Neil Patel, a former contributor to the Forbes Magazine once published a piece titled “90% of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need To Know About The 10%”. Apparently, his positions were based on another article written by Erin Griffith where the writer clearly said in 2014, that from research and the personal accounts of Entrepreneurs themselves, nine out of ten Startups wouldactually fail.

The question then begs that with the consistent economic instability in Nigeria and the financial woes of the Nigerian Naira, what is the hope of Startups in Nigeria? This article confirms that Nigerian Startups or Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are also caught up by the wings of failure but with the peculiar challenges affecting the Nigerian community. This Article goes further to explore 5 reasons why Nigerian startupsmaynever meet the 12th month of their inception.

1. Brand Reputation Management

Though a bulk of Nigerians are not literates and largely get their news feed off rumou;rsa simple WhatsAppmessage floating around which says that a particular Startup’s product is mixed with virgin blood will need noconfirmation from the World Health Organization before many Nigerians believe such newsand also join in spreading the message without needing any further proof. The commercial market in Nigeria is highly competitive and there are entrepreneurs willing to play dirty to keep their hold on the market and prevent other startups from sprouting..

What then is an entrepreneur to do to protect his startup? Simple! Brand Reputation Management; most especially the aspect of Public Relations (PR). A strong PR program positions your SME as a leading enterprise in your industry. Companies such as Caritas are professionals in Brand reputation Management and can help SME’s manage their public image and prevent mishaps. (SME’s must engage professionals to help manage their brand, public image and prevent mishaps.)

2. Partnership.

The average Nigerian Entrepreneur feels that the next man wants to steal his business idea so he would rather do it alone. In this scenario, they also fail in paying attention to brand reputation management. This is because they want to do it themselves, either to save money or to prevent other businesses from knowing or using their business models which they feel is the most unique and sure to succeed. The truth is that this ideology is largely fueled by how the media presents successful businessmen.

We hear about Jack Ma, the richest man in China who succeeded through entrepreneurship but we do not hear of his seventeen other friends with whom he started Alibaba. In fact, his first business idea, China Pages, which he started alone, failed within the first thirteenmonths. When we read about Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and all the other business giants — we immediately see a single champion. Much like old literary traditions where the hero triumphantly wins alone, our legends…

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