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.

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.

14 Amazing Benefits And Importance of Digital Marketing For Growth

In the last decade or so the world has shown a paradigm shift from analog to digital. More and more people are consuming all kinds of information online hence making digital marketing the best way to reach out to your targeted customers. We ask why Digital Marketing is important.

The importance of digital marketing works not only in favor of marketers but it provides something innovative to the consumers too. Let us have a look and understand the importance of digital marketing.

digital-marketing

1. Better Growth Options For Small business

The importance of digital marketing for business lies in the option to select your method of marketing as per your budget and reach a wider audience at a lesser cost. Even a decade back getting your product marketed especially for a small business was a task in itself. They had to resort to small level methods where the guarantee of success was close to negligible.

small-business

2. Higher Conversion Rate

The businesses that are opting for digital marketing are able to measure the conversion rate through real-time using a simple method. That is identifying the percentage of viewers who get converted into leads and then subscribers and in the end finally purchasing the service or product. SEO, Social media marketing and Email marketing are methods which have a high conversion rate as they are able to generate a quick and effective communication channel with the consumer.

Digital-marketing-graph

Surprisingly all the traffic that you may get on your website may not be fruitful hence digital marketing lets you reach out to only those who have the need for your kind of service hence offering better lead conversions.

3. Establishing Brand Reputation

For any business to survive the one thing that they really need to work upon is establishing a reputation that is impeccable. In the past few years, it has become evident that customers will always prefer a company that does not have any scandals associated with it. The importance of Digital marketing today lies in offering you multiple ways to establish a personal rapport with your customer base. 

4. Solving Customers Problems

Be it email marketing or social media you can always offer the customer solutions to their problems and make them relate to your product by even providing live chat access. Your website and social media page can easily be converted into a place where the consumer can ask queries, give suggestions and hence take the association with you on a positive level.



An example of how customer grievance was addressed using social media

customer-support

5. Engagement With Mobile Customers.  

small-business-mobile-apps

After Google mobile-first update nearly almost all the websites these days are made in a manner that they are easily viewable on the mobile as well. This is because almost all customers have access to a smartphone and most of them even look for products on the same. 

6. Expansion of Faith In Your Brand

The presence of your brand and service on multiple platforms gives the option to customers to rate your services as per their level of experience. A positive and favorable review left by a satisfied customer causes the new ones to immediately convert. This, in turn, leads to the building up of the strong image of the brand in the minds of the new consumers hence leading to more conversions.

7. Better ROI for your Investment

While earlier budget allocations were done individually to handle each kind of marketing medium the situation becomes more progressive now. Even a small level of investment done in a mode of email marketing has the potential to deliver results in terms of customer engagement. Using web analytics helps the business owners know whether your website is providing optimal ROI. 

8. Digital marketing is Cost-Effective

A small business needs to save up on its resources before it finally goes into the green zone and starts making profits. Digital marketing gives you the scope to reach out to many customers at the same time and that too within your budget. You can plan your marketing strategy such that you only use modes that lie in your budget. If there is a budget constraint then you should always target your niche audiences.

cost-effective

9. Potential to Earn Higher Revenues

Since the amount of money invested is less and the ROI is more the scope to make money is much higher. As per a study conducted by IPSOS Hong Kong in accordance with Google has shown that compared to traditional methods, digital marketing is known to generate 2.8 times more revenue. This coupled with the fact that the conversion rates here are much high ensure that you are minting money as soon as you enter the fray. 

digital-marketing-comparison

10. Computable Form of Marketing

It is very difficult to track record of success from traditional marketing but with the use of digital marketing tactics, every step of success is measurable. Digital Marketing works in real-time as it shows the success of each and every tactic that has been used. Through this, you may choose the best tactics that show the best results. After that, you can easily make changes in your campaigns to achieve greater success. 

ROI

11. Expanding Audience Reach

The most important benefits of digital marketing are reaching your audience to the fullest. Under traditional marketing, you are being bounded by the scope and size of your audience and print media limits you to certain places and markets. 

 Targeted Audience Approach:

Digital marketing benefits you to target your audience farther. There are higher chances that your audience is spending time on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. where you can publish an advertisement to gain more engagement with your audience.

Targeted Audience

12. Easy Adapting of Tactics And Strategies

Another major advantage of online marketing is that they are very easy to understand. You can easily understand through the result of tactics which one is giving you results and which one is not. Strategies that are implemented in online marketing gives you results on a real-time basis.

For example, if you want to promote your blog page then you can simply share your blogs on various social media platforms. With the help of content marketing, you can increase your engagement with your audience very soon and very accurate. 

13. Can Start With A Small Budget As Well

Everyone has a budget problem in life therefore many businesses didn’t promote themselves. But Digital marketing gives you another advantage of promoting your business with a very small amount. Online marketing benefits small businesses on a large scale with a small investment amount. 

Research Study By Marketing Profs:

According to the Marketing profs the data has been shared below that how digital marketing platforms helps various small scale business.

Top 6 Digital Marketing Channels for Small Business
Image Source: Marketing Profs

For instance, if you are the manufacture of hand made handicrafts but you don’t have money to promote your business then online marketing would play a significant role as with an amount of 10,000 you can publish your content over social media with a budget of 300 per day. Through this, you can promote your business for a period of one month especially to your targeted audience.

14. Go Beyond your Boundaries:

Using digital marketing for the promotion of your business is very unique in nature. You need to come out of your comfort zone and have to put some effort into it. Digital Marketing benefits you only if you are taking an active part in it. The role of digital marketing is very fast as it includes SEO, SMO, SME, and various other processes.

Conclusion:

The future of digital marketing seems very bright at the moment. However, while brands were earlier competing with each other’s marketing strategy now the focus has shifted to a fight against the entire internet. This is the time when brands will have to use different modes and ways to actually delve and make an impact on the customers. 

9 proven strategies to improve your small business’ sales on a tight budget

It’s a simple truth every startup has to face sooner or later: to grow your business, you need to maximize your sales. The thing is, improving your sales efforts can cost quite a bit of money — and this isn’t easy to do when you’re a young company operating on a tight budget.

So what can you do to improve sales results when your own financial resources are limited? Here are some key strategies that will help you achieve your desired outcomes without breaking the bank.

1) Start blogging

You don’t need to hire an ad agency to start producing your own blog content. A blog is a great way to share news about your product and company, industry insights and more.

When you produce content that engages your target audience, you’ll be able to generate SEO backlinks and keep users coming back to your website. Don’t be afraid to reach out as a guest blogger, either — this can be a great way to showcase your knowledge and expertise, while simultaneously generating positive press for your company.

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2) Join networking groups

Joining professional organizations and networking groups is a great way to make valuable contacts and spread the word about your company. The people you meet in these organizations could help you forge valuable partnerships, provide services your business needs to succeed or even become clients.

The Netherlands is home to many of these groups, including organizations for women and groups that help Dutch entrepreneurs build relationships with international businesses.

3) Give good gifts

One of the best ways to increase interest for your product or service is to give something away for free. Whether it’s an e-book sharing valuable industry information or a 30-day free trial of your software, these types of giveaways are a great way to generate sales leads and collect valuable contact information. Getting potential customers into the sales funnel will make it that much easier to learn more about their buying habits.

4) Incentivize referrals

As valuable as your own marketing efforts may be, nothing is more persuasive than word of mouth. Your current customers can be your greatest advocates, but sometimes, they need a little extra motivation. Creating a referral program is a great way to get your customers to do your marketing for you.

Best of all, you can ensure that you only provide your “reward” when a new customer is brought onboard, keeping your marketing budget from going to waste. Whether it’s a discount on future purchases, a free month of service or a special gift, you’ll be surprised what your customers will do with a little extra incentive.

5) Join social media groups

You can’t talk about low-cost methods for improving your sales without mentioning social media. However, the most successful entrepreneurs don’t just set up Facebook and Twitter profiles for their business.

Joining industry-related groups on Facebook and LinkedIn offers many of the same benefits of an in-person networking organization. As you share genuine insights, others in your niche will become more interested in what you have to offer. If you’re feeling extra bold, you could even create your own industry-targeted group.

6) Build your email list

Regardless of whether you run a B2B or B2C business, a quality email list can play a big role in driving sales and retaining current customers — in one survey, 80% of marketers said email played a direct role in customer retention.

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to build your email list. For example, MailChimp is completely free for users with less than 2,000 email subscribers. Many email services offer tiered pricing that only increases in relation to your business’ subscriber list, making it easy to stay on budget.

7) Automate

Sales and marketing tasks can take up a lot of time — and unfortunately, many of these necessary responsibilities can prove quite redundant. While not all automation tools are free, they will help you save time with tasks like social media scheduling, analytics reporting, lead nurturing and more.

With better data and less time spent on mundane or complicated tasks, you will be better positioned to make smarter business decisions that will grow your sales numbers.

8) Create public relations (PR) opportunities

Any kind of media coverage — even from local outlets — can help increase awareness for your brand. To do this, you need to create “event” opportunities that will get journalists and bloggers talking about your company.

This could include providing free community seminars, hosting or sponsoring a charity event or simply highlighting how your company creates local opportunities for economic growth. While this does require you to be bold in reaching out to reporters, the results can be well worth it.

Low-cost resources like Help a Reporter Out can also serve as a great way to connect with journalists and get your insights published in major media stories.

9) Fine-tune your sales pitch

All the previously mentioned strategies won’t do your company much good if you haven’t mastered your sales pitch. This is especially true of B2B professionals, who often need to make in-person presentations.

Learn how to make your presentation relevant to each sales lead so you can better connect your offer to their needs. Focus on benefits rather than features, and don’t be afraid to use enthusiasm and showmanship in your pitch. As you perfect your elevator pitch, you’ll be better equipped to sell your product or service anytime, anywhere and using any available method.

A small budget isn’t a bad thing

While a limited budget certainly adds its fair share of challenges to your growth efforts, working within a set of constraints and limitations can ultimately be highly beneficial for your company.

As you learn to achieve more with less, your team will be able to continue budgeting and selling effectively as your business starts to grow.

How do I download or save a YouTube video to my computer?

YouTube has been designed to only allow users to watch and view videos on their website. Many users want to download or save their favorite YouTube videos to their computer so they can watch them without being connected to the Internet or on other devices.

Below are the steps required for downloading and watching YouTube videos on your computer for free.

Note: This page only provides instructions for downloading or saving a YouTube video to your computer. Instructions for saving a video as audio is on our saving only the audio of a YouTube video to an MP3 file page.

Tip: Unless you plan on transferring the video from your computer to your smartphone or tablet after it has been downloaded, we suggest using our how to download a YouTube video on a smartphone or tabletsteps for these devices.

Saving YouTube video as a video file on your computer

Today, many websites that allow you to enter the URL of the video you want to save to your computer and get a link to download the video file. Below is a simple four-step process to download any YouTube video.

Note: These steps may not work if at a school or job that’s blocking YouTube.

1. First, go to the YouTube page containing the video you want to download. When you’ve found the page, press Ctrl+L on your keyboard to highlight the text in the address bar, and then Ctrl+C to copy the Internet address. If you are on an Apple computer substitute Ctrl with the Command key.

2. Once this address has been copied, paste that address into the text field below by clicking inside the box and pressing Ctrl+V on your keyboard. Then, click the Download Video button.

Note: If the text field or Download Video button above is not visible or clickable, you can also type savefrom.net/ in front of any YouTube address.

3. Click the download video in browser link, below the green “Download the app and get your video” box. If you don’t see that link immediately, wait 10 to 15 seconds. It will be located to the right of the video you want to download.

Note: Using the above link will allow you to download a YouTube video for free. Ignore any advertisements that say you need to pay money to download a video.

4. If done properly, below the link mentioned above, you will see a preview of the video (as shown below), along with a green Download button and the video format.

YouTube download window

Click the down arrow on the right side of the Download box to see additional video formats, such as MP4, WebM, or 3GP. There may also be more than one quality option for each video format. Select the video format you want and click the green Download button.

YouTube download options

Note: Currently, YouTube does not allow for the download of HD quality video. Also, if available in the list, the MP4 360 video option will only play the video and does not download the video file.

After the video has been downloaded, the video file will be available in your downloads folder.

Top 5 Countries With The Fastest Internet In The World

In this technological era, where internet has become the most preferred medium of our everyday communication, have you ever wondered which countries provide the most quickest internet experience?

There are two important metrics in bandwidth allocation (measured in Megabits per second or Mbps): download and upload speed, denoting the speed of inbound and outbound data respectively. Here is a list of the top five countries that has the fastest internet connection speed in the world 2017

1. Hong Kong

Hong Kong tops the list with peak internet speed of broadband connection in this country showing an average of 54.1 Mbps across services. It only takes 83 seconds to download one high definition (HD) movie.

2. South Korea

After Hong Kong, South Korea recorded the second-fastest average internet speed of 48.8 Mbps. Also, one HD quality movie can be downloaded in just 92 seconds.

3. Japan

Japan came in third with a peak download speed of 42.2 Mbps, and can download one HD movie in 106 seconds.

4. Latvia

At fourth position is Latvia, wherein the average speed of connection in this country is 37.5 Mbps. It takes only two minutes to download one HD movie.

5. Romania

With best facility of internet, Romania comes in at fifth place with an average internet speed of 37.4 Mbps and a download speed of two minutes to copy one HD movie.

Source: BloombergWAU

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