With the advent of GSM in Nigeria, landlines and desktop phones went obsolete because people didn’t want to be confined to their office space or be restricted to just the areas where the phones were kept. They wanted to be reached wherever they were. They want to do business whenever and wherever. Even though landlines and desktop phones gave a level of credibility to business owners, they opted for mobile phones due to the convenience and flexibility they provided. Only a fool would have stayed back or delved into the sales of desktop phones at this time.
Chief Kessington Adebutu the founder of Premier Lotto (Baba Ijebu) was in the pool business for long and when the lotto business got introduced in the country, he became a pioneer, he knew it would trend considering that he even simplified it and made it readily available in all nooks and cranny of the South-West. This singular step moved him from the millionaires’ sphere to the billionaires’ sphere.
A little over two decades ago, make-up business became a buzz with the advent of the Mary-kay brand in Nigeria. Some people caught the bug and made good money from it. People bought franchise from foreign brands like “Sleek” and some developed brands like “House of Tara”. It is now like a movement with almost every girl being a make-up artist but the lesson it all is that those who were the pioneers in Nigeria like Tara Fela-Durotoye did make a lot of money from it before and during the trend. They saw the future; the power of forecasting!
Understanding trends does not refer to the “bandwagon” approach. It needs a meticulous approach to the study of the immediate environment. What the people need? What are the needs that will arise as a result of a new trend? Etc. It is important to note that there are some people who are trendsetters. When you are new in a business, it is very difficult to become a trendsetter but with consistency you could become one. Another set of people who are trendsetters are celebrities, then you have businesses that have made a mark in their chosen fields and then monopolists. When you deal in fashion items, beauty products, toiletries, etc., you need to follow up celebrities to know what’s trending and what will trend and be able to forecast properly so you can hit “gold”.
It is very important you put your ears to the ground, sniff the air around you with a sharp sense of smell and open your eyes wide at all times too. The social media is a veritable tool. Follow the trends early before it becomes too crowded. Two questions: What is trending? What has the potential to trend?