Start A Business

7 Tips To Starting A Business In Nigeria

Starting a business in Nigeria

There are reasons starting a business in Nigeria may require some extra steps to get it working. Nigerian business environment is a bit complicated, with several issues bothering on the ease of doing business, workers disenchantment and corruption.

If you are starting a business in Nigeria, you have to consider how to deal with all the complication of the Nigerian business environment. Not forgetting that startups die faster in Nigeria than what you have in most other countries.

So, these 7 tips are to guide you on what’s important and how Starting a business in Nigeria may be done successfully.

How Starting A Business In Nigeria Works

The first consideration when starting a business in Nigeria is how you are going to get funded. The issue of funding is a critical problem with starting a business in Nigeria. Interestingly, even where the funds are claimed to be available for startups, the requirements for accessing those funds discourages borrowers.

Another area that affects starting a business in Nigeria is logistics. And most startups don’t even consider logistic issues when starting a business. But this one crumbles most startups within few years. If the business survives the first two years, it might not escape the third year.

However, the cost of day to day running of a business in Nigeria is a bigger problem because of it’s recurrent nature. The lack of important infrastructures are a big issue with starting a business in Nigeria.

You have to provide your own electricity, water supply and still pay taxes as a business that enjoys these public amenities. There are more problems killing businesses in Nigeria that can discourage anyone from ever dreaming of starting a business in Nigeria.

Yet, the Nigerian economy is rated as the highest ROI in the world, with over 35 Percent returns. That’s the reason you should invest in Nigeria, regardless of the seeming challenges. So, you are welcome to know these 7 tips to get you started.

{1} Don’t Be Afraid To Start From Ground Zero

For most people, starting a business in Nigeria is not possible without money. And since the money is harder to access, they would reel out excuse upon excuse why business can’t work if you don’t have money to fund it. Whether or not you have funding, don’t let anything stop you.

Never be afraid to start from ground zero. It’s safer to risk everything when you still have nothing to lose. And since the Nigerian economy is highly volatile, it’s safer to begin from ground zero and build things up.

Even if you have all the funds, still don’t risk all of it. Starting a business in Nigeria requires that you go slow. The slower you go from ground zero the better for you. At that point, you are easily ignored by everyone including the government.

Tips to Start From Ground Zero

  • Research your market thoroughly
  • Find your least financial startup level
  • Learn how to design and create a website yourself
  • Grow a list potential customers
  • Launch a product or service you can sell

{2} Everyone Starts with Zero Followers

Starting a business in Nigeria from scratch is not new at all. You shouldn’t worry because you are starting from scratch. Everyone starts with zero followers. And you are not the first to do so.

This could discourage you as a startup in Nigeria. The fear of who would patronize your business may cause you to forget your dream. There are ample examples of failed startups everywhere. And these kind of information is affecting most people’s interesting in starting a business in Nigeria.

{3} Have A Niche Business Idea

In Nigeria most aspiring startups make light of niche ideas. They just pick the business they consider to be moving. And since everyone is thinking in the same direction, this same moving business soon gets saturated, causing price war and low profit margins. Then, they all crashes out painfully.

You need to standout from this kind of crowd with a unique niche idea. Sometimes what works best might just be a simple idea with a unique brand. You need to create a niche that would give you an edge over the competition.

The best niche is the one that deals with a specific area of marketing which has its own particular requirements, customers, and products. The more specific your niche, the better it is to easily identify your target customers and focus better to win them to your business.

How To Find Niche Ideas:

  • What’s your interests and passions?
  • What problems can you solve?
  • Who’re your competition?
  • How profitable is your niche?
  • Start with testing out your idea

{4} Get Your Facts Right

One of the major problems with startups in Nigeria is not having the right facts when starting a business. There’s so much assumption that people follow when starting a business in Nigeria. And these has lead to many business failures.

Business is built on factual data. You must know what makes the business viable before investing in it. These general assumption that it’s a moving business is a disaster. If a business must work, it should have a target market that you can reach with a potent provision they are willing to pay for.

Get your facts right in anything you are doing when starting a business in Nigeria. Don’t be misled by assumptions. If possible, hire consultants to help you get to the facts. The facts should help you make informed decisions about the location, market potential, demand and trend.

{5} Conduct A Feasibility Study

One way to get your facts right is by conducting feasibility study. A feasibility study is an important part of starting any business, especially when it’s a business in Nigeria. You need to have a proper business plan that would guide your investment.

Although most Nigerian overlook this aspect of starting a business. They see it as unnecessary and unimportant to their business. And even where they agree to it, their choice of a copy and paste plan is another defeatist strategy.

You cannot copy another business plan to use unless it addresses the same market by same location, the same niche and the same product or service. A feasibility report should include financial statement and marketing plan as well. And without a proper study everything will become pure assumption.

Steps On Writing Feasibility Study

  • Conduct a preliminary analysis
  • Prepare a projected income statement
  • Perform market research
  • Plan business organization and operations
  • Prepare an opening day balance sheet.
  • Review and analyze all data
  • Make a go or no-go decision

{6} Find The Market First

The facts of the market should be clear to you. It’s not enough to know the target market. You should know where they are and how you can reach them effectively. Most of what the market should be would have been researched in the feasibility study.

You should know what the market can offer you in terms of market size, purchasing power, demand for your product or service, including the reason the market needs your product, etcetera. Don’t be blind about your market.

The most important aspect of finding your market is planning your marketing. You need to know how you can reach the market effectively. What advertising option is more effective in reaching your target market? The cost of costumer retention and profit margin should be very clear to you as well.

Tips On Go To Market Strategy

  1. What’s your value proposition?
  2. What’s your target audience?
  3. What’s your product strategy?
  4. What’s your marketing channels?
  5. Do you have an achievable timeline?
  6. Have you gauged your success?
  7. Do you know the common pitfalls to avoid?

{7} Build A Trusted Brand

In Nigeria a brand gets all the advantage. You need a brand to attract the right kind of customer base. And your brand is what will stand you out in a competitive market. But having a brand in Nigeria creates the right impression about your ability to deliver on your promise.

The same workers disenchantment affects customers as well. They have seen too many disappointing service deliveries that they can number few businesses they know delivers on their promise. Starting a business in Nigeria that will succeed will start by identifying those things that earned your competitors bad name and improve on them.

You should learn all the simple steps on brand development. But most importantly emphasize on your brand promise because that’s what the consumers would focus on more than the brand image and coloring.

You will also need to read this post on: 10 Simple Steps To Brand Your Business. It will help you learn how to better position your brand to win.


Starting a business in Nigeria is about simple things you need to know and do if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur. You need to know that funding is not the only issue that affects businesses in Nigeria. There are other things that are self inflicting that entrepreneurs do but don’t see any harm in it.

And if you want to start a business that Nigerians will be proud of, start with building a brand. One thing you must know about brand is that it’s beyond the image and color. It’s like a solemn promise to deliver a better promise than your competitors, to a market that is disenchanted.

You cannot win in Nigeria if your only strategy for success is putting more money and expanding nationwide. You have to think like Nigeria, by considering all the negative challenges and navigate your way around them. Remember that the sole reason for business is to solve problems that people have and are willing to pay for the solution.

Chinedu David
About The Author: Chinedu David An inspiring writer with several years of experience in journalism, consulting and training. Worked with Success Digest magazine for over a decade. Founded MyStore - an online store in 2013. Trained several startup entrepreneurs in telecom sector, LPG (oil & gas), and on Cryptocurrency investment. A born again christian, who's committed to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ with passion. Drop a comment below and he will respond to your query. He can also be reached via email: or Call/Text/WhatsApp: 07087770518
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