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Software has become a firm part of our lives. It’s the internet browser we use, the video player app on our mobile devices, the gaming program on our laptops, and the digital accounting tools that businesses utilize. It’s also the operating system on which all of these applications run.

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The businesses that build this software are just as important to the ecosystem of contemporary technologies. Without them, we wouldn’t have the work, entertainment, learning, and communication resources that we access on our smartphones, tablets, and computers.

If you would like to start a company that creates and provides software, you’ll find this article useful. Here, we’ll take you through twelve steps to setting up your own software development enterprise in Nigeria. Here they are:

Learn Programming

First, you’ll need to know how to build software. That’s what programming is about. Learn a number of programming languages, and create useful applications with them. There are a lot of beginner courses and resources for this on the web, so getting started shouldn’t be a problem.

Gain Business Expertise

As you strengthen your grasp of programming, you should also improve your business acumen. You may do this by reading, listening to, and watching materials that teach entrepreneurship and business strategy. Gain knowledge of marketing, sales, management, finance, and legal matters regarding setting up and running a business. Again, there are plenty of learning resources for these online.

Garner Experience

Nothing beats on-the-job experience. While you’ll learn a lot from business books and developer tutorial videos, you’ll be more prepared for entrepreneurship if you spend time as an employee. Try to gain expertise as a developer, preferably in a managerial role. It’ll prepare you for the life as a founder in tech.

Choose A Niche

Software development is a broad space, with plenty of niche options to choose from. Before settling for one, determine that there’s good demand for it and that it’s something you’ve gained expertise in.

Prepare A Business Plan

A business plan basically defines your business, its products or services, and what it exists to achieve.

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It also plots the path to attaining the goals you’ve set for the business. Your business plan should contain such things as the business’s mission and vision, offerings, demand, competition, sales and marketing strategy, and financial projections for its early months and years.

Register Your Business

Register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission. The type of registration you settle for will depend on the structure your business takes. Be sure to understand the legal requirements involved before going ahead with the registration process.

Obtain Patents And Trademarks

You will need to register your trademark and get a patent for your innovative software. You can do that with the Trademarks, Patents, and Design Registry at the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. Doing this will accord legal recognition to your claim of ownership of your product and its trademark.

Raise Startup Capital

You may launch and fund your business with your savings, or seek financing from your family, friends or acquaintances. You could also go the formal route and ask formal lenders and investors to fund your enterprise. However, note that formal investors will be more open to funding your startup if it’s already functional and has shown promising signs of profitability early on.

Get A Workspace And Tools

Acquire the computers and software development tools you’ll need. Also, get a space for work, if you want one. Or you could opt for a home office, and have your employees work remotely.

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Go for an organizational model that you can manage, given the resources at your disposal.

Build A Team

Hire software developers whose skills match the type of projects that your company takes on. You could also use the help of a product owner and project manager; they’ll take care of equally important portions of your team’s operations.

Market Your Business

Have a decent website that contains all the information that potential clients will want. Get active on social media as well, and roll out campaigns aimed at building your brand and attracting prospects. Also get the word out offline, through your contacts and their networks.

Over-Deliver On Projects

As clients begin to come in, do what you can to deliver your absolute best service. Work with them to identify their needs. Then design, develop, test, and troubleshoot software for them until you can hand them a product that surpasses their expectations.

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This article was first published on 21st August 2022


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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