A good leader shouldn't recount, recite and rehearse economic problems, economic setbacks, adverse policies and general limitations to their business.
The worth of a good leader is best put to the test in seasons such as this. What makes anyone a good leader is beyond academic qualifications, titles, hard work and even experience. Your worth as a leader is in having correct answers and solutions superior to those of your subordinates and in fact your competitors at this time.
Entrepreneurship and business is a tough game, it's not about self-esteem, gains and profits alone; it's a contest and battle for market territories and shares.
It's a battle for the mind, the patronage, the pocket and loyalty of the customer. It's about being superior to competitors at your game. It's about superior thinking, superior methods, superior speed and impressive delivery in the market place. It's about being better and always being a step ahead of your competitors.
Customers would always be there for every kind of product, if customers cease to exist for a product, the product would naturally cease to exist.
Customers keep products alive and well. Hence, the thinking of not having customers is delusional, the thinking should be about winning choices, strategies and methods that would attract all potential customers to your away from competitors and competing brands. It's about creating vivid and
compelling superiority in value proposition, affordability and super service delivery than competition.
It's about building superior relationships, intelligent communication powered by winning insights through efficiently mined consumer data - the outcome of a thorough market and consumer research.
Truth be told, your fear as an entrepreneur or business leader is not sourced from the various economic developments and new economic policies,
it's actually inspired by your ignorance of what to do in response. You probably don't have excellent answers to market and marketing questions. Your
lack of real solution and limited options are your fear factors. Not really the economic climate which is of course, everybody's challenge.
Sincerely I can understand why you're anxious and sceptical, especially when we come face to face with the following real business questions:
1. How do you keep your customers, keep attracting new customers and attaining growth when product quality and prices between your brand and competing brands are moving closer together?
In Nigeria today, there is no much difference between brands. Insurance, pensions, telecoms, banking, beverages, housing, entertainment,confectionary, travel and tourism, everybody appears to be offering the same kind of product, only differentiated by brand name, colours and presentation style.
The core offering and benefit of all the products are extremely close if not the same. For example all the bank officials that approach me for
business offer me the same thing; same products,
same proposition; similar gains only different by what they call it.
2. Traditional basis for differentiation such as product quality and cost are becoming less tangible. Most competing brands today are differentiated on weaker platforms like packaging, advertising and branding look and feel. The most critical concerns to customers, which is quality of product and price is almost the same amongst competing brands.
3. Thirdly it probably appears difficult for you to achieve strategic, profitable and competitive positioning because of your company's essential
capabilities. What your company is primarily good at has become common place; your rivals are equally as good at such today. And possibly, the feedback from market research on what the consumer is asking for now is not a need your company's
capability and value creation model can easily align with. You lack flexible operating processes and capabilities. This situation may therefore be
frustrating your current growth plans and customer conversion ambition.
4. Fourthly, and most challenging of all is how to guarantee the buy in of your team and employees into new concepts, new behaviours, new processes
and outlook required for survival and good growth at this critical time. Are your employees really bothered about the business or their typical thinking is, if the business goes down they move on to
another employment? How do you get your highly sentimental, self-serving, political and indifferent team members to understand and apply an improved value and benefits to customers today?
Dear entrepreneur, dear business leaders, I presume these are mainly the things you fear. It's really not the environment, new policies, the value of the naira, and socioeconomic re-engineering. Your fear is essentially your ability, your business design and
your team. When diagnoses becomes correct, then right treatment can of course commence. Dear friend, this is not the time to keep talking and talking and lamenting and complaining about the cost and demands of our drive towards progressive change as a nation. When as a nation we've decided to move
from a destructive comfort zone to a more progressive and rewarding and dignified position, your thinking should be more on how you as a person and as a business can ingest the change medicine and secure healing and good health in congruence with other parts of the body of the nation.
Your real fears and anxiety is not the environment, it's actually about how you would cope. Dear friend, this is the time to become radical with your ideas, thinking and decisions. This is the time to engage your mind, open your inner vision, connect with other intellects; obtain ideas and embrace winning choices.
This is the season to explore fresh opportunities for good and healthy growth. This may be the time for strategic partnerships, cost efficiency considerations and trendier approach to service delivery.
Come on brace up, you can do it, you're a super leader, you can handle it, it's all in you, don't be discouraged, be inspired, winning is fun, success is pleasurable. This is your chance, create the value your customers truly want and dominate your market. Others like you have done it before, you can
definitely make it happen. Best of luck.