10 Essential Steps to Writing a Business Plan in Nigeria

  • Reading time:26 mins read

Going into business by yourself in Nigeria is both exciting and challenging. A clear plan is essential for success, whether starting a new business or growing an old one. This is why you need this article, which outlines 10 essential steps to writing a business plan.

You might wonder why you need a business plan. You could think of it as a business plan—a detailed record that lists your goals, strategies, and the steps you’ll take to see them through. It’s not just a formality; it’s a strategic tool that helps you make choices, get funding, and stay focused on your goals, even though business is constantly changing.

If you don’t have a business plan, these things could happen:

  1. Not having a clear goal: You need a business plan to know where to go or what to do with your business. This can make it hard to decide and keep your eye on your long-term goals.

steps to writing a business plan

  1. More money: Investors and banks must see a business plan before lending money or funding. Without a well-thought-out plan, you might have trouble getting the cash you need to start or grow your business.
  2. Making bad choices: A business plan is like a road map that helps you make intelligent choices. With one, you might make timely decisions or miss important details that could hurt your business’s success.
  3. Problems getting partners: People who want to work with, supply, or partner with a business that needs a clear plan may be hesitant. A business plan shows you are serious and skilled, making forming partnerships easier.
  4. Inefficient resource allocation: You need a business plan to guide your resource allocation to save time, money, and energy on things that don’t help your business grow or make money.
  5. Not being able to see problems: A well-written business plan thoroughly studies possible issues and risks. With this insight, you can deal with unexpected problems.

Now, look at the steps to write a business plan in Nigeria. Here is a complete list of everything you should think about:

  • Conduct market research
  • Define your business idea and goals
  • Outline your goals and products or services.
  • Find your target market.
  • Competitive analysis
  • Develop your marketing and sales strategy.
  • Create a Financial Plan.
  • Write out your business operations plan.
  • Formulate a management and organisational structure
  • Establish your business goals and milestones.

Every step is very important for building your business plan and getting ready to become an entrepreneur. Let’s examine each step individually to understand how it helps your business succeed in Nigeria.

1. Conduct market research.

It’s essential to do a lot of study on the Nigerian market before jumping right into your business. This step helps you learn more about your competition, target market, and the trends in your industry. To do market research well, follow these steps:

  • Figure out who you want to reach: Who are your possible buyers? Who are they, what do they like, and what bothers them? If you know your target audience, you can ensure that your products or services meet their needs.
  • Look at your competitors: Find out about Nigerian companies already working in your field. What kind of goods or services do they offer? What do they do well and could be better? By looking at your competitors, you can find holes in the market and opportunities to set yourself apart.
  • Learn about market trends: Keep up with market changes and how people act. Are there new trends or changes in customer needs that might affect your business? If you stay informed, you can change your tactics to exploit market opportunities.
  • Collect information: Use various study methods to learn more about your market. This could involve polls, interviews, focus groups, or looking at data and studies already available. Gathering more information will help you better understand how your market works.
  • Check for feasibility: Determine whether your business idea will work in the Nigerian market. Do enough people want your goods or services and be ready to pay for them? Consider the risks and problems you might face and devise ways to deal with them.
  • Use resources on the Internet: Use the tools and resources you can find online to study the market. You can find much helpful information about market trends, customer behaviour, and industry reports for Nigeria on many different platforms and databases.
  •  Look for local knowledge: You should seek help from Nigerian experts or consultants who know the market well. They can provide helpful information and advice about the local business climate, helping you make intelligent choices.
  • Keep your flexibility: The process of market study never ends. Constantly monitor how the market is changing and adjust your plans as needed. Flexibility helps you stay competitive and adapt to changing market situations.

2. Define your business idea and goals: 

Lay the groundwork for success. To start your own business in Nigeria, you must clearly describe your business idea and goals. This step ensures that your business will be successful and help you reach your goals.
Great ways to define your business idea and goals:

  • Make your business idea more straightforward: Start by clearly describing your business idea. What will you sell or do for people? How is your company different from others in the same field? Figure out your unique value proposition and how it meets the wants of your Nigerian target audience.

writing a business plan

  • Write down your goals. SMART goals are clear, measurable, attainable, necessary, and have a due date. They are meant to help you stay on track and give you feedback on your progress. Set clear goals aligning with your general vision, whether making more money, getting more customers, or releasing new products.
  • Make a SWOT analysis: Use a SWOT analysis to determine your business’s pros, cons, chances, and threats. Identify the internal factors that give you an edge over your competitors and those that need work.
  • Figure out who you want to reach: Figure out which part of Nigeria’s market you want to reach. Who are your dream customers, and what do they like about your business? If you know your target market, you can ensure that your goods or services meet their needs.
  • Make your mission and vision clear: Write an exciting goal statement explaining what your business does and stands for. Your mission statement should motivate and move everyone with a stake in your business, such as customers, workers, and investors. 
  • Set goals for your money: You should set cash goals and plans for your business—set goals for sales and income, as well as a budget for different costs. Setting reasonable money goals will help you stay on track with your spending and track your progress over time.
  • Encourage a culture of new ideas: Encourage your employees to be creative and develop new ideas. Create an environment where employees can share their thoughts and help find solutions. 
  • Follow the law and ethics rules: Ensure your business’s ideas and goals align with Nigeria’s laws and morals. Learn about the rules and regulations, how to get a license and the best ways to do things in your business. 

3. Outline your goals and products or services

When starting a business in Nigeria, you need to list your products or services and goals. This will help you figure out what you want to give and how you plan to get there. Here’s how to write a good description of your goods or services and your goals:

  • List the things you sell or offer: List the goods or services you want to sell in Nigeria. -What answers will you give your target market to meet their needs? Make it clear to your customers what you will offer them, whether physical goods, digital goods, or specialised services
  • Research the market: Conduct extensive market research on Nigeria to learn about demand, competition, and price changes before deciding what products or services to offer. Find holes in the market that your products can fill and ensure they fit your target audience’s wants.
  • Describe what makes your business unique: Find out what makes your Nigerian goods or services different from those of your competitors. What benefits or traits make your business stand out?
  • Set goals for your services or products: Set clear goals for your services or goods that align with your overall business objectives. Set clear goals to keep track of your progress and success, whether your goal is to boost sales, add more products, or make customers happier.
  • Figure out pricing strategies: Set prices for your goods or services based on their cost, what others charge, and what people think they are worth. Ensure that your pricing plan keeps you competitive in the Nigerian market.
  • Make a road map for your product: Create a product plan that shows when your products will be developed and available. Break down the steps involved in making, testing, and selling a product so that the rollout in Nigeria goes smoothly and on time.
  • Pay attention to quality and customer happiness: When you give your goods or services, put quality and customer satisfaction first. Spend money on product development, customer service, and help after the sale to get people in Nigeria to trust and stick with you.
  • Listen to and act on feedback from the market: Monitor market feedback and customer reviews regularly to gauge the success of your goods or services. Accept constructive feedback and use it to improve your work.

4. Find your target market

For your business to succeed in Nigeria, you need to know who your target market is. Your target market is the exact group of people or companies most likely to buy your goods or use your services. Here are some excellent ways to find your target market:

  • Research the market: To start, you should conduct extensive market studies to learn about the demographics, tastes, and habits of potential customers in Nigeria. To find your target audience segments, consider age, gender, area, income level, and way of life.
  • Describe your customers: Create detailed profiles of your dream customers, also called buyer personas. Consider their wants, needs, difficulties, and reasons for buying. 
  • Look at your rivals and the trends in your industry: Look at your rivals who are also selling in Nigeria and figure out who their target audience is and how they’re reaching them. Find areas of the market that need to be covered better so your business can fill those gaps. 
  • Find opportunities and pain points: Find out what your Nigerian target group is having trouble with and what they need that needs to be met. Once you know their issues and complaints, you can market your goods or services as solutions to those problems.
  • Use analytics and data: Data and analytics tools can help you learn more about how your target audience acts and interacts online. Track how people use your website, connect with you on social media, and give you feedback to learn how your ideal customers feel about your brand and products.
  • Assumptions should be tested and proven: Use polls, focus groups, or pilot programmes to test your ideas about your target market. Get direct feedback from possible customers in Nigeria to make sure you understand what they want and need.
  • Create targeted advertising plans: Based on what you know about your target market, develop targeted marketing strategies that fit their hobbies and preferences. Make sure that your branding, messaging, and marketing activities are tailored to your target audience in Nigeria so that you can reach and engage them across all platforms.

5. Competitive analysis

You must look at the competition for your business to succeed in Nigeria. You can find opportunities and threats in the market by knowing your rivals’ strengths, weaknesses, and strategies. Here are some excellent ways to look at the competition:

steps to writing a business plan

  • Find your main competitors: First, determine your main rivals in the Nigerian market. These companies sell goods or provide services your target audience might be interested in. Look into straight competitors who sell the same goods or services and indirect competitors who might meet the exact needs differently.
  • Check out what competitors are selling. Look at the features, prices, quality, and value proposition of your rivals’ goods and services. See how their products differ from yours regarding innovation, customer happiness, and standing out from the competition.
  • Check the position of the market: Look at how your competitors position themselves in the market and how they tell customers about their business. Look at their image, marketing, and ways of getting customers involved. 
  • Find out how customers feel: How people think about your competitors’ companies and products. Find past customer feedback, reviews, and testimonials on your business’s review websites, social media sites, and forums. Pay attention to what customers like and don’t like about your competitors’ goods or services.
  • Look at pricing strategies: Look at how your rivals set their prices to see how their goods or services compare to yours. Check to see if your prices are in line with what the market expects and give customers in Nigeria a good deal.
  • Keep an eye on market trends and new products: Keep up with changes in the market, new technologies, and industry trends that could affect your business and those of your rivals. Watch what customers want, how the law changes, and how technology improves.
  • Find your weaknesses and strengths: A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) can help you determine your rivals’ strengths and weaknesses in relation to your business. 

6. Develop your marketing and sales strategy

A business needs a good marketing and sales plan to grow and succeed in Nigeria. You can get leads, turn prospects into customers, and make more money by successfully reaching and engaging your target audience. Here’s how to make a marketing and sales plan that works:

  • Know who you’re trying to reach: first, know who you’re trying to reach in Nigeria. Find out about their likes, dislikes, wants, and problems. You should also find out where they spend their time online and offline, how they like to communicate, and what they buy.
  • Write down your value proposition: Know what your goods or services are worth. What makes what you sell unique and valuable to people in Nigeria? Stress why people should choose your business over others in the same field. 
  • Pick the proper marketing channels: Choose the best Nigerian marketing channels to help you reach your target group. Social media, search engine optimisation (SEO), content marketing, email marketing, influencer partnerships, and traditional advertising are all online and offline platforms that you can use. 
  • Make exciting content: Make high-quality, helpful content for the people you want to reach in Nigeria. Whether blog posts, social media posts, videos, infographics, or case studies, make sure your material is useful, solves problems, and teaches your audience. 
  • Use selling strategies: Create sales plans that fit your marketing and company objectives. Create a sales path that leads potential customers from becoming aware of your business to buying from you. Teach your sales team how to effectively explain your value offer, deal with objections, and close deals. 
  • Track and improve performance: Monitor and measure the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts in Nigeria. Key performance indicators (KPIs) include website traffic, leads generated, conversion rates, cost per new customer, and sales income. 
  • Hold on tight and change: As the Nigerian market changes, ensure your marketing and sales strategies remain flexible. Watch out for changes in consumer behaviour, business trends, and competitors’ actions. 

7. Create a financial plan

If you are an entrepreneur in Nigeria, you must make a solid financial plan for your business to succeed and last. A financial plan helps you keep track of your money, make intelligent choices, and reach your business objectives. To make a complete cash plan for your business, do these things:

  • Set clear financial goals: First, ensure your business has clear financial goals. These goals must be clear, measurable, attainable, essential and have a due date (SMART). Your financial goals, such as making money, cutting costs, obtaining funds, or becoming profitable, will guide your planning.
  • Estimate start-up costs: Determine how much it will cost to get your business up and running in Nigeria. This includes buying tools, renting an office, getting permits and licences, advertising and marketing, building a website, stock, and the first money needed to run the business.
  • Make a budget: Write down your expected income and spending for the next few months or years in a detailed budget. You must set aside money for many things in your business, such as operations, marketing, sales, R&D, and staff salaries.
  • Predict income and expenses: Use market studies, industry trends, and past data to guess how much money you will make and spend in the future. Make guesses about your expected growth rate, pricing plan, and sales goals.
  • Take care of your cash flow: Monitor your incoming and outgoing cash flow daily to keep your cash flow healthy. Ensure you have enough cash to pay for your business’s costs, debts, and unexpected events. 
  • Plan how you will get the money you need. Figure out how much money you need and determine how you can get it in Nigeria, like bank loans, grants, startup investors, venture capital, crowdfunding, or government programmes. 
  • Monitor and assess performance: Regularly check your financial progress against your plans and goals. Consider critical financial numbers and metrics, like the debt-to-equity ratio, return on investment (ROI), and sales growth. 

Read More. 6 Best Financing Options for Startups in Nigeria(2024 update)

8. Write out your business operations plan

Writing up your business operations plan is essential to starting your own business. This plan describes how your business will run daily. It includes how you will make things, keep track of your goods, hire staff, and deal with customers. Here are the most essential parts to include:

  • Production processes: Explain how your services or goods will be made or sent. List the technology and tools you’ll use and any suppliers or vendors helping you.
  • Inventory management: Explain how you will keep track of your stock to have just the right amount to meet customer needs without having too much or too little.
  • Staffing: Write down what each person on your team, including yourself, if necessary, is supposed to do. List the skills and qualifications needed for each job and explain how you hire, train, and keep workers.
  • Customer service: Describe how you will handle customers’ questions, issues, and comments. Include your customer service policies and methods for consistently providing good service.
  • Operating procedures: Write down the steps to perform different business chores, such as shipping, billing, and fulfilling orders. This will ensure that everyone working for your company knows how to do their jobs quickly and correctly.
  • Risk management: List things that could go wrong with your business, like broken equipment, problems in the supply chain, or changes in what people want to buy. Make plans to reduce these risks and keep the business running.
  • Regulatory compliance: Ensure your business follows all laws, rules, and industry norms. This could mean getting the proper permissions or licences, following health and safety rules, and keeping customer information safe.

9. Formulate a management and organisational structure

As a Nigerian business owner, you must make a transparent management and organisational system to run your business well and help it grow. A clear framework makes roles, responsibilities, and reporting lines clear, which makes it easier for your team to work together and be accountable. To set up a management and organisational framework that helps your business succeed, do these things:

  • Set clear roles and duties: First, ensure everyone on your team knows their roles and duties. Consider each position’s tasks, duties, and responsibilities clearly, considering each person’s strengths, skills, and knowledge. 
  • Set up reporting lines: Determine who reports to whom in your organisation, including who is in charge and how people can talk to each other. Determine who is responsible for what and set up levels, if needed, to facilitate decision-making and effective communication. 
  • Delegate authority and empowerment: Giving team members authority and decision-making duties based on their skills and areas of knowledge. Give your workers the freedom to own their jobs and make choices that align with your company’s goals.
  • Make sure everyone is accountable: Set up ways for everyone on your team to be responsible so you can keep track of progress, measure success, and ensure everyone is responsible. Set up metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to check on the success of individuals and teams regularly. 
  • Encourage collaboration and communication: Encourage team members to work together and talk to each other openly to share information, generate new ideas, and solve problems. 
  • Adapt to Growth and Change: As your business grows, be ready to change how it is managed and organised. Check and recheck your structure often to ensure it fits your business’s goals, objectives, and wants. 
  • Get Professional Help: To help you plan and implement a sound business structure, seek professional help or talk to people knowledgeable in management and organisational development. 

10. Establish Your business goals and milestones

Setting clear, attainable business goals and milestones is essential for Nigerian business people who want to stay on track for success, track their progress, and direct their efforts. Outlining your goals and achieving specific milestones will help you make a plan that connects your actions to your vision and guides you through being an entrepreneur. To set goals and targets for your business, do these things:

  • Define Your Vision and Mission: First, describe the reasons and values driving your business’s vision and mission. Your mission statement explains your business’s existence, while your vision statement describes your long-term hopes and objectives.
  • Set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) Goals: Use the SMART criteria to make clear and doable goals for your business. Make sure every goal is clear and detailed, can be reached with the available resources and time, and fits your business’s priorities.
  • Put Your Goals in Order of Importance: Sort your goals by how they will affect your business goals and how quickly you need to get them done. Sort your goals by their importance, considering things like making money, expanding your market, creating new products, getting new customers, and running your business more efficiently.
  • Split your goals into smaller, more doable steps. Your long-term goals should be broken down into smaller, more manageable steps or checkpoints showing significant progress. Break your goals down into steps that can be taken, and give your team clear milestones with due dates and deliverables to keep them inspired and on track.
  • Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and measures to see how your business is doing and where it’s going. Regularly check in on your progress towards your goals and milestones. 
  • Celebrate your successes and learn from your mistakes. Celebrate your team’s hard work and commitment as you reach important milestones by recognising their achievements and accomplishments. 
  • Be Committed and Persistent: You should stay committed to your business goals and milestones and keep your eye on your vision and mission even when things go wrong. 


It’s essential to have a strong base and a clear sense of where your business should go before building it in Nigeria. Setting clear objectives and checkpoints is the way to success and helps you deal with the difficulties of being a business. Following the steps to writing a business plan in this guide, you can make a roadmap that fits your goal, moves your business forward, and leads to long-term growth.

But success doesn’t just happen by itself. To get the word out about your business and reach as many people as possible, you must take advantage of every chance to connect with potential customers and business partners. Because of this, we want you to add your business to our online list. When you join our platform, you can connect with a massive group of other business owners, clients, and investors who can help you on your way and reach your objectives.

Show off your business to the world and open up new growth possibilities. Take advantage of this chance. Today is the day to take the next step. Add your business to our list and join Nigeria’s thriving business community.