First, the key is offering service. Do not be overly fixated on profitability. Find a niche area – a problem – many people have not addressed and try to solve it. Just focus on addressing that issue and forget for a while the profit aspect.
While solving that societal problem or meeting the need of the society, keep your eye on how you can be sustainable. But let the driving force be anchored on meeting the needs. Do not lose that vision, otherwise, you will not find success.
Internet is a huge opportunity. It is truly a platform for business and you must not ignore it. It gives us the access to tap the world and build wealth doing it. Anyone anywhere can see your products and services.
As you build your site or web presence, never forget your target audience. In other words, who are the people you want to address their needs? How wealthy are there? Are they educated in your offering? How can you connect with them online since all they read there will tell them about the products and services. While you have the second chance to re-explain yourself in person, in online, that may not work out easily. Of course, an online feedback mechanism can help in that. Communication must exist and that must be two-way.
So finding a way to connect to your audience will help you become successful in Internet business.
For Nigeria, the biggest challenge is payment system. How are you going to get them to actually make purchase? Now they have read the good products and services you are offering to solve their needs, how can they get them? You have to evaluate the bank option, office visit option and using Interswitch payment system.
Yet, paying thousands of naira to Interswitch to have them collect few hundreds in a year may not be a good idea. Your business must be strong and growing before you make those kinds of investments unless you have a lot of funding.
But remember, Nigeria is a tough place for business. You need to be adaptive and persevere when things seem to not be looking fine. That means if the original Internet idea is not working, be open to try plan B.
All in all, it will take a lot of money to run a web business in Nigeria. You probably need at at least a million naira because you need security of your site, the payment system and then the expensive data plan in Nigeria to go online. Think through and see if there are people that will buy those services. If you see then, then go for it.
Alternatively, it is happening in Kenya right now, you can brand your products internationally and get someone in US to help you collect the money. There are companies that are emerging for such needs in US. The truth is that your product may not appeal to Nigeria alone, it can have international value. You must have that vision and execute accordingly.
Good luck with your internet busiess.