Do you wish to start an online business in Nigeria and wondering how much it cost? Or wondering if an online business is simply free?
Actually online business is not free though the money varies depending on the type of online business you want to start. Although, some of the money for this online business is paid one time while some are recurrent fees. In business you have to spend money to make money, nothing is free! Even if you want to invest in a pyramid scheme you will definitely start it with MONEY.
Just before we continue!
What is Online Business?
Online business is any kind of business activities that are done over the internet. Any business owner who does part or all of his or her business over the internet is running an online business.
There are different types of online business, they differ in looks and forms: such as Websites, E-commerce (online shops), Blogs, Social media platform, Mobile apps and the rest.
But no matter the type of business anyone is running in this ever-changing tech-world, if your business is not online then your competitors are taking advantage of you.
I have analyzed below what you need to start an online business in Nigeria step by step. Some are free while you pay money for some. Though, it’s all depending on the type of business you want to establish or run.
Let’s dive into the business proper.
What Does It Cost To Start Online Business In Nigeria?
The cost of starting an online business varies from business to business and the technology involved in starting such business online. Below are the basic requirements for starting an online business.
A domain name is your unique identity online, assigned to only you. It’s called a website name. This blog domain name is www.scribeage.com, it is the address that Internet users will use to access your website. Most often people assume domain name is free, no! A domain name is not free; you have to pay for it annually. The price depends on the domain extension you choose for your business.
In Nigeria, domain price varies depending on the extension (TLD) you prefer. For instance, .com extension will cost you around N3, 500 while .com.ng is free with many hosting companies in Nigeria and .ng is about N5, 000 per year. There are hosts of other domain extensions you can choose for your business. For instance, if your business niche is an NGO, your domain extension should be .org
So, to start an online business you must be ready to pay for the recurrent domain fee yearly. You can pay for your domain name of choice in Naira with Whogohost.
Web hosting is a computer system that houses your website; this is a computer that makes your website accessible to the world even when you are comfortable sleeping in your bedroom. We have cheap web hosting as well as premium web hosting depending on your pocket and what you need.
You may need to put the number of people that will be visiting the website and the size of your website into considering before choosing web hosting. It pays to invest in quality and reliable web hosting because of security and quality services, though you may consider cheap web hosting as a good deal, at the end you may not be doing yourself good at all.
Before choosing a web hosting provider for your business online, you need to consider the following factors among others:
- Security: A hosting company that’s dependable to monitor and protect your information with them.
- Performance: Do the company provide solid performance and speed such that your website pages will load with speed without having to configure caching and CDN
- Affordability: Is their service affordable for a startup or for the type of hosting plan you need for your business?
- Support: Do they offer online support in case something goes wrong and you need help with your website setup?
- Traffic: How many visitors are you expecting on your website per month? You can be expecting 500K website visitors in a month on your site and pay for hosting of 1k capacity in a month.
Here is my specially curated list of 11 reliable web hosting companies in Nigeria that I always recommend for my clients. And if you need a monthly web hosting plan, you can check out this best 8 monthly web hosting plans in Nigeria
SSL is an acronym that stands for “Secure Socket Layer” SSL certificates is a technology for keeping an internet connection secure and safeguarding any sensitive data that is being sent between two systems, preventing hackers from having access to you information.
SSL certificates protect your users’ sensitive information such as credit card details, usernames, passwords and other personal information. If you are planning to sell stuff on your website or required people to submit their personal information on your website, you must secure your site with an SSL certificate.
Although, most hosting plan now comes with free SSL certificate, but if you decide to sell stuff online and want to gain your customers’ higher level of trust, you will need to pay for SSL certificate instead of using free one that comes with your hosting plan. The cost of SSL certificates depends on the certificate authority, most web hosting providers also sell SSL certificate. SmartWeb has paid SSL certificate as low as ₦3, 500 per annum, what a cheap way to secure your site and earn the trust of your customers!
Web design entails development and maintenance of the website, which varies depending on your budget and business needs. There are several ways of designing a website but for the sake of this topic and the non-technical person that want to start an online business, I will mention Content Management System (CMS) and will look into WordPress which is the easiest method of building website.
One of the benefits of a CMS such as WordPress is that it enables a non-technical person to design and make changes to the website without having knowledge of coding. I explained in details how to build a website with WordPress here.
WordPress gives you an opportunity to change your theme and determine what your website will look like. It’s a free platform and offers free templates (themes) too, you can build your website with free themes. Though, the free theme may limit your design and functionality.
But if you want a good theme with full functionality and unique interface you will have to go for premium themes which cost about ₦21, 000 on average, some cost more than that depending on your taste and budget. You can as well employ the service of a web designer to customize a theme for you to suit your business goals and vision, though, it may cost you more money but I tell you it worth the money.
The cost of Web Design is free if you have the technical knowledge but if you don’t have knowledge of building a website for yourself, you will need to pay a designer and the price depends on your website goals, complexity and requirements. Scribeage parent’s company (Autosyst Consulting Ltd) can customise a well crafted functional website that suits your business goals for you and within your budgets, you can request a free quote here
Additional Features (Plug-Ins)
Your premium themes may not support all the features you wanted in your website and you may also need certain features or functionalities such as security, backups, social sharing and others to your existing website, plug-ins or add-ons helps you to add additional features to your website in order to look great or protected from criminals.
Most good plug-ins come with licensing fees, some require onetime payment while others require you to pay per month or per year. Though you can still get some plug-ins for free, but the best of them requires payment, some come lifetime licence while some with the yearly subscription. The costs of plug-ins depend solely on the extra features you required. You can as well get some free plugins that will give your website the required functionalities but I think it’s wise to pay for a plugin because of support and update and security coverage.
Email is a method of exchanging messages between people using electronic devices. Just as you host your website, your email needs to be hosted. I know you have a free personal email account from Gmail or Yahoo but this is business and you really need a business email account, the one that will give you peace of mind.
There is unlimited email that comes with your hosting plan that you can create to use with your business name but it doesn’t have much like having a paid email account especially if you are running a business online.
Hey! don’t worry about hosting for email.
I have good news for you; you can count on Google workspace they offer cheap customized e-mail for all businesses, Google Workspace allows you to have email using your website name with enough memory space (30GB). As a matter of fact, Google Workspace gives you everything you need for a successful business in one package for as low as ₦2, 500/ month (per email address). And it works seamlessly from your computer, phone or tablet.
You can as well host your email with a reliable hosting company, a lot of hosting companies now offer email hosting that enables you to send emails with your domain name and thereby gives credibility to you and your brand, compared to using any of the free options. Whogohost in Nigeria offers affordable and easy to use email hosting as low as ₦500/month
Actually, it cost money to run an online business but not as much as having a physical store. But if you want to make money you have to spend money, nothing good comes cheap in life.
So, the cost of starting an online business in Nigeria starts from N40, 000 upward if you have the technical know-how to design a website for yourself, but if you are hiring experts to build a website for you based on your business goals and vision, it will cost you more but it worth it. Most times it better to hire a professional web developer to design your business website while you focus on other aspects of building the business because there’s more to website design than to just putting themes and plugins together.
Want to build your blog for yourself? Everything you need to build it is here
We are in a tech-driven society now, where everything is done online now. Even during pandemic people got married online. If your business is not online now, you are still living in a dark age and the entire world has left you behind. Although having an online presence doesn’t come cheap but it is the first step in building business advancement now. Do you have any other cost to consider before starting an online business? Share it here. And if you have a business idea burning inside you and you need an outstanding website you can reach out to me here