As we settle into 2017, with the entrepreneur wondering what the future holds for the Nigerian economy, questions like ‘how long it will take for the current economic recession to end?’ come to mind.
Below we have put together at least three questions every entrepreneur should answer in the mist of uncertainties in 2017.
1. How is the current economic recession affecting your customers? This is assuming you the entrepreneur already know your customers. A strong knowledge of who your customers are is important if you must answer the question of how they are affected by the recession. What insights do you have on your customers? What are they buying? Is your product/service relevant to them? What do you know about their source of income?
If your customers are badly affected by the recession, it is most likely that your business will be affected too. Re-strategizing becomes a major determinant of future gains. Would you consider price reductions in the form of sales promotions? Work on getting better deals with suppliers and vendors to aid cost reduction?
Takeaway: Product Matching & Mapping: the vital ingredient for improvement in product, pricing and promotions comes into play if you are to take conversion seriously in this recession. Market research is relevant.
2. What do you know about your competitors? How well do you know your competition? As the saying goes, knowledge is power. A little knowledge about the direction your competitors are going in the mist of a crisis can result in sustainable competitive advantage. What are your weaknesses in relation to your competitors? Are there any areas where they are excelling better than you? or vice versa.
Takeaway: An in-depth SWOT analysis will allow for a better understanding of your competitors. This would further allow for better decision making. It can also help with shaping a stronger value preposition; one that would ensure you continue to grow your customer base going forward.
3. Do you have the capacity to deliver? How do you respond to gaps in the product/service delivery process? Having a better understanding of your target market works best for your brand when the brand has the capacity to meet consumer needs. Do you have the manpower, the aligning technology and ability to deliver quality products/services in the shortest time frame? It is not enough to understand your target market and the competition. There is a need for proper business analysis, re-strategizing and implementation of winning strategies. In football for example, a coach after a series of failed matches would reevaluate the team’s strengths and weaknesses, then take on measures to eliminate or minimize weaknesses. Example: when a coach decides to buy or bring in a new striker after playing 8 straight games with no goals scored.
Takeaway: Inability to deliver as expected by customers and on time can create avenues for cracks in relations. It is important that the product/service delivery process is maintained and improved on a continued basis. Lets say you discover a gap in product/service quality for example, it makes business sense to respond as quickly as possible to such a gap at a time like this.
Forget whatever you have been told in the past, if you are running a business this is the best time to reevaluate and re-strategize. This is the best time to invest more into your business whether financial, in market research, and/or otherwise. In Greek the word crisis is “to separate, to sift” meaning to pass judgement, to keep just what is worthwhile. Every crisis is an opportunity and the deeper the crisis, the better the opportunity.
Things You Should Know About the Professional Carpenters and Furniture Makers Association of Lagos State
You probably would have heard about the Professional Carpenters and Furniture-makers Association of Lagos state(P.C.F.A.), but I’m pretty sure you may not have known exactly why they exist and what they really stand for. Ok! Let me get you to speed on that.
4 Things You Never Knew About the P.C.F.A Lagos state
1. As far back as the 1930s, the P.C.F.A. existed and operated under different names in various local government areas of Lagos State.
2. In 1990, a Mr. Adekunle Adedeji of Alapere, Ketu area of Lagos made a decision to organize a graduation ceremony for his apprentice who had just completed his apprenticeship. Mr. Adedeji decided to invite a couple of professional Carpenters within the Ketu, Alapere area to attend the function. While at the function, the group of Carpenters immediately saw a need to establish the association properly. The need arising from the fact that they all knew each other and at that period, there was no way to trace and recognize verified carpenters. So on July 2nd 1991 precisely, the Association was born, inaugurated and the first state executive election held.
3. The organisation currently operates a 3-tier government structure no different from the government structure of the Federal Government of Nigeria:
– Tier 1: Zonal (Community and grassroots)- Covers the Mile 12, Ketu, Owode, Ikosi, Shangisha areas, etc.
– Tier 2: Branch (Local government level)- Such as Kosofe local government area, etc.
– Tier 3: State- This is the highest decision making body of the Organisation. Tier 3 comprises of state executives, state elders and 3 representatives of each branch. All of which come from the different local government areas of Lagos State.
4. Currently, the P.C.F.A. conducts operations in all the local government areas of Lagos state, with the exception of Badagry. In addition, the association has about 5-30 zones per branch, with each zone having between 20 – 100 members.
Partnership With Jambolo.com
As a way of getting recognized, as well as to showcase the great services offered by registered members of the association, the leadership of the P.C.F.A made a strategic decision to partner with Nigeria’s No.1 aggregator of Artisans/blue collar services in Nigeria, Jambolo.com.
In one of the statements offered by the President of the association in an interview conducted during a visit to the associated, he said “Jambolo has provided a platform for us to showcase our products and services and as such we believe this partnership will place our members in a position to compete effectively and deliver quality services to our customers in Lagos State. We believe in Jambolo.com and so should you.”
Services Offered by the P.C.F.A
Cabinet Installation and Repair
Handrails, Railings, and Stairways
Kitchen and Bath Wood Fixtures
Wood Rot Repair
Termite Damage Repair
On Jambolo.com, you can be assured that every registered Carpenter is a professional, with a good portfolio, the right years of experience, has undergone proper verification and profiling.
The next time the need arises to engage the services of a Carpenter and you’re concerned about engaging someone with a good amount of experience, who will offer great service and whom you can also reach in terms of verification for the services provided; don’t look too far, visit Jambolo.com for that professional Carpenter and enjoy great service.
Canva.com is now on Android and that’s exciting
Exciting times ahead for technology. 10, 20 years ago who would have thought we would have WhatsApp, Instagram or even hologram toda. Technology is making life easier for us on a daily basis.
If you are a content or graphics person, you probably use or have heard of Canva.com. Just in case you don’t know. Canva.com is a platform that makes it easy for individuals to create graphics for blog posts, social media posts, resumes and a lot more.
You do not have to be a professional graphics designer to create amazing graphics with Canva as the platform is user friendly and free as long as you use the free templates.
What is new and exciting about the Canva is that you can now use it one mobile. They just launched an Android App. Something folks like myself have been waiting for like forever. If you are the type that creates content on the go, you will understand the excitement.
The platform already has over 100,000 downloads on Google Play Store even though it was just launched about 2 weeks ago. Amazing isn’t it. Now that’s a sign of awesomeness.
5 ways market research can help you stay in business
For many small businesses, management of all aspects of a business is a daunting task. The added responsibility of market research makes it even more intimidating. Nonetheless, the aim of any business is usually to stay afloat and succeed. To achieve this, it’s important to understand the relevant market figures. Market research is that activity that empowers businesses make informed business decisions.
Here are 5 ways market research helps you stay in business
You make better business decisions
Some businesses rely on guess work when embarking on marketing initiatives. While some others launch a new product or service without testing customer responses. Market research enables one to make sound business decisions from research data. Decisions that are relevant to the success of a venture.
Become empowered to evolve business venture
Market research helps you know when it’s time to adopt or abolish business practices. It empowers a business to stay abreast of applicable efforts that facilitate business growth. Researching evolving trends and being strategic helps a business succeed.
Deep understanding of the target market
The best way to better understand your market is through market research. It tells who your customers and potential customers are and how best to meet their needs. Deep insights help you focus on the right market segments and consumers. Collecting market data is critical to understanding your target market. Such data enables the uncovering of critical drivers and factors that influence buying behaviour. Strategic application of market data helps your brand experience growth.
Effective marketing efforts for your business
Market research helps you determine the right advertising channels to engage. The next step is to develop effective messages to appeal to and convert the audience. It also helps you understand the right approach to use for the intended audience and when to use them. Market data helps you over develop and apply your target market behavioural trend. In turn, this helps you improve marketing efforts for your business.
Adopt a customer focused approach
Any business that relies on customers purchasing cannot afford to have unhappy customers. Having happy customers should be the focus of every business to achieve their set goals. Market research plays a huge part in that.
Market research helps you interact with customers to get feedback about your business. This in turn helps to develop efforts focused on keeping your customers happier.
We intend to do a follow up article to this discussing what research activity helps your business and how to go about it. Kindly drop your feedback and questions. We love to hear from you readers.