How cruel of me to ruin the weekend with some business advice on a day when you should be prepping for a getaway or the infamous TGIF turn-up. But please indulge me.
I finally passed through the Lekki toll for the first time since the event and as I sped past (a luxury which never used to be until the protest), I got chills. Trust me; I have not visited a haunted mansion but there was certainly something sinister about my feeling that day.
But just a few metres past and I saw a huge banner saying something in the words of ‘the Oriental does not belong to Tinubu’; not quite sure of the exact words. And it hit me. If such a business as the notable Oriental hotel was worried about what would happen to them if their property was vandalized, what was now the fate of small businesses?
It’s not good fortune to speak of the dead so I’ll rest that issue and move to the lootings. I will not understand the hurt of affected business owners but here are a few things that could serve as back up for emergencies like this.
First, please create an online store. Look, it must not be as fancy or sophisticated as an e-commerce site but at least have somewhere that is not your shop where you can ‘sell your market’. Make sure to incorporate forms where buyers can input phone numbers, email addresses, any means of contact details at all. That way, you can communicate with them when you want. Please don’t spam; that’s a huge turn-off.
Charity begins at home. I found that family members and friends to some of those business owners did not even know they ran such enterprises. And my question is, ‘who then have you been selling to?’. ‘Village people’ may be a thing but risk is also part of business. At least, let them know what you do. If they go ahead to invoke the ancestors against your business, you too, ‘do your own’. LOL! But on a serious note, even if they don’t patronize you, let them still know. By putting your flier as their display pictures or even hinting a friend about your service, you never know who will buy. We can only hope they ‘support the ministry’. Especially now that you have been hit, you need their support to bounce back.
One last thing before I let you party; insure your business and STUDY the terms and conditions. I heard that some insurance papers were vague when it came to actual cover for the level of damages certain businesses experienced. Some did not include incidences like what just happened so, what then did the contract cover? In summary, know your business and the risks involved so that you can properly select insurance schemes that adequately cater to your needs.
Adverts are not enough; do your homework and ask the insurance companies questions before you sign those papers.
Cheers to your rise from the ashes. I’m rooting for you