What do you do if you cant get a suitable place for your business within your price range? Steep prices are continuously charged for shop or office space especially in major cities such as Lagos, Port harcourt and Abuja. For those who wants to overcome the challenge of increasing rents and still remain in business without depleting their financial resources ,there are locations that does seem ordinary, but believe me many have started their massive money-generating businesses from such places. Think of Microsoft (Garage), Sweet Sensation (Car trunk) and many other successful business ventures.
Though for you, it is not lack of ability to pay rent, it may be due to the fact that sales have been in a rut for sometime ,or your shop is not in ideal location , therefore you have no or low patronage. What you need to do is to push out,get your goods to be seen easily , literally in people's faces, after all if Mohammed wont go to the mountain, the mountain will go to Mohammed. So here are my 10 ideas for unconventional selling locations.
1. Garages:Either use your house garage or loan a friend's and run your business from there. If the garage is not usually avaIlable , hold a garage sale instead, probably one saturday in a month. Make it fun with refreshments on hand, loads of discounts, a day people can look forward to and they will be sure to get good sales.
2. Vehicles:A car trunk (What we Nigerians call booth), mobile van, or a container attached to a stationary a trailer head, an empty bus will serve the purpose of an ideal business location. Just find a particular spot where there is much human traffic, park your vehicle and start selling, there is the added advantage of mobility, you can move from one place to another looking for new customers. Good examples of products sold from mobile vehicles are popcorn, ice cream ,fashion items, food e.t.c.
3. Sales booth:Temporary structures such as Tents,canopies, Marquees, or whatever it is you erect to shade your products from harsh weather elements will be ideal to serve temporary sales point. Whats more, you can dismantle and set up at another convenient location later on.
4. Public places:Market entrances, In front of cafes, beside banks, close to railway tracks, secretariats, mechanic villages, bus stops, opposite popular churches/mosques. These public locations provide the much needed human traffic needed for patronage. A typical example abounds in Ikeja, Lagos. Every available space is a business location.
5. Homes:Well if you believe it is safe and your home is easily accessible,Why not? You can convert any of your room, or balcony to a mini shop. Thats what most small scale businesses in Nigeria do any way. More So, if you are in Catering or baking business, your kitchen is an option , but ensure people don't wander in and out at will without proper monitoring, some people's goods have been stolen under pretext of buying. Keep their movements restricted to the business area only.
6. Others' spaces :Some ideal selling points include Boats, Hotel lobby, restaurants, cafes, hospitals, spas ,receptions, schools, salons, clubs (social, golf). They are shops or centres owned by others but you can put up show glass in these places to display your products,the owner can ask for a stipend to give you a corner space and the entire sales belongs to you, or they help carry your products and take a commission on each good sold. Ensure you have a good rapport with the staff so they can point out your products and help you make hit sales.
Hawking (street or road), moving from door to door, one office or shop to another are typical examples of nomadic marketing. You may not need to balance a tray on your head to make sales, but the products you are selling and their value will determine where you take your products to and if the potential customers are willing to buy.
7. Nomadic market:
8. Events:School' Opening days or P.T.A meetings, Landlord or political meetings, Prayer camp grounds, Orientation venues (E.g Nysc camps) , seminars, exhibitions,concerts are some social events you should look out for and participate in . Choose the ones that will suit your purpose or have your potential customers in attendance. If you sell beauty products, a makeup and beauty exhibition will be an ideal event to sell your items.]
Tips To make good sales in unconventional selling points:
- Whatever selling point you choose must be in a high traffic area either foot or motor, as long as there is an average of 100 people going and coming on particular day.
- Get permits for your selling points if its compulsory , just ensure you are paying to the right people/agency and not touts. Some people love to rip off others in a bid to make easy money.
- Before you set up your business, be sure such is allowed within or around the premises you are planning to set up, because some places due to security ,congestion,or nature of business won't allow such.Examples are banks, museums ,or around government buildings.
- Put up a banner at your selling point and hand out fliers so that passers-by or visitors will know what your business is all about .
- Ask friends, families and clients to share through social media and word of mouth informing others where your new location is , you can promise giveaways or discounts per referral.
- Before and at end of each business day, clear the space of clutter, keep it clean and make the environment appealing, just as you would do if it was a shop or office . That way, others will be sure you are in for serious business.
- Keep a record of sales made for accountability.
- Keep a a list of customers who bought your products, potential customers (those who asked around or intend coming back), send them thanks-yous messages for visiting your booths. That way you build up your client list .
Do you have other ideas for unconventional selling points, Please share.
Remember this is an original article written by me, Author's credit should be properly acknowledged and directed to this blog.
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