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
- Inflation rate
- Capital/Money Market
- Treasury Bills
- Government Bonds
- International Trade
- Cost of fuel
- Copper Price
- Monthly Food Basket