A startup is a business that has the potential to grow quickly, but statistic shows that 7 out of 10 startups usually fail within their first five years. Starting a business is one thing, making it succeed is another.
Once the seed for a business has been planted, how do you make it grow? Growing startups in Nigeria is more like growing a healthy plant. It takes the right nurturing to be able to grow and yield fruits.
Growing your business is both a challenging and time consuming process, but one that brings great reward to those who know their stuff and have access to guidance from small business experts.
Many Nigerian startups are so focus on daily business operations that they do not take the time to actively work on business growth. A marketing and business guru I know says there are only three ways to grow your business, which are:
- More customers.
- Higher average sales/revenue per customer.
- A higher purchase frequency from your customers.
Luckily, we can come up with hundreds of ways to grow a business and the tough part is deciding where to put your efforts.
The 10 ways to grow your startups in Nigeria that I will be sharing in this post is provided to help your small business enterprise attain growth beyond startup on a continuous basis, and is based on my experience working with small businesses from tech startups to expansion.
10 Ways to Grow Your Startups in Nigeria
Know your Customers
Your customers are the primary focus of your business. Identifying who your customers really are, followed by knowing their needs, is crucial in meeting development goals. Staying connected with your customers via email, web site, face-to-face conversations, and through special customer appreciation programs, such as offering a monthly customer discount, strengthens your customer base and lets you know who your customers are.
Think of it this way; a customer-centric organization gains a competitive advantage over competition, which typically results in a bigger share of the market.
Be Willing to Spend to get more Customers
Spending money to get more customers is another great way to grow your startup. Most business fail in this aspect, they just believe customers will find their way to their business doorstep.
Do not see investing in online marketing or media marketing as expenses, from business experience I will say it is an investment that will surely bring growth in the long term.
Typically you should have at least three to four good solid ways to acquire customers and maybe more. This diversity in customer acquisition makes your startup more stable and gives you a broader base of customers.
Understand that when you have different sources of getting customers for your business, it is safer for you and you are more protected from market change.
Hire the Right People
Your team members are the most important asset to your business. They are the people that connect with the customers, their mode affect the mode of the business too. Every person you hire will either strengthen or weaken your business growth.
This is why it is very important you hire people who are innovative, intelligent and understand the business vision and mission to work for you. A person who is willing to do anything necessary for the business to grow is the right person for your team.
Hiring the best people in your startup is absolutely the best way to grow a business quickly.
Try to Reduce Risks
Risk is one factor that cannot be avoided in business but it is possible to control it though. If your business can afford it, I will suggest you get an insurance cover just in case of unforeseen problems that may come up in the future.
Startups should go for insurance products that can help them recover their lost if anything bad happen.
Offer Premium Products and Services with More Services Included
In any business there is always a premium product or services that you can offer to your customers to increase income. If you don’t have one as a startup, kindly create one. This is one way most businesses grow their income and business.
When you go to a restaurant, they will most times ask you question like, “Would you like the food delivered hot with a bottle of champagne?” “Would you like fries with that?” They are applying the upsale tactics.
The upsale is generally a cheaper add-on, but that still may be a 25% increase in sales to the same customer with no additional marketing costs. You should have premium products for your startup if you want to increase your income.
Always think Ahead
One important quality of a good entrepreneur is the ability to think ahead of the business. Planning your next step, even if that means anticipating all possible scenarios, is the best way to stay grounded and secure as your business evolves.
Invest in your Brand
Your brand matters very well in growing your startup in Nigeria. This is one important asset you need to guide very well. It tells the customer what your business represent and the benefits they will get from doing business with you.
Brand recognition has become critically vital to small business growth. Your brand is the face of your business and how well it is recognized impact the growth of your business in Nigeria.
Cultivating and maximizing brand recognition is crucial to your business success. The new marketing media approaches include social networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, etc., which need to be exploited.
A startup can likewise take advantage of this expanded, nearly free, marketing approach to reach customers and increase brand recognition. Cultivating and maximizing your brand distinguishes you from competition and allows your customers to link your business with your brand.
Develop your Growth Strategy
Developing a growth strategy is one best management process which involves determining long-term growth objectives and developing a specific action plan for attaining these objectives.
The strategic growth plan is developed from the viewpoint of your startup, where the focus is on the accomplishment of your strategic business objectives based on four critical questions:
- Who are we?
- What do we do?
- Where do we want to go?
- How do we get there?
The answers to these questions will give you the information necessary to create your strategic objectives for your growth strategy.
Not all plan work out in business, and be ready to experience failed plans as you run your startup. Be ready for that. Be adaptable to anything that comes up in the running of your startup.
By allowing yourself to adapt and change quickly, you’re able to test different approaches to business and find out what works best.
Building a business requires patience. It isn’t just going to take off on day one. There are likely to be many bumps in the road, but the most successful leaders are the ones who are willing to adapt and embrace change along the way.
Develop a Wholesale or Retailer Strategy
One best way some startups grow their business in Nigeria is through building reseller channels that can help them sell their product at a certain commission.
There may be a different price point, target market or even product variation(s), but if you are selling a product or a service there are definitely others out there that can resell it. Some might even sell or refer customers at no cost to you for other benefits.
Remember there is an 80-20 rule with resellers. Twenty percent of them will generate 80% of the business. So this means you may have to try five to get one that works well. This requires a good training program for your resellers, as they will only be successful if you teach them how to sell and get them focused on it.
Usually they will have other business objectives too. You will eventually need to hire a dedicated business development person to build and manage this reseller network but you should be able to prove it can work before you commit to this expense.
There is no end to ways of growing startups in Nigeria, but like I said above, you need to know where you will put your effort to get the desired results in your startup.