BY OLUFEMI ADEDAMOLA OYEDELE
Since the establishment of commerce, i.e. the beginning of the exchange of goods for goods, called “barter trade”, the motive of business has been to make profit, i.e. say to have a “competitive advantage” over “business partners”. (other companies and customers). A yam “producer” will want to “outsmart” the bushmeat “producer”; and so began the haggling over quantity and quality in relation to each product. The amount and quality of meat a hunter will part with a certain amount of yam will depend on the negotiating skills of both trading partners, the desperation of the parties to have the other party’s product depending on the availability of alternatives or not, the season of the year when the bargaining takes place and the number of producers of each product available on the market.
From small to medium to large, business organizations are corporate bodies orchestrated to generate profits for business promoters by satisfying customer needs. They are entities created to carry out the activity of commercial enterprises. These organizations depend on money-making transactions – manufacturing, selling goods and products, or providing services for payment – to survive. Professional organizations are centers of risk. They exist on the laws of the country (constitutions) in which they operate, laws on contracts, incorporation and property rights. Four types of these organizations exist in the business environment; sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) or public limited company (PLC) and corporation. They operate to meet stakeholder requirements.
Management has been variously defined by different renowned scholars, theorists and managers. Henry Fayol (1841 – 1925) said that “to manage is to foresee and plan, organize, command, coordinate and control”. EFL Brech (1909 – 2006) believed that “management is a social process…the process consists of…planning, control, coordination and motivation”. All companies have two main ambitions; one is to make profit and the other is to increase the value of the business. Businesses need to focus on strategies to make profit and register growth. Businesses involve men (people), business premises, money, materials, machinery, business continuity management like advertisements, insurance, research and development, etc. Business success depends on business tools, especially the optimal combination of these tools by business leaders.
Business management is the planning, organization, control and administration of business activities. Business leaders oversee business operations and help employees and companies achieve their goals. They must be competent in the management of the company’s resources, in particular human, material and financial. They must know how to use strategic management tools to achieve business objectives. These management tools include company financing method, worker recruitment, worker motivation, customer relationship management (CRM) including customer retention management, company location, occupational health and safety management, business development, etc. Since change is the only permanent phenomenon in life, companies must continue to embrace change management. Business leaders/managers need to know that people are essential in business.
Business challenges are the situations/factors that threaten, hinder or derail business objectives. Each sector of the business world has its own set of requirements and challenges. Some of these challenges are common to all businesses while others are unique. Manage superior customer relationships, satisfactorily meet customer needs for goods and services, maintain a good business reputation, retain quality employees, evolve an effective brand, effectively market and distribute products and services in markets saturated and competitive are some of the challenges. modern businesses. Quality customers are not easy to find. A good entrepreneur must design a method to keep them permanently. Customer needs are varied and towards, a good manager must “fight” to satisfy them all.
To grow a business, a good business leader must start with planning. Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790), the founding father of America, said that “if you don’t plan, you plan to fail”. All business leaders should plan at the start of each fiscal year and replan as the business progresses. Business vision and mission statements should be visited and reviewed at the start of each business year. Managers must know how to develop a team through the power of “team interaction”. There should be a management staff retreat each year where business objectives and how to achieve them will be discussed. Goal setting, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are becoming important tools for ensuring business success. Before setting goals, SMART analysis should be adopted. Targets must be precise. It must be measurable either quantitatively or qualitatively, or both.
Goals should be achievable and moderate, although there is nothing wrong with raising the bar every season of goal setting during business strategy reviews. Targets should have a timeline and be relevant. Goals should be time-based for final review and performance measurement. Businesses are typical projects involving the attention of project managers and workers. All risks must be classified and those that must be avoided must be avoided. Those that need to be reduced must be reduced while those that need to be transferred to professional risk managers must be transferred to avoid company bankruptcy. There is power in market research and feedback management. There are professional market research companies that can be hired to assess a company’s situation and its future performance forecasts. Most of these marketing research companies now use social media, technology, and email to perform their functions quickly and efficiently.
Business growth is not easy to manage because growing businesses easily attract the attention of business sharks. If your company is in a profitable new venture that can easily attract new entrants, make sure you have a good brand, register the brand name with the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, patent your innovation or your product, seek a mentor to assess and improve your business methodologies and products, embrace the use of technology in your business, and market your business and its products. Most businesses in Nigeria do not have websites or social media platforms. They do not benefit from the impact of the displacement of their markets towards the large population of Internet users. Maintain a good relationship with your customers and always think carefully about growing your production and customer base, and benefit from “economies of scale”.
Motivate your staff commensurate with your financial performance and relative to the rate of industry competitors and stay focused on identifying and retaining “invaluable” staff. Bill Gates once said of Microsoft’s staff recruitment that “if we stop employing foreign engineers, especially from India, then there will be another India-born Microsoft”. The most important tools of any business are its employees. The objective of a “targeted company” is to recruit and train (human resources function) and retain (management function) the “best workers” available on the labor market. The company’s growth depends primarily on the contributions and efforts of focused, dedicated and hardworking workers and not just on the founders’ vision and the company’s mission.