"Shop Owner in Nigeria? 4 things to do in 2016"

This is an exclusive blog post by SME consultant, Ade Olabode. "...There are tools and best practices available to ensure you're able to partake in the new store running experience..."

Small shop

Yes, I know we've only just got into November.

However this is the best time to start planning for 2016, to enjoy the good times coming! 'Good times', what do I mean? Well I’ve been an adviser to shop owners over the last few years, and as a son of a proud shop owner (my mum still owns her shop in Gbagada), it's great to see that owning a shop in Nigeria is getting less stressful.

Mind you, I didn't say we've gotten to the promise land yet. However if you own a shop in Nigeria today, you have to understand this is not 1970s. There are tools and best practices available to ensure you're able to partake in the new store running experience. According the Harvard Business Review “there are some special financial management tools available to small companies that can enable them to make the most efficient and practical use of their meagre resources”. So no more excuses, below are the 5 things you need to do today to ensure running your store is smooth in the coming New Year;

Sell Online

Do all your customers come to your store before buying from you? If yes, then you could be missing out on a lot of sales and 'new' customers from having an online presence. Perhaps you’ve considered an online store and was frustrated about how set up actually works.  The best option is to give this a go on a small scale by having an online store on one of the eCommerce platforms. You should at least consider selling some items on either Jumia or Konga. This allows you to experiment to see if selling online works well for you.

Advantages:

Manage store better

This is the #1 problem area for most store owners. How do you know what you've sold, what's left in stock and you're best-sellers. Or the big one ‘are you even sure you’re making a profit? Simple and easy solution – Get a Point-of-Sale software which helps you to run your store efficiently, effectively and with ease. A good Point-of-Sale software is all you need to run your store.  My startup PrognoStore is working on a solution which you can join now to be notified, when it becomes available.

Advantages:

Payment

Yes, cash is king (and may it reign forever), however there are different ways of paying for goods that makes it easier for you and your customers.  You should think of integrating various alternative payment systems from Quickteller to Paga.

Treat customers better

How do you treat customers better when you don't even know them? The first step is by keeping track of what your VIP customers do in-store. You want to know what they buy, how much they spend, even their birthdays. The easiest way to do is by having a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system in-built into your primary POS system.

Advantages

I know it’s too early to say ‘Happy New Year in advance’ but it’s not too early to say you will notice an easier store running experience if you implement the above 4 points. Do you think these are indeed the top 4 areas or you disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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