As we settle into 2017, with the entrepreneur wondering what the future holds for the Nigerian economy, questions like ‘how long it will take for the current economic recession to end?’ come to mind.
Below we have put together at least three questions every entrepreneur should answer in the mist of uncertainties in 2017.
1. How is the current economic recession affecting your customers? This is assuming you the entrepreneur already know your customers. A strong knowledge of who your customers are is important if you must answer the question of how they are affected by the recession. What insights do you have on your customers? What are they buying? Is your product/service relevant to them? What do you know about their source of income?
If your customers are badly affected by the recession, it is most likely that your business will be affected too. Re-strategizing becomes a major determinant of future gains. Would you consider price reductions in the form of sales promotions? Work on getting better deals with suppliers and vendors to aid cost reduction?
Takeaway: Product Matching & Mapping: the vital ingredient for improvement in product, pricing and promotions comes into play if you are to take conversion seriously in this recession. Market research is relevant.
2. What do you know about your competitors? How well do you know your competition? As the saying goes, knowledge is power. A little knowledge about the direction your competitors are going in the mist of a crisis can result in sustainable competitive advantage. What are your weaknesses in relation to your competitors? Are there any areas where they are excelling better than you? or vice versa.
Takeaway: An in-depth SWOT analysis will allow for a better understanding of your competitors. This would further allow for better decision making. It can also help with shaping a stronger value preposition; one that would ensure you continue to grow your customer base going forward.
3. Do you have the capacity to deliver? How do you respond to gaps in the product/service delivery process? Having a better understanding of your target market works best for your brand when the brand has the capacity to meet consumer needs. Do you have the manpower, the aligning technology and ability to deliver quality products/services in the shortest time frame? It is not enough to understand your target market and the competition. There is a need for proper business analysis, re-strategizing and implementation of winning strategies. In football for example, a coach after a series of failed matches would reevaluate the team’s strengths and weaknesses, then take on measures to eliminate or minimize weaknesses. Example: when a coach decides to buy or bring in a new striker after playing 8 straight games with no goals scored.
Takeaway: Inability to deliver as expected by customers and on time can create avenues for cracks in relations. It is important that the product/service delivery process is maintained and improved on a continued basis. Lets say you discover a gap in product/service quality for example, it makes business sense to respond as quickly as possible to such a gap at a time like this.
Forget whatever you have been told in the past, if you are running a business this is the best time to reevaluate and re-strategize. This is the best time to invest more into your business whether financial, in market research, and/or otherwise. In Greek the word crisis is “to separate, to sift” meaning to pass judgement, to keep just what is worthwhile. Every crisis is an opportunity and the deeper the crisis, the better the opportunity.
How Open Innovation Can Reduce Innovation Cost
As mentioned in my previous article, investing in innovation will help you grow your business, stay ahead of the competition and help you take advantage of new technologies.
However, when it comes to innovating, the challenge for most companies is how to spend money smartly. To be able to innovate at an increased pace, companies need to reverse this predicament by weighing the costs with the potential profits and make the best decision.
One of the best ways to reduce the cost of innovation as a company is by applying open innovation methods and principles;
Prof. Chesbrough defines open innovation as “the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation. And expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively”. The advice for companies looking to innovate is that they should make use of external and internal ideas or paths to market, as they look to maximize profits and minimize cost from their innovative activities.
Organizations are partnering with a wide range of external parties such as startups, software publishers etc to tap into their ideas, insights and solutions. With open innovation, you would be reaching a large group of potential partners quite easily. The good thing is, you would only pay participants if a solution is found. This way, the overall cost is likely to be smaller in relation to the amount of ideas and input. This is profitable for companies especially in a downturn.
For example, in 2006, Netflix offered a reward of 1M USD to the team that could deliver successful innovative method, instead of attempting to develop this internally with no guarantee of success. This process was cost-efficient and also reduced the risk of a failed investment. Although, Netflix did not use the original winning algorithm, there were other excellent candidates to choose from. They went with one of the runner ups who also had something close to what they were looking for.
This paradigm when done effectively would help mitigate many of the risks involved in innovation. Thereby giving you a better chance at securing the best results for your organization.
Top 3 Social Trading Platforms For Copy Trading
Let’s talk about social trading networks, shall we?
Imagine earning from Forex or a trade without having to dedicate most of your time and resources. Imagine the ease of learning how each strategy works when it comes to trading. This is what social trading allows you to do and far more. What is social trading? You might ask, don’t worry, I will tell you.
Social trading is a form of investment that permits investors to watch the trading behaviors of both their peers and experts within the trading world. It allows you to follow their investment strategies using either copy trading or mirror trading.
This method of trading makes it easy for beginners to link their trading accounts to those of expert traders and imitate their trades automatically. It was even described by the World Economic Forum as a low, sophisticated alternative to traditional wealth managers. Little or no knowledge of the financial markets is needed.
Lately, social trading is being talked about as one of the best things to have happened to the online trading community. There are numerous Social trading platforms out there, it keeps increasing. However, here is our Top Three Social Trading Platforms with some of their main features;
Founded and run by Yoni Assia, eToro is a great platform for starting traders. It provides a huge variety of investments and also a community of traders where users have the opportunity of interacting with each other like every other social media platform. With their News Feeds feature, users have the opportunity to monitor and manually copy any trader of their choice.
This platform has an interesting feature called the Copy Trading where users can automatically copy traders in bits thereby managing both exposures and risks. What I love the most about this platform is the free and unlimited demo account made available to everyone.
2. Naga Trader
They boast of having some of the best social trading features that include social networking, social trading, copy trading, and innovative investment services such as the NAGA portfolios.
Social networking involves, starting a unique project that traders from all over the world can join hands to work on. Copy-trading allows Naga traders to reproduce the success of elite traders and make it their trades. These two practices have gained popularity within the global markets so much that Naga Traders were nicknamed – the “Tinder Of Trading”. This platform also gives you access to their social trading network where you meet, interact, and share with fellow NAGA traders
Founded in 2017, ZuluTrade is a Social trading system that works with dozens of brokers. It is best for hosting the most advanced social trading features. This platform works by gathering many elite investor trading data and records their trading strategies. You can analyze this in a minute and replicate their performance by customizing the risk and investment management. You can also have access to a free demo account, where would practically learn how to start and clarify your ideas.