CONSULTING; HOW TO BECOME AN INDEPENDENT BUSINESS CONSULTANT IN NIGERIA
BUSINESS CASE FOR CONSULTING SERVICES IN NIGERIA
Independent business consulting in Nigeria is one of the best business ideas that most youths can gainfully tap into and make real money. Though the global economic crisis has given way a bit, its knock off effect is still been felt in many businesses and industries. Companies are laying off their staff all in the name of down sizing. One of the major reasons why businesses are failing is because of the fact that too many people in the board room lack some rudimentary skill needed to peddle a business in rough times. This is where consultants with real transferable skills come into the picture.
CONSULTING BOOKS YOU CAN GRAB NOW!
THERE ARE SO MANY CONSULTING OPPORTUNITIES NOW IN NIGERIA
As more companies in Nigeria continue to lay off her work force- especially the banking industry, many people that used to be gainfully employed may soon find out that they have become a SAN (Senior Applicants of Nigeria) once again.
Many will become frustrated while many will simply switch over to consulting. The benefits of becoming an independent consultant cannot be over-emphasized; you will have your time, money and the lifestyle that you want.
The above benefits do not go without challenges (mostly strategic and marketing challenges). These challenges if not handled can make one to back-out even before the benefits will start to flow. And that is where this article comes.
TWO THINGS THAT YOU WILL LEARN IN THIS ARTICLE ARE:
- Steps to take in establishing a consulting business in Nigeria and
- How to market your services
The first thing you need to do is to register a business name. You register you business name with CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission). They have their headquarters in Abuja with regional offices all over the nation such as Lagos.
The minimum requirement of registering as an independent consultant is a Maters degree or Professional qualification recognized by Nigerian law.
By registering your business name with CAC, you are already good to go but, if you want your business to be a legal human person, then you will have to incorporate it. Practicing lawyers and qualified Accountants among those given the right to incorporate business in Nigeria.
Haven registered your business, the next thing you need to sit down and do is to write a business plan. If you don’t have the expertise, outsource it.
The next thing to do is to look for a base (an office). If you can get an office in the mega cities (Ikeja or Victoria Island), fine but, if you cannot, make do of what you have. You can use your living home or a friends’ office.
The next thing will be to prepare your media kit/ tools (fliers, hand bills, posters, etc). Make some investment in this aspect as it will speak volume for you and the service you want to render.
Another important part of establishing your consulting business is to have or join a network of like minded people. You can even offer them equity in the business. The essence of doing this is to have people/ somebody to fall back to in time of need. You may get a contract that you cannot handle but, a member of your network can and will be willing to assist.
One golden rule! Create this network of people before you need their help.
MARKETING YOUR CONSULTING SERVICE
There several ways you can use to market your consulting service. It can either be online or offline.
ONLINE MARKETING STRATEGIES
Don’t let your mind skip by my mentioning online marketing. You mustn’t have a web site for you to market online, all you need to do is use other peoples sites like; Nairaland to market your services. When you get there, register as a member with a username that depict what your expertise is. And start making useful and reasonable post.
Make sure you use words that promotes what you are selling (i.e your service) as your signature. Do this for a period of one month and then launch an advertisement (PLEASE DO NOT SPAM THE FORUM WITH YOUR ADS, ELSE, YOU WILL BE BANNED)
You can also use social networks like http://www.twitter.com and http://www.facebook.com to promote your service. The technique is to have as many followers or friends as possible and make reasonable and useful post
OFFLINE MARKETING STRATEGIES
One strategy I use is to contact companies directly. I get the contact address of all the companies that I feel will need my service from yellow page. Wonder where to get yellow page? Simply walk into any post office close to you and pick one, the price was Ten Thousand Naira when I bought mine.
In case you don’t know what yellow page is, yellow page is a kind of directory of registered businesses in Nigeria.
Now pencil down as many names as possible and send them your proposals. Two things can either happen; they reject it or they accept it. There is no harm in trying.
The problem with this method is that the rejection rate is usually high.
Another strategy that I use is to tell all my friends and relatives that I am now a consultant. They may recommend you to a friend or colleague who may in turn do same and the chain goes on.
Make sure you are always with your complimentary card when ever you are going for any gathering. You need to use this method with caution so that you will not be seen as being too anxious.
Participate in church activities and spread the news about what you are doing
Apply all the above steps and see your self smiling to the bank in no distant time.
WARNING! All these tips and techniques that I have given you about becoming an independent consultant in Nigeria will be short lived if you don’t deliver. People will always try you and when you don’t deliver, you know what will happen.
So, do your self good by grabbing quality books like the ones you are seeing here and devour them.
Good luck and see you at the bank!