Starting a small business is not a walk in the park, especially in Nigeria; a chat with any Nigerian entrepreneur will quickly reveal this. In spite of the many challenges, small businesses continue to spring up daily, and Connect Nigeria continues to support SMEs across Nigeria, recognizing the invaluable role they play in the economy.
Are you considering starting a small business? Have you identified the things that have held you back? Then ask yourself these questions:
Passion is essential to success in business. If you must stick to it and survive, passion is an absolute necessity. Be convinced about the quality of your product/ service. Your conviction makes an impression on potential customers. When you love your business, your clients can tell, and the results are always better.
Am I ready to start where I am?
You don’t have to wait until you have huge sums of money. Spending all your money starting an elaborate business is not a guarantee that it will succeed. Be ready to think big, start small, and act fast.
Can I be patient?
Do you have the patience to see your business through its teething stages until it matures? It takes time, especially if you’re in a seasonal or niche market, or your product or service is not one that is highly in demand and assures you of profit. If you have a day job and you can combine it with your business, it’s a good idea to hold on to it as a buffer, until your business can pay your bills. This is especially true if you have parents, siblings, a partner, or children you support financially.
Am I resilient?
Do I have staying power? Can I keep a firm grip my temper even when a client is being obnoxious? In business, particularly when you’re just starting, you’ll face myriad challenges. People will try to frustrate you. There will be clients who want to pay the least for your best, and clients who, even after getting huge discounts, will still owe you and then get angry when you ask for your money; you must rise above it all. Your resilience determines how far you will go.
Am I focused?
Set goals and targets for your business and don’t let anything distract you. There will be people who think the only reason you’re going into business is because you couldn’t get a day job. There will be people who don’t think much of the particular line of business you chose to go into. There will be people who have no faith in you. Keep your eyes on the money and ignore the side-talk.
Am I innovative?
As a business owner, it’s important for you to understand your target market, be open to opportunities, and know how to innovate when it comes to your product and service offerings; in addition to being able to sell your own products and services well. You cannot afford to be stagnant. As the world changes and your customers’ and clients’ tastes evolve, you must know how to tailor your offerings accordingly, or you’ll lose relevance.
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying being an employee, or loving the 9-to-5 life. If you do decide that entrepreneurship is for you, then go for it!