LAGOS MOLUE: 12 BUSINESS LESSONS TO LEARN


Lagos is Africa’s most populous city. It is densely populated and has molue buses as part of its transportation system. Just in case you’ve never heard of a molue bus, it’s the driver’s cabin of a Mercedes 911 truck attached to a fuselage made of panel-beaten metal scraps crafted by welders who use approximation system against metric system. The windows are often made of Perspex while the buses are mandated to be spray-coded with bright sunflower yellow and cicatrized with two black stripes by Government.


All sorts of things take place on a molue bus: the pharmaceutical sales agent selling this wonder ‘new drug from India’ full of vitamins A-Z and greater in potency than Viagara, the juju salesman with a get-rich formula (and people seldom wonder why the man himself remains poor after 13 years in the business), the molue fights for seats (a franchise grade sport worthy of World Wrestling Entertainment accolade) and the shouting molue conductor.

The molue commuter bus system operates a market efficient system. The conductor bellows out a route with a megaphonic contortion of his mouth. The passengers respond with a stampede. Where the route is not in high demand, the conductor changes his pitch and announces a new route immediately. Talk about corporate responsiveness and market dynamics in real time! Demand determines supply.

Here are the 12 lessons to learn:

1.     You cannot sell to the market what they don’t need.
2.    It is economically foolhardy to be confronted with evidence of consumer apathy and not change track.
3.      We must respond to market needs.
4.  It’s easier to sell what is wanted than what we want to sell. 
5.     The money is in the consumer’s pocket.
6.     Go for easy catchments first. Don’t labor on hard sells.
7.  You must have capacity to accommodate consumer demand. If you don’t have, develop one. 
8.     The consumer always moves on.
9.    The consumer is waiting for the man with the supply of what he needs.
10. You’ve got to shout to be heard. And you can shout in a variety of ways. The molue conductor bellows out his route. It’s a form of advertisement.
11.   To catch the consumer you must be in the market.
12.  Consumers can be quite aggressive when they see what they need. Stay out of the way. Don’t impede the flow.

Seek audience.

Leke Alder
From the book: Minding your Business

DON’T FORGET
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