Are you dreaming of becoming your own boss? Becoming self-employed in Nigeria is an attractive idea, and it is also challenging. However, the most difficult part of starting a business is actually starting it. Without connections in high places or substantial capital, it is difficult to quit your regular job and develop a personal brand.
Are you sure it is time you quit your day job? Do not burn your bridges prematurely. You can foster a side business while employed. Here are three ideas that should help your gradual transition to entrepreneurship.
Do Not Do It for Free
The Joker said, “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” Forget unpaid internships. If you have already developed the necessary skills for your own business — for example, translation, copyrighting, or video editing — do not offer them for free. Make some extra cash and add it to your startup capital.
How can you turn your skillset into an actual business? Think about the optimal price point. Answering the following questions should help you put a price on your services.
- What is your target audience?
- What marketing strategy would be most effective considering its needs?
- What about the sales funnel?
- What are the costs?
- Who are your competitors and how much do they charge for similar work?
- What price can you charge to remain competitive?
Online trading is a completely different story. It allows you to become self-employed without the need to attract customers. Brokers like Forextime enable Nigerians to make money from their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Forex trading is the monetization of knowledge, so everything depends on you and the financial market. Create a demo account, develop your acumen and begin ECN trading. Traders do not need to think about pricing, as they have no clientele.
Use Freemium and Third-party Shops
Sometimes, charging customers right away is not a good idea. After all, even the New York Times newspaper offers free or discounted trials. If your company is only a startup, utilizing a freemium model is a great idea. You can monetize your platform without deterring prospective customers.
Freemium gives access to basic features free of charge. Those who want superior functionality pay a subscription fee. Every internet user has encountered this model. Today, it is offered by streaming services, newspapers, antivirus providers… the list is endless.
Alternatively, you may sell extra opportunities (e.g., gadgets) by connecting your website with third-party platforms like Amazon. This way, you will not need to grapple with security issues typical for e-commerce. Through an affiliate program, you will earn a commission from the purchases your visitors make.
Start as a Freelancer
If your startup will be focused on services rather than products, you may start as a freelancer and find clientele. Besides, you will get paid! Your potential clients can see what you are capable of and work with your company in the future. In a sense, this is similar to a discounted trial. Your prospective customers will not have to make any long-term commitments at this point. Here are a few crucial tips.
1. Identify the Niche
Do not cast a wide net. Your service should meet a specific need of your target audience. Successful startups are built either on a unique proposition or improvement of an existing solution.
2. Identify Essential Skills
You may be proficient in your trade, but if your communication skills are poor, getting repeat customers will be a challenge. Remember that interpersonal communication, your ability to listen and clarify the requirements is crucial. It defines whether the end product meets the customer’s expectations.
3. Build Your Portfolio
How can you prove your competence? Collect the projects you have completed in one place and create a convincing profile. This is proof of your worth. Add it to an attractive website with customer testimonials.
4. Create Your Elevator Pitch and Use It
What if you do not have any existing clients, and you do not know where to find them? Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr are perfect for people who are beginning their freelancing careers. They will help you find clients and establish yourself as a trusted expert.
Don’t Quit Just Yet
If you have a strong urge to leave your regular job, make sure your business idea has potential. Experts recommend you save up before quitting. On average, six months’ worth of salary should be sufficient. Until then, devote your spare time to preparing your startup, finding prospective clients and relationship building.