Welcome to #InspireAfricaProject! It is said that about ninety percent of start-ups fail. It simply means that nine out of ten start-ups will fail. The question is, why do we have this level of failure? I think there are many reasons, but I will try my best to share how to revive a dying business.
Anytime people ask me how to compete favorably in this ever changing world of business, I usually tell them that they must be one step ahead of others. You must be ready to restrategize. You cannot succeed in business in the 21st century if you are holding on to ideas and traditions that are antiquated and obsolete! You must be ready to try new ideas and new strategies in order to be ahead of your competitors. This story will throw more light into this discussion.
“When the gulf war broke out, people stopped coming in to buy Lexus cars from a particular dealer. The dealer and his staff knew that if they did not change their response to the event of nobody coming into the showroom, they were going to slowly go out of business.
Their normal response would have been to continue placing adverts in the newspapers and on the radio, then wait for people to come in to the dealership. But that wasn’t working. The outcome they were getting was a steady decrease in sales. So they tried a number of new things.
The one that worked was driving a fleet of new cars out to where the rich people were- the country clubs, marinas, polo grounds, parties in Beverly Hills and Westlake Village- and then inviting them to take a spin in a new Lexus.
Now think about this, have you ever test-driven a new car and then got back into your old car? Remember the feelings of dissatisfaction you felt as you compared your old car to the new car you just driven? Your old car was fine up until then. But suddenly you know there was something better- and you wanted it.
The same thing happened with these folks. After test-driving the new car, a high percentage of the people bought or leased a new Lexus.”~Jack Canfield. If the owner of the dealership had stayed with the old way of marketing, they wouldn’t have sold any car. But by restrategizing, they started selling again. To revive a dying business, you must consider the following:
1. Why Is The Business Struggling? What mistakes did you make in the past that resulted to what you’re going through right now? How did you manage the business? What is the vision and mission of your business? How did you manage your resources? Are you one of those who takes money anytime they like because it’s their business?
What do you think is responsible for the downturn? If you fail to find out what happened to the business, you might repeat it in the future. I have consulted for organizations whose challenge is how to manage their money. Deal with it immediately. Don’t take money from the business anytime you like, place yourself on salary. Allow the business the breathe.
2. Is The Business In The Right Location? Before you establish a business, you must go for environmental scanning. It’s true that you can sell your products through the Internet and advertisement, but every stat-up must be well positioned. In my books, The Entrepreneur, and Increasing Your Capacity For Exploits, I discussed how to discover the right location for your business.
If you are selling female clothes, you must consider the culture and the religion of your potential customers. The dresses you sell in Southern parts of Nigeria cannot be sold in some parts of the North. You can’t just move into Egypt and sell whatever you like, you must study the people to know their likes and dislikes.
I shared in that book (The Entrepreneur) how LG Electronics built one of their products around a particular period when Moslems in Egypt are observing one of their religious obligations, and the product became a household name in Egypt within a short period of time.
If you’re wrongly positioned, it will be difficult for you to thrive in business. Location matters when it comes to business. The same kaftan that was designed in Aba, Abia state, is what made a young man a multimillionaire in Lagos. Look around you and check if your environment is affecting your business. The Lexus dealer had to go to where potential customers were before he could sell.
3. Do You Have Competitors? A young man who wanted to establish electronics business met me few years ago. During our interaction I found out that he wanted to invest N500,000 into the business. He asked me whether he should go ahead with his plan. I told him that his initial capital determines the kind of business he should invest in.
I made him to understand that if he sells television sets that goes for N100,000 each, it would suffocate his capital! I encouraged him to look for a business where his N500,000 can purchase over five hundred number of goods. That way, competitors would not drain his capital. I told him not to establish the business in one of the popular markets in Lagos, instead, he should go to a popular street where there are no competitors. He is doing well today.
Don’t compete with companies that are ten times bigger than yours, it’s very risky. I have seen a lot of people whose businesses crashed because they were competing with big organizations. Choose your competition carefully. If a two year old baby chooses to fight a thirty year old man, he will have himself to blame. The only way you can compete with an organization that is bigger than yours is if you have a superior idea than them.
If you are one of the ‘disruptors’ that are changing the way we live, you can challenge big companies and take away their market share. If you can do what Apple Inc. and Samsung did to Blackberry, it means you can compete with any company. You can order for Change Management In Business and Career In The 21st Century CD to learn how to become one of the ‘disruptors’ in our generation. Call Godwin on 07032681154.
4. Do You Have The Right Personnel? I went to a restaurant few days ago, and when I saw how the staff of that organization treated me and other customers, I predicted its downfall. In fact, someone who has never been to that restaurant before went there and came back with the same story. The staff are rude and lazy. They love watching television than serving customers. I saw people screaming at them, yet they didn’t even behave as if people were talking to them.
Am still trying to understand why someone would spend millions of dollars to establish a business, only to hire people that will help him to close down the business. That’s why I insist that before or after hiring new sets of people, you must train them. There is no amount of money you spend in training your staff that is a waste. If the owners of the restaurant I talked about can organize a seminar or workshop for their staff, and invite a speaker to teach them customer service management, they will open many restaurants in few years time.
One of the reasons why Dubai is thriving is because the king and his team set up a solid structure. And they periodically send people to different parastatals and department to pretend as if they needed some services to know how the staff relates with clients. That single act made the employees to do their best all the time because you never know whether the person you’re talking to is a government agent.
To learn more on how to grow your business or revive a dying business, kindly visit www.uncommonwisdomacademy.com. Don’t forget that your organization can never grow beyond the capacity of its managers. We can also organize a special training for you and your staff depending on your needs. Send your request to email@example.com or call 07032681154. See you at the top!
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