In this digital age, there’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in Nigeria. Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin said: “Scarcity breeds clarity”
What he meant was that if and when times are tough businesses of all sizes need to maintain a start-up mentality – forcing people to think creatively and rise to the challenge when resources are scarce. Inventive and entrepreneurial people use challenging times to take risks, launch businesses and grow existing enterprises.
Our generation’s industrial revolution is digital and the Internet has broken down trade barriers so effectively that small businesses can now compete for new customers, from home. Even the smallest company can have national and even regional success, provided they have a good product or service that consumers, somewhere, will pay for.
Entrepreneurs born during hard times will not be limited to selling products in their locality, but can expand quickly and with smaller risk. The Web has given entrepreneurs access to a live focus group which they can tap into to discover trends, build business plans and test their products cheaply. Whether you sell at a trade fair, or own a shop in Ikeja or sell goods online, it’s invaluable to know where and when there is demand for your product.
As recent as five years ago, SMEs and entrepreneurs would have had to invest in expensive market research to discover gaps in the market, but now the same research can be undertaken with a few clicks of a mouse.
If you wanted to know which products to display on your shop window next Christmas, why not compare the volume of search interest in each product, using Insights for Search and discover the winning product? Or why not find out whether there is a bigger demand for your product in Abuja or Port Harcourt instead of risking money by launching it on a whim? Or set up a Facebook page or a Twitter account and canvass opinions for free.
Entrepreneurial mindsets are exploiting new business niches and are driving Nigeria’s economy. As such, we need to prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs to meet the challenges brought by the global nature of enterprise.
We need to help them understand that their future competition in business may not come from their neighbouring store on the high street, or even a competitor in the same city or country, but an equally talented entrepreneur in Nigeria, or India, or elsewhere.
So why not take a few minutes this week to think about how you can sharpen your entrepreneurial skills online and grow your business.