BUSINESS IDEAS

Nigerian market; how to rule in 2017

While it’s great to use certain strategies for your business in 2016, a new year demands a new approach to increase sales. Most Nigerian small businesses need fiercer approach to survive in the increasingly competitive marketplace coupled with the recent economic situations in the country. Fortunately, there are several ways small businesses in Nigeria can better position themselves to compete against each other.

  1.   Your business must be online.

According to a recent survey, roughly 80% of in-store shoppers check out a product online first before buying at a physical location or a store. This means that your small business must have an online presence in order to compete favourably with the emerging Nigerian markets. How can your small business improve its online presence?

  1. Improve your  SEO.

In 2017, focus more on improving your SEO as this will help generate more traffic to your website and ultimately, more leads and sales for your online business. With roughly 88 percent Nigerians going online to search for products, why wouldn’t you make SEO a priority? Additionally, Google is placing more emphasis on local search with prominent local results floating at the top of targeted search queries. With that said, Google has altered their local results to focus on the top three businesses for a specific search. This means, while difficult, getting your business inside the top three results can result in tremendous return on investment. To get started, make sure you register your business with Google and Bing Places Other considerations to improve local SEO include, hyper-local content creation onsite and offsite, outreach and publisher partnerships with local websites, optimizing your website (NAP, keywords, etc.) and strategic social media management among others…… ( you can hire us for this on 07037836887).

  1. Target paid local results.

With local search getting increasingly difficult, it might make sense for your small business to consider pay-per-click (PPC) options like Ad Words. PPC is when you pay for each individual customer that visits your website after clicking a specific advertisement. The best part is, you can optimize PPC campaigns to target affordable, yet actionable keywords in specific geographical areas. PPC lets you get your advertisement in front of highly targeted keywords in your local market, which will increase your conversions.

  1. Become active in the community.

Payporte an online retail shop is rumored to be the ultimate sponsor of BBN (Big Brother Naija). Small businesses are often considered to be “backbones” of their respective communities. As a result, local companies can differentiate themselves by staying active in local affairs. In fact, 70  percent of buyers consider corporate social responsibility as an important factor when making purchasing decisions. As a start, you can join your local community to find relevant events in your target market. If you really want to make a splash, consider sponsoring a local event or charity. Social activism in your local community is an excellent marketing tool and a great way to gain positive PR.

  1. Focus on the customer experience.

Customers are the heart of small businesses. As such, it is vital that your business focus its efforts on providing the best customer experience possible. People now patronize convenience which can result in your business dominating the local market by providing incredible customer service, convenient operating hours, a friendly atmosphere and the inclusion of customer opinions and feedback into strategic decisions

    6. Don’t be afraid of change.

Change is one of the hardest things for most small business owners to accept. However, an inability to adapt to changing trends can kill a business quicker than any competition can. In fact, autonomy and flexibility are two benefits that a business has over corporate competitors. The bureaucracy of larger companies can make it difficult for pivots or strategic changes, but as a small business with a typically flat management style, you are able to adapt on the fly. CRM and other integrated data systems can provide small businesses the insight needed to see trends in their operations. This will help you capitalize on opportunities and prepare for imminent threats.

Life as a small business owner can be difficult. With the saturation of local markets and the increasingly globalized economy, the external pressures forced down on small businesses can seem insurmountable. However, there are several strategies that small businesses can focus on to improve their competitive position. Remember to market yourself online, continue to improve your relationship with customers and never be afraid to change.

About the author

Sandra Chinedu

Chinedu Sandra is an Entrepreneur within the I.C.T space and loves blogging. She is on the Honour list of GEM, a World Bank Project for start-ups in Africa.

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