8 Things You Should Know Before Starting Your Business In Nigeria

Seven out of ten people feel the urge to start up their own business, the urge to be their own boss and enjoy all the luxury that comes with it.

The thought of not being fired, not being queried by anyone or having to wake up as early as 5a.m, beat traffic, sit in an office all day long just to make ends meet can be very soothing.

However, the truth is, starting a business in Nigeria isn’t really as easy as it sounds.

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In fact, most of the business brands fail in their first year of start-up, and a whooping 7 out of 10 business fail within 10 years.

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Launching your own brand could be difficult, and what keeps you going is what you have planned and the way you message your business.

Here are 8 things you should know before starting your own business.

Find A Business Idea You Are Passionate About

The primary goal behind launching a business is what will help you on the long-run.

Setting your priorities straight gives you a purpose to continue even when things aren’t going so smoothly which is normal in all businesses.

Making money is one of the major drives to starting a business but making this your main intention can discourage you even more.

Whatever your idea of business may be, let your passion or interests drive you, it will make starting up a business more fun and enjoyable than stressful for you.

Do You Truly Have An Audience For Your Business?

Honesty is the most important key to a great business. Being honest with yourself makes you a better business man or woman.

Creating a great business begins with solving the problem of the people.

Once you can solve a problem, and people are ready to pay for it, then you are good to it.

Ask yourself the big question; are people really in need of my service? The larger your customer base, the larger your business potential.

Making researches and quick surveys are one of the ways to prevent yourself from being completely ignorant.

These researches will be the foundation of the growth of your business.

Do Not Be Afraid To Start Small

Starting small shouldn’t be your greatest fear or discouragement, literally most great businesses now, started from somewhere.

As a matter of fact, going too big in the early years is one of the reasons why so many businesses failed earlier than they should.

So many entrepreneurs who were so confident of selling their business idea ended up investing all their capitals into it to make a big from start, only to fail.

Starting small gives you time to learn, become more dynamic and see the market structure while also securing your finances so you don’t go bankrupt.

It doesn’t matter if you have only one customer per week, it’s a process. Just take note of your progress and learn as you go.

A business name and logo that speak is one of the most creative parts of launching your brand.

Coming up with a perfect logo design to picture your services or products or a name that sells you out is an underrated process during business launching.

A logo and a brand name is one of the major factors that makes you stand out amongst your competitors and easily identifiable.

Coming up with names comes easy for some and could be an entirely difficult task to some.

Either ways here are a few ways you could get a brand name:

  • Using Acronyms: this is one of the commonest ways to come up with a brand name. Try the initials of your names or a phrase that you like.
  • Use nicknames: using your nickname makes it easier to identify you and your business anywhere in the world.
  • Use foreign languages: picking a Greek or Latin name gives your brand a stronger feel to it, making people more inquisitive about the origin of that name.
  • Switch up the spelling: this is another creative way of coming up with a brand name. Picking a word that conveys a meaning that sells out your brand but changing a word or two, spelling it out the way it’s pronounced too.
  • Use your own name: sometimes you may want to sound so professional that the need to use your birth name arises. If all other options don’t satisfy you, using your own name is the best way to be sure.

Whatever name you pick remember to keep it pronounceable and easier to remember.

Develop Necessary Skills

The secret to owning a successful business is being versatile as a boss.

In fact, god management skill could be the most important factor for businesses to survive.

While you can easily get things done for you by your workers, the ability to participate in all branches of your business makes you more independent and increase proficiency in your business.

Developing new skills helps you develop as an individual and this development will reflect in the growth of your business.

Whatever business you are going into, some skills are just as important as the main service or product you are selling. Some of these skills include:

  • Communication skills: in the world of business, people with good communication skills tend to be more successful because of their ability to be very social and communicate easily. Communication is key to all forms of business relationships. Do not be afraid to walk up to a random person to tell them what your business is about, you might meet your biggest clients this way. Also, if you cannot carry your followers along, you will form a bad leader and it will become difficult for you to grow the business.
  •  Leadership skills: The ability to give orders in the politest and authoritative way is essential. Also, a leader is more than just giving orders to the followers. You need to be able to inspire progress and share the vision with your followers. That way, they will be more diligent than ever. A good example of a good leader who inspires his followers is Tony Elumelu (the chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation)
  • Time Management
  • Marketing Skills

Plan Your Marketing Game

Advertising is the easiest way to put yourself in the business market.

There are several ways to advertise your business, and depending on the type of business you are into, some method just sells better.

For example, if you are into Sales of scholarship, exam and job past questions and answers, one of the best methods of advert will be through Online sponsored post on blogs that have your target audience as their main website visitors.

You can also run Facebook ads that are well targeted, and direct viewers to your sales page.

The point is, you need to find out what works best in your own case and that will depend on what you are selling.

Some other means of advertisement you can check include:

  • Billboards
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • TV commercials
  • Social media.

Find Out More About Your Target Audience

It is vey possible that your target audience is actually more than the people you have in mind.

This is why business research is actually a very important process before you start.

You can do small-scale and large-scale research before you start.

You can also check up on your competitors (big brands in your market already) or you can study closely related businesses.

Author Bio

Adelana John is a content writer and web designer. When he’s not writing or reading, he is most likely surfing the net for information. Check out his recruitment blog.

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Cucumber Farming in Nigeria: Guide On How To Start (2020)

In this post, we shall look at Cucumber farming in Nigeria. This plant is a highly nutritious vegetable that is grown highly in Africa, especially in Nigeria.

cucumber farming in nigeria

Cucumber is also one of the most consumed fruits in the world. What if I tell you that this fruit, which is rich in fiber and vitamins, aids in weight loss and reduces the risk of cancer which is some of its many health benefits? You might have bought this vegetable but might not be aware of its economic importance.

Some of the Health Benefits of Eating Cucumber include:

1. Repels Mouth odour

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Cucumber contains phytochemcials which kills bacteria, responsible for mouth odour. When you chew cucumber, the liquid it emits penetrates the gum and cavities of the tooth which helps to repel bad breath.

2. Keeps the Body Hydrated & Aids in Weight Loss

Just like other fruits, cucumber contains high water content, so it keeps the body hydrated and eliminates toxins from the body. Cucumbers are also low in calories and the high water content in cucumber, makes it ideal for those who are looking for vegetables to help them lose weight.

3. Improve and Aid Digestion

This natural vegetable aids and improve digestion; it contains high water content and dietary fiber, which is useful for the body in getting rid of harmful and toxic substance from the digestive system, also daily consumption of cucumber cures chronic constipation.

4. Reduces Cancer Risk

Cucumbers contains anti-cancerous compounds such as lariciresinol, pinoresinol, which helps the body fight against several kinds of cancer. Women are advised to take this fruit and make this part of their diet since they are prone to breast cancer.

5. Makes your Skin Fresh, Smooth and Younger

If you have noticed the skin of most vegetarians and models, you would see how smooth their skins look. Cucumber extracts have become one of the most used ingredients used in producing beauty creams. Eating cucumber also helps to fight against skin inflammation, eczema and helps keep the eye sharp. So, if you need that good looking skin, then make this fruit your companion.

6. Rich in Vitamins

Cucumber is a very rich source of vitamin; most of the vitamins present in it are highly needed by the body daily, everyday intake of these vegetables together with its peels, helps to replenish the vitamins needed by the body and it also boost the immune system.

7. Break Kidney Stones

Consuming cucumber daily helps to reduce the risk of having kidney problems. With the help of its anti-toxins, it helps in keeping the kidney up and going, removing kidney stones and reduces acid found in the body.

8. Stabilizes cholesterol level, cures diabetes and regulates blood pressure

If you are diabetic, then you should add this vegetable to your diet. Drinking cucumber juice helps cure diabetes because it contains a natural hormone that helps activate the pancreas that produces insulin. It also has a compound called sterols, which according to research, help reduce cholesterol levels. The presence of magnesium and potassium also helps regulate blood pressure.

Steps On How To Start Cucumber Farming in Nigeria

To venture into cucumber farming in Nigeria, a lot of proper planning needs to be done in order to produce the desired results. There are important things you have to look into which includes where to plant, when to plant and how to plant.

Once the planning stage is complete, a strategy should be put in place so as to reach your target market at their various locations. It is very important that you know your target market because this will prevent your cucumbers from staying too long on the farm after harvesting.

Without further ado, let us look at the processes involved in cucumber farming in Nigeria.

Step 1: Site Selection

Even if cucumber can be grown in any part of the country, there are still some things to look out for concerning the soil type for farming. Ideally, the soil should be loamy or clay and the land should have adequate access to water. The pH of the soil should be fairly neutral or slightly alkaline (close to 7.0).

Additionally, the area should have sufficient exposure to sunlight since light is very essential for not just cucumber growth, but plant growth. Have it at the back of your mind that your site selection should not be too far from your potential market or target customers.

A larger farmland gives you a greater yield. If your land is small, you can make do with it pending when you get a larger one.

Step 2: Land Preparation

Land preparation involves clearing the land and weeding it. Ensure that herbicides are not used to weed the land. This is because these herbicides contain chemicals that can affect soil quality and crop yield. It is advisable to apply organic manure to the soil in preparation for planting. Inorganic fertilizers like the NPK fertilizer can be applied in the ratio 15:15:15.

Step 3: Seed Selection

Seed selection is a very important step in your cucumber farming venture. Endeavour to source for seeds that are certain to give you great crop yield.

Seeds from Europe and America are not suitable for the Nigerian climate. However, seeds can be imported from Thailand since their climate is similar to that of Nigeria. If you need assistance on where to source for your seeds, you can visit the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture to get their recommendations on the best type of cucumber seeds.

Step 4: Planting

Cucumber can be planted at any time of the year. The plants generally need adequate water to thrive, so if you’re planting during the dry season, there should be an irrigation system in place to ensure sufficient water supply. You can plant on bed and you should ensure the right spacing between the plants.

Also, you can plant your seed in the nursery then transplant later to the farmland. However, the recommended method is planting directly on the farmland due to the fragile nature of the cucumber root hence transplanting could damage these roots. The seeds should be planted in damp soil. The soil temperature is also important prior to germination. Ideally, the temperature shouldn’t be between16 – 35C

The seed should be pushed slightly into the bed at about 1 to 2 cm from the soil surface. The spacing between plants should be about 1 foot apart while the spacing between rows should be about 4 to 6 feets. 3 seeds should be planted per hole; however once germinate occurs, you can thin the plants to 2.

Step 5: Post Planting

After planting, do ensure that you support the growing plant with stakes or pillars. Reason is that cucumber plants are climbers by nature and they require the necessary support for optimal growth.

Mulching is also an important activity. When you mulch, you reduce the quantity of fertilizer, you’ll need post planting because less nitrogen is lost via leaching. Also, mulching makes the soil warm and reduces weed growth.

Irrigation helps to promote the growth of cucumber. In fact, light irrigation increases the effectiveness of herbicides used in weed control. Irrigation is particularly important during fruit development. However, wetness of the foliage can allow for fungal disease infestation. Ideally, the plant should be watered daily once the seedlings begin to sprout.

Weeding should be done 20 to 30 days after planting. Liquid inorganic fertilizer or organic fertilizer can be applied every 2 weeks. Cucumber needs adequate nitrogen in the soil to grow optimally so you can apply an inorganic fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. However, mulching can help preserve the nitrogen content of the soil as stated earlier.

As it is with crops generally, pests and diseases can also affect cucumber farming. These pests include ladybird, beetles, spider mites and grasshoppers. Insecticides can be applied to control cucumber beetles. In the case of spider mites, apply the appropriate miticide.

Diseases that affect the cucumber plant include damping off, anthracnose, mildew and mosaic disease. As a way preventing diseases particularly fungal diseases, you should plant seeds that have been treated with fungicide. In the case of a disease like leaf spot and mildew, apply a fungicide once you notice any sign of the disease.

You can spray insecticides at regular intervals to control the pest. Livestock like cow and goats can also affect cucumber because these animals eat the leaves and fruits.

Step 6: Harvesting

Cucumbers are harvested when they are immature and green in color. They shouldn’t be harvested when the cucumber is ripe. It takes about 40 to 45 days for the cucumber to mature. However the time taken to mature depends on the variety of cucumber seed planted.

Harvesting is usually done manually and the cucumber should be handled with care to prevent bruises. Also, high impact damage due to the cucumber falling can cause internal bloating. This is why you should avoid dropping the cucumber when harvesting or transporting them.

Once the cucumber is harvested, wash them quickly in a bowl of water and arrange them carefully in a bag for sale. Cucumber should be stored in a cool place with a relative humidity of 95%. However, it is not expected you store the cucumber for long.

Step 7: Marketing

Once the cucumbers have been harvested, there should be a defined process in place to move the fruit from the farm to the market. Obviously, this should have been sorted out during your research prior to starting the business venture. A readily available market coupled with a bountiful harvest is a perfect recipe for success in cucumber farming.

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Apple Farming in Nigeria: Guide On How To Start (2020)

Guide on how to start apple farming in Nigeria, step by step process and other info to plant bell apple.

Apples don’t grow in africa…I am sure you have hard this countless time. If you haven’t, I have and I am telling you. However, this is entirely not true. Accepted, we live in the tropics and bell apple is a temperate plant. But with a twist and doing the right thing, you can get apple to grow in Nigeria in places like the Jos Plateau, mambilla and the Obudu plateau.

Planting apples is highly lucrative and the fruit is in high demands. From statistics, about 50,000 tonnes of Apple are into annually into Nigeria so why not seize the opportunity and make yourself some money. Forget the lies, no White man injected anything into the fruit to prevent it from growing in Nigeria.

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Apart from bringing profits, bell apple also has its health benefits, lets take a look at some of the medical gains of eating this fruit.

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  • Apples helps fight heart diseases and lowers cholesterol.
  • Apple contains an immunity booster antioxidant called quercetin.
  • Eating apples makes you look younger.
  • Apples contain fibre that prevents overeating and helps fights excess weight gain.
  • Research has shown that apples lower the risk of diabetes.
  • Apples promotes brain health.
  • The antioxidants in apples are also useful in preventing some types of cancers as well as alzheimer’s and parkinson’s disease.
  • Apples helps fight against mouth odour.
  • Apples is a good source of vitamin C that helps you fight against diseases.

However, apples are mostly used to produce consumer and pharmaceutical products like jellies, apple cider vinegar, pickles, and red wine.

With over 90 million tonnes of apples which are planted world wide, China alone accounts for half that quantity on an annual basis followed by the United States of America.

Today in our country, apples are being imported to be consumed from the U.S, South Africa, China e.t.c. According to research, about 50, 000 tons is being imported yearly.

Since consumption of apples in the country is on the high, it is only right we find ways to grow this natural fruit locally and meedt the ever growing demand of farming apples in Nigeria.

What kind of apple can be grown in Nigeria?

Research shows that the type of apple that could be grown in large quantities in Nigeria is the Bell apple. This kind of apple is nutritious with both sweet and sour taste. This depends on the ripeness of the fruit. There are also mixed varieties of bell apple.

Steps To Start Apple Farming In Nigeria

Here is a guide to start bell apple farming:

Step 1: Site Selection

As stated earlier, apples don’t grow everywhere. I don’t need to say it; the places apples don’t grow is far more than the places it grows so you need to make the right choice in terms of selecting a site for your apple plantation.

One of the things that most places lacks in Nigeria to grow this fruit is the is the temperature; Apples strive only in cold environment and that is why they are a temperate plant. They grow at a very low temperature.

An apple plant requires a temperature of less than 7C for at least 6 weeks during the rainy season. This is why it grow in only places like the Jos Plateau. The ideal soil for an apple to grow is loamy soil with a pH of between 5.5 to 6.5.

Also note that Bell apples require adequate humidity and rainfall to thrive. It can tolerate different soil types from sandy to clay. It can also thrive in moderately acidic soil.

Step 2: Planting And Post Planting Activities

Bell apples are planted usually in January/February and requires rainfall of 115-120cm per year. During flooding, the excess water should be drained out quickly to prevent water-logging.

However, in the case of heavy rainfall, there’s no need for irrigation. The frequency of irrigation increases to 4 times a month during the summer and reduces to once a month during winter.

The seeds would need light to germinate. You have to press them gently into the soil with a space of 1 inch apart. Water the seeds and wait for about 3 weeks before it would start to germinate.

You can start selling the seedling 10 weeks after planting. Bell apple seedlings is also on demand because there few farmers in the country planting this kind of apple.

Also, training and pruning of the tree is needed. Pests can be controlled using pest resistant root stock. An apple orchard starts producing fruits at the 7th or 8th years and continues until it is about 35 years though some exceed this years.

Step 3: Harvesting

Normally, before the tree start producing fruits, it usually take three years. Each harvest should yield you at least 1000 fruits with a minimum of 2 harvests within a year.

Conclusion

There is a growing demand for apples in Nigeria and you can harness this opportunity to make yourself some money. If you don’t have enough time, money, space or patience, you try planting the tropical apple such as the Bell Apple, it grows in 34 out of the 36 states of the country.

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