Protesting Nairobi traders fighting a losing battle
Posted Monday, August 20 2012 at 14:39
- The traders complained that many of the Chinese dealers were operating out of backpacks, evading taxes and undercutting the prices charged by local businessmen.
- Once you start up a business, you plunge into an ocean populated by a few smaller fish, which compete with you for food, and lots of bigger ones eager to eat you alive.
How you can defend yourself from the blows that will inevitably come your way:
- Come Together: The only way for us to deal with the huge multinationals is to come together. Businesses that come together share resources, reduce costs and bid for (big) contracts.
- Know your customer: Knowing and understanding targeted customers is the overarching rule of exceptional companies. Award-winning business builders know their customers as well as they know their own families, perhaps even more so.
Successful entrepreneurs know with exactness the wants, wishes and buying behaviours of specific individuals.
They have analysed the size of the market or the number of potential customers that fit the target profile. But further still, they know their customers’ names, ages, genders, incomes, home and Internet addresses, professions, education, associations, and marital status, number of children, hobbies, their tastes and interests.
They grasp what their customers watch, read and hear. They understand their likes and dislikes.
Need I say more? The lesson for a small business is simple – Mama mboga (the kale woman) will soon be Chinese. You had better be prepared for her before she catches you flat-footed.