Business owners seeking to run sustainably competitive enterprises must pay attention to building modern working systems, a strong foundation upon which companies can last and outlive their founders, writes ERNEST JJINGO.
According to Charles Ocici, a business development coach and executive director Enterprise Uganda, any enterprise that ignores to embrace relevant management systems may be kicked out of business especially during the current turbulent economic times when most players in the market are struggling to stay afloat.
“As you all yearn to stay relevant and competitive in the market, I would advise that key attention be drawn at ensuring that you build working systems comprising of a board that takes top decisions, the operations arm, human resource recruited on a competence based approach, have a marketing and customer care team as well as a vibrant finance department, those being the key pillars,” he said.
He, however, noted that much as systems ought to have customer care departments, the responsibility to ensure customers are served with respect and dignity through delivering exactly what your company promises should be a core principal of every office constituted in the systems.
Ocici was giving a key note address to the local business community at hotel Africana last week during celebrations to mark the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2022. The need to salvage the economy He underscored the need to devise solid means of ensuring mitigation of business mortality to cushion the economy against loss of employment opportunities and revenue to the national offers.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), Uganda is a country with the most enterprising population in the world. According to GEM’s recent report on Uganda, 20 per cent of the businesses in the country collapse within one year, although things might have since gotten worse. A 2022 report on taxation and business environment estimated that about 55 per cent of entrepreneurs that started business in the last five years have since closed shop.
“We are sailing through very critical economic times; we can’t ignore the need to strengthen our private sector from which the country largely draws her support in terms of revenue and job opportunities, we need to deploy the available resources towards supporting the sector to ensure productive results,” Ocici noted.
The private sector currently contributes at least 50 per cent to the country’s total revenue collection, and accounts 90 per cent of all the non-farm jobs in the country, according to the national budget paper 2022/2023. The sector is dominated by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises which comprise about 93 for every 100 business establishments.
THE ENTREPRENEUR’S POINT OF VIEW
Denis Ngabirano, the managing director of Psalms Industries cautioned business owners that engage in profiteering through compromising on the quality of services or goods as a way cutting costs to boost returns, a vice, he said leads to customer acquisition and retention gaps.
The investor gave a detailed account of how he has managed to build a popular ‘SUMZ’ brand of agro-processed snacks and take the market by the storm to become the market leader in that space.
“Building a solid business takes a multiplicity of dimensions, but the most critical one is serving customers with honesty and integrity, this area is pivotal in attracting and maintaining a critical mass of clients,” he said. Ngabirano appealed to the entrepreneurs to always continuously search for wisdom relevant in empowering them with business skills required in satisfying the ever changing need of the clientele domain.
ABOUT THE GEW
Globally, GEW is marked over a one-week period every November, bringing together millions of participation of from the world of: researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators in different fields, educators, policymakers, all coming on board in individual and institutional capacities.
In Uganda, the week celebrations are organized by Enterprise Uganda in conjunction with local partners; it always creates the most convenient atmosphere during which entrepreneurs cordially engage in lengthy and productive discussions with not only private business development experts but also government officials and politicians occupying positions that affect the day to day lives of business people.