The poverty mentality: here is how you are killing your own business!

The poverty mentality: here is how you are killing your own business!

Let me make a disclosure – ever since I applied for insurance, I have been cautious of my diet. I got to know my body mass index (BMI) was titling the wrong way. I had to do something about it. Control what you eat.

From then on, I became picky about food. I am now a fruits addict. I eat them at lunch and evenings, in addition to great meals of course.

You cannot imagine how excited I was when I discovered a supermarket in Kamwokya retailing fresh fruits. These folks have an innovative way of packaging – jack fruit, sugar cane, mangoe, cucumber and water melon, neatly sliced and packaged in a light pack covered by a soft plastic bag. It is attractive become one hopes to get all the food values in one Ugx. 2,500 pack.

Unfortunately, in the past three weeks I have experienced disappointment after another. The seller now mixes rotten slices with fresh ones. At first, I thought it was a mistake. Then, it kept worsening.

Now it beyond. This time around I could not find anything to eat from the fruit pack. On the surface, the fruits look fine. However, when you buy and open the pack, the fruits are not fresh – they have a wattery and slippery touch that is so disgusting to continue. If you are unlucky and use the supplied toothpick, you get the feeling in your mouth. It is horrible and feels dirty.

This entrepreneur is losing a critical business asset – goodwill. At first, I had requested for the suppliers contacts from the supermarket so that I may advise the vendor to brand the fruit packs. In fact, I wanted to invest money. Hindsight prevailed that I should first test the waters with one foot.

It is good that I did not proceed with the business idea. I am no longer a happy customer. Since March 2015, I have been spending Ugx. 5,000 daily for two fruit packs. When I get visitors at my office which is located nearby, I would send for more fruit packs. And they enjoyed them too.

Not anymore.

How do you grow a business by threatening the customer’s health and his enjoyment of your services? The food business is one of trust. I will come to your joint because I am confident of your hygiene and security. By far, restaurants that are open their kitchen for clients to see how what they are about to eat is prepared, sell more. People are able to trust your work flows, hygiene and cleanliness. And make no mistake about it, people who buy fruits are looking at having a balanced diet. Not filling their stomachs. So why add rotten fruits in the packs?

Error on quality. Small is great. At all times, ensure you give the best. If it is rotten, remove it. Try to create a brand of consistent quality not conning people. I will appreciate to just find a pack of 10 fruits, all fresh and high quality than one with 20, of which 50% of them are rotten. How do I trust the other 10?

Not focusing on quality is bad. And that happens to be the reasons some of our small business will never get ahead – they lack consistency. If it is bad, don’t put it there. Most of your customers are concerned about their health and not quantity of food. Give them what they want.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2015. All rights reserved.

About M. B. Mugisa

Mustapha Barnabas Mugisa is one of those rare people who provides business consulting and advisory to professionals and corporate entities who demand the very best. He is a prolific speaker and governance (strategy and risk) expert. His speaking involves making key notes at major conferences and business events on both technical subjects and leadership skills. A change agent and motivational speaker. Mustapha provides tools and proven methodologies to remarkable results through making people appreciate change. Visit Mustapha's LinkedIn profile to know more. Mustapha is the architect of #WinningMindset Leadership and #WinningTheGame strategy approach that combines Harvard Business strategy Playing To Win, with the Blue Ocean Strategy and Balanced Score Card to deliver a strategy that is easy to execute and monitor. Visit for special insights to improve your condition. Are you too good to be great?

Entries by M. B. Mugisa