SMEs can promote themselves on a shoestring budget- Alakija

By Zion Rufus

Folorunsho Alakija, Vice Chairman, Famfa Oil Limited has said that with the right tactics and willingness to think outside the box, small businesses can successfully promote themselves on a shoestring budget.

The businesswoman made this assertion in a LinkedIn article in light of the continued economic crisis and looming recession.

She said: “Running a successful small business can feel like navigating a challenging maze, especially when it comes to marketing. With a limited budget, it can seem nearly impossible to effectively promote your business. However, with the right strategies and a willingness to think outside the box, you can turn the tables and grow your business.”

Speaking extensively about quality, branding, social media, and the necessity to stand out from competitors, Alakija highlighted four strategies businesses can leverage to grow and maximize impact even with a limited budget.

Differentiate your brand from competition

Alakija, who sits as one of Africa’s foremost entrepreneurs, advised brands to strive to stand out from the crowd by differentiating their brand from that of competitors.

“It can help you be more noticeable, build customer loyalty, and improve your market positioning,” she said.

With a strong brand differentiation strategy, businesses can be more targeted in their marketing efforts. Brand differentiation helps businesses to speak directly to their target audience, and compete in areas other than price. Businesses can stand out by identifying and solving their customers’ pain points, providing outstanding customer experience, innovating, and telling authentic stories their target audience can resonate with.


Alakija revealed that today, branding has become a very powerful marketing tool. “Sadly, most SMEs neglect this important aspect of developing an identity for their business,” she said.

According to the billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist, when you establish a clear and consistent brand image, your business can increase customer trust, recognition, and loyalty.

She added: “From crafting a unique value proposition to designing a standout logo to delivering exceptional service, branding encompasses all elements that make your business unforgettable and positioned for success in the long run.”

Today, high quality branding can be an extremely effective marketing tool as it helps businesses to connect with their customers emotionally and stay Top Of Mind when customers are faced with a purchase decision.


“It’s better to do a few things exceptionally well than many things poorly, your business will benefit from the power of referral marketing,” Alakija said while speaking extensively on the importance of delivering the best possible products and services.

“You might be surprised to learn that word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family can almost be as effective as paid advertisements.”

Leverage social media platforms

In her final submission, Alakija advised brands to leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

“They are excellent tools for small businesses. They allow you to connect with your target audience, share your story, and promote your products or services. Plus, they are often more friendly to your pocket for paid advertisements,” she said.




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