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Entrepreneurship in Nigeria has been extremely glorified. It isn’t rare to find young people talking about how much they can’t wait to leave their 9-5 jobs for something more lucrative where they get to be their own boss.
This isn’t a bad thing. However, it is important to know about both the pros and cons of entrepreneurship before taking the leap.
Below are some of the hard truths:
It’s not always going to rain on Sunday
This simply means that there will be days where the income just isn’t coming in as it should. This doesn’t make you a bad entrepreneur. In fact, the true test of entrepreneurship is being able to withstand days or months like these. To combat this, make sure you get your savings right and you have enough for the dry seasons.
Not everyone is built for entrepreneurship.
So entrepreneurship isn’t just something you enter into because the sight of your boss disgusts you and you would like to wake up whenever you deem fit. It isn’t equally something everyone is destined to retire to. See point number 1, if you have that level of stamina to persevere where the going gets tough because that is inevitable, then by all means venture into it because many things are uncertain and risky about entrepreneurship. However, one thing that is certain is the fact that it will get tough.
A major part of your income will be spent on electricity.
Lots of times, people don’t factor in the costs that fuel for the generator incure. In a day, you could end up spending as much as N10,000; calculate that for a week, now do the costing for a month. Not pretty is it? Unfortunately, you are no longer an employee and costs such as these which were previously not a concern of yours have now become part and parcel of your priority list. It is essential to factor in these costs, as it will be a key factor in how many hands you hire, the budget you present to your clients etc.
A lot of meetings are a waste of time.
This is especially true in Lagos. Many prospective clients feel the need to have countless meetings regarding issues that can be sorted out via a single phone call. Guys, we are in the digital age, and there are things called Skype, Whatsapp video calls, etc, through which you can have virtual meetings. As an entrepreneur, time is money. Half the time there’s traffic on the roads. Then if you don’t own a car yet, you have to use Uber/Taxify to get to said meetings. You should get into the habit of determining whether or not a meeting is needed, and if not, politely explain to your client that a virtual meeting would suffice.
People like to OWE money
Yes, OWE is in caps for emphasis! When you first start out as an entrepreneur, it can be quite an exciting feeling knowing that people are patronizing your business. I tell you, your customers can smell your rookie excitement from a mile away. And if you are not careful, there are some people who will try to take advantage of you when they sense that you are a new, hungry entrepreneur on the come up. You need to come up with a payment system that favors and protects you. For instance, some service providers insist on upfront payment before service is carried out. Explore your options and find out what would work best for you depending on your field.
You will work harder than you’ve ever worked.
The success or failure of your business is all on you. No pressure.
Nothing could ever prepare you for the life of an entrepreneur. You sink or swim. There are no short cuts. Some make it and others don’t. It is however important that you think carefully about all the pros and cons before you dive in. It is also of high importance that you read and try to equip yourself with as much information in the field in which you are trying to get into. Be a sponge and soak it all in, as much as you can.
Are you looking to take the leap to become a full on entrepreneur? Please consider some of these points. Are you an existing entrepreneur with a few more hard truths of your own? Please share in the comments below.