Help! I need a job! The cry of the average fresh Nigerian graduate
Entrepreneurship: A viable option for the average fresh Nigerian graduate
Every time I come across a fresh Nigerian graduate who is crying for a job in a bid to succeed, it seems quite an embarrassing sight! To succeed financially in Nigeria, getting a white collar job isn’t about the best option. Except of course you get employed in multinational companies where you are being paid between N200,000 and N400,000 as an entry level, or oil companies such as Chevron and NNPC that pay millions to entry level staffs; and there is a great odd of this being so. Why? Because the number of unemployed graduates (millions) exceeds a few hundreds of such fantastic jobs.
What is the way into financial independence in this country today?
If you don’t want to be among the millions of Nigerian graduates who eventually get paid N18,000 (approximately 50 dollars) monthly – Nigeria’s minimum wage? If you after all, you weren’t lucky enough to pick up a FG job (that’s after hunting for at least five good years and fully paid your dues, you know how it is done in Nigeria, right?) where you take home an average of N75,000 monthly? Then your best shot is entrepreneurship!
Have you ever come to think of this? “If an organization pays N20,000 to its staff, don’t be surprised if the company is making up to x100 of what the staffs are being paid.”
While entrepreneurship can be a daunting task to do, it is very profitable in the long run! While it has its own downturns, it can be a big game changer for you and your family! My post today will focus on giving you the proper mind-set on how to venture into business and subdue impending downturns and difficulties in the journey. Read on enthusiastically!
How to venture into Entrepreneurship
#1 Look for a problem in your society.
The first reasonable step in entrepreneurship is deciding which industry you want to play in. It could be Agriculture, Information Communication Technology (ICT), Fashion, Food, Entertainment, Travels and Transportation, the list is endless. All industries have problems waiting to be solved.
At every point in time, there are problems around us for which people around us are willing to give out their money in exchange for such products and services. All you need do is to decide on that one problem you are passionate about.
If you love technology, then look for a problem in the tech. world, then you might just be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.
If you are good at showing people the right path (advising people on what to do with their lives); you might just be our next Brian Tracy or John C Maxwell.
Every and any aspects of our lives has numerous problems that it is practically impossible for anyone not to be affected by any. This is what entrepreneurs do, they locate these problems and proffer solutions to them. There are myriads of problems in our world that requires solutions, just meditate and search for the very one you are passionate about bearing in mind that making money is first about being useful. It’s about adding value! If all you are interested is just the money and not to actually and sincerely making the world a better place, you just shot yourself on the foot.
#2 Find a creative, innovative and edge cutting solution
This point is a natural follow up to the first. Everyone needs the solution to their everyday problems; But far beyond that, they want a better solution to their problems. After selecting a problem, the very next step is thinking of a solution. An outstanding solution to such problems, there may be one, two or a handful of people trying to solve such a problem, so what makes you different is how much creativity, innovation and value you can add in a bid to solve such problems.
- Emails used to be boring and time-wasting until GOOGLE came along with their outstanding Gmail and totally displaced yahoo.
- Getting jobs used to be an herculean task until Jobberman came along and offered both employers and employees a better way out.
- WhatsApp gave us a far better alternative than 2go and we went for it, now 2go has died à natural and gradual death.
Help! I need a job! The cry of the average fresh Nigerian graduate
So you see, beyond providing solution to your problem, you must do it quicker, better and cheaper! As a startup you have just two options, “You either innovate or you die”- Steve Jobs.
If you don’t distinguish yourself from the pack, there is no reason for people to perceive you as better, you will just earn like the others. You need to distinguish yourself from being a commodity to being a brand. And this stems from how well you brand your solutions to human problems. In one word, what you do think makes Apple the most valued computer company in the world? BRANDING!!!
Imagine how novel apps like Paylater made it ridiculously easy to borrow money. Now, with just a tap on your phone; your account gets credited in a matter of minutes. Now people do not need to go to banks and follow their bureaucratic procedures just because they want to borrow money.
#3 Locate your target market
For some school of thought, this is perhaps your first and most important concern as an entrepreneur. You must have a ready market before you begin production. Every single time you come up with a solution that actually takes away people’s pain in a particular area you need to find the right recipient of your benevolence. It’s your market audience that will enable you survive.
You need to locate those who need your solutions otherwise you are just making noise. If you are a life coach, your most likely audience at the beginning of your career are youths. Why? Because they are the ones who are at different crossroads in career, relationships, finances, etc.
Someone knew travellers needed a way to ease themselves and he rebranded the shit business; into portable toilet and launched in Lagos. Could there have been a better place to start? Lagos – arguably the most populous and busiest economic centre in Nigeria!
To succeed in business, you have to track down the people most affected by the problems you are solving. When you present your fool-proof solution to them, it is like you are offering them gold; they will freely release their treasure to secure your gold. “It is like offering a chilled bottle of Coke to a sojourner in a desert region.”
Such people are desperate for a solution, and in fact praying for a solution and then you reached them just in time, you are their answered prayers. If you are talking to the wrong audience, you will most likely get a lukewarm response. Don’t market to the wrong people. Only the sick guy needs healing; a whole man needs no healing. I hope this clear?
# 4 Create an Irresistible Message
If you aren’t good with words, don’t force yourself, allow an expert to create the message for you. There are lots of Ad agencies or freelance content developer who will help you for a token. All you need do is explain your vision, mission, products and services, your market, etc. to them and then you are good to go. They will help you coin a beautiful music filled clause for your slogan or motto.
Talented graphics designer will make you crazy designs and fantastic logo that exactly depicts your message.
See some world class slogans below
“Just do it!” – Shoes/ wears and sports (Nike)
“Think different!” – Computers and accessories company (Apple Inc)
“Because You’re Worth It” – women beauty product / Fashion Company (L’Oréal)
“The Ultimate Driving Machine” – Automobile company (BMW)
Don’t be a miser. Allow professionals make classic designs, slogans and logos for you. Try to distil your service into a sentence, focus on the devastating effect of the problem you’re solving and the exceptional benefits of your solution in few sentences/line. If your message does not resonate, your product will not detonate!
#5 Take advantage of the ultimate Leverage – The Internet!
Whether you are a giant or a start-up you can market your products online and get massive results. Just last week, perhaps world youngest billionaire and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook has 1.9 billion users with 1.3 billion active monthly, 1.2billion active user on WhatsApp and Messenger each, 700 million Instagram users. How about YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.? …the list is endless! All these are powerful media have gone beyond the traditional use of been a means to reach families, friends and acquaintances, they can actually be used to transform yourself into a world class entrepreneur. If you need more help on this, you can contact us for it.
#6 Get Funded
This is one of the most important factor in your entrepreneurial journey without which you can do nothing. No matter your plans and preparation, money is needed to execute and make your dreams a reality. However, a lot of people never start anything because they belief they need a huge sum of money to start up their business, but the best way to start a business is maximizing what you have at hand no matter how small. You need to think big, dream big, but you also need to start small.
You need not start your business by renting an exquisite outlet as an office, you can start from the corner of your room or your very own house as a store. Get a good location from family and friends at no cost, believe me, they are willing to help, don’t hesitate to ask people what you may need to start. One of the most valuable company in the world today Apple Inc. actually started from a car garage! Get money and other resources from your savings, from family and friends. Make use of what entrepreneurs call social capital!
Likewise, there are several opportunities for your start-up to get money from external personalities either in form of grants or low-interest / no interest loans, angel investors, equity funds, etc.
Examples of such schemes are
- The Tony Elumelu Foundation anchoring the famous Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP), a program make available $10,000 for $10,000 start-ups in Africa over the course 10 years
- Building Entrepreneurs today (BET) by Diamond Bank
- Bank of Industry (YESP)
- GEM BIG Portal
Just to mention a few
There are myriads of other opportunities to get your business funded, but this people are not out to waste money, they need to be sure that you are serious minded and focused, you need to convince them wholly that you will make judicious use of the resources provided to you. You can join our mailing list here to get information on more grants and business opportunities.
Help! I need a job! The cry of the average fresh Nigerian graduate
#7 Get a mentor/ coach
Look into the industry you are plunging into, and get someone who has succeeded in the industry. Your mentor has to be someone you have a reasonable degree of access to, someone you can easily explain your problems to and he gives you the solution. If you don’t have direct access to him, you can’t actually call such your mentor. Why? Because mentorship involves teaching, instructions and sometimes just being around that person. A mentor teaches you the nitty-gritty of how to overcome commonplace obstacles in business.
A mentor is important because he has done what you are about venturing into and he has become successful. He has passed through all potential problems you are going to encounter and he emerged victorious, so he is worthy of emulation. In a bid to be called self-made, don’t ignore the place of a coach. No successful entity is self-made. They are all products of the right set of influences. If you want to succeed easily, you need someone to coach you into it otherwise you will end up frustrated.
Hear the wholesome words of renowned preacher and presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Tabernacle Bishop David Oyedepo, talking about those who see no need for a coach/ mentor: “They want to be self-made, and end up in self- destruct…If you want to emerge a star without a coach, you will suffer reproach…Every star needs a coach not to become a cockroach…In the field of sports, no star emerges without a coach, you need a coach to emerge a star, you need a coach to remain a star.”
We hope you learned one or more from the post on your road to entrepreneurship, instead of waiting for crumbs from that falls off the table of your employers, why not grab the biggest bite?
Instead of being an employee, why not take the bold step of starting out as an employer of labour? Are there other points that you think should be essential ingredients on your road to being a successful entrepreneur? Feel free to express your opinions in the comment box below.
Written by Toluwase Thomas
Serial Entrepreneur - International Business Planning Consultant - Speaker - Trainer - Author - Blogger - Network Marketing professional
- Fellow, Inspire Africa Train-the-Trainer sponsored by US Consulate Lagos
- Fellow, Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme
- Top 50 Innovative Entrepreneurs, BET5 by Diamond Bank
He is an alumnus of Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Lagos Business School (LBS), Pan-Atlantic University (PAU). Through his training, mentoring, speaking and coaching programmes, he has empowered many young people over the years to start and grow their own business, build wealth, create multiple streams of income and achieve financial independence.
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