How To Start A Successful Advertising Agency In Nigeria! Quick Guide

Starting an advertising agency in Nigeria requires meaningful planning. Advertising agencies primarily sell products of the clients through creative promotional efforts. They comprise of a group of professionals in specific fields, who help companies or organizations to reach their target customers in an easy and simple way. You have to understand that this is what you are getting into by setting up your own advertising agency.

Advertising agency sector in Nigeria is fiercely competitive with a lot of firms striving to maintain clients and expand to new territories. You can then imagine how difficult it seems for a new agency to get into the market and survive. However, following the right tips could ensure that you set up a successful advertising agency, no matter how saturated the market may look. There are always new clients to pitch and existing companies that wish to try out new agencies. Here is a guide to starting an advertising agency business in Nigeria. The basics are the same for every country just that you should take note of the peculiarity of your environment while drawing up your initial plans. The economic, social, political, and even cultural environments, among other factors, play crucial roles in the survival of an advert agency. This is why you should ensure that you understand the environment you want to do business in before setting up an advertising agency. Take a look at these steps for setting up an advertising agency in Nigeria. This is a  write-up adapted from an article by wikihow which provides step by step approach to setting up a rewarding and profitable advertising agency.

 

How To Start A Successful Advertising Agency in Nigeria

Set a goal for the agency: No serious business succeeds without first setting meaningful, realistic goals. This is the first thing you should do before starting an advertising agency in Nigeria. Decide whether you are running a part-time agency or something you want to become one of the top advertising agencies in Nigeria. The goals you set for yourself will determine how you run your agency, who you hire, how you budget, and almost everything about your business. Set goals give your agency direction.

 

Go for professional courses related to advertising agency business if you can. Though formal education is not necessarily required to start your own advertising firm, there are professional courses that could be an asset to you. Of course advertising classes are an obvious choice, but getting educated in a few additional areas can help you properly manage your business and expand your profits. You could also take courses in Management, Accounting or finance, and Graphic design, among others. These courses can help you save money by not hiring experts at the initial time. They will also acquaint you with information on how the business environment in Nigeria works.

Always Keep In Touch with the advertising Industry in Nigeria. Advertising is a dynamic industry, so you’ll need to keep in touch with all that is happening in the industry if you plan on becoming successful. You should know the key players in the advertising industry in Nigeria and trends of events in the industry. You can achieve this by subscribing to all the relevant periodicals in the industry and read every issue. You might have to join professional bodies especially Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) to keep in touch with players in the industry. You can also attend talks and conferences to further educate yourself on the field and see what your competitors are doing.

Draw up a business plan for the agency. Short and long-term plans are essential for new businesses. This might become useful if you intend to get loans or investments, but also useful for yourself so you can gather your thoughts and decide your intentions for growing your business. As wikihow observes, For your advertising agency, your business plan should include at least the following (Bplan).

Have a description of your business. This is necessary as investors and banks you want to work with will want to know what exactly your business does and what kind of service it offers. Be specific when explaining your methods for advertising. Advertising agency environment is very competitive, so people may be cautious to invest unless you convince them that your business will offer a service that other firms don’t.

Have a projection for the profitability of your firm. Investors will want to know that they will profit from your business. This will determine whether they will work with you or not.

Have a full breakdown of your costs. Investors and banks will want to see what you’ll be using their money to do. You should include all of the costs you have incurred, as well as the costs you anticipate incurring as you build the firm. This includes an estimate of your day-to-day operating expenses as well- it may take a few months to turn a profit from your business, so make sure you’ll have the necessary capital to stay open.

 

Acquire start-up capital. Even though advertising agencies are generally considered low-cost start ups because they can be run from home, you’ll still probably need loans or investments to get started. Generally you’ll have two choices when looking for start up capital, and will probably end up using both. You can source for start up capital from Banks (through loan facilities for a few months to a few years, enough to cover your opening costs and your first few months of operating expenses). You can look for private investors who could be friends, family, or other business owners interested in making an investment. Make sure you define whether these people are just providing a loan that you will pay back with interest, or if they’re actually buying into your company. It would be helpful to draw up a contract defining the terms of your agreement and having it notarized to prevent problems in the future.

Design a portfolio. A business portfolio consists of products and businesses that make up a company. To design and maintain a healthy portfolio involves thorough understanding of your firm’s objectives and the markets it wants to serve. This is essential for your advertising agency. Your selling point to potential clients will be your nicely packaged, informative portfolio. It should comprise of past work you’ve done in advertising. Many people who start advertising firms have worked in the industry as employees and now want to be business owners. If this is the case, you’ll have plenty of work to put in your portfolio. If you haven’t worked in the field, building a portfolio should be a top priority. Take any small jobs you can get to add to your portfolio. If you’re entirely new to advertising, you might want to consider working as an employee for a while first. This will give you crucial experience and credentials that you can put into your portfolio when you start your business. Your portfolio has to be rich enough to attract clients otherwise people might find it difficult to trust a green horn in a business environment such as the advertising agency sector in Nigeria that has a lot of experienced hands.

Develop a website for your agency. Any business without an online presence is not yet serious. If your business does not have an online presence, it is almost entirely unknown to a large section of its potential market. To ensure you cover your entire target market, make sure you build a great website that provides details of your firm and its operations.  Our website should have your contact information and anything your potential clients will need to know about setting up a meeting. This includes links to any articles or ad campaigns you’ve worked on. You can call this a digital portfolio. Keep your website updated. An outdated site looks unprofessional and will make your business look unreliable.

It might be essential to hire a professional to build your site though it might be expensive. This will make the website attractive and professional, making investors and companies to want to associate with your agency. A cheaply-designed website is easy to spot and could turn off potential clients but a professionally-designed could attract them. So it is worth the investment.

Hire professionals for your agency. This will be determined by the intended size of your advertising agency. If your business is very small and you’re good at multitasking, you might be able to operate alone or with a small team. If you want to offer a multitude of services, you’ll need more employees. Once you’re ready to hire employees, you should consider these key hands to handle various basic positions in your agency: A copy editor: This is essential if you will be releasing text ads or articles. You need a good copy editor to ensure that all the writing your firm produces would be top-quality jobs. A graphic designer: This person provides creative designs for your picture or design ads. You you’ll definitely need a graphic designer on your team. They can create colorful, eye-catching ads that your clients will look for and this is good for a new advertising agency to survive in a competitive environment. An IT specialist: A lot of your work will probably be done on computers, so consider hiring an IT expert to set up your computers and maintain them properly.

 

This is a guide which could be useful to you in starting a successful advertising agency in Nigeria. All you need do is follow the steps and make the right moves, with dedication and determination you will achieve your goals.

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, COOU, (formerly Anambra State University), Igbariam Campus.

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