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Starting a business in Nigeria

By Yinka Kolawole - Nigeria. 

There are successful stories of Nigerians who pursued their entrepreneurship dream,and their businesses are doing well despite the economic downturn.
The success stories of these entrepreneurs show that starting a business in Nigeria is do-able.

Cosmas Maduka is Chairman of Choscharis Group. He started his business journey from a humble beginning. After seven years of apprenticeship in selling motorcycle spare parts, his uncle gave him a token of N200 to start his own business in 1975. Today, he is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

Another creative successful business owner is Cosmos Okoli, who has proven that starting a business in Nigeria and achieving success is do-able.
At the age of four and half years he had polio. He lost his limbs to the disease. He is making money by creating tools that help disabled people live a convenient life.
He is the chairman of Mobility Aids and Appliances Research and Development Centre (MAARDEC) and the chief executive of Cosokoli Ventures Nigeria Limited and Omokas Nigeria Limited.

Starting a business

Prince Samuel Adedoyin is the chairman/chief executive officer of Doyin Group of companies. He is another testimony to buttress that starting a business in Nigeria and succeeding is achievable. He started petty trading at age 14 with an initial capital of 48 pounds. With that token amount, his business grew to conglomerate of businesses which includes manufacturing, motor vehicle sales, real property investment, general merchandising, etc.

Olabode Oruku, CEO of Oruku Consultancy Services, a company that offers online and offline marketing training to small business owners, acknowledged that running your own business is not an easy task. He however noted that applying the following success principles will guarantee success.

The first step to starting a business successfully in Nigeria is to discover one's potentials. ”It’s easier to succeed when your business is based on what you know and love. If you’re doing something you know that interests you, you will not mind devoting over 12 hours a day. The passion will propel the energy to persist until you succeed.
”Become an apprentice to a successful entrepreneur: In today’s stiff business competition, your understanding of the business you intend to do must be above average to assure success. I recommend where possible to become an apprentice to someone or an establishment already doing well in your proposed kind of business,” he stated.
Oruku believes the experience you will acquire from the establishment will save you lots of money and mistakes you would have made if you had just started on your own. In addition, he recommends reading books and interviews from successful business owners in your area of interest on a continuous basis.

”When you're starting a business in Nigeria you should offer your customers more value in terms of products and services than the money you receive from them. You should strive to be the best company in your industry by building lasting relationship with customers with excellent customer service.
Tell everyone about your new business: If you’re just starting a business in Nigeria, develop a habit of telling loved ones, friends, neighbors and people that come your way about your business.

Let them know how a referral from them will be important to your success. For effective use of this strategy you should print quality business cards that you give out,” he added.
According to Oruku, application of the aforementioned strategies will help in starting a business in Nigeria successfully.

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