Problems are ever-present in the world and every entrepreneur must be brave enough to face them in their businesses and take total responsibility when they come. In fact, problems are the most predominant element that makes up a business because enterprises are created to either solve a new problem or tackle an existing one.
In every organization, there are two types of problems – external and internal – that needs to be constantly addressed in order to keep work going smoothly. It is often easier to look out for external problems and neglect the internal ones, which can cause more harm to the establishment. We were reminded of this due to the recent temporal shut down of Nigeria’s pioneer motorbike hailing service, Gokada.
The rather abrupt decision taken by the CEO, Fahim Saleh, was because of an inefficiency he observed when he used the Gokada service. He was forced to halt the company’s services after the series of frustration he experienced while he was on board. In his narrative on Medium, he highlighted the different hiccups the services had.
“A little over a week ago I had taken a Gokada hoping to avoid traffic to get to the mainland bridge from VI,” he began.
He stated that his request for a pilot through the Gokada app was delayed,
“I opened the Gokada app, requested, got a pilot, and waited patiently for him to arrive. I called to confirm my location which the pilot said he knew. Five minutes passed by and the pilot had not moved. Another five minutes passed and the pilot was going in the wrong direction. After fifteen minutes and three phone calls, the pilot finally arrived at which point I’m thinking it might have been faster to take a car all the way through.”
After the pilot’s late arrival, Fahim had more disappointments rolling in. He was particularly displeased with the pilot’s incompetency, which was totally against the mission of the brand.
“Upon questioning the pilot, I learned that he didn’t use GPS on his phone because the earplugs he had were broken. Irritated, I motioned him to get started with the ride as I was in a hurry. It should be pretty obvious how to get to the mainland bridge from VI, so I didn’t concern myself with providing him directions but I knew from Google Maps using the best route, it should only take 10 –15 minutes. After about 15 minutes, we were still on the road. I hastily took out my phone and did a quick input of the directions to the bridge and realized we were still 15 minutes away. This pilot had taken a long route to get to the bridge, one that would have been completely avoided had he used the map. I motioned that I would direct him based on the Google Maps navigation. Unfortunately, just as we were about to reach the bridge I directed the pilot to a wrong turn which would have required us to turn all the way around. At this point, it was obvious that a car would have been much faster even with all the traffic. How could I be the CEO of Gokada, the company that pioneered motorcycle ride-hailing in Nigeria and be saying this? I was disappointed in Gokada but most of all, I was disappointed in myself,” he lamented.
General opinion regards the action as rather too drastic and risky considering the stiff competition in business. Fahim believes that it was the only way to tackle such a situation else, it grows worse and unmanageable. “Big problems require big solutions,” he said.
On the other hand, some analysts suggest that the shutdown of Gokada is not unconnected to the bullish strategies of ORide by Opay a Startup powered by Opera. We shall be observing to see how things play out and if Gokada will indeed bounce back better and stronger.
Fahim mentioned that the downtime would be used to restructure the company and train the drivers. He assured customers that the new version Gokada 2.O would be better than their previous experience,
“We can only win by doing right to our customers and our pilots. That is why today I am excited to announce our Gokada 2.0 initiative…we firmly believe that when you want to get somewhere fast, safe, and hassle-free — there won’t be any other app you’d want to open other than Gokada.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
You do not have to wait for your business to experience downtime to restructure it. Let us help you while it is still early! Send us an email at email@example.com
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Recently, we did a brand comparison on people’s preference between Big Cola and RC Cola. It was quite an interesting topic as people gave various reasons why they prefer any of the brands, varying from how they liked their business strategies down to their prices, taste, and size.
Based on analysis, 50% or respondents preferred RC Cola reason being that its average sugar content, 5% have never heard of any of these brands, 10% preferred neither of them, 15% went ahead to mention their preference for coca cola which was not in comparison while 20% preferred Big cola because of its size.
Despite these differences, we can all agree that each of these brands have carved a niche for themselves in the Nigerian beverage market.
Got your own opinion on any of the brands?
Please share with us in the comment section.
Note: If you need market research services, we are your guys!
For most people, creating stability in all spheres of life comes to them with ease, but for others it is a daunting task and the end result is worrisome.
For those struggling with finding work-life balance, be assured that you are not in this alone.
Balance is your ability to gain stability and fulfillment and if you are unable to create a balance, you stand the risk of having constant health issues, frequent exhaustion, financial loss, steady stress, and the feeling of underachievement.
For your sanity, productivity, health and clarity we have come up with these tips to help you achieve a work-life balance.
- The first step is to figure out who you are, your values, your goals (work, relationship, spiritual, financial, and so on).
- Track your time by prioritizing and keeping a log book.
- Create a “you” time.
- Leave work back in the office
- Take out time for outdoor activities
- Constantly do a self-evaluation exercise
- Read articles on other subject matters beyond work
- Attend social events or just hangout
Being a workaholic is counterproductive in the long run, but finding balance boosts your productivity eventually.
Empower your team members with this knowledge to get best from them.
We could help you improve your employee relations to boost productivity while minimizing staff turnover. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Salaries aren’t determined by what the employee desires, it’s ultimately hinged on what the business can afford to pay. Where the affordable amount is poor, the employer should make room for some level of flexibility to get good productivity.
Create shifts, reduce work hours, give off days, allow remote work if and when possible/necessary. Make room for extra bucks and bonuses. Your business may be struggling, but you cannot build a great business with a team of people constantly grumbling and edgy.
A lot of people don’t mind low pay but to give their best, they need to be sure you care about their own welfare and growth. Another way to deal with the issue, is to reduce number of employees to the barest minimum, so you can pay the few better for the much work they do.
Our HR strategies and models need to adapt to our changing realities, and not just principles gotten from textbooks and classrooms. Streetwise also matters. In the Igbo apprenticeship system, people even work for free for years, but in exchange they are fed, trained in the trade and set-up to run theirs in a few years.
Take better care of people if you want people to take better care of your business. If anybody is incessantly unproductive and sabotaging your effort or flaunting the rules, they should be shown the way out.
If you need support on employee relations, Mapemond will be glad to be of service to you. Send an email to email@example.com
Quite a number of things influence what we see in the market. Though the market may vary and change from time to time, there are factors that remain constant. These factors are perceived as controllers of the market because they determine the changes that occur in the marketplace. The marketing mix or the 4Ps as it is popularly known is a factor that no entrepreneur can ignore.
Global business experts understand that the marketing mix is an essential ingredient for measurable growth. This group of persons have paid keen attention to their target market and are conversant with the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ to raking in continuous profits.
The marketing mix is widely considered as the foundation model for businesses. It consist of marketing tools used to attain marketing objectives in any target market. The marketing mix further represents four levels of marketing that directs the decision of an entrepreneur. These 4Ps are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
However, there is an updated version to the marketing mix with the addition of Process, Physical Environment and People, making it a total of 7Ps. The relevance and influence of the marketing are inexhaustible. These 7Ps obviously sound familiar but many enterprises have failed due to lack of knowledgeable marketers. Therefore, the first step is having a better understanding of the concept.
The marketing mix concept is like a puzzle that entails you fix the right product in the right place at the right time and at the right price. The trick to it is to know the right combination that eventually leads to success.
The first part to the marketing mix is the product. For any entrepreneur launching into the market, building or designing the right product needed in the market. During the process of developing the product, an extensive research on the product’s life cycle should be conducted. The life cycle of every product includes the growth stage, the maturity stage, and the sales decline stage. Studying any product’s life cycle will guide marketers in revamping a product when it gets to the sale decline stage, thereby retaining its position in the market.
The second piece on the marketing mix puzzle is price, which is usually the amount customers pay to purchase the product. Pricing is a necessary part of the marketing mix because it is determines the profit margin of the company. Whenever price is adjusted, sales will be affected. Most business owners consider pricing very sensitive as it forms a perception of a product in the minds of customers. Pricing can be quite tricky, as a product with low pricing could be perceived as inferior while one with a high price could be seen as too expensive.
After designing a great product and determining the best price for it, knowing where to place it is another crucial part of the puzzle. The product has to be positioned in readily and easily accessible places. To achieve this, entrepreneurs must first understand their target market and the best distribution channels.
In order to gain more traffic and attention to a product, promotion must come to play in the puzzle. This brings more recognition to the brand, boost its image in the eyes of prospects, and communicate the values of the products. Promotion can be done through the following ways, advertising, sales promotion, public relations, sales organisation and the ever-effective word of mouth.
Though this is an extension of the marketing mix, it is also an important aspect businesses should put into consideration. Researching about the people and their needs will help in designing a good market strategy. It is also necessary to hire and equip the right staff for any company seeking expansion. Basically, every person involved in making the business a success should be paid attention to.
Process is another addition to the puzzle but still is an imperative part of the business. The process of an organisation determines it execution. Any organisation thriving in the world has a well-detailed process that minimises cost. In defining the right process, every segment of the enterprise must be thoroughly deliberated.
The last thing on the puzzle is physical evidence. After every delivery, there should be a physical evidence. Physical evidence refers to how a business is perceived in the market, or the impact of its presence and literally everything that help shape consumer’s perception about the product or brand’s.
There you have it; we hope you begin to fix these Ps rightly.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need help in developing a business strategy? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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At the middle of the year, many questions relating to the priorities of a firm spring up. It is easy to set priorities at the start of the year but following through is somewhat a challenge for most organisations. In the process of swimming with the tides of change either caused by internal or external factors, so many drift away from their initial goals and objectives. One way to resolve this is by being accountable to shareholders or partners.
Drawing insight from Jeff Bezos’ ritual of writing letters annually, since 1997 to date, to the shareholders of his company, Amazon.com, business owners can learn a great deal of accountability. The brand that is referred to as the world’s largest online marketplace and cloud computing company has been able to consistently remain on track running with clear priorities.
It was observed that the letters the company writes to communicate its focus to shareholders help it stay accountable throughout the year. Whether it is a new strategy towards expanding the brand or a decision on employees, the letters act as signals informing shareholders about the direction of the company. An excerpt from the 2004 letter shows that Bezos also uses it as a medium to share some financial concerns. There he wrote “Our ultimate financial measure, and the one we most want to drive over the long-term, is free cash flow per share.”
An analysis carried out on the letters indicated that there are key words the letters are structured with. From this, one can tell where the company’s priority for that year is centred on. The 2006 letter revolved around five words, “businesses,” “new,” “Amazon,” “grow,” and “culture”— pointing the attention of shareholders towards expansion and growth. In that letter, Bezos writes,
“At Amazon’s current scale, planting seeds that will grow into meaningful new businesses takes some discipline, a bit of patience, and a nurturing culture. Our established businesses are well-rooted young trees. They are growing, enjoy high returns on capital, and operate in very large market segments. These characteristics set a high bar for any new business we would start. Before we invest our shareholders’ money in a new business, we must convince ourselves that the new opportunity can generate the returns on capital our investors expected when they invested in Amazon. And we must convince ourselves that the new business can grow to a scale where it can be significant in the context of our overall company.”
Moving on to 2010, the priorities of the company changed to “data,” “Amazon,” “services,” “systems,” and “technology”. Bezos pinpointed
“All the effort we put into technology might not matter that much if we kept technology off to the side in some sort of R&D department, but we don’t take that approach. Technology infuses all of our teams, all of our processes, our decision-making, and our approach to innovation in each of our businesses. It is deeply integrated into everything we do.”
Even though Bezos never includes the failures of the firm, he makes his shareholders know of such possibility but assures them of a way out. This is clearly seen in his 2013 letter:
“Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It is not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right.”
Bezos also utilises the opportunity to remind the shareholders about the company’s plan from the beginning. This can be seen in the most recent 2018 shareholders letter released 11th April 2019. It reads:
“From very early on in Amazon’s life, we knew we wanted to create a culture of builders – people who are curious, explorers. They like to invent. Even when they are experts, they are “fresh” with a beginner’s mind. They see the way we do things as just the way we do things now. A builder’s mentality helps us approach big, hard-to-solve opportunities with a humble conviction that success can come through iteration: invent, launch, reinvent, relaunch, start over, rinse, repeat, again and again. They know the path to success is anything but straight.”
With this approach, accountability becomes less of a problem for the firm, and serves as a means to attain sustainability.
What is your own approach for accountability?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need help with developing a business strategy? We can help. Send an email to email@example.com
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One characteristic of a good brand is identifying a need and proffering the best solution for it. Having identified people’s desire for a secured future, ARM Pension was established. With the slogan, “tomorrow is looking good,” the brand serves as a form of assurance to its clients.
In the intervening years, ARM Pension has become associated with financial security and has gained the trust of many customers. For retiring workers, the brand is viewed as a safety net to fall back on. Let’s find out how it has gained this trust overtime.
In December 2005, ARM Pension Managers Ltd was granted license, amongst seven other pioneering Pension Fund Administrators (PFA), by the National Pension Commission. ARM Pensions which is a subsidiary of Asset & Resource Management Company Ltd (ARM), has evolved to become a notable brand in Nigeria. The company has gone ahead to earn the reputation of a leading, reputable investment management firm with a very successful track record of protecting and growing investments for private investors and institutions for many years.
Asset & Resource Management (ARM) Group, at the initial stage, began with the vision to be the fastest growing, most efficient and customer-friendly PFA in the country with an aim to constantly deliver value to clients. Over time, ARM Pension has stayed true to this vision, and continues to make effort towards delivering excellent customer service. The brand uses customer feedback collected from different channels to improve its services.
Over the years, the company thrived by fulfilling the dreams of many workers who aspire to maintain a sufficient and stable financial lifestyle even after retirement. The brand operates with principles that tend to preserve pension assets and investments and yield returns through an excellent administration. ARM Pension works with a philosophy to deliver long-term value added growth and manages risk.
Knowing the value customers add to the company, during its tenth anniversary in 2015, the brand launched a remarkable campaign tagged #Iam10 with the target to appreciate customers for their patronage. This creative approach provided a platform for users to create ambitions in pictorial formats and this was in line with ARM Group mantra “Realising Ambitions”.
As time unfolds, the ARM Pension continues to live up to its achievement as Nigeria’s most prominent and respected financial service brands. It strives to retain its reputation in Investment Management, Research and Pension Fund Management.
With a firm vision, it runs; “To be the fastest growing, most efficient and customer-friendly PFA in Nigeria, consistently delivering value to our customers”
The brand is on a clear mission; “To provide a better future for our customers by offering superior service and value, and upholding high standards of professionalism”
A solid brand is never complete without concrete values. ARM Pensions is founded on the following values;
Building trust is an unbeatable market strategy ARM Pensions has dedicated its time and effort to. Once there is trust, customers will always flood in. This brings us to the questions; how have you been able to build trust for your brand?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Want to build a sustainable brand? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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When the day winds down and the body gets weak, every human craves for one thing, to return home to the comfort of their mattresses. For decades, Mouka Foam has been satisfying this need for soft, homely comfort. This makes it one of the most reliable and recognisable foam brands in Nigeria.
For its brand consistency, we became interested in Mouka to discover its unique features and the market strategies it has employed over the years. From our findings, Mouka Foam is not an ordinary brand and it is one worthy of emulation. Here is a bit of its history.
Mouka’s journey dates back to 1959 when it was founded by the Faiz Moukarim family and was located in Kano State, Nigeria. The company first started out as a factory named Moukarim Metalwood with the focus to manufacture furniture and iron beds. As the company progressed, they ventured into other products like mattress (which it is mostly recognised for), rug, duvet, pillow, etc. To stand out in its industry, the company came with a special recipe, a mind-blowing attention to quality.
In no time the company expanded to Lagos in 1972 with a rebranded name, Mouka Limited and a mission to broaden its horizon. From then on, the company has established production facilities in Benin and Kaduna, from where it distributes to other states in Nigeria.
With little or no competition, Mouka Limited rose to the top in its industry and earned reputation as a leader in the manufacturing of polyurethane-based products in Nigeria. The company has gained more market shares in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region. The brand reaches its customers through its thousands of distributors and sub-distributors all over the country.
Exhibiting its leadership position, in 1992, Mouka Limited spearheaded the end of carbon-flouro-carbon (CFC) materials during production. Also in 1999, it became the first foam company to receive ISO 9001 certification (Laboratory) in Nigeria, thereby setting the pace for other brands.
Mouka Limited has not only built a brand but has carefully selected a team of dedicated individuals to manage the company. Its staff are committed to the brand’s values and vision.
“To be the clear leader in the polyurethane business in Nigeria.”
“To add comfort to life.”
The way an apple never falls far from its tree, is the same way the brand’s services never falls below its values. These values continue to drive it smoothly on the success path.
From the onset, Mouka had established itself as a brand that produces high quality products. History has it that it was the first foam manufacturing company to offer quality warranty on its products. It has also been tested and proven by most of its customers. Through its standard of production, the company continues to gain more trust and recognition in the market.
Mouka Limited has chosen the innovative approach in executing its business. It utilises both recent technology and the will power of its team to ensure the brand’s mission is achieved and customers get the comfort they deserve.
The brand boasts of a rich network of distributors, sub-distributors and Sleep Galleries positioned in different parts of the country. Due to its efficient production facilities in strategic cities, the brand remains a solution provider and supplier in the foam industry.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you aspire to build a sustainable brand? We are just an email away at email@example.com
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Countries are usually categorised as developed, developing and underdeveloped. For years, based on the milestones Nigeria had marked in the past, it has been listed among developing countries in the world and sometimes make claim of being one of the most developed countries in Africa. However, a question has hung in the air for years; whether Nigeria is a developing country based on past glories or an underdeveloped one due to all the setbacks it’s been having.
A guest on a radio station mentioned that Nigeria has not really been exhibiting signs of a developing country when compared to its counterparts. The guest indicated that there hadn’t been much progress in any of the sectors, in terms of expertise, development, infrastructure and growth. When judged using the qualities of developing nations, Nigeria might not be meeting the standard.
Digging deeper into facts rather than dwelling on an opinion, we stumbled on a research carried out in 2018 that showed a list of ‘top 20 most developed countries in Africa’ which excluded Nigeria. The study focused on the gross domestic product (GDP) these countries have developed over time. Leading the top five on the list was Seychelles which had $16,332 GDP per capita, following behind was Mauritius with a GDP per capita of $10,437, Algeria was next with a GDP per capita of 4,669, Tunisia had a GDP per capita of $3,531, Botswana had a GDP per capita of $8,443 and it goes on till the 20th.
Analysing the list further, we discovered these countries shared some similarities which is a diversified economy unlike Nigeria. Seychelles for instance, though known as a tourist destination, has invested on other revenue sources such as fishing, processing of agricultural products, building of boats, etc. Over time, these ventures have brought income and sky-rocketed the country to the top in the African continent.
Coming home, can we say the Nigerian market is developed or open to development? With a GDP per capita around $1,951 which was determined in 2017, Nigeria can hardly boast of sustainable development. This figure tells a lot about the slow paced or declining growth. The root of this slow growth is always linked to the fact that the Nigerian market had known one product, crude oil, for many decades. The oil boom might have brought some glories but still hasn’t taken the economy where it ought to be.
Moving forward, more products, with emphasis on products that are made in Nigeria, need to introduced to the Nigerian market. This should serve as a challenge to both new and existing entrepreneurs. While the Nigerian market is full of competition amongst businesses, it has been observed that there are too many similar ventures. This has left little or no room for improvement and socioeconomic development in the country.
From the statistics shown, it is safe to say that visible development will start from the market. This obviously gives businesspeople an assignment to answer the question, what new idea, product or services are they bringing to the table?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you want to introduce a new product to the market? Let’s work together with you. Kindly send an email to at firstname.lastname@example.org
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