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It’s no wonder that businesses in Nigeria are starting to take cyber security more seriously. The growing demand for IT security services has birthed a new generation of cybersecurity companies. If you’re thinking about meeting the needs of businesses in this area, you’ll find this article useful. Below, we’ll lay out the steps you can take to launch your own cyber security outfit.
Get CertifiedThe first thing you should do is to get the qualification that you’ll need to successfully run a cyber-security firm. This means obtaining professional certification in this area. There’s a plethora of certificates you can go for; they range from beginner-level to advanced competence. Some of the more popular ones include Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) training, CompTIA Cyber Security Analyst, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SCCP).
Write a Business PlanThink about what your cyber security business would look like when it’s fully functional. Then draw up a plan for how you intend to get there from where you’re currently at (the idea stage). List out the resources you’ll need to bring your vision to life, and how much they’d cost. Define your business and the services it’ll provide. Find out what kind of staff and equipment you’ll require to successfully run the business. And make projections for its cash flow, revenues, expenditure, and profits over the next couple of years. Have all of these in one document—your business plan.
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Determine Your Target MarketWho will you be selling your services to? That’s a question you’ll want to answer before plunging head-on into your business. Your typical client will almost certainly be a company that relies quite heavily on digital technology and supporting network infrastructure. Define your ideal market, and ponder strategies for connecting with them, engaging them, and converting them into paying clients. Also, think about your competitors (their Strengths and Weaknesses) and come up with a Unique Selling Point (USP) that will convince your potential clients to choose you over them.
Decide on a Legal StructureThe form your business takes will partly depend on whether you are starting it on your own or doing so with partners. In the former case, you’ll be setting it up as a sole proprietorship, i.e. a company that’s owned by a single person. In the latter, it’d be a partnership—a business that’s held by multiple persons. There’s also the option of establishing it as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). In this case, the business will be treated as a legal entity, separate from its owners.
Register Your BusinessRegister your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Find out how to do that HERE. You may also follow up on this by registering as a taxable organization with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). Other requirements may apply, depending on the state or district in which your business will be situated.
Choose a LocationYou could rent office space for your company in an easily accessible part of your city, preferably a business district. This may either be in a traditional office setting or a compartment in a coworking space. Whatever option you choose to go with, ensure that your business is reachable by the clients you’ll be serving.
Get FundingYour business will need funding to get on its feet. You could either secure this from a traditional financial institution (e.g. a commercial bank), or from investors who will receive a stake in your company in exchange for the financing that they provide. Alternatively, you may rally support from your friends, family and acquaintances. But there’s no problem with funding your business yourself if your pocket is deep enough. In many cases, it takes a combination of some or all of these options to start things off.
Hire Employees and Purchase EquipmentThe quality of service you’re able to deliver to clients will depend on how skilled and empathetic your staff are. So be sure to only hire people who can get the job done in a truly professional way. Knowing what qualifications employees should have is crucial to selecting the right personnel. Also get your virtual lab (with a server, laptops, hard drives and flash USB drives), computer forensic tools and malware analysis tools ready for work.
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Market Your BusinessOne of the first things you’ll want to do is to get a website for your company. It should contain all the important details that a prospect would want to know: what your business is, the products and services it offers, and its contact details (address, email, and phone number). Be present and active on social media. Attend business networking events. Make cold calls to leads. Build an email list and communicate with the prospects on it. Get through to potential clients via a paid search engine and social media ads.
Final WordsThe cyber-security business is capital-intensive. But it’s also potentially lucrative. You’ll reap significant returns from it if you’re able to run it smartly. You can achieve great results from it by following the steps we’ve just discussed here. Featured Image Source: Simpli Learn
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