Thinking of businesses you can start with zero naira? If you are reading this, I can deduce one crucial fact about you and that is the fact that you have access to the internet. This already sets you apart from the 53% of the Nigerian population without internet access.
Now, consider internet access as your capital and I will help you identify neighbourhood businesses you can start with Zero Naira. A word of caution- if you do not believe in possibilities or you have lived all your life believing in and holding on to the assumption that money is all you need to start a business, I will suggest you read Lean Start-Up and Zero to One. These books will help change your perspective.
While money is important, it is not all you need to start a business. The secret to making money any where in the world is to focus passionately on providing value to others who need your service or your product.
In other words, whether you are rendering a service or you are selling a product, your utmost aim should be to provide something of value to people who need it. When you offer something of value to others who need it, money comes as an end-result.
Your understanding of the concept of “value” as i have described above would help to stimulate your thoughts and spur you to move from zero naira to wealth. I have identified 4 proven businesses that you can start with zero Naira:
Number 1- Real Estate Middleman
If you live in Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt or any of the major cities in Nigeria, you must have come across “to let” or “for sale” signs in front of properties or offices of some property agents. You can take the steps I have outlined below to become a real estate middleman.
Step 1– Walk up to an agent in your neighbourhood, introduce yourself as a property marketer and ask him to provide you a list of properties available for rent or for sale. Negotiate a commission.
Step 2– List those properties on property sites like Jiji, Nairaland, Olx, Nigerianpropertycentre, and tolet.com. Include images in your description while listing. You may be thinking the agent would have listed the properties on those sites. This is not always the case. What I have observed is that less educated agents in the neighbourhoods do not explore the internet as much but they do have a lot of information about which properties are for rent and which are up for sale. They are grassroots people and a lot of people rely on them for information.
Step 3– Stay close to your phone always. Every call is important. Learn phone techniques.
Step 4- Once a call comes through, fix an inspection date with the client and inform the agent that you would be bringing a client to inspect the property. Because you are targeting properties just around your neighbourhood, you are likely to incur zero cost on transportation. In some cases, potential clients come in their own cars.
Step 5- Persuade the client during inspection and elaborate on the good features of the property and the location in general. Learn the art of persuasion here.
Step 5– If you succeed in convincing the client to buy or rent, ensure you keep in touch with the client to know when payment is being made. With this, you can protect your commission.
Number 2- Car Sales Agent
This is pretty much like the property business I have described above. It operates the same way. You must have seen “for sale” cars on main roads leading to your neighbourhood or place of work.
Be on the lookout for super neat cars that are on display. Approach the dealer and negotiate a commission. You can list on Jiji, Olx, Nairaland and cars24. Update your listing from time to time to keep it on the front page of the site.
Number 3- Be a Master of Ceremony (MC) at events
Have you always been told that you are good talker? Turn this trait to wealth by offering to be MC at events. Take these steps:
Step 1- Keep your ear to the ground for low-budget events in your neighbourhood. Every event needs a MC. For instance, a couple who plan to have a low budget wedding may need a MC for the reception programme. Walk up to them and offer your service for a small fee. Take whatever they are willing to offer. Your ultimate goal is to have the attention of 50-150 people giving you attention at the reception programme. That attention is priceless. Attention is what radical businesses like Facebook and Instagram thrive on.
Step 2- Practice your art before the d-day including the jokes you would crack in-between. If you’ve never spoken to a crowd of people, you may learn public speaking skills.
Step 3- Come up with a cool brand name.
Step 4- Ensure you give out your phone numbers to the audience. Do this with an incredible sense of humour. A MC did that at an event I attended sometime ago. It works!
Number 4- Home Lesson Teacher
Do you enjoy teaching young people? Put up a banner around your neighborhood. With schools loading their pupils with home-work that are out of proportion, parents often struggle to help their kids with homework. Offer to help for a small fee. Deliver value and you will get recommendations.
Do you know other profitable neighbourhood businesses and would like to share? Make a comment.