In 2020, over 1,400 million USD were invested in venture capital equity in digital and tech startups in the African continent. It’s important to mention that the greater part of this amount was invested in Fintech, Agritech, and Entreprises.
Although Nigeria has the most startups in the continent, it sadly falls short when other metrics are analysed. For instance, while in 2020 there were over 750 startups in Nigeria, these have only raised $64.1 million, which lags far behind South Africa – a country that comes in second place when the number of startups is considered but was able to raise $241 million.
Some aspects that might explain why Nigerian companies aren’t keeping up with the competitors in the continent include:
- Inability to maintain cost-effectiveness
- Lack of tech talent in the country
- Difficult legislation and bureaucracy
- The overall challenging political environment
When compared to other countries in Northern Africa, as in the case of Morocco and Tunisia, there have been several companies and industries that had to stop their operations due to swift changes in the position of the government. For instance, in early 2020, the state government banned commercial motorcycles and tricycles, including popular bike-hailed startups such as Max.ng, Gokada, and ORide. These challenges are quite frequent, and just this year a similar situation happened to cryptocurrency ventures, as the Central Bank prohibited transactions with crypto money.
While earlier this year a startup bill for Nigeria was discussed between government representatives, investors, and startup founders, there is still a long way to go before the bureaucratic environment in the country becomes more accepting for entrepreneurs. But this doesn’t mean that all businesses will fail, or that they’ll have a difficult challenge ahead.
Below, we’ll give you an overview of some aspects that can increase your chances of success, especially if you operate an online business.
Data Security And Safety of Payments
One of the most important aspects of any online business should be the security of the website or online shop. The site security of online businesses is a critical aspect for several reasons, one of the most important being the privacy of the personal and banking data of customers.
Likewise, ensuring that the finances of online businesses are safeguarded against fraud and scams is also crucial. Having a solid security protocol in place can increase the business’ reputation and give the customers peace of mind as they’ll know that the online store is a secure place to conduct their business.
One of the main reasons why online businesses fail, or don’t grow as quickly as expected, is because the business owners misidentified their target audience. In fact, defining a target audience is one of the first steps that any entrepreneur should complete – you can’t reach everyone at the same time.
Having a clear buyer persona can help your marketing team focus their efforts and budget on reaching out to the right individuals. This allows you to generate more business leads that are likely to be interested in your business, and all will be done in a more cost-efficient manner.
Responsive To Mobile
The number of mobile users is at an all-time high, which means that if your website or online store isn’t adapted to small screens, there is a great chance that your potential customer will abandon the purchasing process.
Ensuring that your website is developed with responsive design allows your product or service to be available to anyone, whether on desktop, laptop, mobile phone, or tablet.
The responsiveness of a website can increase the way the pages look on both small and large screens, as well as increase the time a user spends on the website and helps your business to rank higher on search engines.
Customer support is definitely one of the most crucial aspects a business can offer its clients. Offering professional and efficient customer support will aid you with customer retention and might allow you to extract more value from them.
At the same time, customer service can help businesses cultivate loyalty among their customer base, which can lead to referrals, testimonials, and positive reviews.
Example To Follow
One of the online industries that continue growing in popularity and number of users is the online casino sector. With a quick search on Google for “Nigeria Casinos”, you’ll find over 40 million matches.
One particular website, Casinos.co.za, has shown that it’s possible to differentiate between premium and low-quality Nigeria casinos by analysing the characteristics mentioned above.
According to the reviews on the website, it seems that users give preference to secure online casinos, that accept safe payment methods, are focused on Nigerian users, and were developed with mobile devices in mind. Likewise, the quality and efficiency of customer support is another topic that often comes up in the reviews, with many users giving preference to businesses that offer VIP treatment to loyal users.
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Image Credit: Adeolu Eletu