Conducting business in Nigeria requires a high level of circumspection and care. Here are some tips that will come in handy when doing so:
1. It is better to have everything on a Written Agreement. If there was a future obligation to be fulfilled, a Contractor Agreement is more likely to be fulfilled when there is a Written Agreement.
2. Do not ever use sentiments to conduct business. Play by the Rules, Business is Business!
3. When you have an obligation that can be fulfilled as you are making payments, do not for any reason make payments and allow the other party latitude to deliver later, if he can do it as you making payment, apart from the fact that some persons may never deliver, some others might become evasive and elusive knowing they have your money in their kitty.
4. Avoid issuing post-dated cheques because of the likely criminal charge of issuance of Dud Cheque which you can only defend by sending an SMS to the beneficiary of the cheque, that the account is not funded as the cash you were expecting has not dropped and so he or she should not present the Cheque.
5. Always request for a post-dated cheque, when some one makes a promise of making a huge payment for the following reasons:
a) A postdated cheque can be used by you as a joker, if the money is not paid as issuance of dud cheque is a serious criminal offence, that could land the culprit in Prison.
b) Issuance of a cheque is an evidence of a business transaction between parties.
c)You can pay in the cheque into your current account (after making a photocopy), and the issuer’s Account will be in debit and yours can be in credit, whenever any amount is paid into the Account.
6. Demand for account details in complex business transactions, and make payments thereto. A person’s account is the easiest way to track him. With the BVN Platform, you can ascertain all the accounts of a person through just one of his account and put a hold on all if the need arises.
7. Never introduce a person to another if you are not sure of his business pedigree. You may have your hands burnt or even be taken as a Co-Conspirator if the whole episode turns out criminal.
8. In Business, promises are meant to be kept, as the biggest players in business thrive on keeping of promises and faithfulness to their business partners.
9. Do not borrow to a friend a sum you can not give him or her freely, because when the push comes to the shove you will lose the money and the friendship.
10. When someone negotiates a business with you, with the Intention of calling you back, do not be the party to call the person back, it makes you look cheap and desperate.
11. When you are to meet up an obligation to a party, do not ignore the person’s calls for any reason. Doing so will suggest that you have duped him and it may result to a police case. No matter how long the issue has taken, always take the person’s calls and explain the situation to him or her.
12. Do not give time for fulfilling an obligation you can not meet up with. Always make an additional week allowance for exigencies.
13. Always use official E-mails for official business or work which should preferably comprise your first name and your surname for easy identification.
Avoid using E-mails that will stand you out as unserious like: “firstname.lastname@example.org or blacknigger@ yahoo.com”.
14. Always photocopy your documents before giving them out, or snap same and put them online or in the Cloud.
15. Register your Business name as soon as you start a business, as it is a criminal offence for you to do business with an unregistered business name.
16. If you had a registered business name, always pay your annual returns to CAC, failure of which your business name will be delisted.
17. Pay your tax and have your tax clearance certificate handy, you might need it anytime.
18. Design a website for your business, you will be shocked at the contacts that will reach you from far and wide.
19. Make good use of the social media to create limitless business opportunities.
20. Be on the lookout for Business Support Platforms and follow the news to be abreast of latest government policies so as not to be caught off guards.
21. Do not make indiscriminate bank tranfers to people, it could be a source of unwarranted criminal prosecution and avoid someone abroad asking you to make transfers in Nigeria, without formal instructions preferably through E-Mails.
If you have some one’s money and he or she wants you to disburse same, tell him or her to send you an E-Mail, detailing the mode of disbursement for the sake of evidence. This will prevent arguments in future.