By Ojie KING

Have you ever come across that person (I’m sure you have, if not you need to go out more, there are there I assure you) that is just in search of the next big idea that will hit the big time? I was asked the other day by a friend of mine of a business idea can I give him that he will use. My response to him was that anything and everything could be a business; you just need to know what people need (I decided to use the word ‘need’ instead of ‘want’ because economics teaches us that a want is endless but a need are the basic things like food, water, clothing and shelter) and serve it to them or you simply improve on what people have or something that might not crossed people minds but still will be very relevant to their lives.

Take for instance; I live in the every busy and overly congested city of Lagos in Nigeria that is fuelled by massive amounts of traffic and also not to mention that the weather is extremely hot. Someone, (Funny enough, after so many internet searches, I was unable to find the inventor) decided to hawk chilled water in sachets (commonly known by Nigerians as ‘pure water’) on the street at ridiculously cheap prices to relive people of the stress that comes from the heat, vast amounts of traffic and basically the hustle and bustle of the everyday Nigerian.

Lagos Traffic

This, in my opinion is one of the most ingenious inventions in Nigeria because it served a need that people required which is ‘to quench thirst’ and now this pure water is sold everywhere in Nigeria today (Only if I was the inventor of this, I would have put a beautiful patent and maybe even trademarked the name ‘pure water’). Another fantastic business opportunity that came forth is what Nigerians refer to “okada”. This is basically a service that is provided by motorcycle riders to pedestrians who either do not want to sit down in traffic or who just want to get to their destinations quicker and it so happens that this form of transportation is the cheapest form in the country. This is also a simple business that came across serving the “need to transport quickly”. This service is so significant to the common Nigerians that I can confidently state that the common Nigerian (even rich ones atimes who need to get to the airport or a very business meeting and just cannot sit in that traffic) cannot live without ‘okada’.

These are only two simple illustrations of business ideas that were created to satisfy a simple but very essential need of people. What need do you see around you?

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