It’s yet another week again for us to rise up and realise the dream. Last week we looked at an entrepreneurs’ attitude and in that article we focused on the attitudes that tends to bring us down. This week we will focus on the art of infiltrating your target market.
There is a common saying which goes – luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Nowhere is this truer than in business. The question then remains, how does one stay prepared?
Firstly you conduct an analysis of your market and put together a priority list of items you can sell or you can readily access in order to meet an order. For the most part most people look for a product when they want to use it hence any delays in meeting the order will lead them to end up buying from competitors.
Although I acknowledge that due to limited funds it might not always be possible nor feasible to keep stock in hand as we are prone to hand to mouth practices necessitated by the economy. One should strive as much as possible to meet customer needs expediently. This is good marketing practice and over time will grow your reputation in a good way as clients regard you as reliable.
Next you will also need to compile a list of marketing tools. When a customer enquires the first thing they want to see are samples of past work. Having this ready gives you a sense of legitimacy and also gives the client confidence that you are able to meet their needs. Marketing tools can be catalogues, price lists, pictures, physical samples, websites, social media handles, branded wear or even reviews from previous customers. It pays to keep these marketing tools ready for clients to see. Don’t expect your customers to take your word for it. Remember shopping is an experience and you need to put effort into how you want your customers to experience your shopping experience.
Also consider getting all documentation in place required to complete a sale. More so, for those servicing the corporate market as it is a must to have the right documentation to complete a sale. Most companies require at least a tax clearance in order to be able to process payments. But to have a tax clearance one should be registered as a company with ZIMRA. Hence businesses must be formalised and have the proper documentation in place so as to not miss out on business opportunity due to not having the proper documentation.
Another aspect is that of creating a receipt book whether electronic or a hard copy so that those clients who require one, you are able to provide at a moment’s notice or make it standard practice that every sale is invoiced. This will also assist with record keeping and tracking of sales.
Furthermore, we will look at pricing of products. One should always have their prices and products well-articulated and easily available for viewing by clients. It is frustrating to keep requesting for prices and be told one is still working on them. If you provide business on a quote system. Develop a working system whereby you will be able to provide a quote in the shortest time possible and desists from making clients follow up on you to get quotes.
Some of us have the tendency to have different prices for the same product being communicated to the market at the same time without a clear justification of why that is so. This leave you clients feeling cheated on if they discover they paid a higher price than the other person.
The last aspect we will look at is social media presence. In short I will say be found when you clients are looking for you. It costs nothing to have a Facebook, twitter and Instagram page. It’s no use having a business no one knows about. Having these accounts will also act as customer testimonials and also show case your past work to potential clients. We live in a digital world embrace that and use it to your advantage.
Next week we will look at the company registration process and the various documentation that you need to successfully register your company in Zimbabwe. Till then stay safe and stay winning.