How can use my phone to expand sales (Runyakitara)
Myriam Shhh. Lily! Your phone is making so much noise. What is going on?
Lily I am using Facebook to advertise my new jewelry line. Those noises were inquiries from customers!!!
Myriam Wow! Wait, how do you mean you are advertising with your phone?
Lily I started a Facebook page for my business, where I post pictures of the clothes and jewelry I sell. And here I link to my WhatsApp Business account, where customers can also talk to me, ask questions about the dresses I sell. People can place orders online, directly with their phones. I keep my personal WhatsApp account separate for personnal communication.
Myriam Eh! Those are nice pictures.
Lily Yes, when trying to attract customers, I make sure my products are clean and displayed nicely. Even the most beautiful dress will get fewer orders if it is dirty or wrinkled. They need to be appealing, sparkling!
Myriam And do they pay you through Facebook or WhatsApp?
Lily Maybe that will happen in the future. For now, they pay me when they pick up the order at the shop, either with cash or mobile money. But I also sell on this service, Jumia. Look! It's like a market on your phone, with so many things you can buy in one place. See - here are my products. Customers pay for their order here. I get the money from Jumia into my account, minus a small fee that they take. Jumia offers delivery for customers living in the city. I am notified of the order to give to the delivery person who picks up from my store.
Myriam Eh! How do you make sure you have enough for all those customers?
Lily Ah! I am learning about inventory! You see mother, I can specify the number of dresses of a certain style I have for sale! This way, I never promise what I cannot deliver! These marketplace sites take that very seriously. But on Facebook, a customer can make a request for a special order, and I tell them the amount of time I need to prepare it. I can also charge extra for a special order!
Myriam All these things are so new to me! I am happy to see that you can easily navigate this new way of doing business. But some things remain true regardless of how you do business: keeping good records is a must. A good record of sales, purchases and inventory will always help you in the discussion with a bank or MFI if you want a loan!
Lily Ah! Mother you are right! As entrepreneurs, we must always be ready to seize a new opportunity!
Myriam But Lily, this must be using a lot of data on your phone?
Lily Yes, you are right, mother. I normally do this from my shop, where I use a wi-fi network and don't have to pay for data. I don't mind using a little data when I'm somewhere else but... I guess I should close my phone now and enjoy my visit with you!
Myriam Yes! I love spending time with my brilliant daughter.