American businesses expect too much too soon from Africa. Start-ups businesses do not immediately see profits in America nor in Africa.
Remember: The Japanese did not arrive in America yesterday. They have been here to years, nurturing relationships that today reap them millions of dollars and massive American ownership. Consider this quote, “Think Big, Focus Small”
PREJUDICE OF THE PAST EXPERIENCES
Don’t let negative past experience keep you from potential profits. Enter the African market with positive attitude. Learn from your past and adjust accordingly when re-visiting the New Africa. The japans had set backs when they first introduced their first car to the American market place. I did a study of the difference between the perceptions of Japanese products of the 70s and the present day. All the negatives back then are now reverses and are now regarded as high quality products. So things are constantly changing in Africa too.
TOO SHORT-TERM GOAL ORIENTED
American managers have been described as 10-minute managers, while the Japanese have been labeled 10-year managers, what a difference. Formulate and implement your export strategy gradually, clearly define your objectives and select an action-oriented game plan, or an export management company to help you develop manageable long-term export plan. The Wall-Street Profit style will not work in your Africa export plan.
LACK OF GLOBAL-ORIENTED MANAGERS
Without an adequate supply of global-oriented managers, there will never be an adequate numbers of global companies, even in this internet age. Again, “Who you are is limited only by who you think you are”. Developing a global strategy depends upon American business executive’s attitude about doing business internationally. The design and implementation of a global strategy requires that management follow an all-world marketing approach, which evaluates the company’s world wide and local objectives.
There is an unrelenting school of thought based on the premise that there are emotional and intellect appeal that all consumers share. But, the truth is, each market should be treated as a separate entity. There can be no universal message. Instead of searching for a universal message, search for and proceed with care and consideration of the cultural biases and sensitivities that affect each market’s consumer behavior.
Americans usually underestimate Africans intelligence especially when it comes to business issues, based on their views of African Americans at home and they are generally very wrong. Most Africans have a family member in the United States who relays U.S practices and standards. Do not assume that African do not have a clue. Do not try to teach Africans how to conduct business in their own countries, let them teach you and help you navigate their business style. Your will be more successful if you learn their way of doing business-The African Way
OVER-RATED POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INSTABILITY
Africa’s political and economic situations are ancient excuses Americans use to omit the African marketplace from their international marketing campaigns. Doing business in Africa means doing with other business people period, it only happens that they are in Africa. Just like American companies, African companies’ economic survival depends on quality. Gone are those days when the West fool Africans with their bad business practices. Despite the fact that Africa has been labeled a land of political and economic instability, Europeans, Japanese and now the Chinese are doing big business there. Americans remain adamant and absent.