4 must do before your start your online business in Nigeria

Are you eager to start an online business in Nigeria? Before you venture into any online business, here are 4 things you must consider so that you can fast track your way to be successful without having to waste time later on these. Online business provides a massive opportunity for those with the required skills as many Nigerians are getting online. According to expert predictions, over 85% of Nigerians will be online by 2023. Which means that about 180 million people will be online. If you minus the children, very old people and maybe those not employed and therefore do not have strong buying power, you will still be left with over 50 million potential consumers. Well, this is the right time to start building a business online in Nigeria. On the left is my video on my YouTube channel that explains this topic. Lets dive into the 4 must consider to start an online business in Nigeria.

WHAT: Knowing what you want to sell

This is basically the first thing every entrepreneur looking to venture into online business or any business has to think about properly. I do not mean, just know the name of the product but find out how viable the product will be in the next coming years. You do not want to build a business around a product that is seasonal and might get out of trend. So knowing exactly the features of the particular product is important. And I urge you to look beyond tangible products and check out services that can be offered online as well. There are many services you can market online.

When you begin to research for what type of product you will sell online, make sure to look at the competitors. I would rather call the competitors your mentors because they have already started and you are now exploring their progress to start your own business. Look at bigger brands that are already becoming successful online like Jumia, Etsy, Amazon. What is their top selling product? Can you get these products to sell? Depending on the skills you already have or can acquire, you can venture into services like content creation. I have a blog on how to start a content creation/developer/marketing business online.

So invest some time to do your product analysis. Your product analysis must include the pricing, cost for sourcing the product, who manufactures the product. If you will manufacture the product, then make sure to check for raw materials availability. I always encourage entrepreneurs to focus and choose one core business. If you want to manufacture, then focus on production and let others do your retailing. If you want to retail, then focus on retailing and let other produce. This is a very effective strategy to grow fast and not to stretch yourself too thin.

WHO: who will buy

This aspect is so crucial and we often forget to consider the potential customers at the beginning. Because we believe the product will sell, doesn’t mean it will sell. Who do you intend to target this demands a thorough customer analysis which means you research to know who the potential person is that would want that product. Their lifestyle, where they go, how much they will be ready to pay for that product. All these simple factors will affect the success of your online business in Nigeria. How do you find these questions out?

Simply by also studying the competitors. Who do they target. Look around your network, who uses this kind of product. Look at medis adverts or social media campaigns where similar products or exactly that kind of products are marketed. Who is the target audience. Begin to draft out a potential customer profile. Profile must include simple demographics like age, gender, location, job status, religious status and so on. Are they on social media? What do they like? What area do they live in? Where do they shop?

HOW: How will you sell?

After you are sure of the products or service and you know the target customer, now is time to develop a plan on how you will deliver the product. Here I want you to consider who will do the delivery. It is an online business, so the potential customer will order online and you will have to have a platform form where they can place orders. So it is either you host your one platform. Check So if you are looking into where to host your platform, check Whogohost to host your platform in Nigeria.

Starting off, you can sell your products on existing platforms. Check such existing online platforms to know their conditions. Some offer delivery, others expect you to manage the logistical delivery. If you have to manage the delivery, then you will need to research for delivery companies like ACE, Area boy express or such. Some people use the classic Uber, bolt or Taxify drivers to make delivery. Find out a low cost and effect system that will work for you.

WHY: Why should a customer buy?

This is the last aspect that is very crucial. Now that you want to venture into online business in Nigeria, remember that there are other competitors. Some of these competitors are large companies with a massive marketing team behind to address customers’ needs. If you are a solo entrepreneur who doesn’t have this kind of luxury, then crafting a strategic plan to promote your products to the customer is essential. Here are some questions that can help you through this process.

What Makes your product better than the existing ones in the market? Is it the quality? Is your price cheaper? Do you package it differently? Do you have better promos? Is your delivery time shorter? Is it the social value you will create? Creatings social value with your business can be the key driver of sales. Take for example you have a product that is handmade and made to support a specific group of producers, you can use this to communicate your products value. Also, including the lifestyle flair of your product is very important. I have another blog on how to present your products properly to sell more online. You can learn some quick tips to make more sales online.

3 key takeaway from this blog
  1. Understand your product and define what makes it better than existing products in your target market.
  2. Know exactly who the potential customer is and profile them before you start.
  3. Learn how to best promote your product depending on the platform and method of delivery you choose.

Hey, thank you so much for stopping by and reading through to the end. I really appreciate it, because it takes so much to put this together. Hope you liked it. If you did, remember to share this blog on social media. Yes, more free training and videos on this topic will be out this month on YouTube. Not to miss out,  subscribe and turn on the notification on Youtube. It would be nice if you follow me on instagram as I share daily strategies and personal fun stuff. I am on facebook as well but to get it all in one place, subscribe to my free newsletter. Drop your comments, questions, feedback beneath using the comment section and I will be happy to answer your questions in my next video or blog.

Look forward to hearing from you soon!



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I am Joana, a Nigerian-born Austrian-based entrepreneur and activist. Founded Joadre in 2012 and continue to develop content to engage and empower African SMEs.

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