So you have decided you have a service you can can provide for a fee. Great news that’s the first step. The second is your network and presentation. While some Nigerians have taken to spamming their fellow Nigerians with messages on the services they think they can provide – I implore you not to follow this step if you were ever contemplating it. Do not send BBM broadcasts about your business – it is disrespectful to yourself and those you are spamming.
If your service is a creative one – always document your work and get on social media to advertise your work. Pictures speak volumes for artists – make up, hair, bead making etc. Follow established players and observe their good habits to display your work. You can also follow popular people on the likes of Instagram and offer them gift or samples of your work – or heck you can send me the sample – I will give you an unbiased review (if you want a biased review, nor send me anything oh)! People who have viewership who come across your service will be willing to make noise about you if your work is top notch.
If you opt to provide a service like say business consulting- presentations or training, it will be beneficial to register a company so that you can create a letter head and your proposal documents with a standard format etc. Why? Most people will not pay you as much if you bill under your name as opposed to if you bill under a company name with a RC number. If you can’t afford it – is there someone close to you who you can use their company and maybe pay them a token? If all fails, then go ahead and bill under your name. I speak from experience with billing under my name vs billing under a company – the difference in earnings can vary by as much as about 50%.
It is important to present your business in a serious manner. Do not offer your work to any and everybody, offer your services to folks who you think can afford what you are selling before you become frustrated because you have plenty work but little earnings. Personally I would rather do 10 decent to well paid jobs a year than 50 poorly paid jobs. It costs the same in terms of effort to braid hair in Mowe as it does in Ikoyi – this is just an analogy. When you advertise your service be proud of what it is you are offering – if you cannot sell yourself, what can you sell? All my work is from referrals and there is a bottom line which I will not go below – why? What I am offering is not for everyone. When you go to Apple, you don’t expect to pay the price of Techno – now if your network is Techno level – there is nothing wrong with working that crowd properly, but make sure the pay out is reflective of the effort. I have had clients who started out as trouble makers – so what I do is this – on initial contact with a client, I present my CV along with the proposal and the invoice. If you proceed to attempt to go below a certain point, I generally respond that unfortunately I won’t be able to work with you at that particular time given the unfavorable circumstances (its my way of telling you a**hole not today). Lol.
DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT SPAM FOLKS WITH YOUR BUSINESS OR PROPOSED BUSINESS – it cheapens your services. It’s better to pick a select few people and talk to them about what you are offering. Do it with confidence and even if folks do not have use for your service, they will keep you in mind or recommend clients to you. Part of networking is discussing with people what you have to offer and more often than not folks will listen and help you out.
That’s my 25 kobo for the day. Did I leave out anything? If you recently started a business how did you go about spreading the word?