Yoco Meets: Flip how you get your small business ready for summer

19th November 2021

During peak season, South African small businesses spend on average R5000 more in order to keep up with sales, promotions and social media marketing expenses. But underdogs have to think and do things differently to win. At Yoco, our mission is to empower and back the underdog. That’s why we invited small business owners to join us and check out how they can flip the script on how to get ready for the summer trade. We looked at practical tips, to make sure they run big to compete and stay top of mind, while also smashing their sales targets.

The Yoco Meets event had a virtual attendance of over 1500 participants across Crowdcast, Facebook and YouTube. Our host, the always delightful Mashudu Modau, accompanied three of our Merchants taking the floor: Vuyi Zondi, owner of Corium Skincare, Louis Barnard, CEO at Effectify, and Nandi Dlepu, owner of Mamakashaka Agency

Needless to say, a lot of key insights were shared, to help our community get ready to get busy, get merry, and get paid! 

Here are the top 5 highlights to making the most out of this silly season:

1. Come up with a compelling content strategy

Years of experience have taught Nandi Dlepu that the festive season has its peak, but also often comes with a weird sales lull. A compelling content strategy has helped Mamakashaka to keep customers engaged and excited, in order to prepare her business for this summer lull.

I always refer to the saying that, ‘if it wasn’t on Instagram did it really exist? Did it really even happen?’ A compelling content strategy is a really big thing for us.

2. Post valuable and relatable content

Louis Barnard has found that focus helps you to hone in on your niche, and that quality content drives traffic, engagement – and ultimately more sales to your business.

Post valuable stuff. Don’t post rubbish. It’s really as simple as that.

It’s also important for your community to be able to understand and relate to your content. For Corium Skincare, Vuyi has found that positioning content in a relatable and attainable manner, has a better chance of converting your hard-won engagement into real-life sales.

It’s about that relatability, where your community also sees themselves wanting whatever it is that you’re selling or that you’re offering.

3. Understand the language of each social platform

Nandi has created a captivating peak season content strategy, by understanding that not all platforms work in the same way: each has its own language and tonality. But, small businesses often seem to copy and paste the same content across all their social channels – this really doesn’t work.

[Social] platforms work in different ways, and you should engage them in the ways that are best suited for them. I just think that if you don’t have the capacity to do so, rather hone in on one, prioritise one, and build a compelling, consistent strategy for that particular platform.

Vuyi Zondi wholeheartedly agrees. For Corium skincare, as a physical beauty product, they have to ensure that they’re visible on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, because this is where they can create and upload content that allows people to see exactly how their products work.

It depends on the actual service or product, and where your target audience is going to be.

4. Keep adequate stock

For Vuyi, it’s very important to keep up with the momentum: during peak season, people are buying in elevated patterns (compared to how they’ve been spending the rest of the year), so you have to be able to manage the increased demand, as well as meet customer expectations for service and efficiency

You don’t want to have such a good content strategy that now you’re running out of stock. You need to be able to physically deliver to the thing that is required by the customer. You want to hit it while it’s still hot.

5. Don’t upgrade your expenses for silly season

For all the speakers, stringent financial planning is crucial in tackling the demands of the peak season. It’s always a challenge for small businesses to strike the right financial balance during silly season, so that as much income as possible is generated, while still keeping up with sales and new trends.

Don’t take on things that you haven’t tested on an annual cycle, to see if you’ll be able to maintain it. Don’t be too optimistic, treat it as an anomaly until you see consistent results, before you take on new expenses.

Want all the juicy details? Here's a recording of the event, in case you missed it!