Lifestyle-focused business owners should take advantage of the advantages technology brings to their businesses.
By Joseph Iruafemi
Technology is affecting and improving practically every area of life. Businesses, especially, are constantly benefitting from the effect of globalization brought about by technology. As a founder of a lifestyle business, it is important to leverage the advantages that technology enables.
One major way technology is enabling lifestyle focused businesses is in the area of discoverability. Every business needs customers to first know about them and then patronize them. Technology is making it easy for people to find lifestyle focused businesses.
A new lifestyle business opening up in a corner of Nigeria can easily mark their location on Google maps. By doing so, people visiting or driving by that location can easily find that business. The good thing is that this is not only limited to new lifestyle businesses alone. If you have been running a business that is not marked on Google maps, you should ensure you get listed today. Not only will it bring your business closer to more customers, but it will also increase your customer base.
Nigerians are using social media to find new and exciting places to hang out and have fun; you want to make sure your business has an online presence that can easily be found.
Even if you don’t own a lifestyle business and just seeking hangout and fun spots around Lagos and Nigeria as a whole, technology is there at your disposal.
Third party platforms like Nothing To Do In Lagos makes it easy for Lagosians to find fun things to do around Lagos. You will find amazing events, shows, art classes, spoken word, on this platform. They have an app and an active Instagram account.
Those who are big on going to the cinema are making use of Now Showing to find movie reviews, showtimes and buy movie tickets. They see movie reviews to know what movies they should place their money on or not. And when they buy online, their seats are reserved for them. It is perfect to avoid a situation where you drive through heavy traffic only to get to the cinema and the seats are sold out, so you have to wait for the next show time.
As expected, there are challenges limiting the use of technology in the lifestyle industry. You will find the usual suspects here. Power! It is most likely you would need the power to run whatever technology you have acquired for your business.
For businesses who have adopted online as a sales channel, reliable internet connection is another mitigating factor. Imagine a customer placed an order for your goods/service and you do not have an internet connection to verify or fulfill that order.
Another one is the cost of data. The cost of data is still quite high for the vast majority of people. People ration their internet for services/apps that are not the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram of this world. Easy ways to combat this is to make your website light, optimize your photos, make your videos straight to the point, do not use a slideshow where one photo would have communicated your message. Focus on communicating succinctly.
In conclusion, there is no business that cannot profit hugely from having an online presence. The old mentality that a type of business or the other is not suited for online should be done away with. One thing that should also change is the idea of getting your own office. The cost of getting and running an office in a good location might not be one that your business can sustain in the very early days. You can make do with co-working space. There are co-working spaces in major cities in Nigeria. They provide a great space for you to work, fast internet and power supply. You get to have people of like minds around you too.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.
Joseph Iruafemi is enthusiastic about using technology to improve the efficiency of people and businesses. He sits well at the intersection of business and technology. He is comfortable at translating business strategies/ideas into software products or finding the business in a software product. He is the founder of Now Showing (www.nowshowing.com.ng), a digital technology startup focused on enhancing the experience of moviegoers. He is also founder of Kobotrack, an application that helps people manage their money.