ICT, short for Information and Communication Technology is an umbrella that encompasses all forms of technological manifestations.
The social media, internet, computers, smartphones, televisions, e-library, robots, radios etc. are all components of ICT.
ICT has made many billionaires over the years especially those that are directly involved with research and production. The likes of Steve Jobs (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (facebook), Lee Kun-hee (Samsung) and lots more.
ICT itself has the huge potential of turning a dealer into billionaire within a short while due to the indispensable need for these technological gadgets which makes life easier.
In starting an ICT business, you can either go into production and sales or wholesaling/retailing. We won’t talk about production and selling here but we will discuss everything you need to know about having your own ICT business center.
Reasons Why You Should Go Into ICT Business
- ICT business is not seasonal, sales can peak in every month of the year.
- It is not stagnant but dynamic. New products with beautiful designs and functionalities are constantly being introduced by companies into the market.
- They are easy to sell and make profits. You can put them for sale through ecommerce websites or online stores such as Jumia and Konga or display them in your offline shops.
- They offer customers lots of choices due to their availability in various price range.
Outline Of Steps On How To Start An Ict Business
- Sourcing for capital
- Getting a location
- Choosing and registering a business name with CAC
- Stocking your shop
- Advertising your ICT business
Now, lets take them one after the other:
Starting a fully functioning ICT business requires a huge amount of capital. Depending on what you want, you can either rent a building where you will display your items for sale or build one if you have the capacity to do so.
Building one comes with a lot of advantages and saves you a lot of troubles but it’s not a must. In order to start this business you will need at least from 5 million naira up for retailer and about 10-100 million naira for wholesale.
2. Getting a Location
This is the most important step among other steps since it can directly impact on your sales. Like I said above, you can either lease a shop or build one. If you already had an apartment, you are not there yet. You have to take accessibility and exposure into consideration.
When leasing a shop, you should get one that fulfills the following:
- It should be properly connected by roads thus making it easily accessible
- It should be easier to locate by a first timer following a description or advertisement
- It should ideally be located in populated area with potential buyers.
3. Choosing and Registering a Business Name with CAC
After securing your shop or building, the next step should be the choosing of business name and also getting it registered with Corporate Affairs Commission CAC. Below is a summary of steps on how to register a company in Nigeria, you can check the link below for more details.
- Step One: Check for availability of proposed company name on the CAC website.
- Step Two: Choose a new Name.
- Step Three: Complete the pre-registration form – use the CAC1.1 online option or download and fill.
- Step Four: Pay the filing fees to CAC.
- Step Five: Pay Stamp duty fee to FIRS.
Note: Steps 3-5 can be completed on CAC’s COMPANY REGISTRATION PORTAL (CRP).
- Step Six: Prepare the signed scan copy of your pre-registration documents for upload as follows:
- Form CAC1.1
- Memorandum and Article of Association (MEMART)
- Proficiency certificate (where applicable)
- Recognized form of identification for Director(s)/Subscriber(s) and Secretary
- Stamp duty certificate
- Evidence of payment to CAC
- Upload the scanned documents for processing.
You will need to submit the original copies of the documents uploaded at step 6 (Form CAC1.1, MEMART, etc) to the CAC office you had selected in exchange for your Certificate of Incorporation and the Certified True copies of the documents.
Check the link below for more details on how to register a business name in Nigeria
4. Stocking your Shop
If your plan was to sell ICT gadgets, then at this point, you should start your importation. Things are a lot cheaper in china and majority of Nigerians import goods mostly from china. You can get your agent in china who will help you procure the goods and see through the shipping to Nigeria.
It is wise to get more knowledge on importation and the way to gain such knowledge is by seeking the help of someone who has already gained grounds on importation. This will help you avoid mistakes that will cause you to lose your goods.
5. Advertising your ICT Business
Business does not end with stocking of shop and hiring of employees. It goes on to encompass marketing in which advertisement is incorporated. There are various ways in which you can advertise your ICT Business here in Nigeria. I’ll list and explain some of them which mostly are the commonest means of advertisement.
- TV Adverts: you can advertise your business by placing an advert on TV. The target here will be mostly the older people and office workers. This is because young people tend to spend their time watching something entertaining other than news and the likes. Most offices have TVs so your advert can get across to them too.
TV advert has the advantage of providing a more detailed information on your business. Your entire business center and products can be covered in a video and displayed to the public unlike other means of advertisement.
- Radio Adverts: the radio also provides a means of advertisement though it is less efficient compared with that of the TV. Adverts on radio will mostly provide information on the location, types of product, nature of services and contact details of your business center but not how it looks.
- Social media Advertisements: social media adverts are now the trend. This is because billions of people all over the world are social media users. There are numerous social apps and websites but the recommended ones are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This means has advantage over the radio because you can make either video, picture or written adverts.
- Websites: websites with high number of visitors are good means of advertisement. You can place your adverts mostly in terms of banners (images) on these sites and get people redirected to your main business website, email address or store. You can also advertise on Google or YouTube just like on Facebook and others.
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