Blog Detail

Diving deep into building and running a business in Nigeria.

In one word, building a business in Nigeria is like trying to create an Amazon rainforest in the Sahara, everything is out to get you, and every step you take oozes frustration, being a highly religious country, business people abandon data and move closer to God, oops! There is no data anywhere, most businesses are built blindly, well “wetin God no fit do? E nor dey exist!” But to build a world-class business that will withstand harsh macro-economical conditions, a business owner must look towards data, because data never lies, it reveals the truth as it is, where most of your users live, why they prefer your product, is it because of the pricing? Is it because of quality? Is it because of accessibility? Or is it an impulsive buy?

A case can be made for Facebook or Instagram analytics but lately, the conversion rate is dwindling, then the headache of purchasing power and hyper inflation, the cost of running the business keep skyrocketing, and customers' ability to afford goods and services keeps reducing, what should a business person do? Turn to data! 

Simply put data is the facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis, how do businesses get these facts? By asking questions, studying patterns, start from building small conversation with customers, without being overly intrusive,

Pushy or complacent, subtly ask for honest reviews, people tend to speak the truth more when being relaxed, be ready for bad or harsh comments, take it with grace and work on it, then grow from 1 to 10 then 100.

Growing a SMEs in Nigeria 

At FBS most students dread finance class, a business owner reached out and said “omo I am not good with numbers'' to be honest calculating WACC, and DCF can be boring but it’s important, DCF helps business owners, and companies and investors have the foresight and knowledge that as time goes on, the same amount of money invested in a business loses its buying power. Because of this, it's important to know how to discount the projected cash flows of a project. By doing this, you'll have a better understanding of how much the money investment is generating is worth at the present time.

Boring maybe, necessary? Yes! Another set of business owners prefer marketing, honestly, marketing is important in fact you are in business to sell and without marketing selling becomes hard, but you need to know more about the financial side of the money you are investing, what will it be worth? Will it even be worth it? 40% of doing business is by strategizing and objectively weighing your options, while the remaining 60% is executing, so how do you grow your business? Just anyone will start with running more ads, Branding etc but at this point, we must be honest with ourselves and state clearly that there is no plain, well-structured roadmap to growing a business in Nigeria, may be sad, but it’s the truth, many people getting it right or appear to get it right then leverage on that to get people to pay them has growth hacks, take this for a fact, nobody can teach you how to sell to 1000 people because the conditions, product, the audience are different, well we could go the grow at all cost route, burn a lot of cash on growth but how is it working for Abeg App & Kuda bank? In order to grow we must be honest with ourselves and look towards data, how do we approach this audience? What’s the suitable pricing for this demographic, do we go with a carousel or TikTok video? Should we educate them or guilt trip them “making Nigerians feel terrible for not using a particular service works like magic”

Nigerians are perfectly good at moving from one trend to the other in no time, the guilt trip works until a certain xxxxx on Twitter tweets “Someday we will talk about how XXXX is making people XXXX” then it goes viral and people start making a shift, what if you educate them? Many people learn slowly but when they do, they rarely forget, Nigerian banks and telcos used this strategy and it worked! A little mix of guilt trip for short term and educational contents for long term will do the trick. Piggyvest is effortlessly killing it with this strategy.


Power of selling a story

Over 14.6M Nigerians have watched Big Brother Nigeria (BBN) in the last two years and what is being a quite dominant thread? Contestants selling grass to grace story, the underdog story winning, like Tyrion Lannister said “what unites people? Armies? Gold? stories? Stories. There’s nothing in this world more powerful than a good story, nothing can stop it, no enemy can defeat it” Nigerians love a good story, and they will always buy into it, so what story will you tell? Through which medium will you tell it? You must be able to tell your story in a very convincing way that will move people to tell your story, but not just a story, a good story armed with good quality and excellent customer service. 

View All Posts