Tips on how to start small business in Nigeria

Posted by News Express | 25 April 2016 | 3,526 times

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Starting a small-scale business requires determination, motivation and know-how.

Here is a list of available resources to provide you with the know-how to have a successful small business startup.

Identify Your Business Opportunity

Choosing what kind of business to start can be an immobilising task when confronted with the multitude of opportunities. Here we have identified the hottest business opportunities to give you a few ideas (to be featured next week). It is important to determine where your passion lies and to understand your entrepreneurial personality type so that at the end you would believe you have found the one business opportunity that will bring you freedom, fame and plenty of profits. For that to happen, however, you would need to meet the following basic business rules and conditions:

Build or Develop a Basic Business Plan  

For the majority of startups, a business plan allows for a better understanding of the industry structure, competitive landscape and the capital requirements of starting a small business. If business planning is beneficial, why do so few startups use business planning? Learn survival steps in business from writing a business plan (which we will discuss at a much later time and at any of our training programmes).

Name Your Business

What is in a business name? Everything and nothing. The right business name will help distinguish you from a sea of bland competitors. Provide your customers with a reason to hire you and assist in the branding of your company.

Choose a Business Structure

Find the best ownership structure for your small business. The most basic of all business legal structures is the sole proprietorship; other possible structures include the popular limited liability company, a partnership, or a corporation.

Register Your Business

Starting a small business requires the usual paperwork and meeting up with statutory regulations. The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is responsible for this in Nigeria. For a small business startup you might not really need to incorporate it; a business name registration will do. A business name registration will help avoid embarrassments from the local council government authorities. It will also help you get a corporate account with the banks.

Find Startup Money

Contrary to popular belief, most small business startups are not funded by grants; venture capitalists, or by banks. Your seed money will still have to come from your personal savings, friends, family and any other creative means such as bartering.

Determine Your Business Location   

A 2001 Inc. 500 Survey revealed that over 56% of the fastest growing companies were started at home. Discover then what you need to make your home office design more productive. If home office isn’t for you, learn how sharing office space can assist your startup. Don’t forget to review the pros and cons of office space sharing as against leasing or buying.

Get Business Insurance

This might not be applicable here in Nigeria and the reason is that here as a new small business owner you have the responsibility to manage the risks associated with your business. Don’t put your new small business at risk without getting the proper small business insurance to protect your company in the event of disaster or litigation.

Create Accounting System

Unless you are a number person, the accounting and book keeping aspect of running your business cannot be avoided from being sourced out to an expert, or having someone knowledgeable in this skill-set come over to handle your accounting record keeping.

Setting up your accounting system will help you understand the financial aspect of running a business, and elevate your financial and business judgement, therefore your managerial ability.

•Lawrence Nwaodu is a small business expert and enterprise consultant, trained in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with an MBA in Entrepreneurship from The Management School, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, and MSc in Finance and Financial Management Services from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Netherlands. Mr. Nwaodu is the Lead Consultant at IDEAS Exchange Consulting, Lagos. He can be reached via (07066375847).

Source: News Express

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