The telecommunications industry in Nigeria is one that can currently be described as self-aware and steadily adapting to the stark realities of business – changing trends, intense rivalry, regulatory uncertainties, etc.
The sector is the largest segment of the Information and Communication sector. Nigeria has one of the largest telecom markets in Africa. The Nigerian Telecommunication sector has evolved over the years to an oligopolistic market structure (a small number of firms have the majority of market share). Read through the following steps if you want to start a telecommunication business.
1. Write a Business Plan
A sound business plan is essential to get started and succeed. There are many sites and manuals out there that can guide you through writing a business plan, or you can hire professionals to work with you on creating one. The essential elements of the plan should be:
- Executive summary: This is a synopsis of your entire plan in a succinct paragraph or two. Imagine this as your elevator pitch to investors. Whoever reads this should understand what your business is going to be and how it will work.
- Business Description: What exactly will your business do and how will it operate?
- Marketing Strategies: Where will your business fit into the current market and how will it capture that portion of the market?
- Competitive Analysis: Who are your competitors in this space, and what is your advantage?
- Development Plan: Describe where the company will go and how it will get there.
- Operations and Management Plan: How will the company be run, who will run it and what are their qualifications?
- Financial Projections: What are you projecting in terms of profits for the first five years?
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2. Acquire facilities and start installations
It is important to acquire state-of-the-art telecommunication equipment/facilities because they will offer your intended customers better services. Acquiring facilities and installation entail deploying masts, coaxial cables, radio wave, Fiber Optic Cables, standby generators at base stations, computers, mobile phones, VSAT, and so on.
These are needed to run a big telecom business like MTN and Glo. But to do a simpler business, like recharge card printing business, one has to buy a computer or laptop, printer, and airtime codes decryption software, etc.
3. Get your IP addresses and ASN
The next step is to get resources, such as Internet protocol (IP) addresses and an Autonomous System Number (ASN) from the local regional Internet registry (RIR). An RIR manages the distribution of IP addresses and ASN resources in a specific region on behalf of IANA. There are five RIRs, each covering a continent; AfriNIC in the case of Africa.
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4. Find Funding
There are several avenues for funding a business. The way you decide to fund yours will depend largely on your means and how much money you need to get started. Since you already have a business plan, you should have a number in mind.
- Get a small business loan from the SBA.
- Find angel investors. These are wealthy individuals who invest in new companies.
- Find venture capital funding. If you need a lot of money to get started, this may be the best route. Venture investors usually have more money to invest than angel investors because they are backed by firms.
- Use crowdsourcing. This method of fundraising is gaining popularity. Start a site and ask for individuals to invest. In return, they will get a share in the company or special perks once you’re up and running.