spilled milk or to celebrate few successes recorded in business in the outgoing year, but it is a time to look at how your business will remain strong in the forth coming year. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, 2015 was a year with a lot of uncertainties in the economy, and low consumer spending. The economic projections for the coming year are not too different as well, but in spite of that, businesses expect to meet customers’ need and keep their share of the market.
For 2016, there are two types of innovative activities that will shape how your business will fare in the New Year, one from your company, and you have control over it, but the other is external to your company, and you don’t have much control over them. You can only align your business as they happen.
Here are some of the uncontrollable innovative activities that will shape businesses in Nigeria in 2016:
Electronic Payment System:
Electronic payment system is growing steadily in Nigeria. As more infrastructure is being installed, more consumers are gaining confidence in our e-payment system, and are gradually accepting it for their transactions whether in recharging phones with airtime, shopping or paying for services rendered. Businesses that are yet to adopt e-payment risk losing out in this growing market. If your business is not embracing e-payment, you are losing potential new customers, and you are in danger of losing your existing customers who want easier means of paying for transactions. A market that exchanged about 35 trillion Naira electronically in 2014 is not one that should be ignored by any business.
Internet of Things (IoT):
The world is getting smarter, so is everything around us. We now live in a world where everything is interconnected through sensors. Imagine your customer’s refrigerator alerting you about the need to restock, or your devices telling you who need your products or services at what time, or have your smart phone monitor general health conditions of your patients and passes such information to you. This is how smart business will get. It is estimated that in about five years, about 26 billion to 75 billion objects will be connected. For Nigeria, we may still have a problem with infrastructure, our level of connectedness is still low, but it is growing. This innovation is expected to drive business efficiency and profitability.
Another major factor that will affect your business in 2016 is new technology from other businesses. Hey! A lot of new technologies from competing businesses will be flooding the market next year. Everyone wants to serve the market, but only those with better technology will achieve that. My personal auto mechanic has being serving me well until I discovered another person who has technologies that can fix my car without much physical effort, and so I did the needful. It’s just a matter of time before your customers begin to switch to a business with better technology. Really, you have no control over what technology other businesses adopt, but you have the choice to decide on what technology will service your customers better. You either adopt something better or watch as your customers switch to other businesses.
No matter the economic outlook for 2016, business is getting smarter, bigger and more competitive. Innovative activities external to your business will affect your operations greatly, and though you have no control over them, their occurrence will actually create more opportunities for your business if you align with the innovative activities within your company.