The CEO and Founder of Sparkle, a financial technology community and ecosystem, Mr. Uzoma Dozie, has identified people, structure, and processes as an essential framework for small businesses ready to scale.
Mr. Dozie stated this during Smartpreneur’s weekly entrepreneurship series on Instagram with Tallulah, on Wednesday, July 15th, 2020. The session tagged; “How SMEs Can Leverage On Technology To Scale,” was hosted by Emblue, a new media and marketing communication company.
Mr. Dozie, a financial inclusion advocate, said there is no difference between how people live their personal life, how to live their business life to one as in business. He made this remark while clarifying the conditions through which technology can help reduce operational risks of small businesses in Nigeria towards achieving their desired growth objectives.
“As an entrepreneur, the people that you hire must be digital, be conversant with technology, and comfortable technology. “For me, anybody starting a business, he or she must start from a perspective I want to be as cashless and paperless as possible,” he said.
By putting structures in place, he said, small business owners will need to capture data and invest in payment services to be able to stay away from liquid cash as possible. “There are loads of processes a small business can do online. You can get a payment solution, you can do accounting processes, audit, and marketing online at a reasonable cost.
“This will make you stand out and give your customers a great experience and also help you attract investors because you have a structure in place.”
He advised entrepreneurs to think big, start small, act quickly. According to him, there are three major challenges facing SMEs in Nigeria. He identified access to finance, access to advisory services, and access to the market. He sees “access to market as a challenging one because as a small business, how do people typically hear about you? And if I hear about you, why should they trust you?” He said this was the hallmark of his Television show called Tech Turks, using the platform to promote people that are using technology to drive this business.
He said Nigeria had done a lot in technological advancement, but they are fragmented and call for a holistic approach to coordination. Citing various identities, Mr. Dozie said the country needs to have a consolidation to see an impact. “We have a lot of identities, I carry like four identities. I have a passport, driving license, I have my BVN, and I have my name.
“But if I want to go, travel, I have to use one. If I want to drive, I have another. Those are good examples of what we have done a lot but they are fragmented. “We can put them together to actually create a better experience and more transparency into the whole system,” he concluded.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic brought about the quality of life and the appreciation of digital and the future of work. He encourages entrepreneurs to have contingency plans and, most importantly, how to connect with customers and keep staff working.
The Smartpreneur series airs every Saturday on TVC Entertainment at 5:45 PM and Live on Instagram every Tuesday and Thursday at 5 PM.