Applying for loan in Nigeria is one of the ways we source for capital to start a business or expand the business. And sometimes, people visits banks to apply for loan in Nigeria without any collateral in other to take care of an urgent and important matters such as paying school fees, health bills and many other things that requires funding.
Although, some people chooses to borrow money from agency who may later become “loan shark”. These loan sharks are after nothing but your collateral(s) and that’s why it is important to choose where you get your loan appropriately and with peace of mind.
Some banks requires collateral before they can gives out loan in Nigeria, while few of them doesn’t need your collateral as long as you meet their other requirements (especially as a reliable customer).
There are more than twenty commercial banks in Nigeria, but the gospel truth here is that: not all these 20+ banks are good in terms of dishing out loans.
Before you visit any of these banks to apply for loan in Nigeria, you need to know the interest rate, and all other features which makes a loan looks nice on you — although there is nothing like a nice loan, when it’s time to repay.
I’ll be revealing top and reliable banks that gives loan without collateral in Nigeria.
Top 10 Banks to Apply and Get Loan in Nigeria
1. First Bank
Don’t get anything twisted here, the name doesn’t make it comes first, but the reputation over the years does. First Bank has been in business since 1894 and has continually delivered fresh innovation in all its products and services — they’ve even got an insurance service.
If you need to apply for either business or personal loan in Nigeria, First Bank coincidentally leads the chart in the country, they’ve got different loans for different purposes; education, contract financing, SMEs, mortgages and more.
Requirements to Get Loan at First Bank Nigeria
Applying for loan at First Bank Nigeria will require the following items;
- An application letter
- Proof of payment for the last six months
- Statement of account for six months
- Utility bill
- Means of Identification
All these are to be submitted at any of their branches nationwide.
You can also apply for the loan at first bank using their online loan channel using this link: First Bank Nigeria >> Banking >> Loan
2. GT Bank
GT Bank ranks as one of the top banks to apply for loan in Nigeria, which on my list they comes second. They offer some of the best loan packages in Nigeria you can think of, from conventional loans, salary advance and quick credit.
Here are the requirements to get any loan from GT Bank, Nigeria
- Applying for quick credit loan at GTB can done via your smartphone and you will have to be a current account holder with GT Bank.
- For conventional loans — which can be used for any purpose, the requirements are as follows:
- A letter of application
- A collateral
- Banks statements for six months
- Proof of employment or income for the last six months
- And in some cases, a guarantor with reputable financial history.
You can apply for loan at GT Bank using their online loan portal via GT Bank >> Personal Banking >> Loans OR apply by visiting any of their branches.
3. WEMA Bank
We’ve all heard of ALAT by WEMA, well that’s one of their many innovations that sets the above the park. They’ve got nice packages for salary earners, business persons, and the government.
They got one of the best interest rates, with fast disbursement of any amount requested.
IF you need to get quick online loan without visiting any banks in Nigeria or filling any loan application form, you can check out these top 10 loan apps in Nigeria and they can be downloaded free on Android at Google PlayStore and on iOs at AppStore.
All loans from WEMA could be applied online by visiting WEMA Bank >> SME (via a smartphone or PC) and offline (via their business offices).
Requirements to Get Loan at WEMA Bank, Nigeria:
It doesn’t take much as some requirements remains the same as the two above;
- An application letter
- A letter of introduction by your employer
- Irrevocable letter of salary domiciliation
- A valid proof of income for at least three months
- Your current address via a utility bill
- And valid means of identification
All these can also be submitted both offline and online. And if you meet their requirement, you will get your loan request approved and given to you.
4. Sterling Bank
Sterling bank is also known for it numerous innovation and top class service offerings. One of such innovations is its ‘SPECTA’ loan program that offers up to five million naira to salary earners in the country.
For conventional loans, Sterling bank has also got you covered with loans you could use for any purpose of your choice.
You’d have to visit any of their offices or online using Sterling Bank >> Personal >> Loans
The Requirements to Get Loan at Sterling Bank, Nigeria are:
- An application letter
- Proof of payment/statement of account for at least six months
- Proof of employment
- And some additional paperwork which will be revealed to you there.
5. Zenith Bank
Here is another lion among the top banks to apply for loan in Nigeria, Zenith Bank.
The bank is well recognized locally and International with many prestigious awards to their names. The loan program offered by Zenith is one of the best in the country. The loan varies from salary earners to business persons and government organizations.
Zenith Bank’s loans can be applied both online via Zenith Bank >> Personal Banking >> Loan and offline.
Below are the requirements to get loan at Zenith Bank, Nigeria;
- A valid means of identification
- Proof of employment/income
- Account statement of at least six months
- And your bank verification number.
6. UBA Bank
United Bank for Africa is another top brand that offers one of the best loan packages to individuals of all categories, and this add to their prestigious service as they also offers a very special prepaid VISA card you can use for any online shopping.
They offer loans of various amounts with the competitive interest rates.
UBA Bank loans can be applied by visiting any of their nationwide offices. Application form could be gotten via the bank’s website: UBA >> Nigeria >> Banking Banking >> Loan Payment or by visiting their offices.
Requirements to Get Loan at UBA Bank:
- A valid ID
- Proof of employment/income
- And a guarantor (a person of good standing in the society with good financial background).
7. Access Bank
Access bank is one of the top banks in the country presently and their loan packages is one of the best in Nigeria. Their loan vary from personal loans to business and even mortgages. And the bank has been very active than ever since they acquire Diamond Bank, this has added to their reputation and reliability in Nigeria.
Access bank offer flexible loans with competitive interest rates.
Requirements to Get Loan at Access Bank, Nigeria:
Before applying, you need to provide the following at any of their offices or online via the portal Access Bank >> Personal Banking >> LOANS
- Your Bank Verification Number (BVN)
- An application form
- Letter of confirmation of employment
- Valid means of identification
- And letter of lien.
EcoBank provides good loan packages for all your needs, be it business, purchasing that home or executing that project. The loans are flexible to all categories of persons.
Requirements vary according to type of loan, you can get more information by visiting any of their branches or online via https://www.ecobank.com/gq/personal-banking/products-services/loans
9. STANBIC IBTC
Penultimate bank on this list is STANBIC IBTC bank, despite their ranking here, they still find a way of delivering competitive loans in all categories.
Requirements to Get Loan at Stanbic IBTC Bank, Nigeria:
Some of the initial requirements are as follows;
- The applicant must be above 21 and not older than 60 at the expiration of the loan’s tenure
- Proof of employment or income for the last six months
- Good credit report
- And for personal loans; you need to have an account with STANBIC.
For more, you can visit STANBIC IBTC loan portal via https://www.stanbicibtc.com/Nigeria/Individual/Borrowing/Personal-Loans
10. Union Bank
Last but not the least is Union Bank, offering one of the best loan packages with great value on interest.
They offer all types of loans including loans for homes, salary earners, government and are at competitive prices. The requirements are as the same as above and you need to visit any of their offices or online using this link >> https://www.unionbankng.com/loans/
Wrapping Off – Top Banks to Apply for Loan in Nigeria
Applying for loan in Nigeria from these banks are easier than ever. But I will strongly advise you to learn more about each bank’s policies before you request for loan from them.
And it’s important you know your ‘why’ before you think of applying at all.
DISCLAIMER: Please kindly note that this post is not for ‘Ranking’ purpose or the numbers aligned above defines how best the bank are, which it comes to granting personal or business loan in Nigeria. But this post is ‘only’ for educational purpose – to enlighten you about the best banks you can get loan in Nigeria and their requirements.
So here are the top 10 banks to apply for loan in Nigeria, which do prefer and do you have any question? Let me know in the comments!
How to Dress Like a Smart Entrepreneur in Nigeria
To really show your clients that you are worth investing in, you must learn perfect grooming tips to woo them. I mean, you must learn how to dress like a smart entrepreneur in Nigeria.
Many entrepreneurs meet different clients on different occasions, most of us (the entrepreneurs) are chairing boards of directors, firms, agencies, conglomerated companies, individuals, and government bodies with the aim of achieving the best for the respective companies or organizations they are representing.
The major reason why you need to dress corporately is not just to be attractive or show how extravagant you but you need to dress the way you wanted to be addressed, your business skills or intelligence are not enough!
In business both offline and online branding, you need to understand how to meet-up and simplify your corporate or business dressing etiquette. To be sincere, dressing etiquette and sense should be one of the key factors that all people aspiring to be successful and smart entrepreneurs should have.
Good to know that most business organizations like the banks, hospitals, and other agencies have their own dressing code. For example, the government here in Nigeria allows their workers (otherwise known as civil servants) to wear their native attires only on Fridays.
While institutions like banks, hospitals always are expected to put on their corporate suit and polished pair of shoes while most self-employed dress the way they like or feel.
But, the world of dressing and grooming is entirely different for entrepreneurs, no matter the source of your job and its dressing code. Here in this article, I am going to work you through some tips on how to dress like a smart and successful entrepreneur.
8 Perfect Dressing Tips For Smart Entrepreneurs in Nigeria
Take Your Dressing As An Investment
Before going to your office or to boutique for shopping, you must buy classic and corporate styles that suit your body shape, size, and complexion. Don’t think because your friends are wearing Gucci, Versace, Fila or Nike, you must wear them also.
You need to dress to fit your business not the latest trends in the town. Do take enough time to pick out of many and never wear body-revealing clothes (Mostly women).
Some clients hate this while some want this but as a corporate entrepreneur, you must not wear seducing clothes or have such intention to negotiate with clients with your dressing but rather, seduce them with your business Skills and Intelligence!
2. Change Your Wardrobe Constantly:
Although I won’t advise you to take all your savings to buy clothes that suit your business and body. But, it will be good if you shop for new dresses at least once (or as much as possible) in a month. You should tell your regular clients, prospects, or business partners that you are happy and successful in your chosen career and one of the best ways to do this is through your dressing.
Don’t look retarded, tactless, or awful in appearance. Change all old clothes to New One. If you don’t know how to shop for clothes that fit you and your business, ask those who are professionals in fashion.
3. Build Good Body Shape
If your body shape is not good enough, you must try the right and safe remedy to build it up. Doing an exercise or going to the gym regularly will give you perfect body shape. The reason for this is that, no matter how fabulous you dress without having good body shape, such grooming efforts won’t go beyond your room.
You may look stupid to some people and this may cause depression or frustration if you find out what people or your business partners are saying behind you.
4. Keep Your Make-up Simple:
This concerns the women who like using cosmetics in an excessive way. Let go of make-up products that are too flashy but instead choose the one that will show entrepreneurship and serious in you. Remember you are dressing for a business not for partying and you must not annoy your clients or allow them to take you for granted because of the way you dress.
If your make-up is faulty, there is a possibility that you will face some faults with clients and business partners. If you can’t perfectly do good and nice makeup for yourself, I will advise you to consult a make-up artist for help.
5. Do Like A Roman When You Are In Rome:
I mean, you should understand how to dress for each business occasion. You can’t be working in a bank or hospital and be wearing jean and canvass to office, you cannot be going to farming to make the heaps or ridges and put on a suit.
You can’t be a military man and be wearing “mufty” to station or barrack (although, you may wear the police vest or any designated dresses by the military officials). You must select clothes according to the nature of your business or profession.
6. Understand The Atmospheric Condition:
Always, dress according to the weather condition. If it’s during the rainy season, wear clothes that will protect your formal dressing from being immersed by rain like a coat, jacket, etc.
Go for clothing materials that are reflective of the season. Clothes that are thick are good for fall and winter and it’s not advisable for summer but instead, Light linen fabric or clothing materials will be good for it (summer).
7. Avoid “Color Riot”:
This is a “must” for all entrepreneurs who want to dress up well and gaily as a successful and smart entrepreneur. For business and corporate sake, it will be perfect if your coat, tie, shoes, handbag, shirt, skirt, trousers, belts, and other things you will put on Match each other.
For women, a black handbag should be matched with a black shoe. For men, a blue coat should match with blue trousers and so on. If you do this in the right proportion, this will show your creativity, intelligence, and how much more you can take care of things perfectly.
8. Wear Quality Dresses:
As I have said earlier, you don’t need to put yourself into debt before you dress like a smart entrepreneur and that’s why I suggested that you should buy Clothes for at least once in a month or more depending on your salary or income.
But, make sure that the “one” you will be buying will be a quality “one” not fake. Most clients will study everything you put on before they can give their project or contract to you.
You remember the adage that says “Dress as you Want to Be Regarded” So, wear quality materials if you want your clients and business partners to take you so important.
How to Create an Online Store in Nigeria: Guide to Launch Your Own Shopping Site
Do you want to create an affordable and profitable online store in Nigeria but don’t know how to get started with it? In this blog post, I will show you the easy way to launch your dream eCommerce website using a flexible CMS platform and reliable web hosting.
Oh… are you thinking right now that what is CMS and web hosting? Well, I will explain that to you as well.
But why create your own online store in the country?
In the last decade, the world has witnessed quite some changes in some of the ways people do things. One such change has been in terms of commerce. Before now, we had the physical stores with inventory scattered around, that we choose to shop from, today we have online stores all around the internet and they’re slowly taking over.
Recommended: Top Online Shopping Sites in Nigeria
Here’s a solid reason you need to launch your own store now;
Research done in 2017 has it that; “55 percent of commercial activities are carried out online worldwide”. In Nigeria, we’re all getting awakened to the idea of online shopping, and it’s expected to be a big industry in a few years to come.
With all these in mind, what stops you from owning your online store? Well, maybe you think that ‘to create or set up a profitable eCommerce website will cost you a fortune’, but that’s not true!
I’ll be showing you how to create an online store in Nigeria using some pretty cool platforms and tools, which are absolutely affordable – at least you don’t need to spend a million naira ($3,000) before you can get your own dream online shop!
Now, let start;
How to Create a Profitable Online Store in Nigeria – Complete Guide
Before heading to these platforms, you need to have certain things in place, in order to maximize your level of profitability in the e-commerce world. These are simple, yet often taken for granted, but they go a long way in growing your brand.
To build a profitable online store in Nigeria, you should follow the following steps;
1. Define Your Niché
There’s no need to start diversifying, you’re probably on lean resources at the moment, and you’re pretty not sure if this business is going to be a success, you only hope it does.
Focusing on a Niché helps in channeling your resources on that Niché. This you should do because you’re starting up, you shouldn’t diversify because the top guns are doing it. You’re not yet at their level, as your business grows, you could make plans for expansion.
I mean, you shouldn’t copy the likes of Amazon, Aliexpress, or Jumia (for now). Start with one product and try to dominate that niche to an extent, then you can think of leveraging other products.
When choosing, make sure it’s viable, and products in such a field are in great demand. In an eCommerce business, your niche doesn’t necessarily have to be something you’re passionate about, you could learn the ropes of such a niche as you forge ahead.
2. Choose your form of inventory
Many e-commerce firms today have inventories in various places, but let me tell you an easy way – Dropshipping!
You’re going into this business to maximize as much profit as possible, both forms of inventory have their pros and cons. Although you get to pay certain fees for hosting and more online, they are less expensive than having a physical inventory.
If you’re a fashion designer, you can sell your clothes in your online store in Nigeria and make more money by dropshipping related products. This same method applies to those who sell Smartphones, computer gadgets, and their accessories etcetera.
To learn more about how dropshipping works in Nigeria, check this guide.
Now. let’s talk about the next step.
3. Get a Brand Name
Another important step to abide by here is picking a brand name. Now, don’t just go about choosing any name, you wouldn’t want a situation where you’ll have to change your name often, it devalues your brand. Your name should be well thought out, it should also serve as your domain name and your social media usernames when you finally launch online.
A piece of advice on brand name choosing: Endeavor to choose an English word or phrase if you want to see real success. Not everyone will be able to write or pronounce your native name or phrase correctly, and this is bad for marketing.
Since English is the official business language in Nigeria (offline and online), I think you should have this in mind. The key here is to use simple words or phrases that’ll be easier to recommend to someone from another region of the country. Additionally, you could integrate a native word with English to make it much better.
You may decide to register the unique brand name with the government, in order to avoid anybody using it. Click here to learn how to register a business name in Nigeria
Just make sure you get a unique and brandable business name! Now, let go into the practical steps in creating your (profitable) online store in Nigeria.
4. Choose a Good CMS Platform, then build
There are many CMS platforms available to help you create your online store in Nigeria. The word “build” might sound stressful but not to worry, it’s a simple process.
Quick Tip: CMS means “Content Management System” – You can read this Wikipedia article to know more about it
Although, the level of simplicity varies depending on what platform you choose. In fact, some platforms are automated; you only have to make a few clicks on your PC. Some other platforms let you use your already existing site, you just have to install a few plugins and you’re done.
There are quite a lot of platforms to build eCommerce websites, but I recommend using either Woocommerce or Magento. Because they’re both;
- Flexible to use even, if you’re a beginner
- Very friendly and reliable
- You take control of your stuff and many beautiful reasons.
Let me talk about these two amazing CMS platforms and how you can set up your dream online store in Nigeria with them;
How to Create an Online Store with Woocommerce (WordPress) in Nigeria
Woocommerce is one of the most used platforms for e-commerce, they have a huge percentage of users in the e-commerce world. This is due to WordPress dominance on the internet – over 30% of websites are powered by WordPress.
This is why Woocommerce tends to be a much popular choice. There are other reasons why Woocommerce remains at the top. It’s pretty easy to set up, it’s open-source which makes it easier for customization, SEO friendly, and it’s totally free – you only get to pay for other external features.
Setting Up An Online Store with Woocommerce
It’s very easy to build an online store with Woocommerce, with your WordPress site, you’re good to go. Here are the steps to take.
Buy a Domain Name and Web Hosting
A domain name is an identification string that makes you unique on the web.
I will not feed you with technical jargons, a domain name is like the house address that people can use to locate you easily. For example, Gbolamedia.com is a registered domain name.
To create a successful online store, you need to buy one! After the domain name, you need to buy web hosting as well.
Web hosting allows you to make your online store accessible via the World Wide Web. A web hosting stores your website files (the text, images, and anything you upload to your store). It is like your house where you can have your possessions stored.
There are a lot of web hosting companies out there, but I recommend buying from LiquidWeb.
Why Liquidweb of all web hosting companies?
Liquid Web is a very effective and reliable web hosting provider that offers the best hosting services to consumers of various kinds. With Liquid Web, you get up to 99.9% server uptime, next-generation dedicated servers, and much more.
The web hosting company is suitable for various professions, from freelancing to agencies, and businesses of every kind.
They’ve also got great customer support on various channels, with less than minute response time. These and many more you get to enjoy when you choose from any of their hosting plans below;
Here’s a deal:
Use this Coupon Code >> GETONLINE to get 25% off, on 3 months Managed Woocommerce or WordPress Hosting.
or use SAVEBIG to get 50% when you buy a Dedicated or VPS Servers
Click here to Buy your web hosting now – the link will open in a new tab so that you can navigate back here.
After buying your domain and hosting, it’s time to build your site.
Install WordPress, then, Woocommerce plugin
After buying your domain and web hosting, you’ll be given a Cpanel. From your Cpanel (Control Panel), Install WordPress app.
Note: You can always ask for help from the Liquid web Customer care, they’re ready to assist you.
After installing the WordPress from the Cpanel, Login to your WordPress admin dashboard;
>> Then go to Plugin
>> Click on “Add New” and search for Woocommerce
>> Finally Install and activate the Woocommerce plugin
The Woocommerce plugin was designed specifically for e-commerce, it tweaks your site to make it great for an online store you’re dreaming to launch. It’s mobile-friendly since most people access these platforms via their mobile.
After installing Woocommerce, with just a few clicks, some sections of your site will be automatically created. These sections are pretty much mandatory on all e-commerce platforms; sections like Cart, Checkout, Store, My account, etc. You could further customize these, add other sections, and personalize your store.
The next step is to design your online store beautifully!
Install and Custom a Good WordPress Themes
Remember I said “Domain name is your Address” while a “Web hosting is your house”? Don’t you think it will be cool to paint the house beautifully and do some decorations to make it stand out?
You think so? Great, this is why we need a “theme” to beautify your online store.
You can get a lot of free WordPress themes, as WordPress offers lots of themes for beautifying your site, you could choose from the wide variety of available themes – but be sure to use e-commerce friendly themes.
To get a free WordPress theme, follow the steps below;
>> Login to your WordPress dashboard
>> Click on “Appearance”, then “Theme”
>> Click on “Add New”, then search for “StoreFront”
>> Click on Install and finally Activate.
Note: I recommend StoreFront because it is the best free WordPress theme for Woocommerce.
But dear, I recommend buying your own theme!
Premium themes are so blessed, you will have access to some features that you can’t get on the free themes and you will get premium support from the theme developer.
To buy a theme, go to Themeforest and search for any WordPress theme of your choice.
Quick Tip: If you are going to sell clothes, search for “Fashion eCommerce WordPress Theme”. If you want to sell Computer gadgets, search for “Computer eCommerce WordPress Theme” and so on.
After buying your theme (here), download it and upload it by following the steps you explained if you want to use a free theme. The only difference is that you will “UPLOAD” instead of searching for the theme in your WordPress admin dashboard.
Add Your Products + Details:
The next thing is to add your products. Click on “Products” in your WordPress Admin dashboard and flow with self-explanatory onboard screens. Then finally Publish and do this for all the products you will like to upload to your site.
If you need any help, kindly ask me in the comment box below.
Finally, we’re done!
You’ve successfully created a Woocommerce powered and lucrative online store in Nigeria. It’s now time to start adding products to your store.
Okay, let talk about Magento;
Magento is another wonderful platform for e-commerce, more and more users are getting to use this platform. It’s pretty new to the business and still has its quirks. Although released initially in 2008, it finally got a stable release early this year, and it’s still undergoing changes which we would see in the future. It’s a good platform for starting out your e-commerce business.
Setting Up An Online Store in Nigeria with Magento
Unlike Woocommerce, you would spend much time and effort in setting up your store, it is more like a manual process.
Note: We will not be talking about all the steps here, as we have discussed in the process of setting up a Woocommerce store. But notwithstanding, I’ll brief each step;
- Using Liquidweb as our hosting provider for Magento, choose a suitable domain name. I noted some points you should pay attention to when choosing your brand name – this could also serve as your domain name.
- Install Magento. It’s pretty easy if you follow the prompts, and select the suitable options. Since it’s open-source, you get to customize every single aspect to your taste
- Styling: Like WordPress, Magento also offers a good number of themes for a much better looking online store. Pick from the available themes and customize your site. You can as well buy premium themes from ThemeForest
- Add Products: It’s time to start selling, adding product images and description is pretty much easy and shouldn’t break a sweat.
That’s all about setting up a lucrative online store in Nigeria using WordPress or Magento. But that’s not the end, let me tell you a few things you need to do to make your store fetch you pretty income (or profits).
5. Marketing Your New Store
Marketing is the soul of any business. You are supposed to start marketing a little bit earlier before your store fully goes live. You’ve got to let people know what you’re up to, the products you offer, and many more about your brand.
Marketing has been simplified these days, social media is one huge marketing platform you should take advantage of as the top brands use this to publicize their products. You’ll be saving some money while doing this, you could start paying for a much bigger audience as you grow your store.
Set up an Instagram account and Facebook page with your business name, connect them together (Google search for how to connect Facebook page and Instagram account), and finally, start promoting your products on social media platforms.
Conclusion – Creating an Online Store in Nigeria
These are pretty much what you need for a profitable online store in Nigeria. Setting up an eCommerce store in Nigeria is pretty much an easy task, it’s even much better if you fully utilize the platforms shared above.
If you’re already using these platforms or will like to ask a few questions, kindly “CLICK TO COMMENT” and I’ll be happy to hear from you.
You can share this blog post with your friends if you find it helpful. But don’t forget to subscribe to my mailing list in order to receive free updates like this.
How to Write a Perfect Business Plan in Nigeria (And a FREE Template)
Writing a perfect business plan in Nigeria shouldn’t be a difficult task, let talk about this!
Are you starting a new business in Nigeria and you don’t want to fail? Then writing a good business plan should be considered the second great deal after your initial idea before you put in your capital.
In today’s business world, one of the great ingredients for a successful business is proper documentation, one of such documents is your Business Plan; which is why I’ll be showing you how to write a perfect business plan in Nigeria.
Well, not as perfect as an angel. But, I’m sure this blog post will really help you understand the simple secret behind writing a good business plan.
But we need to understand some basic concepts in order to fully understand the proper crafting of a business plan. In business schools, we’ve got different definitions of what a business plan is.
What is a Business Plan?
Basically; a business plan is a comprehensive, yet concise description of a business entity, be it a startup firm or well-known cooperation.
It’s a document that describes several areas of your business as an entrepreneur, these include; financial, executive, operational, marketing, and goals of your business. A business plan may serve one or all of the following purposes, which is;
- To present current and potential investors what your business entails in a bid to make them invest, or;
- To serve as a guide for the company – leading you from where you are present to where you wish to be in the future.
But often, business proposals and business plans are oftentimes, used interchangeably, while in essence, they differ to some extent. So, what are the differences between them?
Difference between Business Plan and Business Proposal
A business proposal is a document showing potential investors your business idea and how you tend to execute such an idea and how viable it is, all these are done with the aim of getting support from investors and clients. You don’t need to have a business up and running before drafting a proposal, just an idea is enough.
Business proposals are for a specified set of audience.
ALSO READ: How to Write a Good Business Proposal
A good business plan in Nigeria as earlier stated serves as a document to guide a firm into its future or to seek investment from investors. You need to have a business up and running before you could write a business plan.
A business plan is meant for a much wider spectrum of people.
Importance of a Business Plan in Nigeria
Few advantages of crafting a good business plan in Nigeria include;
A Business Plan Makes It Easier to Make Future Prediction
With a well-defined business plan, it’s much easier to predict the future of your business. When you’ve got a clear goal of where you are going, it becomes much easier to plan towards it.
It Gives You Better Understanding of Your Market
When crafting a business plan, you get to do quite a lot of research work which would include your target market. Doing this will give an insight into the market, something you probably didn’t have before.
You will Know the Business Pros and Cons
As you outline your plans, your strong points become more obvious to you, and that’s what you should focus on moving forward. You’d also see your flaws, with this knowledge, you can work on improving on them – turning them into strong points.
Business Plan Improves Decision Making
Irrespective of who your business plan is targeted at, you still get to keep a copy. This informs your decision, leading you to make better choices. If ever you lose track – which is quite certain, you could get right back with the knowledge of your intended plan.
There are many more advantages of why you should have a good business plan in Nigeria, these are just some of the more prominent ones. Therefore, it’s important you take time to carefully craft a business plan, which leads us to the next phase.
Things to Note Before Writing your Business Plan
Before you go-ahead to start writing that business plan, take note of these three points;
- Know your Audience: Who would be reading your business plan? Are they well versed in your field of expertise? probably not. This lets you choose your words so as to accommodate almost everyone, you can leave out the technical jargon because not everyone is acquainted with your field. The aim is to use simple grammar while writing, this makes it easier for any investor to comprehend what you’re up to.
- Not Too Long, Not Too Short: This is a really sketchy one, but you don’t want to tire out investors. Too long, it seems discouraging to read and most probably won’t be. Too short, you’re seen as not committed to the business. This is what you need to do; your entire document should be between 15 to 25 pages with a very legible font.
- You don’t have to be an Expert to get started: Many entrepreneurs feel reluctant to start writing a business plan, with the mindset of being an expert with good writing skills to start writing their business plan. There are lots of platforms that could help you create a really good business plan in Nigeria. You could also research available templates to make it a lot easier.
To have a more personalized business plan, you need to craft it yourself, which leads us to the meat of the article.
Proper Structure to Write a Perfect Business Plan in Nigeria
If you want to capture the hearts of your future investors, and probably something to keep you from going on track, then you need this structure in place, in the following order;
N.B. Remember to use legible font while writing, proper paragraphing should be employed and also ensure to use infographics where possible.
This is the first part of your business plan, it’s the summary of all other sections of your plans, and as such, it should be concise – not giving off too many details. A good executive summary will determine if the rest of the business plan will be read, especially by a potential investor.
If this part of your document is nicely written, stating all the relevant information, a client may not need to read the whole plan because you’ve already conveyed the whole message.
When writing a business plan in Nigeria, you should see this part of the document as your major selling point, so you need to get it right.
A perfect executive summary should summarize the following;
- Value proposition
- Problem(s) you wish to solve
- Solution(s) you’re offering
- Your target market, your competition
- Overview of your business team
- Means of funding and milestones reached.
All these shouldn’t be more than two pages of your document, with you stating the most relevant points, facts, and figures of each.
PROBLEM & SOLUTION
As an entrepreneur, your business will definitely be solving a problem, directly or indirectly. You should know what the problem is, making this the second part of your document. If your company isn’t solving any direct or indirect problem, then its relevance is questionable.
You’ve got problems to solve, how do you go about solving them?
This is where you’ve got to show your ideas’ credibility. Certainly, you’re not the only one solving the stated problem, there are probably other small business owners like yours, who’re providing similar products or services.
You’ve got to give reasons why your products and services outperform your rivals, how you intend to make it much better and easier, this is what investors care to know about. Offering a much more efficient product or service which tackles the challenges stated opens the door of investments.
ALSO READ: Top 10 Business Investors in Nigeria
Another strong point that would make your business plan stand out is by identifying and targeting a section of the market. Gone are the days of making products or offering services with no intended market, it is critical to the success of any business in the current world.
Take, for instance, you’re into clothes manufacturing, you need to have a specific gender in focus, a specific age group, and probably, people with similar style tastes. In doing this, you’ve got a good chance of succeeding in your field as you already know who you’re targeting, this will surely make investors sign those deals.
If you take a vivid look at the business world we have today, it is obvious that most business entities have direct alternatives, they may be one or more than one alternatives to your business, a perfect example is the Nigerian telecom sector. While this is good for the customers, as they’ve got varieties to pick from in case one option sucks, it’s a challenge you must face as a business entity.
What you should note therefore in your document are; what your target market entails, what your counterparts are doing currently, and how do you wish to improve on it. Remember, you need to offer better products or services than your competition, or offer these products/services in a much better way.
After you must have written all the above sections, you then need to come up with an execution plan. Whatever will be written here has to be feasible, without knowing how to go about executing, your plan will remain just a mere plan without life. This is where your plan gets into action.
“Execution” in business plan entails how you tend to market your products/services and your brand, and the mediums required to do so. There’s also a need to structure your pricing policy in relation to the current market.
You don’t necessarily need to give out the actual figures, but you could suggest pricing patterns – the same price as the market, or higher/lesser than the actual market figure. When writing your business plan in Nigeria, it’s important you’ve got steps to execute it, investors don’t invest in oral contents – they invest in the actual content.
Publicity is one good point to note when writing a perfect business plan in Nigeria. Truth be told, no one is going to come to look for you if you don’t exist. If you’re just an entrepreneur starting out, then you need to make people know you exist.
Your branding, PR, and advertising all come under this part of your business plan. You’re competing against similar brands and you need publicity to grow your business beyond its current level.
TEAM & COMPANY OVERVIEW
Now your business plans have been stated out, revealing all the bits and pieces, and how to execute, but who will execute? Your team of experts is the people responsible for bringing this plan to life. You need to have a competent team, who should be able to carry out this plan and you have to include this in your document.
You don’t need to highlight the titles of the personnel involved here, an apt description of their level of proficiency in their respective field will be enough.
In your team and company overview, you’d have to include the following to give more insights about the plan;
- Your intellectual property,
- Your mission statement
- Business structure
- Business history
- Your financial plan
- Personnel plan and your profit/loss profile.
Now, Your FREE Business Plan Template
As you see in the title of this blog post, I promise to give a free business plan template, and here it is. Please enter your best email address and name in the contact form here and write in the message ox that “I need the business plan template“. Click on “SUBMIT” and the template will be sent to you.
CONCLUSION – Writing a Perfect Business Plan in Nigeria
Writing a good business plan could be an arduous task, but with proper research and commitment, you could craft a perfect business plan among your competitors in Nigeria. You don’t want to rush things, take it a step at a time.
If you need a good business plan writer in Nigeria, you can contact me here or use the free template to craft your own plan.
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