MSMEs are the backbone of every growing and developed economy. According to PWC’s Nigeria SME Report, SMEs contribute 48% of national GDP, account for 96% of businesses and 84% of employment.
Despite all of this, it is known to all that running a business is hard. Keeping it alive is tasking and scaling it to a larger market is even harder. For most entrepreneurs in this part of the world, being able to hire skilled personnel for every role, maintain business records and stay profitable is quite the herculean task. The resources are often not there. This constraint causes business owners to wear many hats which isn’t always optimal for the business.
That’s why when Sadiq Oyapero, CEO of BizFlow, started the SaaS company, he made sure to provide a solution that helps handle both the day to day needs of MSMEs and their efforts to scale.
BizFlow is a business productivity suite which seeks to provide businesses with a platform to manage their sales, invoicing, payments, customers, calls, expenses, vendors, payroll, loans, HMOs, human resources, support, tasks, projects, inventories, accounting, taxes, and marketing via a single platform.
The idea to start BizFlow came when Sadiq tried to patronise a popular travel agency in Nigeria and he noticed the inefficiency in their processes especially with payments. Customers would pay into a bank account, then call to make sure their payment was confirmed before their airline tickets were issued. It was a tedious process.
Sadiq quickly built an MVP to automate this process and presented it to the company but they didn’t accept the solution. He offered it to another travel agency who asked him to add more features like a CRM and central ticketing system. They became his first paying user.
Months later, he spoke to other entrepreneur friends at a party and BizFlow came up. They indicated interest in a platform that will help them manage processes and customers seamlessly. That was when Sadiq realised he had to make his software available to all businesses irrespective of size.
Since he came back to Nigeria in 2008, Sadiq has run multiple businesses. His longest-running is an IT Solutions firm, Cyhermes, which has been in existence for over thirteen years.
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According to the CEO, BizFlow’s mission is simple, “We want to make running a business as easy as possible by providing business owners all the tools they need to succeed in one place.”
Most of the existing business management solutions in the MSME space were not built with the African market in mind. The subscription prices are usually out of the range most businesses can afford.
Users on BizFlow can get access to the tools via a monthly/yearly subscription. The flexible plans for MSMEs start from as low as 5500. However, businesses can try out the tools for free with the 45-day free trial after signup. There’s also a freemium version on www.bizflowapps.com that can cater to small scale sole proprietorships and will stay free forever.
The startup also has API integrations for already established large businesses. They can plug in to their business management software and import customer and business data seamlessly. BizFlow can help them manage customer interactions, relationships, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.
Though still in Beta phase, BizFlow has already racked up some impressive numbers. The platform has processed over 1100 transactions and has over 50 MSMEs on its verification waiting list in preparation for its public launch which is slated to happen on the 1st of December.
The subscription-based platform estimates that they will scale to 10,000 paid users within one year of operation.
Companies like BizFlow are poised to scale at unimaginable speed and achieve hypergrowth in a short time due to their focus on the local business climate and the abundance of MSMEs in Nigeria. The startup is solving a problem that is synonymous with most Nigerian businesses even those that can be categorised as large-scale enterprises.
Check out what they’re building at www.bizflowapps.com