Connect with us


Oshos Erua: 4 Business Lessons From Taxi Drivers



dreamstime_l_33340526I listened to a couple of business consultants who talked about personal branding in terms of marketing, start-ups and finding your niche. Somehow, the business model (as I call it) of cab men came to mind.

When I haggle with the taxi driver over the fare (say from 500 to 400/350, I live in Abuja) and finally get in, the cab man starts a conversation. In the end, I notice that I end up paying higher than I originally agreed to it. Most times they start ‘looking for change’, I end up leaving the money for them. Intentionally or not, I’m sure they noticed it worked a few times and have somehow settled for using the human factor to make more money. All the gist and story was to create a relationship with the passenger.

These are some of the key things I think are useful from the cab men model and the business consultants:

Product personality
People buy from people who have personalities, feelings and emotions. Your product or service should also have a personality and it should be portrayed in everything about the business (marketing, ads, customer care, etc). One product that is popular can be crafted in a different way (either in the way it is delivered, or the way it is packaged) to portray a different personality that a different group of people will relate to. Then, find a way to reach out to this different set (or find them first and then re-create the product).

People buy from people; meaning there should be a form of human interaction and engagement. When you advertise/ when you give a pitch for your business, it has to connect to what the person will gain from it (that is the emotion). Even if you are not selling a solution to the high price of fuel, and it is just T-shirts or perfume, make sure that you connect to what the customer will derive from it. You still have to survive while you are not Einstein yet)

Provide a solution
People buy from people because they believe this person understands them, and does not just see them as an avenue of making money. Connect to the problem that you want to help them solve, try to put yourself in their shoes.

Your own persona
People buy from people that they trust and know to an extent. Once in a while you should share your story, telling them who you are, and then improve on what you promise to give/share when there are flaws in your product. Once in a while, share tips that you have from your personal experiences. It doesn’t have to be you sharing your whole life story either.

If you are a job seeker (finding a job is not beans but let’s start from this)
,ensure that you understand the business of the company you are applying to as per what the end value is (with respect to people and the economy). Your CVs, cover letters and all should show that you understand them.

If you have a ‘9-5’ job that you hope to grow in and make money from, adjust your style of working to make sure that it directly or indirectly addresses the problem you are solving for that organization. You can only do well at your job when you actually understand the business of the company you work for, why they are there and what your specific role is doing to add value to them.

A business should be solving a problem. So you have to understand the problem you are solving and know how to reach out to those who need what you are offering. The problem does not have to be as obvious and urgent as the current rising cost of tomatoes. Be confident in what you offer at the moment. If you help people design homes, you are helping them create a space that will allow to them to relax better and be more comfortable which will help reduce stress, increase their creativity, help them make more money.
Little drops, baby steps.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

I am a trained technical safety engineer and run a brand distribution on the side. I started blogging as a way of finding what my strengths are and what I would love to do; currently exploring to develop my business and communication skills and I share my thoughts on


  1. Ak

    May 27, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Insightful piece!

  2. Neema

    May 27, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Very useful tips. Thank you!!!

  3. Olafeazy

    May 27, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Great post. Lessons can be learnt even from the minutest of things.
    And most people in business or otherwise lack in this people skill… leading to failure and frustration in business. Thanks for sharing

  4. Jessica ben

    May 28, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Perfect………no be joke, it works.

  5. Gboyega

    May 29, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Nice piece, very insightful and thought provoking.

  6. Chu

    May 29, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Lovely piece. And that starting a convo by the cab driver ALWAYS works for hubby, where he ends up paying more and does it gladly. I never thought of it as s ploy till now.


    May 29, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Nice one, educating

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa

Star Features