Small and medium-scale businesses and big privately held companies in Ghana have not made it a habit of sharing information. Be it financial, marketing, operational or strategic information, they just don’t share. Information about their business is kept at close chest. There may be good reasons for this but there are also several benefits to businesses who share information.
Today’s customers are more sophisticated and demanding than two decades ago. They want to know the constituents of the products they are buying, the production processes it undergoes, the quality of labour employed in the process, the shareholders of the business, among others. They are the buyers, and it’s not too much to ask from a business, irrespective of it’s size or location.
Customers are not just buying the product in isolation, but also supporting the growth of the business and they must be let in on most of what is happening within. There may be no legal requirements for disclosing so much information, but it does make sense to feed them with information and not just your product.
Global business, innovation and customer demands means businesses must share information with staff and the public in a timely manner. Elsewhere, companies are disclosing salaries of their CEOs and junior staff. They are sharing their strategic plans and directions with the public. They are telling you the products and innovations they expect to introduce to the market in the coming years. To compete globally, you must be willing to disclose information about the happenings within your business.
Being honest with the general public, especially your customers, is a positive signal that attracts customers. Toyota and many automobile brands have in the past, admitted to faults in some of their models and recalled them. Sharing information means being honest with the public. It is not only the positive ones that you must let out. Sometimes, it is good to be the one to publicly admit wrongdoings or poor decisions, than to wait until someone fishes them out. If your business is making losses, be frank about it when asked, and outline your turnaround strategies.
Bits of information are as important as the big one
Do not think the information that you have to share is too small or irrelevant. No matter how small, customers and prospective customers will appreciate it. They like to see their supplier or vendor or bank in the news for the good reasons. You don’t need to wait to launch a new product, or enter a new market before you share the information. Just sharing mere plans to launch a new product or enter a new market is good information.
Trust means purchases
When you invest in new technology, you must communicate this through your ads and other interactions with the public. It is only then the customers get to trust you and switch to your service and products. Customers usually pay for products and services that they trust.
In numerous cases, even the staffs of business organisations have very little information on its products, services, performance, plans and challenges. If you have high quality information about your product but refuses to share them with frontline staff, who will pass it on to customers in their interactions, then there’s how else do customers get to know. Hearing it from staff is more believing, and trustworthy. And their buying decisions will remain the same.
Sharing is the strength of the digital age, and timely information is the fuel for its collaborative engine. With the right sharing mentality, companies can thrive in the new era and grow their way to greater profits, as customers walk in.