10 Steps to Starting a Small Business in Nigeria

Small businesses account for 65% of all business types in Nigeria. They are a major employer of labor and add significant amount to the GDP of the country.
The reasons for the popularity are not far fetched. Small businesses provide financial independence, growth possibility and self investment opportunities.
They are a good career choice irrespective of the industry. Investing in your education, talent, experience and passion is always a good idea.
However, setting up a successful business is challenging and capital intensive. Statistics show that 45% of all new businesses fail in their first two years.
So if you are interested in starting something viable you need adequate preparation, planning, finance and a business plan. To start the enterprise you can follow specific steps for a solid foundation. Here re 10 steps to consider while starting a new business.
How to Start a New Business
1. Research
Make sure you conduct a comprehensive research of the industry. You need to identify business and study its viability.
Not every business is suited for certain demography and population. To succeed the business of choice should solve a problem and fill a void. 
Ways to conduct a research include surveys, focus groups and questioners. You can study people in the industry to see what they are doing. Things to consider are the market base need for the product, competition and similar products or services.
2. Make a Business Plan
A Business plan is a way to define your business template and strategy. It focuses on product, profitability and future goals. The plan is also ideal for financial assistance and clarity of purpose. You can write the plan yourself, hire n expert or use available templates.
3. Finances
The level of finance is the most important aspect of starting a new business. You need initial startup capital, working capital and fixed assets.
The capital should cover expenses until the business is profitable. You need a good spreadsheet to cover startup costs, inventory and branding.
Other requirements are marketing, insurance cover, property lease, legal fees and equipment. The amount should cover staff salaries, supplies and transportation cost for a minimum of 1 year.
Ways to fund the business are through angel investors, partnership or small business grants. More ways include small business loans, crowd funding or borrow from friends and family. You could also bootstrap and target-save to achieve your goal.
4. The Business Structure
You need to choose a business structure. The structure is your business identity and operational focus. While choosing the structure, focus on the core product, liability issues and management team.
 5. Register a Business Name
You need to choose a business name and incorporate the enterprise. Register the business as a sole proprietor or limited liability company.
You may also consider selling startup equity, partnership or a core investor. Don’t forget to register a trademark for effective branding or business identity.
6. Secure License or Permit
It is important you get an operational license or permit. Most industries have regulatory bodies in the local, state and federal level.
Find out from your local authorities any license pertaining to your business. There are also associations in most industries. You might be required to join the association in your locality.
7. Business Location
The business location is very important. If you are selling a product or service closeness to your customer base is important.
Find out your customers preferences and location. A home business needs communication through internet, phone or fax.
8. Hire Qualified Staff
Employ only people qualified for the post. They will bring their experience, knowledge and work ethics.
You need different ideas to grow and nature your business. Therefore hire only professionals suitable for the job.
You could also outsource some service and hire independent contractors or freelancers. Many small businesses are one man shows. However success and growth demand more the workforce.
9. Choose an Accounting System
You need to balance the books to determine profit or loss. You need a good accounting system to properly manage your budget. The system is ideal for taxes, file management, rate differentials and documentation. You can do the accounting yourself or hire an accountant.
10. Promote the Business
Business promotion is another important aspect for growth. You need to estimate marketing budget and offer quality product or service. Create a marketing plan and use the web, print and electronic adverts. The type of business would depend on your advert needs. 


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