating agencies
Building a business brand in Nigeria can be difficult sometimes, especially for a foreigner due to overwhelming tax and the burden of regulation. The environment can be sometimes toxic, but it depends on how you navigate your way.
So to avoid a turbulent run of disappointments, expect your tax to grow as your business expands, and expect a little scuffle with necessary regulatory agencies.
However, regardless of the level of regulations and tax, always find your ways to the same page with the regulating agencies of your industry.
You are also expected to get the regulatory licenses you need and pay the associated taxes and levies. This will save you and your business some future stress.
4. Create more financial security option
Sustaining a business brand in Nigeria demands time and unhindered capital inflow. For this reason, you must create credible financial security for yourself, and apparently, this may involve bits of help from friends and family members.
Also, consider formalising the process of exchanging cash for equity with the appropriate legally binding paperwork.
Getting loans from banks is another financial security opinion, though this may not be advisable considering the fact that banks in Nigeria are not friendly to small businesses and budding startups.
If you should take the bank loan option, be sure that your business is going to pay back within the time frame of the agreement by both parties.
Another option is grant. You can also seek funding from investors willing to channel resources into your business brand and ideas.
A big idea needs a proper plan, moral and financial supports. Don't be shy or afraid to allow like-minded people to be part of your future success story.
5. Build your reputation as you build your business
It is necessary that when you are planning to build your brand and turn your idea into a great business, you must build your reputation also.
Obviously, this is where publicity comes in. You need to make yourself visible the same way you strive you grow your brand and ideas.
Publicity, which is totally about awareness, is not only product and organisation. As a business owner, you must invest in yourself to give your business acceptability and patronisation.
In Nigeria, business owners wonder how to navigate the publicity process. Well, Legit.ng is incredibly leading the way in that regard with enviable success to prove it.
With nearly a decade of existence, processing and publishing readers-friendly information to the Nigerian public space, Legit.ng has cemented itself as the 7th overall most visited website according to Alexa – arguably Nigeria's number digital media and news platform.
Legit.ng is a leader in the aspect of content, advertisement and technology, applying cutting-edge technology to provide high-tech advertising in Nigeria and for Nigeria-based business.
The biggest publisher on Facebook in Nigeria, Legit.ng will push your business brand and give your reputation more befitting and beautiful limelight.
Getting in touch with Legit.ng marketing team
You want contact the Legit.ng marketing team? Contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org. YOu can also visit https://corp.legit.ng/advertise-with-us to know more about how our company can help your business.
Rahaman Abiola is a result-oriented journalist and content writer with a firm grip of over 5-year corporate experience stranding diverse roles in digital & traditional media and social media communication.
A published literary writer, freelancer and public commentator, he has written over 100 essays covering diverse issues on economy, politics and current affairs, entertainment and leadership published in virtually all notable Nigerian national dailies and digital media in Nigeria.
He is a graduate of English Literature, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Follow him on Twitter via @ShugabanR.