Lately, I’ve been toying with the idea of taking a one-year break from the 9a.m – 5p.m hustle and bustle due to various reasons. First I need to go back to school, secondly I’ll be getting married and thirdly, I intend to kick start a side business. Can I afford to take this break? By my calculations, certainly, I can cos by the time I’m making my planned exit from the labour force, my net worth will be a bit more than N10mn. So I’ve been thinking of what I’d be motivated to do on a daily and continuous basis without getting bored.
Several ideas have cropped up but one fascinating thing I’ve discovered about the Nigerian economy or business environment is the immense opportunities waiting to be tapped. This may be due to my current job role, which affords me the opportunity to interface with consumers on a daily basis. Truly, the future of this country lies with SMEs and the various products and services these small scale organizations will be offering to such a large population as ours. I intend to be part of this small pool of entrepreneurs. Most times, we spend our whole lives in search of that unique idea that will bring the million naira home but often times, there are boundless opportunities around us on a daily basis, staring us in the face that I can’t imagine so many people have not though of it. Let me give some examples below:
Breakfast Bars: with the numerous fast food outlets we have in this country and the nameless Mamaput at every corner of any Nigerian street, I’m surprised that we don’t have breakfast bars that will open at 8a.m and close by 12noon daily to take care of the busy professionals who never have the time to eat in the morning. It won’t be the usual run of the mill fast food outlets, rather food items such as yam and eggs, bacon and toast bread, boiled potatoes and fish or corned beef stew, boiled or roasted plantain and groundnut stew, egg sandwiches and other break fast staples. You could even decide that prospective customers phone in to place their orders while breakfast is served at their various workplaces.
Ewa Agonyin Package Delivery Services: I never thought that Ofada (indigenous rice) would become a hot food staple at major ceremonies and social occasions within the country, but of late this local delicacy keeps popping up at all social ceremonies within the country. Has someone ever thought about delivering Ewa Agonyin to offices and even at parties? Let me know if you have.
Reinventing Boli and Epa (i.e. roasted plantain and groundnut): There’s a woman who sells this delicacy a few meters away from the office. I usually patronise her every other day. I got thinking about the various ways this woman could make more money if she included delivery and attractive packaging to her food staple offer instead of siting down by the roadside, waiting for passersby to patronise her. What if she included groundnut stew? what if she included pepper sauce and a whole lot of other options… would this innovations increase her sales?
Just Like A Wife: We live in an environment where men marry late due to a lot of socio-economic reasons. How about offering to clean bachelor pads, you can even include dry cleaning and cooking services; shop for gifts for the girlfriend, mother, sisters and extended family for a monthly stated sum.
Candle Holders: Due to the epileptic nature of PHCN (Power Holding Company Nigeria), most homes cannot do without candles but this also comes with its’own disadvantage. There have been cases of individuals losing their valuables and properties due to our forgetful nature of leaving the candles on even when we’re through with most of our household chores. So, I thought why do we not have indigenous manufacturers of candle holders. I’m sure there’s a big market for this product.
These are some of the business ideas I can think of right now. If you have any more ideas, please feel free to share your thoughts.