Business Listing in Nigeria
In this post, we discuss business listing in Nigeria: the reasons, the costs and the advantages they bring, and why you must have yours.
- Maybe you have not heard about online business directories and how you can place your business listings on them for free to advertise your business;
- Maybe you have heard about online directories but you are not yet clear about how they work and how they can work for your business(especially in Nigeria), or,
- Maybe you have researched info on online business directories on the internet but you have failed to find information which specifically addresses the Nigerian “MarketSphere”, or,
- Maybe you’ve gotten some pieces of info, but not enough to help you take a decision on how and where to go about it,
then, you are in the right place. We discuss the types of online business directories in Nigeria, the cost of having your business listed on them and the numerous advantages they bring to your business.
Not too recently, there has been a lot of focus on Entrepreneurship and how individuals should start their own businesses cos that’s the only way to get really rich and not get paid peanuts in comparison to one’s effort. So, a lot of people instantly dive into different businesses all in the name of entrepreneurship(don’t get me twisted: I fully support entrepreneurship) and they have to source for starting capital, register their businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC), and so on. Meanwhile, the biggest hurdle is yet to come, which is really as important as the others; this is the heart of the business and it’s what sets the businesses apart from others. In one word, you can call it exposure, or awareness, and it involves important concepts such as branding, marketing and advertising, public relations. This part of business usually separates the more successful businesses from the less successful businesses in Nigeria. You really have to wonder why you see vacancies out there daily where Business Developers, Strategists, Marketers to say the least are being sought after by big businesses. You might finally realize what all these people do essentially is to take the business to, not just any potential customers, but the right potential customers. Now, that’s the most important part of a business. The Right Clients!
What are Online Business Directories?
The first thing you should know is that Online Business Directories are Yellow Pages in the electronic format. Yellow Pages, not really popular in Nigeria, usually are either telephone directories, or a section of one, printed on yellow paper and listing businesses and other organizations according to the products or services they offer. I have provided a link above for more info on Yellow Pages. One important thing to note is that you have to pay to have your services listed on them cos they are essentially advertising your business for you-to every single person who uses their telephone directory. Also, the info provided is usually limited to the name of the business, address, phone contact and maybe the name of the owner of the business.
The internet technology has afforded us the opportunity to do soo much more. Information about your business is stored easily in a database that is usually readily available. Also, so much has been done to help increase your productivity as well as help your clients order easily for your services. Let’s briefly consider the type of online business directories out there.
Types of Online Business Directories
I’m going to classify OBDs(aren’t you tired of hearing “Online Business Directory” for the umpteenth time?) according to the features they can provide. A lot of OBDs out there and including this one, provide different combinations of the following features on their platforms:
- Provide accurate customer reviews*
- Provide on-site booking of services*
- Booking Management*
- Online Chat between customers and service providers*
- Use GPS and social media to provide real-time results*
- Escrow services*
- Enable side-by-side comparison
- Featured providers*
OBDs can take the form of a website, app, and/or other platforms.
**Findservice.NG offers you all the above-starred features and even much more….
The Cost of making your own Business Listing in Nigeria today
OBDs usually have several packages that providers can choose from depending. There is usually a basic package which allows anybody to register and have a basic listing where basic information such as the name, description, profile picture, sample pictures, services offered can be displayed. Bigger packages come with special features, such as any of the features mentioned above(depending on the OBD), multiple locations or categories, the omission of ads from listing, adding a certain number of photos or videos etc. Each package is usually active over a certain duration of time after which the listing expires and remains idle or locked or is deleted based on the discretion of the OBD.
Benefits of creating an Online Business Listing today
Logic tells you that a lot of providers are also on site as you are, hence, your own listing will just get lost like a pin in a haystack(probably since you’re on a free package). This is wrong!!! What you should know, however, is that these platforms have significant benefits for every type of business.
Before I provide a number of advantages, consider this scenario. Whenever I go to a big market where lots of products in various categories are being sold, knowing what product I want to buy, I will go straight to that section of the market that where the sellers are. If I don’t know, of course, I ask. When I get there, I see lots of sellers selling similar products and based on my judgment and/or an interpretation of what I’m been told as well as what I see, I patronize a particular seller. Now, the mistake most businesses make is getting lost in the whole shuffle and failing to make their identity/brand known. Things work in a visual kind of way here. Buyers usually make their choices on who they patronize based on what they see. Any seller selling the same products but is located in a different section of the market will barely realize sales. Nobody knows they are there. In this light, you need to consider OBDs as “Service Marketplaces” where you need to shine and be different in an attractive way. Hmmm! I digress, but I hope you got the point.
Now we examine the advantages of businesses having their listings on OBDs.
- Improve your local visibility: This is a very important point. Though OBDS are massive with tons of businesses listed on them, they mostly have filtering and suggestive capabilities that serve to connect them with their target audiences. On Findservice.ng, you can search by name, by address, by category or by city. The results give a custom set of listings which can be tailored to your query. You also get to see where these businesses are on the map, and that helps you to make even more accurate decisions about who to hire. So by simply entering complete and accurate information in your listing, you will be connected to the people searching for the services you render. This is highly beneficial cos, often times, people don’t know how to search for what they need.
- Increase Brand Awareness: The fact that a user does not click on your listing does not mean that they do not see your business(consider the illustration I gave earlier: even as I patronize a particular stall/shop, I already have a second-best and third-best shop at the back of my mind that I can easily revert to if for any reason, I do not buy from my first choice). Each experience increases awareness for and familiarity with your brand and this warms them up for further engagement.
- Show up on Google: Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is a big deal for businesses cos it simply determines who shows up on search results on Google. Having your own website is good but it needs to be optimized for (considerable)traffic to be realized. However, OBDs have been around for a while and have had their SEO worked on, it’s an advantage for you because anybody can search for your business on Google and your listing will automatically be part of the search results. Recently, someone contacted us on the site and told us he wanted to change his information, and he could not remember his login details. It turned out that he had put wrong information about his business on the listing he created here and whenever he searched on Google, he was always being presented with the wrong information he put on the listing. It was really good that he caught on the error in time, else he would have lost a lot of clients.
- Use Word of Mouth: On some OBDs like Findservice.NG, businesses have review systems where customers who have had dealings with them can easily come and add reviews to their listing profiles. This tells a lot about the business. More positive reviews make people more inclined to use your services and even gets you ranked above some other businesses in some cases(on Findservice.NG, you can you filter your search results by their rankings, which takes the number of positive reviews they have into consideration). No OBD wants to serve as a reference for fraudulent businesses. Hence, they make sure that their search result algorithms place listings with relatively more negative reviews lower in their listing rankings.
- Amplify your Online Presence: Last, but by no means the least, you get to kill two(or more birds) with one stone. How? If you search for your business name on the internet, you will find out that your business is probably listed on some other OBD where you never submitted a listing. This is why. A lot of OBDs today pull info from other larger directories and use the info to automatically create listings. Hence, you gain a lot of coverage on the internet and benefit from that.
I think I’ve said enough for now and you know and understand how important and urgent it is for you to create your business listing. You can get started here on this link to create your own listing. Also, start claiming and updating your existing listing as well, online.
I’ll talk to you soon.