Given the current economic situation with regard to prices of basic commodities is something of concern to anyone who is paying attention. Much beloved bread has gone from a daily meal to a rare find. According to a Herald, report Bakers are diverting bread to the parallel market that has emerged for the staple where it is available at exorbitant prices. In response to this, the First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa has urged people to bake chimodho (cornbread) and other substitutes to make up for the lack of bread. In this regard, there’s an opportunity to supply baking ingredients to the market. So this could be a good opportunity for you if you’re of a mind.
There are a few options on what to serve the market and how you will provide the items. If you understand baking you will know that one of the biggest struggles is getting the measurements right, that really is half the work. Providing packages that are pre-measured for all dry ingredients and only need the wet ingredients is a Great way to serve customers. These already exist on the market and can be sourced abroad. You can even go as far as to provide the wet ingredients as well. Depending on what you’re selling it may need eggs, milk, cooking oil to accompany it. Being a one-stop shop will do well with your customers.
The best products to look at would be those that take shorter time periods to bake because of the nature of the electricity load shedding that currently characterized the country. Muffins, cakes, cupcakes, brownies and scones all fit this criterion and are old favourites known to many people. On the other end of the spectrum, you can look to repackage in specific quantities. Consider a package that has enough of each required ingredient (plain flour, yeast, salt, sugar) to make exactly one loaf of bread and your customer need only add water and of course follow instructions.
Clear communication is absolutely essential here. Remember your customers are trying to solve a problem and you need to show them that their entire problem is solved by your business in one step. So avoid vague and lukewarm marketing campaigns and be explicit in all communication. Social media is your best mileage channel for advertising. Also online classifieds and of course good old networking.
It would be ideal to build a brand in this business as you want to be in it for the long term. Just because your business starts based on a problem doesn’t mean it lives only as long as the problem. All businesses are born to solve problems and the ones that go long evolve to solve other problems. By creating a brand you can give yourself some good footing to do this with. The business can work standalone or as an addition to an existing business so you could just work it into your current brand.
The opportunity lies on the far side of problems and nowhere more does this need to be true than our current Zimbabwe. It’s a marvellous opportunity if you’re able to grab it.