7 Steps To Start Your Own Business While Working Full-Time In Nigeria
7 steps to start your own business while working full-time in Nigeria If you’re working on starting a business while still fully employed, you’ll have the best of both worlds. A stable, dependent income will give you the confidence in testing the waters in a new business. How can you take your business idea and turn it into a company while still working?
For many people in Nigeria, the very thought of running a business while still fully employed is outrageous. But think again; with a full-time job that pays you a regular salary with benefits, you have a better edge over the unemployed intending entrepreneur. The reason is that you’ll always have something to fall back on in the first few months of your start up while still working to establish it, and just in case your business idea doesn’t work out as planned.
The last thing you’ll need while trying to grow your business is the added stress of unpaid bills and pilling debts draining your savings account, without a clear path on earning it back.
Here are seven steps to starting your own business while full-time in Nigeria.
- Get it right
Before you proceed to launch your business; ensure that you don’t cross your employer. Make sure you are operating on solid legal grounds, you don’t want your employer coming after you when your business eventually becomes a success. The best way to go about this is to be very sure you’re not working that is related to the business of your employer, and to work on it in your own time and with your own equipment. This is particularly important if it refers to inventions and intellectual property (IP) that you develop as part of your job. Anything developed on company time and using company property, belongs to the company; so tread carefully. Don’t get yourself in a fix. Do legal research to know your limits, to avoid getting into a whole lot of trouble with your employer and the law.
- Get a partner or cofounder.
Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and investor in tons of successful companies recently said;
“Most often two or three people is much better. When I look at these things as an investor, and I say, ‘what is a good composition of a project and founders that are likely to succeed?’ Its usually two or three of them”.
Starting up a business while still working is certainly not as easy as it comes; but with a good cofounder, your chances of success is greatly increased. That being said; cofounder disagreements are one of the number one reasons for start-up failures. So you need to work on getting a partner you’re highly compatible with and have worked with successfully together on a project.
Cofounders add to your company skills, they help bear the risks and workload. Having a cofounder will help improve your business’ productivity and will provide you with someone you can share the emotional burden. Think about it like a marriage. Always work with partners that believe in you and are way smarter than you are. Ensure that you follow all legal protocol for entering into partnership; to avoid they don’t eventually leave with a larger portion of the ownership with them.
- Validate your business idea.
Remember to validate your business idea. Just because you have a great business idea does not mean it’s ‘really’ a great idea which the market will buy into. Test your idea rigorously to reduce any start up risks along the way.
Here’s how to;
- Customer interviews. Move put in your spare time to interview your prospective market to see if they actually have the problem that you think they have. Find out how they’ve been solving the problem, also find out how your products/services can be used to solve the problem, and what it’s worth to solve the problem.
- Use prototypes. The most important thing in this stage is to keep an open mind. The goal of a prototype is to have your product delivered to your customers at a very inexpensive rate, such that it meets the highest pain point of your customers. The idea behind using prototypes is to get feedback from your customers, so that you can work on improving the product.
- Surveys are quite similar to customer interviews. Only that thus time, you get to reach hundreds and thousands of prospects. Surveys give more definitive views of your product. Present questions using a 5 point or 7 point scale, so that respondents can answer on a range.
Example of a bad survey questions
Do you read at night?
Example of a good survey question.
Do you read at night?
- I try to but sometimes I can’t get around to doing it.
- Almost always
- Always. I make it a point to.
- Start generating revenue.
There is nothing as exciting as having customers who are actually ready to pay for your products/services. Paying customers are the real game changers.
So now that you’ve done your bit and spoken with a number of prospects, you will have to take active steps to find customers who are ready to pay for your product/service. Once you start having customers who are ready to do business with you, you can now up your marketing and advertising game. Work on improving your products so as to get repeat customers. You can even get your early customers to give you quality referrals.
Emotionally; nothing can boost your morale that: this is actually a business like actual paying customers.
- Do rigorous networking
Now is time to do rigorous networking. Leverage the fact that you still have a job to network like crazy. Network inside the company as well as outside. Reach out to people who might be potential employees, potential customers, potential advisors, potential attractors, potential investors and potential mentors. Be fervent. Reach out to as many people as you can. Spread the world. Your network base will probably influence your business a lot more than you know, so you want to make the best of it. These connections are all potentially valuable, nobody is too small or too big. You know how it goes with networking; you’ll meet someone who knows someone that is in need and is looking right now for the solution your business provides.
- Let your spare time count.
Your time is one of your most valuable resources now, so make the best of it. For these next six months, you might not be able to fully roll with your normal routine. This is the time to cut back on so many stuff, this doesn’t mean that they are less important; it’s just that right now, you have to be willing to do some trade offs so that you can meet your goals.
You’re already running multiple jobs as it is; keeping your day job, trying to build your start up, not to mention; you may even have other major family commitments such as raising kids and maintaining a marriage! Whoa.
Oprah Winfrey once said, ” you can have it all, just not all at once”.
If you’re beginning to notice tension in your start up, now is the best time to make your every spare time count. Break down your goals and targets for the next six months, write it out, and take active steps to achieve those goals and targets every single day.
- Project a professional image for your business.
The outside world may not know how big or just how small your business is; just that you have a product/service that they are interested in. Nonetheless, it is necessary that you project a professional image about your company, in terms of your website, your customer service, your appointment setting, your fulfilment and your follow up.
You can hire freelancers to help you test the concept. If you need freelance programmers, try oDesk or eLance; outside suppliers or manufacturers, try Alibaba; graphic design or marketing, try 99designs or Fiverr; e commerce fulfillment, try fulfilment by Amazon (FBA); for general tasks and To do’s’ try TaskRabbit or Amazon Mechanical Turk.
Outsourcing your business will help reduce your workload and enable you to grow the business to a sufficient size, such that you can actually consider quitting your job. The bottom line is; you can pretty much get all these tasks done through outsourcing, to enable you manage any extensive operations without you needing to do it yourself.
When your company appears professional to the customers; they are more likely to believe in the solution that your business offers; and over time, this will help boost customer loyalty.
Looking forward to starting your own busness here in Nigeria, while still remain fully employed? Kindly contact us on 08105636015, 08076359735 or you can also send us a direct mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Starting a business while working full time is not the easiest things to do; but with focus, dedication, perseverance, courage and hardwork; YES YOU CAN! And when it’s finally time to say; “I quit”, you’ll know that it was all worth it. So when is the right time to quit your job? When you can proove to yourself that you can deliver a product or service that customers want and are willing to pay for.
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