THE BOOK EVERY AFRICAN BUSINESS LEADER SHOULD BE READING

The past year saw me read a business book that i could not bear to put down.

I read it into the wee hours of the night.

Here it is….

Good to Great... By Jim Collins
Good to Great… By Jim Collins

It is an absolutely fascinating book that takes you through a research project by Jim Collins and team on some of the greatest companies in American history and what it took for them to be great.

The first chapter of the book is titled “Good is the enemy of great”

Further on along the book you get to learn why  who you hire and not how much you pay them determines the trajectory .

Why do i think every business leader should read this?

Most of us have heard about Kimberly Clark,Wells Fargo,Cisco systems and Walt Disney.

What made these companies great over time?

Read the book and find out.

I am definite Steve Jobs applied the same principles and insights  highlighted in this book to make Apple the great company it is today.

Let me finish off with an excerpt from the book..

“Enduring great companies don’t exist merely to deliver returns to shareholders.Indeed,in a truly great company,profits and cash flow become like blood and water to a healthy body:They are absolutely essential for life ,but they are not the very point of life.”

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CONSERVATION

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

Khalil Gibran

We cannot make any meaningful gains in conservation if all efforts aimed at conserving it are not geared towards the generation that will come after us.

Too many forums are held,too much money has been spent on conservation efforts all over the world .

We need to  engage millions of youth in conservation matters in the forums they frequent the most.we need to talk to them in a language they understand and can relate to.

There are so many ways conservation can benefit from social media.

Whether it is by use of  images or videos there is something for everyone on the social media platform that will go far and beyond the numerous conferences that form most conservation efforts.

The use of  images,videos or infographics will ensure the   message  gets passed along that conservation matters.

Pinterest which at the moment is the fastest growing media forum has an especially special appeal as it has a mobile application available for most android phones which are very popular among young people.

Are we going to let the chance to make a difference slip away ?

 

 

 

 

3 COOL SITES FOR BUSINESS

If you spend enough time on line,you get to discover some little gems that no one will tell you about and that make working very easy.

Here are some cool places  that you will benefit from.

1.Browse Happy

Browsehappy.com allows you to get the latest updated versions of browsers .

It has updated versions of most popular browsers and even has alternative browsers that you may not have heard about.

2.Pixlr.com

A photo editing site that allows you to edit and adjust your images and all for free

3.Instagram

A photo sharing site,it allows you to share photos with friends and family and for businesses that wish to promote their brands,allows you to share content.It is available on the apple store and on Google play

PINTEREST IS BUSINTEREST

Logo from blog.viralheat.com

Want to get people curios about your business?

Give them something to look at,on Pinterest.

Pinterest is the best thing after Facebook for business.

Launched in March 2010,the virtual board has attracted millions of users and is now helping businesses bring in more cash .

It does not matter what kind of business you are in from lifestyle , fitness , tourism,preparing gourmet films,vintage furniture to modern art  everyone likes to have something  to look at..the more interesting and unique it is the better.

It piques people interest.

What is Africa waiting for….?

Africa with all its beauty and creativity needs to showcase what it has to offer to the rest of the world.

From  fashion designers,chefs,entrepreneurs and people in the creative industry  they  need to get on Pinterest  and generate business for themselves and for   the continent.

There are far too few pictures of African fashion,art and crafts ,decor  and other interests on Pinterest.

In a word,Africa is under represented.

In this article that appeared on blogworld.com ,Linda Sherman points out that brands are using images to engage their customers and engage them in stories around their brands and products.

Pinterest offers  the best avenue for African business and economies aiming for international growth and recognition.

The mobile application for Pinterest which was launched in August now has millions of users .

Mobile telephony being one of the fastest growing industries ,the whole world is waiting to see what Africa has to offer.

With an ever-increasing population of under 40’s who are joining the middle class  and  seeking to keep up with the rest of the world with their purchases ,Africa has the chance to showcase its best.

Pinterest is available on Android phones and tablet users as well as to users  of Kindle Fire .

MARKET INSIGHTS: WHY THE FACEBOOK GENERATION MATTERS

Fact:24-35 year olds make the largest percentage of any age group spending time online.

Question:Are brands paying attention?

Facebook has changed market dynamics.

It has changed the way we relate to each other,it has brought people from all walks of life together .Created virtual communities around interests and brands in a way that for a person who studies trends online, is simply astounding.

Almost every business is on the online wall of fame…facebook .

You no longer have to pick groceries at the supermarket ,go shopping for clothes,cosmetics or baby essentials at a brick and mortar store.

You can do it online and with the way money transfer works in Kenya…voila ..goods delivered and you did not even have to step out of your house  or office.

This trend is replicated in many other markets across Africa and in the world.

Companies,small and medium-sized businesses are now on Facebook and many have attracted their customers to their pages with offers,discounts and many other enticing goodies and freebies.

But how many of these business are paying attention to what 24-35 year olds are doing and discussing online.

This age group spends a lot of time online.

How many have sat  their marketing teams down  and discussed or even put in place plans for  what their customers will need in five or even a years time?

How many have taken in mind the changing lifestyles of these same group in 10 years time and put in place structures that will ensure they are customers for life?

When Safaricom Limited released its first quarty report,it reported that 80 billion Kenya shillings accounted for transactions between customers on its   Mpesa money transfer service.

Did you get that…. 80 billion Kenyan shillings,a third of the country’s GDP in just 6 months.

Read more about the results here and here.

With the way things online are shaping up,the next quarter will be a fantastic one for the mobile company that controls the largest percentage of the mobile money transfer market. It has more than 15 million customers registered on the mobile money transfer business.

Why focus on this age group?

These are people on their first/second jobs.

They have money to spend.

They are at crucial  periods in their lives  where major decisions like getting life partners,starting families,settling in their careers matter .

They want great service/products and are happy to pay for them.

They are creating groups based on common interests from online businesses/entrepreneurs to mummy groups to dissatisfied customer groups.

They are sharing ideas on where to get the best deals on houses,mobile devices,great discounts and venting when they get bad service.

For brands that want to keep their customers and gain more market share it means they have to be good, really good at whatever service/product they are offering.

They have to learn to anticipate what their customers need and provide it .

They have to provide a really great customer experience .

By paying attention to the lifestyle dynamics   and interests  this  generation enjoys,brands will be able to anticipate their customer needs,meet them  and survive the market place.

Let brands start listening to the online chattering going on among online communities,put their ears to the ground(figuratively of course)…it matters and in more ways than one.