Advice to small businesses...
If you didn’t become a hustler due to the pandemic then you simply don’t have it in you. The number of businesses that have sprouted and grown over the past year is quite remarkable. A lot of young people have opened routes for themselves in which they sell lifestyles for different people; from clothes to jewelry to skin care, everything you need is available at the tap of your finger tips.
“The pandemic has opened a new version of hungry youths which, unfortunately, has led to a lot of short sighted and non-viable businesses.”
The truth about opening an online business during a pandemic is that it takes time, lots of it.
It takes time to establish a system which is not only cost efficient but reliable and convenient for the client as well. However due to the hunger for success and money, everyone is in a hurry to make a quick buck. Little thought is put into the business, the branding, customer experience and complexities of the supply chain. More time, thought and resources may need to be invested into the business.
You don’t want to be called out for ripping off clients because you have no idea of what your cost framework is like, nor market determined pricing. While making good profit margins is critical for the success of your business, appropriate pricing needs to be taken into account.
Professional etiquette and customer care is essential to to attracting new customers and retaining current ones. If you then turn a blind eye to this because you are only concerned with making a profit without realizing that profit is dependent on the relationship you have with customers, you’ll soon be out of business. Having courtesy and professionalism goes a long way.
A second hard truth our young entrepreneurs fail to understand is that not everyone can successfully sell the same product/service. Diversity in available options is important to customers. If you are selling the same clothes or the same skin care products as Tom, Dick and Zoleka, why would a customer buy from you? What is so unique about your business that a customer wouldn’t be able get anywhere else? It becomes difficult to preach the mantra “support local businesses”when you are all selling the same products to us.
“Support local businesses” can only be applied when the business is sourcing and or manufacturing products locally. The business should either involve or have positive externalities on the local community, but doing both is best.
Business owners should understand that the most important aspect of business is understanding your customer, their needs, their desires, their attributes and attitudes in order to craft the best solution for them. Profitability is important, but it only comes from customer happiness. When clients are satisfied, they will keep telling their friends about it and revenue follows.
A bit of advice for the young entrepreneurs out there, is take your time. Your race is not everyone else’s race. Don’t settle for mediocrity, intensify your hustle and allow yourself to find your niche in the market. Research thoroughly, plan well and execute your business with excellence as a minimum standard.
“Monetization is important—but it will come only from customer happiness, which needs to be the primary focus, particularly in the early stages of the start-up.” – Maximilian Tayenthal