By Gabriel Olawale
The role of Small and Medium Enterprises in the economic development of a country is crucial. SMEs are considered the backbone of economic growth in all countries and are strategic as well as essential for accelerating global growth and development.
According to the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), a large percentage of all registered companies in Nigeria are constituted by small scale businesses and many have been in existence for a long time. SMEs have contributed significantly to the Nigerian economy through sectoral development, provision of employment opportunities and poverty reduction. They constitute about 90% of businesses in the country, creating more than 70 per cent of employment in the region. The Government is therefore now turning to small and medium scale enterprises as a tool for developing the economy and solving problems.
However, one of their major challenges is leveraging the rapid digital transformation as a means to scale their business since their operations today are mainly offline. Brand reputation is critical in growing small businesses. A positive brand reputation builds loyalty and increases customer confidence in a brand, ultimately improving sales and overall business growth. Brand positioning is also another critical factor in ensuring small businesses establish a sustainable competitive advantage.
“The number of small businesses in the country keeps growing at an accelerated rate and will continue to do so in 2020. To stand out, it is essential that SMEs distinguish themselves through brand positioning and reputation management. This can be achieved through a growing online presence, delivering on the brand promise, good customer experience, staying innovative and having an effective ongoing public relations plan.” Kemi Olawoye, CEO Bora Communications.
“To also gain publicity and be known, small businesses need to understand the importance of a good press and this is where media relations come into focus. At Bora Communications, we help organizations including SMEs achieve proper media positioning in a way that gets them noticed in a busy marketplace. We are a Pan-African brand currently operating in Lagos, Abuja and Accra(Ghana).” She noted.