Among other factors that may be stalling your business growth, maybe your mindset is also a king factor.
I checked out today to buy a half crate of egg in the neighbourhood.
- Me: How much is half crate I queried.
- The lady: It’s N600
- Me: I buy for N500, since when did it turn N600
- The lady: I don’t dispute that you buy it for N500 but I was instructed it is N600 here.
- Me: Okay! Do you have the type of egg that sells 6 for 200?
- The lady: Yes, it’s available.
PS: Note that half crate of egg is 15 units. By implication, if 6 is available for 200, 15 will cost N500 without any much ado nor bargaining. I tried to help the lady understand this but she shut me from doing so. The result, I only bought goods worth N200 and left the shop.
This event birthed a quick nostalgia from my previous employment with Opeoluwa Shea Butter. It is a common practice while I was with the company to sell either at discount or bearing some cost that otherwise would have been borne by the business partner or altogether adding a new product to the primary package in order to grow a new business territory. All these were done deliberately to foster product growth and grow the number of first-timers that use the company’s product. The result, some new territory go on adding a significant percentage to the bottom line. That’s an open-minded mindset at play.
Where do the two narratives intersect?
Business mindset! One was fixated on the price dictated to her by the business owner, the other was open-minded enough to understand that sometimes you need to “lose money to gain money”. It appears to me that a lot of SMEs (not a startup) are missing a lot in terms of revenue because of their mindset and little to no understanding of how business works.
While I may not use the example of “a shop” to generalize “SMEs”, I make bold to say poor business practices hinged on fixated mindset and not understanding when compromises are needed in business is one of the things responsible for lacklustre growth of small businesses in Nigeria.
From “the lady’s” narrative, if she had an open mind, she would have taken note to understand that N500 is still a profitable deal and wouldn’t have lost N500 in revenue. While for Opeoluwa SheaButter, the business managers understood when compromises are important for the sake of growth.
Growth strategy is a whole lot and it takes local understanding to penetrate any local market. This is because different markets have it believes, myth and mindset. Understanding this can help you put an appropriate strategy in place for customer acquisition. One of such workable strategies is what I have described above hinged on the entrepreneur’s mindset. The entrepreneur/business manager must always understand when compromise is needed in order to grow her business to the desired level.
Among other things though that helps to grow customer is understanding the myth of the market. Once in the wake of America industrialization, Andrew Carnegie the father of iron melting (Carnegie Steel) constructed a bridge with iron (new then). However, no one will use the bridge out of fear. But they have a myth in the location then, “if an elephant can walk through a path, then the path is safe”. Your guess is probably right. Carnegie organized a show and arranged an elephant to walk across the bridge to the other side. The rest they say is history. Swift adoption and usage started at once.
Understanding the myth of your market might be the way to unlock growth. But it takes an open-minded person to make the needed compromise.