Good quality control and assurance will promote the image of small business.
I woke up on this fateful day which happened to be our wedding anniversary. After having our morning prayers thanking God for all He has done in our lives as individuals and as a family; for protection, provision, sustenance and His mercies that are new every money; my wife told me a story that left me thinking for the remaining part of the day.
In the previous day, she told me in the morning that she would be taking our baby who was nine months old to the hospital for immunization. I left them at home as it would have been too early for her to get to the hospital at that time. So, when I came back in the evening, she couldn’t relay to me all that happened at the hospital. She only told me that our baby surprised everybody there as he didn’t cry when he took the immunization. She hailed ‘Bii…ig boy” to him and we all laughed over it. But in the following morning, she quickly briefed me about two women that came with two sets of twins. She said that when one of the two women loosed the diapers of one of the twins, the buttock of the baby was unusually redish. Since she sat down by her side, she asked her about the type of diapers she was using for her babies and she mentioned it. My wife happened to have used the same type of diapers for our baby when the one we were using were not available. Our baby experienced the same things. She said to me that she quickly told the woman that the diaper she was using was the cause of what her babies were experiencing. She advised her to stop using it while she advised her of a particular ointment she could apply to the affected part of the babies. We used it for our baby and it was very effective.
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You would be wondering if this was what kept me thinking for the whole day. Exactly, it was!
I kept thinking about two things; the two products my wife talked about. Unknowingly, she helped advertise one product while she de-marketed the second one (though not intentional). I remember I told her that the company would perfect the product within a space of time. She commented that by the time they would have perfected it, they would have lost many customers. “As for me, I can’t risk buying the product for any reason again”, she said.
I believe you can see what I saw there; the company was losing customers just by the reason of producing substandard product, though the price was cheaper when compared to other brands. The issue here is not about price; it is all about quality. The company did not only lose the customers that had used the product and felt disappointed, they equally lost their potential customers. Can you imagine the number of mothers that were present where this matter was being discussed? I strongly believe that no one there who saw the negative effect the diaper had on the baby would like to buy the product again.
The second product was the ointment my wife described to be very effective. I can testify that the ointment is very effective indeed. I could remember vividly that a neighbour of ours recommended the ointment when she saw the effect the same diaper in question had on our baby. Within three days of applying the ointment on the affected part of the baby, the changes were dramatic. When my wife realized how effective the ointment was, she asked me a question then: “Why is it that the company producing this ointment doesn’t advertise the product in order to create much awareness about it”? She asked. My reply was that the product sells itself. Why this product won’t sell? In fact, when I look at the date the ointment was manufactured, it was the month before the date we bought it. That means there is a ready market for the product. The company does not have to spend money on advertisement; customers do this for them by way of testimonies and referrals.
There are lessons to be learnt in this story by all entrepreneurs that want to succeed in the market place and these would be enumerated below.
Ensure you offer quality products or services
Market place is like a war zone because it is the survival of the fittest out there. There are competitions everywhere but it will be unfortunate if you are the one that knocks yourself out just by reason of producing substandard product. Make “a trial will convince you” the watchword for your product. You can prevail on a person to buy your product in the first time but you won’t prevail the second time if your product did not meet his need. A good name is better than gold and silver. There are some companies today that are riding on the wings of good names. If you are to carry out the valuation of such companies, the value of their intangible assets such as trademarks and goodwill could be more than their physical assets. Don’t undermine the negative effects a substandard product can have on your company. Ensure there is a quality control in every stage involved in the production of your goods. Even if you don’t produce physical goods; you have to ensure that you provide your customers with quality service. The quality of your product or service will determine whether your customers will come back again. If you lose a customer as a result of lack of quality in your delivery, the danger is that the customer will spread the news to other people. This implies that you will not only lose the unsatisfied customer, you will also lose some other potential customers.
Cheap products dose not guarantee much sales
People have a general believe that customers will always prefer buying heaper products. This belief will only hold if the two products are of the same standards and quality. But if you think that you can lower the quality of your products so as to reduce your costs in order to sell below the prices at which your competitors are selling, it will boomerang. If you want to sell at reduced prices, be ready to sacrifice your margin rather than the quality of your products. If you have more than one product, you can reduce the price of one item so as to attract customers to buy your other products. In fact, if your products have joint demand, this approach will work for you.
Referral is an unbeatable way of boosting your sales
As a small business, you may not have enough funds to spend on advertising your products. Don’t be scared of the huge amount your competitors spend on advertisement. You might be thinking that if you don’t have a fat budget for advertisements that you will not make or increase your sales. This is a fallacy. My simple advice is that you should satisfy your customers. When a customer buys your products and leaves satisfied, you will be the point of call each time he needs the product. Consider the story my wife told me and how she was advertising the ointment she used for our baby as if she was paid to do so. If your product or service is superb, generating sales becomes easy and less costly.
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