Laura Mooney based in the USA is a senior marketing executive specializing in business-to-business marketing of software and services for growth companies. With 20+ years of experience in the software industry, and an MBA from a top-25 business school she decided to take on a real challenge and join the Grow Movement #Uganda600 team. Here is her story to date!
Zuman to Growth!
Zuman Traders is a hardware store in Kampala, Uganda, run by Yusuf Manshur and his wife, Zubeda. They also have a small construction business which keeps Yusuf busy full-time, leaving Zubeda to run the store and work with Grow. Two months into Grow Movement’s Uganda600 project, we’ve had six sessions by phone and Skype. The primary goals we’d like to achieve as a result of the Grow project are a 20% increase in retail sales and the addition of one new reliable supplier.
The biggest challenges to progress so far have been lack of technology, lack of resources and the early stage of the retail business. On the technology front, they do not own a computer, do not use email and mobile phone connections are often poor, making communications difficult. The challenge with lack of resources to invest in marketing is somewhat driven the stage of the business. The hardware store is currently housed in a temporary structure. They are working through the Uganda permitting process to get the approvals needed to construct a permanent building, which will be much larger and hold more inventory. The permit process is slow, and they do not anticipate being able to start construction until early 2016. Unfortunately, they do not want spend money on marketing activities that would be critical to attracting new customers (such as the production of a storefront sign or an ad placement), because the money needs to go toward the permanent building. This will impact how quickly they can grow in the near-term.
Zubeda Manshur Uganda600 client
On the positive side, they have no debt and the business is generating enough profit each month to keep them going and support their growing family (Zubeda will be giving birth to their third child in October!). We have been able to start a client outreach program for upselling and implement a scaled pricing model that encourages larger volume purchases. I have also encouraged her to research and join local trade associations related to construction and furniture making, in order to meet potential clients and suppliers and get the word out about their business.
Zubeda is engaging actively in our discussions and logging the recommendations I offer into her business journal. She has stated that while she may not have the time or money to implement all of the ideas right now, she wants to log them and work on them over time as they continue to grow the business.
Friday, 2 October 2015