5 essential steps to starting a side business in Nigeria without quitting your job

4 min read

Your work is not safe.

There’s always an uncertainty around your employment wherever you’re working. That’s only worse in Nigeria of 2016 where some companies have been forced to fire over 50% of their staff.

In an economy such as the one we now have, having a bit of insurance is never a bad form. The insecurity is only one reason to start a side business. Some people stay so long in jobs they really don’t love, all because the chances of getting a new one is slim.

Launching a side business based on your own creativity, passion and experience can help you move from a place of frustration to one of self-assured satisfaction.

Want to learn how?

1. Venture into a business that centers around your passion

Starting a business will require a lot of your time. So, it might be wise to do something you enjoy. Think of what you are really passionate about. Could it be writing? Travelling?  Dancing? Find a way to make money doing it.

You can be a freelance writer or you can start a blog where you can constantly write about a topic you are well-versed in.

If it’s not writing, look within to find out what it is and find a way to make money doing it. When you find what that thing is, it won’t even feel like work.

2. Have a business plan

Even a part-time business needs a full-size business plan. In particular, be sure you’re able to describe a viable business model for generating profits.

Make sure your business plan describes what your business is about, how it’ll solve the problems of your customers, how you intend to sell your business to the customers and sales estimate you intend making over a period of time.

A business plan will serve as a reminder about the primary objective of your business. It’ll also serve as a guide to success for you. Learn how to write a good business plan here.

3. Set a time management plan

Managing your own business will require a lot of your time. You’ll want to develop a culture that’ll compel you to follow some certain routines to run your business smoothly.

Act as your own boss and your own employee at the same time. For example, during the weekend, create a list of “TO DOs” for the new week. Start by listing your tasks, ranking them according to priority and scheduling them into your week and set reminders. On Monday consult the list and work on tasks just as you scheduled during the weekend.

With a carefully planned schedule, you can manage your time on how to deliver in your both positions as an entrepreneur and an employee.

4. Outsource some tasks

The temptation for those running a side business is to do all the work themselves. A smart way is to outsource some tasks so that you can spend your time managing and building the business.

For instance, a freelance music instructor who at some point have so many classes to take can sub-contracts them to a team of instructors, and enjoy the profit margin after paying them. Another example is for someone who runs an online store. He can employ the services of a delivery man that can help with getting ordered goods to his clients.

Outsourcing allows one the ability to do multiple jobs that could never have been done alone, while one can still work as an employee.

5. Leverage technology

In this age of technological advancement, there are a lot of smartphone applications and computer software that can help to reduce hours one can spend on tasks to just seconds or minutes in some cases.

For instance, there’s a simple email marketing tool called MailChimp. You can design, analyze and send out newsletters to a small customer base with it.

Another is Typeform, which enables you to create good looking survey forms. With Canva, you get the power to create engaging graphic design jobs even as a rookie graphic designer.


Once you have a perfect idea, start with it. You can start small by offering a product or service through one of the existing e-commerce platforms, and see what customers think of your business. At least, you can build from there.

Do you work full time and still manage a side business? Tell us how you manage both in the comments box below.

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Featured image via chase.com
Olumide Olayeye

Olumide Olayeye is an ardent sport lover, occasional writer and an aspiring entrepreneur.

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