How to grow your small business in Nigeria
Knowing how to grow your small business in Nigeria is a great advantage for every business owner.
We all know that it has never been easier to grow a small business, especially in Nigeria.
However, if you have the right knowledge and strategy, it becomes easier. I mean, super easy.
You may not believe me now. Well, I am not saying you should. But I will prove it to you.
A lot of small businesses are failing every year, yet some are growing bigger. What is the secret? It is simple.
But wait, do you want to grow your business in Nigeria? If yes, then relax and read.
The secret that keeps those big ones growing bigger and the cause of failure to the ones that failed is what you are going to find out in this post.
However, it is essential to know how to start a successful business before thinking about growing a business, and that led us to our first heading.
How to start a successful business that will grow bigger in Nigeria
Do you have a business already, or you are about to start? Whatever your answer is, this piece I am going to share with you will help you a lot.
Every business can grow but not in every environment. Think about someone selling iPhones in a place where the number of people who buy iPhones is low, then imagine how hard it will be to grow the business.
This is where most people miss things out. They start a business with what they love to sell without measuring the market.
They use the product to determine the market instead of the market. Are you confused? Let me explain.
It is the market that determines the product, not the product. If you get this wrong, you will spend many years growing your business.
Before you start any business, you need to check the market of the product you want to sell.
You should ask yourself: Are there many people looking for this product?
If the answer is no, you should know what that means. And if it is, yes, don’t jump into it. You are not done yet.
You also need to check the competition. Are there many people selling it already? Can you compete with them? Those are the questions you should ask yourself.
If the competition is high, it is not bad. But considering the one with low competition is better.
Whatever you choose is not bad anyway.
After getting the right product for your business, the next thing is how to grow the business.
That’s where the work begins.
How to grow your small business in Nigeria
Are you a small business owner struggling to gain popularity and get more sales? Struggle no more. The nine (9) secrets below will show you how to grow your small business in Nigeria.
1. Be an expert in what you sell.
This may sound simple, but it is a highly effective strategy to grow a business. If you don’t know much about the product you are selling, how will you present it to your customers?
How will you convince them to buy your product and still come back to buy more? To grow your business easily, you need to take your time and study your products well.
Think about how the product will solve their problem. Know about the benefits they will get from the product.
2. Give value and build trust.
I know you want to make more sales. You want a lot of people to patronize your business. But what will those people gain from you?
Have you thought about that one? The truth is nobody cares about you or what you sell. They are only concerned about themselves.
They want value. And that is the best way to turn potential customers into long-term or lifetime customers.
When you are starting your business, don’t focus more on getting sales. Give them value and more value.
Educate them, and that’s why you need to be an expert in what you sell. Let them believe that you can help them solve their problem.
That’s the strategy to make them trust you. Then introduce your product to them. They will gladly buy from you because you have put them in buying trance.
3. Analyze Your Competition
I have said this earlier, so why am I saying it again? Simply, it’s because it’s very important. There’s no way you must have competitors, either low or high.
So, analyzing your competition here means checking their marketing procedures? What are the things they are doing right and things they are not doing right?
Then follow up on what they are doing to get more sales, and make your stand out by adding what they are not doing right.
4. Follow up with your customers.
Some business owners give up easily. They often assume if the customer doesn’t buy from them the first time, they won’t buy. That’s not.
Most potential buyers with high buying intentions won’t buy the first time. Neither are they planning to come back later.
So how do you turn those potential customers into real and long-term customers? The answer is by following them.
Show them your new products or repack the old ones and convince them to buy your products. Not what you are thinking.
When I say to convince them, I don’t mean you should lie to them. Tell them how the product will help them instead of telling them you have the best product.
By doing that, you are automatically creating buying intentions in their mind. They may not buy that week or that month, but most of them will surely come back to buy.
5. Be Unique and different.
Everybody is doing the same thing. Small businesses are doing the same as bigger businesses are doing. Why would people patronize small businesses when there’re bigger businesses out there?
The key is here. Make your small business unique. Give them what the bigger businesses are not giving them.
How will I do that? Well, I am not giving you the answer, but after reading the next paragraphs, you will know the answer yourself.
A few years ago, there was nothing like Item7 in Ilorin. There were only Chicken republic and others. Yeah, the market is high, and the competition is high also.
You know how hard it will be to compete with the chicken republic. Yet, Item7 was able to compete with it and even become more popular. What did the Item7 owner do?
He analyzes the competition and goes for what they are not doing. He makes things simple that almost everybody can afford.
Imagine buying a plate of fried or jollof rice with a piece of chicken for 500 Naira. That’s quite cheaper than that of the Chicken Republic and still maintains the same quality.
Well, I am not saying you should make your products cheaper than others. That’s not always the case. But why did the item7 owner do that?
It is because analyzed the market and then the competition. He discovered that the market is high, but the majority of Ilorin people love cheap quality things. Who doesn’t anyway?
That’s how he was able to make his product unique based on what people love.
I believe by now you have known the answer yourself. Anyway, making your products cheaper doesn’t mean they will sell more than others. It’s about knowing what people love and what your competitors are not giving them.
6. Position your business well.
Your business location matters a Lot. If your business is positioned wrongly, it will affect your business’s growth greatly.
This is another secret that made Item7 stand out. If you check all Item7 branches in Ilorin, you will discover that they are all being positioned where there is a high number of people buying food.
Let’s, for instance, Item7 branch opposite UNILORIN. He saw that most students don’t like cooking. They prefer buying cheap food to feed themselves. Then he places a branch there.
The main point here is that you shouldn’t position your business anywhere, hoping for customers to come. Find where your target audience is, and position your business there.
7. Get marketing and sales strategy skills.
This is where everything lies. None of the above strategies will work perfectly if you have bad marketing and sales strategy skills.
What is marketing and sales strategy? Is that what you want to ask?
Marketing strategy is the ability to reach more customers, while sales strategy is the ability to turn them into buyers. These two things work together.
Invest in the two and watch rapid growth in your business. Reach experts in your field and learn from them.
There is this popular saying that goes, “The more you learn, the more you earn.” It’s actually what has helped me in my online business journey.
I remember when a friend of mine said, ” Learn first, then remove the “L”. Apply the same principle to your business, and you won’t have a growth issue.
8. Testimony or Review
People love businesses with good reviews and testimonies. Let’s assume you see a shoo-in in two different companies; one with good reviews or testimony and one without any. Which one will you buy from?
The answer is obvious. That is how most potential customers will prefer buying from your competitors instead of you.
Ask your regular customers what they think about your product. Ask if it satisfies their needs. If they say it does, ask them for a review or testimony. This will help you to grow your business faster than you think.
9. Package yourself
This may sound funny, but it’s not. People buy the product seller before they buy the product.
When I say package yourself, I am not only talking about how you appear but also your products and your shop or office.
You may have the best product, and people will still not buy from you. Let’s take books as an example. People will say, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but most people do.
Whenever they want to buy a book, the first thing they look at is the cover. If it’s appealing, they will assume it has good content inside.
But if it’s not appealing, 98% won’t even check what is inside. Not everybody has time for that.
The same principle applies to business. Look responsive and make your products and shop/office appealing.
Also, avoid over-packaging. Just make it look natural and appealing.
Business ideas to steal
Giving you the list of business ideas won’t help you that much. What about teaching you how to generate your business ideas?
I believe you will prefer that one. The following are how to steal business ideas from the existing products.
- Check the existing products
- Focus on knowing what people need, but they are not adding it to existing products.
- Create the same product and add extra features.
Let me be more explicit here. Mr. Chris K. Oshundun (one of my business coaches) narrated how he came up with an amazing business idea using the existing product.
Although, he didn’t put it into action because of his reasons. Not because it can’t work out.
“There are many people who buy candles every day, and most of those people also buy mosquito coils.
What if you can make a candle and add some chemicals that will kill mosquitoes to it. So, as they are using the candle for light, it will still be killing mosquitoes at the same time?
That’s how I come up with a business idea and ask my students, will you buy that kind of product? Almost all of them gladly respond yes,” he narrated.
Another instance is the newly introduced form of garri. You might have seen it, and if not, this is how it is.
The garri is sealed in one side of nylon, while groundnut is also sealed in the same nylon. How did they come up with the idea?
They discovered a high number of people buy garri every day, and the same people will still buy groundnut. From there, they generate a supper business idea.
I believe the above two instances are enough to teach you how to generate a great business idea for yourself.
How can I start a successful small business in Nigeria?
The first step to starting a small business in Nigeria is to get the right product. Then the market plan. Let me explain.
Your products are what determine whether your business will be successful or not. Take your time to get the right product.
And the market plan will guide you on how to market your products and become successful.
How can I get more customers online in Nigeria?
There are many ways you can get more customers online in Nigeria. However, the easiest way is to make use of your social media like Facebook and forms like Nairaland.
That’s not the only way; you can make use of Nigerian internet marketplaces like Jiji and others to get more.
The reason I mentioned Facebook earlier is that it makes it easier to reach targeted customers than others.
This can be done in two different ways, free and non-free. Let’s talk about the free one first.
You can advertise your products on Facebook groups and your page. Well, these are as effective as the ones I am about to show you now.
This is what you will do to get targeted customers on Facebook for free. Login to your Facebook account, and click on the menu icon.
Scroll it down gently; you will see a section named “Marketplace” click it. Then select sell.
You are asked to fill in your product details, which is not hard. But there is one thing you should not miss out on.
That’s the location. Put location on where customers are. If your target customers are in Lagos, choose Lagos, not Abuja or any other places.
The second method is by running Facebook ads. One thing I love about Facebook ads is that it brings only target customers.
Facebook ads are quite simple to run. Anyway, if you don’t know how to do it, you can pay someone to do it for you.
Where can I advertise my products in Nigeria?
There are many places you can advertise your products in Nigeria. However, they are being grouped into two categories. Free and non-free.
The following is the list of places you can advertise your products in Nigeria for free;
- social media groups or pages
- JiJi marketplace
- ADy.Ng marketplace
- Facebook Marketplace
- OLX market place
- Locanto marketplace
- Efiritin marketplace
- Mobo Free
The following is the list of places you can advertise your products in Nigeria (paid)
- Google ads
- Social media ads
- Radio station
One more thing you should take very seriously is consistency and patience. Every business requires those two things to grow. You can start a business today and expect magic tomorrow. It does work that way.
However, consistency should be your number priority. No matter how patient you are, without consistency, you will keep waiting for nothing.
Follow the strategies I explain above with consistency. And you won’t be asking people to teach you how to grow your small business in Nigeria anymore.