Quite a number of SMEs fail as soon as they are started. However to keep your SME afloat, you’ll need to adopt the following;

Define clearly what you sell and also to whom you sell or render service

Defining what your business does from the word GO, as you set out into the business world, is always one of (if not) the most important step to running a successful business. If you know what you are in business to do, why you are in that business and understand clearly how to do the business, then it becomes a whole lot easier to manage your company going forward. In addition, this enables you to explain your business clearly, without ambiguity, to investors or partners when the need arises.

Listen

To what your customers have to say. No business can achieve success without giving its customers what they want.

Before you can look for new customers, you need to ensure you retain those you already have. Identify customer trends and changes in the market and respond to them before your customers go looking elsewhere.

Source for funds security and sustainability

Running a small business requires financial backbone, prudence and efficiency. One way you can do this is to explore all available financial options open to you. These include family, friends, business associates, investors, banks, etc. Banks today have been known to offer small business owners opportunities for building businesses. However, choosing the right bank for your business’ financial plan and support is vital as not all banks in the country are big on SMEs. Nevertheless, some have great platforms that help businesses, especially SMEs, flourish (e.g. Diamond Bank, Fidelity Bank, to name a few). A number of financial institutions offer accounts with low fees, loans with discounted rates or free direct deposit programs for small business account holders. Banking with the right institution that gives you the best deals will help you stretch every naira and make for financial prudence in the way you run your venture and manage the financial side or your business.

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Feel

The winds of change in the air. To be a successful business, you need to be able to change and adapt your products and services as situations dictate. What was successful last year may not work for you this year.

Be ready to try new ideas, expand your business and bring in new people. In order to fuel such radical changes, you may well need to consider exploring new avenues of funding in order to enable your growth. A measured risk often pays off in business growth.

 Get business information and technical input from Small Business Development Consultant(s) around your area for professional business development guidance and advice

Today, a number of businesses and professionals give expert business advice and services at a token fee for individuals and groups wanting to go into new businesses or diversify their existing businesses into new areas or line of products and/or services. These services range from legal advice and consultation, to business development and strategies, as well as recruitment and management of staff from business psychologists, and so on. These professionals provide help and sound business support and solutions services during all stages of the business life cycle. They can help you create a powerful business plan to approach a lender or investor with, help with information and advice on legal documentation and business name registration, marketing and sales strategies, and also provide temp recruitment services, to name a few. Their business support and development services also helps your budding business make the right business calls that won’t only serve you in the immediate and short term, but would strategically assist in positioning you for business success for the long haul.

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