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Green and Orange Health and Wellness Blo

The Future is local.

As a former small business owner myself, I'm acquainted with the hardships faced by entrepreneurs with a limited budget in Mauritius. Ever since, I have found it crucial to help educate others about the challenges faced by SB owners, local products, sustainability and more.  I, initially started this project on Instagram. I have since then, been observing a steady growth of following. This platform will hopefully serve as a mediator between aspiring entrepreneurs and SB owners in Mauritius and anywhere else! One of the goals of this blog is to increase the visibility of local businesses and their products.  Curious to learn more? Check out our SB stories of some budding entrepreneurs.

Green and Orange Health and Wellness Blo
Samantha
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Marketing Executive

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Updated: Mar 11, 2021

Entrepreneurship is regarded as a career path that requires courage, hard work, consistency and passion, but it is a lot more than just that. It is not your 9-5 job and seldom requires more than 12 hours of work daily. Entrepreneurs are not only needed to work on their presence on social media but even handle customer queries. It requires you to be practically always present on social media to communicate with potential customers, increase your visibility, and educate your audience on your work, goods, and services. Bref, it is non-stop work until you can finally hire some folks to handle parts of your business. During the struggle (which usually lasts for long), life will be essentially all about acquiring a solid client base, creating and saving.


1. It’s always a risk and requires you to have a backup plan just in case…. Well you know!

Let’s not pretend to be the next Bill Gates. Most of us are unlikely to succeed as college dropouts; while I don’t individually think that higher education could get you very far, we do have to recognize that it can always get you a job in case things don’t go well or still have to handle that 9 to 5 while starting. Who knows? Maybe further education can enable you to have a better insight into business and finances. Studying Management, Marketing, Finance, or Accounting could be relevant to anyone embarking on an entrepreneurial journey. Or you could stick to something pertinent to your business venture. Plan and start saving up before quitting your job. The same goes for those who wish to drop out. Make sure to have a very detailed plan and a backup plan before making your final decision.

2.More than a 9 to 5 job


Your success will depend on your effort and determination only. On some days, you will have to sacrifice nights outs and dates to focus on your work, which is completely normal. However, do not compromise your mental health for the sake of success. A break is always needed for you to refuel and function even better than before. As Larry Kin (Medium.com) puts it: “You will need to be the kind of person who does their taxes in January and flosses twice a day.” In other words, you will have to be super determined and motivated to succeed. You will be much on your own when you first start up, and you will be required to undertake various tasks to minimize costs, such as marketing, packaging, taking the inventory, delivery and much more. You will have to be prepared to deal with stressful situations. The best way to handle this is to organize your workload and make sure that nothing is forgotten. Expect the unexpected. Your daily workload might always be disturbed by something new or unforeseen circumstances. Be prepared for things not to ever go as per your planning. Yet, sticking to your planning daily is one of the best ways to ensure that everything is being handled and nothing is being disregarded. Take every new responsibility that you undertake as a means to learn something new and increase your knowledge. The knowledge and experience you acquire as an entrepreneur is like no other; make sure to savour every bit of it, the good and the bad and use your experiences as lessons to get better at what you are doing.

3.Your business revenue is not your money to spend.


Save every penny that you earn from your business. Business revenue should not be regarded as your bank account. Learn not to overspend even if you’re making an insane amount of money at the very beginning. You never know what could go possibly wrong in the future. Thanks to the pandemic for reminding us not to ever take anything for granted and to always be on our guards. Your hard work will eventually pay off, but this does not mean that you should be treating yourself to the latest iPhone to reward yourself. Hold that urge and do it when things are running smoothly, and your business is stable enough. Keep a separate bank account if possible for your business to not mix your budget with your business budget as these two are not to be entwined even if they both belong to you. Treat them as totally separate entities. Run your business and manage your expenses responsibly. You will have a lifetime to relish your success later on.

5.You will make mistakes.


As a newbie in the field, do not expect yourself to master all the required skills to run a business. It’s best to leave your ego at the door and be ready to learn from anyone who has more experience than you in the field. You can learn from their mistakes as well as your own. Be prepared to make mistakes at the beginning and remember each one of them. If possible, note them down so as not to ever repeat them. Whenever you find yourself in doubt, consider consulting others and asking for help from more experienced entrepreneurs. Mistakes are bound to happen during the first phases of your entrepreneurial journey, but that should not get you down. The key is to keep learning.

6. You will often feel lonely.

You will feel excluded a lot of times. Since a 9-5 job is usually the norm once you graduate, the chances are that the conversations will endlessly revolve around office life when you hang out with your friends. Most of your pals will be unable to comprehend how your work functions and might interpret your choice of becoming an entrepreneur as a lack of discipline or laziness. Luckily, these perceptions are slowly shifting. You probably invest a lot of time and energy in what you do, but your work most likely doesn’t require you to be stuck in a chair from 9 to 5, and therefore, many find it hard to relate to you. Some might avoid talking about it due to a lack of interest. Nevertheless, you can continuously expect support from your friends, whether they get it or not. Just don’t expect them to understand your sudden excitement when you get your first $10 worth product sold or your disappointment when an order is cancelled.

6.You might have to forsake your relationship.

While you might be one of the lucky few to have a supportive partner, chances are that most of you might find yourselves with a partner who is unable to understand your obsession with your business and not comprehend how much of your time and energy is required when starting off. Entrepreneurship also means that you will not have a stable income for a long time. Working full time on your business at the start might put your relationship at stake. For startups, remember that it is not the time to start a new relationship as you will have to invest time and energy in both your relationship and your new startup. Regrettably, not everyone is blessed to have a supportive partner. Some might perceive your passion and your business venture as a commitment that requires too much of your attention or time and might discourage you from going further. Sacrifices are needed for your business to succeed. The best way to not forsake any of the two is by striking the right balance between your work and relationship. E.g. You could manage your time efficiently to allow yourself to spend time with your partner or have a day off every week.

You will often feel lonely.

You will often question your choices when things don’t go as planned. You will be reluctant to talk about your losses and your fears. You will not want to compromise your decision of undertaking an entrepreneurial journey and prefer to keep a lot to yourself when things worry you. Share your fears and successes with your friends or someone close. Whenever you feel like you’re failing at something, remind yourself that you are still learning and you will ultimately succeed. Every rise, every fall, is part of the process. Do not indulge in a guilt trip session daily, as this will only make you feel worse and not lead to anything productive. People will find it hard to relate to your concerns, and you might decide that it’s not worth talking about it anymore and hence feel lonely. Understand that while they might not understand your dilemmas, they will seek to help, actively listen but might not know how to offer any significant piece of advice. Try to indulge in some social activities in order not to be socially alienated. You can also join entrepreneurial groups on social media platforms to discuss your concerns, which might genuinely enable you to connect with people with similar apprehensions and help you feel less lonely.

The road to entrepreneurial success is not an easy one and is paved with many ups and downs, so think twice before undertaking it. Like any other career path, you will face challenges and difficulties, but in the long run, you will be proud to have made these sacrifices and to have finally succeeded! Go for it but be prepared for the low lows!

Founded in early 2020 by Aurelie, Oopsie Daisy is a small business that sells customised hair accessories and jewelry. The brand has since then, acquired a decent amount of followers and has been supported by various influencers and bloggers on Instagram. The Giant Scrunchie, which is a first in Mauritius has been launched last month and this definitely sets the brand apart from the rest. It can instantly make any outfit look instantly put together. Since it's an unusual accessory, Aurelie however strongly believes that the Giant Scrunchie trend will peak and eventually disappear like all bold trends. Find out more about this local brand in our story today.



1. Where did you come up with the idea to start your own business?

After completing my studies, I returned to Mauritius where I took a job, as a designer. I really enjoyed the experience of a first full-time job and received a good amount of exposure on various portfolios. Of course, like in any job, there are some things that you love and some things that you love less. Designing clothes is fun but still, I wasn’t really using all my skills while performing that job.

During that year, I saw some opportunities to test a few of my ideas at some fairs. Things worked moderately well enough to give me sufficient nerve and conviction that starting my business would be just around the corner. In January 2020, bolstered by my New Years’ resolution and all the optimism in the air during that period of the year, I decided to invest myself entirely in my brand Oopsie Daisy.

I have always loved creating accessories, it is a fun way to add colour and character to a look. I also thought that in Mauritius, there was not really any choice for unique and custom accessories so I decided to take the leap forward.

2. Why do you think scrunchies are a big trend again after being a huge thing in the 1990s? Do you think it’s a resonance of the 80s 90s and a reminder of fun years in terms of fashion and music? Scrunchies were a big thing back then.

I think Scrunchies can add that little ‘Wow’ factor to an outfit that people look for. Fast- fashion brands such as Zara or Urban Outfitters have released their own cheaper version of scrunchies after witnessing that they were all the rage during fashion weeks!

I think its comeback is due to a mix of nostalgia of the 90s and the fact that this is somewhat new to the younger generations! To some it is about nostalgia, to others it’s simply about exploring the new trends. Scrunchies are now available in so many prints, colors and material and that is what I think they are back in trend.

3. Do you think the choice of colour of fabric is relevant? Could it be an instant mood up lifter, according to you?

Of course, colour is very important, a bright colour will definitely lift your mood up but I believe people nowadays choose colour according to colours that are currently trendy! Everyone is pretty much connected on social media, we’re all in some ways influenced by what we see on bloggers and influencers, people want to create a unique style and stand out with a pop of colour others simply wish to reproduce what they see everywhere.

4.What is your favorite creation, so far? And why?

My favourite creation was my hand embroidered headband as it gave me the opportunity to express myself through embroidery while still creating something easily wearable for my customers.

5. Do you think the huge scrunchies be the next fashion trend in Mauritius and everywhere else?

Giant scrunchies are statement accessories, they are daring pieces for those who are bold enough to experiment with their looks however, I do not think they will become a trend in Mauritius. Such fashion pieces tend to disappear after some time.


6. Do you think Mauritians are more explorative when it comes to fashion now?

As I have mentioned before, Instagram is a huge thing now and I believe this is what has led to Mauritians being a lot more explorative in terms of fashion. Instagram has provided a platform where we can all express ourselves and show our own personal styles.

7. What are the elements that have enabled you to achieve success, according to you?

I offer I wide variety of choice in terms of colours, prints and material, I also try my best to please my customers and offer the possibility of ordering something custom-made that will suit their requirements.


8. A lot of instagrammers seem to support your brand. How do you feel about that?

I am extremely grateful for their support. I have to admit that when I first started Oopsie Daisy I did not expect such positive feedback with my products. It is always heartwarming to get compliments when you have poured your heart and soul into something and to know that your products are being loved.


9. Would you consider collaborating with other brands or artists in the future? If yes, what would you expect from any possible partnership?

Definitely, talking to other like-minded creative individuals is always interesting, there is so much you can get out of it in terms of ideas, feedback and I believe that is what makes entrepreneurs progress.

10. What is your favorite and least favorite part about running Oopsie Daisy?

My favourite part is the making part and seeing an idea come to life. My least favourite part, is without any doubt, the administrative part of the business.

Updated: Jul 2, 2020




We can all speculate on the aftermath of the pandemic for small businesses and the challenges that entrepreneurs will face in maintaining their relationship with customers, in particular if they started off a few months before the confinement. There’s one thing for certain, the service that is being offered after the lockdown is of premium quality.


You know that feeling of getting the VIP spot at an event and being treated like you’re no less than Beyoncé. Well, this is basically the post confinement treatment that we’ve all been treated to.


Businesses have been challenged to better their customer service, it is pretty simple if you think about it, X and Y both offer delivery services, X’s delivery boy is rude to the customer and late, Y’s delivery boy was a few minutes early and was polite. Anybody in their right minds will prefer Y to X and would be more likely to order from them again. The pandemic has also allowed people to try various services and goods, mostly from local brands and helped them decide which brands will go on their lists and which will not. According to franchising.com, “A company’s customer experience plays a major role in how effectively it can weather a recession.” So, if you think you might replace one customer by hundreds of them later you are completely wrong. Customer service is vital right now.

A betterment in customer service has been noticeable since the lockdown, this can also be attributed to the fact that the purchasing power is mostly held by the working class who can afford small luxuries and takeout food. Work from home has been a means for consumers to review the service and goods provided to them- something, that would not have been possible during life prior to COVID-19 while working from 9-5.

Consistency should remain a priority i.e. if your service was excellent in March 2020 and is poor in September 2020, it will still be an issue, the same goes for what you post on social media and your current campaigns, your brand should only present a better version of itself with time passing by. Share your core beliefs, your values and vision, no matter how small you are with your audience. As we mentioned in “In community solidarity we trust.”, the pandemic has allowed space for growth and change, communication and inclusivity should be priorities if you wish to build a brand with a strong reputation.


Storytelling is definitely one of the most impactful ways of sharing your story while case studies enable your business to shed light on its products and services. For instance: if you are selling an innovative lip balm you can demonstrate how in winter skin with gloves on, yours is the best choice due to its ingredients and the fact that it is stored as a stick which makes it more practical than others. The point is to keep your audience hooked even when they are not looking for something to buy as when they decide to do so, they will probably pick your brand over another due to your level of engagement.


Investing in communication is a lot more relevant than advertising, your customers desire affiliating themselves to brands that can relate to them or reflect people like them in one way or another. Therefore, it is necessary for businesses to be flexible enough to accommodate changes when something primordial strikes us such as an unexpected pandemic, a raise in LGBT awareness and a resurgence of Black Lives Matter. Avoid unnecessary storytelling and focus on building a bond between your brand’s identity and your customers.

A recent article published on the WWD website reveals that younger generations are more prone to researching before purchasing in the months and years to come. What are they looking for? Mainly consistency between what is being said and what is being done or has been done behind the doors of those businesses. They wish to check whether those brands are committed to their beliefs or are just playing their part to be in line with the rest. And beware, there’s no playing around with social matters.

Find out more about how different brands responded to the BLM movement here:

https://wwd.com/business-news/retail/customers-respond-to-how-brands-react-to-black-lives-matter-movement-1203648574/

Pop up stores and participation in temporary markets will enhance the connection between your brand and customers, this is particularly beneficial when you do not actually have a physical space for displaying your products and rely 100% on social media for brand awareness. They allow you to discover who your customers are and to conduct a demographic which in turn this enables you to understand which products are the most enjoyed or which aspects of your business can be reviewed. And the good thing is that the investment is still low compared to having a full-fledged shop.



4 Ways to build a lifetime relationship with your customers?


· Start building your relationship with customers before launching your business. This will allow you to determine the prospects of your business and develop an initial relationship with potential customers that may lead to sales in the future. A good impression of your brand is a lasting one.


· Connect on social media platforms. Introduce yourself in Facebook groups that are related to your business or to entrepreneurship. Identify possible future partners. Build a strong rapport with the audience and other entrepreneurs. Facebook groups are much like small communities- people will invest in the products and services in which they are interested.


· Answer questions that are relevant to your products and services on all platforms. Use relevant sources and links to show how your brand can solve a particular issue. Win referrals as from the very start.


· If possible, invest in a CRM software- it will boost your customer relationship and it’s a great asset to handle your customer relationship- it can be used for surveys, which in turn can help you detect parts of your business that can be improved. It allows you to share pertinent stories and articles with your customers on a regular basis and identify the level of satisfaction of your customers and their queries.

Customer Lifetime Value ( CLV)

“There is now a growing awareness of the lifetime value of a customer.” David Barnes


In the 90s, companies were criticized for failing in increasing customer retention performance. You don’t have to be a Math expert to understand why it mattered. There is an increase in sales and profit per customer when the level of satisfaction is higher. As both drop, so do sales and profit. Customer satisfaction and purchase are in addition, relevant to the level of experience that a business acquires. Through experience, businesses are able to reduce their operating costs as they double in efficiency. Countless sources show that a company can increase its profitability when the customer relationship lasts over a year.


Author David Barnes has combined several methods to assess the lifetime value of a customer. The following components can be considered:


· The investment cost to attract and retain a customer. (Marketing, cost to serve…)

· Discount rate

· Gross margin

· Probability that the customer will buy again.

· The return rate of the company.

· The number of purchases made by the customer.

Address Negative Feedback

Reducing customer defection is substantial as dissatisfied customers are likely to badmouth a company if they are unhappy with a service or a product.

Many have even suggested implementing a recovery programme in order to reduce customer defection. Brands are expected to acknowledge their shortcomings and apologise to their customers when required, above all they are expected to take customer reviews into consideration and implement the necessary changes where plausible. A lot of the bad reviews, especially on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are most commonly due to the response time. It obviously matters whether or not the goods and services provided are of satisfactory quality, but brands such as Boohoo have suffered greatly from customer defection during the pandemic mainly due to their response time when returns had to be handled. A decent apology is key when your customers are unhappy with what you’ve offered. This is one of simplest ways to increase customer retention. It does not mean that this person will refer your business to his circle but at least they will spare your brand from being badmouthed which is sufficient to secure your reputation. To assume that customers are never wrong is a farfetched idea, nevertheless, when it comes to business during tough and even ordinary times, it is essential to adopt a kinder approach. Learning and understanding your customer’s needs is a must for survival. However, alignment of the business structure and operations is a necessary precondition for this to be achieved.

According to business2community.com 82% of shoppers search for negative reviews when looking up for a product or service. 4% of consumers felt like brands cared about them when they responded to a negative feedback. Reaching out to unhappy customers will help not stain the reputation of your brand.

Never get complacent

Think of it as a dating process. After one or two years of being in a relationship, you still need to keep the spark alive. Keep your audience hooked! Stay connected and listen to your customers’ requirements. Assess your customer relationship on a regular basis and above all, implement changes when required. Do not let your customer relationship stagnate.

Read and Research

The only reason you have access to Google is for you to acquire knowledge and be a smartass. If you cannot understand a concept, Google it, ask your friends to help you out or simply get a book on the subject. We would recommend reading “Relationship, Marketing and Customer Relationship Management “by Annekie Brink for the purpose of understand CRM. If you don’t enjoy reading or researching we would strongly advise you to listen to your customers, it is the best way to learn about your brand and get better at what you’re doing.


Pleasant Reading.


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