Rwanda is on a celebratory streak now that we are celebrating 50 years of independence and 18 years of liberation. One does not even need to look far back as 50 years to acknowledge the change the country has undergone.
For a long time we have been using 1994 as the benchmark of change that the country has undergone but to be honest the country seems to be progressing at such a fast rate that even looking back a year or two back significant change can noticed.
If you have not been in Kigali for the last two years you would still be moved by the different developments and innovations that Kigali city for instance, now has in place. You would be surprised to find that the streets now have coded letters and numbers, something that may make you feel like a stranger in your own country.
You will be surprised by the automated citizen check in facility at the Kigali International Airport. Now you don’t have to waste time in the queue with everyone else. By the time you make your way to Ndoli’s Supermarket you may be compelled to ask people what is going on after seeing a milk dispensing machine.
All I am trying to say is that businesses should take a leaf from the now mature and ever developing Rwanda as a country and make efforts to continuously improve their businesses. One of the biggest problems that businesses tend to face is that of complacency and rigidity.
Someone sets up a business and as long as he/she is raking in profits that is enough. No effort is made to improve or innovate so as to increase the profit margin or cut down on duplication of processes. For many years the only change the business witnesses is an increase in price or a new coat of paint on the premises.
For example is it not weird that after so many years in business, buses that ply the Kigali-Kampala route have not thought about return tickets or even online ticketing. If online ticketing is too much to ask how about allowing passengers to use mobile money facilities to pay for their tickets?
The above is just one example to illustrate my point that business owners need to regularly sit and review their operations and try to figure out how they can take the business to the next level.
Computerising operations is one of the commonest ways of improving on your business but there are so many changes you can have to keep loyal customers and to draw new ones. Being rigid and complacent will certainly have a negative effect on a business in the long run whether you want it or not.
A business that fails to improve on its service provision or operations is likely to be overrun by a new competitor who joins the market with new products and better ways of running a business. I am sure we have all heard the saying that goes, “If you don’t change then change will change you.”
Customers may hang around for a while but once something new and exciting comes up then they are very happy to abandon the old fashioned provider for the new and exciting opportunities another one is offering.