So my neighbour who deals in women’s cosmetics and milk got a direct competitor dealing in the same products but on a larger scale. His instaling a cooler and upgrading the whole shop which is a good thing given what my neighbour has been doing where she sometimes suffered shortages of milk which got customers not only queuing up but complaining.
Her first route was to complain about how unfair life can be to get competition directly against her shop to which she was quickly shut down because everyone runs a restaurant but nobody complains. Its a homogenous market everyone sells sugar and shops keep stocking up on more sugar. This got everyone talking about the development as what would be the best route of response.
In my mind I was thinking the only edge she had over them was the very fact that she had been there longer so people knew her and in this market where mum sends the daughter you always go to the shop mum asked you to buy from or else and also she had her own power supply ie yaka given the building we rent on has some serious power supply problems. Its so bad most of us have had to get our own power supply to keep the lights on or else we would have closed shop. Another was upping her game in terms of customer care, cleaniliness and ensuring that milk is always in supply at the shop all the time.
That was me thinking out of the text book as a way of keeping ahead of the competition little did I know she had dark moves. Apparently she had been talking with her friends in her group and word was that she has fetishes in her cash box. Some unexplained substances wrapped in bark cloth are in her drawer this was confirmed by another woman who used to work for her. Apparently she has the habit of consulting with the ancestors on advice on how to increase her sales.
This struck me as strange I know witch craft is real but not at this level. I have heard of people planting fetishes in door ways, sprinkling blood on goods for sale however none close to home like this one. That she was thinking in that line was a little disappointing because the market was clearly in her favour. I guess it explains why so many businesses in Uganda don’t make it past the first year regardless of how small they are.
Instead of studying ones strength in the market so as to leverage our position above the competition we are busy visiting our ancestors for wisdom to kill off the competition. By the time we wake up to smell the coffee the purported competition is drowning us out of the market we thought we had.