According to the 2022 Nigeria MSME report by Kippa, a majority of small businesses fail within the first five years. In Africa, approximately 80 percent of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises face the same fate despite having the highest entrepreneurship rate in the world. These statistics may have caught your attention as an entrepreneur, especially if you’re venturing into unconventional markets. How can you use this information to make informed decisions and ensure the sustainability of your business in both the short and long term?
Every entrepreneur dreams of running a successful business that stands the test of time. However, achieving long-term success requires strategic planning, continuous adaptation, and a deep understanding of your business and its potential. Now, let’s discuss valuable tips that can help you ensure the long-term success of your business.
1. Know Your Business and Solve a Problem:
To establish a solid foundation for your business, it’s crucial to understand your industry, and target market thoroughly, and the unique problem your product or service solves. Understand that when starting a business, you need to focus on two things;
- The business itself
- The problem you’re trying to solve.
Make sure there are people who want and need what you’re offering. It’s important to know that building a successful business takes time. So, when making plans, think about the next year and have a backup plan for the next three years. If, even after five years, your business isn’t doing well and doesn’t seem like it will be successful, it might be a sign that you should try something else instead.
2. Extra Income Aside: Diversify Your Revenue Streams:
Depending on only one way to make money can be risky for your business. It’s important to think about different ways to bring in money that goes along with your main business. This might mean adding new products or services, teaming up with other companies, or finding new ways to make money. By having multiple ways to make money, you can make sure your income stays steady and reach more customers.
3. Be Open to Opportunities:
Successful business owners are always looking for new chances to grow. Keep an eye on what’s happening in your industry, new technology, and what people are interested in. This will help you change your business as things change and take advantage of new opportunities. Don’t be afraid to try new things, explore different markets, and make changes to your products or services to meet what people want.
4. Leverage the Community and Network:
Building a strong network and being involved with your community can really help your business succeed in the long run.
- Go to events where you can meet other people in your field
- Join groups with other professionals, and get to know other business owners.
- Work together with other businesses to help each other get more customers.
- Connect with people on social media, write blog posts, and hold events in your community. By building good relationships, you can learn important things, get support, and maybe even get new customers from other people.
5. Monitor Business Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
It’s important to keep track of how your business is doing so you can make smart choices. Figure out what numbers are most important for your industry and check them regularly, this might include things like how much money you’re making, how many new customers you’re getting, how many people visit your website, how many people actually buy something, and how happy your customers are. By knowing these things, you can determine what your business is good at and what needs improvement.
As an SME, determining if your business will succeed comes down to how valuable your product or service is in solving a problem for customers. As long as you provide something that people truly need, your business has the potential to thrive and last, regardless of the discouraging statistics on failure rates.