Have you ever have the passion to know how to start a successful online business in Nigeria? So many Nigerians such as Oluwaseun Osewa and Linda Ikeji who started online business ventures have made money from it.
If it is your dream to become the next Linda Ikeji, Jason Njoku or the next Seun Osewa, have it at the back of your mind that you’ll need reliable tips and take action for you to build a successful internet business in Nigeria.
The good thing is that anyone can start up an internet business in Nigeria and make money from it. If not hundreds, there are thousands of Nigerians who are already making money on the internet and there are millions of Nigerians who are searching for how to make money online in Nigeria.
Starting an online business is relatively easier than starting offline businesses. This is because, you can start an online business with a mobile phone, a laptop or computer system and internet access (connectivity to the internet).
No matter how easy as it might sound, making money online in Nigeria cannot be achieved through fast and quick means. For you to start a profitable online business in Nigeria, patience, hard work, perseverance and skill are required. If these ingredients are missing, your online business might be heading for failure.
The success of any online business can be easily traced to how the business started, the challenges the business survived, the working practice and attitude-to-work of the owners and management of that business.
Internet business in Nigeria is making waves day after day as some people use digital marketing skills to get the required results which they seek from their business.
If your business is not online yet, it means that you are already losing money and customers which you were supposed to have had.
Any business in Nigeria can have an online presence, all thanks to the innovative birth of science and technology to bring the social media, the internet and the world wide web on the tips of our fingers.
It is very possible to start an online business from your home but that shouldn’t give you the idea that running an online internet business in Nigeria is easy and less demanding.
In this article, you would be presented with the top 10 tips to start a profitable online business in Nigeria.
Top 10 Tips For Starting An Online Business In Nigeria
Here are the top 10 tips you can leverage on to start your online business empire in Nigeria from the internet. These tips would help you in as you set out to start an online business in Nigeria.
1: Get A Niche For Yourself
First and foremost, you need to find a niche for yourself. There are many ways of making money online in Nigeria; but, as time goes, each method is getting competitive.
For you to beat the competition, you don’t have to be a ‘jack of all trades’, rather, you should pick a niche in which you are skilled and stand by it.
Do you know your niche? Are you thinking of which niche you can fit into? Now, finding a niche for yourself is very easy.
To find a niche in online business, you need to figure out what you are really good at. Pick up a paper and pen down your skills, talents, passion, and what do you that makes you happy.
Doing this would make you stand out from the crowd; a crowd of clueless competitors who are obviously confused about what to do to make money online.
After you must have written down by skills, write down what you can offer (the products and services that you can offer). Then take note of the problems that such products/services can solve if offered to people [potential clients/customers].
This information will serve as a compass or a guideline in helping you to pick a niche for your online internet business.
There are so niches that could fit into the digital way of making money online. Such skills and niches are freelancing, Blogging, video editing, digital marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, Search Engine Optimization, email marketing, web analytics, content creation and marketing, graphic design and lots more.
These are all skills that could help you get a niche and identify an audience. When you find the right niche for your online business, it will be easy for you to stay relevant and beat the competition.
2: Identify & Target Your Audience
After you must have picked a niche for yourself, the next tip is to identify and audience and to target your audience. ‘To Identify’ and ‘To Target’ your audience are two separate entitles in starting an online business.
Identifying your audience are the things you must do to find your customers. On the other hand, targeting your audience is to bring up or to provide solutions needed by your customers.
For instance, if a new sports betting company (client/customer) needs customers/punters to make use of their betting platform. It is going to face competition from other top-notch sport betting companies to get customers.
As a digital marketing strategist, you can provide a solution for this sports betting company by offering the services of getting punters and sports bettors to register as customers for this new sports betting company.
By doing this, you have solved a problem and successfully, identified and targetted your audience.
Another instance I would give is about a fashion company which we would call Company A. Company A operates in Ikeja area of Lagos state, it has a website but the website performs poorly in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
As a result of this, Company A will not be able to get organic traffic and clients directly from the search engines. As a good SEO expert, you can solve this problem by optimizing company A’s website for search engines. Make research on the keywords that potential customers may be asking about clothing and textiles.
Moreover, you can submit its sitemap to search engines, build backlinks and write optimized articles which will rank in years to come.
By doing this, you have solved the Company A’s problem and Company A would get natural visits and potential customers from Google, Yandex, Bing and other search engines.
By having an online business, you have the potential of reaching out to thousands and millions of prospects (audience), solve their problems with your skills and get paid for rendering these services.
However, it is not everyone you reach will be converted as your customer/client. Rather, you should use your ability to target your customers from every large number of people (audience) that you reach out to and this lies down on your niche.
You are likely to get customers for online business if it reaches out to a set of people in your niche. One thing you should also note in online business is that the market is large (mass market) and there is competition for customers.
Your business can reach to thousands of uninterested persons if you have no niche. If you want to make it in any online business, you must ensure that your business reaches to a handful of people in your niche.
Also, ensure that your business message or material is consumable by your audience (they must have an idea of what you are offering) and engage your audience than if it reaches thousands of uninterested people.
Lastly, make your material comprehensive for your audience to understand. Reach out to them and engage them into discussions with a genuine aim of knowing what they want and work towards meeting their needs.
3: Protect Your Brand’s Online Reputation
The internet/online business is all about reputation. It is important that you protect the dignity, image and reputation of your business if you would want to start an online business in Nigeria.
If your goal is to start a profitable online business, you should be guided and disciplined not to scam or defraud your clients and customers just because you want to make big money in the quickest way.
The worst mistake any online business startup in Nigeria would do to itself is to scam a customer. Your brand might be popular but once your reputation is lost, just forget it.
Most startups in Nigeria started by stealing the credit card information of their customers who shopped at their website, some other online business such as web hosting companies do not satisfy their customers (some even delete people’s websites and files without writing to the owners).
Issues like this can cripple your online business. You should know it at the back of your mind that the slightest mistake can taint your brand forever.
Your online reputation starts with your personality, the quality and outlook of your website, your social media profiles and the type of contents which you send out.
For instance, an internet user visits an e-commerce website and sees some products that interest him. He is ready to purchase that product but then, he searches Google to read customer/buyer reviews of the website and he finds a post that labels the e-commerce site as a scam.
Will such person be willing to go on with the purchase? Obviously, the answer is NO and that is obvious because online business is all about trust and reputation.
In order to protect the integrity of your business, your online business or firm must be branded and it should have some guidelines.
Also, you should learn to deal with customer complaints, try to satisfy and show concern for such customer and adopt a mindset of solving the challenges which the customer faces; even if the customer is guilty of the problems.
4: Be Consistent and Persistent
Let us face reality; the truth is that many people who started online business only did so because they heard or they read or they knew how somebody did it and made it.
In our society today, lots of people are starting a business in Nigeria because they read success stories of other people.
I get messages from people asking me “I want to start a profitable business“, “What business can I do that will fetch me money in the present Nigerian economy?” “What are the online businesses in Nigeria that pays?“.
But when I ask them “What skills do you have and what type of business do you fit into?“. The shocking answer I receive is “Any business that will make money and put food on my table”.
Does it mean that these people have no skills or that they are myopic to look inward and discover their skills?
If you must succeed as an entrepreneur in Nigeria, your drive to start a business shouldn’t be based on the people who have been successful by venturing into such businesses.
However, your drive should be your struggle, your passion and the story which you will tell to the world – that should be your motivation.
One fact that I got to discover about an online business is that it isn’t what people say it is. Most persons ventured into online business because they saw it as a way of making money overnight and when it doesn’t pay for some months, they quit and dump by saying, “Online biz no dey pay“.
You need to be consistent and persistent if you must make it in online business. Your success may not come after the first few months or a year after you have started but it will surely pay off as long as you use the right practices.
It took about 3 to 5 years before some online business and startups started making profits from their products and services. Money shouldn’t be your driving factor when you are just starting an online business.
5: Say No to Scam
I keep making this statement intermittently. An online business startup should dirty its name in any scam scandal. Try as much as possible to stay clear of fraudulent practices which would cripple your business.
I have seen lots of internet marketers who started out well and along the way, they scammed some clients and by the time the news broke out, people weren’t willing to work with them or to associate with them.
Online business is a type of business which can be done from home and since your client or customer isn’t seeing you physically, you don’t have to take an unfair advantage by trying to scam such person.
Ensure that your business is legitimate, stay away from scams and your business would last.
6: Have A Mentor
You must have someone who you look up to. A mentor serves as a person who will guide you on steps that you must take in your online business.
Before picking a person to mentor you, such person must have an idea or knowledge of your area of interest and must be ready to help you get started in your online business.
You can get many mentors but it is recommended that you choose a mentor; as tips from various mentors can clash with each other and leave you confused.
Your mentor should not see himself as your competitor, rather both of you should share ideas together.
7: Get More Knowledge
There is no highest attainment of knowledge. Knowledge is power and anyone with knowledge is powerful. Yet still, no one knows it all.
As time goes, you should endeavour to acquire more knowledge of the online business. There are some tricks which are known by the novices and the newbies which may remain unknown to people who you assume to be ‘gurus’.
Do not be satisfied with your own knowledge, knowledge has no end (it is till infinity) and this is why you must have the hunger to know more.
Read more information about online business and startups, attend seminars and workshops, get e-books, buy courses, read blog posts about online business and develop your mindset towards the business.
8: Know Your Competitors
Whatever type of online business you are doing, be it blogging, digital marketing, Social media marketing, Dropshipping, data reselling etc, you are bound to face competition.
Even if it’s a new online business that was just discovered, do not see yourself as the only fish in the ocean because competition will surely arise along the way.
Competition shouldn’t make you fear or make you lose focus but it is a challenge for you to do things right in your online business.
Identify your competitors, take note of how they work, be a good observer of their practices. Do not have the ‘local mindset” that the competitors in your niche are your enemies but see them as a trigger for you to take action.
9: Do What Your Competitors Aren’t Doing Right
After you must have known about your competitors and identified their practices, you must take note of their shortcomings.
Instead of reading the success stories of successful people, you should read the stories of people whose business crashes, failed or collapsed.
This can save your own business from collapsing because you will get to learn out the reason or cause for the failure of their business.
But if you spend all your time reading the success stories of people, you will take life to be a rollercoaster journey that has is easy and has no challenges. To get realistic, ensure to read the stories of successful people and failed startups.
Observe what your competitors or take note of what those in your niche are doing. Lay more emphasis on what they aren’t doing right.
If you should notice that those in your niche are not quick to deliver results, or that they don’t have a good customer support relationship or that they are not reliable.
See how you can learn from these inadequacies and see to it that you do not make the same practice in your business.
10: Market and Promote Your Business
Another indispensable tip for starting an online business is for you as the business owner to market and promote the business. You cannot afford to be weak when it comes to promoting your online business.
Without marketing your business, people would not be able to know what you offer and you cannot expect to make sales or to get more customers or to make money from your online business when it is not properly promoted or marketed.
As you set out to solve problems with the services you offer, your objective should be on how you can get a large number of people to know about your business, your products and your services.
Be sure to always promote your works and share them with people so that they can have a feel of what you do. When you talk about your services and about your achievements, be careful not be become rude and arrogant to people.
The achievements of your online business will increase the credibility of your business and people will always trust you and come to you to get your services.
A good way of promoting your business is by proper branding of your works and services. Your online business should have social media accounts/handles on platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.
Also, you must also have a good website for your business. You can make advertisement placements on blogs with traffic or make adverts on Google or Facebook to reach out to customers fast.
Patience is a trait which you must adopt in this type of investment because an online business takes time to learn and it takes time to grow.
Starting or running any business can be risky but if you are well-calculated, you would be able to manage these risks. These are the tips for starting an online business in Nigeria and they can also be used as a compass or guide in other countries asides Nigeria.