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[Starting a Business] Advice for Young Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Running a business is probably one of the hardest skills to learn, especially when you are in your 20s.

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There are indications that more businesses will spring up in Nigeria following the frantic moves by the government to ensure the implementation of the proposed Nigeria Startup Bill 2022.

The bill seeks specifically to ensure ease of doing business in the country and is interesting because it will boost the confidence of young aspiring entrepreneurs and spur innovation.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy’s 2018 Frequently Asked Questions, roughly 80 percent of small businesses survive the first year.

Further, only about half of small businesses survive passed the five-year mark, ranging from 45.4 percent to 51 percent depending on the year the business was started. Beyond that, only about one in three small businesses get to the 10-year mark and live to tell the tale.

In Nigeria, it is tough due to many factors, especially from the economic and regulatory points of view. However, before starting any business, there are fundamentals you need to understand.

Some pieces of business advice will prepare young aspiring entrepreneurs ahead of the task ahead. Even if they are operating in a tough climate, it is still imperative that some level of knowledge is needed to navigate the business world.

As Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” Believe that you can succeed, and you’ll find ways through different obstacles. If you don’t, you’ll just find excuses

Business Advice

Ekeoma Samuel who runs an electronics shop in Lagos told TechEconomy that there is zeal amongst the Nigerian youth to start their businesses even though they have no clue how hard it can be to survive.

He said aside from being ambitious, there is the monetary side of things which is the capital investments to kick off.

“You just need to invest, maybe all your money is just the beginning. There is also a need to give everything in terms of dedication and commitment which are some qualities that aren’t really easy to come by.”

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According to Samuel, depending on what kind of business the person is trying to venture into – it might require convincing other people to risk their money.”

Meanwhile, Uche Onyekwelu, Chief Executive Officer of Stuch Beddings started her business with N10,000 from her NYSC allowance deals on sewing, ironing, packaging, and delivering new bed sheets to customers across the country said having an understanding of marketing works.

She explained that before starting her business, she had previously invested time and money in wire works and also worked as a make-up artist.

“I knew what I did not like about those businesses, and that guided my decision when I chose to go into sales of bedding.

“At this point, I can never quit this business. I will only add more businesses so that my empire will keep expanding.”

Paul Howey, Founder at Talkroute wrote that – running a business is probably one of the hardest skills to learn, especially when you are in your 20s.

Howey said “if you are 20 and about to start a business, understand it might be successful by the time you are 30.

“Unfortunately most 20-year-old business owners will give up when they aren’t successful by 22 and start another business. Then again at 24… and 26…”

He said by the time they are 30 they will have far less than they would’ve had if they would have just excised the required patience, to begin with.”

In response to questions, Justin Tan, Facebook Marketer and Founder of 6-Figure Companies advised that any aspiring entrepreneur should talk to people, and finding solutions to their problems is key.

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He said most first-time entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing on a product first and then trying to find customers afterward.

Instead, first, find people who have problems and are willing to pay money to solve them, then find a solution for them afterward, Tan said.

“The biggest pain in my ass is sourcing uniforms every year. They cost a ton, get delivered late, and end up looking really bad.”

“When my old coach told me this about his soccer school and I confirmed it with other people in the industry, I realized I had an opportunity.”

According to Tan, one of the biggest challenges was when his coach and most ex-pat soccer teams in Hong Kong faced was they couldn’t communicate with the local suppliers and so they were getting ripped off.

He said, they were already buying substandard products, so if I could provide something better for the same amount of money or less, then I could make a business out of this.

Justice Okamgba functions as CONTENT STRATEGIST for TechEconomy.ng with penchant for content planning, development, analysis, management, and measurement. Contact: [email protected]

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