By Jacklina Mutesi
Business leaders are often faced with tough questions, and subsequently decisions. It is no small feat, when every outcome of your judgement is a way forward for your organisation, and has the ability to make or break the business.
Do you invest in people or in technology, aim to satisfy your shareholders or your customers, and should you focus on cutting costs or driving growth?
Kin Kariisa, group CEO at Next Media posed the leader’s dilemma to the community on X, and shared his insights together with their input below.
Invest in people or technology?
Investing in the right people is the best decision you can make for your business. Yet the incorporation of computer based technologies into a business’ processes and strategies is imperative in today’s world.
The pandemic’s disruption showed that businesses that were more mature in their digital transformation suffered less disruption and in fact, retained more employees.
With digital optimisation, outcomes such as improved efficiency and engagement with customers, create new revenue streams- for example new digital products and services.
At Next Media, the introduction of Afro Mobile, a digital streaming platform available across the globe, has increased reach and revenue, empowering users and employees alike.
As Patrick Bugingo shared in his response, “Tech is certainly an essential strategic direction and could be something a great team will be inclined to with less costs, especially if they choose to be innovators rather than laggards.” I certainly agree.
Satisfy shareholders or customers?
Several responses shared highlighted the positive correlation between customer and stakeholder satisfaction. Rightly so.
Stakeholders are the people who have an influence in your organisation, such as employees, partners, investors and your customers.
Their loyalty and satisfaction are crucial to your business’ success, as they affect your reputation, sustainability and profitability.
An unsatisfied customer is more likely to share their experience and move on to a competitor, so identifying and prioritising your stakeholders’ needs is the bread and butter of your business.
Through stakeholder engagements, surveys, focus groups and fostering an open line of communication, business leaders can effectively build meaningful relationships, allocate resources, and drive a profitable and successful organisation.
Cut costs or drive growth?
Many business leaders use cost cutting to align with the overall growth strategy of the company. But where do you cut costs, and save so you can spend more on the right, profitable initiatives?
As a leader responsible for the growth of the business, your focus on the bottom line should come hand in hand with your strategy to increase the top line.
Freeing up resources from under-performing or outdated strategies provides you the financial muscle and time, to focus on the approaches that do.
Once a thorough cost classification – your bad, good and best costs- is completed, cost cutting becomes a process of minimising exposure to bad ones and maximising return in the best ones.
When a business leader perceives cutting costs as a pathway to increasing the revenue pool in order to fund the priorities of the business, the cost cut strategy becomes a tool to drive growth, innovation and shape the company’s future.
Ultimately, decision making is a skill every leader should possess and hone. It allows us to respond to changing market trends, opportunities and threats to the business, in order to secure its future and guarantee its success.
As leaders, it serves us well to rely not only on our judgement but employ the expertise of professionals and data analysis to make informed and effective choices.
You can find the post and it’s responses here https://x.com/KKariisa/status/1704335927303176500?s=09
Jacklina Mutesi hosts the Business Breakfast on NBS TV