One of the greatest rewards of being an entrepreneur is having time freedom. And when you decide to leverage the internet to build a business, it gets a lot easier.
Doing a business is different from hustling for money.
Good business requires much more than just a hustling spirit, even though that’s a start.
Doing a good and highly profitable business in Nigeria requires discipline, hard work, a good head for numbers, partnerships and delegation.
Frankly speaking, many things go into building a good business, especially in Africa.
A lot of young people set out with good intentions of making money and building a “business” on the internet, but end up stuck along the way and jumping from one thing to another without really making an impact in any of them. This is because they really do not understand what goes into building a business that lasts beyond the first generation.
If your intention is to make a couple of dollars to meet a pressing need, maybe this article is not for you.
You can explore other articles on this blog and find one that shows you something that will guarantee an immediate income which you can engage in and get the fast results you are looking for, but if your intention is to build something that lasts and will stand the test of time, then you should take your time, study this article and make notes, ruminate on them and take actions for you to achieve your goal.
Building a business takes time and investments in cash and in kind, anyone who tells you otherwise will be deceiving you. In fact, the person is a snake oil salesman that you need to avoid.
Even though it is possible to start from zero capital and hustle your way up, it is important to know where you ultimately want to reach from all the work.
Steps to Building a Highly Profitable Business Online
Step 1: Start with a Vision
Before you start a business in Nigeria, have a vision of what exactly you want to accomplish. Don’t add to the statistics of failed businesses in Africa.
Having a vision is important because it serves as the engine that will drive your business into expansion.
It will help you know what next steps to take in the right direction.
The internet can be very distracting, with several people trying to get attention, but if you have a vision of what you really want to accomplish, you’ll be able to focus and push through the noise.
Take it a step further and write down your business vision.
It should be written down somewhere visible within your workspace.
Putting your vision in black and white will help you work through hard times and good times.
Solve a Real Human Need
Ensure that you do proper research into your business niche before you set out to build a business around it.
What problem are you solving?
Is it a problem people will always have?
What is the real market size for this problem?
Answering these questions are essential to the growth and success of your business.
When you find a problem that is nagging and a lot of people have and you create a solution for that problem through an internet service or a product or programme you can sell online, or a solution that is powered by the internet and technology, then you can truly say you are in business.
It is not enough to take gigs here and there and because money is coming in you think you are in business.
Anything that does not scale and goes beyond you is not a business, it is just another hustle. This should explain to you the difference between a business and a hustle.
Many people set out to build a business on the internet then they find a skill that is in high demand, go and master that skill and get to work, only to find out down the line that they don’t experience freedom, they are constantly on the run to make money.
They never built a business.
What they did was to get themselves just another job.
Don’t make the same mistake.
Find a real need that is nagging and build a scalable enterprise around it.
Master Your Business Environment
You have to realize that no matter what you are doing you are not the only one in the business. There are competitors who play in the same industry, suppliers whose services you need to use to get your products out and partners or prospective partners who you can work with to get your products to your customers. And there’s also the government who makes policies that you have to comply with.
All these are within your space and you must have a good understanding of who they are, what role they play, how they can positively or negatively affect your business and build a strategy that puts you at advantage.
Having knowledge of your competitive landscape will help you understand how you can innovate to serve your customers better, or how you can niche down to be dominant within a space that will be difficult for your competitors to disrupt. Your competitors play an integral role within your market, they validate the availability of market demand, they give you pointers as to where your customers congregate, but to win over them, you need to have a unique selling proposition that they cannot match.
You need to have a good relationship with your suppliers, they need to be dependable and relatable.
For an internet business, one major supplier is your internet service provider.
For the kind of business you play in, you must also ensure that your suppliers within that space are very dependable.
Your partners and collaborators are also key to the success of your endeavour, they can help you get to where you are going faster and relieve you of a lot of burdens along the way.
Being compliant within the state you do business in is also important to your business growth.
The government is a stakeholder in your business because they orchestrate the macroeconomic factors that affect your business.
Understanding the role of government and being compliant can help your business go very far.
Build Something that Scales
For every business, whether online or offline, there are 3 factors that goes into scale.
- The product
- The process
- The people
The product is what you deliver to your customers and get paid for.
Having a product that is seen by your customers as very good and solves a real market need is important but delivering that product yourself won’t help you scale. You also need a process and people
Your process is everything that transpires from the point when you begin to design your product down to the point you get it sold, or for some business, from the point you get a customer’s order down to the point the customer is totally satisfied.
You need to write this process down and break it up into roles that can be performed by a team. This is where your people come in.
Your people need to be competent enough to carry out the several roles within your business and ensure customer satisfaction.
Finding the right people to work with in Nigeria can make or break your business. With the right people, you will be able to hit your business goals faster.
Building a business that makes millions of naira on the internet is not a lot different from building a business offline.
Making millions from a business can only be sustainable if a background infrastructure is put in place to ensure that money keeps flowing in come rain or sunshine, that is why it is important to build it the right way from start.