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Me-too Shops

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Avatar for Bilqees
Written by   146
5 months ago

A couple of hours ago, as I was trying to gather my thoughts, I remembered I had to go get flour. It totally skipped my mind yesterday when I went to the market to buy foodstuffs.

Honesty I just had to go get it right away in the cold night before there would be an increase in the price again if I decided to wait till the following morning ( my naija pals know what I'm talking about. ) . Due to my pneumonia, I came out in three clothes including a jacket,a head warmer, a pair of hand gloves and a pair of socks and headed to a nearby store close to my house to get the flour that I needed to make "chin-chin"( a local and tasty snacks which is mostly prepared and served to guests during Christmas).

So proud to show off my adorable sponsors. Believe me, they are one thousand percent sweet.

I have decided to prepare something similar to the picture below which i would distribute to kids in my neighborhood when they come to my house and ask for " happy Christmas". ( I dont have money to share. Lol)

To my utmost regret, i found out that the price of flour had been jacked up yet again. A plate of wheat flour that cost 8oo naira three days ago was now actually sold for 1000 naira now. I had no choice than to purchase it at that amount, since the cost of goods and services would continue to go up in my region of the world.

After buying the flour, i and my seller engaged in a light conversation, I asked how business was going and she replied by saying "Kasuwa da godiya" (meaning: we thank God) . Now whenever a trader replies you with that phrase, he or she means that the business or shop is not doing very well at the moment.

Honestly, I wasn't surprised to hear this as there were four other stores in the streets that were involved in thesame provisions business ( grocery stores). This line of business was already saturated, making the profit margin quite low for the participatory traders.

Me- too businesses is very common in Nigeria where you would see a lot of retailers operating the same businesses in thesame area. The most successful retailer on our street is a very large woman of about forty or forty five . She was also the first to set up this kind of business, and this gave her a competitive advantage over the others. Her shop is the largest and stocked to the brim .All these factors offered a special appeal to customers who keep trooping to her store in their numbers as they neglect the other stores. she had been constantly expanding while other smaller stores are finding it difficult to scale up.

You don't just get into a particular business judging by what you see on the surface. Just because others are into it and seemingly making profits doesn't mean that you would also succeed in thesame business if you decide to engage in it . If that type of business is already saturated in the area, the growth of your business would be very slow.

I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow another woman decides to add another kiosk to our street, selling similar products just because they want to "do business" rather than remaining idle. Some business owners usually imagine that provided that there's demand, then supply is inevitable. But when the supply is over and above demand, Your business would disappoint you . This is what thousands of small and medium scale enterprises are passing through today where you see traders complaining that there is"no market". Needless to say that most of them becomes bankrupt and shut down their shops indefinitely.

The importance of innovation cannot be overemphasized in business . I know of a yam seller in a market close by. Despite being in the midst of other yam sellers, he records the highest sales at the end of the day because his yams are far more cheaper. As a result, he is always surrounded by buyers who are mostly women and are always in a rush to buy from him. Before 2pm, he would have sold everything and be on his way home.

One day, after he was done with sales and about to leave,I decided to ask him how he manages to make profits by selling his yams at rates far lower than that of other yam traders. It doesn't make sense to me using lower prices to attract more customers when you will be at a loss. I said to him.

He merely laughed at my naivety . His younger brother who assists him in the business also smiled at me before he revealed the secret. I was told that they usually get their yams from a very far away town, at the outskirts of nigeria, close to cameroun. He revealed to me that yams was dirty cheap in this town. Every three months, they make a trip to this town where they buy yams in very large quantities at far more cheaper rates than any other yam markets or farmers in Nigeria. The yams would then be conveyed to Nigeria and sold at cut- prices in our local market. And since the cost price of the yams will still be far lower than its selling price,they are still able to make killer-profits,!

Since then, my respect for him doubled and i nicknamed him the messi of yam business as he makes other players looks like merry paintings on the wall. Lol

The ability to diversify is also an important quality of a smart business man or woman . I have another favorite trader in the market who also applies his ingenuity to maximise profits . He doesn't always focus on the sales of a particular food item like the way other traders do. He alternates the sales of mangoes, cucumber, carrots and cherry each year whenever the market conditions are favourable for any of the fruits .For instance, there is usually a high demand for mangoes and cherry during the rainy season. He would abandon the others and invest all his capital on mangoes thereby making huge sales. During the dry season,he focuses more on cucumber and salads.

No doubt, creativity and the ability to think outside the box will always draw a clear line between the men and the boys. Lol.

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Avatar for Bilqees
Written by   146
5 months ago
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Its a hard rime thinking of the packaging in thr product.. i have a handmade too but my oackaging is not so perfect.

$ 0.01
5 months ago

Yeah, innovation and packaging has a lot to do in such competitive businesses. I know of a street that has eateries lined up, the ongoing competition always baffles me. Earlier this year, one of them destroyed some parts of the block and contributed an upstair which is now used an event centre coupled with the eatery. It's now the talk of the town

$ 0.00
5 months ago

I also see things like that a lot in school and the one that is currently trending is barbecue and shawarma joints. It's not surprising to see up to 5 of that joint all close to each other. The same thing with POS, those ones are now even more than people that even have bank account 😂

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Bubu wan turn almost all our graduates to POS operators 😂

$ 0.00
5 months ago