Trend analysis for entrepreneurial equilibrium

Entrepreneurial trend analysis is a broader spectrum without a single barometer towards finding a solution.

THROUGH leaps and bounds, we have managed to take up our entrepreneurial ideas into corporates.

That should be a continued practice in running our homegrown small to-medium enterprises (SMEs) as we calculate sustainable growth in advance rather than waiting for surprises.

This calls for us to keep in track with any matters that arise in our operating environment, especially when we try to bring the business back into an equilibrium position (demand should be equal to supply).

Remembering that we are operating in a perfectly competitive market, thus we should be ahead on any trend that is affecting our operations and profit levels.

Some we plan as part of our routine business re-engineering but others come as an unforeseen part of our volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) world.

In these times of equity and working capital erosion through hyperinflation, our entrepreneurs are supposed to keep abreast to enable them to adjust; thus ensuring their viability.

We remain focused with hope that even in the current currency reforms, our systems will also be able to adjust for better.

Remembering that we are in the business, not only to make profits, but also re-invest and grow.

Therefore, money matters through pricing, currency reforms and statutory requirements spearheaded by both fiscal and monetary policies lead the way in initiating trend analysis by our operators.  

Entrepreneurial trend analysis is a broader spectrum without a single barometer towards finding a solution.

Here we try to guide each other in some common approaches that might safeguard and promote business consistency even under dynamic environments.

As aforementioned, there is always a need to strike a balance between market demand and supply by our entrepreneurs.

Being at dis-equilibrium is highly costly to the business, as it will result in surpluses or deficiencies in its production.

Of course, those in the school of economics will go further to talk about both allocative and productive inefficiency.  

What we are looking at is the risk of not doing a thorough trend analysis in entrepreneurship.

Let’s start it now otherwise we have early mortality and total extinction.

To start with, history will always mold the future of our enterprising. No wonder why they say “once bitten, twice shy”.

We would not want to repeat the same mistakes we did in some previous entrepreneurial processes.

Trend analysis will go far beyond marketing only to other technical, financial, operational and global matters.

That is when we will be able to evaluate, speculate and adjust with precision. An actionable goal(s) is fundamentally important when doing a trend analysis.

Most of our entrepreneurs want to achieve everything at once, which is difficult in the complex world we are doing business in. 

That is why in our strategic planning and execution we conceptualize through many variables that solve a single problem or actionable goal.

It is therefore imperative to have an actionable goal that talks about the vision which was set at the inception of a business idea.

The actionable goal should be broken down into various smaller and manageable activities for trend analysis to be well informed.

In fact it should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based (SMART) for it to be compatible.   

By doing so, it helps the entrepreneur not only to simplify targeted areas for analysis but rank them and adjust according to the level of opportunity cost.

A specific marketing oriented trend analysis is also critical as it connects all the other dots that are from a simple business idea, financing, to production/processes until profits are recorded.

Like the thrust of our previous edition where marketing was considered as a key cog to oil all the stages of an entrepreneur’s value chain.

Here there is a need to fully keep track of the customers’ needs/wants in response to the changing local and global trends (including pricing) especially with regards to their expectations from us in comparison to other players.

Competition is unavoidable but through a regular market trend analysis can be managed.

Both offensive and defensive marketing strategies are born out of an intensive market trend analysis.

As was set in the initial vision there is a need to have an adjustable checklist for a market oriented analysis.

Where the size of the market is defined/ measurable, marketing channels can be assessed, market segments are clearly known and past experiences with the markets/customers are well known/documented.

That is why it is important for the marketing function to be assisted by artificial intelligence (AI) in customer data and knowledge management for such information to be easily retrieved and used for a wider trend analysis.

Besides having measuring devices and technologies for trend analysis, humans still play a vital role in the entrepreneurial adjustments.

In fact many of the times we are doing a trend analysis in order for us and our teams to reflect for better decision making.

In such a way issues to do with succession planning should also be infused at each level of analysis.

This is because actions that are taken as a result of a given analysis should transmit and transform from one business generation to another. 

Therefore there is a need to connect every adjustment with individuals and teams in the form of talent management.

This is because some current trends need previous knowledge and expertise of those who have been part of the entrepreneurial vision (either as lower level officers or executives).

We once talked about our entrepreneurs over-safeguarding their idea(s) so as not to promote/nurture successors. Trend analysis needs succession planning to be done otherwise the gathered data will not be easily converted to a more productive/strategic use. 

It is therefore imperative to keep fast paced in trend analysis by our entrepreneurs as the world of business is not only complex but continues to evolve.

In the same vein, trend analysis should be done with some direct targets rather than being all over the show. .

*Dr Farai Chigora is a businessman and academic. He is the head of management and entrepreneurship at the Africa University’s College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance. His doctoral research focused on business administration (destination marketing and branding major, Ukzn, SA). He is into agribusiness and consults for many companies in Zimbabwe and Africa. He writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted for feedback and business at [email protected],, WhatsApp mobile: +263772886871

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