Customer Development Strategies and Performance of Start Up Carbon Projects; A Case of Study of Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT)

  • Betty Jeruto Cheruiyot
  • Mary Ragui
Keywords: Customer Development Strategies, business model, customer service systems, communication process, competitive pricing strategies, Start Up Carbon Projects, Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT)


Present challenges experienced by a globalized and changing world with new forms of doing business has forced entrepreneurs to change their approach to customers especially given the prior traditional marketing theory. Current markets have a customer base with increased demand for more marginal products or services; henceforth, they have created individual preferences. The general objective of this study was to establish the effect of customer development strategies on performance of start-up carbon projects; a case of study of sustainable agriculture Tanzania (SAT). Specifically, it aimed at examining the effect of business model on Performance of forest carbon projects, examining the effect of customer service systems on Performance of forest carbon projects, the effect of communication process on Performance of forest carbon projects, including effect of competitive pricing on Performance of forest carbon projects. It is anchored on theory of product market fit, start-up marketing pyramid and cue utilization theory. The study is further supported by the following models; business model canvas, value proposition canvas and customer development model. The study used a survey design. The survey collected data and information aimed at identifying customer development strategies for performance of carbon projects in the start-up carbon market. The selected population were customers of Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania. They consisted of companies, partners and individuals who were involved with the carbon offsetting project or potential clients. Ten companies and fifty individual customers were selected for the survey. Individual customers were drawn from the current connections developed by Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania. Primary and secondary data was utilized from various secondary sources linked to the topic of study and gathered facts and figures from the questionnaires. The questionnaire comprised of questions relating to the carbon markets for organizations in the start-up carbon projects. The quantitative data retrieved from the study was analysed by use of descriptive statistics that included variability, frequency and central tendency measures. These help provide information regarding the distribution. Measures of frequency distribution on the other hand document the frequency of scores or records. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) program was used to analyse the data and output presented in form of tables, pie charts and bar graphs. The study found out that customer development strategies in start-up forest carbon projects are central to performance of forest carbon projects. Playing a part to this performance are particularly the company’s prices, enhanced innovation and creativity, business management systems, reduction of the time required for decision-making and improved planning of activities.  At the same time, use of IT data management systems has to a large extent made decision-making process faster. These aspects generally lead to better management of budgets, efficiency in service provision, consistent increase in revenue and increased number of customers. Moreover, customer development strategies lead to customer satisfaction improvement. In conclusion to the presented findings, communication process and customer service systems have shown to influence the performance of forest carbon projects. Setting up a tailored business model that works well with the cost structure of the business and suits project goals has also been visibly altering the functioning of projects. The strategy implemented on pricing is also seen to promote customer growth. It is recommended that start-up projects develop relevant pricing strategies for their products; especially during their early stages of development in order to differentiate and grow a viable customer base. Managers should also encourage proper training and practices when it comes to inter-organizational communication and strategy implementation. This will ensure every employee works in cohesion towards achieving the projected goals thus improving performance.

Author Biographies

Betty Jeruto Cheruiyot

Department of Business Administration, School of Business, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Mary Ragui

Lecturer, Department of Business Administration, School of Business, Kenyatta University, Kenya

How to Cite
Cheruiyot, B., & Ragui, M. (2021). Customer Development Strategies and Performance of Start Up Carbon Projects; A Case of Study of Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT). International Journal of Business Management, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 3(1), 49-64.