KAMPALA – Similar to other African nations, Uganda is at an important crossroads. Businesses have begun thinking past traditional borders in order to tap into a truly global marketplace. The resulting profits can then be funnelled back into local, regional and national projects; great news for everyone involved. Still, a number of challenges remain.
Some of these (including overcoming potential language barriers) can be solved through the use of modern technology such as encouraging employees to take advanced online English courses. Others require more of an innovative approach. What hurdles may need to be negotiated? Perhaps more importantly, how can Ugandan businesses leverage the opportunities at their disposal? Let us look at where we are headed in the not-so-distant future.
Rising Above the Digital Competition
According to data compiled in 2018, there were more than 18,000 registered businesses throughout Uganda. Of course, there is no doubt that these numbers have increased over the years. This also signifies that competition is rife throughout the professional community.
Businesses must therefore adopt novel approaches to sales and marketing campaigns; particularly in reference to the digital domain. These cost-effective methods will enable them to reach a much larger target audience for the fraction of what it may have cost for traditional brick-and-mortar PR campaigns. As a result, many businesses are likely to require dedicated IT professionals. Such concerns should be amalgamated into a budget sooner as opposed to later.
Obtaining the Necessary Liquidity
Another issue which SMEs throughout the Ugandan community face involves a lack of liquid funds. Even those which may have developed viable products or services will be unable to invest if cash is not available. This is why managers and similar stakeholders need to begin thinking outside of the proverbial box in order to present new investment opportunities to venture capitalists. Whether advertising to domestic investors or obtaining overseas interest, this step is vital for future success.
Many industry analysts have rightfully pointed out that the Ugandan infrastructure requires a significant amount of improvement; especially when referring to unreliable power grids. While this is obviously out of the hands of many businesses, it could still be possible to outsource sales and marketing requirements to overseas teams. As the notion of a hybrid workplace becomes more commonplace, such a strategy could very well represent the wave of the future.
Hiring Qualified Professionals
As mentioned in the previous section, businesses will likewise need to hire vetted and highly trained personnel. The good news is that younger generations are now keen to become involved with lucrative projects. However, attracting these individuals will require a much more proactive approach centred around an employee-friendly environment. Skilled workers represent one of the most important assets which any business can obtain.
We can see that Ugandan businesses will have to face a number of challenges in the coming years. Still, it is a foregone conclusion that taking the most appropriate steps today can help to guarantee a bright and productive future.