Can small businesses in Nigeria ever compete globally? If a product cannot compete locally, can it compete globally? It is difficult to answer such questions in an economy where excellence is not a virtue. Nigeria has one of the most liberal economies that any entrepreneur can survive in, though there may be unstable policies, it may not be enough to hinder competitiveness. We have professionals and experts in various fields of life, but how many of our products and services reflect such professionalism and expertise. Don’t blame the average Nigerian consumer if they are not buying ‘Made in Nigeria’ products. They want something more than just the product; they want a product with a touch of excellence.
There are businesses that have been in existence for over ten years yet they cannot be compared in terms of professionalism and profitability with other businesses with fewer opportunities in other countries. So what is the problem? – Expertise. If there is a success factor missing in most small businesses in Nigeria, it is in the area of competence. Many of the entrepreneurs are into business without knowing the trade. They are not just experts at what they do. They are in business to survive. They may have the skill, but they lack the expertise required to deliver a satisfactory service or product, hence, the lack of confidence in local products. Could this be the reason for the slow rate of business growth despite the huge business opportunities in this country? To a large extent – yes, you cannot grow in the world of business if you don’t have the competence to satisfy your customers.
When an average consumer demands for a product or service, he relies on the professional advice of the seller to get the desired satisfaction. The consumers can actually get the same product from anywhere, but they chose to buy from a more expensive seller or service provider because of the level of professionalism and touch of excellence delivered.
When foreign businesses charge extra for the same product consumers can get locally, and the consumers are ready to pay, it means there is something about the foreign product that the local one doesn’t have. Does it mean Nigerian products are inferior? NO, we still have products that are very good but whether they can compete with global brands in terms of quality is a question for another day. However, it is a pointer to upcoming entrepreneurs to
- Adopt global strategies in their local business
- Acquire more knowledge in the area of their businesses
- Show their competence in the product and service delivery.
Being competent at what you do set you in the right direction towards being a customer oriented, global focus and profitable entrepreneur. Master your skill, be effective and efficient at what you do, people pay for your competence not just you or your product. If you are not ready for business, don’t waste your time and that of others guess-working. Go professional in your business, make your customers happy and always remember you can do business in a global way even in your locality.