Becoming a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria is not as easy as many people think. Aside from the fact that you need to understand the world of business and the kind of business you are running, you need to also possess these top entrepreneurial skills. Acquiring these skills will make you know how to grow steadily over the years as a business owner and how to grow any kind of business whether new or old.
Top 10 Entrepreneur Skills to Learn in Nigeria
Below are the top entrepreneur skills you need to possess in Nigeria to be successful in any business.
1. Money Management
The first entrepreneurial skill you need to learn in Nigeria here is how to manage money. Many people think that money (profit) will come easily after starting their business. They think that as long as they sell a product or render a service money will come in excess and due to this they do not need to understand how money works but this is not true.
As an entrepreneur, you need to know how to manage your business proceeds. You cannot spend recklessly and expect your business to stand the test of time. Money management includes knowing how to reduce your expenses and increase your revenue.
As a businessman or woman, you have to know what is really worth spending money on and is what not. You also need to understand popular terms like assets, liabilities, liquidity, income, and expenditure.
2. Time Management
Time management is the ability to use your time effectively, especially at work. This is another entrepreneurial skill in Nigeria you need to learn if you are really serious about running a business here. Entrepreneurs that understand time management have been able to do much with little time.
We all have 24 hours in a day and due to different engagements and appointments, it is understandable if we are not able to meet up with all, especially due to the traffic situation and other unforeseen circumstances in Nigeria. As an entrepreneur, you need to know that you cannot be everywhere at the same time.
For this reason, you need to hire an assistant that can represent you (if you can afford one). You need to also consider running your meetings on apps like Zoom or Google Meet instead of physical meets to avoid spending much time in traffic. Place priority on what is important and what is not.
The ability to manage time very well makes sure you have a work/life balance where you still have time for yourself and your family despite your busy schedules.
3. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is the ability to analyze and evaluate an issue in order to form a judgment or take a final decision. As an entrepreneur, you need to be able to think and create solutions to the problems attacking your business. You need to do this by yourself, especially in the early stages when you cannot afford to hire people that can do this for you.
From experience, one way you can do this is to always have a notepad where you always jot down different things both new and old about your business. Critical thinking is a major entrepreneur skill you need to learn in Nigeria.
Communication is another very important entrepreneur skill to learn in Nigeria. The ability to understand your customers’ needs and be able to solve their problems is vital. As a businessman or woman, you need to be able to receive suggestions and complaints.
To do this effectively, you need to have a customer care unit that will receive and note all complaints from your customers. If the complaints can be resolved instantly you can resolve them but if they cannot you need to put the solution in motion.
5. Sales and Marketing
It has been said that Nigeria’s consumer market is very large. However, despite this goods or products are not acceptable just like that because they are good. Products sell in Nigeria because of proper branding and marketing strategies. As an entrepreneur, you need to know how to promote and market your products.
You need to know your selling point – what makes your products better than others? This is what gives you a winning edge over your competitors. There are different platforms on which you can promote your products. You can use social media, TV or radio, handbills, and more. Look at the options that befit you and use them.
Leadership skill is another skill all entrepreneurs in Nigeria must possess. As an entrepreneur running a business, you will need to hire staff or workers. As an employer of labor, you are already a leader because you are going to be directing your staff on what they will do daily, weekly, or monthly.
It is important you know that as a leader you need to lead by example. Do not give rules and be part of those that disobey the rules. Be attentive and caring. When you naturally care for your staff they will take care for your business.
The ability to keep pushing and not give up is another important entrepreneur skill in Nigeria. The economic environment of Nigeria is not encouraging. In fact, if one is not careful one will easily lose focus on the goal. As an entrepreneur, you need to continue working and looking at all options to make profits from your business. This is what makes you stand out from the rest.
Persistency is the ability to keep pushing despite everything. As an entrepreneur especially one just starting a business in Nigeria you will encounter so many challenges in your business. Challenges range from not making profits in your business, to customer complaints, debtors, and more. You cannot give up on your business even when everything is turning south or out of control.
You have to continue to keep running your business and look for better ways you can solve these problems. An example of this was when I start my blogging business. There are days I get frustrated when I see lazy writers copy my articles, there are days I have to pay some emergency money to keep the blog running, and there are days I do not meet my target for the week or month.
I do not just give up when I encounter all this. Sometimes, I feel I should but when I remember everything I have achieved so far I see more reasons to keep going.
The ability to be able to plan is another top entrepreneur skill you need to possess if you are really thinking of becoming a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria. As an entrepreneur, you need to plan ahead for your business. Where do you see your business in the next 5 years, 10 years, or even 15 years? You need to build a road map that will lead you to this place (achievement).
As an entrepreneur, your goal has to be realistic and achievable. You cannot start a small provision store business today and expect to become as rich as Aliko Dangote in the next 5 years.
Another entrepreneurial skill you need to have in Nigeria is designing skills. You do not necessarily need to be able to draw or do graphic designing to own this skill. All you need to be able to do is to create something from your mind and be able to draw or put it on paper. This design can be a marketing process, a logo design, or a new payment system.
You should be able to conceive anything from your mind and be able to put it down. A few years ago, when I wanted to start my cleaning business I had pictured it in my mind how I wanted my logo to be. So I took a pen and drew it on a sheet of paper. This made it easy for my graphic designer to do because with this all he has to do is just replicate what I drew and make it better.
The ability to start any business in Nigeria does not make you an entrepreneur. It is the ability to evolve and always look for solutions when you face challenges in your business that actually make you an entrepreneur. Among all these skills we have mentioned above which skill do you already possess and which ones are you planning on developing? Let us know in the comments.