With the advent of technology and widespread opportunities, almost everyone now has what it takes to start a thriving business and make money online in Nigeria, with or without leaving their homes.
Yet unfortunately, not everyone can actually get started.
Now, the reason behind this is not farfetched. Regardless of your location, to start an online business that actually makes money, there are a lot of things you need to learn and put in place before getting started.
Today, I am not just going to share with you these things you need to put in place so you can start an online business and make money in Nigeria, I will be sharing with you, tips ideas from top 5 successful Nigerian online business moguls and how you can use these tips to build your own business right where you are.
These tips are not theoretical. They are based on real life experiences of these entrepreneurs. These are part of their business philosophies, strategies and ideas that has nurtured their growth over the years. So are you ready?
Let’s dig in…
Focus on Solving a Problem – Seun Osewa
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Look for a painful problem that others are facing, and then devise a way to make people pay you for the solution – Seun Osewa, Founder; Nairaland.Com
To start a business and make money online in Nigeria, Seun Says:
You have to look for a problem that don’t require much capital to solve. In a developing country like Nigeria, there are many problems waiting to be solved. One man’s problem is another man’s profit! Competition is often weak which means you’ll make a lot of money. So what are you waiting for?” Nigerians should not be talking about unemployment at all. There are so many obvious opportunities around us waiting to be exploited. Being jobless in Nigeria is a big shame indeed.” Seun Osewa
According to Nairaland’s founder, being able to identify a real need or problem and proffer real solutions to them is one of the easiest steps way to make money online in Nigeria.
Remember, problem solving revolves around finding the need of the people and being able to provide solutions for them, in exchange for an income.
These solutions could be anything. From giving people a reason to smile like your favorite Instagram comedians for instance, to providing services like Graphics Designs, Copywriting, Web Design etc…
This is one strategy that’s worked for a lot of successful businesses today, both locally and globally. And there are so many problems you can solve for people and get paid for it.
But, the most important thing is that if you really want to make money online in Nigeria, your solution has to provide real value that others will be willing to pay for. This is the first step to start a business.
Do What you Love – Lasisi Elenu
Nosa Afolabi, better known as Lasisi Elenu, Instagram Celebrity and entrepreneur says:
“I think it is just about doing what I love and enjoy. If you are consistent at doing something, people will notice you and eventually follow you. They will also refer others to your page if you are doing something wonderful…I didn’t do any special thing to get followers on Instagram. I didn’t buy them and I didn’t also promote my account. It just grew because of my consistency and because there is a message in my skits.” Lasisi Elenu
According to Lasisi Elenu: To start a business and make money online in Nigeria, you have to start from the place of passion.
One of the reasons why starting a business around what you love matters is because building your business around your passion can give you the tenacity to stay put and build the business, whether it starts getting you some income in the first few days or not.
Also, building a business around what you love makes it a lot easier to get started as in most cases, you’ll be doing it for the fun of it. Take for example, if you look around some of the social media skit makers that later became successful influencers today are people that started out their skits, just for the fun of it.
If you work very well to evolves some skills around your passion, build it into a business that solve real problems, you’ll notice that people will line up to pay you for it.
Elenu also added that; “You should also keep in mind that even when you start out with something you’re passionate about, you don’t have to stop at the passion, you can learn some business skills and take it to the next level”.
In a nutshell what he added is that while building a business around something you love can give you leverage to to stay through and build your business until it turns out successful, your passion alone cannot build the business.
So, in addition to doing something you love, you must learn important business skills and build a structure that will sustain your business. This is what you must keep in mind if you want to start a business and make money online in Nigeria.
Start from Where You Are – Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook says,
“I literally coded Facebook in my dorm room and launched it from my dorm room. I rented a server for $85 a month, and I funded it by putting an ad on the site, and we’ve funded ever since by putting ads on the site”. Mark Zuckerberg
If you look around you today, you will notice that one of the most common challenges facing young Nigerians wishing to an start online business is the issue of funding.
In most cases, you may not get access to any collateral and there is hardly any bank that will lend you money to start a business without requiring you to provide some collateral.
Thinking about this can be very discouraging. But as Zuckerberg is saying, instead of looking for external funding from the beginning, you can find a way to fund your business with what you can raise, either from personal savings, friends and family or other sources.
Talking about personal savings… This is how i started out. And I was even a university student with a stipend as pocket money. You know how difficult that can be. And how much you’ll have to let go, just to save some extra cash… But, looking back today, I feel it was worth it.
So, to start a business and make money online in Nigeria today, you might have to look inwards for initial funding.
Also, another way of starting where you are is by providing services that will demand less capital for you to start up.
As you keep making profit from this particular services, with time you can expand to include the original services/product you wanted to start with.
Take for instance, if you want to go into Web Design and Development for instance, instead of waiting for borrowed funds to set up a web design firm, you can start with providing Graphics Design services which might be more cost effective to start.
With time, you can then expand it further into Web Design, after you must have made some savings from the Graphics Design Business.
Build a Sustainable Business Model – Debola Williams
For us, building a sustainable business model is crucial. Debola Williams
A business model is like a plan for the successful operation of your business. It helps you figure out how you solve the problem your business exists to solve. And it includes a repeatable process that can be used to provide consistent outcomes for your business.
As you already know, so many online businesses today are run without business models. This is the major issues with most online businesses.
Some online entrepreneurs will rather copy business models from other businesses without testing if such models can work for their own business.
As Debola said, if you want to start a business and make money online in Nigeria, you must realize that you can not excel or scale your business without a realistic business model so it’s important you get one set out before even getting started.
A sustainable business model will incorporate details of how you’re meant to run the business.
It will spell out things like: how you’ll source for funds at different level of growth, how you will get new clients, how you’ll expand and other details which will guide you as your online business gets poised for growth.
It will also serve as a guide for your business. And from time to time, you can adjust your business models based on the prevailing economic and social realities.
PS: Remember that in some cases, you will never be able to build a business model the day you get started. You will need real life experiences to shape your business model and growth so you can always start with a business plan and then get to evolve your business model along the way.
Don’t Give Up – Linda Ikeji
There were many times, I wanted to give up. I had bad times back then but the worst was in September 19, 2010. It was my 30th birthday. I was broke, I was angry because I have been done doing modeling in a long time. I was still struggling, I was still borrowing money, I was depressed because I felt like a failure. I will cry and cry but will still open my laptop and blog. I didn’t know that my breakthrough was at the corner and that God was leading me to it. After my 30th birthday, my life practically changed. Linda Ikeji
One of the notions a lot of people have about online businesses in Nigeria is the belief that you’re definitely going to make it big as soon as you get started.
This is far from the truth. Because just as you need time to build your offline business, to be successful with an online business, you’ll also need sufficient time to build it into a successful business.
You have to keep it in mind that an online business is not a get rich quick scheme. Like any other business, starting an online business will require you put in a lot of work, effort and time.
In fact, there are going to be times where you’re going to work so hard and still see little results. You’re going to put in your best to build the business. It’s going to be discouraging some days and you’ll definitely feel like giving up, in the early days.
But truth is, putting all your effort and making your online business to turn out successful is going to be one of the most rewarding experience you’ll ever have as an entrepreneur.
So, like Linda Ikeji and all these entrepreneurs have said, I believe you have what it takes to start a business and make money online in Nigeria if you’re going to put in the work and put in these tips you’ve learned to good use.
I also know that you might face some challenges when it comes to building your own online business, but one thing you want to keep in mind is the understanding that even established business moguls have experienced these same challenges at some point.
So, instead of giving up on your business when you experience challenges, decide to pick up the lessons and turn your challenges into teachable moments that will further enhance your business growth. This is how to build a business that becomes a global success.
And of course, you can reach out to us to guide and hold you by the hand, as you grow your business into a formidable brand.
Now it’s over to you. What’s your biggest challenges when it comes to starting an online business? Let’s hear you!