As the manager of a successful multinational company, you recognize that decisions can make or break a business. Therefore, good businesses rely on good decision-making in order to thrive.
It is sometimes difficult to make informed decisions while operating in the Nigerian market due to the limited availability of quality market information, difficulty in finding reliable business partners, and the market instability that can pose a market risk to your business. Therefore, it is important to have a framework that gives you a clear understanding of the problem or what you’re working towards to improve your decision-making.
Listed below are a few factors you should consider incorporating into your decision-making process as a new entrant in the Nigerian market.
1. Do Your Due Diligence
Before making a decision, you should look at the situation from various perspectives to get the full picture and explore hidden assumptions. Doing your due diligence in the Nigerian market also requires obtaining quality market information and interpreting it based on the local nuances in the market. Therefore, talking to local businesses, industry experts, and informed colleagues can assist you throughout this process as you gather information and insights from different pockets of the market. Finally, it is important to note that due diligence is a continuous process, as you have to stay up-to-date with what is happening in the market to make informed decisions.
2. Enlist a pair of eyes on-the-ground
Before making a final decision, make sure you or someone whose opinion you trust to review your options and verify whether or not you are making the best decision for your company. The phrase “seeing is believing” is particularly true in Nigeria. Before you make a major decision, make sure you can visually verify all aspects of the task or requirement. That means checking and verifying who, what, where, and how. For instance, before you get into a commercial relationship with a business, make sure you have a face-to-face meeting with representatives of the business. The last thing you should do is make a big decision without verifying certain specifications or claims. By having a trusted partner verify things for you, you have a better chance of meeting your standards and making a decision that you can stand behind.
3. Collaborate wisely
Entering a business partnership with the right people helps making decisions, particularly decisions regarding daily operations, that much easier. Having someone (or a team) on the ground who is competent enough to make routine decisions is imperative. Doing so will allow you to focus on higher-level strategic decision-making. By focusing on your core business priorities and sharing the responsibilities of other decision-making with those that are more equipped to make those decisions, you will be working strategically with your partners to collectively improve the decisions that you make for your business.
4. Focus on the facts
When making a decision, try to look at the situation objectively by focusing on facts and resisting the urge to give into emotional responses. Nigeria is very different from developed markets and, in some cases, other African countries. For new entrants, these differences can easily lead to frustration or pessimism about conducting business in Nigeria. With emotions running high or low in response to your business growth or lack thereof, it is important to think critically about every business situation, determine the risk(s), and formulate a strategy, in an effort to make the right decision.
5. Have a Plan “B”
It is not uncommon for things to not go as planned in a business situation, which is also the case for businesses operating within the Nigerian market. Therefore, you should make sure that you and your team develop a robust plan, one that includes a contingency plan in case the unexpected occurs. Monitor the market and plan for different scenarios in case your main plan starts shaping out differently.
6. Commit to Your Decision & Be patient
Once you have made your decision you should give it time to come to fruition. Employing timelines and creating specific goals to determine whether you are seeing results from your decision is imperative. Also, it is necessary to follow the results of your decision to determine whether adjustments need to be made. After all, even a good decision can be improved with minor adjustments based on feedback.
When it comes to decision-making as a business operating in Nigeria, creating an informed process is essential to your company’s success. Using the information outlined here as you develop that process will help you make better decisions for your business in the long run.