The dream of every SME in Nigeria is to grow beyond a small business into a bigger business with chains of outlets serving both local and international customers. However, research has shown that only half of start-ups survive more than five years, and not more than one-third make it to ten years. With this in mind, the best thing to do as an SME is to ensure your business is sustainable and can stand the test of time; then to create a growth strategy for your business.

This strategy details your business goals and defines your plans for meeting those goals. It’s a road map showing the goals you are striving to meet, how you are planning to meet them, and when you are planning to execute. You need to adapt this strategy in order to smooth out your business inefficiencies, refine its strengths and better suit your customers.

As an SME looking to grow your business, the key steps below will help you develop a business strategy that can sustain your business for a very long time.

Define short- and long-term goals
The first step in writing a business strategy for business growth is to simply document the goals you hope to achieve in the next five years. Well-chosen goals point a business in the right direction; this can be both small and large and can be either specific (increase revenue by 20%) or general (increase brand awareness). Here are some examples:
Increase product offerings
Grow organic site traffic
Open a second store
Increase sales

Define timelines
Once you have defined your goals, then it is time to set timelines for achieving your growth strategy. Timelines can be set by goal priority or in sequence. For example, your top priority goal may be to open a second store. But meeting that goal requires that you first increase sales at your existing store by 15% to cover the operational, staffing, and inventory costs of your second store. Even if increasing sales at your existing store is a lower priority, it needs to be executed first in order to achieve your highest priority goal of opening a second store.

Establish a value proposition
For your business to sustain long-term growth, you must understand what distinguishes it from the competition. Identify that unique factor that attracts your customers to you for a product or service. What makes you relevant, differentiated and credible? Your answer will determine your value proposition; this is the value your business adds to the customers and therefore explains why they should do business with you.

Define your key indicators
A strategy must be measurable in order to know whether it’s effective or not. To achieve a growth strategy, you need to identify which key indicators affect the growth of your business, then dedicate time and money to those areas.

Verify your revenue streams
What are your current revenue streams? What revenue streams can you add to make your business more profitable? Once you identify the potentials for new revenue streams, ask yourself if they are sustainable in the long run. Some great ideas or cool products don’t necessarily have revenue streams attached. Be careful to isolate and understand the difference.

Check your competition
No matter the industry your business falls under, there is a possibility that your competitors could be excelling at something that your company is struggling with. Look toward similar businesses that are growing in new, unique ways to inform your growth strategy. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Ask yourself why your competitors have made alternate choices. Are they wrong? Or are your businesses positioned differently? The assumption that you are smarter is rarely correct.

Focus on your strengths
Sometimes, focusing on your strengths can help you establish growth strategies rather than trying to improve your weaknesses. Reorient the playing field to suit your strengths, and build upon them to grow your business. You can use the data from your key indicators and revenue streams to create a personalized growth plan. That way, you ll better understand your business and your customers nuances, which will naturally lead to growth.

When you tailor your growth strategy to your business, you ll keep your customers happy and fulfil their needs, which will keep them coming back. As your customer base grows and market demand increases, your business automatically grows to become bigger than how you started.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

L-R: Dr. Sophia Horsefall, Corporate Relations Manager, SPDC; Osepiribo Ben-Willie, Executive Director of Heritage Bank and Ivy Davies-Etokakpan, President of Eveafrique News at the Women Must Conference 2.0, titled “The Woman and Her Must” organised by The Kilali Tribe held in Port Harcourt.


Heritage Bank is agent for actualisation of SDG 5-Gender Equality, women empowerment – Kilali Tribe

05/12/2022:  Heritage Bank has been commended for being an agent for the actualisation of Sustainable Development Goals SDG 5 – Gender Equality, as well women empowerment for socio-economic growth.

This was stated by Kilali Tribe at the Women Must Conference 2.0, titled “The Woman and Her Must” organised by The Kilali Tribe which held in Port Harcourt.

The Kilali Tribe is an association of prolific Rivers and Bayelsa State women who come together to support themselves through peer learning, capacity-building initiatives, networking, and mentoring. Also, provide similar structured support to other women within the community.

Speaking at the event, Ivy Davies-Etokakpan, President of Eveafrique News who also member of Kilali Tribe, commended Heritage Bank for taking the lead in championing the empowerment of women over the years in the country.

“We are proud of Heritage Bank for making us soar while promoting women empowerment. Over the years, Heritage Bank has proved to be an agent for the actualisation of achieving SDG 5 – Gender Equality, as well women empowerment,” she said.

The Executive Director of Heritage Bank, Osepiribo Ben-Willie affirmed the need to deliberately adopt measures to deepen women empowerment to drive the nation’s socio-economic growth.

In her closing remarks, Osepiribo Ben-Willie hinted that the Conference had leveraged Kilali Tribe to come up with blueprint in promoting women’s equal right to socio-economic empowerment, as this is at the heart of the SDG5-Gender Equality.

The Executive Director of Heritage Bank affirmed that women all over have proved to be huge economic asset in the act of creation of a new sustainable economy, hence gender inclusiveness and women’s empowerment must be taken as a priority.

According to her, after evaluating the bottlenecks restraining the Kilali Tribe and other women to attain the platforms to grow professionally and thrive in all spheres of t heeconomy, it is a call to action to “tackle the challenges of gender disparity and lack of inclusiveness that have continued to impede the expected rapid economic empowerment that could help unshackle our women’s entrepreneurial prowess and foster more representation for women and girls at decision-making forums and Board levels in comparison to their peers in the developed countries.”

Ben-Willie added that for women to emerge economically and socially as independent there was an urgent need to tackle psychological, social and skill constraints.

Collaborating Ben-Willie’s, the Co-founder and former Group Executive Director of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, advocated for women and girl inclusiveness across all sectors of the society, including economic participation and decision-making.

According to him, the country should be conscious of gender equality, whilst emphasising that dealing with the psychological constraint will enable women to be balanced emotionally.

He stressed the need for organisation to leverage women positions on Board level, as they are resourceful and could enormously impact to the growth of any society.

Cole also charged women in being deliberate to position and champion course that would put them at the forefront of making difference. //END.//

Ozena Utulu, Ag. Group Head, Corporate Communications