The number of Nigerians turning entrepreneurs overnight is quite staggering and when you do the math, it’s not much of a surprise as to why. Now let’s see, little employment opportunities + high unemployment rate + an economy at the mercy of the vicious circle of poverty = majority of the masses flocking towards entrepreneurship to survive.
If you’re a young adult trying to survive in Nigeria, then this has probably become your fate in one way or the other, whether you started a small pastry business to get by or you’re into buying and selling, you have basically come under the umbrella of entrepreneurship. Now entering the business scene is way harder than I thought, the competition can be killing and if you’re not thinking around the clock on how to expand your clientele beyond family and friends, you might not stay afloat for too long. When you choose the very rocky paths of entrepreneurship you’ve basically taken an allegiance to taking financial risks, and for people thinking they can meander their way around this… well, I’m sorry to tell you but, without risks there are no rewards.
So, when you do take these risks how do you ensure you will get your rewards? That’s where these simple tips come in, I present to you 5 amazing tips that will help you on your entrepreneurship journey.
- Be a Problem Solver.
The most successful entrepreneurs are people who identified a problem in the market, then worked to solve that problem. It’s all about creating value, that value will then be the solution you offer your clients. Your ability to evaluate the problem-solving capacity of your product or the services you offer is one of the major determinants of cashing out, because the basic fact about a service or product you are rendering, is that it must solve a problem in a consumer’s life or provide utility. Let’s take a look at some Nigerian businesses that have showed great mastery of this tip.
- Pure Bliss is a product by OK Foods that has added definition to the usual local and affordable Nigerian snack bar consisting of; sausage rolls, plantain chips, chin chin and several lackluster biscuits. If you’re looking for anything more with quality taste to satisfy your cravings snack wise, then you might have to spend a couple more notes. This business saw a problem and went for it, they saw what the local snack bar was deficient in, the similar cravings of consumers and the desire of the consumers to satisfy these cravings with chikini money and went for it. Which is why these snacks are a hit in the Nigerian market.
- How about The 5k shop? Some of us may have heard about this brand or occasionally stumbled on their page on Instagram. This is another example of a business that has solved a problem. I know we all want quality fashion and I don’t know about you, but I don’t always want to spend an arm or a foot to look good, and that’s where this business takes the crown; by servicing one desire most people have and that’s being able to afford quality fashion.
Your ability to critically evaluate how a product can solve a problem might just be the thing you need to smile to the bank at the end of every business venture you hop on.
- Maximize Your Social Media Presence.
Social Media is one thing that would keep being faithful to every business owner out there, I don’t think any entrepreneur has ever had a cause to say social media platforms are of no use to their business, and if otherwise, then it’s simply because they have failed to maximize their presence on there. I’m talking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, you name it. These platforms have made millionaires out of countless people and you can be one of these people if you utilize the features they provide efficiently.
Here are some features you can utilize to help boost your social media presence.
- The hashtag (#) feature: a lot of people shun this feature and it’s a bummer. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve used a hashtag to find a Nigerian business that can provide the service I’m looking for. For instance, I wanted to know about yoga classes in Nigeria and all I had to do was go on Instagram and type ‘#nigerianyoga’ into the search box on the explore page. I was practically swimming in endless resources I needed, I even found some posts that advertised affordable yoga equipment. Now the hashtag might give you a little headache because most people aren’t including locations to it, this is vital especially if you’re rendering products only in the domestic market. For instance, someone may be on the hunt for creative minds in the writing scene in Nigeria, they’ll have better luck searching the #nigerianwriters tag than the #writers tag because the first is more specific to what the person is looking for than the second. To make sure it’s a win win for you, make sure you use both specific and general hashtags on your posts. So try out this feature more, you’d be surprised the amount of traffic it will bring to your page.
- The advertising feature: I don’t think I need to hammer on this because a lot of businesses have explored this feature without restraint. You can’t go on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter without seeing adverts on your feed, it’s just not possible. The best part about this feature is that it’s affordable. I think we all know the value of advertising, with that said try out this feature to help expand your clientele.
- Distinguish Yourself.
I know a signature when I see one. Whether it’s in the taste, texture, quality, design or packaging, it’s just something I can’t help but notice. The business world embodies the word ‘competition’ which is why you must strive to have something that sets your brand and services apart from others. Doing this would have people coming back to patronize you and choosing your brand over the many others out there.
Even if it’s spritzing some perfume over your product to distinguish your services to new customers who might unknowingly pick up on this scent, do it! You never know, little things like this could gain you a loyal customer. However, if you’re selling fresh food items, please don’t try it! Let’s look at a Nigerian brand that has effortlessly distinguished itself.
- Cakes and Cream: I don’t know about you, but I know a Cakes and Cream cake when I eat or see one. There’s just something about the taste that connects you to their bakery and you know when you order custom cakes from this bakery, they’re going to kill it in the cake decorating department.
This business has done a superb job in distinguishing itself and the great news is, so can you. This tip varies according to services, so look for a way to make your business stand out and before you know it, you’ll be cashing out in ways you least expect. Distinguishing your business can influence your costumers so much that they could genuinely pay extra to acquire your services.
This tip will provide you with all the financial security you need. There will be times your active income will waver but if you holistically commit to this tip you will have something to fall back on to get you through these times.
Depending solely on the profits your business brings in unfortunately wouldn’t provide you with the financial security you need, which is why you can never go wrong with investing a part of your gain, well unless you ignore your risk potential, or fall for the guises of Ponzi schemes. So make sure you aren’t just making active income but passive income.
Passive income is basically the money you make in your sleep.
‘Money, I make while sleeping! Where do I sign up?’
Now hold your horses, when you take the risk of converting part of your income to passive income you have to take the decision of being knowledgeable about it. So with that said, what is passive income? It’s simply the money you make without actively being involved, it’s important you don’t confuse this type of income for the income you make from side hustles, that is something else entirely. Passive income is the money you get from sources you do not actively participate in.
For instance the money you make from rents, from buildings you own, or the dividends you receive from your investments in shares or stock portfolios of profitable and dividend paying companies, and so much more.
These examples fall under the varying categories of passive income which are about six in number; pension income, rental income from real estate, interest income, dividend income, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and purchase of an immediate annuity.
You can start out small with low risk investments like treasury bills, mutual funds and other money instruments before moving to the big-league like the stock and real estate market. So, make your personal findings on the one’s that tickle your money fancy and before you know it, you could actually make money in your sleep!
- Study your Competition.
The word ‘competition’ connotes to a bad thing in some sense, you might think observing your competition in business isn’t such a good idea but doing this helps keep you on your toes because you definitely wouldn’t want other businesses getting ahead of you.
The activities of your competitors might just be the leverage you need to improve your services and raise your standards. If you want to attract more customers and grow your business, you have to distinguish your business from other businesses like yours, and how can you effectively do that if you don’t study your competition?
Never underestimate the benefits of this tip, because as much as you may like to think you’re the best in whatever it is that you do, it’s best to handle business with utmost humility and to some extent, pliability. If you don’t study your competition you just might fall off the map in the business world because other businesses like yours utilizing this tip might choke you out.
I hope this has been an enough guide on making money as a young entrepreneur in Nigeria. I wish you the best of luck with your business! If you ask me, being an entrepreneur is way more challenging than working a 9-5 job.