Hi friends, I make this video to Discuss with you The 73 Business Idea In Nigeria and Africa. [Read more…]
Dear friend, you’re welcome to the Africa Business Classroom (ABC)
I started my first business before I was a boy of 15 and I have since then started more than 7 businesses of my own.
This post will open your mind to the truth about business ideas and opportunities in Nigeria.
I will also give you my best business book, for free, because I really want you to be a successful entrepreneur.
You just have to read every word on this page.
To so many Nigerians, Nigeria is a bad place, a dry place, a country without opportunity for wealth.
In fact, most Nigerians don’t believe they could discover profitable business ideas in Nigeria
This tutorial will teach you what you probably never knew before about discovering business ideas in Nigeria.
My objective is to share with you my years of experience in the business world, so as to help you start your own business in Nigeria
As you probably know, I started my first business before I was age 15.
I have started, make mistakes, failed and succeeded in business world, I think, more than most Nigerians, so I have so much to teach you about business in Nigeria.
This tutorial will cover both the small business ideas and large scale businesses.
Take your time as I reveal some hidden secrets about business in Nigeria to you;
Let’s get started with this;
3 Popular Lies about Business Ideas/opportunities in Nigeria
After I have spent over a decade in the business world, I discovered 13 Secrets which school did not teach you about how to be rich
Because I want you to become a successful entrepreneur like me, I will reveal the 13 secrets to you. Click Here to download it for free.
Few days ago I visited google and searched for this phrase, “business ideas”.
I read some of those websites on the search results and felt like, this is misleading!
Because those websites are merely trying to list what they call ‘’profitable business ideas in Nigeria’’ you can start.
They are simply listing the products you can sell or the services you could render to make money.
This approach (of listing certain products/services you can start selling) is not business-wise, so I call it dumb.
Because of this, I will love to start this tutorial by listing what business ideas are not
1. Business ideas in Nigeria (or anywhere) are not new inventions
So many people, whenever they think about discovering a business opportunity, usually think, how can I get new business ideas in Nigeria?
They wish they could discover a hot, new business or invent one.
Well, they are wrong.
Business success in Nigeria or anywhere in the world do not have anything to do with inventing something totally new.
In fact, if you`re to invent a new product your possibility of making good money in business world is lean.
Let me explain.
You may need 3 years to sleep in the laboratory and on the road before you will successfully invent a new product.
You may need #10 million to educate your market about a new product
You may need 7 years to convince your market that your (new) product is good for them.
If you think I am exaggerating this issue, let me remind you about a man who invented sliced bread machine.
In the year 1912, Otto Rohwedder invented a simple machine that could slice bread.
He tried all he could but he couldn`t make a profit from his invention. Why? Because it was totally new … nobody was willing to try the invention.
Not until 20 years after when a new brand called ‘’Wonder’’ (not who invented the machine) started a new sliced bread machine, then the product made profit, huge profit I think.
Did you observe something in this story?
The original inventor was not the one who eventually make huge money from sliced bread, so really, you don’t have to be busy looking for what to invent, as a source of business idea in Nigeria.
One more story to prove my point;
The Microwave oven.
The inventors of Microwave oven invented it, wasted time and money on it … but never made profit from it. Why? People are usually skeptical about new things.
Now I have convinced you that innovative business opportunities have nothing to do with new product or invention.
When you are looking for business to start in Nigeria or anywhere in the world, you are not looking for a completely new product to invent.
Inventions are met for inventors. You are an entrepreneur, not inventor.
Your work is not to invent, but to sell inventions (yes, entrepreneurs are smart nigas who wait till inventors invent, then, compete with them on what they have invented. Call them thieves and you`ll be wrong. Call them smart, and you`ll be right)
Starting a business or discovering business opportunities is not about inventing something new.
Here is the second lie you don’t have to believe about business ideas;
2. Business ideas are not about what you sell
I am speaking from my years of business experience. Lucrative business opportunities doesn’t have anything to do with what you sell, but how you sell.
Let me explain with this quote,
“Any fool can make soap. It takes a clever man to sell it“ Thomas J. Barrett
Well, when it comes to business, the above quotation is perfectly perfect.
Anybody can make soap, and millions of people are making it. But only smart people can sell soap … and sell it profitably.
Any average Joe with little brain can make bread, nothing is big in the bread making process. How to turn bread making to a profitable business?
Only a smart John can do that.
I’m sure you’re getting what I’m teaching here.
If I want to do like other people out there, I’ll simply start this tutorial by listing out 20 profitable businesses you can start in Nigeria.
It would simply write something like;
List of Business Opportunities in Nigeria
My list may look like:
- Football Showing Center
- Bread Making
- Soap Making
- Poultry Farm
- Snacks Making
- Bead Making
- Catering Services
- Computer Repair Service
- Private School Business Etc.
Trust me, I can list 50 of those businesses you can start. But I know better. I understand that any foolish man can make soap, but it takes a smart man to sell soap.
I understand that business success has little to do with what you are selling… and everything to do with how you are selling it.
Before you decide any business to invest in, you have to understand these business truths I’m sharing with you.
Business is NOT about what you’re selling. It’s all about HOW you sell what you’re selling.
When you think about successful businesses, you’ll understand that it’s not actually about what they are selling, but how they are selling.
Mr. Big’s isn’t cooking the best meals or snacks in Nigeria, yet, Mr. Big’s has one of the most successful fast food restaurants in Nigeria.
Close Up is not the only toothpaste in Nigeria, non can you prove that it’s the best, but it sells far more than others.
What’s happening here?
It’s not about what you’re selling. It’s about how you sell what you’re selling.
After I have spent over a decade in the business world, I discovered 13 Secrets which school did not teach you about how to be rich
Because I want you to become a successful entrepreneur like me, I will reveal the 13 secrets to you. Click Here to download it for free.
Let’s continue please!
3. Business Ideas Are Not Profitable … themselves
So many people are searching for profitable business opportunities in Nigeria.
Well, let me tell you what most people don’t know.
Successful businesses are not successful by nature, they are MADE successful by certain people.
Let me show you these examples.
Facebook is a huge success. It now worth over $200 billion as at the time of writing this tutorial (November, 2014).
Should we then conclude that social network site is an innovative business idea?
There are over 500 social network sites in the world (and probably someone is designing another one as you are reading this tutorial).
But, you get it … 99.9% of them are simply failures. Come on! Any foolish man can start a social network site. Only a smart man can make it successful and profitable.
Do you tell me that Cement is a great business to do because that’s what made Dangote rich?
You just go and research how many people have tried and failed in their attempt to make cement.
Do you believe that soft drink business is the best business idea because Coca Cola is selling over 1.7 billion bottles every day?
Many people think so and have failed … terribly.
I’m sure I’ve convinced you that business ideas are not about what you sell. It’s about how you sell it, when you sell it, where you sell it and who are you to sell it.
But how can you actually discover a business opportunity and make money in Nigeria?
Let`s go in to that!
How to Really Make Money From Business in Nigeria
Concentrate on how to sell what you sell
As said earlier, it doesn’t really matter what you’re selling or producing in Nigeria, it’s all about how you sell whatever you’re selling.
We here at the Africa Business Classroom started a facebook page in the year 2012.
By then, there were already tens of thousands of facebook pages in Africa (our target market).
These guys have been to some seminars on how to make money online or they have bought ebooks on how to make money on facebook.
They simple went ahead and try to make that money. But they were making near nothing.
Because any foolish guy can start any business in Nigeria, only a smart guy can make business successful.
We got to facebook and made some money while thousands of people who have been there long before us, who had multiply by ten of our fans, who worked harder than us … made near nothing.
How did we do it?
Your business skills is what will make your business successful.
What are your business strategies?
What do you know about marketing?
What do you know about your competitors and how are you planning to kill them (Just losing my head here. Lol) etc, are what you can call business ideas.
These are the real things that make a business successful in Nigeria … not what you’re producing or selling.
Business is not about producing things or selling it … just anybody can do that … and millions of people are doing just that … without any success.
Business is not about what you are selling, but about how you sell it, how you cope and win the war in the market place.
If anybody tells you that selling crude oil is a great business to start in Nigeria, the person is dumb.
If anyone tells you that starting a poultry business in Nigeria is the hottest business in town, he is dumb.
If anyone tells you that starting a bakery is a profitable business idea in Nigeria, such person doesn`t understand.
In the battle field, strategy is far important than weapons.
War is 80% of tactics and 20% of weapons, do you argue with this?
Go and ask soldiers. Generals know that their major work is in working tactics, not in weapons.
Take for instance, if Nigeria and South Africa need to fight in a war (God forbid), who will win? The army with gun?
No. no. no.
Both countries can afford the most sophisticated guns and bombs … the army that wins Is the one with the superior tactics (I say tactics)
So it is in business.
If I tell you to go and start a xyz business because it is profitable in Nigeria, you can be sure that more than 50 people are already selling that xyz in your town.
If I advise you that the best business to start in the year 2017 is NYR, you can be sure that your friend is among those who are already selling the exact product/services.
Just as any country can afford to buy most sophisticated weapons to fight, any foolish man can start any business.
To make profit with your business in Nigeria, the name of the business ideas you need is called, ‘’business tactics’’.
What is this business tactics? Just as I said in how to start a business, it`s about killing your competitors.
Let me show you by asking you some great questions:
What product can you produce better or cheaper than people who are producing it now?
What service can you render faster or easier than people rendering it now?
What talent do you have which you can easily sharpen and commercialize?
What is that product that made you angry the last time you bought it because it is substandard?
If it did made you angry, it probably made one thousand other people angrier.
How can you produce a better version of that product?
When last did you pay for a service and hissed because you were badly served? How can you render a superior service in this areas?
What products/services do you see people complaining about or in need of?
Go ahead and fill that gap!
Making money with any business idea is nothing but looking for ways to do it better, faster or cheaper.
Discovering profitable business opportunities is about filling a gap … nothing more.
Believe me, if you will think, and think very well, you will discover some brilliant business opportunities you`re looking for.
Why is this approach better than telling you what and what are the profitable business ideas in Nigeria now?
Because, take for instance, if I tell you that starting a private school business is a very hot business and you`re someone like me (who is not patient and who hates teaching), there is no way you can succeed or make money.
But if you start a business because you can produce a product better, you can render a service better or by turning your talent to a business, wow, a great business success!
A great business success because you are likely to love that business and who doesn`t know that you are fifty times more likely to succeed when you are doing what you love doing, than if otherwise?
Come on friend! Business is different from job.
You can be working a job you hate (though you won`t enjoy your life, you will be receiving salary). If you start a business hate because someone said it is profitable, you will hate yourself and make no money.
Now I want to address when of our equation.
After I have spent over a decade in the business world, I discovered 13 Secrets which school did not teach you about how to be rich
Because I want you to become a successful entrepreneur like me, I will reveal the 13 secrets to you. Click Here to download it for free.
Business ideas in Nigeria, most at times is about when you want to go in
Let me assume that someone comes to your home this morning and said, “hey, I’ve discovered a powerful business model. It is called GNLD. A lot of people have made millions of naira through it. Join this network marketing business and you too will make millions”
Is this man right?
Yes and no.
Yes because so many people, truly, have made millions of naira from GNLD.
However, he’s very wrong because of WHEN.
Let me explain.
Some business opportunities are like rain. Rain is seasonal.
Though GNLD had made many people very rich, as a matter of fact, every network marketing business grows, declines and dies. So you have to understand when part of this game call business.
Café business was very much profitable.
I remember in around 2003/4. I would go to café simply because I wanted to read about Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Bill Gates etc.
I would spend my money only to read about the world business leaders and who was then the richest men.
So many people like me had to go to café because of such things as I stated above.
Now, will you go to café because you want to read what someone wrote on the internet?
Are you right now in a café? Not likely.
You are reading this tutorial either through your phone or PC. Now think about it. If someone now tells you, “See, I made one million naira from café business in the year 2002. Go and start a café business now, you too will make millions”.
I can see you laughing. It shows you are now getting what I am saying.
TIMING is part of business languages so for any business idea to make you rich in Nigeria, you have to understand its timing.
This business that someone says is producing millions, what stage of growth is it?
Just like human beings, business opportunities and sectors start, grow and decline ,then (sorry) die.
Take time to understand the stage of growth your intending sector is and play your game accordingly, if at birth, rush in with all your strengths.
If at growing stage, be quick and get in before the cake will be finished.
If at declining stage, you may have to specialize or relocate somewhere else where you can win easily.
I will explain.
You discover people who are having furniture businesses in your city are not making good or modern furniture. Since you have learned furniture making from your father and you`re current about modern furniture, here is an opportunity to take the stage.
Rush in and kill everyone
Secondly, they are making some good furniture and making it well, but you have better business skills, you know much about marketing and you are having information about where you can get cheap and good wood.
Go in. Fight and win.
The third instance is where you look around and see 15 giant companies already making furniture and competing hard. What will you do?
Two options. First, specialize. Market yourself as an expert chair maker and make chair alone. Your market, though sees 15 giant furniture makers, will see you as an expert in chair making so rush to you for their chairs.
If you don`t want to do this, change your business location to where you can dominate.
I explained all these business ideas and tactics in detail in our 9-day business training,
Where can you make this business venture successful?
Most people don’t know that business opportunities have something to do with when and where.
Let me explain.
Permit me to use the analogy I’ve earlier used, rain. I said rain is seasonal. Here I want to say rain is vary in period, depending on locations.
It rains most in Nigeria around May – October, but not in Egypt. It rains in Egypt between Septembers – February.
Do you know? A business that cannot succeed in Lagos (West Nigeria) can make millions in Kano (North Nigeria).
Why? The market for that products or service might have been saturated in Lagos and nobody is actually doing the same business in Kano.
I was once managing a game business. It was called Snocker (I don’t really know maybe that was its name or someone nick named it).
This game has been in existence for years in some countries of the world.
But when it got to Nigeria and Nigerians fell in love with it, I was running a Snocker game business owned by my brother. We were making money (I then stole some money too, before I became a born again).
What I’m trying to teach here is, the countries where this game came from, it might not be profitable anymore, yet, the business became profitable when it got to a new territory.
I’m sure you understand this.
Are all these the same with the small scale business ideas? Yes and yes
Now to who side of the business game.
Who Are You?
About 6 years ago I was reading a book called, what the rich people know and desperately want to keep secrets, by Brain Sher.
When Sher is listing four pillars that will make your business a mighty success, the most important of these four is you … what you know.
See business idea as you see a ball in the legs of two different footballers around box 18 (or what do they call it, because I don`t know anything about football?) when the match is very competitive.
As you know, one man may do wonder with that ball by scoring a goal with it … while another man may just waste that ball.
You have seen that many times.
This happens because, though both men are football players, who they are and what they know is different.
Who are you?
Now that you’re planning to start your own business, what do you know about business?
If you know nothing or little, you cannot make the best business opportunities in Nigeria successful. Believe me, I understand what I am saying.
No business idea will make you rich in Nigeria, except you know how to play the businesss game.
Most men and women in Africa are dumb. The last thing they do is to upgrade their minds.
We have a great problem in this continent and it`s breaking my heart.
Our youths don`t value business knowledge.
Our older citizen are not better either. They even add to our problems when they advise the young ones to be serious with school.
Does school teach us anything worthwhile? Isn`t the school the source of our poverty and unemployment? Do you get better or smarter with formal, dogmatic and old theories of job and life you learned at school?
You have to build yourself up. Business is not buying and selling.
Business is a profession, the most honourable profession in the world … so the toughest one.
Who you are and what you know is what matters in business, not any decorated paper call certificate.
My noise to my fellow Africans is, we must upgrade ourselves!
They said if you want to hide anything from an African, just hide it inside a book because he will not read it.
That must change now!
Naturally if you come to my office and tell me you want to start a business and I ask you, how many books have read about selling, marketing, leadership, human relationship, negotiation, cash flow management etc and you say none, I will tell you, “Guy, go and get a job or go and read good books about business”
But why do I claim that you cannot get an authomatic success, even with the best business ideas in Nigeria, without adequate business skills?
Running a business is a battle; if you cannot kill, you cannot win
The truth is, business opportunities are like natural resources in Nigeria … it is everywhere.
Maybe you do not know, I will tell you. The natural resources in Africa alone is too much that it is enough for the whole world to rely on. Go and search google for “natural resources in Africa“ and you will ask, why then is Africa poor?
Profitable small, medium and large scale business opportunities are everywhere.
If I start listing them (just as I did at the beginning of this tutorial), you will simply tell me, “Steve, I know all these businesses, my real problem is that many people are already doing these businesses.
How can I win the market, please? “
Now you see, the real question is not about knowing the business to do, it`s about knowing how to do it to make it successful and profitable.
That is what I have being discussing with you since.
To summarize all this, don`t forget, business world is a battle field where thousands of people are fighting for the same consumers.
If anybody tells you that selling rice, beans or yam will make you rich, help me to tell such person that he is a liar.
If anyone tells you that producing bread or soap will make you rich, this is what I have to tell you, producing even phones, computer or even cars will never make you rich.
There many phone manufacturers and car manufacturers who have failed and get off from the market. Didn’t you know about Nokia, a multi-billions dollars company that went almost bancrupt before Microsoft bought it?
This should tell you something about your ntending business venture!
My Last Words;
There’s no magical business ideeas in Nigeria that can make you millions.
It’s not really about the business you want to start, instead, it’s about how you do your business.
What determines how you do your business is your business knowledge, skills and team.
Build up your business skills. Read many good business books, articles and websites.
After you’ve equiped yourself with the appropriate business skills, then you can think of a business to start.
The following are some of the quick business ideas in Nigeria;
(You can click on any of them that we have written about before to learn more)
Business Ideas You Can Consider in Nigeria are;
- Poultry farming business
- Cassava planting and processing business
- Transportation business
- Importing and selling used clothes
- Cattle farming business
- Producing and selling furniture
- Exportation business
- Beverage producction and marketing
- Goat farming business
- Bottle water business
- Fish farming business
- Haulage services
- Snail farming business
- Hotel business
- Plantain farming business
- Fast food restaurant
- Pig farming business
- Importing and selling electronics
- Rice farming business
- Private primary and secondary school
- Real estate investment
- Frozen food sales
- Online business
- Turkey farming business
- Used car sales
- Importation business
- Bulk SMS Services company
- Waste management services
- Animal feed production and sales
- Software and game development
- Website programming and designing company
- Sport viewing center
- Travel agency company
- Ice cream production
- Biscuit production and marketing
- Palm oil plantation, production and marketing
- Fashion designing company
- Solar and invatar company
- Security training company
- Hair stylist company
- Online store business (like the likes of Jumia and Konga)
- Wine production company
- Party management business
- Laundry services
- Video and photography company
- Pharmaceutical company
- Trustworthy network marketing
- Electrical supply and services company
- Automobile rapairs and fleet management services
- Car hiring company
- Catering services company
- Computer training/ICT center service company
- Party rental services
- Mobile phones repair company
- Mobile phone/laptop selling company
- Mobile toilet company
- Blogging (if you know how to write)
- Information marketing (if you have valuable information Nigerians could pay for)
- Freelance writing for website owners and news sites
- Scool uniform making company
- Modern bread making and marketing company
- Day care services company
- Pet breeding company
- Modern block industry company
- Branding consultancy company (if you know a lot about branding)
- Management consultancy company (if you know a lot about business management)
- Affliate marketing business (selling other people’s products online)
- SEO consultancy company (like my friend at VTN Company)
- House paintaing company
- Tie making company
- Cooking gass supplying company
- Soap manufacturing (like Unilever)
- Just add anything here
By that I mean, any business could make you rich and no business can guarantee your business success, if you don’t know how to start, run and make business successful
Here at the ABC, our goal is to teach you how to make a business successful.
If you take time to learn from tons of things we have for you here, you will soon discover that you can sell water or air, or just anything and make money.
Lear from our wealth of experience.
Join our on-going 9-Day business training HERE
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1.Planning-You have already planned to fail when you don’t plan at all. Planning is what gives clarity of direction. There are many roads that leads to the market. And I’m not talking about the modern market which has few gates that leads to it but a traditional market where everywhere leads to it.If you don’t plan your entry point into it which could be based on how near what you want to buy is , you’ll end up wandering in the whole market. Even what you have to buy must have been planned before going there. It can be confusing not knowing what to buy and yet knowing that you went to the market to buy something. Planning gives order ,direction and measurement to what must be done. When your journey is planned you have already made half of the journey and the rest is a smooth right .Don’t only plan , do a good and thorough planning. Plan your time, your resources and your nife ( nife is life in a typical Nigerian warri woman’s tongue).
2. Discipline– I have an adage that I value much it reads ” the race is against yourself to be what you ought to be” . We must be saved from ourselves to really make significant impact .The sport stars you see today had to be very disciplined at a point in their lives to be where they are now.They have had to subject their bodies to strenuous exercises, obey rules and their coaches. Discipline comes with self denial to a large extent. You make profit in business and you start jumping around town spending it, the business will soon crash if there is no discipline in reinvesting your profit into it. Must be disciplined in paying your bills to avoid government interferences.Discipline is the backbone of any venture in life.Be serious about your moves. Be serious about your business so that your team,stakeholders and your customers will be serious in their dealings with you.
3. Sacrifice– A hen physically loses weight while sitting on her eggs resulting from decreased feeding. Success in business cost what it cost. You’ll pay for your business growth and progress .What is sacrifice? It is going beyond what is required of you. There are parties you’ll ignore. Clothes you’ll refuse to buy all because you want to reach your goals. A farmer who plants some corn seeds only sacrifice in order to reap a large harvest of corn. Sacrifice is one of the hardest but fastest way to reach your goals.
4. Taking Risk – You probably have read “it is a risk not to be risky ” .If you are not taking risk then you are very risky you should be avoided. Risk are decisions taken in which the outcome can be favorable or unfortunate. When a risk is successful it can be a major milestone. You are advised to take risk but it’s not every risk that is what taking .Take measurable risk. Don’t take risk that you can’t afford.If the battle is bigger than the spoil of battle you had better drop the battle.
5.Patience – If you are not patient you can’t make anything. There are people who can’t be patient to watch a business succeed in 4 years time but are willing to work a job for 44 years. Every good thing takes time. Taking short cuts to get a hit in business will only cut the business short . You need patience to reap your sacrifices. You need patience to persevere . A hen sits on her eggs for 21 days ,patiently waiting and even if they don’t hatch she will still lay eggs again.
6. Sensitivity and Discernment– Not all business offers are worth your consideration. Be smart enough to pick the real and drop the counterfeit. I can tell a dubious business or moves from afar. Sensitivity and discernment looks somewhat similar. Sensitivity is to detect and perceive while discernment is to recognize what is what after much deep thinking.
7. Purpose– Purpose is what determines how you plan and which direction to go. That one purpose is broken down into objectives or missions and goals, that’s why there are many department within an organization. All are gearing towards one purpose .Help your team to maintain focus at all time. Without purpose people aimlessly do things. They don’t know what to expect from their engagements .Define your business purpose and let your team understand it.It will help you as the team leader to pass down quality directions as needed. Purpose is what determines how you plan, the kind of risk you’ll take and the kind of directions to give.Purpose is what empowers you to be disciplined.
Partnership is the act of pairing up with another person or company who has some leverage or features to offer that you don’t have but need for profiting. Partnership as always been there , when you employed your team ,you employed them to partner with you. They came to offer you their skills and time which you can’t give your business . They partner with you for the amount of productivity you want and you in turn pay them .
Partnership looks like trade by barter kind of operation.You bring what you have to get what you need from somebody who has it.
How did Facebook reach it first $100 million mark in revenue? In 2006, Mark Zuckerberg and his team were more focused on coding Facebook than growing revenue. Mark hired Dan Rose from Jeff Bezo’s Amazon.com as VP of Business Development to help grow revenue.
Dan had learned from Jeff Bezos that one big partnership can make all the difference to revenues. He watched Myspace how the started doing big deals in a grand style of it’s new Deal Maker Owner, Rupert Murdoch.
The problem was, Facebook was growing but was not as big or as established as Myspace so its marketing partnerships were still small. Within a month of Dan joining Facebook, in August 2006 , everything changed. Myspace announced a $900 million deal with Google. Myspace had the traffic and Google had the ad network.
It was a perfect partnership where Google would manage Myspace’s ads and that deal single-handedly made Myspace profitable.
Dan Rose asked ” who has the most to lose from this deal” ? The answer was Bill Gates’ Microsoft MSN ad network, which had lost out to their arch rival Google. Dan jumped on the phone to call Microsoft and asked them if they wanted a similar deal with Facebook. Microsoft’s answer? ” Okey, we’all be down there tomorrow to iron it out.” That one deal , wrapped up 24 hours later, doubled Facebook’s revenues in 2006 from a forecast $22million to over $40million .
The year after, the Microsoft deal was worth over $100 million in revenue to Facebook. You see what partnership can do? Go out and get what you need to get your business growing .”if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” .
Importance of Business Partnership
1. Partnership engenders business survivability – Many platforms and businesses would have collapsed if not for the partnership deals that came along the way. The likes of Facebook , Google and Yahoo would have become history if not for partnering with the best of talents and skills. Your business survivability depends on partnership to a large extent .Some top companies partner with celebrities in order to turn their fans into their customers. They hire the best in the field to perfect their products or services. That’s partnership .This operation result in business survival and thriving .Don’t downplay partnership in your dealings because it’s the life wire of business .
2.Partnership is the gateway to business growth -Business growth is achieved by the combined effort of a team in a company. Team in terms of the whole body of people from the top to the bottom working together in a company .Every body from the CEO to the gateman , all are partnering with the company’s owner or shareholders to make the company what it should be and how it should grow. Business growth is not the result of the business itself, but the combined effort of the people behind it. An object remains in a state of rest until a force acts on it before it can gain motion.So is business.Business can’t operate itself and can’t grow itslef .Even automated businesses needs people to set it in motion. People bring concepts, systems, method and strategies to bring about growth. It is in partnering with such people and companies we experience business growth.
3.Partnership increases revenue– From the story of Facebook, we can see how their revenue doubled because of partnership. They have the social media ( traffic) while Microsoft owns the ads network.But both of them wouldn’t have experienced growth in revenue if they hadn’t combine forces. If you want your revenue to skyrocket , leverage on partnership .You can be a manufacturer but a company out there is good or expert in marketing products, when you join forces , the revenue only your company couldn’t have grown in 5 years can be reached in just a year. That’s the power of partnership.” If opportunity doesn’t knock, you had better build a door”.
Selling your business is one of the best and most profitable business you can engage in. It’s highly lucrative. The most lucrative product you can sell in business is the business itself. Here are 5 sold out companies,get inspired.
Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion last week. LinkedIn is a professional networking social site which has 433 million members in it .I’m one of those 433 million users. Don’t think I was sold too . The thing is when they buy such network ,they buy the team too for a while in order to keep it going for the main time but the painful part is, they buy the users too and you don’t get to share in the money.Sigh.Anyway ,Reid Hoffman began on this journey since 1993. He worked with Apple to build world which did not succeed. He went ahead to build his own social site called socialnet in 1997 which was a dating site .He failed again . Reid joined PayPal in 2000. His job was to look after external relationships for them.He left PayPal to launch LinkedIn after PayPal was sold to eBay. He worked for 2 years at PayPal. The goal of the site was to build World’s No.1 professional networking site. LinkedIn was sold to Microsoft after 13 years of its reign for $26 billion.
Facebook bought instagram for $1billion .Instagram was launched in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger.Kevin loved photography and had this idea of a photo sharing site even before Facebook launched. Instead of launching his passion, he chose to work with people in that field to learn more.First as an intern at Odeo with Evans Williams who launched Twitter. Worked at Google before launching his own photo sharing site.With just 9 team,Instagram was sold to Facebook for $1 billion.
Facebook purchased whatsapp for $19 billion. Founded by a two jobless friends,Brian Action and Jan Koun.Brian met Jan while working at Ernst & Young as a security tester. Brian worked for Yahoo for 11 years. Jan is an immigrant from Ukraine. He is the inspiration behind WhatsApp. When he started working on it and was about quitting, Brian told him to not quit but try it out a few months more. Jan then persuaded Brian (38) jobless and still searching ,he had been rejected by Facebook and Twitter in his search.He persuaded Brian to work with him on that idea of creating a new messaging App ” WhatsApp”. In the first year, user growth boomed,revenue grew to $5,000 a month. They started charging $1 when users began growing too fast.Fours years later Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19billion .
Palmer Luckey (21) sold his 18 month old company,Oculus VR to Facebook for $2 billion .What inspired Palmer wasn’t the love of making virtual reality. It was his love for gaming. He wanted VR badly so at 16 , he took on different kind of odd jobs in order to buy it. ” My goal actually wasn’t to make something .I assumed there must be something out there that was really good that I could use for gaming . I started to collect them and bought a lot of them from government auctions and industry equipment liquidation sites and all kind of fun places. I took them apart , looked at how they worked, tried to learn what they do right, what they do wrong . Over time it became clear that the only way to make something that was really good would be to throw out the design book that everyone else had used and start from scratch”. He posted a video and fundraising campaign for a prototype on Kickstarter in August 2012 to raise $250,000. By September, he had raised $2,437,429… It was time to get serious, quit journalism college, and start a company . Oculus VR, bought by Facebook for $2billion.
Yahoo bought 17 year old Nick D’aloisio’s iPhone app, Summly for $30 million . The app has delivered over 90 million news summaries in four short month of it startup on his birthday 17th of November. Nick said ” I was 15 years old and I was revising for some kind of history exam. The problem was I was trying to find information that was useful to me .” Searching Google on his phone didn’t give him enough detail to know what was or wasn’t a useful link. So he put his own iPhone app together sold to Yahoo for $30million.
In this part of the world we celebrate business ideas,such a business idea is launched not having the customers in mind but thinking of how much the business will make as a result of the idea.On the long run the business folds up and you wonder what went wrong.
Any business particularly in this century,no matter how great the idea,if its not focused on customers it will soon be history. Startups must learn this important lesson to be able to sustain their business growth and innovations.
It’s really not about the idea,it’s all about the customers. A simple idea with great loyal customers is far better than a great idea with a small unstable customers.Loyal customers,they don’t just come back,they don’t simply recommend you,they insist that their friends do business with you.
Your business idea should be solving a real need. When needs are met through your business, there will be increase in your customer base which will in turn bring tremendous growth to your business.
The point is, it’s the customers that allows your business to thrive,it’s the customers that funds your business not the greatness of the idea and the celebration of it.“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.” Mahatma Gandhi.
Paul Graham in his advice to the Airbnb founders (Airbnb is the largest accommodation provider online worth $25billion) said,it’s better you have 100 customers who love you than 1million people who like you.Profits in business comes from repeat customers;customers that boast about your product and service,and that bring friends with them.
Nuggets that must be considered
In the world of internet customer service,it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.
Know what your customers want most and what your company does best.Focus on where those two meet.
He profits most who serves best.
The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers.
Let’s look at three important aspect of focusing on your customers.
1.Customer care – Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.When you take care of your customers, your business growth takes care of itself. Pay attention to your customers. Don’t take their complain as disturbance.Don’t argue with your customer.Don’t tell them they are wrong,don’t get them stirred up.A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of bitterness. Let them see and know that they matter.One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.
2.Customer’s point of view -The customer’s perception is your reality. Your customers perspectives are more important than your own perspective of your products and services because they are the ones buying it.Try to see things from your customer’s point of view. You must know what they are talking about your product and services. Give room for feedback. Know what they really need and then invest yourself where you are most needed. The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.You must invest yourself or money in something that the people really need not what you assume they need.
3.Quality Delivery– Quality is far better than quantity. So focusing on quality delivery will keep you at the top of your competitors. Moreover, quality attracts quantity. If you want your business to grow immensely, deliver your value in its best quality to a lot of people not delivering quantity to few people.Remember,returning customers frequently purchase more than first time customers,so your first impression counts. Bottom line is, start with the customers in mind even if you have the hottest business idea.
Just like many other things in the business world, product pricing has strategies which have to be mastered.
How you price your product/service can be the difference between a profitable business and failure.
There are various pricing strategies known by the business genius. These strategies are tested and you can trust them to help you in your product/service pricing.
Before I share that with you, let me tell you these three truths:
- Your customers don`t know how much your product/service worth
As a matter of fact, human beings don`t have value meter on their heads. Don`t assume that people know how much they should by things, they don`t.
What actually happens is that, we usually make comparison between two things before we decide one is right or the other is wrong.
Let me give you an example here.
If today a telecom company wants to sell a sim card for #1,000 in Nigeria or KSh750 in Kenya, it will be obvious to everyone that such price is wrong.
Is that price wrong? Yes, it`s wrong, but it was right.
Remember MTN sold sim cards for #20,000 and above and people were joyfully rushing to buy them?
Now you`re getting something.
We don`t actually know how much we should buy things. The reason why we can decide that a thousand naira for sim card is too expensive is because we have other low prices to compare it with.
That leads us to the second point.
- Your position in the market determines the price of your product/service.
Why was MTN able to “dupe” us by selling ordinary sim for as high as #24,000 in the past?
Because they are the leading telecom company.
Being a leader in a market gives you an advantage to price your product higher than you can otherwise do.
Coming to compete with the market leader, Glo had to fight with price. If you are going into a saturated market, you may have to fight with price.
But you see, when you have nothing to fight with but price, you have already lost the battle.
That`s why I will share the next point with you…
- You can still charge good price, even if you`re not the market leader, if you have a good position in your market.
Just as I have said earlier, if you`re a “me-too” person running “we too” company, your only weapon to make sales is low price and when it comes to that, you may get to a point when the margin between your cost of production and profit is not sufficient to pay your staff.
That`s not business. That`s slavery.
What if you can be competing with other businesses in your market and still charge a moderate price?
Yes, you can do that.
You can concentrate on values. You can compete with the value of your product/service.
Do I mean a better product/service here?
Yes, but even more… a unique position in your market place.
By this I mean that you must differentiate yourself from your competitors. You must position yourself as being the leader in a particular segment, or an expert in something (which other competitors are not).
If you do this successfully, you can charge good price for your products or services… conveniently.
After discussing these three basic truths with you, let`s now go into the proven pricing tactics you can use to sell more of your products or services.
- Use Anchoring
Anchoring as a pricing strategy comes to live as a result of the psychological discovery about how human brains work.
If you come across something big (let`s say an elephant) first and immediately see a smaller object (now goat), that goat will look smaller than it is in the real sense.
If you want to buy something you don`t have the idea of its price and the seller asks you to pay $100 and just after negotiation he agrees that you should pay $40, you`re more likely to feel like you have gotten a good bargain than if the first price the seller offers is $50, isn`t it?
How can you use anchoring in your pricing?
If you`re selling varieties of items, make sure you place the higher price items before the lower price ones.
If you`re selling a suit for #50,000, the best way to sell it fast is to place it right after a suit of #200,000.
What happens is, when people first come across a suit of #200,000 and then see another for #50,000 that second price looks ridiculously cheaper than it would have been if there was never an anchor (the first, higher price)
- Nine is still powerful
Price ending in 9 is powerful, even till now. I know you must have been seeing prices of different items which end in 9. It was no mistake. It was a deliberate tactic of the smart marketers and business owners to price their goods and services for $49, #999 etc.
Instead of pricing your product for $50, why not $49?
Price ending in 9 will sell more of your products than price end in even numbers.
- Write it small
In human mind FIVE HUNDRED NAIRA is more than “five hundred naira”.
If your price is written big, your customers will (unconsciously) see it as expensive.
- Give two pricing options
As I have said earlier, we humans really don`t know what good price is. For us to know we`re buying at good price, we must compare two prices.
That`s the reason why some of us love to visit more than one sellers before we buy a particular item… we want to compare their prices.
Now you can help your customers to compare prices easily.
How can you do this? Give to prices for your product/service whenever it`s applicable.
You can offer your service and offer the premium of the same service (with additional value). If the price of what you`re selling is #2,000, premium version of it could be #5,000.
Why you may not sell much of the premium, more people will buy the normal version.
Why? Because it`s now easy to compare between two prices and see that one is better.
This is an example of how a monthly magazine (or any other business) that requires customers` subscription can do this;
Paper version of the magazine`s publication= #2,500/annum
Paper version + online version+ #4,000/annum
Since it`s now obvious that one price is better than another, it`s easier for your customers to compare the prices and go for the “cheaper” one (which is not actually cheap, but become so after comparison)
If applicable, create a premium version of your product/service. You may not sell more of that premium version, but you will sell more of your ordinary version.
- Don`t price everything the same
Human mind get confused easily. If you`re having boutique and most of your clothes go for the same price, your customers will not be able to compare prices… which is very important for them to know which is better than what.
They won`t just know which one to buy and they may just decide not to buy anyone. This is likely to happen because, to a large extent, most of us judge quality by price.
Tell me you buy a pair of shoes for #25,000 and I will assume it`s a good shoes, so by the time all your products go for the same price, people tend to be confused as per which is better than which.
Let`s talk about something similar to this…
- Don`t sell good thing too cheap
I have read about the experience of some people who increased the prices of their products, and unbelievably, the demand increased as well.
In my personal experience, I have sold a digital product and received great testimonies from 90% of people who bought it, but when I give it out for free, maybe 1% of people even like it.
Why? We have been programmed to judge things by their prices. “If it`s costly, it must be good”. That`s how we think.
How can this affect you as a business owner?
If you have a great product and decide to sell it at a cheap price, people may assume it`s a poor product.
Now you have a task of deciding between a moderate and cheap prices.
- Present it in bits
I was on a website few days ago. The author is selling a one month course for $29. Instead of him to write, “Buy this course for $29”, he writes, “for less than a dollar per day, you can get this course…..”
This helps people to see his product as “just a dollar per day” and not “$29”.
Can you present your offer in bits?
If people have to pay for your service for a whole year, you can reframe that price, help them to convert it to monthly payment and then present it as, “a year service for #100,000. That`s just #8300 per month”
It`s easier to think of #8,300 per month than #100,000 per annum.
#8,300 per month is “cheaper” to the brain than #100,000 per annum, isn`t it? Yet, they are both the same.
- Add “just” or “only”
I used it above. The word “just” “only” “a token” and other words that sound small make people to assume it`s actually small.
You wonder why it`s that way? We humans are not rational. We`re irrational. We don`t know as much as we usually want to think we do.
You have seen it in places. Marketers use the word “only #50” or “just $9” etc. to sell their products or services and it works.
Add “only” “just” etc. before your prices and sell more of whatever you`re selling.
That`s “pay what you want”. If you are selling digital things like music, eBooks etc., you can try this. Ask people to pay whatever they want, then suggest a minimum price.
What happens here is that, you have removed the first resistance of “I can`t afford it”.
Pay What You Want sounds so good that everybody will be open to your offer (after all, I can pay whatever I want to get this, isn`t that?)
If you intend to sell such product for #500, you can then suggest that buyers pay #300, #500 and above. Then add, “Just anything you can afford”.
What happens here is that you have suggested the lowest price you want (and trust me, most people will not go below that). Some people will pay above your actual price, some will pay below it but the joy of it all is that… you will sell more of your products.
- Beware of comma
Look at these two prices: #6,000 and #6000. Which of them look more expensive?
Look at these too; #5,000.00, #5,000 and #5000.
You get my message. If your price has the comma and that dot, it looks expensive than if the two are removed.
“But that`s not a correct way my math teacher taught me”!
Well, your math teacher taught you mathematics. I am teaching business.
I love you friend!
Last year I bought a book call Convert; the simple little formula that sold $50 million worth of products and services online. That book was written by Frank Kern.
Can you guess what that simple secret is?
Actually more than one “secret” but the ultimate of those “secrets” is… positioning.
Positioning is a marketing strategy by which a product, business or company occupies a space in the heart of the consumers.
Positioning is the most important marketing step to growing a business.
According to Al Ries (the author of Positioning; the battle for your mind), we (as business owners) are not competing with products or services. We are competing with minds, the minds of consumers.
In his words, “The basic approach of positioning is not to create something new and different, but to manipulate what is already up there in the mind, to retie the connections that already exist”
Running a business, we all know is about selling more of our products or services. We all know that our goal is to grow our businesses and make more money.
What most of us don`t know is that we have to win many hearts before we can sell many of our products or services.
Winning the hearts of our prospective customers follows similar process as winning the heart of a lady you love.
You have to occupy a space in that heart. You have to get her to fall in love with you. You must get her thinking about you.
How do we do this in the business world?
By positioning ourselves.
What exactly does that mean? It means creating a word in the mind of our prospective customers.
By letting your target market know you (or your product) for a single thing.
Let me remind you of this… human beings respect (I mean, always respect) specialists.
If you need the service of a fashion designer who can make a good Yoruba (Nigerian) attire for you and you get to know about two good fashion designers, one makes English suits, Chinese dresses and just everything in-between, including Yoruba attires and the second fashion designer makes only Yoruba attires, which of them will you love to do business with?
The answer is obvious because we all love specialists.
You will rather go to a specialist malaria doctor than to a doctor who treats every disease, am I correct?
Let me tell you this.
When we started the ABC (this organization) online and focus on Africa, it was actually “stupid”. You know why?
Internet is a public place where people from all over the world can come across your products, blog or website through google, yahoo search or just anywhere, so writing for a single continent is like chasing away 70% of people who come into your office away by saying, “Hey, I don`t do business with someone like you”
Crazy, isn`t it? yet, that`s what we do with the ABC.
Some time when I look at the traffic (the numbers of people who come to this website) though a software and see so many people from United States, Uk, China and tens of other countries, I was tempted to change the name of this organization (so as to welcome them too)
But at a point I thought about it. I would rather have 30 people to love me than to have 100 people to like me.
We would rather have 40 committed, loyal readers of this website than to have 90 people who see us as “another blog”.
When you see a website that teaches African (alone) about business and another website that teaches everyone, which will you love most if you`re an African?
The answer is obvious.
We understand that getting only Africans to love us is far better than getting the whole world to like us, that`s why we position ourselves as an organization that teaches Africans (alone)
That`s a magnetic marketing strategy.
To grow your business, make more sales and more money from the products or services you are selling, you will need to get to the mind of your customers.
The only way you can get there is for them to fall in love with you.
That`s the importance of positioning yourself, your product or service..
The world is too crowded already. You cannot be everything to everybody anymore. For you to make money and grow your business, you have to be a specialist.
You have to understand segmentation and focus on a particular audience, not everyone.
Now let`s move forward.
Let me discuss with you 8 or 9 positions you can try to occupy in your market place or with your product that will help you to sell more of whatever you`re selling.
- Position your product or service as a popular product/service
You remember what we were taught in the psychology class?
Let me remind you. Human beings don`t usually know what is right or wrong for them. Most at times we judge what is right by watching what others are doing.
If we see many people doing certain thing, we conclude such thing must be right.
Psychologists call this, Social Proof.
If you`re walking or the road and see 20 people gathering together in a particular place, you will pay a close attention to them. What is happening there? What are they doing? Can a take a look?
If 5 of your friends buy a particular clothes, you are more likely to buy it (especially if you`re a lady)
How can you apply this to your business?
Anything that shows you to be famous, popular or loved by many people will make many more people to love you and buy your products, therefore growing your business.
Has your new product been sold in three cities? Have you won an award? Do you have testimonials?
Find a way of using these assets in your advertisement, signboard, flyers and other marketing materials.
We started the ABC in the year 2007. Why do we write it on this website? We are now in over 13 countries (maybe in 57 when you will be reading this). Why do we have to write it?
Our business trainings and books have helped so many Africans. Why do we have to “brag” about that?
If you know more people have done something, you`re likely to do it.
You can position your company, business, product or service as a popular product, service, business (if you`re truly popular) and more people will buy from you, then you will grow your enterprise.
- Position your product/service as being exclusive
I have written a little thing similar to this. When something is exclusive, that is, only for certain people, such people rush to get it.
We ran an advert on Facebook sometimes ago and guess something I wrote?
“This is for you only if you`re 23 years and above”
What is magnetic here?
Someone who is 26, 28 or 50 would say to himself, “Thank God I’m having the ‘grace’ to get this” so he would rush to get it. Someone who is 19 would say, “Oh shit! This thing is not for me. Can I secretly get it?”
We all love to get something scarce, isn`t it?
We love to brag about getting something special. This human weakness is the reason why you will sell more of whatever you`re selling if you can make it clear that you have excluded some people from buying it.
This is not smart because you`re pushing away some people who would have bought what you`re selling, is it?
Don`t forget what I told you earlier. You will be saver to have 50 people who love you than 100 people who merely like you.
You`re better with 1,000 loyal customers than with 10,000 ordinary buyers.
Positioning is a marketing step toward getting loyalists as customers.
When you`re applying this marketing tactic, you can actually be smart with it.
Take for instance the advert I earlier mentioned. My earlier experienced has shown me that most people who actually respond to our offers are mostly age 26 and above.
Now you see the game. Coming in public to cut off people who are not my original customers wouldn`t hurt me at all (and it would favour me much).
You love selling to women? Write it on your sign post, “I attend to women alone”
This attract women to you and push away men from you, (and so what? Did you need them before?)
You have a vision for private secondary school? Start girl’s alone private school.
Yes, you will miss some boys who should be registered with you but trust me, more people will withdraw their female children from both sex school and bring them to your school.
And you see another miracle here? You can charge more money.
Why? Because you`re now being perceived as an expert, a specialist. Don`t we (willingly) pay more for specialist doctors, etc.?
One more reason why you will be able to sell at higher price and grow your business fast is… now you have no competitors.
If for instance there are 27 private schools in a town where you now start a girl only private school, what just happened is that you are no longer competing with anyone.
More business. Higher prices. More profit. Business growth.
- Position yourself as a contrarian
Dan Kennedy is known with his contrarian approach to marketing. He would voice out, “All you advertising agency in America are wrong!”
What does it mean to be contrarian?
Come up with a different opinion other than what is popular. Tell people, “What you think is wrong. This is right”
This can work for you if you`re in service business, a politician or a writer (politicians are business men, don`t you know? They are selling their ideology. If they don`t position themselves very well, they cannot win elections)
Take for instance how I write frequently on this website that I hate school.
That`s crazy. Everybody loves school. Why will someone claim to hate school? Yes, I do and I have my points here.
As long as you keep on growing, learning and reading good books, you will get to a point in your life when you will discover that the world is wrong.
I mean it. Most things, philosophies, beliefs and norms in this planet are wrong.
If you have grown up in mind, you will be able to come out to say the whole Africa, Kenya or your city is wrong.
Whenever people hear that what they have believed for many years is not correct, they want to know how and why, so they give you 100% attention.
If after listening to you they are convinced, you have won another group of loyalist for your business idea, book or political ideology.
The more people`s hearts you`re able to win, the more growth you will experience in your business.
- Position yourself, service or product as rare or scarce
What is the difference between stone and gold? What is the difference between petroleum and water? What is the difference between air and bread?
Scarcity. Nothing more.
Nothing is special in gold. If everybody can pick it on the street, it worth nothing. What is special about petroleum? If I can draw it the way I can draw water from a well, why would it be costly?
Think about it. Air is very important than bread, yet bread is costlier. Why? Air is everywhere. You will have to pay to get bread.
If any product is perceived (I mean just perceived) as scarce, people will be willing to pay higher price for it and do so in haste for the fear it might not be available tomorrow.
There is this allegation that Diamond is not actually scarce. It is made to be perceived as scarce, who knows? But that doesn`t matter.
As long as human beings perceived something to be scarce, they rush to get it.
Is there any way you can position your service as being scarce (because it`s like scarce. Who else can do it like yours?)
Can you market your products with a deadline?
Why do you think so many big companies market their product with words like, “for today alone”, “one week special offer” or “Christmas promo”?
You get it. Those words remind you it will soon be over.
This position is powerful. We all fall for it.
I have rushed to the café to pay for a book online (I mean rush and fearfully wanted to pay) because the author said the selling would be stopped in a few days.
Even if you cannot use this position every time, you can use it to increase sales and grow your business on special days.
- Position yourself, service or product as being different
People are tired of norms. We all love something different.
Look at your industry very well. There is a likelihood that everybody is doing things like everybody.
You have a money-producing strategy if you can just differentiate yourself from the crowd.
This may not be in a single act. You may have to make a list of 10 things commonly done by your competitors and then see the way you can differentiate yourself from the competition by doing things differently.
We ran a Facebook page sometimes ago and when we started, I looked around and saw that everybody (I mean 99 out of 100 page owners) was simply doing the same thing (mediocre stuff I mean).
It was easier for us to make money, simply by not writing the way they wrote (they copied post, we wrote original stuff), by not abusing people the way they do (we replied abusive comments with a humble and lovely tone), by impacting knowledge into people when our competitors were entertaining them.
When people see that you`re different, they fall in love with what you are doing.
I wouldn`t tell you how much money we made through Facebook (I don`t even know the specific amount if I want to tell you), though it wasn`t so much, we did far better than our competitors.
If you can differentiate yourself form your competitors, you have got a good position that will attract customers to you and make them be willing to pay for what you`re selling. You will make more money and grow your company fast
- You can position your product as being strong
Volvo positions their product (car) as being strong and saver than the competitors. Dangote Cement is being positioned in recent time as being strong. Look at its package and you will see something like, “3x stronger”
Most of us want to buy things that will stand the test of time so if we know a product as being strong (or safe in the case of products like cars), we are more likely to buy it than that of the competitors.
That`s the reason why a product that is being marketed as stronger may win the market, sell more and make more money,
- You can position your service as being fast
I wrote on my facebook profile yesterday that we don`t actually have 24hrs in a day. I proved my point by saying that the hours we spend sleeping, bathing, eating, watching useless movies (most movies are useless, don`t you know/) etc. are actually not part of our life time (because they are not productive time.
We are living in a world where time is the true currency. We just have too much to do and too much things to waste time on (T.V, football, etc.) so whenever we see a product or service that can save us time by being quick or fast, we go for it.
That`s the reason why FedEx positions itself with the motto: “overnight”, quick.
So after you have discovered a space to be occupied in your market, what is the next thing?
Make a noise about it.
Write about it in your flyers, sign posts. Paste it inside your shop or office. Write it on every marketing material you`re using and continue in spreading that word.
You can even write it as part of design of your product (just as Dangote does with Dangote Cement)
Final thing on positioning and growing a business.
Whatever space you intend to occupy in the mind of your target audience, you must be consistent with it.
You don`t tell people you are strong today and tell them you`re fast tomorrow. Why other positions can be claim along the line in your marketing materials, the major position you decide to take must be obvious everywhere and in every of your marketing strategy.
Secondly, you must be faithful to your position. If you are not, it is just a matter of time before you will kill your product with your own marketing.
If you sell something to people and they find out that what you claim about it is not so, they will hate your product or service and help their friends to hate you too.
The third thing I want to tell you here is that you have to forgive me because I promised to share 8 or 9 market positions you could take and I only shared 7.
I love you fellow Nigerian, Kenyan, South African, and every African reading our tutorials.
Word of mouth advertisement is a free advertisement by which customers tell their friends and, colleagues and family members about certain products or services they have used and like.
We all do it every time.
No. not with the intention of helping the company involve, but to help our friends or to boost our own ego.
Let`s think about this scenario.
I`m a lover of book. I love reading and once in a while I come across a great book. What I do next is to tell my friends or even write about it on Facebook.
I`m not doing this to help the author of the book I love. Instead, I’m doing this maybe to help my friends to read that great book too or to boost my ego as “the man who reads many books” (you know such pride, don`t you?).
While I’m satisfying my human needs, I’m doing something I might not know… I am advertising the book for the author.
If that book is truly great and many people can spread the word the way I do, such a book may sell more copies than what the most expensive advertisement can sell.
One good thing about word of mouth advertisement is that, it works better than other form of advertisement and promotion.
The reason is simple.
You`re likely to believe your friends than a newspaper or T.V set. You will react positively to what your family member tells you than what a radio tells you.
If I pick my phone now, draft a message and send it to some of my friends about certain products or services, some of them will not check the internet to see how good such products are before they buy them.
You too have influence on some people like that.
The second interesting thing about word-of-mouth advertising is that, it`s free. The most effective word of mouth advertising is free. The company or business involve really doesn`t pay people to advertise them.
Yes, sometimes it may require some money to apply word-of-mouth advertising techniques (as we will discuss soon), but you will as well see that such money spent is a good investment with good Return on Investment (ROI)
Third interesting thing about word-of-mouth advertisement is that, every business owner can use it, either to sell products or services.
Let`s look into few things you can do to make the word-of-mouth advertising work for you.
- Add “wow” feature to your product/service
This morning I called MTN customer care line and complained about their slow browsing network. The man answering my call asked me, “is the network going at all”? I answered yes, but very slow.
If people in 19 century could see the kind of the so called “slow network” I’m complaining about today, they would think they have experienced heaven.
Average things doesn`t satisfy us in today`s world, good things doesn`t please us. Only great things make us smile.
For anyone to tell another person about what you`re selling, he or she must experience a “wow” treatment.
You have to outsmart your competitors with better service. You must outperform your competitors with better product.
You have to treat your customers like human beings (seriously, many business owners treat their customers like animals). He`s the reason why you`re in business. He`s the king and has to be treated so.
If the above elements (great product/creative service and good customers` service) work together, more and more people will joyfully tell others about their great experience.
Just as I have said, not really because they care about you (nobody does), but because they want their friends to experience such good thing or just to boost their ego.
- Give free samples
Even after you have gone to the market with something really creative, word of mouth advertisement may not still work for you.
Because we are in a very clumsy world. The noise in the market place is too much, so much that even good products are not seeing.
I have spent hours on the internet today to search for a particular service I need for my business, but I have a big problem.
No. my problem isn`t that I couldn`t find what I was looking for. My problem is, there are too many options (attractive options). At a time I got tired.
As a psychology student (in my library, you know) I understand that human mind gets bored when there are too many alternatives he must choose from, yet I wish to get the best so I have to search for many companies rendering the service I need.
Such is the picture of what our today business word is. That`s the reason why so many promotion get lost and advert go unnoticed.
Your creative product/service need something to drive it. Yes, good brand, good positioning and good packaging are all needed, but also think of free samples.
Does free sample work? Why does free sample work, if it does?
I have tried free sample and I can tell you that it works (provided you do it right as I will explain soon).
Ok, why does free sample work?
Because human beings love free things. In fact, the word free and the word gift are two of the most powerful English words.
We all love gift (even when you become a millionaire, $10 gift might still make you happy). We all love free things.
Now to use free sample as a marketing tools, many business owners have gone into the market place with a junk product, distributed it and expected result.
It never come.
Why? Because though people love free things, they think you`re playing on their intelligence if you give them free junk.
Instead of this to help your business promotion and word of mouth advertisement, it fires back and hurts you.
After reading a book call Idea Virus by Seth Godin last year, I decided to give out the most populous book we have ever written in the ABC, for free. That book is 10 secrets school did not teach you about business and how to be rich.
Seth Godin is of the opinion (just I am) that whatever you will give out as free sample has to be something valuable.
If it`s valuable, people remember your business for good and tell their friends, family and colleagues about your business.
Yes, some small businesses cannot give out free samples, but they can give out exceptional products/services to their little customers (after all every business starts with little customers) and do the following:
- Provide customers with the tools to spread your “gospel”.
Even with little customers who are patronizing a business, if the products/service of that little business is truly creative, they can become the “evangelists” of such small business.
But you have to give them the easy tools by which they can share your virus (sorry, that`s what Seth Godin calls it), it means your free (great) sample.
Some big companies give out shirts, caps or pens. What for?
So you and I could spread their “good news” easily.
As a small business owner, you can design a little card, give it out to your customers as a “ticket” for their friends to be able to enjoy your service at 50% reduction. By doing this, you`re spreading your business` “gospel”.
If you are online and having a website, you can have social media sharing buttons on your website. You can do this for free.
When your customers come into your website, they share your products, services or blog posts with their Facebook, twitter etc. friends.
This way, they are helping you to advertise your products or services without you paying a kobo. That`s the power of the word of mouth advertisement.
For us to understand the importance of marketing to the success of business, we have to understand the importance of blood to our human life.
It runs around non-stop. It gives us life. If it stops moving, our life is over.
Whenever you see a successful business, you`re likely to see its products/services and its employees. You may not actually “see” its marketing, just as you won`t see my blood if you see me, but it controls every other thing.
Products and services you`re selling are like body of a car while marketing is the engine that drives the car. Sometimes a car with a bad “body”, but a good engine will outrun a car with a good “body” but a poor engine.
In today`s business world, having a good product will not make you rich. You need to have a good marketing skills.
The following points explain the reason why marketing is so important to the success of your business.
- Marketing is important because it helps business to sell more products
There was the old adage that if you are selling something good, you can open your shop in a far place, people will find you.
Maybe in 15 century. Not now. No longer can you try that,
In today`s market place where 50 (or more) companies may be competing in a market, you cannot just start a business and hope it succeeds.
You cannot just start selling a product or rendering a service and expect sales. You have to work it out. You have to be tactic. You have to understand and apply good marketing strategies.
Marketing is important because it increases your sales.
A little change in your advert can increase your sales by 200%.
I have learned a single tip from a friend (just on a phone conversation) that increased the value of my business by more than 100%,
I have read a marketing book that increased the value of my sales and earnings by more than 300%.
That`s the power of marketing, when done correctly.
- Marketing increases your goodwill
Goodwill is an invisible asset of human being, organization or company.
You can call it reputation. It is how people see you. Who people think you are. How much people can trust you,
When a business takes time to market its products/services strategically, more and more people trust it products/services and that leads to more sales.
Why do you think great companies like Coca Cola, Apple, Facebook, Dangote, etc. still advertise their products? Believe me, if MTN stops advertisement, it may not affect their sales for the next six months, but it will start affecting their goodwill (reputation in the mind of the consumers) immediately.
Whenever a company is losing her reputation in the mind of its target market, customers` trust starts dropping so do sales.
That`s why even the biggest companies in the world are still investing heavily on promotions.
Marketing and promotion is very important for every business, so as to increase (or keep) your customers` trust and sales.
- Marketing is important because it helps us to learn about our target consumers
The first step, even before coming up with your marketing strategies is to know and understand those you want to sell to. Marketing helps you to do that.
You cannot brand your company appropriately, nor can you position your products the way you should, until you know those to whom you intend to sell.
The best copywriter in the world will fail if he doesn`t know those he wants to write advert to persuade.
Because we all know that for a promotion to be effective, we must first learn, know and understand our target consumers`, we invest time, energy and money in doing so.
Knowing our customers is a great business asset. We can use the knowledge to create better products, to brand and package our products and to promote our products in such a way that is most persuasive.
- Marketing is important because it helps us to build a great brand
Marketing is very important because if done correctly, a time will come when we would have built a great brand that is known with quality, speed, freshness or whatever what our market positioning is, that we can sell more products than our competitors, even when our prices are higher.
At this time, we have achieved great fit. We can now sell easier with less promotion.
You think about it. If you`re in a market to buy laptop and you see two brands, HP and Maco, which will you buy?
Even if the price of the HP is 50% more than that of unknown Maco, even if the design of the unknown Maco is far beautiful, even if the sales person tells you that Maco is better, you will still likely go for HP.
Why? HP is a known and trusted brand.
Now you understand why some well-known brands could charge higher prices and still sell more than their competitors. They have used marketing to promote their products and built a solid brand.
Now you see how marketing is very important to the success of your business.
- Marketing is very important because it increases customers` loyalty
At a point, some customers become friends and family of the company or business they love.
Early this morning I received a message from one of our online “students”. He has not received our mails for a long time and he was worried. Imagine hundreds of people/businesses who might be sending mails to his inbox, yet he feel that he has missed ours.
Another reader of ours sent us a mail and told us that he has told all his friends about us. That`s loyalty.
When customers become your advertisers, that`s loyalty
Marketing is very important because through it we can get people to know about our good products, get them to fall in love with our services and then they may become our loyal friends who tell their friends about our products.
- Marketing is important because it makes you to spend less while you earn more.
Some people who are reading this might have being thinking, “How then can I get money to promote my business, being a small business owner”?
The good news about marketing is that, you can do it without money.
Get me right. Some elements of your marketing strategies will require money to execute. You cannot run adverts without money. You cannot do extensive market research without money.
But you can position yourself in the market with no money. You may not need much money to brand yourself than you need if you don`t. You don`t need money to come up with a persuasive Unique Selling Promise (USP).
You don`t need money to implement many elements of your marketing strategies, but you need marketing skills.
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