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As an entrepreneur myself [content curator for Crugit and ArtHut] , I understand the importance of growth [brand-wise] and this article is aimed at helping entrepreneurs and small/medium scale business owners understand some leads on how they can grow their brand maximize their profit.
All of the below-mentioned tips are steps that works towards helping business owners and entrepreneurs grow their venture both on the internet and even off the internet.
Tips To Quickly Grow Your Business in Nigeria
Utilize Social Media To Create Brand Awareness for Your Business
So many entrepreneurs in Nigeria just utilize social media (Facebook/Instagram esp) to engage stuffs they are interested and follow their favorite celebrities but “` do not maximize the usage of such media to grow their brands.
Instead of posting/making comments about Buhari, Ghanaian governement etc. all the times, why not take a day to just talk about what your brand is about, what services you render, how YOU CAN HELP YOUR CUSTOMERS WITH THEIR NEEDS, what you do better than your competitors?
Tips to growing your business in Nigeria with Social Media
- Create a brand page [if you don’t have one already] on whatever social channels you enjoy the most. (Facebook page on Facebook, use a Business accounts on IG, build a LinkedIn Company Page on LI, Twitter’s just accounts.)
- Invite ALL YOUR FRIENDS to like the page. (This can only be done on Facebook and LinkedIn) Of course not everyone like the page [actually, majority won’t] but it should help your gain some traction (of visibility depending on how large your friends list it) and can this allows Facebook suggest your page to people, even those who declined liking the page the first time you invited them to.
Illustration: A fashion brand would do way better on Instagram than on Twitter. Why? Because IG is more of a visual social media while Twitter is all about the conversations.
- Utilize communities to grow your brand influence. Communities have proven to be one of the most effective ways to grow your brand influence on any social media. You can think of communities as groups, IG and Twitter has hashtags brands can follow and utilize to get their brand seen to more people while LinkedIn and Facebook have groups/communities where member can join and engage others.
The trick to building influence with communities IS NOT IN SHARING YOUR PRODUCTS. NO!. It is in providing value to the members – you can post nuggets for community members to learn from or some other educative contents.
So instead of just posting your newer products and services on Business Communities on Facebook; join entrepreneurial groups (HeadStart Africa, The Entrepreneur Community…), understand how the system works, provide value and watch people engage your contents and finally your brand.
- Advertise when you must. Most social media platforms now (Facebook as a good example) favor brand advertisements to organic. If you’d like to see some quick boost in your sales or growth as a brand. Know when to leverage on social media ads, the good thing is that they are very effective and not so expensive – you can run an ad on Fb with just 500 NGN. I put it last though because it has its side effects because reliance on it affects your organic/natural reach which is bad. You can see this when you check the Jumia page – because they use too many ads to promote sales, posts that they do not promote reach very low people. (Imagine having 18 million followers and less than a 100 likes on organic posts.)
Create Give-Away(s)/Discounts on your products
Do you know why Jumia ALWAYS come up with odd and consistent giveaways?
It’s simple – it is because during those period; they MAKE MORE SALES and GAIN NEW CUSTOMERS. (They already have 18+ million followers by the way).
For example you sell a product (maybe a package deal) worth 5,000 NGN upon release, drop down that price to 3,500 and trust me you’d witness an upsurge in sales (even though it’ll be limited).
Discounts have proven to work over the years and they work – I have fallen for that trap many times and I think we all have too.
So when you’re in need of more sales for your brand’s products – think about having a discounted price for your goods.
Note: It is advised you place discounted prices on your high selling works or well-appreciated products and not the things that do not sell much.
Stay Relevant in Whatever Industry Your Business Is In
Do you know what brought PayPorte to the limelight? – it was simply their headlining Big Brother Naija (BBN). This is the same kick that established them now as one of Nigeria’s largest ecommerce stores.
Why? As millions of Africa were busy watching Africa’s largest reality TV show – the logo of PayPorte was slowly sipping into their hearts and since they were affiliated with something fashionable; Nigerians started searching and eventually got hooked to the platform.
Some simple offline methods to grow your brand’s visibility;
- organize events relating to your industry [even local ones] – e.g a fashion brand can decide to host a showcase of fashion styles in vogue.
- attend [register for] showcases e.g GTBank Food&Drink event, – there are actually lots of opportunities for brands to showcase their products. Utilize Eventbrite to find the latest one related to your industry.
- sponsor programs [relating to your industry] – Budding entrepreneurs understand that a really easy way to create a base for their services is through gathering individuals together for an event and in most cases they’d require sponsors to achieve this aim so they ask the big guys (or the available guys).
Still wondering why Pulse.ng sponsors a lot of media events and happenings?
So when next some NGO/budding entrepreneur comes to your inbox to help him with a program, don’t be so quick to end the conversation. Most events usually benefit the sponsors too, so it’s a win-win for both parties.
Utilize Business Listing Sites To Improve Your Online Visibility
If your brand is not listed on business directories then trust me, you’re losing out on a lot of opportunities that might’ve been yours.
Business listing sites are basically platforms that helps businesses reach more [potential] customers. You can liken a business listing page to a FREE ADVERT SPACE for your business because in actuality, your business is advertised there.
Many buyers are tired of walking around in search of stores/business that provides what they need. Instead they just make queries on Google with something like ‘book stores in Lagos’ and are fed results on a business listing site that entails over 20 other businesses in Lagos that offers book sales and at amazing rates.
Here are the best business listing sites in Nigeria
Tips on how to maximize business directories to grow your Nigerian business
- Ensure to fill all necessary information about your business on the company sites
- List all products/services your business offers – this way you get a higher rate of being seen before others.
- List your business on multiple channels. The most popular listing sites in Nigeria are ConnectNigeria.com, FineLib.com, VConnect.com but this doesn’t stop you from listing your business and products on other channels.
Serve So Good That You Get Referred by Customers
Gaining customer referrals is still one of the easiest ways to grow and scale a business in Nigeria.
Remember that more than half of us don’t even use the internet at all so while you’re doing everything you can to stay in the face of internet users online, think of how to grow those people offline also.
Eventually, it’s all about how good your services/products are, it won’t matter if you have 500,000 followers on Facebook/Instagram, if you serve bad products or are not so skilled with your services, your business eventually will witness a plunge in its appeal to the public.
In blogging we’d say Content is King, it doesn’t matter where you source traffic from – if your contents are not outstanding, readers would stop coming for more [because obviously there is something else doing it better than you are]; and as you must have noticed, it applies to all businesses.
For example, a restaurant owner posts sensitizing images of meals on Instagram page [with over 2,000 followers], and 10 followers are moved to visit [since they are near the business location].
Upon getting there, they notice what they’d seen online is actually not what is. *haha, I know the feeling too*
The amala they’d seen on IG had a good-looking view and the restaurant was looking on point too but here they just can see some dirty woman plastering amala on the plate in a dirty environment.
Would such a follower ever visit or even refer such business to his friend?
*If I were the one, the first move would be to block the amala joint account*
I would’ve easily said you should ask your loyal patrons to refer their friends to your business but of what use will it be if your products are not so good/excellent enough.
You customers would surely be reminded of your brand when their friends are in need of such services only if they’ve had an excellent experience first-hand with your business.
Identify New Opportunities In Your Industry
As an entrepreneur, it is keen to be visionary about your industry, to know where the trends are moving towards and building a base there before it becomes a bang you can profit from.
This way you are able to meet the needs of people even before it arises and can make your brand a a solid rock before others get there.
E.g a social media brands right now would understand that the trend of social media is dragging people towards TikTok and VSkit. Brand owners who understand this would strive to build themselves up to the positions of an influencer on these platform so they can profit of it when it becomes a huge hit. [that was just a rough example, I am not a media infleuncer.]
Start Business A Blog/Website For Your Brand
Building a website for your brand is the best way to establish a solid presence for your brand online.
A website in a way, is a home for your brand online.
It is the digital representation of your brand [everything it stands for] and can be a highly productive tool to growing your business, even an additional source of income.
Funny thing is, it’s not so hard to build or maintain a brand website as many may think and yes, we can help you build a website for your brand in Nigeria.
Learn The Tactics Of The Big-Guys In Your Industry
Since every great venture was once a start-up, business owners can learn how other bigger firms [competitors] scaled their businesses and learn to put what would work for them into action. It won’t be same for everyone but surely there is definitely going to be something helpful learned in the practice.
E.g if you’re in the fashion industry, shadow BellaNaija well and you’d notice that Instagram should be where you focus your internet-time and data on. Why? Because the results are tremendous and this has kept the Uche-Eze-led-brand on top of their game for so long “` consider Pinterest too [because of the Nigerian demographics].
Note: This is an article for business owners and entrepreneurs who have already laid a foundation for their businesses e.g have their business plan laid out, maybe [or not] has been registered with the corporate affiars commision, have conducted a market research for their plan and have gotten the bigger picture. If you’ve not done these, kindly check Experts.ng blog on how to start a business in Nigeria.
If there are other growth tips for small businesses in Nigeria that were not elaborated enough, kindly drop them in the comments so we can clarify. Also, if there are better tips entrepreneurs in Nigeria can utilize to grow their brand ventures, kindly share them to educate us too.