The year 2021 was tough, business-wise, across the entire country. The ruthless devaluation, ban and restriction of local debit cards for foreign trade has only exacerbated an underlying ill — the staunch difficulty of doing business in Nigeria.
As is typical of mankind to seek solutions out of problems in order to self-actualise and progress, alternatives come to mind. Here, we profile online selling — either of a good (commodity like clothes or food) or service (like wig making, clothes dyeing, manicure).
1. Run it as a side-hustle
Surprising this is a first tip. The import here is to ensure this isn’t the only thing you do. You see, when you learn how to offer two or three different services, you have a sure chance of serving a wider market and increase your chances of landing a customer. Pick a trade, then pick something else and another one too. They could be complementary — e.g. wig making, hairdressing, haircare or contrasting — e.g. laundry, carwash, errand running.
2. Leverage social media by updating your posts often
The current social media platforms are trying hard to put everyone similar to you in your faces, this is why you would see post suggestions that look like things you would be interested in. To position yourself properly for exposure, make sure you post product pictures and samples frequently. Keep your gallery loaded with many options of the product or service you offer.
3. Build a system around your craft
This is backend, something that only you and the business know about. Create a production schedule, i.e. how long it will take to produce a service/product (like cooking for soups). Also, create a delivery schedule which is an indication of how long it would take a customer to receive his order after payment, as well as how it would be delivered to him/her. Delivery options could be through dispatch, in-person or customer pickup. After working out all these, you would have a rough idea of how long it would take to produce and deliver on a customer order. State this on your profile (e.g. get your custom wigs within three days/nice soups available within two days of your order).
4. Be honest
This is not a sermon. It is a solid strategy. Honesty makes a lot things simple for you as a business owner. Customers need to trust you with their money and do not need to hear excuses. Deliver on your word. No stories. If a customer is badly served by you, you could lose an entire market and end up with no sales or revenue.
5. Network with other businesses
They should not be your competitors because you all would be wrestling for the same type of customers. Connect with unrelated businesses and see how online business is done on the other side of the fence. This helps you know what is in vogue, what is acceptable and what is not. You could also use this to differentiate yourself from other business since you know what every other person is doing.
Now go ahead and crush your goals!
Peace and love.
Yoodalo is an online marketplace that saves you time, money and stress finding products and services free of charge.