EXPORT STRATEGIES AND PERFORMANCE OF SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE ENTERPRISES IN LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA
Export strategies are tools through which companies can respond to the mutual effects of the internal and external factors for obtaining their export goals. Despite the accumulated efforts of academic, specialist’s, researchers and public policy instruments in the Nigerian economies, progressively geared to actively internationalize the SMEs’ and compete in foreign markets, international market penetration remains a major challenge for most SMEs’ in Nigeria and the expected effects of export strategies on small and medium sized firms performance remain unanswered. Consequently, this study examined the influence of export strategies on the performance of small and medium sized manufacturing firms in Lagos state, Nigeria.
A survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of study comprised 514 middle level managers of small and medium sized firms in Lagos state, that are registered in the export group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. The Cochran formula was used to arrive at a sample size of 316. A structured questionnaire was used to generate data. The questionnaire which was partly developed and partly adapted was validated with Cronbach’s Alpha reliability co-efficient for major constructs of the variables yielding between 0.815 and 0.941 respectively. A response rate of 77% was obtained. The data were analysed using descriptive, correlation and regression analysis.
Findings revealed that there was a significant positive effect of export strategies on SMEs’ sales performance = 0.899, p = 0.000). Export strategies had a significant positive effect on SMEs’ growth performance. (= 0.873,p = 0.000). Export strategies had a positive and strong significant effect on SMEs’ customer performance(= 0.891,p = 0.000) and export strategies was significantly and positively related to SMEs’ performance in Lagos state. (r = 0.712 p = 0.000). Also, there is strong positive significant moderating effect of export experience and educational level of managers on the relationship between export strategies and SMEs’ performance. ( = 0.863, p = 0.000< 0.05)
It was concluded that export strategies influences SMEs’ performance in Lagos state, Nigeria. The study therefore recommended that small and medium sized firms in the manufacturing industry of Lagos state, should adopts export strategies such as direct exportation , joint ventures, strategic alliance and licencing when approaching the international market for business expansion.
Keywords: Export Strategies, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, Manufacturing Firms. .Sales Performance, Growth Performance, Customer Performance, Direct Exportation, Strategic Alliance, Licensing, Joint Ventures