Great business ideas, anyone?

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*Three friends, two of whom were management consultants and the other working in advertising  were on a holiday trip throwing around ideas for a new business and realized that there was a gap in the market for a new smoothie product, one based on natural ingredients, after six months of blending and gathering public opinion on different flavors, they went on to write and re-write their business plan eleven times before being turned down by a succession of potential investors and banks for funding. At last a wealthy businessman pitched in 250 thousand  pounds to set the ball rolling. Innocent drinks made it’s first million dollars in it’s second year and now sells around 2 million smoothies a week, commanding a 75% market share in the UK. In 2010 Coca Cola paid 65 million pounds for a 58% stake in the company.

*Matthew Corrin managed to create such a hype around Freshii – his  company that sells fresh, healthy fast food that when he opened for business there were queues around the block and he sold out before lunch time daily.

*Amanda Hockings made millions selling a self published e-book.

Stories like these about business ideas that took off really well and had happy endings are far outweighed by sad tales about start up businesses that went bad as soon as they began, these are a dime a dozen.

A great example of a story chronicling the struggle in the early days of successful business moguls to rise above various challenges common to  start-up businesses in Nigeria is that of the humble beginnings of Coscharis boss, Cosmas Maduka. There is no shortage of phenomenal  businessmen with multi million naira conglomerates  in Nigeria, Men and women with some of the brightest  and most  discerning minds who successfully predict future trends and drive their companies to the top of their industries.

From manufacturing to telecommunications, real estate/property, shipping, construction, oil & gas, fashion & retail, automobile, banking, media, hospitality, transport, gaming and technology, The likes of Aliko Dangote, Micheal Otedola, Micheal Adenuga, Hakeem Bello Osagie, Tony Elumelu, Cosmas Maduka and many others are pioneering fresh ideas and rising to the top of their game.

Below are a few of the numerous business ventures one could take on;

Service industry ( consulting, training, office/home cleaning services etc)
Restaurant and fast food business
Fashion/ jewellery/fabric retailing
Wholesale and retailing of various items including phones & phone accessories, computers, electronics,generators, petroleum products
Frozen food ( meat, seafood)
Catering and event management
sale of baked goods, small chops & drinks
Haulage
Car rental services
Garbage disposal
Sale of machinery & equipments
Children toys and outfits
Branding & sales of branded items (T-shirts, banners, gift items etc)
Medical supplies
Sell advert space on your website
Real estate/ property business
Online magazine/newspaper
Manufacturing of drinks and bottled water.

Whatever you choose to do remember to :

1.  Carry out a thorough research prior to venturing into a business new to you.

2. Establish a business you can control

3.  Execute ideas properly

4.  Move with the times – embrace new practices and ditch techniques that have become obsolete/unproductive. Adaptability is key.

The truth is there are few new ideas out there, Chances are someone else already thought about that great idea before you did but the innovative twist you bring to an idea can stand you out – so take an idea if nothing fresh comes to mind and give it your own unique twist that will have people clamouring for your services day and night.

Do you have any great business ideas you want to share? Are you a business owner? Did your business take off on the first try or  were there  obstacles you had to surmount? To what extent does overhead cost eat into your profit margin? What factors mitigate against the success of small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria and why is the survival rate of SMEs sooo low? The difficulties faced in finding investors, Inadequate power supply, almost non existent access to loan facilities, high tax rate  and various forms of government interference are but a few of the challenges facing the average entrepreneur in Nigeria. Any helpful tips for those planning to join the business owners train? Go ahead please, we’re all ears eyes.

Happy holiday everyone.

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