Do’s and Don’ts of Business Networking in Nigeria

Nigeria is blooming when it comes to business networking, and many people are now looking into opening up their own business in the country.

The country has witnessed a huge growth in the business sector lately, which has helped improve its economy. To make sure that you have a successful business as well, you need to follow a few steps and make sure you follow all the rules and regulations to be successful in what you do.

How to Start a Business in Nigeria

Starting a business in Nigeria is almost the same as doing so in another county. There are a few simple steps that you need to keep in mind and follow and once they are successfully complete, everything will start falling into place.

Develop a Business Plan

First and foremost, you need to make the business plan of your company. Whether you have it in softcopy or hardcopy, just make sure you write it down where you can easily see it again when the need arises.

The topics that you must cover in your business plan include:

  • Business description
  • Market demand
  • Competitive analysis
  • Design and development
  • Management and operation
  • Resources
  • Financial projections and forecast

Register Your Business

After picking a name for your business, you will register it with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission. You will be asked a few basic questions regarding the business. Once you have been verified, you will need to fill a form, input some details and pay the required fee.

Tax Registration

A very important step, you will need to register yourself with the tax office and make sure you pay all the necessary taxes associated with opening your own business. Once this is done, you will be given your tax identification number (TIN) for future tax purposes.

Obtaining Necessary Permits

Many businesses have a specific body looking at it. You need to make sure that you identify the one under which your business falls and get yourself registered with it.

Acquiring Office Space

If you feel that your business requires some space for operations, like a store, you need to look into the rental real estate and proceed to acquire it.

Creating a Website

Every business needs a website as not having one is considered a bit fishy. Hence, before you start promoting yourself, make sure you create your own website which is easy to find.

Implementing Marketing Strategies

To ensure the promotion of your business and to tell people you exist, you need to think up of some viable marketing strategies and implement them.

Building the Brand

Once you are done with marketing and you think you have your marketing in place, you need to work on your brand so that people can recall it and remember to stop by.

Promoting the Business

Even if you are well established or are new, you need to promote your business in different ways. Think of what is most effective for you and apply them to keep your business rolling. One of the most trendiest ways to promote business is online. There are many websites such as that allow you to connect and promote your business by creating product and company pages.

Business Opportunities in Nigeria

There are many different things that you can start working on. A little research can help you go a long way and help you identify which sector or business opportunity you can look into. Some of the trendiest opportunities currently include:

  1. Export of agricultural products
  2. Mini refinery
  3. TV or radio station
  4. Construction company

Best Business Ideas for Nigeria

If you’re thinking of doing business in Nigeria, there are a lot of options open to you. There are several lucrative business and investment opportunities in this country. The best part is that there are a lot of business options which don’t require all that much capital. We’ll discuss a few possibilities below:

1. Day-cares

There are more and more mothers all around the world, especially in Nigeria, who want or need to work after having children. This option should be open to them, but for that, a country needs a proper and reliable daycare setup. You could be the one providing this service and making a tidy profit while you’re at it.

2. Dry Cleaning and Laundering

As people are getting more and more successful in Nigeria, they want their clothes washed, starched and pressed in a certain way. Those who can afford it are even wearing delicate fabrics that require dry-cleaning instead of hand or machine washing.

By providing this service, one can be of help to those who may not have the time or know-how of how to wash their clothes properly. Hence, they would pay a decent sum for the convenience of someone else taking care of this chore.

3. Raw Foods

It’s a matter of not just how to start a business in Nigeria but also what is the most profitable business you can do with your skill, time, and effort. The Nigerian food market is a little different from others, especially those in the Western world. This is because Nigerians prefer to make and eat food made at home. They are, hence, more on the lookout for high-quality raw food rather than quick, processed meals.

Thus, you would be better off focusing on raw food than prepared ones. You can start off with the basic staples such as beans and rice and move on to other items when your business gains a name for itself.

4. Bakery

Since more and more people are working these days, they may have time to cook but not bake. Baking is a process that requires careful attention and almost constant watchfulness. Thus, a bakery business is very likely to become popular in Nigeria.

In order to start out, you may want to visit a school and offer your services for a bake sale or birthdays. Be sure that you’re working in an approved kitchen in order to avoid fines and/or penalties.


5. Cars

Cars are no longer a luxury in Nigeria. In fact, they’re essential for getting most things done in this country. You may consider a rental car service, which is a less risky and relatively low-capital option. No matter what you do with vehicles, though, make sure you operate within the limits of the law.

Before you start on one of the business opportunities in Nigeria, you should be updated on the legalities of your situation. See what taxes you have to pay and acquire any licenses you may need. If you keep things legal and above board, it would be much easier conducting any business mentioned above.


How to Start a Business in Nigeria

If you are considering doing business in Nigeria, you would have plenty to do before setting up shop. However, the requirements of a business in Nigeria’s economy are not always apparent. Below are some factors you should consider if you want to know how to start a business in Nigeria:

1. Make Sure Your Idea Is Viable

It’s easy to get a lot of ideas about a business venture, but are all of them useful, profitable, or even feasible? For instance, many people in Nigeria may want high-quality food but not the processed kind. Hence, your plan to supply TV dinners may not go so well. On the other hand, you may have quite a lot of success selling cured meats, freshly baked items, and anything that is nutritious and can contribute to a home-cooked meal.

You should also make sure that your business idea is possible in the existing infrastructure in Nigeria. This economy is notorious for having problems with power, roads, and other important facilities which are essential to a business. Thus, if your business involves a lot of travel, you may need to take a look at the condition of the roads you would use the most. There are several business opportunities in Nigeria, but not all of them are possible for everyone.

2. Make a Business Plan

Before breaking ground on your business, you should look at what it is you want to do and how you mean to accomplish it. This is best done by charting out a proper business plan. You can hire a professional to write it if you’re at a loss yourself.

Your business plan should include the following:

  • A description of your business
  • A professional summary of your activities
  • The demand for your proposed product or service
  • An analysis of the competition in the current market
  • How you mean to develop the company in the future
  • How the business would be managed and operated
  • What resources you need and how you would get them
  • A projection or prediction of your future finances

3. Registration

When you have a proper plan for business, the next step should be to register your company name with the CAC. This means the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission. This is the entity which registers all the businesses in Nigeria.

Registering would mean answering some questions about your company. You would have to tell them what kind of business you mean to do, the number of partners, stakeholders, etc. You would also have to tell them the name of your business in order to make sure it hasn’t already been taken by anyone else. This would also ensure that your name wouldn’t be copied by any competitor later on.

There would be a lot of advice floating around about several aspects of conducting any kind of business in Nigeria. You would have to glean the correct, useful and updated information in order to make your venture a success.

Hassles of Doing Business in Nigeria

Before one looks into how to start a business in Nigeria, they should be aware of the problems with such ventures. While the flourishing cities like Abia, Lagos, and Abuja are booming with entrepreneurial businesses, they are not without their problems. Read on to see whether you can manage these hassles or not:

The Current Situation

There are, no doubt, several business opportunities within Nigeria. However, there are just as many stories of business failures as successes. International groups and companies are increasingly pulling out of the Nigerian economy due to problematic regulations and difficult economic conditions.


In order for any business to be properly successful and profitable, it must have the system that enables it to function. This means basics like gas, electricity, and water supplies. There are several problems with the supply of such amenities in Nigeria, especially for businesses that want to expand. Hence, many companies and ventures would find their work interrupted, stalled, or even made impossible by the erratic systems.

While there have been economic reforms by new governments, the state of the power supply in Nigeria remains sadly deplorable. This could affect any kind of business, whether it’s a multinational franchise or a tiny private venture like a barber, tailor, or mom and pop store. You may have to look into solar panels or other sources in order to maintain an uninterrupted supply.

A rising tide doesn’t raise people who don’t have a boat. We have to build the boat for them. We have to give them the basic infrastructure to rise with the tide – Rahul Gandhi

Transport Network

Many businesses would like to have their factories and outlets near either their market or their source of raw materials. It is usually not possible to be near both, so some transport costs must be incurred. If nothing else, one would have to factor in the labor that needs transport to work every day.

Unfortunately, the transport system in Nigeria is not that great. Many roads are in need of some serious work, and there is a long way to go for the railways. Hence, the costs and effort of transporting labor, raw materials, and the finished product itself could be too high to allow a profit.

Poor Funding

When you set up a business, you would naturally want some sort of funding, grants or subsidies. A lot of money goes into buying supplies, machinery, rent, and other costs. However, there is not much of a setup for funding in Nigeria. If you don’t have most of the money yourself, you may have to depend on foreign investors rather than local government subsidies or bank loans.

The banks in Nigeria have some way to go before they can trust new entrepreneurs. If any new business does get a loan, it will have to deal with high interest rates or collateral demands. This makes it very hard for the business to stay afloat for a long time.

No matter what the hassles of doing business in Nigeria are, they are tempered by the benefits available by catering to that society. There are a lot of promising opportunities and loads of customers just waiting for the next best thing. It is, hence, worth struggling a little to succeed a lot in the future.