HOW TO START AND GROW A PROFITABLE ONLINE BUSINESS IN NIGERIA

HOW TO KNOW WHAT ONLINE BUSINESS YOU SHOULD START IN NIGERIA

You have decided to start an online business. You have written out your reasons for being in business. You have the basic tools needed to get started. Now the question is, what should you do to earn some income? In today post, we will be reviewing how to go about generating ideas for businesses you can dabble into so you can start profiting from your business.

There are several ways to decide on what business to start. However, today’s task will help lay a foundation for making the right choice.

IDEAS ON WHAT YOU CAN DO TO START AN ONLINE BUSINESS

1. WHAT ARE YOU GOOD AT?
Can you speak your native language fluently? Are you good at dancing, singing, identifying when someone is unhappy? Can you repair electronic devices even though you didn’t receive formal training for it?

2. WHAT SKILLS DO YOU HAVE?
Do you know how to manage money well i.e. good at budgeting and financial management? Do you know how to teach toddlers and have them understand? Do you have website or graphic design skills?

3. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE IN THE PAST – INFORMAL WORK?
For example you might have ran some errands for people, you might have helped to babysit your cousin when you went to spend the holidays at your aunt’s, you might have sold items to your classmates while in school.

4. WHAT JOB ROLES HAVE YOU HELD IN THE PAST?
Have you worked as a sales executive before? Perhaps you have held a job role as a front desk officer to welcome visitors? Whatever job roles you have held in the past be it as an IT officer, Support engineer, HR personnel, you can note them down.

5. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING?
Some people love to wash clothes. Do you enjoying watching movies? Some people love to go shopping. For example I love to shop and to watch movies. Or perhaps you enjoy organising parties? Whatever you enjoy doing, note them all down.

6. WHAT BOTHERS YOU WHEN YOU SEE OTHERS DO IT WRONGLY? ARE THERE THINGS YOU SEE DONE AND FEEL COULD BE BETTER CARRIED OUT?
Note them down. You might be able to create a better solution that people will find appealing.

7. WHAT KNOWLEDGE DO YOU HAVE AS A RESULT OF TRAINING OR SCHOOLING?
For example, you might know how to treat wounds because you are a trained nurse. You might know how to repair electronics because you were taught in the technical school you attended. You might know how to handle book keeping because you are a trained accountant. List out the knowledge you have that might be of benefit to others.

8. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT TO DO BY YOURSELF SUCH THAT YOU HAVE BECOME QUITE GOOD IN IT?
Some people are very good at playing video games. They have learnt some tricks and hacks that give them an upper edge each time they play. Are you one of such people?

9. WHAT KNOWLEDGE HAVE YOU GAINED BY VIRTUE OF YOUR ASSOCIATION TO A GROUP, FAMILY OR CLUB?
It could be a special baking recipe that has been passed down the years to you by your great grandmother. It might be even be new knowledge gained from being a part of a Facebook group, church, or a network marketing group.

10. WHAT CHALLENGES OR FAILURES IN YOUR LIFE HAVE YOU OVERCOME AND CAN TEACH TO OTHERS?
Some people have survived traumatic experiences and can now help others overcome similar experiences. For example, if you have learnt how to lose weight and maintain a slim figure, you can help other do the same.

11. WHAT ABILITIES COME NATURALLY TO YOU SUCH THAT YOU TAKE THEM FOR GRANTED?
Do you know how to persuade people to do almost anything you want them to? Perhaps you can tell when someone is unhappy regardless of if the person is laughing or not. Whatever comes like second nature to you but may not be so natural to other people should be written down. You might be able to profit from your unique abilities.

Did you know that you can watch movies and blog about them? Such a site can end up being a high traffic site if people enjoy your style of writing and the reviews you give. You can choose to monetise such a site via advertising. You may even get paid by producers who desire you review their movies as it could lead to increased sales for them.

Do you see how all these tie up? Hence do not miss writing down whatever comes to mind as an answer. You would be surprised to find out that you can monetize your experiences and make a fortune from them.

A way to answer some of the questions above is to look inward and do some self discovery sessions.

 

 

IDENTIFY A NICHE FOR YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
Now that you have written down things you can do, teach or help people with, you need to determine what business you should invest your time and resources in.

There are 4 main niches/markets that are profitable when considering an online business.

They are
1. Relationship niche (Marriage, Dating, Parenting, Divorce, Love etc)
2. Money and wealth niche (Real estate, Investing, Sales, Marketing, Financial management, Online business etc)
3. Health, fitness and wholeness niche (Weight loss, Supplements, Nutrition, Diet, Exercise etc)
4. Career (Career Coaching, Job placement etc)

The niches above are broad categories having sub-niches, some of which are listed in bracket beside them. Group your ideas under the niches above and identify your sub-niche/create a sub-niche if necessary. Your objective is to consider business ideas that belong to sub-niches that are profitable, not saturated and in great demand.

For example you can have this sub-niche:
Wealth niche > Online Business > Lead generation via LinkedIn advertising

HOW TO DETERMINE BUSINESS TO INVEST RESOURCES IN

1. PROPERLY ANALYSE YOUR TARGET MARKET
Do not start a business just because you know how to do the business. Ensure there are enough people in your target market who would want to buy from you. Most importantly, ensure you can identify who your ideal customers are and how to sell to them.

I can remember when I first started my business in the United Kingdom. I wanted to start with Unified Communications (UC) and VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services. I had experience managing those services at my previous place of work so naturally, I was excited about selling them.

I already knew about identifying my target market. However, I did not do proper market segmentation nor create a persona of my ideal clients.

For the VOIP services, my target customers were Nigerians living in the Diaspora who would love to call people in Nigeria. My product entailed providing a Nigerian number that could be used from anywhere in the world, without roaming charges, as long as the user had access to the internet. Call charges were also at Nigerian landline rates. However, most people I spoke to preferred to buy calling cards or bundled call packages from telcos who gave cheaper rates. In the end, I had to focus on other services like website design and hosting as I got more people who were interested in those.

In retrospect, the UC and VOIP services did not take off as expected because I didn’t analyse the market properly and I targeted the wrong people. If there is a market for your product/niche but you fail to consider factors like identifying your ideal customers, proper analysis of your target market, market segmentation etc your business will not last long.

 

1. FIND OUT IF PEOPLE ARE WILLING AND ABLE TO PAY
If you want to start an online business, it is important to know if your target customers in your niche are ABLE and WILLING to buy.
Russell Brunson, in his book “Expert Secrets”, gave an illustration of his friend who had created a course to help people play video games better. However, his friend had targeted kids as his customers. It was after he had spent a fortune launching his product he discovered his mistake; his target customers did not have credit cards to make their purchase and that affected his business.
You do not have to make the same mistake. Do not spend a fortune launching your online business without ensuring your target customers are willing and able to pay.

2. SELL WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO BUY NOT NECESSARILY WHAT THEY NEED
Always think NOT ONLY in terms of what people NEED but also what THEY WANT.
This is a profound truth as confirmed by Akin Alabi in his book “Small Business, Big Money”.
One of his students had created an Information Product on “How to obey traffic in Lagos. As much as it is great to obey traffic rules in Lagos, a lot of people will be more interested in knowing how to beat traffic rules to get to their destination on time.
Akin’s opinion of the product was that it was not likely to be very successful except the product had the backing of the government, perhaps by forcing it on motorists. Why? The product is something people NEED but not what they WANT.

Additionally,

HOW TO START A PROFITABLE ONLINE BUSINESS IN NIGERIA

If you have expertise or a passion or interest for a subject, you’re ready to start making money with a blog. With a service like Blogger (www.blogger.com), you can start up your blog totally free. You can also create your own site and secure your own hosting for a low price, which is generally the route I recommend.

You may think blogging is all about writing. And it can be if that’s what you want to do. But written blog posts are just the start. You can post photos, videos, and links to other sites, repost news and other articles… anything is game, really, as long as it relates to your niche.

Larger companies can hire an agency or full-time staff  to run their Facebook and Twitter accounts, but small businesses often have to handle their own social media marketing. With so many responsibilities, business owners are often too busy, overwhelmed or undereducated about the importance of social media to spend time developing and implementing a great social media strategy.

If you’re a person who loves leaving customer reviews on sites like Amazon, stop doing it for free. Word-of-mouth advertising is still a huge lead generator for many companies, and a lot of businesses are willing to share a portion of their profits with persuasive individuals who will promote their products to the public. As an affiliate marketer, you can promote other people’s business and get paid for it

Online Video

Have you watched a YouTube video lately? Of course you have! This is one of the world’s most popular websites, with more than 1 billion users watching hundreds of millions of hours of video each day. You can create you own youtube video and make money from it

Many small businesses don’t have room in their budget for a full-time IT employee, so when their systems go down, they’ll usually call a computer-savvy friend or family member. If you have experience working on computers and networks, you can eliminate their need to call in a favor and offer immediate remote technical assistance.

If you know HTML and have a good eye for design, you can launch a service to create attractive, easy-to-use websites for small businesses. Put your skills to good use for business owners who want to take their online presence to the next level. There’s nothing more off-putting than a poorly designed website, and often, it kills credibility. Build a comprehensive portfolio, and then create your own website to show it off and attract a steady stream of clients.

There’s an audience for everything, whether it’s making dollhouse furniture or creating organic dog food. With a specialty e-commerce store, you can reach those customers who are seeking your specific products. All you need is a web-hosting service with an integrated shopping cart feature or with e-commerce software, and your business will be operational in no time.

If you possess a great deal of business experience and knowledge, why not create a business that helps aspiring entrepreneurs find success? You can use your skills to help new business owners get off to a good start and help experienced entrepreneurs keep up with demand.

Do know how search engine optimization SEO works? The owners of a lot of smaller companies don’t realize how much of an impact search engine optimization (SEO) can have on their business. Educate those business owners on the power of SEO to help transform their websites into a more SEO-friendly property. Use your skills to show business owners  how to properly use keywords and structure content to get more traffic.

Do you have impeccable organizational skills? What about cleaning skills? Can you quickly and efficiently carry out these tasks? Maybe it’s time to put those skills to good use by becoming an online personal assistant or task manager.

Mobile applications are more popular than ever, and people are willing to pay good money for ways to manage their lives from their smartphones. If you have a great idea and happen to know coding, you can run with it and create your app yourself. If you just have an idea and don’t know how to code, there are plenty of software developers looking to collaborate with people on app creation.

Despite Instagram’s growing popularity, not all brands know what they’re doing on the app. If you have a background in social media and marketing and a passion for photography and Instagram, then this is a great way to make money while helping other businesses improve their content and thrive using instagram

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About Catherine Mayokun Egwali

Catherine Mayokun Egwali helps business owners establish authority and grow their businesses and income using proven technology and business strategies. She is a co-founder and COO of Switem Technology Solutions (www.switemtech.com) which helps business owners grow their businesses, income, and achieve results through the use of technology.
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