Taxi Business In Zimbabwe…A Good Idea?

Should you start a Taxi business in Zimbabwe? It’s a question I get from time to time. In 2010 (thanks to the World Cup in South Africa) More Taxi businesses were started in Zimbabwe than in the last 10 years – so there is a lot of competition to think about. Too much competition is the reason many taxi drivers and entrepreneurs in the business now, claim is the reason for not doing well…but in reality there is another force at work.

Read the latest post on our new main website to find out all about whether or not you should start a Taxi business, and the number one mistake to avoid if you do.

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What Business Should I Start? How To Choose.

How to choose the right business
What business should i get into? Hmmm.

Some weeks I get to talk to between 10 and 20 entrepreneurs (on the phone), one on one, all at different stages of their business development. Usually, they’ve seen our Business Setup Kit brochure or want to register a company Inevitably there are going to be two or three people who really want to be in business, but don’t know which one. Are you in that position? Here’s my advice – just three points – but all very important.  Continue reading “What Business Should I Start? How To Choose.”

Company Registration & Business Setup in Zimbabwe

Want to register your company name (company formation)and setup your business in Zimbabwe? Business formation in Zimbabwe can be a very confusing and difficult process when you’re doing it for the first time.

optin imageThe company registrars office is the one responsible for the process, however most people choose to register through consultants to avoid the unnecessary waiting and frustration often involved. Even if you choose to go through a consultant, it’s really important that you understand the basics and you choose the right agent to register your business for you.

This post will show you what you the requirements for the company registration process in Zimbabwe, how to get it done quick, affordable and professionally!  Continue reading “Company Registration & Business Setup in Zimbabwe”

Use Zimbabwe Newspapers To Steal Customers

It’s easy to steal customers in Zimbabwe. One way is with killer newspaper advertising.

To be clear, i’m not talking about killer LOOKING ads, i’m talking about money MAKING ads. For the next few days I’ll cover the strategies, tactics, mindset and insights needed to steal your markets attention with your advertising. (Customer Thief: Have you read the book?)

Effective advertising goes far beyond just placing a big ad in the Herald newspaper with lots of colour and a nice logo…I’m talking about the principles that get results. Once you learn the science of advertising – in Zimbabwe you can practically rule, I know, I’ve done it.

Firstly understand that the following is a list of principles – not short term techniques. That means it

  • Doesn’t matter where – Herald, Sunday Mail, Fingaz, Zimbabwean, Independent  or a magazine etc
  • Doesn’t matter whether you’re doing display or classifieds ad
  • Doesn’t matter what product or service – selling property, car sales, computer, cell phones, furniture, events management, consultancy, etc…once you know how – you know how.

So here we go, in no particular order 15 tips on creating winning newspaper ads in Zimbabwe…

1. Focus your time on developing a strong headline for your ad. The headline is the ad for your ad and has by far the greatest impact on your results. I typically write between 10 or 20 headlines before I settle on one. Don’t settle for the first thing that enters your head…it’s probably not nearly as smart as you think.

2. Capture attention and speak directly to the reader about something that’s important to him immediately in your headline. Forget what’s important to you, forget your logo and your company name…your focus now is completely on your prospect.

3. Once you headline has done it’s job (which is to attract the interest on the right reader), then focus your ‘body copy’ on presenting a compelling offer with as many benefits as you can afford to include (You’re being charged per-word).

7. To catch a prospect, think like him. It’s about what he want to know, not what you want to say. Benefits are what your prospect is most interested in…give him what he wants.

8. NEVER ever try to close the sale in a (short/small) classified ad. You’ll waste your money and get less response than you could’ve. Use the two-step formula for maximum results. Use your classified ad to find hot leads. When those leads contact you (via phone, email, whatever) that’s the time to go for the close. There are multiple reasons for this…trust me – it works.

9. Make it easy for people to contact you. This is especially important in Zimbabwe with cell phone networks as bad as they are. If they can call/email or visit…that’s the way to do it.

10. Write your ad as though you’re talking to one person. Have that person in your mind when you write. This makes your communication more personal, effective and it’s easier to build rapport.

11. Use simple design options to make your ad stand out. A double thick border, a different colour, a block on the headline…be creative without wasting money.

12 Use the F word. Offer something Free if possible. People respond to that like nothing else. A free report, info pack or even a free quotation – whatever.

13. Evaluate your competition. I’m amazed by how so many are content to pay and publish ads that look exactly like their competitors ads. Just go through the herald classifieds and look at the real estate/ computer or vehicles for sale section. It’s dumb – don’t duplicate your competitors…stand out. A better offer, a different design layout, a unique approach.

14. Forget grammar – delete words in classified ads. Edit your ads for unnecessary words that take up space and cost money without contributing to the marketing effort. ‘the’, ‘and’ etc. This isn’t an English exam, it’s a business exam.

15.  Choose your category or section carefully. This is worth very careful thinking and can often make a huge difference – especially in classifieds ads. If you’re wise, you’ll test different sections with the same ads and key the results.

There you have it, that’s it for today. Advertising works, if you work it. It’s probably the most used marketing tactic…yet one of the least understood. An ad that has been tested over time and maximized based on solid strategy and market feedback is worth gold to you. I’ve done my part…now do yours.

Tomorrow – 10 questions to ask before you write a single word of your advert. These questions are what make the difference between an amateur and a master customer thief.

Get 'The Customer Thief'… (Pre-release Version)

Get This Free Ebook
Get This Free Ebook

Hi there,

Want the ‘insiders pre-release version of The Customer Thief?

customer thief pre-release version

Wowza, thought i’d be done with the final by today… but i’m in the middle of a crazy project + they’re a few more goodies i wanted to put in there for you – so that’s delayed the whole process. Was tempted to make you wait a little longer but i’ve received so many (strong) requests that i was forced to put out a early bird version here.

No gramma check, fancy graphics and illustrations – just plain hardcore customer theft content you can start using today.

Sound good? Get it while it’s hot…

customer thief pre-release version

Yours for higher profits


Biggest Business Mistake Of 2009

After 3000 hours of research and study I can tell you what the biggest mistake in business is. Turned out I didn’t even need to study to learn it.

It’s worse than investing in the wrong idea. It’s worse than having to redo a thing not done properly. Worse than hiring the wrong guy. It’s worse than over paying, undercharging, or any other strategic mistake. It’s…

Talking without acting.

We all do it once in a while – especially around about this time of the year. We talk about what we’re going to do – even write it down. We tell family and friends how 2009 things will be different. “I’m going to start that business, invest in marketing, pay for that service” etc Then after the hype is gone… nothing.

We forget. Procrastinate. Get distracted. Whatever.

Make this mistake once you’re likely to miss out on a great opportunity. Keep on making it, you’ll end up not just a failed entrepreneur, but a failure in life.

My advice? 2009 has come. Attack it. Not with words alone. With action. Swift, aggressive and consistent action. Use your words to embolden and inspire yourself into action. Use pressure to get your juices flowing into action. Refuse to be of the mediocre lot who talk of impressive things and don’t follow up. You’re of a different kind – you’re a success, you’re someone going somewhere.

A poor plan implemented is better than a brilliant plan, not implemented. If you made that business mistake in 2008, don’t do it in 2009

Max Soutter

p.s. There is one other mega mistake that’s a close 2nd for me…especially in Zimbabwe – check it out here