According to SMEDEN, there are approximately 39.6 million micro, medium, and small businesses in Nigeria as of 2020. And this is a 4.5% fall from 2017, when there were over 41 million such businesses in the nation.
Now, many reasons lead to the closing down of these businesses. And this is why small business owners deserve as much help as they can get in starting or growing their businesses. And this forms the core of the work we do at Triift Africa.
Thus, in this article, we discuss some growth strategies that small businesses in Nigeria can implement to grow. And these are sure-proof strategies that we have found to work for us at Triift Africa.
Let’s examine them below:
7 Growth Strategies for Small Business Owners
Set specific goals
The first thing is to determine what growth means to you. Does growth mean getting more people to buy your product? Does it mean being able to retain old customers? Does it mean making a specific amount of sales weekly, monthly, or yearly? So, decide what growth means to you.
And in goal setting, use the S.M.A.R.T. model. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
Your business should have specific goals within a fixed timeline. These goals help define what the business is trying to achieve within a period. Your goals should also be measurable, realistic, and achievable.
This ensures that you are not lost as a business owner. Thus, helping you streamline your focus.
Focus on revenue-generating tasks
Amina provides business coaching services to people through her business. And in doing this, she always focuses on tasks like prospecting new leads that she can reach out to provide her services.
Now, while this task might be important, she never moves forward to the point of making sales calls or even pitching her business. And this is because of the time she spends on only prospecting.
So, this made her business grow at a very slow pace until she decided to prospect and also follow up with each lead. With this change, she was able to grow her business revenue in a year.
Now, Amina’s issue was not about not working. Her issue was doing the wrong tasks; focusing on getting more leads instead of nurturing what she already has. However, when she made the necessary changes, it changed the game for her business.
The truth is, a long to-do list doesn’t equal growth. So, you need to focus on the tasks that bring in revenue. Also, delegate as much as possible and leave the most important revenue-generating tasks for yourself.
Be part of a Business Community
Running a business can be a lonely journey for anyone. So, having a supportive network of people you trust and can confide in is to be treasured. And this is why providing community support is one of our core offerings at Triift Africa. You are welcome to join our community of winning business owners.
There could be brands or companies that are bigger than yours that you look up to, a business coach you love, a website like Triift Africa’s blog, where you can easily get information to help your business, and so on. And you get easy access to these things when you are in a network of like-minded individuals.
No man is an island of knowledge. So, you need others to help you go through the entrepreneurial landscape without getting burnt. This is also key to accelerate your growth.
Sell to a specific audience
Clear, direct, and consistent focus on a specific target audience is important, if you want to grow as a small business in Nigeria. Truly, it can be tempting to create a product or service that will appeal to anyone and everyone.
But you know what really happens when you cast your net too wide? Your product or service gets lost! And your business loses its authenticity.
Thus, it is important that you create a niche for yourself in your industry and focus on a specific target audience. If you go this route, you’ll likely find less competition, gain expertise and use your resources more wisely.
Connect with your employees
Your team/employees are key people in your business growth journey. This is because they are the ones who buy into your vision, put in the work, and implement strategies to bring your ideas to life. So, it is key that you form a great relationship with them.
Now, in connecting with them, start with the little things. Offer a good salary, attach good benefits to roles, listen to them, implement structures for reward and recognition, have a birthday shout out to your employees, ensure you are accessible to them to run things by you, etc.
The end goal should be to create a workplace where employees feel heard and supported. This makes them more productive, supportive, motivated and innovative.
Organize your processes
The more you get into business, the more cluttered it can become. You begin to find your drive unsorted, paperworks piled up to be done, payments to meet up with, and so on. So, to aid efficiency, automation is key.
Folabi sells clothes online for both males and females. And he always had lots of messages to attend to and consistently could not keep up with everything. So, to aid productivity, he set up automated messages on WhatsApp and Instagram to respond to all messages he got from customers.
He also created a website and catalog for his products, with their prices. And anytime he got an enquiry about a product, he simply shares the link to his catalog, where one can easily order from.
He also has a Meta business suite set up for his business pages. And this helped him schedule posts and follow up on engagements on all social media platforms.
The simple lesson to be derived from this story is that technology would save you time to focus on other things and also increase efficiency. Now, in using technology, you do not need to be a computer whiz or even expert, you just need to learn and be consistent.
Revisit your finances
To grow your business, you need to know your finances like the back of your hand. And while you may not need to know everything about finance, still you should understand the basics.
Some of which include cash flow, profit-and-loss account, petty cash, sales account, bookkeeping and accounting, etc.
Understanding these are key indicators to understanding business growth. And by keeping your records right and revisiting your finances, you can easily determine if your business is making profits or losses, or if you are doing well financially.
Growing your Small Business
Conclusively, business growth requires being deliberate and consistent. It’s not a do it once and stop thing. It has to be done consistently, over time; to give you the results you desire.
So, feeling stuck in your business, and need an expert to walk you through the growth process? Send a mail to us at email@example.com or visit our website.
Also, we have launched START. And this is a program specially made for student entrepreneurs and recent graduates with businesses. And the first cohort of the boot camp starts in April, 2023.
With START, we would equip these set of entrepreneurs with the funding, resources, knowledge and community that they need to grow their businesses. So, know someone who needs to sign up for this? Then send them the “sign up” link.