Survival Tool Kit For Small Businesses In Nigeria

Starting a small business in Nigeria might seem difficult but what seems to be more difficult is ensuring the survival and continuity of the business. If the data for business mortality is anything to go by, only a few businesses survive their first year, not to mention the ones that could still survive a lifespan of up to 2 – 5 years. Still, we can never undermine the importance of small businesses in Nigeria, Africa, and the world in general.

SMEs have found a way to become one of the most important factors in any economy. Most of the countries with leading economies today can boast of quite several SMEs contributing their quotas to the economy through different means such as GDP, taxes, and the availability of jobs.

Small businesses in Nigeria

Small and medium-sized (SMEs) firms, which make up the majority of companies globally, play a significant role in employment creation and the expansion of the world economy, according to the World Bank. They account for approximately 50% of jobs globally and about 90% of enterprises.

According to a PWC survey, SMEs account for 96% of enterprises, 84% of jobs, and 48% of Nigeria’s GDP. Nonetheless, despite the SMEs’ contribution to economic expansion, they face challenges in expanding their operations. So, we must exert more effort than we now do to raise their chances of success and increase the likelihood that they will scale.

Medium and Small Businesses in Nigeria

With this much impact, it is obvious the nation’s economy needs more SMEs if the country is intentional about economic growth but some factors have been the major cause of lesser SMEs in the country. These factors have made a lot of entrepreneurs give up on the idea of being self-employed to take up 9 – 5 jobs and have discouraged the budding ones from going down that part.
With the failures of so many businesses, it is quite important to note that few others do survive and go on to become large-scale enterprises.

These few businesses were able to build a sustainable strategy to see them through all odds stacked against them which testifies to the fact that when a business is rightly equipped, it is most likely to survive regardless of how harsh the environment is or how strict government policies and regulations are on businesses. We will be looking at the major survival tool kit a small business must have before or after it starts operation. Inside the tool kit are;

Survival tool kit for small businesses in Nigeria

Owner With Knowledge In Business

Handling a business can be tricky and complex, this is why every business owner needs to have at least a little knowledge of the kind of business they’re going into. Entrepreneurs have made mistakes thinking getting much business capital to start and keep the business running is enough to make a business survive and make it grow into a large corporation. A little business education with a focus on the specific business the owner is intending to do will help the owner in so many ways they can think of.

This isn’t to say a business owner must study courses, or get a degree or master’s in business before they can be successful but little efforts such as reading business articles, and journals, listening to business podcasts, carrying out research on business processes and stories of known individuals who have made their mark in the field, etc can help inform an entrepreneur and point them to the right direction.

Government Policy and Regulations

Policies and regulations aren’t made by entrepreneurs, they are made by government officials and these policies have a way of determining the survival of a business. With the data on the impact of SMEs on our economy given above, every government official who has the power to make policy decisions that affect business must work to ensure the establishment and survival of businesses are encouraged by the set policies. Making policies that provide a friendly environment for businesses will be of great benefit to the government, the business owners, and the citizens at large.

Informed Decision Maker

In the case of many businesses, the owners are different from the decision-makers. Owners in a bid to set the company on the right path, hire a manager or supervisor who oversees the day-to-day activities of the business. These managers are saddled with the responsibilities of leading, controlling, directing, and most importantly, making important decisions for the business.

Decision-making is a delicate part of running a business and it is very important to always make the right decision as one wrong decision is enough to set the business on the path of destruction. Entrepreneurs should take deliberate action in choosing an informed manager. Hire one with a handful of experience and knowledge about the business, not friends and families who have no idea of the business. In cases where the owner of the business is also the decision maker, it is advisable to ask questions from those in the field before making decisions.


A business owner who knows how to manage the finances of the business well is likely to be successful with the business. Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to differentiate their personal finance from that of their businesses. Some see the profits made from the business as their salary. Some use the business’s financial resources for personal use such as feeding and paying bills. Until business owners are disciplined enough to handle business finance as business finance by using them strictly for business purposes and ploughing back profits into the business for growth, businesses will continue to fail.

Summary of Small Businesses in Nigeria

Running a business in Nigeria can be difficult but it’s not rocket science. There are important things an owner must have and know to lead a successful business, they have been mentioned above. If you wish to start a small business and make sure it survives, you need to check all of these tool kits. What kind of business owner do you want to be? A failed one or a successful one? You know what to do to be a successful business owner.

Durotimi Aribisala

Durotimi is a content writer who studied business but finds pleasure in writing. He's an observer, a reader and good listener which makes it easy for him to write just about anything. With over five years of experience, Durotimi have been able to write across different beats such as entertainment, technology, sports, finance, etc.