Business Lessons I learned since my primary school hustling days…

Sometimes I feel like maybe I have indian blood in me. I just love selling things, negotiating and trying to make deals. The idea of looking for opportunities and capitalizing on them has been with me since my early childhood. I have started over 10 business ventures and have learned a lot on the way

Negotiation 101
My 1st business venture was in grade 3 when I exchanged my lunch box for protection from bullies. Great investment with high returns. Learn to open your mouth

Be the main supplier
My love for the Nokia brand goes way back to my high school days. My cousin introduced me to selling phone accessories. He taught me how to be the main supplier. I learned fast and started selling cell phone covers to my fellow students. The 3310 device will remain my favourite because I made a killing with that device. 500% profit killing. I ended up supplying stock to others.

Control the market
In tertiary I graduated as an entrepreneur and started selling empty cd’s/dvd at different student residents. Hired a friend(David) to help me sell and we used his room as our main “Warehouse”. He later became my partner and we gave the competition a run for their money. Some even closed because we reduced the prices which forced every other seller to come down to the prices we set. We went a step further and gave specials which we knew the rest couldn’t offer. Mafia style

Never run out of stock
My partner and I went a step further and started selling airtime. It was common for students to sell airtime on campus but the problem was that most of them always ran out of stock. Not us. We made sure we had stock EVERYDAY in high supply. We never wanted to lose a customer. That’s how we beat and shut down the competition

Advertise your business and EXPAND
We really wanted to own the different residents at TUT and be the main providers of airtime. Your campus vodacom,mtn and CellC

So we did some hectic advertising which cost us around R20(clean papers,a black marker and prestick). We put up our cheap adverts on as many residents as possible. We knew the competitors would take them down which they did but we got the word out

From there we started paying more people from different residents to sell for us. That was our expansion method

Build a relationship with your customers
We had those regular customers who always wanted airtime even if they were out of campus. So we started selling to them on credit which they would later pay. This made them always buy from us and we never charged them for sending the airtime voucher

Don’t get high on your own supply
We charged ourselves every time we would use own stock of airtime. We even bought the airtime at the usual price whenever we needed to use it. Nothing was for free

Sell convenience
Anybody who went to tertiary with me will tell you that if you wanted your secondhand textbook to be sold Mixo was the guy to call. I didn’t make the customers(clients) come to me,I went to them and I would keep them updated on what is happening with their textbooks
All they had to do was give me their book then later collect their money or give me money then pick up their book

Spoil yourself
Business was so good that we would cash-in every week and made sure we spoiled ourselves. That is really important. You need to taste the fruits of your labour

I applied some of the strategies already mentioned by always negotiating the best price for my clients, controlling the market and making sure that supply was always on point. Expansion was also great because I would be selling books on different campuses. Yes I did bunk classes

Plenty more lessons to learn



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