Things You Should Check out for before Starting a Business or Choosing a Business Location in Nigeria
Business and Politics: Why Businessmen Must Be Interested in Politics
One of the grave mistakes you’ll make while aiming big in your business is not involving yourself in the local politics of your host community.
I did this mistake last year and it cost me a whopping sum of Nxxmillion, I lost the investment, resources, and ample time.
Ask anyone who has taken the giant step in building real structures around their business. Business is strictly political and spiritual.
Have you ever heard of business wars?
I’m not talking about all these sales of the masterclass, dropshipping, and all these social media-related businesses, all of those are child play regardless of the money you’re making from it at the moment.
The real war started when you’ve gathered the balls to structure your business physically, this is why you see many businesses failed in 2021, some of these people do not really eat your money. It was life and Nigeria that happened to them.
In 2022, before leasing land for your farming or renting a shop to set up your physical business, make accurate findings of the present and past history of that location. In the case of land, know the real owners and check whether the land is totally free from omo-onile and buyer disputes.
Except you’re buying the land out rightly and ready to go at any length to make things right before setting up a business on it, don’t go near it, don’t let them use your head break coconut
Involve your business in the politics of your local environment. Know the Baale’s, and let them recognize you as a stakeholder in that community. Get to know the area boys and the Police in that area well, roger them often and often, salute them, and let them know you as a major stakeholder in that community.
There are so many battles these people will fight in your absence based on your goodwill. There are many vital information these people will share that will lessen your mistakes in the host community
Before you set up that business;
Do your due diligence by meeting real business owners and not all these internet acclaimed gurus. Meet them at their farm to know what works.
I can tell you for free that many people you think are into a particular business do not make their money from that same business they float as their primary business, they have another hidden business where they get money to fund their lifestyle and the known business to the admiration of their social media fans
If you’re following these people, you’ll make lots of mistakes, You’ll lose money, resources, and precious time
Seek adequate information before setting out
Let me not share all the information
I had my fair share in 2021 and now I know my mistakes, I’m strictly involving myself in politics both local and Nationwide
Let me tell you a secret.
You’re inconsequential if you’re a nobody.
The moment you’ve started building, leading, directing, and dominating; that’s the moment you’ll start fighting unseen battles. Your workers will get jealous of you, Your competitors will get jealous of you and want your business crumbled, and Your village people will want you down.
The sin of the state/land will work against you (let me explain this better)
I happened to hear a story yesterday that one of the lands someone I know was using for plantain farming was once a human ritual spot many years ago
There are many innocent souls that have been wasted on that land, do you think you can do anything on such land and yield a positive result?
The person told me that nothing good can come from the land except a total cleansing was done
If for instance you come across this land and bought or lease it for business, you’ll have wasted a lot of money before you’ll know you’re fighting a spiritual battle
Ignorance they say is a disease
If your shop is located at the bus stop, know the chief area father that controls that bus stop. Know local politicians, they are people that will help you grow.
Why You Must Involve Yourself in Politics and Government As A BusinessMan
The first rule in business for any startup is to learn how things work in government agencies and the sector you intend to operate in, then align.
Do not try to change anything else you’ll spend years fighting the powers that be. Never attempt to fight the government establishment. Nobody has ever won the fight against The Government Establishment.
The second rule is apprenticeship. It’s either you pay with your time learning under a mentor that has gone ahead of you or you’ll pay with your hard-earned money for the inevitable mistakes you’ll make for going head-on alone.
These two rules are all you need to get a good headstart in your entrepreneurial career.
Finally, this is for those who want to establish in other sovereign jurisdictions.
I’ve heard people say things like; we are going to have branches in other African countries. However, when you ask some salient questions, they then realize that it isn’t as easy as they thought. You must understand how things work in those jurisdictions. Ghana for instance has a $1 million policy for any foreign company that wants to invest in their country. What this implies is that you must deposit the sum of $1 million in an escrow account with their Central bank. Where you do not have this sum, a Ghanaian must be the CEO of your company with substantial shareholding. Also, their citizens must hold key positions too.
Another thing you should find out is their repatriation laws. Not every country allows foreign companies to send all their profits back home. And for some, you cannot even attempt to cook the books as such attracts very punitive measures if caught because they see it as economic sabotage.
Also, ensure that you do a PESTEL Analysis of that country’s business environment in line with the sector you want to operate in.
P political analysis
E environment analysis
S social analysis
T technology analysis
E economy analysis
L legal analysis
CZ Binance Lobbying Nigerian Government for Digital Smart City – What Nigerian Businesses Can Learn From The Owner Of Binance
The Central Bank of Nigeria last year banned Nigerian banks from facilitating payments for crypto transactions.
The billionaire owner of Binance, known as CZ by his fans knows what is at stake, and put on his thinking cap to find a solution and to see how to penetrate the inner cabal of the policymakers in Nigeria.
What influenced him to do this was not farfetched.
Nigeria is one of the biggest markets for cryptocurrency transactions in Africa and in the world.
According to a new report by Binance.com, approximately 33.4 million Nigerians, or 35% of the country’s adult population, are holders of cryptocurrencies or have traded them in the past six months. The report attributes the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies to rising inflation and the plunging value of the local currency.
Nigeria is one of the crypto markets with the fastest growth, its peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading volume exceeded $1 billion between January 2022 and June 2022.
That number is enough to move CZ into action to act and protect his business, Binance, which is the world’s largest global crypto trading company with over $50 billion in daily crypto trading taking place on the Binance platform all over the world.
CZ engaged lobbyists who swung into action and, after a series of lobbying and negotiations with money exchanging hands,
Today, the Nigerian government, through the Nigerian export processing zone authority, announced that Nigeria and #Binance are in talks to create a digital economic zone that will support blockchain technology adoption.
The new digital economic zone will assist entrepreneurs to veer into blockchain technology in the nation of West Africa. According to a declaration by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, the partnership aims to create a digital hub “similar to the Dubai virtual free zone.”
Also, Binance is at the moment, lobbying CBN to lift the restrictions on banks facilitating crypto payment but I was told that they are waiting for the next government to take over next year before they increase the momentum of the lobbying.
Imagine if CZ had folded his hand. We would have woken up, on one hand, to hear Lai Mohammed announcing that Binance has been officially banned in Nigeria and there is nothing that CZ could do about it.
As your small business or start-up grows, please make sure that you are in tune with the politics of the environment where the business is located and you have first-name relationships with policymakers and government officials.
In this part of the world, business and governance work hand in hand.
They are Siamese twins.
If your business is generating 1 billion or above in revenue yearly, you owe your business this sacred duty to establish what is called an inter-governmental relations office domiciled in your company.
The mission of this office is simple: to lobby the government on all fronts on behalf of the company in order to enact favorable policies that will benefit the company and the products on the market.
Let’s say, for instance, that I run a tissue and diaper business in Lagos called Visage paper mill and Visage diapers.
The inter-governmental relations office in my company can lobby the minister of trade to make a proposal to the Federal executive council banning the importation of foreign tissue and foreign imported diapers just to favor and give an advantage to my business that is locally produced.
We can even lobby the government to reduce tariffs that do not favor our business growth or a policy that is hurting our sales, exactly what CZ did.
Or even sef, lobby the minister of trade to shut the factory of a bigger competitor down so we can gain an advantage over them( An example, what Dangote did to Ibeto cement)
Business is war and brutal, so there is no space for emotion or sentiment.
Dangote has this office.
MTN does, and most businesses that have a revenue of 500 million and above in Lagos have it too.
Most of the time, the government inter-relations office is manned by a veteran who has worked in the government space for a long time and has the access, contacts, charisma and finesses to get deals done within the government circle in a short period of time.
This is what CZ has done by lapping up to a Nigerian government that is hostile to technology and innovation just to protect his business using the vehicle of lobbying
The Nigerian business landscape is filled with landmines so that one day a governor can wake up and close your business because the governor’s side chick had personal issues with you and there is nothing you can do about it.
But with strong lobbying ethics and a vibrant intergovernmental office, you protect your business and minimize stories like this from being the norm rather than the exception.
Lobbying is powerful and it is a must-have weapon and tool for any company looking to navigate the volatile business environment in Nigeria.
The picture below is CZ (in white) the founder of Binance and the president of the Central Africa Republic.