What is profitable for small businesses: three life hacks from an entrepreneur
Denis Martynov talks about promising niches for small business development in Russia, within which you can build an effective business today: from a variety of integrators of services and goods to high-quality service
Now is the best time for small businesses. While the state “helps” medium and large businesses “survive”, it is time for entrepreneurs-artisans-people who create and manage small businesses on their own.
The time has come when the captains of their own boats can bypass the big liners. But not in everything and not all along the way. It is important to determine what” your boat ” has strengths and when to apply them.
Today we are talking about three areas with three life hacks about what is profitable for small businesses to produce.
1. Produce integrators to attract customers, platforms where the seller and buyer will meet
Now there is a huge glut of goods, owners and manufacturers are concerned about how to monetize their company, return the money invested. Every first hotel owner on the Black sea will be happy to sell their “child”, manufacturers pay crazy interest and bonuses for attracting new customers.
Examples booking.com, ” Yandex.Taxi”, BlaВlaCar show that it is relevant, and most importantly — possible. And do not think that this requires a lot of money. You need a working idea and a relentless sense of self-confidence. And, of course, the hard work of the Creator.
There are many niches for this. Here’s just a small list: commercial real estate rental market, providing legal services, providing construction equipment for rent, finding and providing housekeepers with a guarantee, extracurricular training, healthy food programs, exchange trips.
Look at the world more broadly, and you can see what is missing in it, what people need most now.
2. Don’t be afraid to produce
It seems that now so much is being produced that it is impossible to invent something new. This conclusion can be made by reading the first paragraph of our article, if you, of course, read only the letters, and do not catch the meaning that lies between the lines.
So. Small production. Yes or no?!
I am sure that there are huge prospects for small-scale production and a relatively free market. Production of packaging bags, napkins, toilet paper. I personally know entrepreneurs who own such businesses. But, unfortunately, all their thinking is concentrated on the market of their personal dislocation. And business processes are built like this. We have produced 10 tons of packages, now we need to offer them all: with discounts, with a delay, but offer them! To get rid of the product. A familiar situation?
What if you go to your customers first and talk to them? Ask them what they want and why they don’t use such products. For example, there are many private stores that do not issue or sell branded packages to their customers. Why? Because they are short-sighted entrepreneurs, you will say as a package manufacturer who has just been rejected for the hundredth time.
No. They are just loaded with their own turnover, they are not up to your packages. What if you organize a systematic delivery of your packages to each store, and what if you think about how you can reduce costs by placing ads or even make a profit. What if your head starts thinking not about how I can get rid of the product, but how I can be useful to my customers. And then completely different business strategies will be built.
Example about packages — this is my client’s current business in Moscow!
Further. Do not limit the market to your region or country. Yes, it’s scary. But while others are afraid, you need to act.
Do you know that the state program to support exports from Russia is currently actively working? I only found out about it recently. Russian export center. Type on the Internet. Well. There is a young entrepreneur. It produces wooden products: rolling pins, boards, and other kitchen utensils. Now his company supplies its products to large chain hypermarkets such as Auchan and Leroy Merlin — and not only in Russia, but also in Europe! And he lives not in Moscow, but in the city of Krasnodar. And age have him until 30 years! True, it took him two years to debug all the work, but now he thinks in completely different categories. And while you think that this story is not about you, someone has already taken the path of debugging the supply of their goods to other countries.
3. Produce excellent service
There is almost no competition in this area in our country. The entrepreneur opens a cafe, hotel, car wash — and thinks that the main work is done — now you need to serve a queue of customers. Even if you have everything done at a high level: interior, Parking, signage, advertising.
There is and always will be one very important function that you can’t delegate to anyone. Fortunately for you, many business owners don’t. And even if you do this, you can always improve this factor. I mean communicating with your customer in order to hear their preferences and improve your product and service.
Hone your product regularly, daily, endlessly. Keep your finger on the pulse of your customers ‘ needs and desires.
For example, there is a good private Barber shop, recently opened. How fashionable it is now to call such places — barbershop. I really liked the service and the setting.
The location is very convenient – on the way to my office after the gym. I even added this salon to the list of my priority establishments in the mobile version of UDS and decided that I would definitely get a haircut here right now. And on another day I wanted to go to this barbershop, the clock was 9: 30 in the morning and I saw a closed door. We work from 10: 00 to 18: 00. “What!? Are you serious?!”,- flashed through my head.
I had to look for another place at a more expensive price and with a less convenient location, since I did not have time at that time. After that, I wrote a message to the owner of this barbershop that they have a very inconvenient time of work, that it would be more convenient to open at least at 9: 00, or even at 8: 00 in the morning, because there are people who can come to you before work. Two days ago, I saw a new sign: “Are you awake? And we are already working!”from 8: 00 to 22: 00. But if you want to get a haircut at night, just let us know, we also cut the sleepy ones.” Super! Perhaps some of you have already wanted to visit this salon.
Another example. My wife and I love to walk down the street in the evening and go to a cafe and drink delicious coffee with pastries. And we have a favorite coffee shop. We started going there very often, together with our daughter. And our average check was from 1000 to 1500 rubles. The cafe was new, and there was no toilet, which was a little inconvenient, but we did not change our preferences and went there. One day we went to this coffee shop as usual. And we were pleasantly surprised that there was a toilet. We didn’t even notice it right away. More precisely, they felt that the institution had a toilet with a mixed smell: the smell of expensive coffee and not very expensive toilet. “I’ll wait for you outside, order and get out,” I told my wife. No sooner had I descended the steps than my wife caught up with me and said: “it’s a shame, it was so good here, and now this smell. Poor Barista, how does he work there?”I said,” I Guess I’m used to it.” Yes, the owner gets used to this “smell” of his business, and it becomes not obvious to him why customers do not return, and the old ones leave.
Therefore, set up a live dialogue with your client. Fortunately, there are now available programs that allow you to implement this function even in small businesses. Dialogue with the client is an important psychological aspect. Often the owner does not want to hear criticism or suggestions.
I remember my first experience when I visited our hotel in the summer, which was full of vacationers. One of them came up to me and asked, ” Are you the innkeeper?”I immediately felt my stomach tighten, I was ready to listen to complaints or wishes. “Yes, — I said, as friendly as I could.” thank You, this is a very nice hotel. And the pool is super.”
Like this. Customers don’t always complain. Sometimes they Express their gratitude. And you need to give your customers the opportunity to Express their gratitude and wishes.
Establish a close and honest dialogue with your customer to improve your product.
That’s about it. Look at the world more broadly, notice what you haven’t seen before. When you select a goal, focus on it and keep it in mind.