Personal Finance

Young entrepreneurs must find real value in any add-on

covid

Covid-19 has almost rendered platforms and approaches that organisations have relied upon for years to deliver their assignments, separating the old reality from the new one. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Covid-19 has almost rendered platforms and approaches that organisations have relied upon for years to deliver their assignments, separating the old reality from the new one.
  • They have been forced to migrate their work and operations to digital platforms and attend to customers online.
  • The ecosystem that young people in business should adopt now and in future is one that consists of interconnected sets of services to allow end-users fulfil their needs using one integrated approach.

Covid-19 has almost rendered platforms and approaches that organisations have relied upon for years to deliver their assignments, separating the old reality from the new one.

They have been forced to migrate their work and operations to digital platforms and attend to customers online.

The ecosystem that young people in business should adopt now and in future is one that consists of interconnected sets of services to allow end-users fulfil their needs using one integrated approach.

To craft and develop a progress ecosystem, youth in business should consider creating value through consolidation of a wide range of customers and then strengthening touchpoints along their client journeys.

Customer journey mapping helps in filling operations gaps, understanding and serving clients better, building an emotional connection, fixing the bumps they experience as well as predicting brand success and their behaviour. To harvest value using this method may not be possible under one roof, however, young people in business can leverage and incentivise partners in their industry to create a common responsive ecosystem. This is likely to unlock innovation and create efficiencies along the value chain to have impressive customer experience.

To harvest the advantages of the end-to-end ecosystem, there is a need to engage deep strategic thinking about the relevant key customer touchpoints.

What this means is that young businesspeople should engage experts to help them probe their value chains to identify areas where smart changes can cause large improvements, productivity, sales and ultimately profit growth.

Adding superficial features and apps to the websites as a way of enhancing the ecosystem may seem sensible and sufficient in the short run.

However, in the long run, it turns out to be a serious disappointment when the youth in business realise that very few or none of their customers even tried the app because it did not demonstrate value. It was only an ‘add-and-stir’ or customer ‘pain point massage’ as opposed to value creation.

Most important also is to manage internal dynamics. It is acceptable to implement end-to-end ecosystems with all enthusiasm but failing to ensure a shared vision is a recipe for failure.

It is common to find high resistance levels across the units simply because the executors are not persuaded of the potential value and declared incentives are not custom made.

End-to-end ecosystems require strategic and financial foresight, but to succeed they also require careful planning, design and governance within the organisation to have all players on board.

To succeed in designing an end-to-end ecosystem that has what it takes to create value for all players, organisations should consider the balance between the internal and external needs, manage sophisticated competitors and meet the needs of all customers.

Kiambati is a senior lecturer, Karatina University