Before talking about how to build a successful small business, it’s important to note that a business isn’t limited to product based brands only, i.e., brands involved in buying and selling, service-based brands (brands that render services for money) are also businesses.
What Are Small Businesses?
Businesses with net worth starting from #5,000 to #50,000,000 are all small businesses on paper. Yeah, even though in reality the difference is clear as day but we all have the same name on paper.
I am more experienced with products based businesses, so forgive me if I dwell more on that part. However, I just started a service-based business recently. So trust me, I’ll try to strike a balance between the two and give you enough insights on how to build a successful small business in Nigeria.
If you’re considering starting a business, but short of insights or ideas, here are some profitable small business ideas in Nigeria that you can start now. You’ll also find resourceful guides for success.
Things to Consider To Build A Successful Small Business
Your mental state
The first thing you should consider before deciding to build a small business, most especially in this part of the world, is mental stability. Running a small business is no joke; you have to be mentally and psychologically cut out for it. I’m putting the mental and psychological aspect first because those two things are what will matter and keep you going on some days, it is never an easy or sweet journey.
Your Cause; your why
The second thing you should do before building a successful small business in Nigeria is to “define your cause”. Know why you’re going into the business, identify what you want, and set simple rules to make it work. You don’t need a long list of rules; they’re only going to freak you out easily. More importantly, don’t sell products or render your service on credit, not even family members. The moment you decide to go into business, you’ve made up your mind to offend people with your standards.
Selling on credit works for some businesses? Yes! But not for small scale businesses; you’re going to pack up pretty soon if you do credit. Slow or no sales will tempt you to do it, but don’t do it. It will end in only one thing, regrets. Credit drains your business up. Please don’t bother to give it a try because you’ll only permit people to sit on your capital.
Do your research
Know the market you’re going into. You don’t have to like the business; you don’t have to love it. If it’s bringing you money, leave your emotions at the door.
I’m not saying you should go into something illegal o!!!! ehehn!
The point is you don’t have to like biscuits to sell it. Yes, you don’t need to love the business to be successful; you only need to do ground research.
Just do your groundwork and define your target market, more importantly, your capital, the resources(people & things) you need/the ones you have. Check how feasible they’re to see if you’re good to go or not.
Discuss with resourceful people
Talk to the right people for insight. People who can help you actualize your ideas – the right people, because some will always be there to discourage you. Because they think you can’t do it doesn’t mean they are right.
Trust me, you can build that successful business because you are much better than they think.
You might be wondering why all these? What we need is how to make 20 million, 5 million, but the foundation is very important. With the right foundation, you can make as much as you want easily. I remember how some businesses I’ve started failed because I didn’t have a proper foundation. It can be very exhausting, but the foundation is key! The right foundation will help you make as much as you want to easily. If you want to build a successful business, you have to leave the safe zone. Let’s get into business properly.
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Important Steps To Build A Successful Small Business
Let’s assume you worked or gathered #100k as the capital to start the business. All you have is #100k, nothing more, nothing less. You feed yourself, pay your bills, and have no support of any kind. Please and please, take out 50k only for business, keep the remaining 50k for your upkeep, set a budget on how to spend it, so you don’t eat into the 50k you have for your business.
Do you see this business money? At least for the first three months, at least three months! You cannot touch it; you’re not allowed to touch it, no matter what happens. So plan how to suffer and drink garri to manage the money you’ve set aside for personal upkeep.
But if you have other means of support, such as parents, spouse, or friends, you’re sure that accommodation, feeding, and utilities are taken care of. You can use all you have for business, but if you don’t, PLEASE, DON’T DO IT. Else, your business will not last. You’ll become the cankerworm that will kill your business even before debtors come.
The reason why you need to let your business mature before dipping hands into the coffers?
Grow your business
If you want the business to grow exponentially, like wildfire, so much that people start wondering if you made blood money, you need to reinvest in the business.
You started with 50k. Let’s assume your profit margin is 30%. That means your 50k should turn into 65k. And see the truth, we all don’t like to say or hear that goods are still in stock. No matter how hot your products are, some among them will have a coconut head and will refuse to sell out in time. So it means even 65k isn’t guaranteed.
Let’s peg it at 61k. You’re expected to reinvest the 61k like that back into the business. Do it over and over again for at least three months and see where you are. Treat your business like a newborn baby. Feed it till it attains maturity before picking from the money.
In the world we live in today, 50-55% of the time, people buy personalities. People buy the business owner first before the business. What do I mean?
Sell your personality to people first! Let people rush you first, then see how they rush your product. It’s very important for a small business owner. Be your celebrity; let people like you. They must know, either they know it’s Bisi running the business, or it’s an unknown human being, but let them love the energy you exhume. Let people buy that energy! Selling your product is a step easier that way.
Besides, have you seen P. Adeboye’s Twitter bio? He sells himself too.
Discover what’s Unique about yourself, brand it, and sell it.
Nurture the salesmanship in you
Another thing is harnessing your salesman skills. It is very important if you want to build a successful in Nigeria. We all have that skill, even without knowing we do. We all sell things or people consciously and unconsciously every day. The way we convince people to do what we want is a salesman skill; we’re pitching our ideas and wants to them and making them do our bidding.
A man asks a woman out now and then, convinces her to go out with him, though he’ll be the one to spend. Yet you say you don’t know how to sell products. You’re skilled already; harness the one within.
All you have to do is think and look at your style of influencing people, reminisce on how you’ve been convincing people. Then brand and explore that style for your business. We all have our styles, and explore the one you find more comfortable expressing yourself and convincing people.
Sales are important to make a profit in business. A good business person is skilled in persuading people to buy his or her products. Harness this skill.
As a small business owner, you’re your first marketer. You’ll market till you fall, market till you break, till the business can sell itself even without you making any effort. Nonetheless, you cannot do it alone. You need the goodwill of people; you need to ride on the backs of people; your business needs to fly on others’ wings. To build a house, you need many blocks. In other words, your business needs the support of others. This is where ads come in.
Ads! Adverts! Advertise!
Know the ads that with for you. Different kinds of ads for a different season. Advertising is important to build your business.
Strategize with your Ads. Too many Ads don’t equate to higher conversion. Recognize the Ads that are working for you. Find out from your customers how they knew about your product.
Sell high-quality products, render good services and watch your customers multiply. People would advertise for you if they got what made them happy. So please don’t sell low-quality products and expect to be in business for long. You won’t retain customers that way. Work on delivering quality, and before you know it, you are already successful in the small business you are building.
Very important! Do customized courier packs, paper bags, nylons, stickers to pack your orders. I’ve bought something worth #20,000 from some vendors before, and they sent me my orders with #10 nylon. I never patronized them again!
If you can’t afford customized packs yet, go to the market, look for cheap fancy packs to wrap your orders. Branding goes a long way in how you make your customers feel. It shows how much you value your customers.
When we buy from Fendi, Gucci, Door, Channel, Michael Kors, and Co. Do you see how they package? Yes, the products are not cheap but the packaging makes us happy, makes us feel great, like ‘is this me?‘
If anyone on this group sends out orders with black nylon again, I’ll send Amadioha after you (lol).
Insight business: Emotional intelligence as an entrepreneur in handling customers is important.
Retain your customers
Lastly, retain your customers, give your customers reasons to come back. Be charming enough to capture the heart of your customers. Influence them to love you and make them ask their lovers to love you too. Become their friend so you can get more money from them.
Points Not To Forget To Build A Successful Small Business
- Credit drains your business up. Don’t bother to give it a trial.
- Credits sales permit people to sit on your capital.
- You don’t need to love the business for it to be successful, you only need to do ground research.
- Talk to the right people for insights. People who can help you actualize your ideas.
- Because they think you can’t do it doesn’t mean they are right.
- If you really want to be successful in a business, you have to leave the safe zone.
- Foundation is key! The right foundation will help you make as much as you want to easily.
- Discipline is key in doing a business. The difference should be understood.
- Treat your business like a newborn baby… Feed it till it attains maturity before picking from the money.
- Reinvesting back to back is key.
- Sales are important to make a profit in business. A good business person is skilled in persuading people to buy his or her products. Harness this skill.
- You’re your first marketer. You’ll market till you fall, market till you break, till the business can sell itself even without you making any effort.
- To build a house, you need many blocks. In other words, your business needs the support of others.
- Discover what’s Unique about yourself, brand it, and sell it.
- Know the ads that with for you. Different kinds of ads for different seasons.
- Strategize with your Ads…Too many Ads don’t equate to higher conversion.
- Recognize the Ads that are working for you…Find out from your customers how they knew about your product.
- Choose business names that’ll stick with your customers forever.
- Emotional intelligence as a Having an archive of frequently needed responses is key in doing business online. With this, you can always answer any customer in a short time.
- Give your customers reasons to come back.
- Be polite to customers. Even a rude customer deserves respect.
- Send Goodwill messages, e.g., Happy birthday on their birthdays)
- Be charming enough to capture the heart of your customers. Influence them to love you and make them ask their lovers to love you too.
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Questions And Answers
What if most of your customers are salary earners, and feel like buying your product, but can’t pay immediately. Besides no one else will buy asides from them, hence what will a business person do in that kind of situation?
Market to them at the right time. Know the right time to sell them. Give them enticing offers. And don’t limit your business only to a particular set of people. It’s not healthy for your business.
This article is a transcript of a lecture delivered by Miss Adebola Omofoye on the topic “How to build a successful small business in Nigeria”, at the Insightpreneur 2020 Digital Conference held on Telegram. You can click here to join the group and digest other enlightening knowledge delivered by other guest speakers at the program.
About Miss Adebola Omofoye
I’m Debola, I’m a money enthusiast, simply put, I love making and spending money. I’ve had a passion for business enterprise no matter how small it was since I was 12! I’ve engaged in different businesses to date and I would continue to explore. I currently run 3 business brands.
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