Information Sources For Businesses In Kitwe

Street vendor

Street vendor

If you are a business person planning to invest your hard earned money in Kitwe there are questions you ask yourself about Kitwe. These will include broad questions like the political stability in Zambia and more specific ones like the road infrastructure, banking, security, education and medical facilities.

When it comes to your specific business, your primary source of information is your potential customers, suppliers as well as your competition. This task has become easier with the advent of social media.

(Photo by Jim Reeves)

Open a business account on Facebook and Twitter to talk to your customers and to give them a chance to communicate with you. Study the websites of your competition to see how they are approaching issues. What are they doing, and how can you improve on it?

Understanding the environment in which you will be operating is a critical consideration. This is where the secondary sources of information come in.

Over the years, business men and women have asked themselves these and other pertinent questions. The business community in Kitwe has a set of economic indicators that help businesses to compare an important set of parameters from year to year. Indicators are generally expressed in figures because that provides an easy way of understanding whether things are getting better or getting worse.

An economic Indicator figure can be the type that increases as things get better (e.g. number of people in employment) or one that  decreases (e.g. unemployment rate). Some indicators reveal change before it occurs (e.g. stock market returns), as it occurs(e.g. Gross Domestic Product), or after it has occurred (e.g. unemployment rate).

An astute business person will observe these changes closely and make adjustments to their business activities based on facts. It goes without saying that the more up to date this information is, the more useful it will be for business planning and management.

If you are busy running your own business you may not find time to collate all the information you need. In Kitwe this function is one among many, carried out by the Kitwe Chamber Of Commerce. The chamber collates and publishes the information regularly and encourages its members to take advantage of this intelligence in planning their business activities. It also offers other information more tailored to particular business categories.

Indicators the Kitwe Chamber of Commerce uses include

  1. Inflation rate
    1. Inflation - Zambia June 2010- June 2011

      Inflation - Zambia June 2010- June 2011

  2. Capital/Money Market
    1. Treasury Bills
    2. Government Bonds
  3. International Trade
  4. Cost of fuel
  5. Copper Price
  6. Monthly Food Basket
Another useful source of information is the Zambia Central Statistical Office. They publish a monthly bulletin that enables businesses to keep a finger on the economic pulse. They also welcome comments and suggestions about how your business can be better served by the information they collect and publish.
% Distribution of Formal Sector Employees

% Distribution of Formal Sector Employees

By arming yourself with the right information as you plan to start a business or as you manage one, you increase your chances of success.
Looking at the above table for instance, it is clear that the majority of people are employed in the community, social and personal services. If you are starting a business and you have the necessary skills, training people to work in these areas looks like a good idea. You might want to gather more information in that area.
Accurate, up to date information helps your business to predict the future, plan for it and manage change successfully.
If you are involved in organizing business events or are participating in them,  KitweOnline wants to hear from you. Get in touch and post your announcements and experiences here. 
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