This tutorial will teach you what you probably never knew before about discovering business ideas in Nigeria.
My objective is to share with you my years of experience in the business world, so as to help you start your own business in Nigeria
As you probably know, I started my first business before I was age 15.
From that time till the time of updating this post, I have started 7 different businesses of my own.
I have started, make mistakes, failed and succeeded in business world, I think, more than most Nigerians, so I have so much to teach you about business in Nigeria.
This tutorial will cover both the small business ideas and large scale businesses.
Take your time as I reveal some hidden secrets about business in Nigeria to you;
Let’s get started with this;
3 Popular Lies about Business Ideas in Nigeria
Few days ago I visited google and searched for this phrase, “business ideas”.
I read some of those websites on the search results and felt like, this is misleading!
Because those websites are merely trying to list what they call ‘’profitable business ideas in Nigeria’’ you can start.
They are simply listing the products you can sell or the services you could render to make money.
This approach (of listing certain products/services you can start selling) is not business-wise, so I call it dumb.
Because of this, I will love to start this tutorial by listing what business ideas are not
1. Business ideas in Nigeria (or anywhere) are not new inventions
So many people, whenever they think about discovering a business opportunity, usually think, how can I get new business ideas in Nigeria?
They wish they could discover a hot, new business or invent one.
Well, they are wrong.
Business success in Nigeria or anywhere in the world do not have anything to do with inventing something totally new.
In fact, if you`re to invent a new product your possibility of making good money in business world is lean.
Let me explain.
You may need 3 years to sleep in the laboratory and on the road before you will successfully invent a new product.
You may need #10 million to educate your market about a new product
You may need 7 years to convince your market that your (new) product is good for them.
If you think I am exaggerating this issue, let me remind you about a man who invented sliced bread machine.
In the year 1912, Otto Rohwedder invented a simple machine that could slice bread.
He tried all he could but he couldn`t make a profit from his invention. Why? Because it was totally new … nobody was willing to try the invention.
Not until 20 years after when a new brand called ‘’Wonder’’ (not who invented the machine) started a new sliced bread machine, then the product made profit, huge profit I think.
Did you observe something in this story?
The original inventor was not the one who eventually make huge money from sliced bread, so really, you don’t have to be busy looking for what to invent, as a source of business idea in Nigeria.
One more story to prove my point;
The Microwave oven.
The inventors of Microwave oven invented it, wasted time and money on it … but never made profit from it. Why? People are usually skeptical about new things.
Now I have convinced you that innovative business opportunities have nothing to do with new product or invention.
When you are looking for business to start in Nigeria or anywhere in the world, you are not looking for a completely new product to invent.
Inventions are met for inventors. You are an entrepreneur, not inventor.
Your work is not to invent, but to sell inventions (yes, entrepreneurs are smart nigas who wait till inventors invent, then, compete with them on what they have invented. Call them thieves and you`ll be wrong. Call them smart, and you`ll be right)
Starting a business or discovering business opportunities is not about inventing something new.
Here is the second lie you don’t have to believe about business ideas;
2. Business ideas are not about what you sell
I am speaking from my years of business experience. Lucrative business opportunities doesn’t have anything to do with what you sell, but how you sell.
Let me explain with this quote,
“Any fool can make soap. It takes a clever man to sell it“ Thomas J. Barrett
Well, when it comes to business, the above quotation is perfectly perfect.
Anybody can make soap, and millions of people are making it. But only smart people can sell soap … and sell it profitably.
Any average Joe with little brain can make bread, nothing is big in the bread making process. How to turn bread making to a profitable business?
Only a smart John can do that.
I’m sure you’re getting what I’m teaching here.
If I want to do like other people out there, I’ll simply start this tutorial by listing out 20 profitable businesses you can start in Nigeria.
It would simply write something like;
List of Business Opportunities in Nigeria
My list may look like:
- Football Showing Center
- Bread Making
- Soap Making
- Poultry Farm
- Snacks Making
- Bead Making
- Catering Services
- Computer Repair Service
- Private School Business Etc.
Trust me, I can list 50 of those businesses you can start. But I know better. I understand that any foolish man can make soap, but it takes a smart man to sell soap.
I understand that business success has little to do with what you are selling… and everything to do with how you are selling it.
Before you decide any business to invest in, you have to understand these business truths I’m sharing with you.
Business is NOT about what you’re selling. It’s all about HOW you sell what you’re selling.
When you think about successful businesses, you’ll understand that it’s not actually about what they are selling, but how they are selling.
Mr. Big’s isn’t cooking the best meals or snacks in Nigeria, yet, Mr. Big’s has one of the most successful fast food restaurants in Nigeria.
Close Up is not the only toothpaste in Nigeria, non can you prove that it’s the best, but it sells far more than others.
What’s happening here?
It’s not about what you’re selling. It’s about how you sell what you’re selling.
Let’s continue please!
3. Business Ideas Are Not Profitable … themselves
So many people are searching for profitable business opportunities in Nigeria.
Well, let me tell you what most people don’t know.
Successful businesses are not successful by nature, they are MADE successful by certain people.
Let me show you these examples.
Facebook is a huge success. It now worth over $200 billion as at the time of writing this tutorial (November, 2014).
Should we then conclude that social network site is an innovative business idea?
There are over 500 social network sites in the world (and probably someone is designing another one as you are reading this tutorial).
But, you get it … 99.9% of them are simply failures. Come on! Any foolish man can start a social network site. Only a smart man can make it successful and profitable.
Do you tell me that Cement is a great business to do because that’s what made Dangote rich?
You just go and research how many people have tried and failed in their attempt to make cement.
Do you believe that soft drink business is the best business idea because Coca Cola is selling over 1.7 billion bottles every day?
Many people think so and have failed … terribly.
I’m sure I’ve convinced you that business ideas are not about what you sell. It’s about how you sell it, when you sell it, where you sell it and who are you to sell it.
But how can you actually discover a business opportunity and make money in Nigeria?
Let`s go in to that!
How to Really Make Money From Business in Nigeria
Concentrate on how to sell what you sell
As said earlier, it doesn’t really matter what you’re selling or producing in Nigeria, it’s all about how you sell whatever you’re selling.
We here at the Africa Business Classroom started a facebook page in the year 2012.
By then, there were already tens of thousands of facebook pages in Africa (our target market).
These guys have been to some seminars on how to make money online or they have bought ebooks on how to make money on facebook.
They simple went ahead and try to make that money. But they were making near nothing.
Because any foolish guy can start any business in Nigeria, only a smart guy can make business successful.
We got to facebook and made some money while thousands of people who have been there long before us, who had multiply by ten of our fans, who worked harder than us … made near nothing.
How did we do it?
Your business skills is what will make your business successful.
What are your business strategies?
What do you know about marketing?
What do you know about your competitors and how are you planning to kill them (Just losing my head here. Lol) etc, are what you can call business ideas.
These are the real things that make a business successful in Nigeria … not what you’re producing or selling.
Business is not about producing things or selling it … just anybody can do that … and millions of people are doing just that … without any success.
Business is not about what you are selling, but about how you sell it, how you cope and win the war in the market place.
If anybody tells you that selling crude oil is a great business to start in Nigeria, the person is dumb.
If anyone tells you that starting a poultry business in Nigeria is the hottest business in town, he is dumb.
If anyone tells you that starting a bakery is a profitable business idea in Nigeria, such person doesn`t understand.
In the battle field, strategy is far important than weapons.
War is 80% of tactics and 20% of weapons, do you argue with this?
Go and ask soldiers. Generals know that their major work is in working tactics, not in weapons.
Take for instance, if Nigeria and South Africa need to fight in a war (God forbid), who will win? The army with gun?
No. no. no.
Both countries can afford the most sophisticated guns and bombs … the army that wins Is the one with the superior tactics (I say tactics)
So it is in business.
If I tell you to go and start a xyz business because it is profitable in Nigeria, you can be sure that more than 50 people are already selling that xyz in your town.
If I advise you that the best business to start in the year 2017 is NYR, you can be sure that your friend is among those who are already selling the exact product/services.
Just as any country can afford to buy most sophisticated weapons to fight, any foolish man can start any business.
To make profit with your business in Nigeria, the name of the business ideas you need is called, ‘’business tactics’’.
What is this business tactics? Just as I said in how to start a business, it`s about killing your competitors.
Let me show you by asking you some great questions:
What product can you produce better or cheaper than people who are producing it now?
What service can you render faster or easier than people rendering it now?
What talent do you have which you can easily sharpen and commercialize?
What is that product that made you angry the last time you bought it because it is substandard?
If it did made you angry, it probably made one thousand other people angrier.
How can you produce a better version of that product?
When last did you pay for a service and hissed because you were badly served? How can you render a superior service in this areas?
What products/services do you see people complaining about or in need of?
Go ahead and fill that gap!
Making money with any business idea is nothing but looking for ways to do it better, faster or cheaper.
Discovering profitable business opportunities is about filling a gap … nothing more.
Believe me, if you will think, and think very well, you will discover some brilliant business opportunities you`re looking for.
Why is this approach better than telling you what and what are the profitable business ideas in Nigeria now?
Because, take for instance, if I tell you that starting a private school business is a very hot business and you`re someone like me (who is not patient and who hates teaching), there is no way you can succeed or make money.
But if you start a business because you can produce a product better, you can render a service better or by turning your talent to a business, wow, a great business success!
A great business success because you are likely to love that business and who doesn`t know that you are fifty times more likely to succeed when you are doing what you love doing, than if otherwise?
Come on friend! Business is different from job.
You can be working a job you hate (though you won`t enjoy your life, you will be receiving salary). If you start a business hate because someone said it is profitable, you will hate yourself and make no money.
Now I want to address when of our equation.
Business ideas in Nigeria, most at times is about when you want to go in
Let me assume that someone comes to your home this morning and said, “hey, I’ve discovered a powerful business model. It is called GNLD. A lot of people have made millions of naira through it. Join this network marketing business and you too will make millions”
Is this man right?
Yes and no.
Yes because so many people, truly, have made millions of naira from GNLD.
However, he’s very wrong because of WHEN.
Let me explain.
Some business opportunities are like rain. Rain is seasonal.
Though GNLD had made many people very rich, as a matter of fact, every network marketing business grows, declines and dies. So you have to understand when part of this game call business.
Café business was very much profitable.
I remember in around 2003/4. I would go to café simply because I wanted to read about Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Bill Gates etc.
I would spend my money only to read about the world business leaders and who was then the richest men.
So many people like me had to go to café because of such things as I stated above.
Now, will you go to café because you want to read what someone wrote on the internet?
Are you right now in a café? Not likely.
You are reading this tutorial either through your phone or PC. Now think about it. If someone now tells you, “See, I made one million naira from café business in the year 2002. Go and start a café business now, you too will make millions”.
I can see you laughing. It shows you are now getting what I am saying.
TIMING is part of business languages so for any business idea to make you rich in Nigeria, you have to understand its timing.
This business that someone says is producing millions, what stage of growth is it?
Just like human beings, business opportunities and sectors start, grow and decline ,then (sorry) die.
Take time to understand the stage of growth your intending sector is and play your game accordingly, if at birth, rush in with all your strengths.
If at growing stage, be quick and get in before the cake will be finished.
If at declining stage, you may have to specialize or relocate somewhere else where you can win easily.
I will explain.
You discover people who are having furniture businesses in your city are not making good or modern furniture. Since you have learned furniture making from your father and you`re current about modern furniture, here is an opportunity to take the stage.
Rush in and kill everyone
Secondly, they are making some good furniture and making it well, but you have better business skills, you know much about marketing and you are having information about where you can get cheap and good wood.
Go in. Fight and win.
The third instance is where you look around and see 15 giant companies already making furniture and competing hard. What will you do?
Two options. First, specialize. Market yourself as an expert chair maker and make chair alone. Your market, though sees 15 giant furniture makers, will see you as an expert in chair making so rush to you for their chairs.
If you don`t want to do this, change your business location to where you can dominate.
I explained all these business ideas and tactics in detail in our 9-day business training,
Where can you make this business venture successful?
Most people don’t know that business opportunities have something to do with when and where.
Let me explain.
Permit me to use the analogy I’ve earlier used, rain. I said rain is seasonal. Here I want to say rain is vary in period, depending on locations.
It rains most in Nigeria around May – October, but not in Egypt. It rains in Egypt between Septembers – February.
Do you know? A business that cannot succeed in Lagos (West Nigeria) can make millions in Kano (North Nigeria).
Why? The market for that products or service might have been saturated in Lagos and nobody is actually doing the same business in Kano.
I was once managing a game business. It was called Snocker (I don’t really know maybe that was its name or someone nick named it).
This game has been in existence for years in some countries of the world.
But when it got to Nigeria and Nigerians fell in love with it, I was running a Snocker game business owned by my brother. We were making money (I then stole some money too, before I became a born again).
What I’m trying to teach here is, the countries where this game came from, it might not be profitable anymore, yet, the business became profitable when it got to a new territory.
I’m sure you understand this.
Are all these the same with the small scale business ideas? Yes and yes
Now to who side of the business game.
Who Are You?
About 6 years ago I was reading a book called, what the rich people know and desperately want to keep secrets, by Brain Sher.
When Sher is listing four pillars that will make your business a mighty success, the most important of these four is you … what you know.
See business idea as you see a ball in the legs of two different footballers around box 18 (or what do they call it, because I don`t know anything about football?) when the match is very competitive.
As you know, one man may do wonder with that ball by scoring a goal with it … while another man may just waste that ball.
You have seen that many times.
This happens because, though both men are football players, who they are and what they know is different.
Who are you?
Now that you’re planning to start your own business, what do you know about business?
If you know nothing or little, you cannot make the best business opportunities in Nigeria successful. Believe me, I understand what I am saying.
No business idea will make you rich in Nigeria, except you know how to play the businesss game.
Most men and women in Africa are dumb. The last thing they do is to upgrade their minds.
We have a great problem in this continent and it`s breaking my heart.
Our youths don`t value business knowledge.
Our older citizen are not better either. They even add to our problems when they advise the young ones to be serious with school.
Does school teach us anything worthwhile? Isn`t the school the source of our poverty and unemployment? Do you get better or smarter with formal, dogmatic and old theories of job and life you learned at school?
You have to build yourself up. Business is not buying and selling.
Business is a profession, the most honourable profession in the world … so the toughest one.
Who you are and what you know is what matters in business, not any decorated paper call certificate.
My noise to my fellow Africans is, we must upgrade ourselves!
They said if you want to hide anything from an African, just hide it inside a book because he will not read it.
That must change now!
Naturally if you come to my office and tell me you want to start a business and I ask you, how many books have read about selling, marketing, leadership, human relationship, negotiation, cash flow management etc and you say none, I will tell you, “Guy, go and get a job or go and read good books about business”
But why do I claim that you cannot get an authomatic success, even with the best business ideas in Nigeria, without adequate business skills?
Running a business is a battle; if you cannot kill, you cannot win
The truth is, business opportunities are like natural resources in Nigeria … it is everywhere.
Maybe you do not know, I will tell you. The natural resources in Africa alone is too much that it is enough for the whole world to rely on. Go and search google for “natural resources in Africa“ and you will ask, why then is Africa poor?
Profitable small, medium and large scale business opportunities are everywhere.
If I start listing them (just as I did at the beginning of this tutorial), you will simply tell me, “Steve, I know all these businesses, my real problem is that many people are already doing these businesses.
How can I win the market, please? “
Now you see, the real question is not about knowing the business to do, it`s about knowing how to do it to make it successful and profitable.
That is what I have being discussing with you since.
To summarize all this, don`t forget, business world is a battle field where thousands of people are fighting for the same consumers.
If anybody tells you that selling rice, beans or yam will make you rich, help me to tell such person that he is a liar.
If anyone tells you that producing bread or soap will make you rich, this is what I have to tell you, producing even phones, computer or even cars will never make you rich.
There many phone manufacturers and car manufacturers who have failed and get off from the market. Didn’t you know about Nokia, a multi-billions dollars company that went almost bancrupt before Microsoft bought it?
This should tell you something about your ntending business venture!
My Last Words;
There’s no magical business ideeas in Nigeria that can make you millions.
It’s not really about the business you want to start, instead, it’s about how you do your business.
What determines how you do your business is your business knowledge, skills and team.
Build up your business skills. Read many good business books, articles and websites.
After you’ve equiped yourself with the appropriate business skills, then you can think of a business to start.
The following are some of the quick business ideas in Nigeria;
(You can click on any of them that we have written about before to learn more)
- Poultry farming business
- Cassava planting and processing business
- Transportation business
- Importing and selling used clothes
- Cattle farming business
- Producing and selling furnitures
- Exportation business
- Beverage producction and marketing
- Goat farming business
- Bottle water business
- Fish farming business
- Haulage services
- Snail farming business
- Hotel business
- Plantain farming business
- Fast food restaurant
- Pig farming business
- Importing and selling electronics
- Rice farming business
- Private primary and secondary school
- Real estate investment
- Frozen food sales
- Online business
- Turkey farming business
- Used car sales
- Importation business
- Bulk SMS Services company
- Waste management services
- Animal feed production and sales
- Software and game development
- Website programming and designing company
- Sport viewing center
- Travel agency company
- Ice cream production
- Biscuit production and marketing
- Palm oil plantation, production and marketing
- Fashion designing company
- Solar and invatar company
- Security training company
- Hair stylist company
- Online store business (like the likes of Jumia and Konga)
- Wine production company
- Party management business
- Laundry services
- Video and photography company
- Pharmaceutical company
- Trustworthy network marketing
- Electrical supply and services company
- Automobile rapairs and fleet management services
- Car hiring company
- Catering services company
- Computer training/ICT center service company
- Party rental services
- Mobile phones repair company
- Mobile phone/laptop selling company
- Mobile toilet company
- Blogging (if you know how to write)
- Information marketing (if you have valuable information Nigerians could pay for)
- Freelance writing for website owners and news sites
- Scool uniform making company
- Modern bread making and marketing company
- Day care services company
- Pet breeding company
- Modern block industry company
- Branding consultancy company (if you know a lot about branding)
- Management consultancy company (if you know a lot about business management)
- Affliate marketing business (selling other people’s products online)
- SEO consultancy company (like my friend at VTN Company)
- House paintaing company
- Tie making company
- Cooking gass supplying company
- Soap manufacturing (like Unilever)
- Just add anything here
By that I mean, any business could make you rich and no business can guarantee your business success, if you don’t know how to start, run and make business successful
Here at the ABC, our goal is to teach you how to make a business successful.
If you take time to learn from tons of things we have for you here, you will soon discover that you can sell water or air, or just anything and make money.
Lear from our wealth of experience.
Join our on-going 9-Day business training HERE
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