Owning or starting up a business is very good and interesting but we have so many people going into business with the wrong conception and perception. You get to find out that such kinda people either quit business sooner than expected and probably return back to an employee job.
This post is actually about a business model that works most especially for SMEs and it is 100% my opinion which has worked for several others and applying it in your business might work for you as well – when done appropriately tho. So I’m not going to take your time, I’ll just be brief about it.
Yea, it’s no doubt business is about turn over, right? And if you are not making money in your business to maintain business facilities, rents and maybe pay staff, you might soon close down the business. Statistics had it that 85%, if not more, of SMEs closed down their business after the first year. This is not because running business is that difficult or scary, but they failed to apply simple principles, cut down on cost and a whole lot. I heard a story of a young lady who got or won a grant opportunity in millions, three years down the line, she’s out of business. So you see, business most time is not about how much capital you have or you don’t have, but applying some basic and simple principles or strategies which is one you’re most likely to learn today.
If you are just starting out on a business, first thing you should do is building Credibility and Trust – very important!
I have come to discover in this few years in business that people don’t buy or patronise you because of what you have to sell or offer. People buy YOU, your brand, the man behind the business. For instance, people will rather patronise Konga or Jumia because they have on the long run built a reputable brand than other eCommerce platforms which I won’t mention here. They have built credibility and assured customers through their continuous existence in business. Ok, let’s say these guys have a whole lot of budget to maintain that brand and since this post is for SMEs.. how can you maintain and have such credibility in a short while?
First and foremost, you must have an online presence. Be it a blog, website or social media, you have to have a presence where you can reach out to prospective clients/customers online. I recommend having a website with an integrated blog on it (you will know why soon)
Now you have an online presence. The essence of having this presence is NOT TO SELL – I know you are surprised, right? Yea, we wouldn’t make it look like we are here to Make Money, most especially when you are starting new. People have this mindset that once they discover you are out there to take their money, they run away from you! Especially if you are just starting out. Like I said, we are building credibility and trust. So how do we do that.
Your online presence will be for educating and informing your prospect about your service. This should be done via regular blogging and posting on social media about how your products/service works or will be of benefit to prospects. Just to make you know, this post was written just to educate you about the topic and in turn, as an online consultant, you will definitely come back to me to have a professional site and blog setup if you don’t have one already! (lol). Do you get?
If you are into cooking and delivering of soups for instance (or you don’t know such business exists? Ask Pot-A-soup), this is what you should do with your online presence: Write steps on how to prepare certain delicacies regularly and post them on your bog and social media, maybe weekly. Let people read and find a reason to go back to your website to read the full story… on getting to your website (hence, why you need a website), they will definitely see the services you’re offering making the chance to patronise you fall on the high side. Doing this, you are building the mindset of a PROFESSIONAL in your niche and consistency on it makes you a top brand and the first person to call when your products/service is needed.
I believe I’m making sense..
Secondly, offer freebies on your platform. This is a great way to not only drive credibility and trust, but also build a Marketing List which is very very very important in business. As a matter of fact, if you don’t have marketing list or database in business then you’re not in business yet. A professional once said, a business is not about catalog of products or services but about catalog of customers. What is business if you don’t have a list of patronisers and prospects!
Offer a free report, pdf, audio, or video of information on how your products/services benefit your prospects for download. Using the same example of the soup business, offering a Free report on How to Cook a particular meal and giving it an irresistible mind blowing title will create a massive traffic on your website and a download rush. Example of such hot title: “How a friend lost her Man to Ogbono Soup – learn to keep your man with these professional steps of cooking yours”.
Share a brief story and write steps on how to prepare this meal, convert it to pdf with a nice graphic design depicting the message and put it up for download on your website and social media, then watch the RUSH! Of course before the material is download, a name and email address at least, will be provided – these details are your marketing tools which will bring in massive sales for your business on the long run.
Lastly, operate professionally in your business. Get a corporate email instead of free email account like gmail and yahoo. When you give your email address as firstname.lastname@example.org, it makes people see you as serious and a professional than giving a gmail or yahoo account. I have seen so many businesses turned down as a result of this – so, always operate professionally and well packaged.
Let me stop here for now, while you digest (re-read if necessary) this post. Watch out for the next on building your business and if you’d like to have updates on new articles on my site, just drop your email below.
Go make it happen! Try this model out in your business and come back here to give us the report. See you at the top in your niche. Till next time, it’s good bye from me.
Before I forget, please drop your comment below.. Bye!