why businesses fail in Nigeria

In Nigeria, there is no end to the possibilities that entrepreneurship can create for you If done in the right manner.

why businesses fail in Nigeria

We are all privy to stories of people in Nigeria that have moved from the lowest ebb of the society to the highest echelon, courtesy of entrepreneurship.

However, that is just one side of the story. There is this other side that points to misfortune and failure.

All Entrepreneurs in Nigeria usually start their business with high hope and aspirations. But for one reason or the other, some of those aspirations don’t see the light of the day.

Why is it that some businesses succeed while others fail?

There are so many reasons why businesses fail in Nigeria. I am going to outline the most common ones. Hopefully, it will help to guide you on how to avoid business failure.

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Being driven by survival instinct

Before venturing into any business, we all aim to make money out of the business and survive from it. This is a phenomenon that is just natural.

However, the problem lies in making survival the sole goal of establishing a business. If you do, you can never give your best to the business.

Rather, if you focus on adding value, you will offer your best to the business and maximum profit would follow.

The business world is so competitive. Every entrepreneur must focus on offering innovative products and services to its customers.

If as an entrepreneur, you are known for offering innovative products and services to your clients, they will not only become your regular clients, they would also refer their friends.

Any experienced business person in Nigeria would tell you that business is usually propelled by turn over.

Having limited business knowledge

Knowledge is very much key to success in business. If as an entrepreneur, you are satisfied with the knowledge you have about your business. You would not want to put in an effort to learn new innovation about the business, then, you are just comfortable standing still without moving forward.

In Nigeria, just like any other place, deep knowledge of the business you are venturing into is very much important.

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The world is moving every day, so also business ideas. As a business owner, you should be comfortable with taking professional business courses on a regular basis.

It will help to keep you in tone with the latest innovations in your business, thereby deepening your knowledge of the business.

You have to open yourself up to new ideas on a daily basis if you want to achieve success in the business of your choosing.

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Having no direction in business

Another factor that is so inimical to business success in Nigeria, is trying to be “jack of all trade but master of none”.

It can just be detrimental to your business success as an entrepreneur. If your business ideology is based on focusing your energy and concentration on multiple tasks at the same time, then, bear in mind that you may not be able to achieve excellence in any of them.

Instead, you will lose the knowledge of the one you know how to do best thereby damaging your competitive advantage in the business space.

If you maximise your energy on a particular area that you are well familiar with and equally call in other people to help push your effort in that regard, there is every likelihood that the sky will be your starting point.

Fear of failure

Fear of failure in business is something we are all familiar with. At the same time, we all fear the fear of failure.

We all dread it because it prevents us from taking a risk in business. One of the nicknames of entrepreneurship is risk-taking. If you must be successful as an entrepreneur, then you must learn the art of risk-taking.

Instead of being afraid of failure or allowing your fears to hold you back from exploring your business space maximally, allow your passion and creativity to drive you.

Remember, fear moves away from you when you dare to do things that you are most afraid to do.

Having no vision

To succeed as a person in Nigeria, you need to possess great vision and creativity. It can be costly to you if you are short-sighted as an entrepreneur.

Granted, sometimes, short-sighted goals help us to be motivated but, having a long-term goal is usually crucial to an entrepreneur.

If you would want to make a difference as an entrepreneur, then, you would have to start thinking into the future while carrying out any project.

You have to start thinking about how whatever you are doing today would still be relevant in the future.

Not being resourceful

As an entrepreneur, you have to find creative ways of doing more with limited resources. Remember, you are just starting up in business. You need to utilize your lean resources.

You cannot just afford to be flamboyant in your spending as a start-up.  If you want to climb up the ladder of success as an entrepreneur, you need to be resourceful and frugal.

As an entrepreneur, it’s one thing to have a great idea, it is entirely another thing to find creative and innovative ways of implementing those ideas.


confidence can help you to achieve great things in business but over-confidence destroys things.

A single individual, while working solely on his own may not be able to achieve all he wants to achieve in business.

It will be difficult for you to move forward as a business person if you don’t know how to empower other people.

Teamwork is extremely important in business. When you start up your business, look for competent people around, empower them and see them help your business to achieve great success.

Failing to heed to client’s council

The faith of a business usually lies in the hands of the clients. If as a business owner, you don’t listen to their advice on how to make your product or services better, then, you clearly do not have a business being in business.

You need to create a platform where your clients can directly interact with you. You need a feedback channel. Positive feedback will encourage you, negative feedback will tell you the area you need to improve.

Not taking advantage of digital channels

In this 21st century, as a business person, you cannot overlook online marketing.

Social media, Search engine optimization are the new and effective means of reaching more people today for advanced patronage. These channels are not only for businesses offering their services online.

Even if you run your business offline, having a strong online presence will help to boost your business growth. Today, online marketing is just the way to go, if you want to reach an audience that doesn’t know that your business exists.

Not being receptive to change

As I mentioned earlier, the business world is constantly evolving with the time. For the fact that your current business strategy is working, is not a guarantee that it will continue to work.

There is no iota of guarantee that the business will be as productive tomorrow as it is today while banking on a particular strategy. As the dynamic of your business change, you may need to continue to change your own strategy too.

Any business that fails to evolve with the changing tides eventually becomes irrelevant. As a business person, you must make yourself receptive to change. It guarantees constant growth in business.

Although there are other external forces that lead to business failures in Nigeria, like government policies, epileptic power supply, poor infrastructure, poor internet services and poor transport system.

But if you deal with the internal issues, it will be so easy to deal with the external ones.

Author: Egbo Jerry C.