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SME Guide

An excellent guide on starting a business in Nigeria – A business that will prosper!

There are great articles on guide towards starting a business in Nigeria and most of the writers missed what I think is the most important part of the guide. Thus, my coming with an excellent guide on starting a business in Nigeria – I mean business that will prosper!

If you want to start a business in Nigeria, or you know someone that wants to start a business in Nigeria; kindly go through these excellent step by step guide on starting a business in Nigeria. You can also advise someone to go through it.

  1. Develop a burning desire to start and run a successful business in Nigeria. This is the point I consider the most important that most writers have not considered or given enough space that it deserves in their articles. In Nigeria, many challenges are working against entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs on starting or running existing businesses; so without this burning desire to start and succeed in business in Nigeria, one may have many ideas or even start a promising business but fail in the long run if that that burning desire to start and run a business successfully and determination to make it happen is not there from the beginning.
  2. Create a business idea with a solution. Any business idea you are creating at this stage, should be addressing one challenge or the other. It is not about creating a business idea that is fantastic, but about creating an idea that will solve problems or at least a problem; that is why it’s called a business idea, because its intention is to bring in money once consummated. And no idea will receive consistent financial reward except it’s solving a problem. Here you have to come up with an idea that will be solving one or more of the challenges facing Nigerians.
  3. Draft a good but simple business plan. You have to create a simple business plan that will aid you in making your idea a reality. It has to be good in the sense that it will include every detail that will make it workable. And it has to be as simple as possible so that it will not become too complex for you to run with it. You can read the simple business plan format for your start up.
  4. Conduct a thorough feasibility study on the proposed business. The feasibility study is to aid you in confirming the workability of your business plan. It assists you to see the ‘reality on ground’ on some of the assumptions made on your plan so as to make improvement that will impact positively on the proposed business. A thorough feasibility study will help you understand more the business you are going into and it will also help you in determining if you will continue with the business plan or not.
  5. Choose a suitable location for the business. Based on your business plan and the feasibility study, you should be able to know a location that will be very good for your proposed business. If you make a mistake here, it may destroy all your efforts. You have to hold on till you see a location that fits into your plan. It is better to get a small office in a location that fits your business and expand later than a wonderful office in a location that does not fit your business.
  6. Make available the needed capital for the business to take off. I have always emphasized that capital is not only money. Capital is simply all the resources needed for you to take off. It maybe your getting a line of credit from your supplier. Or maybe one of your friends is having a house around where your choice location is, if you can get him or her to support you with a space; it will be regarded as part of your capital. The only thing you have to do is to determine its value and recognize it accordingly. You have to do everything you have to do to ensure all the resources you need are made available.
  7. Choose the type of business structure to register. The type of business you want to go into can determine your business structure. You can decide to register a limited liability if you want to a different entity from your business or register a sole proprietorship if you want to be the same person as your business. If you are partnering with one or more persons you can go for partnership. You can register any of the business structures you chose with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).But, if the type of business you want to go into does not require a business name for it to operate successfully, you can start your business without the registration and tidy up the registration any time you are ready for big business.
  8. Obtain your Tax Identification Number (TIN). Once you have registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, the next line of action is to register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service to obtain your Tax Identification Number (TIN) for payment of taxes and opening a corporate account for your business.
  9. Open a corporate account for your business. Once you have obtained your TIN, you go ahead and open a corporate account in any bank of your choice.
  10. Set up a team that you can work with to achieve your business objectives. I recommend you should be in the team for the selection especially if you were vitally involved in developing your business plan. In selecting your team members, ensure you have a way to get know a bit about each person’s attitude towards other people. Only their qualifications may not be enough to give you what you want in terms of achieving success. Select more of those that have entrepreneurial acumen.
  11. Start your business. Once you have assembled your team, go ahead and start your business. You have to ensure you are following your business plan and making changes when the need arises.

In all you do, remember your customers are the reason for starting the business. Make sure they are always satisfied.

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