One in five 18 to 34 year olds have a business idea. This generation more than any other is most likely to make a go for it. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s 2017/2018 report, 70 per cent of starts-ups in Africa began in pursuit of an opportunity rather than out of necessity.
For young entrepreneurs starting out, the pressure to become masters of every aspect of the business can be immense. With limited resources and fear of failure, small businesses will often push challenging tasks such as developing and executing a marketing plan to the bottom of the list. Yet, investing in a marketing plan helps the business grow in an increasingly competitive market. Focusing on understanding the customer, personalising customer experience, and becoming a reference point are key essentials in today’s digitally driven environment.
What do you know about your consumer?
As a business how well do you know the habits of your customers? Do you know what their social preferences and interests are? At a basic level do you know what they purchase from you and how frequently? An inexpensive place to start is by talking to your customers. Once you know them, you’ll be better placed to reach them.
Not only by increasing the repeat business but by using the information to target other new customers more accurately. Panesar Interiors, a 70 year old bespoke Kenyan furniture brand actively engages with existing clients through personal courtesy calls. Used as a tool to check-in, they are able to ascertain if clients are happy with their furniture, that it fits the purpose it was ordered for and follow up if any further assistance is required.
Marketing tools make personalisation easy
Once you know your the customer it becomes easy to personalise the communication you share with them. At the basic level, do your email newsletters customise with their name? Are you segmenting product promotions to relevant audiences rather than a one-size-fits all approach? Every small business has a social media presence these days.
Newly opened, Nairobi based fitness studio Mom3ntum uses technology to empower both clients and trainers alike. Through a digital platform, clients have the freedom to opt for classes and monitor their timetable for the week. With this data collection system the studio can equally track a client’s progress, better personalise the training offered and send out updates in real time. All-in-all allowing them to offer a much more bespoke service designed around each person.
It’s a social media overload , How are you standing out?
Every brand is on social media. As a small business your digital advertising spend will not match that of big players. So what can you do to stand out? Build a strong platform that keeps people coming back. Actively trying to set aside time, involving other employees or budget permitting enlisting the help of a third-party will ultimately pay dividend with stronger business growth.