Succeeding in Business in Difficult Times

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Foreigners are having the Nigerian economy & market for breakfast, lunch & dinner. And we say its tough, difficult, this, that...what are

they cooking that we find hard to cook too? Guys wake up and smell the coffee - the opportunities before us are amazing. It takes a great chef to whip up a great meal - create your own recipe for success in Nigeria - it takes a dash of ideas, sprinkled with passion and cooked up in imaginative sauce to get consumers swarming to you so you can serve them hot daily.

Write a value proposition but start backwards, write out the problem, challenge your business or service solves. Since the ability to scale your business will determine how successful your business will turn out to be, then write out how many people you believe face this same challenge or problem and then how they can get to know about the solution you are deploying.

Would you believe that Hyundai & Kia motors have taken over dominance of the Nigerian saloon market from Toyota and the likes? To make it sweeter, Hyundai owns close to half of Kia motors. Ever heard of creating different brands to serve the same market? Just like how WAMCO Friesland makes Three Crowns milk & Peak milk for the same market - same companies, different brands, different market segments.

Have you thought to properly target your business to a particular market segment or perhaps create two different brands to serve different market segments within the same territory? There's a lot of work to be done my friends and its right we start now!

Who told you that you cannot brand your expensive cakes differently from the way you brand your everyday cakes? Cmon, create brand names for the different offerings you have.

Your costs in business - spread them...or kill them! How do you do that? Do you really need to rent a shop at a certain stage of starting your business? Do you need sales attendants who do nothing in your retail outlet but waste space and collect wages at the end of the month? Think it through, there're are costs you can do without. If you can't figure it out - ask me, I'll tell you.

If you don't understand what it means to scale - think of this - a mama put opens a restaurant but can only seat 10 people. She makes mouth watering dishes daily and people have to wait outside and take turns to eat so there's usually a queue. Now that's hardly the problem. The challenge here is that she will keep getting swarmed so the question remains that can she cook fast enough for the crowd that comes to her daily? If she can, but cannot hire enough servers to satisfy the crowd that swarm her daily, how would it turn out for her. Thus her offering grows, but she would need to expand how she meets the needs of the crowd - her ability to do this, is what scaling is all about. So my question to you today is - do you run a business that can be scaled?

Jamilah Hadrah Aliyu Mahmud said, In my opinion,its quite easy to identify opportunities in an environment/market/business when you are outside it....Every entrepreneur has peculiar challenges when it comes to businesses done in Nigeria.The uncertainties in Nigerian business environment is numerous and the tools to deal with these challenges are lacking in many people..The need for entrepreneurial training and skill acquisition is very necessary and essential to achieve the motivational things you have said......I can sense a Business School framework from what you are saying, which particularly encourages starting from small venture/ I sometimes look at Otumba Ghadaffi's (DMT Mobile Toilet) strategy, Tosan-The cake guy and 'Mama Put' on the average Nigerian street who feeds people with about 12-14 goats in a day..... I continue to wonder what we have not done to exceedingly see these people become conglomerate...I commend 'Mama Cass' who ventured it and got to London with the brand.........The organisations you have mentioned have developed core competences, brand reputations,customer loyalties and near global presence to easily control any market they are in. These together with their deep pockets in terms of advertisements, research & development and investment in equipment place them at a vantage position against any competitor whether local or global...But all the same,Nigerian small scale enterprise should continue to start somewhere and evolve over time like all these foreigners today.

Read 591 times
Morakinyo Beckley

Co-founder and COO of Oyoyo Retail Limited and Founder of Bringitbay Limited. He holds a Masters in Entrepreneurship from the University of Essex, UK and a BSc in Economics from Lagos State University, Ojo. He has a background in banking - with exposure to Retail Sales/Operations. He has core competence in sales and logistics and he's an avid reader and tennis player.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.