What’s the best Software for a Small Business Owner in Nigeria?
This was the constant question in my mind over the last week.
It kept on going on and on, like a terrible song stuck in my head. And of course why and how can one safely reach the right conclusion.
Now we all can agree Nigeria is a country filled with small business owners. What’s not fully appreciated is how much productivity and profits, is lost by the way we run our small business. For example, a good way of increasing productivity and profit in a small business is to use a point of sale software like PrognoStore which I co-founded.
[Side Note: this is of particular interest to me as one of the co-founders of PrognoStore. PrognoStore provides a simple and easy tool for small business to sell in their store, manage inventory and get insights]
Which brings me back to my original quest; which is best approached from the perspective of a small business owner. This made me reflect over my past experiences of helping my mum in her shop, and being an adviser to many small business owners over the years.
So what did conclusions did I find? I found points to consider which while not peculiar to Nigeria alone, can be said to hold even more importance here, due to the unique environment. They are as follows:
It has to be simple to use
Almost every product claims to be simple to use. However if any product wants to have any chance of been adopted by small business owners in Nigeria, then it must indeed be simple to use! I think about simplicity in 2 ways:
1. Employees must use it
It’s all about the employees. This is because a lot of business software tools are used by the employees (and not the owner). Since they are the main users of the application, the ability for them to understand it can’t be overestimated. Extra care and thought must be focused on this particular group especially as we are a nation with relatively low literacy level. In order words, not everyone is tech savvy or has an high level of education.
It’s employees such as shop attendants, till assistants, shop supervisors etc who literally have the power to decide if the tool with be adopted or not.
- Small Business owners must use it:
A small business owner might love the idea of having a software tool. However if they personally don’t interact with the tool, there’s tendency for them not to see the benefit or importance. Using PrognoStore as an example, a lot of store owners like the flexibility of been able to check on their store to view sales, check stock, customer details etc. Even when not physically there.
Internet is indeed an issue. And this is one external factor which could prove problematic for any product which is web based. The advantage of a cloud solution is that it provides the ability to run a business from anywhere and any device with a browser. Inversely this can be a disadvantage, as it means there’s a dependency on internet. And electricity. Which of course are both unreliably and expensive in Nigeria.
The clever thing about PrognoStore is that is works offline as well. So if you’re making that all important sale and you lose your internet connection, there’s no need to panic!
Customers remains King
Customers are the #1 priority. Why are they so important? They reward a small business owner with their patronage and money. A tool that helps to identify the important customers to focus your energy, so as to pay even more attention, is a product worth keeping. Which leads me to my final point..
It should help make money
Profits keep the lights on. Most business depends on it (unless perhaps a charity,NGO type of firm), which means a small business owner is interested in a tool that either helps to make money or save it. Or even better, does both!
Do you agree with above points? Or perhaps I've missed something important? Always glad to know your thoughts in the comments.
P.S As a reader of PrognoStore Blog, we have decided to offer you a free trial of PrognoStore. What do you need to do? Simply go to www.prognostore.com/signup and enter promo code PBFREE60 to get 60 days free.