10 steps to starting a business in Nigeria Today 2

  1. Raise Capital.

This is one of the major challenges of people who intend to start a business.  It is however an inevitable process as every business idea needs funding to grow.

Raise capital from personal money,  loans from friends and family,  loans and grants from investors, venture capital,  etc.

Be careful not to loan more than is needful to prevent running into debt at the beginning of your business enterprise.

  1. Register your Business Name

Register your Business name with the online portal of The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Steps to Registering your Business Name Online:

Search for availability of Name:

Visit http://services.cac.gov.ng/

Sign up as a new customer and provide all necessary details accurately.

Once you are properly signed in click on ‘Name availability Search’ type in two names that are creative and uncommon as your proposed business name and try to avoid cliché names.

Fill the form with your best Email address and Phone number and submit the form when done. The submission of the form would cost N500 and can be paid using your MasterCard, Visa card, Verve card or Online banking etc.

The name search would take one to two working days to be approved or disapproved. If disapproved try again With a different and more unique name.

Register the Business name:

Once your name has been approved the next step is to register the business name. Log in to your account with CAC and once logged in click on ‘action’ and download the letter of approval from the CAC portal, open it and take note of the approval number.

Go back to the website, Click on ‘Registration’ on the top left of the webpage select business name and paste the number from the approval document in the space provided click on enter. Ensure you know the nature of the business, proprietors of the business and all other relevant information accurately. NOTE: You can ‘save and exit’ the form at any point where you have difficulties.

When it comes to nature of the business ensure that you type in three (3) nature of the business and it is always a good idea to add General contracts so you do not need to get another business name in the future as General contracts encompass everything. (I made the mistake of not adding General contracts and I had to apply with an additional cost of N6000 to get it changed and it was a stressful process)

Fill the form Accurately avoid Mistakes as a Correction would cost you more money and waste your Time.

Now one important thing is When asked if you need additional copies of Certified true copy and documents, select Zero as this is applicable to only those who are registering a limited liability company.

Submit the form and Pay N10,000 for the business name using your ATM card. You would be given a form to submit to the CAC office in your selection. (There is a 50% discount on the amount till December 31st, 2018)

Physical Submission:

Download and print and make two photocopies of

All receipt of payment from Remitta and CAC,

The approval of business name document

The form you received upon payment for business name

Take these documents with two passport Photographs, N250 stamp duty fee – to be paid into CAC Skye Bank Account (you can do this before going to the office the bank has the account number) and submit for filing with the corporate Affairs commission.

  1. Build a customer base /portfolio

One of the fastest ways of growing your business is to treat your customers right and keep them coming for me. Steadily build a customer base and portfolio that can attract and impress new customers. A very good portfolio will give your brand credibility and convince people to buy from you. A customer treated badly will go with a bad testimony about your business while a satisfied customer will refer other prospective buyers and customers to you because of the experience they have had with you!

  1. Devise a marketing strategy

There are many ways to market and advertise your business to potential customers. You need to find out which one works best for you. One of the most effective marketing strategy is word of mouth – Don’t be silent,  always seize every opportunity to tell people about your business. Another proven effective marketing strategy is referrals from customers which is why you have to take your service delivery and customer relationships serious.

Other marketing strategies include: bringing in new customers, giving offers and promotions, discounts, banner ads, fliers, bulk sms, email marketing, etc

  1. Deliver the best possible product /service

While a good planning and marketing strategy might help you attract people to your business, what actually keeps them is a good delivery of products or services.

Delivering the best products and services promptly and consistently will win over the heart of your customers to you and this can earn you their loyalty for life!

Nobody likes being disappointed in the quality of products bought or services rendered. This will tarnish your image in the eyes of your customers.

Remember this, an excellent first impression is good but don’t blow up with the second! Follow up consistently with great product /service delivery and keep your customers coming back for more.

  1. Get your business online

Just like a popular slang in the country today, “everything ti wa online” (meaning everything is now online). The world has gone digital and technology will continue to advance with the use of social media on the rise.

In 2017, the number of social media users in Nigeria was 76.2 million, which increased to 84.3 million in 2018. This represents a huge number of prospective customers who use social media daily.

Seize the opportunity of free access to this number of people and advertise your business on various social media sites depending on your kind of business. Treat your business as an entity on its own by creating official accounts in your business name. Showcase your products, product reviews, clients testimonials, achievements, etc on your social media platforms from time to time. You may also hire a social media expert to handle your social media platforms for you.

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