By Jeff Kumekucha
I have received a lot of positive feedback from the first part of this article. It seems that I touched a raw nerve and many entrepreneurs at this moment are facing the problem of shrinking profits.
Today I conclude my article.
Actually it is easier to squeeze out more profits from a business than most people think. To illustrate this let us take a closer look at a typical restaurant business (a great favourite for many Kenyans).
The typical experience is that this waiter comes up to you and takes your order in a hurry. They are usually harassed and want to move on to the next client. From the moment they stand in front of you, you feel under preassure to give your order as quickly as possible so that you can release them to rush off to the next customer. It is like they are doing you a favour serving you. I know many restaurants that do this and still seem to be doing well. I can see the thinking behind hiring the minimum number of waiters. It is to cut down on costs.
Now come with me for a minute and let’s take a completely different path. The waiter approaches you with a smile as you peruse the menu and greets you warmly.
II have never seen you here before. Is this your first time to honour us with your visit?” he asks.
And then he goes on to suggest that you have a drink as you decide on what you are going to eat. You agree. When he gets back he offers his help by asking you a few questions like how hungry you are (so that he knows what portions to give). Are you on a diet? (so that he can recommend dishes more knowledgeably).
After you finish every course he suggests something else. Even after you have finished your meal and want to leave. The weather is extremely hot outside and you have had some chicken curry or something. The waiter intelligently suggests that you try their special ice-cream to cool off and make the hot weather more bearable before you leave.
This attention to detail and friendly talk is NOT wasting time. The end result is that each customer served ends up spending more than they had planned. Admittedly not every customer will take the recommendations given but say out of every 50 customers served in a day by a single waiter, at least 25 will end up spending 50% more than they had planned and maybe 5% will spend three times what they had originally intended to spend. Done properly you will find that hiring more well trained waiters will not only increase your costs but will increase profits many times over.
Translate the example I have just given into figures and you will begin to see that too many restaurants in this country never reach anywhere near their full potential for earnings.
Now the example I have given in a restaurant can be applied to any business. The person taking the order just needs to prepare themselves and think on their feet. For instance a customer at a stationary shop who buys a ream of photocopying paper may also be interested in toners for their laser printer or photocopier. Especially if you can offer it at a discount.
If you are selling something that people need to replace periodically you can estimate how long it takes them before they require new supplies. You can even ask them directly. By simply contacting them at the right time and making useful suggestions, you can win a lot of business that would have otherwise gone to your competitors.
Much more profits can be squeezed out of any business while giving your customers better service. And you do not have to raise prices which is what everybody rushes to do first.
Read about many more specific examples from the Kenyan market and beyond that will help you find hidden profits in your business that you never thought existed. It does not matter what kind of business you are in, whether it is a website or small stall in the market or a high tech computer company, these ideas will impact on your profits and bottom line. Get my regular Free Hidden Profits report NOW
Read Part 1 of this article