Technology in this part of the world is still being overlooked by some business owners, they remain loyal to traditional ways of doing things and things has refused to change despite all the effort. The benefit of technology to businesses cannot be overemphasized in this present age.
Just like my friend Donald Yusuf Said in one of his post on Facebook
You are a fashion designer/tailor and nobody knows your skill on social media? You don’t leverage on Instagram to display your work and grow your business; you don’t have a business page on Facebook; you don’t have any plans for Facebook Advertising, and you don’t have a website?
Hmm! Oga tailor/fashion designer you are missing something ooh. You need to go Digital. Digital is not just the future of business; it is the present.
We have consistently helped small and medium businesses, as well as big brands, changed their business narrative by engaging in a converting digital strategy to improve their business and make more profit.
Today, we share with you a story from a business owner, in one of the numerous businesses we have help, with the hope that you will gain from it.
A few years back when two of my friends and I finished our Degree, we thought everything was gonna go smooth, normal thinking of students naa finish school with a first class or second class upper, get a good job, start a new life entirely and start building a family asap….u know naa based on logistics. But No, things didn’t go as planned. After 2 Years of living a jobless life and submitting cv here and there, we got fed up.
My two friends and I got together one Sunny afternoon at Agodi Garden in Ibadan and while chatting, Funmi brought up an idea she has once talked about when we were in school; about the three of us coming together to create a business, something to make the bond of our friendship stronger and also create a source of income for ourselves. Fatimah and I embraced the suggestion immediately because it was a beautiful one, we were then left with a problem, which was “the kind of business to engage in” we then brainstormed “what we can do that other person are not doing already?”. We were a bit dejected at this point as we couldn’t come up with a satisfying answer and I suggested that we take the issue of “what we could do” as an assignment to meet up and discuss together again after three weeks.
Three weeks breezed by and only Funmi was able to figure out a business idea which sounded ridiculous to me and did not go down well with Fatimah as well. Ask me what it is? The idea was to package and sell fried rice ingredients. I came up with a lot of reasons why it wouldn’t work, the biggest of all being that how will a whole me sit down and be selling fried rice ingredients, woidat. All my friends will now be calling me what, Iya fried rice or something worse. Fatimah being the calmest amongst the three of us brought up logical reasons which could end up being a barrier. Some of what she pointed was the fact that a lot of people were already into this, even Bodija market sellers do it, likewise, another problem would be how to get our clients.
Like every Savvy Entrepreneur will think, Funmi countered all of these with a singular opinion, and this was her opinion “I (that’s Funmi o) detests and feel so lazy in slicing my cabbage or green pepper or carrot and I know there are lots of people like me out there, therefore if we get all these ingredients already cut, prepared and packaged nicely people would buy cause of convenience and time saving”. This is Funmi already thinking like our customers, and this trait is a must for every business owner that want to succeed.
During this brainstorming session, Fatimah suggested we make our own business unique by going digital. This wasn’t exactly a new concept to me but I was like going digital for fried rice ingredients, who does that? She went ahead to convince us that she had a friend who was into the Digital marketing and web development and could easily create a well branded responsive website and optimized digital channels like the Facebook page, Instagram etc. for us where we can connect with more prospective clients to market to.
I hope you are picking one or two points to learn from this my long epistle
Like play like play o naso we start, and before we knew it just some few weeks after we had set up our Facebook page and Instagram account where we ran ads frequently, we received a call from a woman who works in the bank and usually is so very busy and tired after work to start going to the market. She said she called to find out if we could be supplying fried rice ingredients to her house every weekend because her kids are a big fan of fried rice but the stress in preparing the ingredients makes her shy away from preparing it for them.
In our mind, we were like sure why not, but you know naa we gats dey professional. So we were like sure that could be arranged, a price was fixed as well as the delivery fee. That’s how we started getting calls from other prospective clients from different places who wanted to buy fried rice ingredients. Omo this business was getting sweet gan and we were very excited with these results and dramatic increase in Returns on Investments (ROI). We were supplying fried rice ingredients and delivering it to their home.
Funmi who happens to be a good content writer back then in school decided to set up a blog page on the business website which would be a diary meeting place where we could write up articles showing the health benefits of fried rice ingredients, as well as how to prepare a very yummy fried rice no be concoction o abi colored rice. This, in turn, helped to build our customer relationship and increase our brand awareness as most of these posts had a lot of social media engagement.
THE BIGGER GROWTH
After some years we branched out into farming whereby we plant our own ingredients instead of buying from local farmers as we used to before. Adding this to our portfolio we got a different contract from large organizations and events. This goes on for few months until one afternoon, we got a call from the biggest eatery in the country telling us they went through our website and would love to sign a contract with us for the supply of fried rice ingredients in all their branches in Nigeria for the next 5 years. This was a major breakthrough in our business which took us from small time business women to millionaires. Now we have about 40 acres of land that we’re using for planting green pepper, carrot, and cabbage.
Just look at what technology has done to our lives and our business in general. We don’t want to be greedy, instead, we want to share the value of what technology has brought to our business with YOU. If it worked for us it can work for you too.
Now let me highlight some of the benefits technology has added to our business and how it can help yours too.
- With the use of Digital Marketing, we were to able sell our product beyond boundaries which gave us an unimaginable Return on Investments and a remarkable brand awareness. Mind you, we’re still growing.
Technology hasn’t just brought more money for us but also gives us a room to communicate to our customers by writing a blog post teaching them how to cook local foods and introducing them to a different kind of food from different culture within the country which has changed a lot of life.
- Accounting is what we really found difficult at the early stage of our business, then we use to write our expense on a note but technology has provided us with both online or offline accounting management system which has increased the level of our productivity. Right now, we know what we have at hand with a single button click on our smartphones without go through a long queue in the bank to get our bank statement. Thanks to technology.
- Technology has made it really easy for us to collaborate on projects, assign tasks, set milestones and share files as we weren’t living in the same state.
It has helped us to easily attract, capture, nurture and report on lead and new customers which are critical our business.
We can send contracts to clients to review via email and sign, then both parties get a digital copy of the finalized document rather than having to wait for a client to print the contract, review, sign, then mail back.
It has similarly helped in improving customer service through the use of our Auto-responder like optinchat web app which is programmed to interact with customers and collect their information for future use. In addition, clients have access to ask questions and get an immediate response via our dedicated email.
- In a nutshell, there is no limit to what technology can do to any business. With the experience we had running the digital part of our business, this has opened a lot of opportunities for us as a business owner. If it can work for us, it can also work for you.
My friend, success is not for everybody but only for those who are prepared for change and ready to take advantage of the trend.
THE STORY END!
You can use the links shared above to get started on Facebook, Instagram etc. or if you want us to set a growth strategy for your business using mind-blowing technologies to change the way people look at your business and also increase your Return on Investment we will be glad to help.