By Albert Makendenge
A typical marketplace in Zimbabwe is home to tens and tens, if not hundreds, of vendors who are selling more or less the same agricultural products. If one decides to just take a quick scan of their own location or residential area, they almost always end with quite a significant number of backyard or small scale farmers who are into broiler or layer production. This alone speaks volumes about the intensity of the competition that exists within the agricultural sector and this piece comes with tips and tricks to help elevate one’s business a level or two up from the crowd.
One way to stand out and draw customers to your business is through support your local community and getting actively involved in most of its programs. One can make use of these events to market their products and whenever a customer wants that particular product you will almost always be the first face to come to mind.
In this era of increased use of technology, making use of social media is a very smart move since this is where a big chunk of customers can easily be found. vaMudhumeni has a marketplace on Facebook as well as several WhatsApp marketing groups. We also have a Marketplace page on our website where you can post a classified advertised for free as well. A Well targeted and well-timed advertisements or links can simply put you in a very good position to make more sales when others cannot.
Whilst it is not a completely bad idea to diversify and increase the range of your products as a farmer, it is also quite important to have that one product or business that you specialize in. A product or business so good and dependable that customers know not to go anywhere else but to come to you.
Offer convenience or flexible trading hours, for example stretching deep into the night or starting way early in the morning, is also another way to beat out the competition. Customers come to recognize you as an all time or anytime supplier.
In as much as the idea of specialization is good for quality, what customers want is a wide range of products to satisfy the wide and diverse product preferences. Offering a one stop shop gives one an edge over the rest of the players.