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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Top 7 reasons why businesses fail in Lagos Nigeria

By Onwueme Paul

According to one management book I read some time ago, 64% of businesses fail within their first 3 years of incorporation. The reasons are many but in Lagos Nigeria, I have been able to come across a few I would like to share here with my dear readers.

1. Insufficient Capital

Many businesses in Lagos Nigeria have failed as a result of insufficient capital to run the business. There are many Lagos Nigeria businesses that are unable to pay workers salaries for several months because the capital they need for promoting their business is lacking. Take for instance the case of daily times of Nigeria plc before it was privatized, the management could not even come up with money to run production prints talk more of paying workers.

2. Poor Management

Mismanagement of resources is another reason many businesses fail in Lagos Nigeria. According to Professor Pat Utomi of the Lagos Business School “once our local business men start making profit many of them think they have become big men and begin to buy expensive cars and live large instead of reinvesting their profits to fund growth”. I remember those days I undertook a management course one of the grey areas often mentioned as a source of weakness for many Nigerian businesses was poor managerial abilities. Part of this management problem includes employing low quality staff either as a cost cutting measure or as a way of fulfilling social rituals such as employing friends and cronies at the expense of merit. Our businesses are not well managed.

3. Lack of Technical know-How

Some businesses need professionals and technical experts to operate them. Like in industrial printing for instance, employing people with poor technical skills will have a telling effect on production quality and this is sadly the case with many of our businesses. They could perform better if only they invest more in technical expertise.

4. High cost of doing business

The operating environment in Lagos Nigeria is such that many businesses incur heavy costs in order to thrive. Borrowing is expensive because of high interest rates. There is poor electricity supply so people have to buy generators which need constant servicing and maintenance and fueling all of which don’t come cheap. Traffic congestion on Lagos Nigeria roads as well as multiple taxation also contribute to reduce man hours and profit margins on sales.

5. Unstable Government Policies

Despite the improving democratic culture in Lagos Nigeria, government policies have not been stable. This could readily be attributed to poor policy implementation, inadequate government presence in effecting changes that affect businesses among others. Take Nollywood industry as an example, but for their large turnout of movies many Nollywood businesses would have died as a result of piracy.


6. Poor enabling environment


Where are the roads, effective law enforcement, improved transportation systems, industrial estates and free trade zones, optimal capacity utilization, not so corrupt government officials? Why wouldn’t businesses fail if government fails to live up to its role of creating an enabling environment?

7. Local preference for foreign made goods

Nigerians generally prefer foreign made products or services to locally made ones. This is due to a long standing bias they have about goods made abroad being of superior quality and wouldn’t mind paying more for it. Unfortunately this is not always the case as many made in Nigeria products are actually of equal value or even better than some foreign made goods. However this bias has had negative effects on local businesses that have products which are in direct competition with foreign made goods.

Friday, July 29, 2011

How to find profitable business ideas for the Nigerian market

There are quite a number of ways by which entrepreneurs come up with their business ideas. The method they adopt to become who they are largely depends on their unique experiences. Luckily business ideas are free and anyone can find them, you don’t have to live in a ‘land with so many opportunities’ rather you need to live in a business idea mode that is always thinking and asking yourself ‘what do people need but are seriously lacking?’ check out different products that catch your attention, examine them and rate them in terms of ‘How good is this product? Can it be made better? In what way does this product impress or disappoint its consumers? The main thrust of a profitable business idea should be to identify demand and willingness of customers to pay a fee for your product or service that is higher than the cost of producing that product or service.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of how to find business ideas that work not only in Nigeria but all over the world although we are focused mainly on Nigeria.

Many entrepreneurs claim they found their ideas not by design but by circumstance, in other words they stumbled upon it by chance while doing something else, that is not to say that they are not motivated to pursue profitable ventures but rather that as they are constantly looking for or evaluating opportunities, the one thing that always stood before their eyes but was ignored for so long might turn out to be that breakthrough business idea that eventually made them what they are – successful business men and women.

For instance, a Canadian entrepreneur who had dropped out of high school and had worked all young life on low paying jobs finally discovered an idea from a simple purchase she made while on holiday. A bed fitted piece of clothing may not be your idea of a profitable business idea but ask Melanie Stephens, a successful entrepreneur with little formal Education who in 1979 started a small business that grew into a 7 million dollar a year business by 1985. Interest and a love for her past time – which was replicating hand made furniture, clothing and a host of other things for herself - led her to find a business idea in a remote, not so well developed rural community.

Another way to find a profitable business idea is from reading books, magazines and other written information both offline and online on the internet. Ruth Shaw, founder and owner of Covent Garden got an idea to start one of the first greenhouse flower gardens in the world when in 1981 she read an article in Forbes magazine about a growing trend in Europe of lovers purchasing flowers for partners. She was able to catch on the idea after realizing that demand for flowers in her native Canada would also be on the increase. Yours sincerely, considered the idea of blogging about business ideas for the Nigerian market after doing a little survey on the internet of certain key words on another blog.

Sometimes we get business ideas from our respective places of work. Otunba Gadaffi as he is fondly called by admirers is the CEO of DMT ltd famous among other things for their comical slogan “shit business is serious business”. Gadaffi (not real name), a former aide of Late Chief Moshood Abiola got his inspiration from an outing he had while on duty. He wondered why there were no mobile toilets to attend to guests at a major event his former employer was putting together at the time at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos Nigeria. Today he runs a multi million naira business and is a proud employer of scores of Nigerians. Business ideas can come from our work experience.

Some other times, we get business ideas from intuition or introspection. When we carefully analyse our strengths and weaknesses, our interests and the seeming needs of others around us we can find a lot of ideas but finding the idea is not what it’s about though but good ideas that are workable. With no real way of knowing whether those ideas in our heads will work or not, we just head out and test the waters.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A visitor's guide to Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

By Onwueme Paul

Computer village in Ikeja is one of the largest markets in Lagos Nigeria. Recognized as the biggest IT market in West Africa, this market is home to some of Nigeria’s leading IT retail vendors. It is perhaps the only IT market in Nigeria where there is absolute competition for customer loyalty but which is also notorious for its compact and rowdy environment which hides many trouble makers.

At computer village you can get original computers to buy, also available are mobile phones, computer accessories, PC accessories, printers, scanners, photocopiers, USB products, SIM cards, IT services such as PC repairs, mobile phone repairs and what have you (pirated software and audio and video CDs and DVDs).

Although originally an IT market, computer village is also home to food vendors and apparels dealers. You can find really nice clothes, shoes, bags and perfumes at reasonable prices although most of the vendors are looking for who and how to exploit that person to the fullest.

Also watch out for touts and pick pockets as the market is very rowdy with a large number of idle people who are there looking for a sucker to mess up. The police also can be a nuisance with some of their men in plain clothes patrolling the market hoping to catch anyone moving about with unregistered electronics like PCs. If you happen to take your laptop to the market for repairs without your receipt just pray you are not spotted by one of them because if you are, you may have to part with some money before you are let off.

I particularly like the market because I can easily get quality electronics at reasonable prices compared with other places in Lagos Nigeria where the same items can be purchased, this is because the market is both a wholesalers market and a retail market as well, but that is because I know the market very well and who to meet for what. So having a contact who knows the market very well is a good start for you to get what you want there.

Whenever you visit computer village, always insist on buying from dealers directly and not middlemen because the middlemen will not offer you warranty on anything you buy from them plus the fact that they can inflate the price of whatever it is you want to buy. A laptop that should normally go for 40,000 with a dealer could sell for 45,000 with a middleman and if that lappy develops a fault you may never get to find them again to complain about it. Dealers have their registered shops within the markets while the middlemen are hangers-on without a shop or office.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Where to find Nigerian Business News

By Onwueme Paul

Are you looking for news about business in Lagos Nigeria?

There are a couple of sources of business news and information. Depends anyway on what kind of information you are looking for. Naturally your search for business news should start with the internet because it is the fastest and cheapest means of access general business news in Lagos Nigeria.

Another source of business news is of course the good old papers, the national dailies. Many readily come to mind such as Guardian, Thisday, Punch, Businessday, Financial times and Castles. The guardian in particular offers quality and authoritative business news everyday of week except on weekends. The punch is my favorite for news and information.

It’s suited for the simple and sophisticated mind without being poor in quality and expensive to purchase. The Businessday news paper is a very credible source of news as well, infact they are experts in that field. Thisday tends to appeal more to CEOs and High end professionals but is also rich in Business news.

The radio and television also provide the much needed news and information relating to business. For instance, there are Television and radio programs dedicated to various aspects of business. In Lagos for instance some Television stations such as Channels, Super Screen, Galaxy, Silverbird, LTV and MITV have interesting programs that cover general business, to branding, advertising, insurance and stocks and investment.

There is also real Estate Half hour on Classic FM every Mondays at 12.30 pm and UNILAG Fm also has its own program menu for business news.
Websites and blogs like nairaland.com, lagosbusinesses.blogspot.com, Nigeriagalleria.com and some social media communities on facebook and linkedly are also viable alternatives. So which ever you pick there is variety to suit your needs.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Beware of Lagos Nigeria Scams

Nigerians are known internationally for many things both good and bad. But one of the bad things they are known for is 419 or advanced fee fraud and internet scams both of which have made life very difficult even for good Nigerians who want to make positive contributions to the global community. These days Nigerian scams are becoming more sophisticated and can take on surprising forms such as;

1. Real Estate Scam

The most common Lagos Nigeria scam (it is to me because most of the victims live and work in Lagos Nigeria). This scam is usually carried out by lay-abouts, frustrated people with twisted, criminal minds who don’t mind selling their souls to the devil. The real estate scammers usually target apartment seekers pretending to be reliable and legitimate real estate agents whereas they are poverty stricken people looking for a quick buck. The first sign that you are dealing with a real estate scammer is that he/she doesn’t have a stable office or residence, the scammer is usually a hanger-on. Other real estate scammers target people looking to buy property, knowing that buyers will always check at the land registry many of them forge Certificates of Occupancy also known as C of O. in order not to fall for this scam patronize only professionally recognized real estate agents even if their services is a little more expensive.

2. Job Scam

Another common Lagos Nigeria scam is the Job scam in which the scammers advertise non-existing jobs in national dailies especially Tuesday Guardian and on Job websites, sometimes they use posters and other outdoor signs. Usually these scammers ask applicants to send their CVs along with their applications to a given e-mail address. The e-mail is immediately replied by auto responder with the applicant being invited for an aptitude test or oral interview at a particular date and venue (usually an office address, a shop or a public event place) where the applicant is asked to pay some money to receive a posting or employment form. If you pay before receiving a job you can kiss your money good bye because if you are eventually posted - which is not likely - you will be rejected by the so called employer who sometimes might be an accomplice or may be an unsuspecting employer who has no vacant position in his/her company. Some of them will refine their method by claiming that they will only recommend you to any prospective employer and that they are not a recruitment agency.

3. ATM scam

The ATM scam is losing its steam because banks have taking measures to reduce this scam but a few people still fall victim. This scam also known as phishing is cleverly carried out by scammers who try to gain access to a bank’s customer’s sensitive details such as login details, ATM pins etc. Be on the look for e-mails that request you to supply your bank account login details or ATM pin.

4. Adsense Scam

Another Lagos Nigeria Scam is the Adsense Scam done by people who claim to make a lot of money from Google adsense program. They might claim that they have developed websites and blogs that are adsense friendly and potentially lucrative. How much do you have to pay to get these websites? Token amounts, the question any sensible person should ask is if you make so much from adsense, why do you need to sell adsense friendly websites for token amounts?

5. Make big money scam

Be careful of people who approach you with ‘make a lot of money’ offers pretending to be successful people. They move about organizing seminars and workshops promoting mostly pyramid schemes, multi level marketing programs or network marketing programs. Although not all multi-level marketing and network marketing schemes are scams but scammers take advantage of these schemes to rip people off.

6. Yahoo Scam

Also known as the romance scam, this scam is usually done in online chat rooms by people who want to take advantage of the desperation and affection of people looking for love. The scammer will often times use another person’s picture (a handsome man or pretty woman) and will make lover overtures including promise of marriage to the potential victim eventually requesting for money or gifts from the victim under different guises such as claims of having fallen sick, being trapped or stranded and needing money or kind to come out of their problem.

7. You have won a large amount of money scam

This kind of scam also known as the lottery scam is done by people who pretend to be organizers of a product or customer loyalty reward promotion. The aim of the scam is to create a false believe that victim has won a large amount of money which will be paid to him or her very soon, but there is a catch the victim is usually asked to send phone call vouchers to a certain number as a step to redeem his/her prize.

8. I am calling from abroad scam

Here the scammers pretend to be based abroad and are returning to Nigeria with a lot of goodies especially foreign currency and expensive stuff from abroad. They will promise to come over to your place to stay till they return only for them to develop stories about being stranded or have lost their way with no money (local currency) on them and needing financial assistance (usually in the form of phone call vouchers) to be able to reach you.

How to avoid these scams

If you are greedy, desperate, careless, lazy, naïve or too kind you risk falling victim to scammers. Many of them are predators knowing the kind of people they wish to prey on but you can avoid them by doing the following things although it is not a guarantee against being scammed.


Get as much details as possible

Ask questions till you are well and properly sure of what you are getting into. The best way of knowing if you are being taken advantage of or not or being tricked is to properly understand what your so called friend or associate is up to. Why is he/she saying whatever it is they are saying? Is it because they mean well for you? Are they stupid to imply what they are telling you? Are they who they really want you to believe they are? What kind of person am I dealing with?

Know who you are dealing with

These questions should always be on your mind. Another good way to go about this is to ask for prove of any claims made to you. Never take anything at face value, what you see with your eyes and what you actually know are not the same, so be careful.
Learn to be cautious

I don’t mean you should be paranoid but avoid giving yourself away to people you barely know even if they are very friendly and nice. A devil can also smile and put up a nice attitude so be careful. As long as you don’t know what anyone is thinking you can be sure of one thing, only you and your God at any given time can be trusted completely.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Profile of Lagos business School (LBS)

By Onwueme Paul

History

The Lagos Business School, located along Lekki Express way is a prestigious school of the Pan African University in Lagos Nigeria. Founded in 1991 by devotees of Opus Dei, the Lagos business school is a brand associated with excellence, prestige and success. It is a world class post graduate institution offering business and management related courses such as MBA, Executive MBA and PHD in business and a number of other year round training programs.

Mission

LBS is a community of people committed to creating and transmitting management and business knowledge based on a Christian conception of the human person and of economic activity and relevant to Nigeria and Africa at large. It strives to be a world-class business school which will have a significant impact on the practice of management.

Rating

According to the financial times, the Lagos business school is one of the best in world, ranked 53rd in the world (for the year 2010) and number 3 in Africa. A qualification obtained from this institution is highly regarded globally especially within Nigeria. The Lagos business school has a total of 16 faculties with highly experienced and qualified teaching staff either employed full time or part time by the school’s management many of whom are highly accomplished entrepreneurs and managers who bring their experience and knowledge of both fields to bear in the class rooms which by the way are highly stimulating and conducive for learning.

Faculty

The faculty comprises; Accounting, Business Ethics, Corporate Governance, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, HR management, Management Information System, Marketing, Operations Management, Social and Political Environment of business strategy.
Courses Offered

In addition to MBA, Executive MBA and PHD, there are many sandwich courses which the School offers year round and obtainable at the School’s academic calendar on its website which is located at lbs.edu.ng/. The school holds seminars and workshops for top business executives and entrepreneurs with state of the art facilities and equipments to back the knowledge and information being disseminated.

Alumni

Some the institutions famous Alumni include; Ibukun Awosika (Entrepreneur Extra ordinare, Owner and founder of the chair center in Lagos Nigeria).

Act Now

Take up the challenge now give your career a major boost today by joining forces with a world class school of business to help you acquire skills and knowledge that will make you a force to reckon with in business.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to find jobs in Lagos Nigeria

By Onwueme Paul

When we hear stories of graduates who are unemployed years after completing their NYSC we are tempted to ask – are jobs really that hard to find? Or is it a case of using the wrong approach or sources in search of needed jobs? Personally I believe it is both although it’s more likely that the jobs are scarce rather than the applicants not knowing how to search for work. Before going into details of how to search for jobs I’ll suggest you read my article on why many Nigerian graduates remain unemployed.

True jobs are scarce but so are skills and quality candidates, therefore if you are a highly qualified, skillful candidate who applies the right approach to job search, it shouldn’t take you long before you become employed.

1. Recruitment Agencies

Have you been using recruitment agencies in your job search? Sure many of them can be unethical and exploitative of job seekers, but some of them are experts and are really good at connecting employers with suitable candidates. With the help of recruitment agencies your job search is made a lot easier especially if you are highly competitive and qualified for your preferred position. So make it one of you job search strategies.

2. Newspapers

Newspapers especially the guardian on Tuesday and Thursday offer information about available vacancies and job search techniques and tips that will greatly increase the job search of serious job seekers. Others such as the punch on Wednesday are also useful.

3. Online Job search Sites

Online job sites such as naijahotjobs.com, nairalist.com, nairaland.com, ngcareers.com, nigeriagalleria.com, jetheights.com and many others are good at what they do which is publishing vacancies. I personally have attended many job interviews from information gotten from these sites especially nairalist and nairaland.

4. Classified Listings

Classified listings such as nairalist.com, nigeriagalleria.com and dealfish.com can provide quick and easily accessible information and contacts for job seekers.

5. Search Engine Research

Another technique is to use keyword based search engine research. For instance if you are a computer engineer looking for a job opening, you could try the use of keywords such as “Engineering Jobs In Lagos Nigeria 2011” or “IT Jobs in Lagos Nigeria 2011” can provide valuable insights into job search and vacancies.

6. Cold Calling

Cold calling involves sending unsolicited applications for job vacancies whether or not they exist. Some organizations such as Etisalat encourage job seekers to send unsolicited applications. Waiting around for vacancies to be publicised might be hurting your chances but so too is showing up without invitation. However, no guts no glory, be wise when you use this method.

7. Social Network

Some job seekers are smart because they can work with people to get what they want. They don’t just chat and socialize for the sake of it but are more interested in how those social rituals can benefit them in their quest to get what they want. On facebook and nairaland, many people start or form groups and mini threads relating to job search as a way of sharing information that could land them jobs.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lagos Nigeria Business Directory

By Onwueme Paul

If you are looking for a business in Lagos Nigeria or want find businesses to contact, your start would ideally be with a business directory. There are a few options open to you such as Nigeria yellow pages, Nigeri-galleria.com and lagos-galleria.com.

But these options are not enough. There are still several businesses that cannot be located even on the internet or the yellow pages but which are very much alive and kicking. How will one find such businesses?
There is the Lagos Chamber of commerce which has a list or registered businesses and companies doing business in Lagos Nigeria. One could also reach such businesses at trade fairs, conferences, business expos and other avenues for businesses to network.

However from all that has been said so far, the most convenient and easily the cheapest way to find and reach businesses in Lagos Nigeria is to go through Nigeria-galleria.com. This website has a large depository of easily accessible businesses with their contact information on an open website.
Do you have any other ideas relating to Lagos Business Directory? Let’s hear from you in the comment’s section.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to start a home based internet business in Lagos Nigeria

By Onwueme Paul

Home based internet businesses can be a profitable experience for small scale entrepreneurs and workers looking for an additional source of income. Although it is interesting and profitable, it is also tedious and involves a lot of work especially at the formative stages of the business. However over time, the business will take on a life of its own and become very profitable and the rewards will surely dwarf the pains and agony of setting up and running an internet based business.
Enough of the preamble, let’s get cracking what are the steps one should follow in order to start an internet based business, here in Lagos, Nigeria.

Find a niche

The first step is to find a niche (a group of people with a particular need who you can provide a product or service that satisfies their need). For instance, people looking for technology news and information in Nigeria could subscribe to a blog like naijatechguide.blogspot.com to get the latest IT related information in Nigeria. In my case I chose to blog about business ideas and opportunities in Lagos, Nigeria. Before you say you want to launch an internet business, ensure that you have a niche that will enable you sustain your business.

Find a product or service for that niche

The next step is to determine how you are going to serve that niche. Are you going to run an information content website and rely on pay per click revenue? Or will you run an affiliate website providing high quality content to attract regular readers and then promote products relating to your website’s or blog’s central theme? Do you want to run a web based forum like nairaland or are you going to be selling products and services such as PCs, mobile phones, e-books and so on? The choice of which model you choose is entirely up to you and the outcome of your research.

Get internet access

No internet access, no internet business. So this is very compulsory. I started off buying airtime in cybercafés, writing most of my articles offline and only coming online to post them, read and reply comments and conduct keyword research. Today, I surf the web from the comfort of my home but occasionally I still visit the cybercafé to do some of my work. You may be lucky to have a friend or relative with internet access which you can use for free, so be creative as to how you want to access the internet, it is very crucial.

Sort out how to get paid

How do you get paid? How will you receive your money after your hard work? Obviously, if you are here in Lagos Nigeria, you will need a domiciliary account with any of our local banks to facilitate your foreign payments. Most of your payment will be by cheques issued by foreign banks and without a domiciliary account, you will have a hard time processing payments.

Get a web presence

A web presence means having something like a website, blog or portal that will enable people find and patronize you. With a free blog like blogger, you can start an internet business with little or no money, but with your own website and internet marketing campaign, take it from me you are going to spend not only money but time as well. Actually all internet businesses require time and dedication.

Market your product or service

Here is the hard part of this business. There are countless number of people from all over the world who are competing to sell the same product or service you are about to launch. What will make you stand out and beat them to it? Internet marketing is a must for all home based internet businesses and it is hard, skillful work and of course this is what will determine whether or not you will make it.
Watch your cash roll in

With successful internet marketing comes increased sales and revenues and hence profit. Now is the time to relax and watch the cash roll in but that will be after several months or years of hard, expert marketing and not wishful thinking.
With all these said, the ball is in every man’s court on whether they want to start a home based internet business and how much they will make from it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

List of Home based internet businesses one could start in Lagos Nigeria

By Onwueme Paul

This article focuses on four models of internet businesses I have observed in Lagos, Nigeria. The list of businesses I have identified may not be exhaustive, if you have additional ideas please feel free to add them in the comments section.
If you are wondering what kind of internet business you will like to own and run, then let’s go over this list together.

Web directory

A web directory is a listing of mostly businesses with their contact information and other information that might be relevant for information seekers. There is a very good example in nigeriagalleria.com, an internet based business directory. Nigeria galleria is the website of choice for many Nigerian marketers as it offers quality listings at no cost and is very reliable. The business model makes money in three ways; pay per click, featured listing and adverts. This business however is not ideal for a single entrepreneur as it requires a lot of editing, monitoring and maintenance hence it is a full time business with full time staff.

Information Content Website/blog

With an information website, we have a text-book example of how to run a part time internet business and make passive income. You can run this business, keep your regular job and still earn money by the side without either suffering. The information content website makes money mostly through pay per click programs like Adsense but could also make money from affiliate marketing. The webmaster or blogger can make serious cash also by selling information in form of e-books, reports and seminars to a global audience and receive electronic payments via paypal, credit cards or e-checks. A good example of a profitable information website/blog is jidaw.com

Online Forum

Seun Osewa’s Nairaland is Nigeria’s largest website and perhaps most profitable internet business. With over 700,000 registered members and over 4 million pageviews per month nairaland is a good example of an online forum. What you need to run something like this is a dedicated server, a powerful web based scripting technology and web savvy. Seun makes most of his money from pay per click and pay per impression from Adsense.

Online Merchandising

Online merchandising involves stocking goods that can be sold electronically but either delivered by shipping or through downloads. Buyright.biz is a web based Lagos Nigeria business that sells hard to find electronic gadgets through it website. Buyers of any of the products make their order and pay electronically and can have the goods delivered to them through courier or can come in person to pick up their product.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to start a legitimate, profitable internet based business in Nigeria with little or no money

By Onwueme Paul

There are many kinds of internet businesses one could start in Nigeria with very little or no capital to spare. With as little as just a few hundred Naira one could kick start a business that will not only provide income but also sustain other ventures one intends to pursue.

Forget about whatever myths you may have heard people say about internet businesses and failure rates. I am living proof that one can make money legitimately in Nigeria and also survive on that income. I am a blogger and speak from experience.

To the topic of today, how can you start a profitable internet business in Nigeria with little or no money? As the name implies, internet based business requires internet access, but you do not necessarily need to purchase internet facilities or equipments such as a modem, laptop and internet service to access the internet, you could patronise a cyber café instead or better yet, a friend or relative who has internet access may permit you to use his/hers for free.
With the issue of internet access resolved the next step is to have a web presence.

By web presence I mean a way in which people can find you on the world wide web, as a blogger I need a blog, as an affiliate (a middleman selling other people’s products and earning a commission) you many need to use clever tactics like submitting reviews to article directories like ezinearticles.com or micro blogging sites like hubpages to make those interesting commissions.

But before anything, you need to know exactly what you want to do and how you will do it. For instance, I love to read and write about businesses, hence this blog is focused on businesses in Lagos Nigeria, (I grew up in Lagos but now live in Abuja) and everything on this blog is related to that theme. Likewise you have to find a niche/topic/central idea you wish to focus on. Once you start, remain focused do not allow distractions stop you from achieving your goal.

Like every business, you need to know how to market/sell your product and service and although you do not have a serious product (for the moment) your web presence is your ultimate product. Learn to market that product using social networking sites like facebook, twitter, nairaland and other internet based communities.

How do you make money? There are several ways to make money but the most common and most rewarding method is through pay per click revenue from programs such as Google’s Adsense. As you write articles that are relevant to a certain group of people, you display Adsense Adverts on your blog or webpages, you get paid whenever any of your readers click on those ads. It’s that simple. Others ways of making cool money from blogging include; affiliate marketing, selling your own information product, displaying other people’s adverts on your blog/webpages among other means.

I currently use blogger and hubpages to blog and I can proudly say that both are free services and I still make money using both. The only money I spend is accessing the internet.

That is my little contribution. Do you have anything to say? I would love to hear from you.