SETTING UP OR STARTING A RADIO STATION IN NIGERIA
Setting up a radio station is one of the most profitable business in Nigeria as communication is an essential tool that we humans cannot do without, it is the process or act of passing useful and meaningful information from one person to another. Communication is the act of passing information from one person to another or from one location to the other. It is very essential in the society.
Let’s take for example, John an Igbo guy, wants to get a good set of sandal or shoe for Christmas and he found his way to Yaba market, but on getting there, he went to the store of one Mr Adamu, an Hausa man, John tried to communicate with him in Igbo language but he found out that the man did not understand him, he tried to communicate with him in English language, because he felt that the man will understand since we are in Lagos, he should understand English, but lo and behold Mr Adamu did not understand English language. He tried communicating with him in what we know as pidgin English, but the Hausa man did not understand. John turned back in anger to go, when someone called him back, Mr Adebayo Mr Adamu’s neighbor that understood both Hausa and English called John back and explained to him that Mr Adamu just came to Lagos and he did not understand any language apart from Hausa, he asked John what he wanted and Mr Adebayo acted as the middle man between John and Mr Adamu and the problem was resolved. Effective communication is very key in the society. As production is not completed until it reaches the final consumer is the same way communication is not complete and effective until the information passed reaches the listeners and they are able to decode it well.
Radio station is passing the same information to different people through the airwaves. It can also be described as the medium through which information is disseminated from one location to the other. It ensures that different people in different places get the same information without being diluted or manipulated. Radio is a very popular means of passing information as radio waves reach many villages where television signal can not get to.
STEPS TO STARTING A RADIO STATION IN NIGERIA
Anyone can start a radio station as long as you have what it takes to start it, Starting a radio station does not come cheap, although the business can be very profitable but it is very expensive to start.
EMBARK ON FEASIBILITY STUDY
Feasibility study which is also an aspect of research is very important when venturing into any business at all no matter how small. It provides relevant and necessary information about a business.
Before starting a radio station, you need to have carried out a feasibility study to know the equipments needed, people to employ, where to site your location, the capital involved, what customers love to listen to, e.t.c. This will help you to know what aspect of radio broadcasting you want to go into and ow to source for capital.
PLAN AND DECIDE ON THE BROADCAST FORMAT YOU WANT TO USE
As simple as planning looks, it is very essential before starting any business at all. Before this stage, you should have gotten a full understanding of how things work in the radio industry, so this is the stage where you put them in practice, this is also the stage where you decide the broadcast format your radio station wants to go into. Broadcast format is majorly the type of content you want to go by, maybe you want to go into politics, business, sports or you want to be an all rounder like many radio stations. Your broadcast format will go a long way to define your radio station and it will even decide the kind of employee you will hire, the equipments to purchase e.t.c. Also, choose and stick to a broadcast style, maybe you wish to broadcast in any local language, English or Pidgin, any style you choose to use, make sure you stick to it.
A business plan is a formal written document that contains business goals and how the goals will be achieved. It summarizes the goal of your business. To start a radio station, you need a business plan which will contain the executive summary that gives the summary of your business plan and also state your vision and mission statement.
Your business plan will also contain a section where you give your company overview, how you intend to run your business, your business goals and everything about your business. The next section contains a clear description of your radio station.
The next stage is to analyze your market, before this stage , I believe you must have researched about your market, how you will compete and stand out, your customers, your competitors. All these will be contained in this section of your business plan. Also you must analyze your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) in this section.
Your business plan will also contain how you intend to sell and make people know about your radio station, the strategies you have decided to adapt, how you plan to bring customers, how you plan to promote your radio station
The last section of your business plan is where you analyze the financial part of your radio station, you can hire an accountant to help you with this section. It contains realistic financial information about radio station which contains cash flow statement, projected income statement, balance sheet (statement of financial position ) for the next three or five years.
A good business plan might attract investors to invest in your radio station so you can hire a consultant to help you draft one.
SOURCE FOR FUNDS
As stated earlier in this article, starting a radio station is one of the most expensive business you can ever imagine, it is capital intensive, that is, it requires a whole lot of capital because it requires a lot of equipments that are very expensive. Going into this business, you might not have enough money to start as the money needed to start a radio station ranges from thirty million naira ( 30,000,000) to fifty million naira (50,000,000), it could be higher depending on how big you intend to start and it can also depend on your location because radio stations located in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja are more expensive to start and operate than other states. There are other means through which a radio station owner can source for funds;
- Loans from family and friends : You can obtain loan from your family and friends.
- Microfinance banks : They lend out money to loan seekers with interest. You must make sure you draft a very good business plan.
- Commercial banks : They also give out loans at a particular interest rate if you have the necessary requirements.
- Cooperative Societies : They also give people loans at a particular interest rate which they must pay at an agreed period of time.
- Bank of Industry : This is a government institution that lends entrepreneurs money at a minimal interest but you must meet up with their requirements.
A radio station owner can also raise money by applying an angel investor or through crowd funding.
SECURE A LOCATION
To run a radio station, you need a very spacious and conducive environment because there are some sections or rooms that must be in a radio station, you need to have a broadcasting studio, a transmitting room, editing/recording room, waiting room for guests and some office for administrative duties. For a standard radio station, a spacious environment is compulsory because some licensing bodies may need to carry out an onsite inspection of equipments and facilities before certain licenses are issued and the license may not be given if your facilities is below their expectation or it is not up to standard.
Therefore, your radio station must be spacious enough, have a name that anyone can easily remember, have accessible road and good water supply.
GET THE REQUIRED EQUIPMENTS
After getting a location, the next important step is to equip the studio. However ,one need to be extra careful when getting these equipments because the kind of equipments gotten will determine the quality of production of your radio station to a large extent, if as the radio station owner, you are not technology savvy, it is better to meet a professional for help. You would have to purchase equipments like microphones, internet routers, furnitures, cables, amplifiers, transmitter (it is very important in a radio station as it turns electric signals into radio waves so that they can travel far distance) , mixing and sound quality instrument, flash drivers, tape decks, CD players, desktop computers or laptops. These are the basic equipments needed to start a radio station but as time goes on, you can expand to purchase more equipments.
GET AN OPEN FREQUENCY
You have to make your research to find a frequency that is free for you to broadcast.
As a radio station owner, you cannot handle it all by yourself, you need the service of people like newscasters, journalists, engineers ( sound, mechanical and electrical ), production managers, disc jockeys (D.J), security men, marketers, script managers, cleaners e.t.c. Before employing people to work in your radio station, you must consider the equipments you bought and employ those who can operate the very well because the level of operation of your workers will go a long way in determining the quality of your radio station production.
Also, you should employ people that are in line with the format your radio station wants to operate and make sure that they are professionals with years of experience. People that have been trained in the art and manner of broadcasting such as graduates of mass communication or other qualified people
To start a radio station in Nigeria, you must have the required license. First, you have to choose a business name and register it and your radio station with Corporate Affairs Commission ( C.A.C) as a legal entity in Nigeria. After registering with C.A.C, you need to forward an application to Nigeria Broadcasting Commission ( NBC) for a broadcast license.
The Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is a commission that regulate the broadcast industry and which issues broadcast licenses as contained in Act 55 of the amended 1999 constitution. Upon receiving the application, the applicant is mandatory to pay the sum of fifty thousand naira( 50,000) for NBC( Nigeria Broadcasting Commission ) form. After collecting this form, the applicant is expected to fill the form and return it with some other documents. You should also open a corporate account for your radio station. Thee broadcast license is very important as NBC can decide to shut down any radio station without the license. All licenses are valued for only five years and renewal of the license must be made before six months
TESTRUN YOUR BROADCASTS
After all things have been put in place, you can now broadcast. But pushing out a broadcast, there is a need to run a check on it before making it go public, to see if there is no problem with it. When everything is right in the studio, drive round the town with a radio checking your frequency to know if you are not overlapping on other radio stations.
After all necessary steps listed above have been taken and acted upon, then you’re good to go, you can start broadcasting to the public.
PUBLICIZE YOUR RADIO STATION
You must build a name for your radio station if you want to make money, that is, you must make it popular. The more popular it is, the more patronage you get. Use social media, organize events, run roadshows and any other legitimate means you know to make your radio station popular.
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