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Business development strategies for SMEs in Nigeria

Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) are business ventures whose asset and employee numbers fall below certain levels in economics. SMEs serve as expeditors of economic development. They play a major role in the upshot of any society by providing goods and services, instituting job opportunities, developing regional communities, and helping the competition in the market. The recent outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria and the world at large has crippled the activities of most business enterprises, and as always, SMEs must step up by strategizing to maintain economic balance. Researchers have proven that about 47% of SMEs in Nigeria are presently on the verge of disintegrating due to the aftermath of the pandemic which has caused a massive dislocation of businesses and invariably resulted in their financial fragility. The survival of SMEs largely depends on their ability to redevelop new business strategies that match the changing business climate. In this regard, this article seeks to highlight business development strategies for SMEs in Nigeria.

In a bid to strategize, SMEs should understand the use of pricing metrics. To do this, they must study their environment and identify loopholes that can promote sales. This strategy will help increase the market presence and value of their products. SMEs can make do with marketing techniques such as advertising their goods and services, offering discounts on some of their products to boost marginal output, and imbibing attractive packages that can attract potential customers and create awareness of their products.

Lowering prices of commodities can be a huge problem to most SMEs due to the cost of production, but the idea of price reduction is usually to drive in sales from potential customers, as such, it is sometimes advisable. Once the commodity has gained a presence in the market, the value of the goods can be restored back to a higher price.

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Similarly, the use of digital marketing and advertising platforms must be properly understood. SMEs should endeavour to make use of more than one online platform for the advertisement of goods and services. A typical example of such business platforms includes the use of emails, business websites, and the use of social media handles such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and any other social media platforms. They provide additional information to strategic businesses. SMEs can utilize these opportunities through copyrighting their products to suit market value which can yield international and local impact. Through this additional channel of development, the business will gain both online and offline business growth.

Also, SMEs must understand and effectively adapt to trends. To do this, they can benefit from infusing new features that appeal to their existing market value. A particular product might be out-dated or have been overshadowed by the presence of other products in the market, so, when new features are added to the product, customers are almost always forced to stay loyal to the brand. Most multinational organizations constantly add new features to their products to be on top of their game in the business world. Therefore a constant review of products and services is necessary for high productive input in any organization.

As stated above, devising innovative market development strategies or advertising goods and services to new customers is paramount for business growth for SMEs. They can also leverage partnerships with other brands that can be helpful in building a strong brand.

Conclusively, in an attempt to build a solid business enterprise that will strive in the present socio-economic situation in Nigeria, SMEs must understand that business strategies for various products vary. The right business strategy that will drive productivity and increase output should be figured out and tailored according to the capital at their disposal; the interest of the customers, as well as the targeted vision for their business, must also be put into consideration. This will help win a large share of the capital market and gain maximum presence in the business sphere. It is therefore paramount for SMEs to identify new markets for their products and utilize every available means of maximizing profit.

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