Essential Tools to Boost Expansion & Profitability of Your Business

Essential Tools to Boost Expansion & Profitability of Your Business

Running a small business in Nigeria is no mean feat. Outside political and economic challenges, businesses have inherent challenges that threaten survival and profitability. This guide covers essential tools that can be implemented to boost expansion and drive profitability in your small business. These are free or paid digital tools that enable you to work smarter, not harder.

Emerging business technologies enhance employee efficiency, facilitate collaboration and communication, and increase staff productivity and performance. While the digital tools highlighted in this guide prioritize and optimize teamwork, they also ensure quick service delivery. These essential tools also make remote work seamless and easy to manage online and offline.

The essential business tools recommended for your small business in this guide cover categories such as:

  • Document sharing
  • Work collaboration and project management
  • Team communication
  • Accounting and human resources
  • Sales and marketing
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)

Factors that determined listing these essential tools

This suite of business and management tools has been included in this guide for several reasons. Some of the important parameters used to justify their inclusion in this list are:

  • Inbuilt features
  • User interface
  • Ease of use and training resources
  • Pricing models
  • Scalability and security
  • Customers reviews

List of essential tools you must integrate into your business operations

This is not an exclusive list – in fact, there are more than 10,000 digital tools that can serve your business needs in one capacity or the other. But the 21 tools listed here are representative of many of these products, and they have been curated to save you the time and stress involved with reviewing thousands of similar and often confusing business tools.

So here we go:

  1. Staff communication tools

Staff or team communication tools make it easy for your workforce to communicate in real-time. Employees can chat whether they are in the same location or not, and their work-related conversations can drive deeper engagement and job collaborations. Here are some tools to consider:

  • Flock – for team messaging

Flock is a small business software that is designed for team communication. It comes with all the communication features that can be used for team communication across several platforms. This business software is designed for video conferencing, file sharing, custom mailing lists, company directories, and group messaging among others. It is a messaging software that has a free version and a paid version.

  • Zoom

Whether you are physically available to do business with clients or not, Zoom makes it possible for you to stay in touch with clients and employees. A video conferencing platform designed for video communications with up to 1,000 people at the same time, Zoom is indispensable to your business if you want to be in constant touch.

Zoom has unique features such as screen sharing, whiteboarding, transcripts, in-meeting chat, meeting recording, and file sharing among others. Everyone can use the free version of Zoom with as many as 100 people for a video meeting lasting 40 minutes, but the paid version is suitable for businesses that want to hold conferences with up to 1,000 participants simultaneously.

  • Slack

If you are looking for a communication tool that can be used for instant messages, audio and video calls, sharing files, and team collaboration, then you must consider Slack. Employees can sign into Slack to discuss business projects and collaborate on ongoing tasks with ease. It has all the features needed to communicate and get everyone on the same page regarding specific projects.

Slack has free and paid versions.

  1. Document sharing tools

If you run a growing business in Nigeria, you need document-sharing tools to boost productivity and employee efficiency. These tools are software that store documents and files in the cloud, making it possible for users to access them on all connected devices. Employees with the necessary access can access these online files and make necessary changes for the benefit of everyone collaborating on the files. Below are some file-sharing tools to use:

  • Google Drive

You can use Google Drive to store and share work files with your employees if you use Gmail. It is a file-sharing platform with cloud storage that anyone with necessary access can use to create or edit documents, images, spreadsheets, and slide presentations simultaneously. It is basically free for all users, but you can upgrade to the paid versions if you want more cloud storage.

As a Nigerian business owner, you can give your employees and clients access to a Google Drive document to collaborate on a given project.

  • Dropbox

Similar to Google Drive, Dropbox is a “smart workspace where teams, tools, and content come together.” It is a secure cloud storage platform that is suitable for large files and collaborative projects. For instance, a team of software developers or web designers across different countries can work simultaneously on a single project hosted on Dropbox.

If you have various employees across various locations who must work on a single file, you can take advantage of Dropbox for this purpose. The platform has watermarking, file recovery, and tiered-admin roles among other add-ons. It is a paid service with different payment plans.

  1. Work collaboration and project management

Work and project collaboration tools are designed to boost productivity and efficiency among employees. It also makes it easy for several employees or business associates to work on the same projects at the same time, regardless of location. It also makes it easy for supervisors and management to monitor the performance of workers across various projects. Here are some tools to consider:

  • Loom

If you travel abroad and need to explain something on your computer or smartphone screen to someone back home, you can use Loom to achieve this. Loom is a digital software that is designed for the recording of your screen while making voice tutorials. You can demonstrate something on your screen and make a recording of it to share with employees.

If your small business involves making explainer videos or video tutorials, you will find Loom essential to your endeavours. While several users can use a link to access a live video tutorial, Loom makes it possible to use emoji reactions and time-stamped comments. It is free to use, and there is a paid version.

  • Asana

Asana is a project management tool that can be used to schedule, track, and manage teamwork. It can be used to bring several team members to the same project page through synced collaboration. It is also usable to track communication and plan to-do lists. This is one project management tool that makes work easier for the workforce within an organization.

  • Calendly

If you must schedule appointments and business meetings among company staff, Calendly might be the perfect tool to use. Calendly is designed to make business appointments and conferences easy to schedule – in fact, it is a scheduling tool. This online scheduler can automatically send reminders to targeted meeting participants, make follow-ups, and provide links for rescheduling.

Instead of picking up the phone to schedule meetings or initiate reminders, use Calendly to achieve your plan. With a simple user interface and support for mobile or desktop users, Calendly automates business meetings based on participants’ availability and can be integrated with video conferencing apps, payment platforms, and other productivity software.

  • Google Workspace

Google Workspace is a collaboration and productivity tool that anyone within an organization can access for seamless use. Developed by Google, various parties such as employees, suppliers, customers, and associates can connect or collaborate on projects using Google Workspace. Key users can track data and important work analytics on the platform for better business decisions.

  • Time Doctor

If you hire remote freelancers and need to track their job activities, Time Doctor is a useful tool to consider. You can also use the software to monitor what your employees do behind you when they are working at their computers. This tool enables employers to monitor what their staff or hired freelancers are doing at every point in time.

The software automatically captures the screen of the user at regular intervals to alert the employer to what employees are doing. It also tracks the time spent by any worker on given projects to show if they are working or not at particular periods. It can also do a video recording of the user’s screen and activity levels, while also able to send popup alerts when users become idle at their work computers.

  1. Sales and marketing tools

Businesses need customer support tools and marketing software to optimize sales efforts. Highlighted tools in this category will cover customer service, payment and invoicing, and email marketing among others. Below are some of our picks:

  • Mailchimp

There are several email marketing automation systems out there, but Mailchimp is simply one of the best. This is one intuitive email marketing software that enables you to send emails that convert to potential and existing customers. Integrated with AI to create and deliver personalized emails to your target audience, Mailchimp delivers mass emails to thousands of recipients simultaneously without issues.

This email automation tool also provides analytical insights into customers’ behaviours, interactions with messages, and other factors that guarantee improved sales and revenue.

  • Sprout Social

A growing business should have a physical and online presence. It is not enough to have a website; you must also have social media profiles that tell your story. Customers would like to interact with your business on Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and Pinterest among others.

Sprout Social is a business tool that makes it easy to schedule social media posts and track user engagement. The tool provides a centralized platform where you can interact and monitor all activities on your social media channels from a single dashboard. With this tool, you can create and schedule as well as share social media posts simultaneously across your social channels. And you can also monitor engagements with your posts through integrated analytics.

  • Google Analytics

As a competent business owner, it is believed that you have a website that supports your business operations. With Google Analytics, you can make informed business decisions based on how customers interact with your website across various devices. The tool helps you to gain deep customer insights as well as track the performance of your adverts on your website or across the internet.

Google Analytics gives you insights into customer behaviour, their location, their ages, and activities across your website. You even know the length of time they spend on your website and the pages or products they interact with. This knowledge enables you to understand the effectiveness of your marketing campaign and other key ROI initiatives.

  • ZenDesk

If you run a business where you speak to lots of customers on a daily basis, then you need ZenDesk. This business tool helps you to track and monitor customers’ complaints much more easily. For better customer service, the software helps you with enhanced ticket management where each customer query is assigned a ticket for easier tracking and resolution.

ZenDesk is a CRM tool that generates insightful data into customers’ engagement with your products. It also enables you to attend to their concerns and queries in a timely fashion that others within the team can pick up on.

  • Interswitch

What is the relevance of a business if your customers are not able to pay you? You need a seamless way to get paid by your customers. Just as business owners in the US use Stripe and PayPal to facilitate business payments, you can use Interswitch, Paystack, and Flutterwave among others to facilitate payments in Nigeria.

With these payment gateways, customers can use their smartphones and bank ATMs to pay for goods and services. This will boost your business revenue since anyone can make payments from any part of Nigeria at any time. Integrate a suitable digital payment solution into your business and sit back to watch your enterprise scale.


To succeed in business in Nigeria, you must implement a host of digital tools to scale your business exponentially. These tools cover accounting, HR, communication, technology, productivity, marketing, social media, and content creation among others. Most of these tools are automated to maximize their functions, so they work perfectly to scale your operations once they are installed.





How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Your Business Operations in Nigeria

How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Your Business Operations in Nigeria

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are taking the business world by storm. As a Nigerian business owner, you cannot afford to be left behind in applying AI to your business operations. Whether on mobile devices, office equipment, or factory machines, AI can be used to promote business operations for ambitious results.

As a small business owner in Nigeria, you should use AI to solve major business problems. Among other cognitive technologies, AI can be used to improve business processes, boost productivity, automate routine activities, enhance employee efficiencies, save operational costs, and guarantee quicker profits.

Whether on mobile devices or computer systems, AI can be used across agriculture, cybersecurity, content production, customer support, and fraud prevention among other industries. As a technology-compliant business owner, you can use different AI models and major chatbot alternatives to meet your business needs.

How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Your Business Operations in Nigeria

How You Can Use AI To Boost Your Small Business


Given that Nigerians love to leverage business technologies, the following are some of the ways you can deploy AI to achieve your business objectives in record time:

1. Create Blog Posts For Your Websites

If your small business relies on given websites for revenue, then you would need constant content to update the websites. Paying freelance writers to create blog posts and unique articles for your business websites can eat into your finances, but you can use AI to save costs. OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Google’s Bard can write well-researched and well-formatted articles on any given topics for your websites.

ChatGPT and Bard or any other AI alternatives can craft any topical content for you within minutes. You only need to enter the topics you want it to write and the digital tool will create your articles instantly. You can refine the topics and enter targeted keywords to obtain good blog posts and articles that can be posted on your websites.

These AI tools can save you thousands of naira monthly, depending on the volumes of content you require per month for your websites. For context, if you pay a writer N3,000 to write one article and you require five articles per week, this will amount to N60,000 per month. If you have two freelancers on your payroll, that means you can save N120,000 monthly simply by using AI.

So AI saves time and money while giving you great articles that require little to no tweaking whatsoever. And don’t forget, it can be used to write personalized email campaigns.

2. Create Spectacular Videos And Photos

Generative AI can be used to create stunning videos and images for your business needs. If you have been paying a graphic designer to create images that promote your products and services, AI can take over the job easily. This digital tool can also create videos that can be used for digital adverts for use on social media and on TVs.

AI can save you thousands of naira that could have been paid to a graphic designer or video editor for video content. In fact, the technology can also create voice-over in any language and voice in your videos, further saving you money that could have been paid to voice-over artistes. To create outstanding videos and graphic images that tell your business story and promote your objectives, use AI for that cutting-edge difference.

SEE ALSO: How to Become the Next Social Media Sensation in Nigeria

3. Cybersecurity And Fraud Detection

Many online businesses face cybersecurity threats from scammers and hackers. Nigerian businesses are not exempted from the threats of cyber-terrorists who work clandestinely to infiltrate computer systems, steal company data, breach customer information, and transfer company funds.

AI can be deployed to prevent cyber threats and boost fraud management. While cybercriminals work tirelessly and even deploy powerful digital tools to steal business data and steal funds, AI has the capability to prevent fraud, create breach alerts, and thwart the efforts of cybercriminals. This emerging technology automates threat detection and responds to digital threats automatically without any human prompts.

If you do not use AI for your business’ cybersecurity – you risk hackers and scammers stealing your company’s products, customers, and funds. AI will help with threat detection and response, security monitoring, and bot prevention in real-time – safeguarding your business against financial loss and structural breakdown.

4. Automated Customer Service

Here in Nigeria, have you observed that companies make automated calls to customers for one important reason or another? For instance, if you call MTN or Glo for a particular transaction, a machine talking like a real customer care representative may hold a meaningful conversation with you and help you out with your queries. This chatbot frees up human service reps to do other things.

Also, banks also have AI technologies that act like real customer care reps. If you contact your bank through any of its digital platforms, you may be having a live chat with a chatbot that helps out with your queries. The chatbot may handle things like financial transactions, personal queries, and anything you would have needed going into a banking hall for.

The use of USSD by banks and other companies is made possible by AI. So do you operate a business where you deal with lots of customers in Nigeria? Businesses like online loan companies or product sales and marketing? You can use AI to answer customers’ administrative and technical questions, attend to customers in various languages, and access self-help solutions.

5. Accounting And Payroll Management

If you run a small business in Nigeria, you definitely carry out accounting procedures that can be done with artificial intelligence. This digital technology can also be used by large corporations in the country to manage accounting and bookkeeping processes. Any data entry jobs related to staff payments, tax audits, fraud prevention, product inventory, account reconciliation, and payment invoicing among others can be done with relevant AI technology.

You can free up time for your accountants and make their jobs easier by implementing AI technology in your company. This will make your accounts officers more efficient at what they do, and it will also limit or eliminate financial errors that could bankrupt your business. AI is intuitive and able to detect financial loopholes or mismanagement before they occur, so you must have it to protect your business operations.

6. Legal Services

If you are a lawyer or work in a law firm, you can use AI to simplify your jobs. Law firms or legal departments in big corporations deal with large volumes of legal data and documents. Attorneys or legal assistants spend long hours reviewing and analyzing data before they can help clients or meet their company’s objectives.

As a lawyer, instead of poring over huge volumes of law books for legal citations, you could use AI to pull up references in record time. Law students in the university or law schools can also use artificial intelligence to study various case laws or access the legal systems of various countries around the world.

To this end, AI can be used to draft legal documents, research law cases, and increase judicial efficiency with ease. Individuals interested in law can also use the technology to research and analyze law incidents, review contract obligations and language, automate legal documentation, and ensure judicial compliance in all respects of life.

7. Human Resource Management

If you have a number of employees and looking to hire more for your business, then the use of AI may be necessary. The digital technological tool is also important for managing employees and everything related to their welfare. It is also important for hiring, training, and evaluating the performance of staff to boost their jobs.

As a business owner in Nigeria, you can use AI to screen the CVs of job applicants. The technology can be used to eliminate bias in any recruitment process by highlighting applicants that only meet the eligibility criteria. Instead of manually reviewing hundreds of job applications, AI can pre-screen CVs or resumes and pick only the most qualified talents according to set criteria. This will enable the hiring team within the HR department to hire the best applicants for available roles.

Meanwhile, HR can also use artificial intelligence to identify the best-performing employees within an organization. They can equally use the tool to draw up training programmes for eligible staff based on identified needs. The HR department can also use AI to effectively measure training engagement and task completion rates among select employees.

SEE ALSO: 17 Ways to Plug Financial Leakages & Save Money in Your Business

8. Enhanced Business Decisions

Businesses using artificial intelligence as part of their enterprise tools make better decisions. AI can analyze vast amounts of data on marketing trends, customer behaviour, product benefits, and competitors’ activities to arrive at the best business decisions. Just as a computer cannot make a mistake, AI can rarely make a mistake since it analyzes lots of data to make a decision.

Having used AI to hire the best talents, automate payroll systems, enhance cybersecurity, improve customer relations, create stunning articles and videos, as well as achieve legal victories, the technology is trusted to make business decisions that top management can rely upon. If all the data and variables are carefully computed, you can be sure that AI can help with the best business decisions.

Addressing Business Concerns Related To The Use of AI

If you had never used AI for business before, it is normal to be sceptical at the initial stages, but you can be assured that the technology may be the next best thing for your business expansions. However, following are some clarifications you may want to know about the use of the technology:

  • Is AI free to use?

There are different types of AI technologies – there are free and paid versions. Some free versions have paid tiers that users can upgrade to, and some paid versions require upfront payments. Examples of free AI tools are Bard, ChatGPT, and Ellie (you can upgrade to paid versions); and examples of paid versions include Shopify Magic and Notion AI.

  • Can AI be used offline?

Most AI tools can only be used online while connected to the internet. It is not clear whether there are offline versions at this point, but this is very doubtful. AI must connect to remote servers to pull up queried data or perform complex digital tasks, which is why it can usually only be used online.

  • Can AI replace human jobs?

When factory robots were first launched many years ago, there were fears that they would replace factory workers. This turned out to be false. With the launch of autonomous or self-driving cars, the fear that normal cars would become history is misplaced – because self-driving cars can never take the place of human-controlled vehicles.

In the same vein, AI was not developed to replace company employees. Some jobs may become redundant with the implementation of AI, but it will also create new career opportunities for some people. So the technology will complement employees to boost their efficiency rather than threaten their jobs. But in some cases, it is possible that freelancers may no longer be needed.

  • How is AI implemented for business?

Implementing AI for business is not difficult at all. Depending on your business niche and specific requirements, you may need to learn how a particular AI tool works to maximize its functions. You may take short online courses to know how to use these types of AI best, especially where complex functions on deep learning or machine learning are required.

But in most cases, AI does not require any special training to use. They are highly intuitive and user-friendly, and they can even help you to maximize their capabilities better. Imagine a machine teaching you how to use it to meet your peculiar needs.

  • Using AI on computers and smartphones, which is best?

Some AI can only be used on computers while others can be used on both computers and smartphones. To begin to use some AI on your smartphone, you must register on the AI platform using a computer. And many others have been integrated into smartphone apps for easy access and use. Depending on your personal or business needs, you must decide which one is best for you – using AI on your computer or on your smartphone.


How to Become the Next Social Media Sensation in Nigeria

How to Become the Next Social Media Sensation in Nigeria

It’s easier and more fun to make money on social media today. Social media platforms have implemented monetization models that pay content creators and general users for using their platforms. So you can make money while also becoming a social media sensation in Nigeria. Generating revenue and becoming a social media celebrity is the key focus of this content piece.

Just a decade ago, you could make money online, but hardly through social media sites. Some of the ways to make money on the internet back then were blogging, forex, website flipping, audio transcription, website design, and hosting among others. To earn money as a remote freelancer back then, you needed to log in long hours on your computer. Today, you can make as much money, or even more, as a content creator or influencer on social media.

How to Become the Next Social Media Sensation in Nigeria

Social Media Platforms That Pay For Your Content


Although the metrics for earning on social media platforms are outside the purview of this guide, here are some of the popular social media sites that pay handsomely for your creatives:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter (now X)
  • TikTok
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

These websites and more will pay you directly for qualifying content – while invariably turning you into a social media sensation – and others like Instagram or Reddit will make it possible for you to market your content for publicity. One of the most popular and easiest ways Nigerians are making money on social media today is through video skits or short video comedies.

List Of Some Top Video Skit-Makers in Nigeria

  • Macaroni (real name – Adebowale Adedayo)
  • Maraji (real name – Gloria Oloruntobi)
  • Isbae U (real name – Adebayo Ridwan Abidemi)
  • MC Lively (real name – Michael Sani Amanesi)
  • Taaooma (real name – Greene Maryam Apaokagi)
  • Oga Sabinus (real name – Chukwuemeka Emmanuel Ejekwu)
  • Brain Jotter (real name – Chukwuebuka Amuzie)
  • Lasisi Elenu (real name – Nosa Afolabi)
  • Woli Agba (real name – Ayo Ajewole)
  • Broda Shaggi (real name – Samuel Animashaun Perry)
  • Cute Abiola (real name – Abdulgafar Ahmad Oluwatoyin)
  • KieKie (real name – Bukunmi Adeaga)
  • Zicsaloma (real name – Aloma Isaac Junior)
  • Nas Boi (real name – Nasiru)
  • Others are Abiri, De General, Twyse, Craze Clown, Sydney Talker, Real Warri Pikin, etc.


Ways To Earn Revenue On Social Media

There are numerous ways to earn revenue on social media – but within the context of this content – we shall examine only two ways:

  • Video skits
  • Brand influence

SEE ALSO: How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Your Business Operations in Nigeria

How To Make Money As A Video Skit-Maker On Social Media

Video skit-makers are also generally known as content creators on social media. They typically shoot and upload short videos that may be comedy, vox pop, vlogs, or comments and reactions to trending events. To get started as a content creator on social media, you must first choose your niche. If you want to go into comedy, you must choose the type of comedy content you want to produce and fine-tune your acting skills and those of characters you feature in your shoots.

Having chosen your niche – romance, money, religion, satire – you must perfect your acting skills to reflect your creative performance. You must be able to make people laugh with your videos while passing your social message effectively. You must be able to use appropriate facial expressions and use funny words that will resonate with your audience and followers on social media.

Your social media videos must be professional. It can be shot with a smartphone if you can’t afford filming equipment. And it must be well-edited with necessary audio-visual effects to enhance its quality and impact. If you feel like it, you can feature or collaborate with popular comedians, actors, musicians, and skit-makers in your videos for a wider reach. When your video is perfected, you can post it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok among others.

You must choose a consistent schedule for posting your social media videos. For starters, you may do it 2-3 times per week to attract followers, and then do it once or twice per week to satiate the hunger of your community. You will need to meet the eligibility criteria for each social media platform before you can monetize it to earn revenue. Done properly, you can expect to earn up to N1,000,000 every month – and you must encourage your followers to share, comment, like, and follow your page.

After becoming a successful and popular video content creator on social media, you can go on to become a social media brand influencer as will be examined in the next section.


How To Make Money As A Social Media Brand Influencer

Although it is possible to become a brand influencer on social media without necessarily being a content creator, it is not possible the other way around. For instance, if you are a popular movie actor, music artiste, famous sportsman, or young politician, you can become an instant hit as a brand influencer if you are active on social media.

The reason for this is largely because you have an existing followership and a widening circle of influence across all industries.

To aspire to become a social media sensation in Nigeria, you must also choose a content niche and then go on to build a community of followers through video creation. Your content must tell your story in a way that appeals to your audience and followers. The ultimate purpose of your video content or online activities must be to build trust in a way that makes you an authority.

When people trust you as an authority, they feel compelled to listen to you when you air your views or recommend a product.

Since the most powerful content on social media is video, you must produce videos that evoke feelings, resonate with your audience, and leave them with a message. To succeed at this, you must create personal videos that address trending issues of the day or detail private issues that you are passing through.

As a popular figure, personal issues such as surviving a car accident, escaping a robbery attack, surviving a major surgery, and favorite local dishes will make interesting stories that resonate with your followers.

Unless you are doing a live video, your video content must be well-edited with all audio-visual effects. While posting on social media, your videos must be optimized for search engine optimization (SEO) or visibility so that other social media users can locate your content. While striving for consistency and engagement in your posting, you should encourage your followers to like your content, share it to their own networks, make comments and provide feedback, and follow your profiles.

When you become a successful social media sensation, major businesses across Nigeria will contact you to promote their products. Brands know that you have the ears of your followers – possibly running into hundreds of thousands – and that they value your opinion, so they will pay you handsomely to pitch their products to them. Influencing your followers to buy particular products is what it means to be a brand influencer or ambassador.


There Are Four Major Ways To Make Money As A Brand Influencer:

  • Brand Endorsement

As a brand ambassador, businesses pay you money to represent their enterprise on social media. As a social media sensation with thousands or millions of followers, they pay you to become the face of their company and to influence your followers to buy their products. You only need to inform your followers that you personally use the products or services and then reveal the hidden benefits of the products to get paid.

  • Affiliate marketing

You can also earn money as a social media sensation in Nigeria through affiliate marketing. The way of promoting affiliate products is not different from brand endorsement as highlighted above, but the payment model is different. As a brand ambassador, the company pays you an agreed amount whether the product sells or not; but with affiliate marketing, you only get an agreed amount – up to 70% of the product price – only if consumers buy the product through your promotions. This means that affiliate marketers get paid commissions on generated sales.

  • Sponsored Ads

As a popular social media figure, business organizations will choose to pay you huge money for being the face of their marketing campaigns. Based on the number of your followers, businesses can pay you directly to feature in their video adverts, billboards, and traditional media ads. You may be the main character in their video ads where you promote the benefits of the sponsors’ products and services. You get paid whether the ads convert or not.

  • Product Marketing

Whether you get paid to promote businesses on social media or not, you can equally create your own products and market them to your community of followers. Based on your personal interests and visions, you can create products and services that your followers would like to use. Since you already have a massive following on social media, you have the market to buy your products if everything is done perfectly. In this case, you determine your own price and get to pay yourself.

 SEE ALSO: 15 Reasons You Must Quit Your Day Job for a Personal Business

Collaborate With other Influencers and Brands

When you are a beginner in the industry, you can consider collaborating with established influencers to get a foot in the door. Attracting notable influencers and video skit-makers may not be easy at the initial stage, but you have to think outside the box to reach them. You may ask their friends or partners to put in a word for you, or you may ask them to do something that further promotes their brand for free.

If you follow the targeted influencer and add value to their social media content, they may have taken notice of you somewhere along the line. When you ultimately reach out to collaborate, they will be glad to oblige you. However, it is best to collaborate with influencers who operate within your desired niche and who have the media clout to advance your online image.

Also, it is essential that you leverage the social media platform where your community and model influencers are most active, rather than trying to break through on all the platforms at the same time. For instance, if your niche is related to business and employment, you should focus on leveraging your clout on LinkedIn; if it is how-to tutorials, you may use YouTube; and if it is general content, you can consider Facebook.


After achieving some level of success as a brand influencer or video creator on social media, you must not rest on your oars. You must understand that social media platforms are constantly refining their search and visibility algorithms, and any major tweak can affect your ranking, visibility, followership numbers, and revenues.

So stay ahead of the rules and constantly reinvent yourself to stay relevant to your target audience. You must constantly monitor the metrics and adapt your content to suit the platform updates for continued relevance. And don’t forget that you must also promote your content via sponsored ads and paid collaboration while using organic promotion techniques such as SEO, hashtags, and video descriptions to reach more audiences.

So what are you waiting for to become the next social media sensation in Nigeria? Start where you are right now. And with your smartphone if you don’t have video equipment. You can start with live videos if you don’t have the expert to edit professional videos. Overcome your fears and reach out to collaborators or brands you would like to work with, and don’t be shy about speaking on the products you use on a daily basis – perhaps the brands may contact you for paid promotions.

Becoming a social media celebrity is possible if you would work at it. It is not an overnight success, and you may only begin to notice results after 6-12 months of consistent efforts. Do not be deterred by the challenges that come your way on this journey, let the happiness you bring to your growing audience motivate you to do more. With more popularity and followers comes the constant stream of revenue that gives you the lifestyle that others can only dream of.



17 Proven Strategies for Growing a Small Business in Nigeria

17 Proven Strategies for Growing a Small Business in Nigeria

Given the unfavourable economic situation in Nigeria, growing a small business is more difficult than ever. Successive governments are not making the economy ideal for business growth as well, so small businesses struggle to survive. Noting that less than 30% of new businesses grow through infancy to maturity, Nigerians have a lot to learn about growing small businesses in a multicultural nation of more than 230 million people.

This detailed guide covers 17 proven strategies for growing your small business in a challenging climate like Nigeria. With these outstanding strategies, you can accelerate your business growth to the point of making it a household name. These growth hacks do not guarantee overnight success, but they will set you on the path to gradually scale your small business to the point of profitability.

17 Proven Strategies for Growing a Small Business in Nigeria

17 Proven Strategies For Growing a Small Business in Nigeria

The growth tips outlined in this guide require persistence, hard work, creativity, and due process to yield results. They have been proven to work over a sustained period of time. They work regardless of the time, place, country, industry, and products or services involved. These 17 proven strategies for scaling your business in Nigeria would work for you if you diligently apply them to your startups.

1. Create a Realistic Business Plan

To succeed with your small business in Nigeria, you need a grand document to guide you. Your business plan is not only for you, it is also for potential investors and commercial lenders as well as future partners. So long before launch, create a realistic business plan that covers the type of business, target customers, financial outlay, estimated employees, projected profits, and market dynamics among others.

2. Employ Qualified People For Your Business

Hiring the wrong people is the surest way to kill a small business. In fact, most business owners in Nigeria complain of thieving staff, incompetent employees, and uncooperative hands. Many problematic employees are not only self-serving, they lack the vision of their employers. This issue may have stemmed from a faulty hiring process, and from a non-functional work culture.

To grow your business, you must hire the right people with the right attitude and visions. Do not forget that your employees must be well-paid in line with their experience and years of service, and they must undergo constant training for their roles and growth path. Having a round peg in a round hole ensures the progress of your business and the happiness of your staff.

3. Know Your Customers to Meet Their Needs

You are in business to meet the basic needs of your customers. Put in another way, your target customers put you in business. So before launching your business or developing products and services, you must fully know your customers. Knowing your customers entails knowing their demographics, their basic needs, their preferences, and changing tastes. Based on your customer research, you can create products, design product features, and develop an effective marketing strategy that works.

You must understand that knowing your customers also requires knowing your competitors. You must know the features and Unique Selling Point (USPs) that attract your target audience to your competitors’ products. To fully understand your customers’ needs, you must know how the economy affects your customers’ choices and how future trends determine consumer tastes.

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4. Eliminate Business Risks

All businesses face constant threats that can undermine the success or viability of the enterprise. Your small business faces external risks from customers, suppliers, lenders, competitors, market forces, current government policies, and global events. It also faces internal risks from unfaithful employees, equipment breakdown, poor sales, and other business risks.

While it is not possible to eliminate all business threats, you can control them to reduce their risks. As an entrepreneur, bearing and managing risks is part of your job as a business owner, and this is what distinguishes you from a salaried employee. Effectively managing your risks will guarantee fewer disruptions to your business operations.

5. Adapt to Market Conditions

If you must survive as an individual or business brand in Nigeria, you must be highly adaptable to market conditions. Nigerians as a people adapt expertly to political and economic situations, and having survived a civil war, the country of more than 230 million people remains united due to its resilience. The same is true of Nigerian businesses and business owners.

Given the unstable economic climate in the country, Nigerian businesses must constantly adapt to political changes, electricity challenges, currency fluctuations, and other national issues. As part of adapting to market situations, your startup should be able to change directions quickly in terms of scaling down, expansion, price changes, product redesigns, and market penetration among others.

6. Build Customer Loyalty

One major strategy for staying in business is customer acquisition. As a business owner in Nigeria, you must constantly attract customers to your business using various marketing schemes. The best way to attract loyal customers is to give them products and services that they want, at the price they want, and in the manner and place they want it.

You must not only be good at attracting customers, you must be exceptional at keeping or retaining customers. Customers who are loyal to your brand keep you in business, and you must do everything within your capacity to keep them happy. To attract or keep customers, you may use advertising, customer loyalty programme, or product bonuses to boost sales.

7. Leverage Social Media

This is a social media era. The internet goes a long way in promoting businesses and boosting sales, but social media goes even further to build credibility and facilitate topical discussions. As a small business in Nigeria, your customers will like to interact with the faces behind the brand and provide instant feedback on company activities.

The biggest social media platforms that you can use to promote your products are Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Reddit among others. You can create groups to grow a community of loyal customers on social media. The followers or subscribers you have in these communities will engage with you and stick to your brand.

8. Keep on Improving Your Products and Services

In Nigeria, money is hard to come by, so people want value for their money. It is not enough to have a satisfying product that Nigerians have been buying for years; they want you to innovate on product design, additional features, and extra satisfaction. Customers want you to add new benefits to existing products to give them value for money, and this is the only thing that can make them look away from your competitors.

9. Invest in Emerging Technologies

To remain relevant in your market, your small business must keep on evolving with the times. To demonstrate adaptations, you must automate your business by investing in emerging technologies. Investing in systems will make things easier for employees and enable your customers to patronize you much more easily.

Installing new software, investing in new equipment, upgrading the work culture, reaching customers where they are, and making it easier for customers to reach management are areas to invest in. These technologies should cover inventory management, product shipping, marketing automation, payroll management, customer relationship management, and even human resources among others.

10. Give Back to Your Community

Giving back to your community is called corporate social responsibility. It involves being of significant help to the community in which your business is hosted. It means helping the community to solve a particular problem or assisting in their endeavours to solve certain problems. Helping your community proves that you appreciate their patronage.

As a small business, you must give back to your community based on what you have earmarked and capable of giving without crippling your business. As part of your corporate social responsibility activities – you may give scholarships to community members, donate to cancer research, provide shelter for the homeless, and give free products to the poor in your area.

11. Attend and Host Local Events

To keep your brand in the mind of your target audience, you can attend or host local events that are of importance in your community. You can get involved in cultural activities, environmental programmes, religious sponsorships, and other community events that align with the visions and missions of your business organization.

When you organize or take part in local events, be sure to display your business banners, posters, boards, and promotional items at the events. Ensure that the MC or guest speakers put in a word for your business, and get your employees to wear promotional T-shirts that further your marketing objectives.

12. Be a Step Ahead of Your Business Rivals

To survive in a competitive business world, you have to stay on your toes. In Nigeria – and elsewhere around the world – this involves staying ahead of the competition. As a small business owner, you must take your competition seriously as much as you take your customers seriously. You can research your competition to know how they are performing with a view to beating them at their own game.

While your business rivals are ever mindful of every step you take, you must equally be aware of what your competitors are planning. You can research their marketing strategies, analyze their product features, and comprehend the extent of their market saturation. In the worst situation, you can position your product as an alternative if you are not able to upstage the competition; think of Pepsi and Coca-Cola, McClean and Close-Up, and DSTV and StarTimes.

13. Form Strategic Partnerships

It is rare for small businesses in Nigeria to merge with another or acquire another business. But if you have the capacity and come across a weak rival, you can acquire that rival business to inherit its existing customers. Forming strategic partnerships or initiative takeovers is helpful in expanding the influence of a business.

14. Identify New Income and Product Opportunities

Scaling a new business in Nigeria is very challenging, and it may take several years before a small business becomes viable. Viability is one thing, success is another thing. So to achieve viability and success, a small business may consider diversification. Diversifying into new markets will ensure new income and product opportunities.

When you identify a new income and product opportunity, it will guarantee newer streams of income for your business. For consistency and expertise, it is best to diversify into newer businesses within your existing industry. For instance, if you are a book publisher, you can diversify into suppliers of book and printing materials for other players in the industry.

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15. Advertise Your Business Effectively

You cannot do without advertising your business for improved sales. Given that there are more than 250 ethnic tribes comprising the 230 million Nigerian population, you need a strategic advertising campaign to reach most of your target audience. Ads cost money and must be sustained for a significant period of time – but when properly done, it is very rewarding.

If you do not have a large budget for adverts in the traditional media – TV, radio, and newspapers – you can opt to promote your business on social media. Advertising on social media is not necessary if you have a large community of followers, and it can be as effective as traditional media. For better results, you may use a social media manager to help you out.

16. Invest in a Helpful Work Culture

Investing in a conducive work environment and instituting a progressive work culture will work in your company’s favour. When your employees work in an atmosphere of respect, appreciation, growth, and promotion, it will boost their morale and enable them to give their best. It will help them to work with the company’s external publics to achieve the business goals and objectives without any hassles.

17. Adhere to Government Regulations

When you operate a small business in any parts of Nigeria, you must adhere to local customs and government regulations. Violating regulatory tenets or local customs will offend your customers, and it will impact your business negatively. Your business must not be involved in any community scandals and it must operate within the confines of the law and of your host community.