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How to deal with Inflation as a SME in Nigeria

Here are tips that can protect your businesses from current inflation happening in Nigeria.

Mama Dupe counted the meager naira notes in her hand, worry creasing her brow. The price of tomatoes, a staple in their daily meals, had skyrocketed again. Just last month, one small measure basket cost 500 naira, but today, the seller demanded 700 naira. It was like this with everything - garri, the starchy staple, the bright yellow palm oil that added life to their stews, even the simple onions and pepper.

Mama Dupe wasn't alone in her struggle. The news buzzed with the word "inflation," a harsh-sounding term that felt even harsher in the face of empty bellies. The numbers they spoke of - 29%, they said - were meaningless to Mama Dupe. All she knew was that the money she saved for her daughter's school uniform wouldn't stretch anymore.

Across the bustling city, similar anxieties played out. Baba Ayo, the mechanic, watched his customers become fewer. People were holding onto their money, fixing only the most urgent car troubles. Even mending clothes, once a common sight, became a luxury for many.

The causes of this hardship, though debated by economists, were clear to the people on the street. The price of oil, their lifeblood, had dipped. The rains hadn't come as expected, and the harvest was meager. The naira, their currency, seemed to lose value every day.

Yet, amidst the hardship, flickers of resilience shone. Women's groups came together, sharing recipes and tips to make the most of their dwindling resources. Young entrepreneurs, fueled by necessity, started innovative businesses, selling smaller portions of everyday items to make them more affordable.

Mama Dupe, too, found solace in community. She bartered some of her tomatoes with a neighbor for onions, a small act of shared struggle that eased the burden a little. The future remained uncertain, but in the face of shared hardship, the spirit of Nigerians flickered, refusing to be extinguished.

This is just the story of what "Inflation" is causing in Nigeria. The word "Inflation" doesn't only affects individuals, it's also affecting large organization and small and medium-scale enterprises (SME).

However, in this article, we will share with you some tips that can help you overcome inflation over your busineses in Nigeria. Hence, let's dive into without much Ado.

Nigeria's Inflation Meaning and Definition

Well, it might sound funny but seriously, we need to give "Inflation" another definition in Nigeria.

Let me tell you, Inflation is like that one uncle at a family gathering. Shows up uninvited, eats all the jollof rice, and leaves you wondering where your future savings went.

Inflation in Nigeria? It's like trying to buy puff-puff with a wheelbarrow full of cash, only to end up with enough for two measly balls.

It's also like that one friend who keeps borrowing money but has the latest iPhone 15 Pro Max. It's a mystery, a headache, and a party crasher all rolled into one.

Formally, Inflation generally refers to the rate at which the prices of goods and services rise due to bad economic factors and governmental policies.

In this our country, Nigeria, two main factors that have caused so much inflation within a short time are the fall of the Naira against the dollar. Also, the removal of fuel subsidies from fuel consumption.

These two factors cause a ripple effect on everything ranging from basic commodities to the cost of goods and services.

The Impact of Inflation on Nigerian Small Businesses

Nigeria's current inflationary environment poses significant challenges for the nation's vibrant small business sector. Rising input costs, including raw materials, rent, and utilities, are eroding profit margins and squeezing operational budgets. This pressure forces small businesses to make difficult decisions impacting their sustainability and growth potential.

One primary concern is the ability to maintain competitive pricing. Increasing production costs present a dilemma: raising prices can alienate customers with diminished purchasing power, while maintaining current prices leads to shrinking profits and potential financial strain. This tightrope walk threatens the viability of many small businesses.

Furthermore, access to credit, crucial for growth and expansion, becomes more difficult due to rising interest rates associated with inflation. This restricts the ability of small businesses to secure loans for investments, inventory, or even working capital, hindering their ability to adapt, innovate, and compete effectively.

How to protect your businesses from Inflation

Despite these challenges, your businesses can survive. Here's how:

Nigerian small businesses are renowned for their resilience and resourcefulness. You can adopt cost-saving measures, explore alternative suppliers, and implement innovative approaches to streamline your business operations.

Additionally, you can introduce smaller portion sizes or more affordable product options to maintain your customer engagement.

Lastly, you have to keep your business creative amd find ways to cut costs and offer smaller, more affordable options. This fight for survival is a testament to the resilience of Nigerian entrepreneurs and our determination to keep our businesses, and our communities, thriving.

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About the Author

With five years experience in Media, Temmy Samuel's become a modern journalist, delivering impressive reporting about tech, finance, business and science around the world. More About Temmy

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