It is not enough to be blessed by God, but the ability, grace, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, platform, and most importantly, the personnel to harness the blessings of the blessing is very important.
Unexpectedly, we had a great harvest, and very little knowledge of what to do. There were cucumbers everywhere, so to say. My son and I were very tired from harvesting. The markets were operating only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. I was also given the impression that cucumbers do not have a long shelf life, which was not very true. So I was in a panic mode.
When you are in a panic mode, try to do the following:
1. Avoid listening to people who have consistently not valued what you do, or have frequently criticised what you do.
2. Shut your mind from every negative energy.
3. Avoid people with low self-esteem; they hardly come up with great solutions.
They will join you to cry or probably make the situation worse off.
4. Look for good crisis managers.
I mobilised my wife, Ejiro, my daughter, Raymond Orogun Ugbeh, and two of my drivers for the sales. So, I had a crisis management team.
5. Try and remain calm inside
Tell yourself it will end well; even if the results are not what you anticipated, at least you will learn from it.
6. Try not to be discouraged
Tell yourself other people have handled much bigger crises.
7. Make contacts
The solution to your problem is just some phone calls away on the global street. I made a few calls, and I was given some ideas on where to go.
8. Avoid marketing cocoa in Ghana; it is everywhere
I discovered that a lot of cocoa is grown in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River state, but the buyers are those who come from outside Cross River State.
A lot of vegetables are grown in Okondi, which is also in Cross River State, but they are taken to Onitsha in Anambra State for sale. The same applies to the large quantities of palm products and bananas grown in Boki land.
Avoid your local market in some cases. However, there are some products like milk, detergents, and packaged goods that have fixed prices all over the country. Such products can be sold locally. The secret is to find a market outside your primary area of production. Locate where you can get more value.
Target people with purchasing power and class. They don’t haggle over prices like the poor.
My greatest sales came from elite consumers, and it took far less efforts. Vilfredo Pareto’s Principle proved correct in my experience in marketing cucumber.
The customers of my elite buyers use the cucumbers to make salad, and they buy per kilogram. But the ones in my locality eat it raw or with peanuts, so they buy by assumption. The elite end users value time; they are in a hurry to close the deal. Those in my neighbourhood have so much time on their hands to waste along with your time too. Avoid such people if possible.
9. Your self worth will affect nearly everything you do and how much people will pay for your services and products.
10. Products that are consumed by the generality of the population are much easier to market, especially online.
Not many people consume cucumbers on a daily basis. I’m not sure many children eat cucumbers, except it’s in a salad. It is mostly consumed by health -conscious individuals, it has no real taste like oranges or watermelon.
My online marketing strategy with chickens did not work as it did with cucumber.
11. Listen carefully to those who have been in the market before you, and develop your own strategies.
Don’t presumptuously say my case is different like most Pentecostal Christians do.
12. Prepare for your blessings just like an expectant father and mother
When you are going to pray for rain in a church during drought, go with an umbrella. Because if God answers, which He will often do, you will get wet under the rain without an umbrella.
These are the 12 lessons I learnt from cucumber sales.
God Bless You.