Everything Concerning Moroccan Small Businesses
Last year I was peer pressured by my instagram feed and the media I consume to start a small business. Armed with a unique product idea (enamel pins initially) and a 3 hour google research spree, I made one of the best decisions of my life.
Admittedly, throughout these recent years the term and concept of a small business exploded in popularity. Partly due to entrepreneurship being a wide and common mindset for millennials and younger generations, and other part due to the constant exposure of the hustle and grind ideology in the media we interact with daily.
Popularity aside, starting a small business can positively impact your life in nearly all aspects, from positively affecting your personality or making an impression on employers.
In this article I will share my experience with starting a small business (along with experiences from others) and what you can expect and benefit from it.
Let’s speak about the elephant in the room, is running a small business profitable? The answer is both yes and no. In my opinion, two main factors directly influence how profitable your business will be:
Relevancy: How long has your business been around? How popular is it with your target audience?
Product: Is your product quick to prepare? Is it common or unique? What’s the profit margin for the product?
After i left my job, I started Pintastic with1300 DH left in my account to which I spent entirely on my small business. Since I started it, Pintastic only turned a profit on its 6th month.
In the long run, your small business will be profitable but do not expect immediate results. Your first product will most likely not perform well during its early days. However, after your brand becomes more recognized you will see more sales and collaborations.
People trust and remember familiarity, and nothing grants this advantage to your business than time and advertisements (not obligatory).
One of the most important traits you will gain when operating a small business is the ability to talk and interact with strangers. From meeting customers, maintaining small talk, handling requests, back and forth conversations with manufacturers, to politely rejecting brand ambassadors or discount askers.
I can guarantee that managing a small business will make you a bold and social person, and this talent will benefit you for life. Although sometimes you will say the wrong thing or fumble your words but that’s alright.
For me, my biggest struggle was messaging manufacturers on Alibaba and learning to haggle for prices and discuss the most optimal route and cost.
When discussing deals with manufacturers or delivery services, you will most likely be confused and at a disadvantage, if you do not have a surface level knowledge about this industry.
I recommend you educate yourself about the basics of logistics, the different incoterms, local importation taxes and laws, and understand the supply chain you will interact with. All this information can help you save costs and make you seem smarter!
Alibaba suppliers used to quote me around 65$ shipping + product costs. I searched for more options and negotiated the transportation method preferred, and I was able to secure a deal on express DAP shipping for 20$.
One quick browse on LinkedIn will quickly show you that digital marketing is an essential skill to have. Rightfully so, as digital marketing is crucial for any project or concept out there. Whether it’s a personal brand, small business, or organizing charity, marketing is what generates interest and converts it to an active and engaged audience.
When starting your small business, I recommend establishing these elements to help you with your marketing plan (Written by me in french but email me to receive an english version ) :
Identify your audience: Age, sex, location, aspirations, interests, trends, needs, etc
- Establish your resources: Your marketing budget, the quantity of stock and products, Your audience’s main platform
Understand your product: What does your product do? Is it necessary for survival or unnecessary? How does your product emotionally impact a customer?
Another good rule of thumb is to advertise upon emotions rather than the product itself. This is why perfume ads showcase the perfume for 2-3 seconds, or how Coca-Cola company portrays a happy family eating a meal with a subtle coke on the table.
On the topic of enriching your mind and sharpening your skills, running a small business requires lots and lots of adaptability. You will be performing many roles at the same time. You will be the photographer, customer support, marketer, resources manager, product crafter, and packager.
During the second month of Pintastic’s creation, I knew that I had to stop relying on Canva and learn Adobe Illustrator to produce unique quality content. Luckily, I discovered that I was really interested in graphic content despite my lack of artistic skills.
Realistically your experience will vary from what is mentioned here, and almost certainly face more positive surprises and negative experiences. But much like life, you cannot guarantee where things go, so the best you can do is to use your knowledge and sense to estimate the future.
Finally, if there is one advice you should take by heart, it is to immediately start projects, hobbies, and ideas you think of. Never will you find the “right” time to start, so commence your journey now!
This article is 100% a sign to start that business idea you had in mind. Feel free to reach me via email for a consultation or subscribe to our newsletter to receive similar content (I won’t spam, I promise.)