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BIMBO’S ORDEAL- ( Business Lesson 101)

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Bimbo (not real name) is a middle aged lady that works with one of the old generation banks as a senior manager. She has very good presentation and marketing skills, but finds herself tied down to her job with the daily banking routine at the bank’s head office . However, desirous of having other streams of income, she rented a double shop at a popular shopping complex in Lekki. She thought of the kind of business to establish but could not decide on any up until she met Nike, an old school mate of hers during her undergraduate days at the University of Ibadan. Nike read Creative Arts and eventually went into Interior decoration, designs and light furnishings. Her office which was located off Allen in Ikeja, Lagos was a sight to behold , with every piece of furnishing spelling out success. “God has been blessing us“ she retorted when Bimbo enquired about how she made it so big. Nike had secured a contract to furnish two government houses in the southwest of Nigeria, which were renewed afterwards consecutively for three years during the last political dispensation, Bimbo learnt.
“Nike, I’m not surprised because you are very creative and your works never fail to get noticed.”Bimbo declared. Bimbo thereafter decided to venture into interior decoration and furnishing. After tastefully equipping and decorating the shop, she stocked it with choice items that she sourced from Dubai, Italy and England. Being always at work with the exception of Saturdays and public holidays, she had to employ two Sales assistants who obviously had no elementary knowledge of interior décor and furnishing.
Bimbo began to have concern about the viability of her business, since much wasn’t coming in the form of sales revenue. After a year and half, she had not sold any appreciable amount of stock and was paying her staff salaries from her savings. On enquiry from her sales assistants, they said customer did come in to make enquiries but left without making commitments, while some complained that the items were too expensive. Due to the busy nature of her work, Bimbo asked her friends to help check the conduct of her employees. The first friend discovered that on two occasions, the shop was securely locked with the girls deeply asleep inside the shop with the air-conditioner switched on. On another visit, the girls did no form of marketing to customers and did not collect their contact details for possible follow up but were rather impatient( as shown by their disposition) with the customer who seemed to be asking too many questions and hence distracting them from the colleague’s hair she was fixing.
Another friend of Bimbo was shocked to find the shop locked while the sales assistants were in another adjoining shop conversing with another set of sales assistants. Bimbo could not justify why she should continue to pay staff salary from her savings when little or nothing was coming in as sales revenue from the business. She contemplated selling off the items and changing to a “better” form business but was still undecided about the nature of business to go into this time around.
Question: From the above, what factors in your opinion were responsible for the overall poor performance of Ms Bimbo’s business? Comment below.
By Andrew Ifeanyi C.

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