Usually developing any business starts with an idea. Once you have a profitable idea which can be converted into a valuable enterprise the next step is to develop an actionable business plan. Without preparing a great plan the chances of your business to succeed are quite low. In this blog post, we are going to discuss how to start a small business in Nigeria
Develop a business plan
You can hire a professional to develop a business plan or you can use the services of a consulting firm. But we recommend that you do it yourself as in this way the essence of your idea will be best conveyed and you will also save considerable money in terms of large consulting fees.
A business plan consists of an executive summary which is basically the highlight of your business idea on one page, a business description in which you will describe the industry in which you will launch your business, a market analysis in which you will evaluate the potential market for your business, a competitive analysis in which you will evaluate possible threats and drawbacks your business might face, an operation and management plan in which you will develop a sketch of your operational capacities, a resource evaluation in which you will determine how much resources you are going to need and finally a financial forecast in which you will determine your estimated revenue, required funding and possible profit.
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Register your business
The next step is going to be registering with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission which is also known as CAC. While registering you will have to disclose the type of your business i.e. whether it’s a sole proprietorship, public limited company or a private limited company. Each has its own sets of perks and cons so decide carefully and chose one which best fits your business model.
After registering with CAC you will have to register with Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) which is the Nigerian authority on tax affairs. After scrutiny, your application will be approved and you will get a Tax identification number (TIN). You will be able to use this TIN for all future tax payments.
Most businesses need necessary permits from relevant authorities before launching their services. For instance, if you are going to open a pharmaceutical business then you will need to get a permit form Pharmacist Council of Nigeria. Failure to comply with this is going to result in strict legal action so you better get necessary permits before starting your business.
Getting an Office
Office space is very important if you want to start a business seriously. If you have a small capital, then you can get an office for lease. Make sure that you chose an office space with enough room for all of your employees and business activities. However, if you have a large investment capita then we would recommend buying an office space instead of getting one for lease as it will save you a large number of rental expenses in the future.
Setting up a Website
After you are done with getting an office space the next thing you need to do is creating a digital presence. We live in a time where digital presence is everything. If you are not on the internet, then you will miss out on a large number of digital sales. So you should invest in setting up a professional website which compliments the theme of your business. Get it SEO so that your website has a better ranking on search engines and gets more organic traffic.
Develop a marketing plan
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of not having a proper marketing plan before starting a new business. This mistake is going to cost a lot like the success of your business stands on how well you market your products or services. You should take your time and come with an innovative marketing strategy which focuses on an actionable way of penetrating the market.
Last but not least, you should start working on developing your brand identity as it is an integral step. Design an elegant logo, print customized letterheads, business cards & brochures. All of these items are crucial for marketing your business. Make sure that you position your brand around the core values in which you believe in.