Why Sell Tacos in Africa
Video Length: 5:50 min
African comedian Daliso Chaponda, from Malawi, almost won the variety show “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2017. His stage persona was warm and funny, and his material was hilarious. However, what made him stand out was his amazing ability to take all of the African stereotypes and blend them into one. He then re-engineered that persona into an amazing niche piece of art that no other comedian could use unless you had Mr. Chaponda’s experiences in Africa and in Britain. He had created his own niche market within the very crowded world of stand-up comedians.
In 2016, I read a book that continues to leave me with an extremely unique impression of how to set and achieve business goals by looking at niche markets and their duel opportunities to capture and grow a specific market. The book's title, Why Sell Tacos in Africa?, is a metaphor for finding opportunities to build and brand a business where little competition exists. Good analysis coupled with innovative marketing can identify those product gaps and create unique niche markets.
Description & Discussion
The book mentions the city of Kumasi in Ghana, one I know very well. The author presents a truly accurate picture of the city, its people, the nightlife, the restaurants and the fact that no Mexican restaurant exists within it. That circumstance makes it a pretty good place to roll the dice on a high-end taco stand. Why? Because the city sees enough foreigners who like Mexican cuisine (There is a huge American expat community and amount of Europeans who holiday in Mexico, etc.). Foreigners come by the hundreds to holiday in Ghana throughout the year. It has been an emerging market dream come true on many fronts since 2010. It is a target rich niche market.
If we look at Mr. Chaponda's comedy act or if we read this book, what immediately becomes clear is the concept of being unique based on experience, history and the lessons learned in life. I cannot prove it, but I honestly believe Mr. Chaponda either read the book, met the author, or heard a podcast, etc. What I do know is that they both used the same plan to become successful. The two men converge on an idea about being a unique solution to a niche problem.
Design & Discipline
Whether it is introducing a new product into a niche market or creating a niche market, what matters is taking that which is special or unique about you, your team, your product or your market and capitalizing on that opportunity. Both the book and interviews with Mr. Chaponda stress several of the following ideals:
1. Belief in our idea, products and opportunities
2. Commit, make thoughtful decisions and believe in miracles
3. Pick one thing, do not hesitate, do it quickly and be first
4. Make "our" thing "their" thing
5. Have an idea, write it down and then brainstorm it with colleagues
6. Know the market, your product and customer satisfaction
7. Build a winning team
8. Lead or manage- you cannot do both
9. Find the opportunity, create the idea and execute it
10. Ownership, capital and control
11. Learn to count and know the real numbers in the books
12. Build a brand you can sell
13. Bundle products and services, but never forget the core business
14. Are you Insane, Tenacious or Invictus
a. Insane- a state of mind that prevents normal perception
b. Tenacious- not relinquishing a position, principle or course of action.
c. Invictus - Latin for “Unconquered.”
Insanity and Tenaciousness are pretty much the same things. Both pursue the same course of action over and over but expect a different outcome each time.
Unconquered means you will lose from time to time, but you do not give up. You take a punch, back up, regroup and go after it again.