Critical analysis is one of the skills we require as entrepreneurs. Before you engage into the market, you should be confident that your idea is workable, at least come with minimum flaws. Wearing five different hats in one idea challenges you to think broadly, leading to one solid idea. By so doing, in this article we will be relating to starting an online selling business in Zimbabwe. Let’s introduce the five hats concept when analyzing and challenging your own business idea.
White hat- description of the idea, just the facts.
This is the the hat that symbolizes the initial stage of the journey. Putting on the white hat, one should describe his or her business idea. Stating the facts and how it will work.
Relating to starting an online selling business in Zimbabwe, my idea is to create a web-based platform where sellers list different products for sale.
Yellow hat- describe how the idea will work, benefits and value.
Upon wearing the yellow hat, one will be revealing how the idea will work and how it will benefit the customers. In my case, sellers have to create profiles and accept the terms and conditions binding sellers on the platform. They can therefore list their products with prices and submit to our warehouses. On the other hand consumers have no need to sign up, they can directly view and purchase any product in stock and it will be delivered within approximately 24 hours, depending on location.
Sellers will enjoy the benefits of warehouse storage and marketing from our business. Consumers will be able to pay using various secured options and our process will not expose them to the risk of covid-19 as compared to physical stores. This can, therefore, contribute to the success of the business.
Black hat- describe why the idea will not work, difficulties and dangers.
The black hat reflects why the idea will likely not work including the difficulties or challenges of the idea. In my case, internet data tariffs are expensive for many in Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans haven’t fully adopted the culture of online buying. Furthermore, there is a strong competition from both other online and physical stores. This might all contribute to the failure of the business.
Red hat- describe feelings, hunches and intuition towards the idea
When wearing the red hat, you have to describe feelings, hunches and intuitions towards the idea. In my scenario, for one to wait for some hours before he/she receives his/her goods may make the consumer lose patience. In comparison, some sellers easily sell their products on WhatsApp and other social media platforms making. Which in turn, breeds in them second thoughts in registering with our platform. Furthermore, data costs will come in as major barrier to potential customers so there is need to be aggressive with our marketing strategies and be innovative.
Green hat- describe alternatives for the idea, new ideas
Last but not least, the green hat brings in alternative paths and new ideas. Rather, it is the innovative part, providing solutions for the challenges. In my scenario, our web-based store will be supported by a WhatsApp automated handle that responds to the customers’ needs. Moreover, as we generate more revenue, we will consider negotiating with service providers for customized data packages so as to make our platforms easily accessible.