The necessary time and energy you spend preparing to enter the Nigerian market as a multinational company is done so that you can successfully market and sell your products. This makes locating and choosing credible distribution companies in Nigeria an essential component of your strategic plan as a new entrant because it allows you to leverage this relationship to ensure that your products reach your target customer.
The Nigerian market can be a difficult market to navigate, which means that multinational executives like yourself who are looking to conduct business in this challenging environment can greatly benefit from working with a local distribution company. The distribution challenges that the Nigerian market presents range from a low logistics model that takes the country’s bad roads and high transportation costs into consideration, to the difficulty understanding the complexities of the regulatory environment, which is marred by bureaucratic red tape.
Moving forward with a distribution model that includes importers, distributors, and resellers, even though your company does not yet have a local presence in Nigeria, means that you need someone to assist with channel management. Therefore, choosing a stellar channel partner to ensure that your products make it from your organization to your customers in Nigeria is imperative.
Furthermore, as we begin to see the retreat of multinational entities globalizing vertically by scaling back their investment in opening local entities in areas where they conduct business, looking at distribution companies in Nigeria and choosing the right channel partner to work has become even more essential. Listed below are different variables you should look at when choosing from a variety of channel partners or distribution companies in Nigeria:
National coverage. The company or partner you choose to work with must be able to distribute your products across Nigeria’s 36 states. This will help ensure that your products reach your target customers anywhere in the country.
Market knowledge. The distribution company or channel partner in question should fully understand how the Nigerian market operates, where your customers are, and what your customers need. If the company does not possess these insights, you risk running into various roadblocks that could deter the distribution of your products.
Finances. Take into consideration whether or not the distribution company or channel partner you’re interested in hiring has the financial backing to grow alongside your company. Keep in mind that if you do end up hiring this company and developing a solid working relationship with them, you will be more likely to continue working with them for the long-run if they’re capable of keeping up with how quickly your company expands.
Credibility. You have to be able to trust whichever distribution company you choose to work with. This is a requirement of any legitimate business partnership. Determine the credibility of the company you’re considering working with by reviewing their business history, asking their previous and current clients about them, and interviewing the company in question (preferably face-to-face).
Details. Pay close attention to how the distribution company interacts with you during the courting phase. If they constantly over-promise by stating that they’re able to do anything and everything you request of them consider that to be a red flag. Also, pay close attention to their level of responsiveness and professionalism, as those things are indicative of what maintaining a working relationship with the company will be like moving forward.
Selecting a company to work with from the many distribution companies in Nigeria can be a challenge. Nevertheless, spending some time finding a credible distribution company will ultimately save you a lot of headaches in the long run as you work to build a significant presence in the Nigerian market.