A Nigerian motor vehicle spare parts dealer at Malangalanga in Lilongwe, Desmond Jude, shares experience on how Malawians can conduct their businesses effectively to suit the business environment for profit maximization.
Jude started by explaining how he conducts himself as a model for reference to people running different businesses in Malawi.
He said it is not easy to run a business as common like his and win the market at ease.
“Basically, I have to travel as far as Dubai to purchase motor vehicle spare parts where I have to pay for the goods and services, transportation, as well as pay at Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to import them into Malawi. So I have to calculate all the money involved in this whole process and set the price accordingly”, said Jude.
Currently, sustaining a business to satisfy customers need and sell more for the survival of the business is not easy, but taking proper action is vital.
He said one has to start by making a research on whatever business he or she intends to venture in and make sure it is based on customer wish at that period.
“Always strive to make a research of the business that is moving on the market, and get it, whether in large or small quantity. To survive in business you have to master record keeping, and you also need to make customer behavior analysis, like if the customers are not coming you have to call and ask why they are not coming, then cover the gap to win the customers again. You don’t have to be stiff in adjusting prices. When you feel your neighbor is selling the exact good or service, bring your prices a little bit down so that more customers should flock to you in order champion the market”, he said.
Treating a customer like you have met before is a way to go as far as attracting a customer in a business is concerned.
Jude further shared his experience on how to be in good terms with a customer and entice him or her to your business forever.
“You have to satisfy your customer to make him or her convinced that your consider buyers welfare, and be in good terms with the ones you work with in your business to make sure that that good relationship you have should be extended to the customer as well. You must also strive to provide customers with what they frequently ask for so that they should feel like you run the business to cover-up for their needs anytime they want when need arise. Always display attractive goods which buyers like to buy most often to act like bait, for example perfume, so that when they ask for it they get attracted to something else with a big value in your shop and consider buying it on the spot or later,” he emphasized.
Record keeping is mostly neglected by most Malawians. However, it is paramount in building business credibility and profit maximization.
Jude said records, in form of cash sale as well as cash flow statements, help in tracing customer complaints when need arise, and help in calculating profits respectively.
“You also have to keep traceable records, like cash sale, because when the customer complains on what he or she has bought from you, for example a tire which has not delivered as per expectations and a customer wants an exchange for a better one, you don’t struggle to cover up after confirming in the cash sale records you keep. At the same time, keeping cash flow records helps in knowing profit margin through calculations after selling the goods and services”, he concluded.
About the writer: Newton Kalua is a Journalism student at Malawi Institute of Journalism, Lilongwe Campus