How To Protect Your Business Against Dollar Fluctuation

How to protect your business against dollar fluctuation 

“Up today, down tomorrow, where will you go” - Dollar

If the dollar were to sing. The lines above will probably be its first lyrics. This year, Nigerian businesses have watched as the Naira fell to new lows against the dollar with $1 dollar exchanged for over N800 in the open market. Official rates as regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria are much lower but getting dollars from banks that receive the CBN’s supply has proved difficult with issuance limited to mostly school fees or travel needs.

Why is the dollar conversation important for Nigerian businesses?

“We are in Nigeria, the naira to dollar rates should not affect prices o" - Nigerian Customer

Comments like these are popular among Nigerian customers left frustrated by the constant increase in the prices of the products and services they love. But this thinking while understandable is incorrect.

A majority of Nigerian businesses depend on imports to supply their goods. These imports are paid for in the widely accepted dollar. They also have to pay for add-on services like international shipping if that is not covered by their vendors. With banks cutting or suspending dollar payments with Naira MasterCards, businesses are forced to source dollars at open market rates.

For businesses who sell products in Naira and also earn profit in Naira. This means consistently paying more for products. This cost is then passed on to already frustrated customers who have to deal with rising prices without a corresponding increase in income.

How do you protect your business against high naira-to-dollar rates?

Buy in bulk

The unpredictable nature of naira to dollar rates means you should seize every opportunity to buy your products in bulk when you get great rates. If you decide to wait, you might find yourself staring at a 2x increase in just a matter of days.

Buying in bulk also means you have goods to keep your business running over a significant period and can offer stable prices to your customers.

Offer Your Customers A Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Option

Customers often feel helpless in the face of rising product prices. They know it's not your fault but cannot comprehend how the item they have been eyeing has almost doubled in price. This impacts your profit because customers cannot simply afford to buy these goods by paying in full at once.

This is where Buy Now Pay Later Services (BNPL) like Carbon and Zilla come in. These services allow your customers to buy products from you and pay in instalments at zero interest. The best part is that you (the business owner) get the full amount for the product from the BNPL operator. The BNPL operator takes on the risk of collecting the instalments from the customer. All you have to do in return is pay a small commission to the BNPL operator for this service.

This option means your customers can now shop without fear because your partnership with a BNPL service means buying products will not leave a hole in their pockets. It can also attract new customers from your competitors who do not offer this option.

Don't miss out on the good stuff! 

Increase Your Prices

Trying to keep your prices low to attract customers is going to affect your business negatively. Not only will you make a loss on the current stock, but you will also be unable to restock at increased prices.

Communicating a price change for your products can be hard but you can make it work in your favour. Announce this upcoming increase to customers across all the channels you use to communicate with them. Make it your Whatsapp description, pin it on Instagram and Twitter e.t.c This announcement will push several customers to make last-minute purchases at your old price. This will help you to clear your stock quickly.

When you settle on your new price, also communicate this efficiently explaining the reasons for the changes and assuring them that the quality of products and services remain the same.


There is no certainty about whether the naira to dollar rates will settle with a lot of factors such as the policies introduced by the CBN and the upcoming election key to how these rates will land. Looking beyond these factors, you can protect your business against dollar fluctuation now by putting these tips to work.

Solomon Nzere

Solomon Nzere