Last month, I had a conversation with one of my dad’s friends and he asked me about what I was doing, so I explained to him the work I do with Relation One5 which is a digital media company. He said he was impressed but gave me a curious stare and asked me this, “So what can you do for me, I am into construction?” He emphasized that he was practically a builder. With confidence I sold to him what the company can do for him. We shared contacts and parted ways. Later on, I discovered that he wasn’t really into construction, neither was he a builder, but this had been a sort of test to see how well I understood what I claimed to do.
From this encounter, I picked something that I have heard many other people talk about. The message of taking your business to the internet doesn’t really resonate well among owners of small businesses or those that do gigs or what is commonly known as the side hustle. Yet the majority of the people in the corporate world have a little something they are doing on the side for a little side income that could use a boost.
A friend of mine recently sent me an invite to like her business Facebook page and she sells onions. I later asked her how much she had benefitted from having her onion supply business on the internet and she was more than thrilled to tell me that among other things, some of her biggest clients which by the way are huge Hotels in Kampala accepted to let her supply them with onions after they saw her supply business’ Facebook page.
This goes as proof that there is no such thing as a business that is too small for the internet. I have actually heard this being said by some business owners and they do not know how much they are missing by being offline. To help with changing that mentality, I looked at the possible reasons any business, no matter how small should be on the internet.
Meet new clients
It is not news when people say that they met clients from the internet, there are those who have found life partners from the internet so why not. It can either be through a social media site or a website or through e-mail communication. The internet is the new market place. Among the millions of people that are on the web at a given time, the odds that at least one of them needs the item you are selling are largely in your favour.
You can make new friends who have friends…
You have heard advertisers say something like, tell a friend to tell a friend. This is especially true with the internet. If you don’t directly sell your product or service, you can make friends through the various platforms online and along the way mention what you do or the products you sell. If the person is not in need of your product or service at the moment, they might be, with time or better yet, they can have a friend or relative who needs it and who do you think they will recommend? Never underestimate the power of word of mouth.
Meet like-minded people
The chance that you will meet someone in your lifetime who shares your kind of thoughts is slim, however on the internet that chance gets a lot bigger. If you are on Facebook or twitter or whichever social media platform, your friends and followers are people who you know, some you might not but also those with whom you share ideas with. Conversations with such people can open your eyes to things you didn’t know or were doing all wrong in your side hustle. All you have to do is talk to them.
Get new ideas
On top of meeting like-minded people with whom you can share similar experiences, there are lots of people online that share new experiences that can pick as new ideas for a new product or service, a new ingredient you can add to your mix or a new kind of market you should start targeting. There is never a shortage of new ideas when there are millions of people communicating. You just have to listen.
Start a new business altogether
Sometimes, the information we get from others can be transformed into something bigger than they or even we could have expected. I mentioned earlier that through communication, you can get new ideas to incorporate into you side hustle but these ideas can also lead into a whole new business that you can add to your portfolio or replace your side hustle or even become you main source of income.