HOW TO START A CLOUD COMPUTING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
One of the challenges further noticed by the IT sector is the loss of data stored or backed up in physical or local servers as well as the growing or fluctuating demand in bandwidth. In order to tackle this problem, cloud computing was invented
Cloud computing refers to the provision of IT Infrastructure, middle ware, operating software and applications hosted within a data centre over the internet on a pay as you go basis. Instead of companies owning their own infrastructure and data centre, companies can rent access to anything from applications to storage from a cloud service provider. It allows small and large enterprises to host all their data and run all of their applications in the cloud.
One benefit of using cloud computing services is that firms can avoid the upfront cost and challenges or difficulties of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure, and instead simply pay for what they use, when they use it. By providing cloud computing services, one can benefit from it especially when providing to a large scale of customers.
Cloud computing is classified under 3 main categories
Cloud computing can be divided into three deployment cloud computing models which are
- Public cloud (External)
This cloud model purpose is for widespread usage. IT services such as virtual machines, storage and applications are provided by third party cloud providers. One can access these services and manage them from one’s account. Examples of public cloud are Google cloud and amazon web services (AWS)
- Private Cloud (Internal)
This type of model is only adopted and used by one organization and is not for public usage. The organization implementing this cloud can include its users, clients and contractors on that cloud. A private cloud can only be owned by an organization’s data centre.
- Hybrid cloud
The hybrid cloud model consists of both the private cloud and the public cloud. It allows data and apps move between private and public clouds for load balancing. This allows the process of the company more flexible and leads to more optimization of data.
There is also Community cloud. It has an infrastructure that is shared among multiple companies and organizations that share like goals. It could be on premise or off premise and could also be managed by a third party
Cloud computing also offer services depending on the specification or needs of the customer. Cloud computing can be divided into three service cloud computing models which are
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
This cloud computing model deals with the part of computing or IT hardware that can be rented such as physical or virtual servers, data centre space or networking components, and storage to IT systems administrators or network architects which will save them the expenses that will be incurred when they purchase or build their own in-house data or IT centre.
This is also adopted by business organizations that wants to build applications from the foundation and want to control all the elements by themselves. Examples of the Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) are Digitalocean and datrium
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
This cloud computing model deals with providing IT platforms in order to allow application developers to create run and manage applications without the need to build an infrastructure for developing and launching an application. It is the underlying storage, networking, and virtual servers this will also include the tools and software that developers need to build applications. It could include middleware, database management, development tools and operating systems. Examples of the Platform as a service (PaaS) are the amazon web services (AWS), acquia and heroku
- Software as a service (SaaS)
This cloud computing model deals with the delivery of application as a service, which is probably the version that most people are already used to on a daily basis. It is used for licensing and delivering centrally hosted software through the internet on a subscription basis (which may be per seat or per user) to companies and consumers. Examples of the software as a service (SAAS) are the slack and zoom applications
- Server less computing
Server less computing focuses on building an application functionality without spending much time on managing servers and infrastructures. The individual providing the cloud handles the setup, capacity planning, server management and other necessary and relevant activities.
Cloud computing services one can render
- Storage processing
- Processing power
- Natural language processing
- Artificial intelligence
- Virtual machines
- Provision of standard office applications
Before starting a cloud computing business in Nigeria, there are certain conditions, steps and strategies that an entrepreneur must take in order to make the business successful and free of hiccups that can lead to business failure. The procedures one must take are
- Decide on the services you want to offer
When starting up a cloud computing business as an entrepreneur, one must go through the option of services he or she thinks they can offer or specialize in. The choice could be based on the target needs of the customer. There are four services one can opt for when starting a cloud computing business, they are
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
- Software as a service (SaaS)
- Serverless computing
There are also ideas that can make you stand out from others when setting up your cloud computing business. They make you stand out from other cloud computing businesses. They include
- Medical Cloud computing
- Social media cloud computing
- Cloud computing consultancy
- Large companies cloud computing
- Small business cloud computing
- Cloud computing for Universities
- Cloud storage and computing for taxation
- Develop a business plan
After figuring out the type of cloud computing services you want to indulge in, a clear and proper business plan is very essential when starting a new business. It allows the entrepreneur to map out the specifics of the business, finances, equipment and the unknown things that may hinder the business from being successful. The business plan will include and state in details the following
- Executive summary (This will be done after the plan is written)
- Business Overview
- Market Overview: The Opportunity & Solution
- Financial Highlights
- Our Ask
- The company overview
This is the introduction and description of your company. It covers the following details
- Mission and vision
- Overview of company history/capabilities
- Product description and present stage of development
- Competitive advantage (what’s different or better than competition)
- Past customers and performance (if applicable)
- Legal entity, hours of operation, location description and attributes
- Structure & Ownership
- Management Team
- Intellectual property status (if applicable)
- Commercialization strategies (if applicable – timeframe and actions to move from idea to marketplace
- Product and services
This covers the following:
- Definition of Products or Services to be Sold
- Product Viability
- Industry analysis, market analysis and marketing strategy
- Swot analysis
- Market analysis
- Market size(Estimate of the total market size for the product or service and trends
- Quantification of the size of each market segment in terms of (Naira spent, units used, number of people, percent of income etc.)
- Competition to the business
- Market Segmentation and Demographics
- Customer Profile(Actual and potential purchasers of product or services by market segments)
- Barriers to Entry
- Marketing/sales plan
- Management and operations
- Summary of risks involved
- Professional and advisors
- Cash flow projection and/or existing (3 years) with breakeven analysis
- Income/Expense projection and/or existing (3 years with ratios and benchmarks to industry)
- Sources and uses of funds (funds needed, owner equity, how funds will be used/start-up cost analysis
- Amount of Money Sought
- Use of Proceeds
- Project implementation schedule if any
- Search for a partner
After drafting out the business plan, the next step which is not compulsory is to look for an established individual in order to partner with them. As a beginner in the business of cloud computer, it is smarter and less risky to partner with an already established cloud service company instead of starting your own brand which will take a long time to build the reputation. This will allow you save cost and also bring the opportunity of learning and understanding the business more perfectly before starting your own brand
It is essential that you understand the terms and conditions before signing any contract or agreement with the partners. One should notice items in the contract such as your responsibilities, how much gain will be allocated to you, your hierarchy in the business and other relevant things
- Financing or obtain funding
The next step is to obtain finance funding for your business. Without funding your business, your idea will remain unimplemented and dormant. The entrepreneur should have drafted out a budget in the business plan that will give an estimate on the cost of the business. As an entrepreneur, you can get funding from
- Families and friends
- Bank loans
- Venture capital
- Selling shares of the company to the public
- Rent an office space
It is necessary for anyone willing to start a cloud computing business to get an office space even if most of the work are done online. It will increase the confidence of your clients and their trust in your company. The office space should be in a strategic location that will make it easily accessible by customers. If you are looking for a location for your cloud computing company, ensure that it is a place that is located in a business district or ICT hub in your city, a place that is visible and easily accessible. Your clients should be able to drive down and locate your office with little or no difficulty
- Purchase all the necessary equipment
After renting an office space, the next step is to purchase necessary equipment. When starting a cloud computing business, there are relevant equipment that will needed in the course of work. These equipment include
- Operating systems
- Register your company
Another important procedure to take when starting a cloud computing business is to register your company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria with all the necessary documentations and requirements. Making your company a separate legal entity that is different from the owners will protect you from being personally liable when your company s being sued.
- Know the legal requirements
While registering your company with the Corporate Affairs Commission Affairs (CAC) in Nigeria. As a prospective business owner you need to obtain the relevant licenses and register for taxes. During the registration for taxes your company will be given a Tax Identification Number (TIN)
- Market and brand your company
If you have the intention of starting a cloud computing services in Nigeria, you will need to spend on the promotion and advertisement of your brand. This can be done by leveraging on social media, print and electronic media because it is very much easier and wide reaching. One can market and brand a cloud computing business by
- Creating a unique business name
- Developing an attractive logo
- Place adverts on ICT magazines and related newspapers, radio stations and TV stations
- Encouraging your customers to make referrals on your behalf
- Leveraging on social media platforms and advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn in order to promote your business
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas in and around your neighbourhood.
- Contact corporate organizations, small businesses by calling them up and informing them of your organization and the cloud computing services you offer
- Advertise your business in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Brand all your official cars and ensure that all our staff members and management staff wear your branded shirts or caps at regular intervals.
- Develop a sales strategy
As a cloud computing company, you will need to prove your worth over and over again to your customers and clients. People will only hire the services of your company if they know that it is cost effective.
After marketing and branding your security guard services to your customers, the next step to take is to develop a sales strategy. This includes bidding on various security contracts from both private and public companies, the bid will include proposals, cost reviews, face to face meetings and pitching your business that will ensure that people are willing to patronize your business
As a business owner, you can adopt sales strategies like
- Contacting clients individually and approach them with the services you offer.
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to all the corporate organizations, small scale businesses and the international business community in the United States
- Promptness in bidding for cloud computing contracts from corporate organizations
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your services
- Hire and train employees
As a business owner, you cannot perform all the tasks on your own. You will need to delegate duties and tasks to individuals which will save time and increase the productivity of the company. Personnel can be gotten through
- Posting about the vacancy on your website and across any social media or email marketing channels
- Asking your business network, as well as friends and family if they know anyone suitable
- Adding the vacancy to general recruitment websites e.g. Indeed
- Advertising the vacancy in industry trade media or local newspapers
- Intellectual Property Protection
It is very essential to protect the intellectual properties of the company in order to prevent them from being stolen. The company will have to file for intellectual property protection in order to protect the company properties such as the company name, logo, documents and software that are unique to the company
- Open a business bank account
Another important procedure is setting up a business bank account that will bear your company name. This will separate your personal assets from your company’s asset. It will also guarantee that accounting and tax filing process is easier and stress-free
- Launch your business and maintain your reputation
After all the above steps have been taken, the final step to take is to launch the business and maintain a good reputation with customers by delivering excellent services. After getting jobs, words will spread about your company and the value of its delivery. If the security guard services company has a good value delivery, it will give them the edge over all their competitors
- Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is having a qualified and experienced mentor. Mentors are there to guide you through processes and ensure that you don’t repeat the same mistake they made when starting their own business
HOW TO REGISTER A CLOUD COMPUTING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
Starting a cloud computing business in Nigeria means that the business structure that will be adopted is a Private limited liability company (ltd). A private limited liability is a separate legal entity and is for profit making. The following are the requirements
- The first step required by the applicant is to choose two suitable proposed names for the company. Where this is done, an availability check will be conducted on the CAC online portal to find out if the name is available and not already in use.
- Choosing the type of company to be registered whether a private limited company or private unlimited company or company limited by guarantee.
- The objectives and business of the company must be provided.
- The registered principal address of the company.
- The share capital and shareholding formula among shareholders will be required.
- The particulars of a minimum of two (2) Directors will be required. A copy of their means of identification such as voter’s card, national ID, drivers’ license or international passport.
- Particulars of the company secretary (one of the directors may also act as the Secretary of the company)
- The applicant will be required to furnish details of the shareholders of the company. Details such as names, occupation, residential address, email address, mobile phone number and means of identification such as driver’s license, international passport or national identity card. It should be noted that the directors listed can also hold the capacity of shareholders in the company if desired.
- The memorandum and Articles of association of the company to be registered which is advisable to be drafted professionally by a Legal Practitioner. However, the CAC has provided a generic MEMART, which any new company can be adopted.
After which a consultant will prepare the following incorporation documents. They include
- Duly verified particulars of the director and statement of share capital known as CAC Form 1.1
- Duly stamped Memorandum and Articles of Association
- The individual completes all the incorporation documents with the input of an accredited lawyer to duly attest to the incorporation documents.
- The payment of the prescribed fees will now be duly made online and the incorporation documents immediately stamped online.
- The stamped incorporation documents will now be duly uploaded into the CAC online portal again for the final review of the commission
- If all the incorporation documents are well completed and executed, the commission will incorporate the company and issue an incorporation number immediately online.
- Certificate of Incorporation and the Certified True Copies of the other documents will be issued by CAC and received by the consultant or lawyer, usually in less than 48 hours after the company is duly incorporated by CAC
Cloud computing is a fast growing industry in Nigeria and it makes it possible for companies to cut down on overhead costs by conducting the computer-related aspects of their business virtually. Individuals, small and medium businesses and enterprises alike are moving their operations to the cloud. Almost everything runs in the cloud such as websites, game servers, business systems, billing systems, and file sharing
When starting a cloud computing business there are certain procedures that one must take in order not to fail, there will also be a need for guidance by consultants who are experts and have experience dealing with cloud computing business. It makes the business process easier and effective.For more information on how to start a Cloud computing business in Nigeria, you can contact us on 08023200801, 08075765799, Email: email@example.com
About the author
Onamakinde Dare Daniel is a highly motivated accountant with knowledge in Accounting, Taxation, Management, Audit, Costing and Research. He is keen on tax matters due to its ever dynamic nature.[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]