Lockdown, a concept unbeknownst to the majority of the world before 2020 came and taught us a few lessons. It is still with us in some shape or form as the world battles to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. One of the lessons it taught us was that we are much more open to eCommerce and having products delivered to us than we ever imagined. In light of this, a discussion on products or items that people are comfortable with having delivered to them can inspire someone’s business idea in future.
Of course, people are happy to have fast food delivered to them. The reason I decided to start this list with fast food is that we lack a dominant force in the business in Zimbabwe. Sure you will find individual restaurants that have the delivery thing well figured out. However, a comprehensive business that offers delivery from multiple restaurants well doesn’t exist. Those that exist haven’t quite got it figured out yet. That is a golden opportunity for someone who can put together the network and system to make this work.
Yes, I am aware that various businesses are doing the whole grocery delivery business idea. Much like fast food, it hasn’t been completely figured out yet and even those who have haven’t taken it to every corner yet. There’s space in the market and such a wide array of products you could offer. One tip I would give is to try to specialise. Sure being a one-stop-shop is great for attention but not for execution especially in the early days.
If you think about it small electronic gadgets and appliances are perfect for the delivery business. Unlike fast food and groceries, their prices tend to be quite high so delivery fees related to them will seem quite small. Paying $5 delivery on a $10 item feels very different from paying $5 delivery on a $400 item. Please remember the idea here is not to sell these items but to offer delivery for them so your money comes from delivery fees, not the product.
Medicines and medical supplies
This is a huge opportunity in Zimbabwe. If you are tuned in to what is going on in Zimbabwe you will know what people have gone through in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, there are pharmacies dotted around but when an emergency comes around there is rarely the option nor the ability to get to them. Offering delivery of medicine and medical supplies is an opportunity that can be exploited very well. The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe might have something to say about what you can and cannot deliver.
Zimbabweans have a love affair with their alcohol. So strong is this love affair that restricting alcohol sales during lockdown was the straw that threatened to break the camel’s back. The business idea is neither new nor unique in Zimbabwe. In fact, I’d say the examples of it I know are executing the idea very well. That said there is room for more operators in this business in my estimation.
People need documents delivered from time to time and there’s more opportunity here than initially meets the eye. We are trying to live in a digital world with systems that aren’t quite there yet. So you could find yourself in a good arrangement with an organisation that needs to have documents delivered to them or their associates regularly. There’s a lot that could be done here once people gain confidence in the system.
Perhaps someone forgot their jersey (juzi) at someone’s house and can’t go and collect it for reasons best known to them. The hit song by Kae chaps Juzi gives us one situation in which a person would appreciate a delivery service that picks up a parcel from them to take it to someone else. Again with health and regulatory concerns around travelling the service could be useful to many. In the long run, the convenience would keep the business relevant.
I’m sure could think of more and possibly better business ideas that work well with delivery in Zimbabwe. There is a lot of potential in this space. A look around the world shows that empires have been built on the back of offering delivery service and there is really nothing standing in the way of the Zimbabwean who dares to get it right.