A few months ago I decided to spice up my personal life experience a little bit by going on a fishing trip, (so that one day I can boast about it to my grandchildren). I called my uncle on the phone and arranged to meet on the weekend, the fishing trip was fun and all but when you contemplate, there is more to it than just catching fish. There I picked up a few lessons, invaluable to anyone thinking of starting a business.
You Need Your Work Tools
Without the fishing rod, you are bound to have some chat, dust off, and go home, with no fish. Because say you are planning to start a business, you will obviously think about the machines you will need, the staff you will hire, office space and so on because these are ‘tools’ you will need to run the business and keep it going. You cannot run a photocopy shop without a copy machine, or a drilling factory without engineers.
So if you don’t want to end up chasing after fish with your bare hands with the certainty you won’t catch any, you better bring your work tools, because without them there wouldn’t be any profit, in our case, fish meat.
You Will Need to Bait Your Customer
Sometimes in order to sell a product, you have to give out some for free, it works all the time. It will draw the crowd to your product that otherwise would not have considered using your product, and if they like it, they will definitely come back wanting more. So imagine the fish as a potential customer, by placing a worm on your hook you attract its attention to come and have a bite whereby if it does, the end result is rewarding.
Meaning by strategizing a way to get the attention of your customer you will get to have great sales in your business. Remember this the next time you play a game demo or pick a buy-one-get-one-free item off the shelf in a grocery store.
You Should Start By Testing the Waters (Literally too)
Before you launch yourself into any misery, you should have a basic knowledge of what you are going to be dealing with. Know the potential market for your product/service, the who, when and why anyone would buy this product. Such information is invaluable in setting up a business or expanding your reach.
For example, in an oil company operation, before the whole skedaddle begins it has to find the right spot, find geological surveyors to dig, measure and scrutinize their data, and find out if the landmass has some minerals, in the event where they find nothing underground, they go to another site. While in a fishing trip you can’t just find any pond and throw a line, it may just be a place where people throw trash, and there wouldn’t be any fish or even tadpoles left. Finding the right spot could mean the difference between a good catch and a bad one.
It’s imperative you scout for a market with potential to yield results before you start any business enterprise. This may include; experimentation, try selling some of your goods/services and monitor the feedback – internet research, find some time and dig into the cyberspace, you will be surprised by the amount of useful information you will get from blogs dedicated to what you are looking up – ask people with experience, it really helps and saves you a lot of hassle.
Skill Is Required
While we were fishing with my uncle, I dropped a good catch three times back into the water. It wasn’t because I am a conservationist, or perhaps because I felt sorry for the poor creatures, NO! I accidentally dropped them due to the awesome lack of skill on my part despite having the first catch of the day to my name (beginners luck eh?).
Skill always determines between the good, and the very good craftsman. It is essential, your skill will help you secure loyal customers that keep coming back, and with an exceptional skill you will make a name for yourself, scaring off competition.
Start Small and Grow Steadily
During our fishing trip, I noticed the smaller fishes always attended to us first. It would be another hour before the ‘wiser’ more erudite fishes come to try out the offer, and with time the spot swarms with fish. If you are someone who likes to step ahead of his shadow, I mean by making rash decisions (most likely in hopes to earn fast) you are bound to suffer losses and squander your investment and end up working tirelessly around the clock to save your neck from debt. But if you exercise some patience, and start your enterprise slowly and steadily, you will be rewarded for it immensely.
Think about your target customers and potential markets. Then run a small advertising campaign, it could be online on your Facebook page or simply tell your friends and work colleagues. When people come to your shop (or your mom’s basement) and like what they saw, they pass compliments and recommend to other people, it will only be a matter of time before your clients include the kind of people that are dropped off from a limo.
By Hafiz Mukhtar Mahmud