Running a business in Nigeria has its own challenges and downsides. As an SME, adapting to the evolving Nigerian landscape can be difficult. However, with the right tips and measures put in place, your business will not only survive but it will also thrive in the dynamic market. Follow us as we explore some practical tips for SMEs on how to adapt and succeed in Nigeria’s changing business environment.
1. Understand the Local Market:
Nigeria is made up of so many ethnic groups and so many cultures. As a small business owner, it is important that you conduct thorough market research to understand the unique needs of your target customers. You need to ask yourself questions like; Who exactly are my target customers? Where/when are they mainly found? What do they need? How can I solve that need?
You also need to pay attention to local buying habits, income levels, and consumer behaviour so as to tailor your business services well. Also, keep an eye on market trends and adjust your business accordingly.
2. Leverage Digital Technology:
We are in the digital age, and the digital age is driven by the increasing use of smartphones and internet connectivity. As an SME, ensure that you digitalize your business by taking advantage of social media platforms such as Instagram page, Facebook Page, Twitter page etc. Also, register your business on a website and ensure that the website is mobile-friendly.
It is important that you also explore digital marketing channels that are trending in the world today such as social media advertising to reach a wider audience.
3. Build Strong Networks:
Networking in Nigeria involves building personal relationships and trust. As an SME, you need to bring your brand or business to the limelight more often. Attend business conferences, and seminars and always introduce your business when you’re making introductions. This helps to improve your business visibility physically.
Also, engage with local business associations and be a part of some business unions or groups that are available. Seek mentors or advisors who have successfully navigated their own business in the Nigerian landscape and let them give you valuable advice.
4. Adapt to Regulatory Changes:
Nigeria’s regulatory environment changes frequently. As a small business owner, you need to brace yourself for these changes so that you can easily adapt to them. Regularly consult with legal practitioners or local business consultants so as to stay updated on changes that may impact your business.
Ensure that your business has proper documentation and is in compliance with tax laws, government specifications and any other type of government requirements. This helps to keep your business safe from government issues that will affect your business growth negatively.
5. Invest in Quality Customer Service:
Nigerian customers value quality customer service above anything else. If you have staff working for you, train them to be courteous, responsive, and knowledgeable about your products or services. If you’re a sole entrepreneur, learn how to be approachable, polite, courteous, professional and empathic.
Resolve customer complaints and issues promptly so that you can build trust and a positive reputation.
6. Manage Finances Wisely:
Keep accurate and strict financial records and use accounting software such as Simplebks to track your business income and expenses. Create realistic budgets that will manage your resources effectively and avoid overspending.
Also, monitor your business cash flow closely to ensure that you always have enough working capital to operate your business smoothly.
7. Focus on Quality Products/Services:
Quality is often associated with trustworthiness in the Nigerian market. As a business owner, you need to invest in quality products/services so as to ensure consistent consumer patronage.
From time to time, seek customer feedback and use it to improve the quality of your business. Accept criticisms and use them to improve your business where necessary.
8. Embrace Innovation
Small businesses thrive with innovations. As a business owner, you should be open to adopting new technologies that can improve efficiency, reduce costs, or enhance your products/services.
You can also look for more innovative ways to bring customers back to your business such as offering complementary cards or gifts, giving a discount, giving out gift packs, referral promos etc. This helps to maximize revenue if it is planned well.
Building a successful SME in Nigeria can take time due to so many challenges such as bad governance, economic downfall and competition. Stay committed to your business vision, accept criticisms and adapt and improve when necessary. Incorporating these tips can increase your business chances of thriving in Nigeria’s dynamic and evolving business landscape.