The dynamism of the global economy is a major reason why successes should be celebrated with one hand on the wine glass and the other, on the desk.
As a result of dwindling oil prices, 2015 was a year of loss for a number of Nigerian billionaires like Aliko Dangote and Folorunsho Alakija. They lost heavy market shares worth millions of dollars. The point is that, the business tides are turbulent. If seasoned business tycoons can’t remain on top, it will be quite difficult for mediocres to survive in a competitive market.
Mediocrity in its simplest of definitions is a state of being average or just ordinary. It breeds a continuous sense of false confidence and authority. This is quite predominant in monopolistic markets where there is only few key players.
Another amazing fact about the business world is that consumers are always hungry for something new. Within a space of about ten years, the Nigerian founded smartphone giants, Infinix Mobile and Tecno Mobile launched a joint competitive attack on the Nigerian mobile phone industry, thereby giving weak footings to the foreign firms that once dominated the industry.
Prior to then, Samsung, LG, Apple and HTC had the highest market share. Their dominance was a tangible reason for them to remain unsettled. The penetration of these “China” phones opened the consumers to a wide array of choices, that subsequently revealed the hunger of Nigerians for something more than they had received years past. Today, the stats have changed, LG and Sony Ericsson has lost their stake in the market, while others are preparing to follow suit.
It’s obvious that I’m attributing a level of lack of strategical planning to mediocrity. Often times, this issue is seen as an ill peculiar to gigantic conglomerates. This is not just a wrong ideology, but also a problematic one. The rate at which startups fail annually is alarming and can infamously be attributed to mediocrity.
Most entrepreneurs feel they are only saddled with a responsibility of growing their businesses to the level where they can comfortably eat three square meals, pay the bills, clear outstanding house mortgages, and perhaps get clean rides. In a realistic environment, feats as these are not always achieved because most startups built around this ideology do not see the light beyond a year, while others barely struggle through without much results.
Mediocrity makes business owners short-sighted. They fail to see the next threat ahead. Competition means nothing to them. Mediocres have a false sense of satisfaction and thus fail to aim beyond the status quo.
The introduction of MTN, Econet and Glo into the Nigerian telecom market was a disaster that NITEL never foresaw. NITEL was what I’ll call Nigeria’s Verizon. They were once the nation’s only provider of telecom services and owned the entire market share. Due to the lack of foresight, they failed to aggressively remain abreast with the technological trends in the industry. No major improvements were done in their services even after the new telcos came on board.
NITEL was eventually knocked out of business and the blame game started.
Mediocrity put businesses in an avalanche of excuses. It makes you susceptible to every storm from all sides.
Every business enterprise and SME’s alike should learn to develop thick skin against unforeseen circumstances. For you to remain relevant, you must be analytically and practically in tune with the industry you’re in as well as allied industries.