If you have been thinking about starting an online business in Nigeria, opportunities are out there with a number of different online business models, but it is very important to be prepared.
Let’s see 14 very important things needed to build an online business that is profitable and sustainable.
1. You Need a Computer
In today’s digital age, efficiency and speed are a necessity, you don’t only need a computer, you need a very good computer. A computer with reasonable storage capacity and good speed
For a country like Nigeria where power is not so stable, you need a laptop computer with a durable battery, the battery of your computer should be able to power it for at least two (2) hours when unplugged at full charge.
A slow computer is going frustrate your business growth.
2. You Need a Smart Phone
Aside from smooth communication, the functionalities that the modern-day smartphone brings will make your online business flourish. Camera, Apps, Memory, File sharing, etc.
3. You Must Have an Email Account
This may sound funny, but we still have people who are doing business today without having an email account, some have it but they are not making the best use of it. To do sign up for offers, as a means of ID, communication and file transfer. An email account is a must-have. Gmail, for instance, is great, you can manage your contacts, emails, and files. Creating an email account with Gmail will allow you to grow your business with free Google apps like; Keep, Chrome, Contact and Files and Drive.
4. You Must Have Bank Account
Be it a personal or a business account, you cannot start doing business online without a bank account. This is where you receive payment for sales that you make. To do business online, you need to open an account with a bank that makes it possible and easy for you to receive payment online from anywhere in the world. In Nigeria I can recommend GTBank, you can approach your bank and ask how you can receive online payment into your account.
5. You Must Have a Credit Card
Online business is about buying and selling, every business must buy one thing other. A credit card is needed to shop online. To pay for hosting, antivirus, buying a domain name or signing up for a tool and so on, you need a card that can be used for online payment.
6. You Need Training and Education
Sound resource management ensures wise usage of resources available to you for your online business and you will require a number of skills to start and run any business. So it is very important to identify the skills needed to develop or improve so that you can succeed.
William Pollard, Chairman, Fairwyn Investment Company said
“Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.”
So investing in quality training is key to the success of an online business.
7. You Need Money
It may be true what they say, that it is possible to start a business without money. I am not sure that it is applicable to online business. To start your online business, I strongly advise that you save some amount of money. Money is needed to connect to the internet in Nigeria, money is needed to pay for adverts, buy the service of freelancers and quality training and education. To start an online business in Nigeria, I recommend you have at least N50,0000.
8. You Need Time
Building an online business takes time. Even though you can start your online business as a side hustle, you still need to pay the sacrifice of time. Time to research, time to attend to customers, time to attend training, time to write, time to check emails, check reviews, study competitors and strategize for growth. If you are not ready to create time for your online business, there is no point in starting an online business.
9. You Need Bookkeeping App
You’ve got to keep records while doing your online business, this will make it easy for you to make decisions and strategize for growth. To tracking your income and expenses and make informed financial decisions you will need Bookkeeping. Zoho Invoice, CloudBooks, and ZipBooks are free and good Bookkeeping software for small businesses that you can use for your online business.
10. You Need Online Payments System
You need a fast and safe way to receive online payment, Payment gateway providers are available that allow you to collect payment into your account for products and services provided online. The most popular is PayPal. But in Nigeria, Paystack is great, It allows you to set up receive online payment without owning a website and you don’t have to know anything about coding.
11. You Need a Website
Your website is the online epicenter, the hub of your marketing efforts. To build any kind of online business, you need a website. The good news is that websites are a lot cheaper and easier to create now that they in years back. With N50,000 you can own a responsive website or you can build one for yourself if you are using website builders.
12. Social Media Presence
Depending on your business and the niche that you are in, you need a Facebook, Twitter Instagram, and LinkedIn page. Social media presence will help boost your online presence and increase awareness for your business. Remember the more people see your business, the better for you. people are a lot more likely to do business with you if they have seen your business or heard about it before they need to buy from you. It makes them a lot more comfortable. People can also communicate with your business over social media.
13. Landing Page and Autoresponder Email
To succeed online, you need to build a list. One popular way to do this is to offer people something for free, in exchange for their contact information (name, email address and phone number). A landing page allows people to opt-in before taking your free offers. Leadpages, MailChimp, and uCraft are good for landing page setup is you are starting and don’t have a lot of money. The Autoresponder feature or software is to collect the people’s emails and communicate with them automatically.
When you fill out forms online and get a response immediately, it is an Autoresponder that is at work. Aweber, MailChimp, GetResponse, and Leadpages are popular tools to help you with both landing pages and Autoresponder.
14. You Need Motivation
Building a profitable and sustainable online business is not a day job.
We will all agree that willingness to do anything affects efficiency, and due to the demands of time, changes will set in and most time this comes with a lot of discouragement. To remain focused and willing to keep finding new ways to reach our going of owning a successful online business, motivation is key.
Reading books, watching movies, listening to business news, engaging in talks with mentors and successful business owners and attending events are great ways to find motivation.