The first step to achieving business success is getting your mind right. It starts with the mindset. Science and religion agree that every physical object or entity is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality. The same goes for businesses you are about to start. If you have a limiting mindset, even if you have millions of naira in startup capital, you’d squander it. It’s just a matter of time.
While money is crucial to start as an entrepreneur, it should not be why you have not started already. There are other ways to navigate the early days of entrepreneurship. If it proves difficult to raise money for the kind of businesses you would like to do, why not temporarily focus on the ones you don’t need money to start and build from there? Start from where you are!
Here are four businesses you don’t need money to start but require hard work and resourcefulness.
Dropshipping means owning an online retail store without spending a dime on inventory. For example, you sell smartphones but don’t stock them, either because you don’t have money or try not to tie down cash. Instead, you wait till you get an order, collect money from your customer, remove your markup (profit) and purchase the phone from a third-party supplier, and then you ship it to your customer. This way, your own money is not involved. You serve as a bridge between the customer and the supplier. And this method also eliminates the need for renting a physical space to stock products.
If you want to join the dropshipping train, the first thing to do is pick a niche that you understand or are familiar with, do your research, find a supplier, manage your finances, and choose your platform. In choosing your online platform, you can decide to have your own eCommerce store or join existing marketplaces such as Jumia, Konga, and so on.
To start, all you need is your smartphone or laptop, internet connection, and social media account. The secret in this business is to recognise people’s needs and help them meet them.
Drop services (Service Arbitrage)
Unlike drop shipping that deals with physical products, drop servicing deals with services. In this business, you sell a service to a customer for a specific price and hire someone else to execute the job for lesser pay.
For example, you secure a web development project from a client for N100,000 and hire a professional web developer to build the website for N50,000. This means you would make a 50% profit on the job. Essentially, you don’t need to own particular skills, but you need to be resourceful enough to find highly skilled people that can do the job.
Drop servicing is scalable, and if you want to get into it, there is the need to choose a niche. When you have an understanding of it, build your brand around it. Also, understanding the job will help you do a quality review before delivering to the clients.
There are also online platforms you can leverage to get clients – Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer.com, and so on.
You immediately think of millions and billions of naira when you hear real estate business. Yes, the property business is capital intensive, but you don’t necessarily need money to generate revenue in the industry. You can become a realtor, an independent salesperson who helps people buy properties in exchange for a commission. This commission usually ranges from 5% to 15% or more. A realtor can go from being broke to making millions in a matter of days just from a single deal.
Alternatively, you can set up a real estate agency business that helps individuals or corporate bodies secure suitable accommodation. In Lagos, the agency fee on rented properties is between 10% to 20%. With the increase in Nigeria’s population, real estate is a sure-bet way for any entrepreneur to make good money.
Just like every business, you need to find your niche. It would be best to focus on one or two aspects of the value-chain- selling landed properties, ready-built buildings, property letting/leasing, etc. You can try it all at first to see which you would prefer to focus on.
Become an influencer
The influencer culture has become so lucrative that many young people would do desperate things just to be known and garner a huge following on social media. And you don’t need to have millions of followers like popular entertainers do before you can start making good money as an influencer.
While being a significant influencer with a huge following is good, it is not the only lucrative category of influencers. Depending on the number of followers an account has, there are different influencer levels. There are mega, macro, micro-influencers, mid-tier, and nano influencers.
According to MediaKix, mega influencers accounts with 1 million followers and above, macro-influencers are those with 500 – 1 million, mid-tier is 50k – 500k, micro is 10k – 50k while nano accounts are ones with 1k – 10k followers. Depending on a brand’s marketing budget and objectives, each category of influencers gets paid to influence one company or another.
But to get to this point, you have to put in the work. All you need is an internet-enabled smartphone, which you probably already have, and a consistent content creation plan. Creating and posting engaging daily is non-negotiable if you want to become a paid influencer. The more good content you churn out, the more followers you garner, and the more probability your content will go viral.
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