One of the easiest ways to become a millionaire in Nigeria is to become an entrepreneur, not just an ordinary entrepreneur but a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria. This might be hard for you to believe especially because you also know 9 – 5 people that are rich but it’s true. Nigeria is waiting for the next big thing, the next big product.
A good way to understand this is by looking at what we’re currently facing as a country (the high rate of unemployment). I have also known about this entrepreneurship journey a long time ago but I guess I was lazy about it. I wrote many business plans as far back as the year 2010 and I did not push many of them through because they all needed money, needed attention and I was lazy in making an effort.
I wanted money then and I wanted it as soon as possible so I went on a job search instead of starting a business. But looking back at those years now I have realized if I had just managed to push one through I would or I should have become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria by now because 10 years is enough to grow a new business.
This is why recently on the blog I have been writing many articles on creating wealth (Businesses we all can start as side hustles) and how to go grow them till they become the next BIG THING in Nigeria. Because I do not want anyone to repeat the same mistake I made. So today I will be sharing with us 7 tips we can follow to become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria.
Keep in mind that these points you are about to go read now are completely useless if you do not put them close to your heart and put them into action immediately. It is about taking action after reading, not just about reading.
Who is an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is a person who invents an idea or starts a business solely for the purpose of solving a common problem. He or she might be an initiator or a starter. He or she sees opportunities when no one sees it. He or she sees progress when no one sees it and he follows it to the end. There are different types of entrepreneurs. This will be mentioned below. Check out our article on entrepreneur: meaning, myths, functions, and types for more details about who an entrepreneur is and different types of entrepreneurs.
How to Become an Entrepreneur in Nigeria
Here are steps on how to be a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria.
1. Start your Journey on Time
This is the first step you must take if you want to become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria. One of the reasons why many of us have not gotten to where we want to be today is procrastination. We suspend everything especially the important things until we no longer have time for them or we no longer have a zeal for them.
Starting a business in a country like Nigeria is tough and because it is tough many of us just look for an easy way out like looking for a job. I talked about this earlier in my introduction but the best time to start a business is now. Do not allow funds or any other thing to make you postpone it. Start now! This is the one sure way you can become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria.
Start by mapping out your business plan and talk to people about it – intelligent people. Those you look up to like your mentors, millionaires, and rich friends you have. Do not worry they will not steal your ideas. It is better to talk to them and get counsel on how to go about it than you go into it blindly. The old saying “ride on the shoulder of giants” has not faded, it is still relevant and it is important in this aspect.
I am saying this because I was once afraid of sharing my business ideas and this did not end well as those business ideas I held on (tightly) did not get to the limelight. The difference between a successful entrepreneur and an average entrepreneur in Nigeria is the ability to see an opportunity, get advice, and grab it without wasting time.
2. Persevere and Do not Give up
This is the second step to becoming a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria today. Sincerely Nigerians are enduring people and there is no doubt about that. We always believe there is a better tomorrow no matter what we pass through but many of us do not apply this to the entrepreneurship side of our life in Nigeria.
And this is why many Nigerian youths are yet to become successful when it comes to starting businesses in Nigeria. We give up on our business ideas too early and those of us that we’re able to start after so much struggle still give up at the end when the business is not fulfilling our expectations. Well, it has been proven time after time by successful entrepreneurs both in Nigeria and far and wide that to be successful at a business you need to develop a never give up attitude.
The fact that your friend’s business is making more money than yours does not mean you’re in the wrong business. It is just your friend’s set time hold on and you will see your own set time will also come too. New products in the Nigerian market may take time before they are embraced from left, right, and center but it does not mean they will not be accepted and bought. It is only a magician who will expect a boom immediately. Be patient as a Nigerian entrepreneur and you will enjoy your rewards when they come.
3. Connect with other Entrepreneurs
This is another thing you must do if you really want to become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria. I talked about this in point 1 but I feel we still need to dwell on this more for more understanding. The Dangote you see today did not ride alone. He rode on his uncle’s and some other prominent Nigerians’ shoulders when he was just starting his business.
Now, he rides on Nigerian politicians shoulders, and this has continued to profit him as many policies made by the Nigerian government always seem to favor him. It is impossible for an island to live alone because it needs other islands to survive. This is how it is in the entrepreneurship side of Nigeria and this is how it will always be.
So to become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria you have to be ready to connect. And meet people (business-inclined, investors) that will support your business and take it to where you want it to be.
4. Get the Capital Needed
The ability to get capital when you need it can also make you become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria. Let us face the fact, that not all businesses can get a loan from the Bank of Industry because of their criteria. So the ability to get this capital whenever and wherever dim fits makes you a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria.
Imagine you need N1 million now and you are able to get it in 24 hours. This makes you a king among other entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
5. Learn How to Start a Business
You might say how do you get money to start your business in Nigeria as an upcoming entrepreneur? Here are tips below.
A. Self-fund your Business
There are successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria who started their million naira business simply by self-funding. You too can do this. You can self-fund your business if you know you have some saved-up money that you have kept for a while in the bank. The best thing about this source is it is risk-free and it saves you the time of meeting investors for money in starting your business.
B. Get the Support of Family and Friends
Another way you can become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria is through the help of others. You can meet family and friends for support and use them as the first investors in your business. You will be amazed at how far they will be willing to assist you based on the rapport you have built with them and how they have seen you being able to multiply money.
You should consider this if you have lots of entrepreneurs in your family and you also have many of them as friends.
C. Seek Eligible Investors
These are people who are willing to invest in business whether new or old businesses already in existence. These people are called angel investors. You can meet these people for assistance in starting your business. For more guidance on this, you should read. The 3 links above will guide you on how to go about your entrepreneurship journey in Nigeria.
6. Understand Financial Statements
This has been argued time and time again by some Successful Nigerian entrepreneurs in Nigeria. While some Nigerian entrepreneurs think it is necessary to understand accounting statements some other Nigerian entrepreneurs say there is no need for this after all, our forefathers never understood financial statements yet they had profitable businesses during their lifetime.
Well, in as much as the second school of thought is right about our forefathers, we live in the 21st century, and in this time and age, the ability to understand financial statements saves you a lot of trouble as an entrepreneur in Nigeria. The ability to understand financial statements helps you to know whether your company/business is making a profit or loss and whether there are loopholes in your business.
In other words, it helps you see right into the future of the business and make plans. A Nigerian entrepreneur who does not understand this will be jilted right under his nose. Watch out!
7. Reduce Expenses, Increase Sales
This is one trick that has kept many Nigerian entrepreneurs’ businesses going despite all the hard times in Nigeria. For those of us who don’t understand this, this is like earning a salary. No matter how small it is you can still make something out of it and live on it. No matter how small your profit is from your business you should still find a way to live on it and look for other methods to increase your sales.
I remember the time I was earning 25k as a salary. I was still able to live on this. Even the time I started my business and was jobless I was still able to survive on my business by simply reducing my expenses and increasing my sales. You will be surprised how fast your business can grow with this technique – cutting out so many expenses and increasing your sales.
This accounting technique has made many Nigerian entrepreneurs successful without putting in much effort and it can make you too successful as an upcoming entrepreneur in Nigeria.
8. Take Reasonable Business Risks
This is another way to become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria. I will say this once and for all “If you can’t take the risk, you’re not an entrepreneur and you should not be an entrepreneur” because becoming a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria is majorly about taking risks. And when I talk about risk here I am talking about calculated risk, not foolish risk – a risk based on imagination.
If you know the product is going to be accepted in Nigeria after your market survey invest in it and if you know it’s not, do not waste your money and Other People’s Money (OPM). Do not be sentimental because it’s your product as a Nigerian entrepreneur or because it’s fine. Be honest with yourself! My brother once invested in a business he was supposed to start last year.
He didn’t know he gave his money to the wrong people and these people carted away with it. Till today he is not discouraged by this. He has picked himself up and he’s ready to invest again in another business. That’s life! And that’s what it really takes to become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria. My point here is do not give up even if you have been swindled off your money.
Pick yourself up and still continue to do the right thing which is investing in your business and you’ll see that as time goes by your business will get to its peak and money will start coming in.
Being a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria is not easy but you need to keep pushing and never give up. One day, with these tips you will become successful. Keep going and never give up. What other points do you think make a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria?