How To Apply Technology To Your Business in Nigeria with N1500. Part 1.
1. Clearly define what you want to sell, the services …
2. Name your business, and clearly define slogans that …
3. Get a platform to sell online (shopify is great)
4. Configure your store with products, services and payment methods
5. Create Social Media accounts and run Adverts on them
6. Blogs about your products/services
7. Implement Search Engine Marketing through Google Adwords
I was made to understand that in order
i. to apply technology to my business,
ii. start a tech enables business or
iii. propel by business with technology
was rocket science, requires a lot of cash for digital marketing or need to amass lots of knowledge like Mark Zukerberg used to grow Facebook, dont mind that school of thought it only requires determination to get the business off the ground, know the techniques to follow and understanding tools required to achieve them.
We are now in the digital era where you can launch an app on your phone and a Taxi picks you up in minutes, if a taxi company can apply technology to cab driving, there is no business that technology cannot be applied to.
Make no mistake Startup is not the same thing as applying technology to your business, dream or idea. Startup is just a business that is new and the founders cannot predict market acceptance.
Everybody has an idea, either to sell something or render a service, now is the time to start that dream or apply technology to your small business and grow it exponentially by using the power of the internet to make it available to thousand and millions of people.
Its obvious that a business that fails to apply technology to itself will soon be out of business and Strive Masiyiwa (CEO Econet Wireless) said ‘“If you’re a consumer goods company selling bread, you must begin to see yourself as technology company if you want to succeed in today’s digital world.”
With the quote above from Dr. Strive Wasayiwa, the next thing to think about is how will applying technology to your business impact your business:
One need to carefully work on these 5 questions:
1. How can technology help me design, produce, market and/or deliver first-class goods and services to my customers?
2. How can technology make my business more productive and efficient?
3. How can technology make my business bigger?
4. How can technology make my business more profitable?
5. How can technology help me leapfrog my competitors?
I have read and tested tons of marketing strategy and found out that these basic rulee applies to all types of business, either a service based business or product based business, the end point is to leverage on technology to boost productivity, to reduce time spent on routine task and use the power of the internet to market your product/service avaulable to ready to buy customers.
This write-up is designed to encourage you to start, guide you through the process of working professionally and teach you on how to position yourself/business where your customers can see you.
You might be wondering, it’s NOT easy to apply technology to NON Product based business, NO the principles are the same, to prove this we will use an artist as our case study and his name is Oga Yellow, Oga Yellow is an artist and he sells artworks in form of finished product and provides services like portrait painting at his customers location in form of service.
Lets now divide the steps to the rules in to seven.
7 steps on how to apply technology to your business.
1. Clearly define what you want to sell, the services you want to offer and write them down, don’t be a jack of all trade start with about 5 products and not more than 5 services so that you can focus your energy.
Get a simple online accounting software like ProbityBooks here to record your expenses and generate invoices as you go, also create a product list with product number these are very important even if its 2 product put product number it makes you stay organised.
Assign prices to what you intend to sell, define discounts for bulk orders and promotions.
2. Name your business, and clearly define 3 slogans that you want to use as a brief info around your business, here we use ‘beautify your premises with colourful arts’, then ask a friend to deliberate with you while you conduct your research on Google to see if the slogan isn’t taken by someone else and settle down with one of the names.
Now go to www.whogohost.com and get a domain name for your business, a domain name is like a physical address ‘No.1 Herbert Macaulay Road, Yaba’ so you can search for something like ‘www.ogayellow.com’ its amazing that with as little as N1,500 you can get a .com.ng domain name and about N14,000 for .ng domain names.
Be creative and choose a name around your business that is easy to remember and give to someone over the phone. Avoid long names.
*You don’t need to pay for hosting just register the domain name, so a spend of N1,500 get running immediately.
Click on the Image to get you free account.
3. Now you need a platform to sell, paying for house rent is killing (especially in big cities like lagos, Abuja) couple with the fact that you will have to pay for power, buy generator, buy fuel, furniture etc.
The internet makes is possible for a 1 man Start-up to compete with a Billion Naira company if the right tools are used.
So we go to shopify.com.ng and create a 15 days trial account free. There are tons of ecommerce platform online, I prefare shopify because it very easy to use and its integrated with a number of payment gateways in Nigeria, so in less than 1 hour you can integrate paystacks into your website and start selling and receiving money online. (kai technology).
But hold it there, who will pay me online with all these yahoo stories we hear here and there, my brother there is lots of trust in the land so don’t break the circle.
When you promise to give someone white shirt make sure you send white and not dirty white, if there was an error, apologise and redeem your name. Your name is your brand, integrity is king.
The day I made my first sales online I almost threw a party, so people in Nigeria still trust each other? Any not just me I have heard countless testimonies from friends that sell online and how they felt when they got the alert for the first sale and now they do millions monthly with people they have never seen and will never met.
So drop the fear factor, but of cause there are some doubting Thomas that will ask for your mother’s father’s name before they do business with you, I like such people because when you delivery they will be your business evangelist, talking about you everywhere they go and if you messup they will damage your credibility badly, beyond whay you can imagine.
Back to shopify, you must have an email addresses handy to create your free account and once you do, boom you can login. The layout is very simple and easy to understand, you can click here for a video on how to get started on shopify.
Remember I told you not to pay for hosting on whogohost except you want your email address to be in your company name (e.g firstname.lastname@example.org), just go on shopify and you can click on transfer domain, they will give you setting to give whogohost to update for you (i contacted whogohost support and they did mine in 10 minutes).
With the company details you used on shopify, say OgaYellow, shopify will give you a domain name like http://ogayellow.shopify.com.ng and remember we registered www.ogayellow.com.ng on whogohost and when the settings are updated on Whogohost, then anyone that types www.ogayellow.com.ng will be redirected to http://ogayellow.shopify.com.ng but however the name you see inside you browser will not change from www.ogayellow.com. (kai technology again).
4. Configure your store, there are free templates you can choose from, remember to watch the setup video as it will guide you through the process of
- Uploading products/services
- Setting prices
- Creating catelogues
- Upload Logo (Yes I forgot, get a friend to do this for you if you can’t, make it simple)
- Assign support emails etc (its always better to use gmail, yahoo is dead but I still use it anyway)
- Set shipping rates if it’s a product you sell, etc.
- Integrate payment in 2 or 3 clicks boy, Paystack was too simple, no coding required.
- Publish your store and remove password you are ready to make sales.
Remember we have not spent pass N1,500 and I mean it, that’s is the only expenses to get started.
Proper accounting is the key to a successful business, learn to keep proper records and make sure your business expenses are always captures, a very good way to do this is using an Online Accounting Software, you can get a trial account here Free for 15 days.
5. Social Media Accounts/Adverts: Hardly will you find anybody that is not on social media these days, either facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat, linkedin, pintrest, google+. These platforms are very powerful for spreading your gospel.
Please don’t get carried away just concentrate on 2 or 3 platform only and be active, they all have adverts in them that will help you reach your target.
What did I say about technology and tools, getting the right tool will turn you into a magician and you will get loads of work done in less time.
Buffer (www.buffer.com) is another awesome tool I will recommend any day, it allows you t
Schedule, publish and analyze all your posts in one place across multiple social medial platform.
6. Blogs: There is no effective website these days or any serious minded online business that will not have a blog, item 7 below talks about Search Engine Marketing (SEM or Google Adwords or Paid Search) while here we are talking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO),
The main essence of the blog is to talk about happenings in and around your business like latest products, services, product guide and documentation on how to use them, activities in the news about you. It will greatly increase your SEO ranking on google if you do blog regularly.
Essentially, Google learns a lot from here to know how well people are responding to you content.
In today business world content is the king, most big business don’t spend much on SEM, they get 20% traffic from SEM and 80% from SEO, unfortunately the reverse is the case for small & medium businesses as most SME’s are not paying attention to increasing their ranking on Google to give them traffic.
SME’s believe once they can afford paid search they should keep paying but a time will come with is very close by that paid search will not be affordable and the competition will be great for SEO, so nip the bud in time.
It does not cost money to grow SEO, the major requirements is just constant posting of VALUABLE relevant content on and off you website.
There are 3 types of SEO
- Technical: focused on how search engine spiders crawl your site and index the content
- Off Page: focused on inbound links from other website, its like votes for your business
- On-Page: concerned about responsiveness of you website on mobile devices/user experience.
We will talk about this later, infact you don’t need more than the information above. Click here to see how shopify has got you covered in the 3 areas above.
7. Google! Google!! Google!!!
In Nigeria item 7 means Menu, the time when food is served.
Google makes about $60 Billion yearly and 95% of this revenue comes from Adwords, Search Engine Marketing has been hijacked by Google to mean Google Adwords primarily because they process almost 95% of all searches on the internet.
For every business to be successful, just spending money is not the only key to success, it must have KPI and Metrics to determine how it’s doing and what needs to be improved. So I will compare spending money (Advertisement) and evaluating Return on Investment ROI inform of KPI as Google Analytics.
We will talk about some valuable free tools from Google before we close but first lets talk about Adwords.
Before we start talking about Adwords proper we need to define some key elements.
Keyword: is a word or phrase the user searches for and then sees your ad
Impressions: number of times your ad is displayed
Clicks: for each time your Ad is displayed, Google charges you for each click, does not charge for impression
Click Through Rate (CTR): divide clicks by impressions CTR
Google AdWords is like an auction house. You have to set a budget and a bid. The bid sets how much you are willing to pay for each click and the budget is how much you want to spend.
Google is so nice that if the bid amount is lower than the bid you place, it still does not charge you more that the average of bids for that particular keyword also known as Cost Per Click (CPC). You can also set timing you want to have your advert displayed etc. You can read more on Google Adwords here.
Now that we understand the basic elements let’s start by creating an account in Google Adwords, click here. Make sure you have your Naira Mastercard/Visa card (most banks in Nigeria now allow you to spend between $80 – 100 monthly), gmail address and password handy, creating the account is free typical of Google, you only pay for the clicks.
Once you login, getting around is pretty easy see below:
Follow the prompt to create your advert and pick keywords that are as closely related to your business as possible don’t boil the ocean, if you sell ‘Male football shoes’ don’t be lazy and use sport shoes, the person searching might be looking for ‘female ice-hockey skate shoes’ learn to refine your search to match what you sell.
The advert section will be display like your normal classified ads in the newspapers, which you would have encountered severally before, its very easy to create once you login to adwords.
But you said N1500 why do I need my card, you will need it to activate your account in Google. When start selling and confident of your business model you can start with about $100 at banks rate is just N32,000 in today’s money set aside 60USD for shopify for 2 months subscription and 40USD for Google Adwords.
From my honest estimates and testing I bet you will make sales before you exaust the 60 days you have on Google and shopify. Remember to peg your monthly spending’s on Google to 20 USD and that will be USD0.67 per day also ensure your CPC is not more that 0.05, that give your about 13 clicks dialy.
Now you are getting confused cause you don’t like mathematics, but chill and lets digest it together again.
$20 for Google per month, if you don’t undertand this business is not for you go and learn vulganizer. (just kidding we divided $40 into 2, remember we said start with $100 when you are confident, which is just N32,000 bank rate today. $60 for Shopify at $30 plan per month and $40 for google at $20 per month)
Back to the arithmetics.
$20 per month for Google abi ?
$20/30 days = $0.67 per day
If you bid $0.05 per click the from your $0.67/0.05 = you will get 13 clicks roughly monthly* (estimates only even Google cannot predict 100% certainty)
Oga 13 clicks per day means 13 people will come to you shop everyday for 60 Days, my brother if you cant sell to 13people x 60 days = 800 … Whao 800 people coming to you website with just $40 USD chai technology again, but its real, very real, it’s around you people are making money with it.
Tons of people are making legit revenue online, you can start with the little you have,you can see N1,500 can start your business, i just started Colorfularts Online with a .com.ng extention and powered by shopify, will keep you posted on our developments and progress.
Feel free to contact us for how to set up your Store, Business or Idea Online or how to apply technology to it. 07031008088 or email@example.com
Happy Selling and see you at the top
Sample Google my Business listing.
Bonus 10 FREE Google Products that will rock your work, a must for every technology business
1. Google Mobile-Friendly Test test and submit website
2. Google My Business list you business in Google
3. Google PageSpeed Insights pagespeed test
4. Google Correlate generate the best results
5. Google Trends Trends can help you touch on topics that are popular, right now.
6. Google chrome you can instantly pull an SEO report for any website
7. Google Alerts you’ll receive notice, any time your keywords are mentioned by an online outlet
8. Google Voice one number for all of your phones. So, if you have more than one business line
9. Google Sheets create and work on same power word, excel, powerpoint presentation and store in cloud
10. YouTube second biggest search engine in the world great for developing a comprehensive online marketing and SEO strategy, it’s essential to get involved with the creation and distribution of video.
Source: Neil Patel & Pax Nigerian
Written by Olushola Ogunniyi
Shola is founder of probitybooks.com and a technology enthusiast since the days of Windows 95. With special affection for technology in business for motivating entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to grow their Startup. He believes SME’s are the only solution to a sustainable economy. @sholahacom