Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 14th 2015 Contents better get them to switch to a higher
value product. All these require sales
persons who understand selling and
strategising as opposed to order taking.
If you have a large share of your cus-
tomer s business, then the next step is
to look for more customers to increase
sales. New customers are difficult to
get and while it is easier to get an exist-
ing customer to purchase more, acquir-
ing a new client can significantly grow
the top line (sales).
You can gain new customers by tar-
geting those that are in your industry
and later those that are in a similar
industry. If you were selling bathroom
cleaning products to households through
the supermarkets, you can then decide
to also sell the cleaning and maintenance
companies with a larger size of prod-
You can also gain more customers by
going deeper into the channel. If you
sell lubricants to automotive retailers,
you can also sell to large garages that
do oil changes. But be careful as this
strategy might backfire on you as the
nearby parts retailer, your trade cus-
tomer, may see you as both a supplier
Export is another way to grow your
company. This market is just 1.3 million
people, Caricom is larger with 17 million
and, of course, the world has seven bil-
lion. Many companies stay at home as
the market is protected and less risky,
but large companies such as Associated
Brands and SM Jaleel have gained access
to numerous overseas markets. Recently
I saw Chubby selling at Winn Dixie in
Ft Lauderdale, a major US supermar-
To get your existing and new cus-
tomers to buy more, you need new
products. New products are both an
opportunity and a risk. Existing prod-
ucts have a life span and go through
a life cycle. Your bread and butter prod-
uct one day will decline eventually and
so will your business.
A few decades ago cola drinks like
Coke and Pepsi were the dominant
brands of the segment and their sales
seemed unstoppable. But, due to rising
health concerns and the need to drink
more water, Americans are turning
their backs on carbonated beverages.
Today, the sales of water have sur-
passed colas in the US. Further to that,
in T&T a litre of bottled water is more
expensive than super unleaded gasoline!
People will pay more.
Whether you acquire a new product
or develop one, there is a high risk of
failure. Most new products fail. Some
popular failures include Fresh Express
(cold sandwiches sold in retail outlets)
and New Coke (an attempt to change
to a sweeter formula to beat Pepsi).
Product development by its nature
is very expensive, plus the marketing
costs to gain awareness and market
penetration. Most companies try with
a few new products so the risks would
be spread, before you get a winner. It s
like kissing frogs; you have to kiss a
number of frogs before you get a prince!
Buy a business
Sometimes an opportunity arises
when a key player in the market is for
sale. The SME sector is full of businesses
that have owners who want to sell for
various reasons. They may want to retire
and enjoy life, sell to pay for medical
expenses or they may not have a suc-
Family businesses, which consists of
the majority of the SMEs, have issues
of succession and family conflict. The
owners may want to cash in and divide
the spoils among family members.
Sometimes, shareholders may want to
move on due to death or divorce.
While acquiring a business has many
advantages; more sales and product
lines, better brands and suppliers, it has
some disadvantages. Buying a business
is risky as the valuation of an SME is
quite tricky and who says customers
and loyal employees will transfer to you.
In addition, the cash spent buying a
business can be a burden on the existing
While the above strategies are more
focused on the top line, costs should
not be ignored. There are many ways
to lower costs, for example, outsourcing
to a cheaper supplier. Most shoe man-
ufacturers in the US have contracted
their production to China and Asian
factories. The rationale is simple: if
China makes it, don t make it. However,
they have kept the important designing
and marketing functions.
Costs can also be lowered by improv-
ing the process.
Henry Ford did not invent the auto-
mobile, but he was an innovator in that
he found a better and cheaper way to
produce cars. He delivered cheaper cars
to the middle class through the moving
production line. You can find the moving
production line the next time you order
a Subway sandwich (from two sandwich
artists to the cashier) and a cheaper way
to deliver and customise your meal.
Sajjad Hamid is an SME consultant.
He can be contacted via email: entre-
email@example.com; or Web site:
stage of the
cycle has its
to deal with.
How do I grow my business so it
becomes a more sustainable and
We may not know for sure, but
many of our customers shop else-
where and we have just a share of
their business not 100 per cent of
their purchases. As an example,
one day while working in a store,
I was confronted by an irate cus-
tomer who claimed we sold her
expired baby food. The lady was
professionally dressed but was not
so professional in showing her dis-
pleasure. I did say that we did not
sell that flavour of baby food but
she did not hear me. Later I pointed
to the price sticker and said it was
bought at a competitor s store. She
quickly apologised and wanted to
return it to where it was bought.
I had realised from a previous con-
versation that she split her pur-
chases evenly between the two
stores and I had about $1,000 of
her business. So I offered to give
her a refund and, of course, she
was puzzled by my action. I told
her I did not want her to go through
the hassle of returning the item.
She accepted my offer and so I
gained another $1,000 in monthly
sales. But was that all I got?
If you see the customer over
time, you will see a different pic-
She was worth an additional
$1,000 per month (sales from the
competition) for the next 20 years.
She had just started a family and
this 20-year period her family
should buy at least $480,000 (not
counting food inflation and more
mouths to feed).
While most managers would not
want to break the return policy, I
was guided by the Life Time (not
the cable channel that makes
women cry) Value (LTV) of the cus-
tomer concept. This LTV concept
means you should never look at a
transaction, but the relationship
over the long term.
There are other ways to increase
One way is to do what KFC does.
The attendant always tries to up-
sell you with a bigger drink and
fries and they never seems to stop.
If you are selling automotive parts
and a customer orders oil, a wise
suggestion is to suggest a filter to
go with it.
Cross selling is an important
sales strategy for counter and field
sales personnel. Cross selling works
better if you can get a customer to
buy a higher gross profit item or
JUNE 14 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN
ENTREPRENOMICS | SBG13
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, 2007
(Section 15 (c), Regulation 9 (2))
NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT OF RECEIVER
In the matter of the receivership of Bonkers Limited.
Notice is hereby given that on the 20 day of May 2015, I, Varune Mungal of
Business Recovery and Advisory Services Limited, became the Receiver in
respect of the property of Bonkers Limited, an insolvent company. I became a
Receiver by virtue of being appointed by Development Finance Limited pur-
suant to Deed of Mortgage (DE200800397443DO01); Deed of Mortgage
(DE200800646086D001) and Deed of Mortgage (DE201001235084DO01).
Dated at Monday, this 08 day of June 2015,
Bonkers Limited (in Receivership)
86, 7th Street
Trinidad and Tobago
Telephone (681-9235 or 326-7328)
with Sajjad Hamid
growing your business
Links Archive June 13th 2015 June 15th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page