Have you heard of Shoprite? Or Hubmart?
What about Spar, Market Square or Ebeano Supermarket?
These businesses have one thing in common: they operate chain stores in multiple locations in a city, and across several states in a country. Whew! That’s a tongue twister! [plus I’m not even sure it’s the correct English. Lol.]. E be like say we go explain this one for pidgin.
So in very simple pidgin, all these big big retailers dey get large stores in different different locations for one state. And on top that one, dem come dey for almost all the states for naija. Take Shoprite for example now. For Lagos alone, dem get upto 9 stores.
Now wey I don explain am finish, abeg let me switch back to my Queen’s English 😂.
Today isn’t a history class about Shoprite or any of the supermarket chains I mentioned earlier. Rather, we want to use their relationship with their suppliers to explain the payment difficulties most small business owners face, and finally seek your opinion: if there’s a product that will wipe all the problems you’ve had collecting money/payments from your customers, what exactly do you want it to look like?
If you want to answer this question right away, please do so here. But if you want to read to the end, be our guest.
A very short story on Shoprites payment relationship with suppliers.
Disclaimer: Shoprite’s relationship with its suppliers is longer than we have time to address and only a tiny fragment of it is of relevance to today’s newsletter. So we will focus on that part.
Every small business owner’s dream is to be a Shoprite supplier. This isn’t surprising though. They reach more people than they (small business owners) normally would and sell more units too. The downside is, after supplying Shoprite or any of these large retail chain stores, they don’t get their payment immediately. It takes 30 - 90 days (that’s between one month to three months) to get paid.
This wouldn’t have been a big deal if the small businesses were equipped for it. Because when these small businesses supply the large retailers, they supply in large quantities and all their effort is usually directed to producing enough for them. If they aren’t careful, they may not have the time or resources to serve other people.
The implication: Shoprite suddenly becomes your only source of income🤦. It’s like a dilemma. You sell to this big retailer for a large profit but you don’t get your money immediately, meaning if care is not taken, you may be strapped for operating capital.
Now, let’s flip this. Imagine your customers are Shoprite and you are the business that supplies to them (Shoprite). They buy now, to pay later which you agree to because if you don’t, you will lose them. But on the other hand, you need money to continue to run your business.
What will you do?
What if there is a product that will enable you to eat your cake and have it?
How does it work?
You sell to your customers on credit, and this product gives you back the money instantly, so you can have money to run your business with till the customers pay?
If such a product exists, how would it help your business?
We are exploring the viability of a product that gives small business owners instant money and the working capital they need. But we know that we can’t get it right unless we speak to you, and learn from your experience. This will enable us to create a product that would ease your means of running a small business.
Can you do us this big favour by taking 3 minutes to fill this survey? It is short and straight to the point. You won’t stress yourself typing your response. All you need to do is to select your preferred answer from a list of options.