Is this going to be another year of “My Small business go see Shege”?
We must confess, the year 2022 had a lot of untold stories; the loss, the gain, the social media trends, and even the “the japa” rave. No wonder a lot of people are excited about 2023; the new year resolutions and “new year new me” decisions. Whatever decision you are adopting this year, always remember to keep your small business from experiencing “Sapa” or seeing “Shege”
Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) reported that over 600,000 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have shut down in Nigeria in the last year, due to unfavourable business environments and other socioeconomic challenges; these numbers are not looking good and whatever “shege” these SMEs must have witnessed, we are confident they must have taken one or two pointers or totally given up in their Entrepreneurship dream.
Sadly, we don’t have full details of their “sapa” moments, but we have some ideas that can work for your business this year.
Review and Update your Business Plan
There has never been a better time to reconsider your business strategy.
All you need are the right digital business diagnostic tools; an online tool that allows entrepreneurs and SME managers to assess their businesses’ performance against common standards and receive advice and guidance on where and how to improve performance.
If you haven’t thought about going over your business plan and readjusting it to fit the current situation on the continent, start now. A well-structured plan will assist you in tracking your company’s progress throughout the year. It will also assist you in discovering new ways to improve your business.
Don’t get us wrong: we’re not referring to changing the entire plan; rather, we meant; identify areas that need to be tweaked.
Don’t forget to use Digital business diagnostic tools.
Make sure you have Access to Funds
Recently, IFC conducted research that revealed small businesses often lack the assets and collateral required to access formal loans, as a result, many businesses that have the potential to transform from small to high potential Companies tend to shut down.
A very sad story, yes? As a small business owner, try as much as possible to have access to capital or have a creative way to obtain funds to make it through lean times. This is very important if you intend to keep that business going.
Research available grants and empowerment programs that can help you upscale.
Participate in Trade Shows
This is the ideal year for business owners who attend tradeshows out of obligation or because they observe their rivals doing so to change that narrative.
Make a plan, assess the return on investment (ROI) from such events, and consider how to increase the returns.
Contrary to case studies or content marketing, tradeshow events involve two-way communication, which may explain why they are so effective. It provides a platform for building relationships with potential clients and customers who you would ordinarily never have the chance to meet. The amount of preparation you do in advance directly affects what you can gain from exhibiting at a tradeshow.
Attending trade shows will undoubtedly assist you in chasing “sapa” from your business; you will not only make sales, but you will also expand your customer base.
Grow your Social Media Presence
Business owners that are ignoring the power of social media should examine the benefits that their competitors are currently enjoying. According to a survey conducted by Visual Object; a website that showcases the portfolios of top creative firms, more than one-third of small businesses do not have social media accounts.
There is still time to optimize your social media presence, and the rewards will make the work worthwhile. The benefits of building your brand on social media are numerous. It can help your brand provide better social customer service, let you interact with clients and potential clients o
n a deeper level, engage and connect with new audiences, establish authority, and increase website traffic.
Request Referrals from Existing Customers
Perhaps your attention is on your current clients. Another possibility is that you are focusing on other crucial business matters. However, you are lacking a crucial element if soliciting referrals isn’t a regular part of your strategy and process.
You can definitely improve your chances of getting a referral, but you can’t force anyone to give you one. Grow this area of your business by regularly asking for referrals, building relationships, providing excellent customer service, remaining prominent in customers’ minds, and offering incentives.
Your referral numbers and bottom line will improve over time if you make asking for referrals a regular practice this year.
In a Nutshell
Don’t let a “sapa” moment or “sege” happen to your business; instead, devote your time and energy to growing and expanding your SME in 2023.
Creative Space Startup is a proudly Nigerian (Not For Profit) organization, created to support the growth and development of technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Nigeria and Africa.