Business Ideas

What to know before you venture into a business

before you venture into a business in nigeria

Anytime the subject of multiple sources of income comes up, one of the frequent questions I get is what business to go into to generate income or monthly cash flow. Business is not something you jump in head first, looking at where others seem to be making money and trying to get a piece of the action.

If making money is your primary driver for going into business, you may likely lose money instead of making money. For your business to grow and become profitable, you need a viable business and revenue model, and a growing customer base, – customers that pay for your goods and services.

Now stop and think for a minute. If your customers feel all you are after is their money, how inclined will they be towards opening their wallets for you? Put yourself in their position. If you felt people you do business with were more interested in your money than providing good service, will you continue to patronize them or recommend them to your friends?

What has been your experience you’re your plumber, mechanic, electrician, store you buy things from, market woman, etc? If someone is only after your money, you can sense it and be on your guard. We have discontinued doing business with someone at one time or the other. Nobody likes feeling ripped off. To win in business, you need a unique selling proposition. You need to have something to offer. It’s very important before start investing money to make sure what your business is going to be and how you going to handle it to make it successful.

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Your potential customers are not really concerned about your need to make a profit to support your family. That is your problem. Their focus is on having their needs met. If you exceed your customer’s expectations, they enthusiastically tell their friends about their experience with you, in the process bringing you new customers.

Common sense then dictates that if you want to run a profitable business, you need to meet the needs of more and more people. It is not about you, but them. It is not about your needs, but theirs. Consequently, the focus should be on solving their problems, not your need to make money. If you solve their problems, you will make money.

Copying others will not cut it. You have to bring yourself fully into the game if you want to win. That is why you need to know for yourself what business you want to go into, rather than conduct an opinion poll or chase what seems to be ‘moving’. I know many folks that have tried their hands on different things looking for what will ‘work’. Many sell on credit, run out of cash and conclude it does not work. In each instance, others are making it while they are running at a loss.

So, are you still looking for which business to go into? Every business has the potential of being profitable, from cleaning houses to manufacturing aircraft. There is money everywhere. People are making money in every conceivable field you can think of, including giving opinions (which many do online for free, sometimes staying up late in order to be the first to comment on news items).

You can go into any business if you really want to. Nigeria is open for business. The question is, why do you want to go into that business? Do you have what it takes? What is driving you? What is your motive?

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A business is a platform to give your gifts

If you make money by meeting people’s needs, then what do you have that can meet the needs around you? What is your gift? ‘What are you good at? What skills do you have? A business is just a platform to give those gifts. Without a business, what you have is a hobby, something you do by the side. Many are not passionate about their jobs. They show up physically but they are not engaged. They come alive when they get home. They are one thing at work and quite another outside of work. Since they are used to working for money, they look at a business as an avenue to make money and also as a second source of income.

A business is not something you just dabble into. It is a journey of self-discovery, of becoming all that you can be vocation-wise. Your business is tied to your purpose – what you came to this world to do. You are going to spend a lot of time here, so it is important that you start something that matters, something that is meaningful to you and makes a difference in the life of others. It demands that all of you show up – that you give it your best shot. If you are aiming for the top, life demands nothing less.

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It is not about money. It is about making a difference and leaving a legacy. Money is a by-product of meeting needs, and adding value. If you focus on the main thing, the money will come. We all have something to give. The issue is paying the price to find out what it is.

Money cannot satisfy on a sustainable basis. If you are not growing and contributing, something dies on the inside of you no matter how affluent you look on the outside. This is not to deny the fact that many have survival challenges. If you are in that situation, then focus on your job and be the best employee you can be. Earn promotions, make more money, or get a better job and deal with your survival issues. Do not bring up starting a business into the mix.

If you do not know what business to go into, that is a clear sign that you are not ready. Wait until you are ready. Work on yourself. Who are you? What do you love? What are you passionate about? If you have all the money and all the time in the world, what would you do with your life? If you cannot answer these questions, stay put and make a difference right where you are.

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