Perhaps the most frustrating time in any business is when your products and services are not selling.
When your turnaround time becomes unnecessarily long it affects your liquidity.
To make matters worse if you are dealing in foreign trade and the exchange rate is unstable like the current situation in Zambia, it becomes apparent that your business will face unfavourable conditions.
Borrowers are affected by the increase in the interest rates too.
This week’s article highlights the need to align your business to accommodate the needs of customers without having to stock your products for a longer period of time.
The food, health and education sectors are the most important areas that cannot be marginalised.
The fact that we cannot do without food makes it impossible to live without it.
Regardless of what circumstances we may find ourselves in, we still have to eat for survival.
However, any business owner must be strategic to know exactly what the customer basic needs are in the market they operate in.
In Zambia, 90 per cent of all households need mealie meal for nshima, porridge and relish to go with it for instance.
A Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) with a small grocery shop must ensure that they stock up the shop with things like mealie meal all the time.
This is because with food, you cannot go wrong.
The hospitality industry is also a crowd-puller because people love to eat and enjoy their lives.
When it comes to health matters, it is always impossible to live without medical facilities because we do not choose when to fall sick.
Some ailments or diseases just come naturally and cannot be avoided.
This is an area which is worth tapping into.
For instance, owning a pharmacy to supply medicines, becoming a supplier of medical-related products, owning a surgery, clinic or hospital!
These are ideas that are often overlooked.
Identifying gaps will help you know what is needed for you to bridge that gap profitably.
The education sector makes people understand things better because they are able to analyse and make decisions that can bridge the gaps.
This sector is a must to tap into especially basic nursery, primary and secondary school education.
This means money must be spent for the teaching services.
Starting a school in an area where this need is unmet is an opportunity for business.
Supplying educational materials such as books and pencils are little things that are ignored.
Those who are already educated can share their knowledge through training, lectures, presentations and any other consultancy requirements.
All the above mentioned areas require money to start business, therefore, the financial sector must always be in the equation for startup and working capital financing.
This is an area where money lenders are mushrooming to assist those that find it difficult to access funding although in most cases, these are not the best alternative.
This is because of their exploitation in terms of high interest rates and collateral requirements.
For an entrepreneur to be profitable, it is advisable to consider cheaper source of funds.
Although debt is not always the best solution, it helps when there is need to start or expand the business.
For existing businesses, ploughing back your profits is ideal for growth.
Income can be generated from little things that people need, however, you have to be at the right time and place for you to conduct your business.
Product, price and place will forever be key in business.
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