Dear small business owner, Nigeria has its business peculiarities, please, your physical presence is required, even if for the first 3 years of the business.
I know that business coaches teach us to grow our business, so it can run without us.
I agree with them.
I however believe that you should dedicate some years of 100% attention (working fulltime) to the business.
Running a business in Nigeria is not same as running a business anywhere else.
Here are a few reasons why Nigeria is different and your business begs for your full attention, especially in it early days:
1. Finding affordable and good talent for a small business is difficult
2. Because talent is hard to find, you have to invest time in training your own people
3. Nigerians do not naturally apply a sense of ownership to something that is not theirs. There is a general ‘anyhowness’ towards something that is owned by another.
4. Lack of basic infrastructure in Nigeria, causes a business onwer to take several quick decisions. Someone else running the business at an early stage may not be able to.
5. Schools do not train on entrepreneurship in very practical ways, so, most business owners are learning as they launch their businesses.
6. Nigerian customers, especially at the early stage of a business, want to meet and buy from the owner. They feel they get better prices, better service and more attention.
Please feel free to add your own reasons to the list.
Dear small business onwer, Nigeria is not a place where you launch a business and you do not arrive there daily.
If you have money to invest and you are unable to show up each day for the first 3 years, I advice you take up a money market investment or any other near zero-risk investment.
These days, entrepreneurship competitions now demand that you work fulltime for the business, before they give you the funding.
Think about this – the reason a rich man does not hijack every business idea and launch it is because he understands that business requires more than funding. He would rather take that money and invest it in someone who has the passion and time to run it fulltime.
My advice has always been- if you cannot be involved in running a business in Nigeria, do not launch it yet. If possible, change the business model to a way that allows you run it.
Example: You want to buy a bus to do transportation business, but you have a fulltime paid job. Maybe you can give that money to CrowdyVest to invest in their new business called Plentywaka. Then collect your 22% per annum returns in peace.
* this is not an advert, it is only an example.
I have seen far too many people invest money in businesses they thought could run without them, at a very early stage, and they lost so much money.
What are your thoughts?
Work fulltime in your small business?
Give it to someone to run from day one?
Please share, so we all learn.
Chioma Ifaeanyi – Eze