10 WAYS TO BE STREET SMART IN
RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS
If you are a Nigerian and you live especially in a busy city like Lagos and Port-Harcourt, one person that is certain to be on the road on a daily basis is the street/road seller.
Although he or she sells low cost items and fast moving goods like Gala, sachet water, ice cream, plantain chips etc., the truth is that street sellers are street smart and they make heavy profits daily.
In June this year, Accelerate Media had a report of one Mr. Chinedu Okoroafor, a street hawker who makes 1 million naira monthly. This is just one report out of many reports of many successful people who are making legitimate money from street hawking.
Street hawkers do not need to pay so much on advertising but they do their energy in little things that leads to high profitability in a short time. They are street- smart. They may be uneducated but they do have some strong business ethics that you as a small scale or big scale business owner can learn from. The following are few things one can learn from these guys:
1. Persistency :
For the street and road sellers, some days, their customers may say they are not buying, other days, they are but which ever customers decided on any day, they are sure to be there in their face, running and panting after them. Even the most unwilling customers are moved to patronize by their persistent. As a business owner, be persistent
Come rain, come shine, you will see them on the road. It does not matter if the previous day they made just one sale, the next day they are sure to be out, ready to make more sales and recover their losses. As a business owner, be consistent in your business whether you are making sales or not.
3. Local slangs / communications:
They are aware of local slangs and current trending topics. In fact, they create them. When they see you, they communicate with such slang in order to build customer relationship.
McDonalds, the largest fast food chain in the World is able to achieve this peak by inducing things (ingredients) of the locals into their menus hence, people can always relate with them in whatever country they are in. As a business owner, you may have your unique selling point (USP) but is your brand relatable to your customers? Are you communicating? Take some time to study Airtel adverts.
4.Good customer relationships;
Even under the scorching hot sun, you can’t but notice the smiles on their faces as they hand over their goods to their customers.
5. Good location:
Street and road hawkers understand how thirsty you must be after the close of work on a hectic day and even held up in Lagos traffic, while you are still thinking of water, you see them just beside the windows of your car or bus stretching out a bottle of water, same thing with food, you may be hungry and you will see them with nice tasty snacks.
They are always right there in the location of where their goods are required. As a business owner, find out the need of your customers and be right there for them.
6. Displayed Goods:
Their goods are always on display. They are not hidden. Sometimes they are the ones that bring you awareness to some of these goods before you see it your television. 7. They always have change:
Funny how we, Nigerians always look for something to buy because we want change. The street sellers never disappoint. They are right there with the change. Whatever excuse your customer may bring to patronize you, be available. Go beyond their expectations.
8.Hard workers and smart workers:
These guys are hard workers. If they went to school, they might not be the best in class but you see this thing called business, they “sabi” (know it well) and they are willing to give their best to it.
They are zealous about their products whether they are the producers or not. They are aggressive marketers. Be your first aggressive marketer for your business.
9. The sky is wide enough for everyone to fly
There may be many sellers of the same product in that traffic or same street but they aren’t discouraged by that.
It is a survival of the fittest. Whoever can sell more, should. The sky is wide enough for every bird to fly. Don’t be scared of competition in your business
10. They have tough skin.
Customers may hurl insults at them, abuse them even push them off the road. But they are not discouraged.
They are there next day to continue their selling activities and bringing in increase. Challenging times will definitely come, dear business owner, have that tough skin now.