A lot of small businesses are struggling in Nigeria as a result of change in customers preference or change in technology. Some of these failing business could be saved if the owners are could adapt an innovative way of operating their business. Change, they say is constant and as the time changes, we all must evolve with the time. This is particularly true as we look at our immediate environment, community and even the world at large. New innovations, new inventions, the internet, technology and many modern things which we now enjoy are not into existence in the last 15 years.
These changes has affected a lot of business in Nigeria and I am aware that the topic might have you taken aback a bit, because the norm is for you to see a list of businesses you can do and how to go about them. It is very hard or almost impossible for anyone to come across a list such as this; warning them of businesses that are struggling to make profit.
However, what we must know is the fact that while we are on the look out for businesses and opportunities that we can go after, we must also be informed about other ones which are failing. These businesses that are currently struggling, used to be great money spinners in the past and some of them may still be but their days of being profitable are numbered therefore shrewd entrepreneurs need to be on the look out.
Top 4 Struggling Small businesses in Nigeria
Opening a Cybercafe in the past used to be a great business for Nigerians who invested in it. Nine, ten years ago people swarm around them both day and night for various needs ranging from personal internet use, examination registrations, result checking among others. The story is no longer the same today as several Cybercafe have been forced to close down due to low patronage and rising cost of operation. I know of about four cybercafes in my area that used to be vibrant but now are no longer in existence. The reason for the continued disappearance of Cybercafe is simple. The times changed. With the arrival of smart phones, more people getting personal computers and the steady reduction in the cost of data acquisition by the mobile network companies, Cybercafe simply do not stand a chance.
As an example, now you can do your registrations (or anything else for that matter) online either using your PC or smartphone, save the printouts and take it to a regular business centre with a printer to print. What may cost you about N400 – N500 to do at a Cybercafe in the past may not cost you more than N100 today.
(2). Game Shop
It used to be a good business idea at a point in time. Game shops equipped with televisions and various gaming devices such as PS 2 and Xbox provided gaming services to their customers at a stipulated fee. Many of these Game shops no longer exist today, not with everyone owning personal computers and smartphones. Who would go to a Game shop to play when they can both get the same gaming experience in the comfort of their home or on the go.
(3). CD Shops
Many people might beg to defer on this but I will prove my point. CD shops in the past used to be (and are still are to an extent) a great business venture. Shops selling various CD both audio and video of musical artistes, movies, inspirational materials, etc make good sales in the past. The trend is no longer the same today with the advent of the internet, upsurge in the use of smartphones and the affordability of data. In the past people go to these shops to buy CDs of their favorite musicians, to get popular movies and so on but that is already reducing by the day. Today, people download, listen to music, watch movies all for free using the internet. A typical Nigerian will not go to a CD shop to buy a musical album or a movie when he can download them online at virtually no cost.
Though many people are still into this business and are doing well at the moment but it is only a matter of time.
(4). Reselling Data
When mobile networks such as MTN, ETISALAT and AIRTEL introduced Data share packages some time ago many smart Nigerian entrepreneurs quickly took advantage of it. While they have been reselling data to Nigerians and making good profit, the end of this business sadly seem to be in sight with the introduction of various affordable data plans by the mobile networks who are locked in intense competition in trying to win over customers and this is already making the data reselling business look like its extinction is imminent. One of the mobile networks just introduced a data plan of 1.5 gigabytes for N1,000 while resellers selling its data were still selling at the rate of 1 gigabytes for either N1,100 or N1,200. Anybody reselling data for this network obviously cannot continue to do so.
Reselling data on some other mobile networks might still be profitable to an extent but entrepreneurs involved in this business need to beware and should already be working at an alternative line of business to go into. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.