Now that the devastating effects of the corona virus pandemic is beginning to leave our business community in one piece, even with its delta variant, the desire of some employers to get their workers back in the office has become a national concern in many countries of the world. The pandemic has come and virtually gone, but not without having a tremendous influence on the way and manner business is usually conducted in our contemporary society. It introduced a new dawn of demand into the world of computer literacy.
During the period the virus reigned in unyielding supremacy, mowing down millions of citizens across nations, many office workers were encouraged to work from home. Many businesses went online and many people worked from home. Leasing shops and paying exorbitant amounts as rent every year became a historical fact, good enough for only the archives. A relatively new trend in demand and supply that could easily be conducted online became strengthened. Progressives joined the bandwagon as online businesses were being facilitated across the globe.
Although Imo State Business Link Magazine was launched in 2016, some four years before the pandemic severely struck in 2020, its frontline role in addressing the challenges of demand and supply within the Eastern Nigeria Business Community both in the country and overseas was never in doubt. Many were the challenges we had to face. But we were not daunted. We had capable hands on deck. And graciously, we dealt and are still dealing with those challenges. The challenges themselves have even enabled us to expand our scope and our relevance to the needs and aspirations of our people.
Firstly, we recognized and had to put into consideration the fact that this new and modern trend of ordering goods and services online and delivering those goods and services in an agreed open space location was entirely alien to our people, especially those in the rural areas. There was a need to indoctrinate them into what had since become the global best practice in demand and supply fulfillment and service delivery. They just had to come up to the level other ethnic groups around the world had come to adopt as the modern trend.
From our corner at Imo State Business Link Magazine, not as many people as we would wish to welcome are coming up with their companies, businesses and services to register with our organization. It does not cost a kobo to register your company or business with us. Simply text the following information to +23470 1689 0200:
- Name of your company or business
- Address of your company or business
- Nature of your business in detail
- Contact Name
- Contact Phone Number
Our team of editors will then build up an advertisement that will do well to introduce your line of business and get it listed on our website. You will consequently be invited to join our Group Face Book and Group WhatsApp where network members interact and patronize each other across categories. Terms and conditions apply at this level.
At Imo State Business Link Magazine, we are still committed to educating our people on the benefits of using the magazine at all times for reference, and to make contacts and actually buy and sell their products, goods and services online. But we did come across several challenges that we were determined to deal with as much as possible.
The first problem we encountered was that not many people whose businesses would count have mobile phones that can browse. So, even if their businesses were listed they would not be in a position to monitor what is happening on their platforms. So, we advise all current and prospective members of Imo State Business Link Magazine Network to avail themselves of mobile phones that can browse. It is the most essential equipment in the new and prevailing dispensation of demand and supply, and a great investment in the future of your business.
The second problem we observed was that even those who have access to our website do not use it as frequently as they should. The site is like a pocket dictionary to which you refer as often as you need to make contact with suppliers or buyers of your commodity. Network members should do more research on those who can do bulk purchases or work for them as agents and distributors across states and engage them. But please make sure all adequate security measures are in place before you can make any appointments like agents and distributors. Such security might include sureties one of which could be the Royal Father of the agent’s home community or a minister of the church or a known member of the government.
The third observation was that even those whose businesses are listed on the website are not making good use of our social media forums to advertise their goods and services as frequently as they should. Network members are advised to take pictures of the latest arrivals in their shops or workplaces and keep uploading them on the Group FB or WhatsApp at least two or three times every week. In such a way, as I have said earlier, people will come to notice your presence and engage you. Simply staying idly in your shop or workplace, waiting for customers to come, cannot do the magic. They need to be called up. And you can find their details in the magazine, under the categories they belong. That is why we have a space after each advert where callers can be reached if their email addresses are on their platforms. So, send in your email addresses if you have not done so already.
The fourth was the near-total absence of delivery services especially in the South Eastern states. In Lagos, the delivery system has become as booming a business as it is here in London. And I would want those of us who can do so, to invest in this area of business. Workers in the state and federal secretariats must be encouraged to order for their lunch from restaurants and kitchens that are linked to delivery services. These delivery couriers would supply whatever they ordered. Imo State Business Link Magazine has all the information they might need. Businessmen and women are also expected to order through the magazine. When money is circulating as it is done here in the UK, everybody will be happy and a strong foundation would have been laid for business in the Eastern states.
And so, all that people need to do is use their phones to make contacts with other Imo State Business Link Magazine network members. In such a way, they will be able to expand their scope of business associates. But as we are about to enter the ember months in a few weeks, I need to remind us that online businesses thrive only on trust. If the trust is lacking, the business will flop. Already people have the impression that generally, Nigerians are not people who can be trusted easily. But I am one of those who believe that something can be done about that and that we are working towards breaking that curse of Nigerian politicians who have never seen a need to plan for their business communities or put in place legislations that will enable them perform satisfactorily like other business communities across the globe.
Therefore, anyone who belongs to Imo State Business Link Magazine network must – and I repeat MUST – respect the global integrity of this organization and its affiliates. We assure all our members that we will go all the way to enable the International Police to apprehend and deal with anyone who would make an attempt to dupe someone in this network. That is a promise, not a threat. So, anyone who wants to associate with Imo State Business Link Magazine must have a genuine, legitimate and verifiable business. Never mind if the business is small. We will help you grow it. In fact one of us names his vehicles “Young Shall Grow” and we are with him all the way.
Thank you for being one of us.
- Chief Sir Emeka Asinugo