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5 important factors every startup SME must consider

Are you one of those people that say, ‘The current economy is not favourable to start a business?’ Starting a business is always a risk.

Small-scale business in Nigeria

A small-scale business is a privately owned business with a small employee capacity. It ranges from operating a small shop like a bakery, saloon, restaurant to online businesses and to professional firms like an accounting firm or a law firm.

Small-scale businesses in Nigeria face a lot challenges, but the major ones include bankruptcy, social responsibility, and quality of job.

Most consumers would rather use a ‘known brand’ or buy from a ‘trusted brand’ than use a new small-scale business. This is because your brand is probably yet to prove its job quality capacity.

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Small-scale businesses plays a major role in building an economy. It help stimulate local economies by providing local individuals with jobs, as well as products and services to community members.

Below are five important factors every startup SME should consider;

1.       Innovation

One key fact is that, no idea is original.

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This means whatever business you want to venture in, a small-scale business  somewhere is implementing a similar idea. What makes yours different?

Your business ideas needs to be unique and has to solve a problem.

Almost every Nigerian youth (below 45), either has a business or is some sort of an entrepreneur, but only few businesses stand out.

This is because most are ‘copy and paste’ entrepreneurs. For example: Mr A has a successful laundry business, five persons see how successful he is and takes on the same strategy without adding or taking out of his strategies.

2.       Capital

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Although capital seems to be the major challenge for entrepreneurs, however most businesses also fail because of lack of capital.

Capital plays a key role is any business. The more money you are willing to invest the better the chance of attaining an effective outcome. The capital should cover the facility set up, marketing, workforce (for a year) and other contingencies.

Several banks, micro finance banks, groups offer loans to startups; you just have to find out what it takes to be granted. Note: innovative ideas always attract loans, sponsorship, investments etc.

3.       Quality

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Invest deeply in the quality of products. Small-scale businesses in Nigeria are sometimes stigmatized with ‘bad quality’; this is because most clients already believe the brand cannot deliver the quality they seek.

They would rather go to a larger firm, who over time, have gained the client's trust.

Which do you believe in ‘quality service one customer or many customers bad quality?’ One attracts good reviews, while the other attracts bad reviews.

One good recommendation will get you more customers, while bad a recommendation is the first to a failed business.

4.       Customer Service

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Bad customer service is the fastest killer of any brand. Most small-scale businesses in Nigeria lacks customer service. This might be because they are acting out the name “small-scale”

Use this to your advantage put your customers first. Surprise them; make them feel special, work on their feedbacks and complaints.

Some small-scale businesses in Nigeria have failed because of the break in communication between the brand and its consumers.

5.       Persistence

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The first three years of any business is always difficult. Rocky roads, mistakes, obstacles but to run a successful small-scale business one has to overcome them.

A man once said, “ I failed at a project 99 times and got it right on the 100th.“ Instead of saying he had failed several times, he said he had discovered 99 ways the project would not work.

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