All posts by Mike Awire

Training

IT Courses

Grow Your Career With Online Training or In-Class IT Courses

Delbimax Websolutions offers a robust catalog of professional development and continuing education training.

Web Design | Development

Software Development

Digital Marketing

Mobile Application Training

Search Engine Optimization

— and we’re always adding more. Many of our IT courses are offered as online training as well as in a classroom environment, giving you the flexibility you need. Either way, you’ll gain access to elite instructors and an unmatched hands-on experience built on over 7 years of training expertise. So, let’s get ready to grow your career.

15 tactics to keep your food business running during COVID-19

A 6,000-word playbook for food business owners in Nigeria and Ghana. Here’s how restaurants and bars in 8 countries are boosting sales during COVID-19.


Photo by Rumman Amin on Unsplash

Food businesses such as restaurants and bars have been some of the hardest-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this 6,000-word deep-dive, we’ll explore 15 tactics that have kept food businesses across the world in business, with specific examples from South Africa, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ghana, and Nigeria.

We understand that the challenges faced by food businesses in Africa are unique in many significant ways. Kindly consider this article to simply be a convenient, comprehensive reference of interesting ideas to potentially explore.

Offer online ordering, delivery, and pickup

When customers can’t come to you, you go to them. This is the most obvious strategy for selling during a lockdown, and we’ve seen several businesses, from the Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos, to storied fine dining establishments like Chicago’s Alinea, pivot to selling online and delivering directly to customers.

When it goes well, some businesses can make a significant percentage of their pre-lockdown sales through online ordering and delivery, as is the case with Alinea, which is making up to 75% of its regular revenue through online orders.


Photo: Chefs at Alinea Restaurant

But there are big questions to think about. If you’re a food business in Ghana or Nigeria that’s new to selling on the internet, how do you get started? Do you piggyback on the discovery and delivery networks of third-party platforms like Jumia Food, or do you cut out the middleman and sell directly to customers? Here’re some broad factors to consider.

Listing on food delivery platforms vs. self-delivery

Here are some pros and cons of using a third party delivery company as compared to owning the delivery process:

Pros of third-party platforms

  • A food delivery platform gives you unparalleled distribution. Their apps and websites see a lot of traffic, and they could give you access to a broader audience, thereby increasing your chances of receiving orders
  • You get to focus on your domain expertise — making food and drinks — while you outsource the expensive business of deliveries to an experienced establishment
  • You could theoretically spend less energy on customer acquisition because the ordering platform does a lot of that for you already

Cons of third-party platforms

  • A delivery company sits between you and the customer. As a result of this, they own the customer relationship, not you. If you owned your delivery, you could potentially collect these customers’ contact details, and build enduring relationships over time
  • Once the food or drinks leave your establishment, you no longer control the customer’s experience. How long does it take to get the food delivered? How courteous is the delivery person? How well does the meal travel, and is the food still in good shape when it arrives?
  • You pay a commission that could be anything from 10 – 30% per order to the delivery platforms. Depending on your profit margins, this could be expensive.

From a broad point of view, a lot of the decision making boils down to: can you afford to invest the resources necessary to build the infrastructure that allows you to own the entire customer relationship, or do you want to plug into an established system that gives you almost instant distribution?

Here’re a few of our favourite podcast resources to help you make a considered decision:

How to list your food business on Jumia Food

If you’re a food business in Ghana or Nigeria, Jumia Food is one of the most popular food ordering and delivery companies to consider.

To get started, send an email to the Jumia Food vendor acquisition team, informing them that you’d like to list your food business on their platform. You should share the following details with them:

  • The name of your food business
  • The location of your food business
  • The types of food you sell
  • A contact address — phone number and email address.

Here’s a sample email you can copy and use for yourself:

——-

SUBJECT LINE: Looking to list {YOUR RESTAURANT NAME} on Jumia Food

Hi team,

My name is {YOUR FULL NAME}, and I’d like to list my restaurant on Jumia Food.

Name of restaurant: {NAME OF RESTAURANT}

Location: {YOUR BUSINESS’ ADDRESS}

Type of food we sell: {LIST ALL THE TYPES OF FOOD YOU SELL}

My contact phone number: {YOUR PHONE NUMBER}

My contact email address: {YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS}

Warm regards,

{YOUR FULL NAME}

——-

If your food business is in Ghana, send the email to: restaurant.food@jumia.com.gh

If your food business is in Nigeria, send the email to: restaurant.food@jumia.com.ng

According to the Jumia Food team, you should receive a reply within 7 days. In Ghana, they’re operational in Accra and Tema while in Nigeria, they have a presence in Abuja, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, and Lagos.

Software Development

Our software development process produces high quality, maintainable source code. It has proven particularly effective in projects with changing or unavoidably ambiguous requirements. We can help your improve your existing process with the effective practices and tools we employ.

SEO Services

We utilize the practice of search engine optimization to increase the amount of visitors to a Web site by obtaining high-ranking placements in the search results page of search engines (SERP). We are expert in Both On-page and Off-page SEO with quality & Experience team.

Mobile App Development

We are one of the steadily growing mobile app development companies with proven track record of successful clients across the globe. We develop mobile apps, be it related to any platform (Be it related to IPhoneandroidapple etc). We always focus on your primary goal that is to put your brand into the hands of your prospective customers. 

Web Development

We help businesses unleash their full potentials through modern and functional designs that make their competitors jealous.

We’ll get personal and get to know your goalsideas, business, and priorities.

Our first goal is to create a website that is a direct reflection of you and your business. The second part of our goal is to develop a strategy that goes beyond design and focuses on performance and results. You’ll be left with not only a beautifully designed and optimized website, but a powerful marketing tool.

THE CONTAINMENT OF CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC, KWARA STATE POLICE COMMAND.

PRESS RELEASE

28TH MARCH 2020

KWARA STATE POLICE COMMAND MONITORING OF COMPLIANCE TO GOVERNMENT DIRECTIVES WITH RESPECT TO THE CONTAINMENT OF CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC.

Cp Kayode Egbetokun ( Commissioner of Police Kwara State)

Yesterday 27/03/20, the Kwara state police Command commenced the
enforcement of directives issued by the state government to curb the scourge of Covid19.
I observed that compliance level on the first day of enforcement was initially poor in the early hours of the morning but was raised to 70% when the police enforcement teams came out. The situation got better in the afternoon as the level of compliance moved to 90%. A few recalcitrant commercial motorcyclists who were seen defiling the restriction order were responsible for the 10% deficit in compliance.
It was however saddening that the good job we did in the morning and afternoon was messed up with okada riders trooping out as early as 4pm as if the ban on them has been lifted. This must not be allowed to happen today.
Area Commanders, DPOs and all officers leading enforcement teams are to note the following important instructions for strict compliance

  1. Commercial motorcycles seen on the road must be seized and the rider violators be forced to go home on foot. 2. Seized motorcycles are not to be released until the end of the emergency period.
  2. Where neccessary, road block should be established in the evening time to ensure maximum compliance by the incalcitrant okada riders
  3. Shop owners and park violators are to be forced to comply
  4. You are to note that the primary focus of this assignment is not to make arrests but to force compliance. We don’t want to do this by crowding our cells or our stations and putting ourselves and others at risk of what we are preventing.
    7.Officers on this enforcement duty are also to note that the battle against the scourge of Corona virus is a global one. The whole world is concerned about what we are doing here and are watching us. This is a very bad time to be linked with or accused of extortion. You should all remain vigilant and not allow men under you to engage in any untoward act.
    You must therefore effectively take charge of this assignment in your areas.
    Cp Kayode Egbetokun
    Commissioner of Police
    Kwara State.

RE- KWARA POLICE BAN GATHERING OF MORE THAN 10

REJOINDER

24TH MARCH 2020

On 21/03/2020, the Commissioner of police, kwara state police Command, Cp Kayode Egbetokun made an online broadcast to all police officers in the state. In the statement titled “SPECIAL BROADCAST TO ALL POLICE OFFICERS IN KWARA STATE COMMAND” the Commissioner of Police expressed concern about the rate of increase in the number of confirmed cases of Corona Virus in Nigeria and the need for the Command to join the nationwide campaign against the spread of the virus was circulated to all HODs, Area Commanders, Dpos and heads of units in the command.
Regrettably, the Cp’s broadcast to the officers was mistaken as a press release and has been circulating in the social media as press statement released to the public. The instructions issued by the CP in the broadcast were meant for the officers of the Command and not for the public. In particular, the instruction to obtain the permission of the CP before holding a gathering of more than 10 was part of the measures being taken to check human traffic and discourage gathering of any form at the police stations.
The Command has put everything in place to enforce government directives on the containment of the spread of covid19 in Kwara state.
The CPs full statement is hereby reproduced below

SPECIALBROADCAST TO ALL POLICE OFFICERS IN KWARA STATE 21/03/20
As a result of the alarming rate of increase in the number of confirmed cases of the Corona virus in Nigeria, it is imperative that the Kwara state police command join the nationwide campaign against the spread of the deadly virus while ensuring expected service delivery to the people.
All police officers are to observe the personal safety precautions with respect to the Global concern on Covid19. including the following

  1. Do not touch your face or anyone else face without first washing your hands thoroughly.
  2. Maintain social distancing. A distance of at least 1 metre between you and any other person is desirable except in unavoidable circumstances.
  3. Do not share eating utensils, drinking glasses, cups or towel with anyone
    And
  4. Always wash your hands thoroughly. Wash the back of the hands, between the fingers and under the nails with soap and water for at least 20secs or use alcohol based hand sanitizers to sanitize your hands after touching any object or surface. The O/C medical has been directed to circulate the list of precautions as officially released for everyone to follow.

IMPORTANTINSTRUCTIONS

  1. All HODs, Area Commanders, DPOs and Heads of units are to immediately provide hand washing facilities or alcohol based sanitizers or both at appropriate positions in their offices and stations.
  2. All visitors who must visit the police facility/office are to be admitted into the offices only after having washed their hands with soap or sanitized their hands with the alcohol based sanitizers provided at the entrance of such police facility/office.
  3. Area Commanders and DPOs have earlier been advised to make available infrared thermometers for use in their stations. This has now become very neccessary and must be taken very seriously.
  4. Henceforth, any gathering of more than 10, be it that of policemen or otherwise requires the written permission of the Commissioner of Police with effect from Monday 23/03/20
  5. All suspects in cases of simple offence or misdemeanor are NOT to be detained but released on bail immediately. Detention should only be in the case of serious offences that are not normally bailable.
  6. The weekly briefing with DPOs within the metro will now be done online until further notice.
  7. All concerned DPOs and HODs are to come online and hook up to a new platform that will be created for that purpose, once it is 12noon on Monday every week.
  8. With respect to 7 above, the PPRO is hereby directed to create that special platform today with the title MONDAY BRIEFING, only for this purpose. This will also apply to the monthly officers conference if the situation in the country is yet to improve significantly before our next monthly officers conference.

I urge you all, once again, to observe the personal safety precautions mentioned above and any other precaution given by medical experts. You are also to lecture all officers and men under you to do same.
Further directives and or information will be communicated to you as events unfold.
Stay safe everyone and be more alert to your duties. This whirlwind will surely blow over.

Kayode Egbetokun
CP Kwara

19 Experts Explain Why Your Website Isn’t Bringing in Customers

They told you to build a website, so you did. They told you’d you get customers if you had a website, but that hasn’t happened.

I’ve been involved in building and marketing thousands of websites since 1999, but I realize it’s easy to get in a bubble. So I turned to 19 friends — experts at web design, SEO, copywriting, marketing and usability — to get their explanations why some websites succeed while others fail.

Their advice creates a clear plan for anyone looking to launch a site or improve existing pages.

1. Solve problems.

“Most websites are written around how great you are and not what problem you solve,” says Chris BroganNew York Times best-selling author of nine marketing and business books. ” ‘You want better skills and strategies for business? We’re here to help.’ See? “That’s the challenge. Make your buyer the hero.”

2. Focus on results, not features.

So says Jacob Cass, who runs the popular design blog JUST Creative. “Instead, tell your potential customers the benefits that your product or service will do for them,” Cass says. “A classic example of this is a drill. Customers don’t want a drill, they want a hole in the wall. So focus on the quality of the holes and how easy it was to create those holes — not the actual drill itself.”

3. Focus on your customers, not yourself.

“Your website isn’t bringing in customers because it’s focused on you and not your customers,” says Ann Handley, author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller “Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content” and Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs. “Instead of focusing on what you do or what you sell or why you’re awesome, instead focus on why your customers should care. How do you help them? How do you shoulder their burdens? Ease their pain? Make their lives better/richer/smarter? That is your story.”

4. Build your brand.

“People are more likely to buy from you if the quality of what you sell is matched or surpassed by the quality of your brand identity,” says David Airey, author of branding best-seller “Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities.” In other words, build a reputation around your company, products and services, that is bigger than any of those things. That reputation will pull you toward greatness.

5. Get to know your customers before they need you.

“People don’t randomly click on stuff and buy stuff,” says Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, the world’s largest pay-per-click software company. “They favor the brands they know and love. Repeat visitors (people who have heard of you) have two to three times higher click-through rates than new visitors (people who are just getting to know you),” Kim says. “So figure out ways to get in front of your target market before they decide they need to buy your products/services.” Doing so will dramatically bias outcomes in your favor.

6. Help people to know, like and trust you.

“Your homepage covers only the ‘know’ part,” says Lior Frenkel, whose e-book “Value For Money” explains why that’s not enough. And Frenkel knows plenty as New World Early Adopter at FRNKL. “Trying to sell your services/products too early won’t get you great results. You first need them to like and trust you. You can do that by having an awesome ‘About Me’ page, by having them follow you on social or through getting them to subscribe to your newsletter.”

7. Give them a reason to come back.

“Your website isn’t bringing in customers because you have given them no reason to come back,” says Kelsey Meyer, cofounder of Influence & Co. 

“If your company blog is updated just once per month and consists only of employee updates, why would a potential customer care about returning to your site?” Meyer asks. “You convert leads into customers by earning their trust and educating them on why they need your services. Focus on producing content on your site that educates and engages your prospective customers so they keep coming back to learn more.”

8. Attract the right crowd.

“If the wrong people are hitting your website, it’s all for nothing,” says Paul Jarvis, who writes about the intersection of creativity and commerce for Fast CompanyNewsweekForbes, LifeHacker and BuzzFeed. “For example, if you sell surfboards and your traffic is mostly llama herders, no amount of conversion tactics will pay off.”

9. Get conversion-friendly.

To help turn visitors into customers, Courtright Design Founder Kyle Courtright recommends optimizing your website’s design by asking yourself these questions:

  • Is there enough space to let the design breathe?
  • Is your navigation paired-down enough?
  • Are your call to actions strategic?
  • Do your call-to-action buttons contrast against the background?
  • Do you have (relevant) imagery to break up heavy content?
  • Are testimonials prominent?

Related: 3 Simple Ways to Increase Conversions on Your Website

10. Improve the user experience.

“One of the biggest challenges websites face today when trying to bring in and retain customers is the user experience on the site,” says Jacob Gube, who founded the all-about-web-development blog Six Revisions. He’s also cofounder of the Design Instruct online publication and author of “MooTools 1.2 Beginner’s Guide.” 

“The user-experience problem could be something as simple as having a slow website that discourages visitors from spending any time on your site, and improving it can have big results,” Gube says. “For example, Amazon increased its revenue by 1 percent after it reduced the website’s load time by 0.1 second. Amazon earned $43.7 billion in the last quarter of 2016. Imagine what a one-second increase in website load time could do for Amazon? More importantly, what could it do for you?”

Related: For Web Developers, Speed Is the New SEO

11. Provide real value, right now.

Maybe it’s not your website. Maybe it’s your product. “Companies spend far too much time trying to make their site ‘pop’ and stand out — and often forget that they still need to build a solid product or service offering in order to provide something of true value to the customer,” Pippin Williamson says. He founded Sandhills Development, the company behind products such as Easy Digital Downloads, AffiliateWP and Restrict Content Pro. “Forget the parallax banners and flashy, over-the-top ads and just build it,” he says. “Ship it before you forget it.”

12. Know your audience.

“Maybe you designed your website to satisfy your board of directors instead of your customers,” says Jeffrey Zeldman, founder of studio.zeldman and A List Apart. Don’t trust your board. Trust research, data and the trial-and-error approach. “Effective design begins with research. And continues with more research. And never finishes researching and iterating.”

13. Make it usable first, then beautiful.

Julie Joyce owns Link Fish Media and is a columnist for Search Engine Land. She says: “It’s fairly easy to get eyes on your website. It’s not easy to keep them there longer than a few seconds. The main issue I see with this is when design seems more important than usability. I’ve seen some beautiful sites that look unique and like a lot of time has been put into them, but I can’t even figure out how to find the restaurant’s menu or the contact us page.”

14. Connect the words.

Ian Paget, a brand-identity designer and founder of Logo Geek, gives common-sense advice that’s all-too-uncommonly followed. “As the human brain is visually led, words take longer to process,” Paget says. “To help the user flow through the website seamlessly, use a technique called ‘word-connect’ to avoid interrupting the flow. As an example, if a banner or call to action states, ‘View our buy-one, get-one-free offers,’ the user would expect to see a matching page titled ‘Buy-one, get-one-free offers’. If the page title instead reads, ‘Selected Discounts,’ the words do not connect and could potentially confuse the user.”

15. Get your message across — fast.

Unbounce cofounder Oli Gardner likely has seen more landing pages than anyone alive or dead. “When I search Google for stuff I need, I hold the Control + Command buttons down and click the top five links to open them in tabs,” Gardner says. “Then I go comparison-shopping. If your landing page/homepage doesn’t explain what you do immediately, you’re done. I close the tab and delete you from my world forever. This is happening millions of times every day. Fix the clarity of your value proposition immediately, or you lose.”

16. Track the right metrics.

Tom Ross is CEO at Design Cuts — a community of graphic designers — and cohosts the Honest Designers Podcast. He says: “People tend to focus on the wrong metrics, such as traffic, presuming this translates to customers.” The things you really need are a truly valuable product and the right quality of potential leads.

“Ignore the ego boost of 100,000 freebie seekers hitting your site, and focus instead on attracting solid, laser-targeted potential leads,” Ross says. “If you offer the leading gardening fork on the market, and 100 gardeners who have just broken their gardening fork land on your page, you’ll get customers.”

17. Appeal to customers who are informed, afflicted and oblivious.

“The informed know, like and trust you,” says Derek Halpern. He founded Social Triggers and created the Sales Page That Converts training program. “The afflicted are people who have a problem and need a solution. The oblivious’are people who don’t even realize that they’re suffering from a fixable problem. And the No. 1 reason why most websites fail to make as many sales as they thought they should make is because they only appeal to one of these people when they should appeal to all three.”

18. Just focus.

“The No. 1 reason I see websites fail to bring in customers is due to a lack of focus,” says Preston Lee, founder of Millo. “When potential customers land on your site, you want to push them toward your most important objective, which is usually selling them something. So stop inviting them to subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on Twitter or read your blog. Those can all be secondary goals, but they should be eclipsed by your primary goal: turning site visitors into paying customers.”

19. Get mobile.

“Your site doesn’t work on mobile. Everyone’s on mobile,” says Dann Petty, a web and app designer who created Freelance.TV. Petty was a goldmine of tips, offering up gems that answer why your website may be failing:

  • You’re too focused on cliche words. 
  • You’re not focused on free advertising: a social-media presence.
  • You forgot to build a brand.
  • No one knows how to find your site.

“Did you tweet about it this morning?” Petty asks. “Did you post something to Instagram last night? Are you keeping up with your Facebook page? If you answer no to even one of those, it’s likely a reason why.”