GOOGLE MY BUSINESS HAPPY CUSTOMERS

How to use google my business to delight customers
Google My Business happy customers.
Learn how to delight your customers using Google My Business (GMB).
Google My Business is a useful tool for customer engagement.
This article looks at ways small businesses can use this free tool to delight their customers.
It takes a customer-driven business to delight customers.
A customer- driven business is one that is outside-in.
The development of its products and services starts from the needs, wants and desires of its customers.

How to ensure Google My Business customers delight

Every serious business should seek to delight their customers.

Being customer focussed is beneficial to every business.

When customers are happy, the business does well.

Although it is good to satisfy your customers.

However, a delighted customer becomes a loyal customer because they would come back again and again.

Delighted customers would provide free word-of-mouth marketing for your business.

Among all the things a business can do to delight its customers, improving the quality of its products and services is important.

There are certain things a business must get right, if it want to delight its customers and build customer loyalty.

A small business can delight its customers by doing the following:

Providing channels for customers to voice their needs.

Customers pay you to provide them with goods and services needed to meet their needs.
Everyone loves to be heard. Customers are delighted when they have easily accessible channels to voice their needs.

Particularly, when you demonstrate that you’re listening and responding to their needs.
Keeping Google My Business information up to date.

Google My Business makes it easy for customers and potential customers to reach your businesses easily.

Therefore, keep your Google My Business information up to date e.g. your phone number, website URL, business addresses, amenities and opening times etc.

This will ensure that customers can reach your business easily.

Not only that, make sure your listing is well managed to ensure that customers receive timely response.

This provides you with the opportunity to delight your customers.

In addition, a customer’s calls can turn out to be a goldmine.

You can get great ideas for improving your products and services based on the enquiries you receive.

Anticipating customers expectations.

Another way to delight the customer is to anticipate customers expectations.

Customers expectations may be diverse. However, every customer expects a business to exceed their expectations.

Whether you offer bespoke or standardized products or services.
Genuine reviews and feedback whether positive or negative gives your business authenticity and helps to build trust.

Customer experience reviews and feedback on Google My Business.

Google My Business provides the opportunity for customers to leave reviews about your products or services.

Therefore, these reviews are tools that can help small businesses in anticipating what customers expect when next they visit your business.

In addition, prospective customers have an idea of what to expect from your business based on the feedback from current customers.

Reminding customers to leave reviews and responding to the reviews helps to build trust which leads to satisfied and delighted customers.

Creating and communicating value.

By creating and communicating value, a business can delight their customers.
Customers expect reasonable pricing and genuine quality. A business needs to communicate its value proposition.

That is excellent price/quality that ensures that prices are competitive and services is of good quality.
By doing this, a business will not only delight its customers.
It will retain them because customers will repeat patronage when they are getting value for their money.

Adding quality posts to Google My Business

A business can demonstrate value offered to customers by using a Google My Business post. A post helps to connect customers (existing and potential) to your business.
A business post can be used to engage with customers through your listing and Maps.
Through a Google My Business Post, you can promote your sales, offers, events and specials.
A post gives a business the opportunity to:

  • Demonstrate the value being offered to customers, using posts, videos or photos.
  • Provide sales and offers. You can add a coupon code, discounts, terms and conditions within a post.
  • Promote events.
  • Communicate business offers and general information about the business.

Boosting customers confidence with positive image of business

Customers are delighted when dealing with a reputable company.

It is not only an intangible image of a good reputation that wins customers confidence.

Customers also connect the visual impressions with quality.

You can also delight your customers with good aesthetics.

The appearance of your business and products or services adds magic to customer delight.

Adding images to Google My Business

Adding photos to Google My Business helps to boost customers confidence.

Using real images from your business helps to put the spotlight on those aspects of your business you are displaying.

The images can also help to differentiate your business from your competitors.

Images of the interior and the exterior of your business can create a feeling of delight in customers.

In addition, business photos influence customers judgement of your business.

And also their willingness to do business with you.
Clear product images also help to drive sales.
By using clear and authentic images on Google My Business, you create an opportunity to delight your customers.
From the first contact with your business listing.

Giving good impression of your business

A business that seeks to delight its customers must always create a good impression.

Positive first impression helps to build strong relationship with customers.

Whether over the phone, by email or in-person.

A polite, prompt and warm response will delight a customer.

Managing Google My Business Listing

When your business is listed on Google My Business, be prepared to handle increased volume in terms of email, phone calls and messaging.

A business looking to delight its customers will plan ahead. Ensuring quality across all channels.

Managing your listing professionally helps to ensure quality across all channels.

Benefits of having your Google My Business listing managed include:

  • Having someone to read and reply customers feedback on a timely basis.
  • Making sure that quick and efficient responses are given to enquiries.
  • Regular update of posts.
  • Provide useful insights that can help your business understand customers interactions with your Google My Business listing.

CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAMS AND PROVIDERS FOR SMEs

Customer loyalty programs and providers for SMEs
Customer loyalty programs – types of customer loyalty and loyalty programs solution providers for small and medium businesses.
This article is a practical guide to customer loyalty and customer loyalty programs.
It is useful for entrepreneurs and small and medium business owners looking to build customer loyalty.

It consists of three parts that look at:
Firstly, what is customer loyalty and the different kinds of loyalty.
Secondly, we’ll look at different loyalty programs entrepreneurs can adopt for their businesses.
Thirdly, we present a list of customer loyalty platforms in Nigeria and what they offer small businesses.

What is customer loyalty?

Loyalty involves being committed to something.
Customer loyalty involves the attraction and the commitment of a customer to your business.
Building customer loyalty involves initiating a specific activity that attracts a customer to your business.
In addition, it involves providing enriching experience that delights the customer above and beyond the basic image and reputation of your business.
Every business action taken by an entrepreneur is driven by the customers. Whether it’s the innovation you bring to the market or your business decisions.
Customers become committed to your business when you continually demonstrate behaviour that sets your business apart from your competitors.

Kinds of customer loyalty

In this section, we look at the different kinds of customer loyalty and how they work.
There are a number of different kinds of loyalty:

Monopoly loyalty

This is customer loyalty due to there being no other choice available. A business enjoys monopoly loyalty when customers have no other choice but to buy their products or services.
A business enjoys monopoly in the market in circumstances where it is able to regulate price of price of products or services.
Consequently, such a business cuts of competitors because of entry barriers.
There are different ways an entrepreneur can build monopoly in the market and enjoy monopoly loyalty.

Through intellectual property and exclusive rights

Businesses with exclusive legal rights to a new trade secret or a manufacturer with proprietary technology can enjoy monopoly in the market. Such businesses can be protected by exclusive legal rights from government, patent marks and licensing strategies.
For example, MultiChoice enjoys exclusive rights to the sporting events and enjoys monopoly customer loyalty in Nigeria.

Economies of scale and scope

A business enjoys economies of scale when it is able to produce large volume at a lower margin due to a reduction in the average cost per unit. In addition, a strong distribution channel also give an economies of scope advantage.
These advantages lead to monopoly loyalty.
For example, electricity distribution companies or water corporations.

Brand equity

A business that continually demonstrates that it is good at what it does and lives by its values creates a good brand name.
By creating value for customers, the business earns the loyalty of the customers.

New invention or research

Companies with new invention or research with high capital investments can create monopoly in the market. Thereby enjoying monopoly loyalty.

Inertia loyalty

Inertia loyalty is formed when customers have a habit of buying from a business.

Typically customers are loyal to such a business because it is convenient and not because of strong opinions about the products or services.

For example, if a business is in close proximity to customers.

Loyal customers are laid-back and stick around because looking for an alternative is inconvenient.

However, this type loyalty is not enduring. Customers would switch as soon as there is another business that offers a more convenient option.
Inertia loyalty is common among bank and airline customers.

Price loyalty

Here customer loyalty is on the basis of price only. Keeping and maintaining customer loyalty depends on consistent and transparent pricing.

A business that makes use of a pricing management system tend to integrate price loyalty schemes to increase customer loyalty.

The extent of customer loyalty is influenced by the perceived value they are getting.

For example, price loyalty through special deals and discount programs.
However, higher prices compared to competitors could easily sway customer loyalty.

Incentivized loyalty

Customer loyalty is based on rewards. That is, influenced by customers ability to convert patronage into points.
In incentivized loyalty, customer patronage can be redeemed against gifts and other perks.

Emotional loyalty

Customer loyalty based on emotional attachment to a business.

It is based on a deep connection to a business.
Also, emotional loyalty can lead to lifetime loyalty. This is because customers trust a brand and feel a level of intimacy with the brand.
Therefore, a customers with emotional loyalty develops an affinity and an attachment to a brand because they like it and can connect to it personally.

How SMEs can build customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is not a fixed quality in terms of degree but a continuum.
This means that, customers have different kinds of loyalties.

Therefore, it may be difficult to develop loyalty programs that would lead to a complete switch to your business.
An entrepreneur or a business owner would desire the commitment of a customer to their brand for as long as the customer needs the products or services; or for as long as the business exist.
The loyalty strategy of a business can be either offensive or defensive.
Offensive strategy i.e. to gain new customers (increase market or gain market share).
Defensive strategy i.e. to retain existing customers (building switching barrier or increasing customer satisfaction).
Typically businesses try to gain a larger market share of customers compared to their competitors and to keep them by:

  • Providing excellent customer service.
  • Advertising to remind customers of their product or services.
  • Providing broad distribution channels.
  • Building networks for word-of-mouth referrals to help establish the brand reputation.
  • Making swift reparation. Correcting errors and mistakes as soon as possible.
  • Keeping in touch with customers.
  • Providing loyalty rewards.

Kinds of loyalty reward programs for SMEs

In this section, we’ll look at different kinds of loyalty programs that entrepreneurs and small and medium business owners can adopt for their businesses.

  • Point system where customers are rewarded with points for every purchase made. Customers can unlock different tiers of rewards as they spend more.
  • Flexible point-based program where members can choose their reward points. For example, customers can choose to use the reward to offset purchase prices of premium products.
  • Running loyalty programs through apps. This is an easy option that eliminates the need for loyalty cards or sign-in.
  • Partnered program through incentivized user-generated content. Customers can earn rewards for posting online reviews, video tutorials or their selfie with products.
  • Membership loyalty program. For an annual flat fee, members get access to free shipping on some items and other perks.
  • Value-based loyalty program. Customers do not earn monetary incentive. Rather, through every purchase, they get the opportunity to support different initiatives.

List of customer loyalty providers in Nigeria and what they offer SMEs.

Customer loyalty and rewards companies provide loyalty program services to small and medium businesses.
Here is a list of companies that offer customer loyalty and rewards solutions for small and medium businesses in Nigeria:

  • Rewardsbox assists in the administration of rewards, incentives and loyalty programs.
  • CityCard offers point-based and stamp-based – dual rewards styles. It also offers a 7-day trial.
  • Dashket offers multiple advantages to customers through it’s point based loyalty program.
  • Loyalty Solutions Limited specializes in integrated loyalty solutions. It supports businesses in the design, development and management of customer loyalty and reward programs.
  • Skoybus is a FinTech that offers prepaid cards and loyalty rewards program in Nigeria.
  • Loystar primarily targets small and medium businesses. The company’s goal is to help SMEs become more profitable by helping them build customer loyalty and repeated sales.

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS IN NIGERIA

Google My Business Guide for small business owners in Nigeria. This article is a Google My Business step-by-step guide (with pictures) for small business owners in Nigeria. It serves as a guide to help small businesses set up their own Google My Business listing and for optimizing your listing for local searches.

how to set up google my business

One of the challenges small businesses in Nigeria face is getting customers to find their products and services. Especially, after struggling to invest in starting a small business and there is almost nothing left to spare for marketing.
Yet, everyday Google is being asked questions relevant to your business. Examples of recent questions people are asking Google are:

  • “Where can I hire a bicycle in Abuja?”
  • “Where can I buy Infinix smart 4c in Ikorodu?”
  • “Where can I get an organic soap in Bariga?”
You might be saying in your mind, “if only I can get people to know about my products and services”.

Google My Business guide for small business owners

The good news is that Google My Business is a free and effective marketing tool by Google for small businesses.
With Google My Business, you create a listing and a website that allows you to manage your online presence in local searches and on Google maps.
Therefore, it allows customers and potential customers to easily find your business and to contact you.
A Google My Business listing is how your business appears in search results when a potential customer Google’s (searches for) your business name or service.

Google My Business guide – types of small businesses that qualify for  Listing

Your business qualifies for a Google My Business listing if:

  • It has a physical address.
  • You serve customers face to face.
  • You serve customers at their locations.

Do you have a storefront where you display your products? For example, a fashion store that sells items such as shoes, clothes and bags.

If you have a physical location where you meet with or attend to customers.

That is, if your business involves attending to customers in-person during particular times in a day. For example, a salon where customers come in to get a hair cut.

Also, if you serve customers in their locations. For example, if you provide services to people in the homes or offices such as a plumber or an electrician.

Your business can be a mix of these three.

For example, if you are a photographer with a physical address where customers can come to your studio for a photo shoot.
However, you also attend events or visit people’s homes to take their photographs.
Therefore, if your business is similar to these examples or meet these criteria, then it business qualifies for a Google My Business listing.
However, if your business is online-only for example digital agency or an eStore, then it doesn’t qualify for a Google My Business listing.
Only businesses with brick and mortal locations qualify.

Three factors that improve search results on Google

Before you set up your Google My Business listing, there are three factors you need to be aware of. This is because, local search results on Google are based on these three factors namely:

  • Relevance
  • Distance
  • Prominence

When someone searches for businesses in your area, these three factors improves the likelihood of them seeing your business in the search results.

Relevance

In terms of relevance, your business is more likely to appear in search results if your listing has relevant business information.

For example, in the case where a customer is searching for “a beauty salon where I can fix my dreadlocks in Tanke Ilorin”.

A “Nikky Beauty Salon” located in “Tanke Ilorin” is relevant to that search.

Therefore, relevance  involves being as detailed as possible when adding your business information.

As a result, Google would better understand your business and match relevant searches to your listing.

Distance

Using the same example above, the “Nikky Beauty Salon” listing in “2 University Road, Tanke Ilorin” is very explicit in terms of its location.

Although, Google will calculate distance based on what is known about the user making the search.

However, your listing is more likely to appear in search results because you have given Google a specific business location term to match the searches with.

Prominence

The prominence of your business is based on the information Google has about the business across the web.

This can be through articles, links or directories. Therefore you’ll notice that many businesses that are prominent offline also tend to be prominent online.

Your business prominence in local search result can be improved through customer reviews and ratings. In addition, your ranking in web results also influence local search optimization.

How to set up Google My Business for small business owners

In this section we’ll go through the steps to get your business on Google My Business.
Please note that only business owners or authorized representatives (individual or company that manages your business information on Google My Business ) may verify and manage their business information on Google My Business.

Step 1: Go to Google My Business

Sign in using your business Gmail account. Click “Manage Now”.
google my business guide

Step 2: Enter Your Business Name and Address in the Search Box

Note that your business name is expected to be represented on Google My Business as it is in the real world. Therefore, use the same business name that is on your signage, stationery, and other branding.

Add caption

Step 3: Add business category

The next step is to add your business category. We’ll add “beauty salon” as the business category for Nikky Beauty Salon.
Underneath this, you’ll find a notice that you can change and add more later.
However,  please don’t stuff in your business categories. It is advised that you choose the fewest number of categories that accurately describes your overall core business.
For example, since most people already have an idea of the services they can get in a beauty salon, you can add one or two unique services your render.
For example, dreadlocks fixing and waxing hair-removal service. Don’t worry, you also have the opportunity to add images that will tell more stories about your services.
The next thing you’ll be required to do is to add a location. This is useful if you attend to customers in a particular location.
Since our example is a Beauty Salon, we’ll say yes.
After that, add your address.
You’ll need the following information: your accurate street address, Local Government Area, City, Postcode and State.

Make sure your address is as accurate and precise as possible. This can be a challenge for some small businesses in Nigeria.

Especially if your location is in an area that is not well numbered.

However, the key is to ensure that your give the most accurate and concise description of your business.

Next you’ll need to place your business on the map. You can use a popular landmark to make it easier to locate.
Drag and zoom the map to locate the exact spot your business is located.
For our example Nikky Beauty Salon is close to the Unilorin Lake, so’ll we’ll place it near that on the map.

You’ll be asked if you also serve customers outside this location. For our example we say yes because Nikky Beauty Salon also offers home service.

google my business guide
In addition, if you serve other areas, you should add those areas at this point.
For Nikky Beauty Salon, we added other locations where Nikky Beauty Salon has branches – in neighboring Osun and Oyo States.
google my business guide

Step 4: Add contact details

The next step is to add the contact details you want to show your customers.
The information you give here will be on your listing and available for potential customers to see.
Make sure your business phone number is correct and available at all times.
If you already have a website, include the url. If not select the option and let Google automatically build one for you using the information provided. The website is also free.
google my business guide

Step 5: Verification

Finish and manage your business listing. Now Nikky Beauty Salon can now be managed on Google!
how to setup google my business

However, before you can manage and represent a business on Google. You need to confirm that the business is actually yours. Although there are a number of ways Google verifies businesses such as:

  • Phone Call
  • Email
  • Postcard
Nevertheless, the type of verification process is usually determined by Google and is typically through postcard with a PIN on it.
Immediately you complete the previous steps and get to the verification stage, you will get a notice that your postcard will be delivered to the business address you have provided.
Therefore, at this time your listing status would show pending verification.
This means that the verification process has starter but not finished.
The verification would be completed when you enter the PIN sent to your business address by mail.
It should take about 2 weeks or more to get your code.
Contact support if you haven’t received your postcard in 30 days.
Please ensure that you don’t make anymore changes at this stage because that will mean you need to be re-verified.

TIPS FOR STARTING SMALL BUSINESS IN NIGERIA FOR ENTREPRENEURS

starting small business in nigeria, tips for entrepreneurs infographic

Starting small business in Nigeria. Tips for starting a small business in Nigeria for entrepreneurs.

This article presents tips for starting a small business in Nigeria. These are aspects you should consider as an entrepreneur.
From when planning your business to when the customers walk in.
In addition, you’ll want to consider the tips offered for making business pitch to potential funders.

Plan your small business

The planning stage is very crucial when starting a small business. Be prepared to change direction.
Nobody ever gets it right in their first attempt. If your business is trying to solve a problem.
Understand the problem you are trying to solve. In addition, target the audience you are trying to solve the problem for and start now.
The same applies if you are developing a new product. Start early and experience the entrepreneurial journey.
The right time to start is now whether you are under 20 or 30 or even under 50.
As a business owner, you are not working according to chronological age, to meet a certain category of fame.

 Test your business idea

It is important to test your business idea when starting a small business. You should do this by carrying out a market research.

This will help you decide if there are already many similar options to the product or service your are potentially offering.

Your innovative product may already have similar alternatives sold in Lagos traffic.

How is yours different? Testing your business idea will help you determine if there is a market for your product or service.

In addition, testing your business idea will help determining how many people will be interested in your product or service.

How you’ll locate your potential customers and determine pricing.

Writing a business plan

A good business plan is a map that guide you along the way as you start your small business.

In your business plan you should have a structure for your business. Also, think about how you’ll run and grow the business.

A good business plan can help you get funding because it gives investors confidence about your business ideas.

You may need to customize the business plan to meet the needs of investors you’re targeting.

In writing your business plan, a useful trick is to take the most pessimistic time frame you can imagine to achieve your first sale and then double it.

Once you know what the pessimistic timeline is, ask yourself whether you, your employees, and your business can survive it.

Understand the regulations

When planning your small business, make time to understand the regulations. Regulations can make markets or take markets away quickly.

Also, regulatory changes can open new markets or shut others down, sometimes with very little warning.

Other aspects you need to consider which are closely tied to understanding business regulations are:

  • Business location.
  • The legal structure of your business.
  • Choosing and registering your business name.
  • Tax requirements.
  • Applying for licenses and permits.
  • Opening a business bank account.

Presenting your business ideas to funders when starting a small business

Making a brilliant pitch is important when seeking funds from investors. Those with the money call the shots.
In order to get these people to back your business idea you need to make a winning business pitch.
Now that you have the opportunity to pitch your business idea to lenders, investors or business angels.

Here are tips for presenting your ideas to funders when starting a small business.

  • Research your market. Hopefully, you did a thorough job at the planning stage. You should be able to answer questions such as: What are your competitors doing? How is your so-called innovation different from what Aba entrepreneurs are already doing? Be prepared to clearly articulate how your business idea is different in your pitch.
  • Know your potential investors. Successful people who bring money to the business typically also bring an ingrained formula for success. Study and know their past successes. They are unlikely to want to deviate from the formula that has brought them success. But, every situation is different.
  • Therefore, be aware of how their success formulas can help you. But, you also need to know where they can hurt you. For example, those with big money typically look for “Type A” CEOs. Venture capitalists typically look for these aggressive, assertive CEOs types that will drive the growth and revenue of the company. If you aren’t this type of person, think twice about accepting a venture capital. Make sure you are the right type for a start-up backed by the right type of investor.
  • Did an accountant or business advisor prepare your business plan? Get familiar with the figures in your business plan before you make a pitch. Review the figures with them and understand what the figures represent and mean.
  • Keep the pitch simple and well structured. Make sure you practice well before making your pitch. In addition, prepare for possible questions and avoid jargon when answering the questions.
  • Mind your body language right from when you walk into the room. Speak with confidence. Use props only if they will enhance your pitch.
  • Show the investors you have done your research well and have thought deeply about your business idea.
  • Do this by addressing the weaknesses of your business idea. You will get a lot of questions, so be prepared to give valid reasons for your decisions.
  • All investors want an exit. Taking money from individuals brings one level of expectation. Taking money from individuals who have also taken other people’s money increases the level of expectation.
  • If you take money from people, don’t forget that they will want to get their money out at some point. Plan for it and be ready to clearly explain your exit plan.

BUILDING AN EXECUTIVE TEAM WHEN STARTING SMALL BUSINESS in Nigeria

If you are setting up a business executive team for your start-up company and have no money to offer at the start of the venture.

Through your close networks, you may be able to recruit executive team members that are willing to support your business ideas at little or no cost (at least initially).

However, it is important that you are surrounded by a team of people that you can use their expertise and experience.

For example, those that have built companies (preferably in your industry).

Ask for advice

Ask for their advice, and listen to it. Your board is important; try to have one or two independent board members.

Alternatively, incubators and accelerators in different states in Nigeria offer entrepreneurs mentorship opportunities. You can find one close to you to help you.

An executive board plays an essential role in the success of your business. Listen to them.

In addition, make sure some board members do not have a vested interest in the business beyond a shared desire to see it meet its growth objectives and contribute to its success.

Building your team

A dedicated core team is essential for a small business start-up. Although this dedication may be tested if the company struggles.

Build a management team that does not rely solely on one person.

There is big risk when one individual is the heart and soul of a business.

Many small businesses have failed because everything depended on the business owner.

However, if your team has interchangeable parts, if something happens to the business or one of the senior management team, the business can still rely on the skill sets of other managers.

Recruiting employees when starting small business in Nigeria

In addition to developing an effective and diverse executive team. You need to find the right mix of “veterans” and “new blood” when building a team for your small business.

Young people often bring energy, new technology, and room to grown and learn, but experience is also important.

Recruit employees that will ride it out through the tough times. Empower your employees to take ownership of problems and give them the responsibility to make decisions.

In an entrepreneurial setting, it is critical to work with people who you know will deliver, even under time pressure, money pressure, etc.

Therefore, surround yourself with proven and trusted colleagues.

Other useful tips are:

Create an environment where people are free to talk to whoever can give them the answers they need.

Communication is key; don’t build structures that get in the way.

A start-up is a much different environment than a large company, and you can’t always predict how a given person will respond based on their past performance in a large company.

Some people thrive in start-ups, and some people struggle.

Tips for hiring and keep the right employees when staring a small business

  • Build an attractive company culture. A small business that promotes a more attractive company culture (e.g. commitment to a valued cause, healthy work/life balance) than its rivals would appear more appealing to potential employees.
  • Create an informal team climate and team support. A small business that emphasize an informal team climate would be more appealing to potential employees. In such a company, the business owner is available and actively involved.
  • You as the business owner, is not only managing a business but also serve as a mentor to your employees. A small business with relational qualities such as climate that encourages innovation, managerial or team support, opportunities for feedback, informal learning, and creative thinking would be more successful in hiring talents.
  • Increased responsibility/empowerment for employees. Businesses that support employees’ creativity and their individual contributions to the business success would enjoy a more innovative, success-driven image. These qualities will appeal more to candidates with high levels of proactive behaviour.
  • Risk-taking employees will be more attracted to work settings in which supervisors and colleagues encourage entrepreneurial risk-taking and where there is regular pay rises. In such conditions employees can make the best use of their risk-taking dispositions.

Some other useful tips include:

  • Adopt flexible work practices. New patterns of work are evolving to suit the changing nature of business. For example, contracting-out of job, part-time employment, short-term contracts, teleworking/homeworking.
  • Flexible working practices can be cost effective for your small businesses and attractive for potential employees.
  • However, degree of flexibility varies significantly due to the nature of your business.
  • Small businesses that adopt flexible work patterns could be more attractive to potential talents.
  • Focus on personal development by offering challenging jobs or tailored tasks to your employees.
  • Provide opportunities for enhancing their skills through relevant training courses, development and educational programs.
  • Enhance employee growth and performance through rewards.
  • Encourage and implement new ideas by employees.
  • Small businesses that can communicate these offers would be more attractive to potential employees.

Getting customers when starting a small business in Nigeria

Getting your first customer when starting a small business is important. Particularly, when moving into a new industry.

You may find out that what is “well known and ordinary” to you may be perceived as new and innovative.

This could be either because it is unfamiliar or because it may not have been used in that way before.

Therefore, your product or service doesn’t have to be the next “New Thing”; it just has to be new to your customers.

Identify your niche market

Identify your niche market, a product and market focus. Know who your target clients are.

At first, you should focus on one market and one product.

In addition, know the kinds of business you would refuse.

You can’t do everything, especially at the beginning. You can’t be all things to all people.

If you try to, you will likely find that you will accomplish nothing.

Depending on what you are building, you may be better off developing your product in obscurity and letting the market come to you, rather than chasing a crowded market.

Customers

As you develop your product and meet with potential customers, new markets may present themselves.

Try to have your first customer as early as possible. Early customers are not only a source of early revenue, they can also validate that you are on the right track.

Conclusion

The article presented tips for starting a small business in Nigeria.
In particular, aspects that entrepreneurs should consider when considering and starting the business.
From the planning stage till when the customers walk in.
The very early days of starting a business are filled with energy and opportunity.
The business environment may not be as encouraging as one would like it to be.
However, opportunities also abound. Bring together the experience you already acquired and gather more experience along the way.