Small businesses help to ensure financial security for homes and extra income for the homemakers which invariably leads to financial independence for the housewives. Restrictions imposed on woman as a result of cultural practices in the Northern part of Nigeria has forced women in the region to engage themselves by providing catering services from their homes; and they have been very successful in it. Investigations reveal that food vendors in the region actually get their supplies from these housewives.
In societies where it is the responsibility of housewives to take care of the home and children rather than shifting such responsibilities to house-aides, it is better to run small businesses from the comfort of such homes, this is because it helps to ease the boredom of loneliness and it is stress free. Apart from the fact that it provides the opportunity of monitoring and taking care of the home front, trading from home has its advantages and disadvantages.
The sole aim of every business is to make profit and expand the business. There is a level of risk involved in every business and this type of business is no exception to the rule, hence, it is important to plan very well, because if we fail to plan then we unconsciously plan to fail.
Most people believe that the goods and services provided from homes are largely expensive and oftentimes customers prefer to collect goods with the intention to pay at a future date. Unfortunately, on several occasions those customers that collect goods in this manner either do not make prompt payment or completely refuse to pay by giving flimsy excuses.
How then can the challenges faced by this type of business be tackled? The followings tips may be useful:
CONSUMABLE: Food stuff and household items are likely lucrative goods in the neighbourhood small business. Most times housewives would prefer to take a short walk in order to buy such goods rather than driving long distance to supermarket outside the vicinity.
CREATE AWARENESS: Introduce your products or goods to your neighbours as they are your major consumers and buyers. If possible let them have samples of your goods.
AFFORDABILITY: You should ensure that your profit margin is not too high, make sure you do not scare potential customers away with your price. Let your buyers know that your prices are the same as those in market or even cheaper; this will enable you sustain their patronage.
FRESH AND NEW: Start with goods/products or services that are not readily available or accessible within the neighbourhood. In other words do not venture in to a business that is being provided by another provider within the same environment. Some business competitions can be dangerously too risky. Caution is the word before you start.
CONSISTENCY: Be consistent; be very sure of adequate supplies and availability of products to meet the demands of your consumers. It is either you sustain your consumers’ patronage or risk the chances of someone else hijacking the business from you.
Finally be patient and be accommodating. Professional marketers say customers are always RIGHT. So don’t argue or fight with customers.
Imagine yourself as housewife, at the convenience of your home, doing what you like best, taking care of your family and earning some stipends? In fact the advantages outweigh the disadvantages if there is adequate planning for the sustenance of the business.
By the way, I hope you are aware that I write and send my work to the media all from the comfort of my home? Surely operating business from home is really convenient.