Starting a Business III – Akan Imoh

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Welcome to Day Three of my series on Starting a Business. I hope you’ve been learning. Do you realize that we’ve not even yet discussed money/capital. This should show you that money isn’t the first thing to consider when starting a business.

Today. I’ll be talking about ‘Demand Planning’. But, before that, let’s do something first. Yesterday, I talking about doing a feasibility study and I mentioned something. I said it is important to do a 21st century threat analysis. Someone commented and asked if it was the same with the famed SWOT Analysis. No, it isn’t.

I’m sure you must have heard of what the SWOT analysis is, but, I have an additional ‘T’ there. The additional ‘T’ stands for ‘Trends’.

It is important to note that, apart from the ‘Strengths’, ‘Weaknesses’, ‘Opportunities’ and ‘Threats’, there is a big need to look at the trends in your industry and factor it in as you set your goals. For example, the explosion of Social Media is a trend. If your business is not on Social Media, you know you are still joking. Let’s take it a bit deeper. Snapchat is gradually becoming the cool new kid of Social Media.

This is a trend that is taking the world by storm. Snapchat Inc. has 150 million people using the service each day and has been growing rapidly, primarily due to its popularity among young people.

Snapchat’s users watch 10 billion videos per day. What does this tell you? Simple. People are watching short videos. Therefore, your business should leverage on this trend and use it positively.

The 21st Century Analysis can also be called a Future SWOT. It takes look a critical look at the 21st century and outlines what and what can kill your business. The 21st century is a radical era. People will get poor or rich by just very small acts. It is an era for the highly intelligent ones. The simple question to ask yourself is this: will my business still be relevant in ten years time? If not, please have plans to diversify.

If there’s just one app that can do what your whole business is doing, trust me, that’s the beginning of the end of the business.

Some years back in Lagos, the first place you’ll think of if you wanted to buy a phone was SLOT at Computer Village. And then came Jumia and Konga. SLOT didn’t know what hit them. They were blow out of the minds of people by the product of tech. People just switched and started ordering their products online. Too many things where happening at the same time.

Now, not only tech can affect your business in the 21st century. You need to understand that the customer is becoming very much erratic nowadays. They will simply just move to your competitor without any stress. Companies are grapling to understand how they behave. There are too many things that can happen.

For example, Jumia and Konga said they will bring the product to your house and you’ll pay on delivery. Bam. They eliminated the stress and fear and risk of going to the very popularand notorious Computer Village in Ikeja. No wonder SLOT started their own deliver service.

Issues can change tthe minds of consumers.

Ovaltine is seen as an old people’s beverage. How did we come about that perception. It is very rare to see a young person buying Ovaltine to drink. If Ovaltine does not work on this perception, they will die out in few years. Simply because the next generation don’t see it as something they can relate to.

Ouch. I’m sorry, I have not even been able to say anything about Demand Planning. Okay. Let’s do that tomorrow.


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