List Categories | List All Articles | List Articles By Title
What Is Business Sense?
What is the principal thing you need to succeed in your business today? Money. Sure, you need it, but it is not the main ingredient for success. People. Of course they are necessary, but having them may not guarantee success. Excellent products or services. Well, this is a must to succeed. But you may have them and still not succeed. Promotions, visibility, marketing. These factors lubricate your business activities for success. So what is the principal thing?
Take this from the book of Proverbs. Wisdom is the principal thing. Therefore get wisdom. And in your getting, get understanding. Riches and honor are with me. Enduring riches and righteousness. Translate this into your business, you get what I call Business Sense. As we progress into year 2005, it is necessary we refresh our minds on what this sense is all about. That is the mission of this article.
So what is Business Sense? How you do your business. Not really. Strategies for doing business. Well you may be correct, but not quite. Doing business with the sixth sense. No you are off the mark for though Business Sense has something to do with feelings, it has more to do with wisdom.
But what exactly is Business Sense? It is the application of wisdom for today's business, or simply put, common sense in business. It is more than knowledge, facts, and figures. It is copious use of ideas especially those that are so simple, ordinary, or basic that they are disregarded. It is insight, the ability to interpret developments and the business environment differently, and to see, discern, and use differently and profitably, what others see but ignore because they look so ordinary or appear foolish. If you put your attention on those simple issues and things about they way you work and live, and use them for business, you are operating with business sense.
Business sense. Two words, So profound, readily available, so simple to learn and apply, yet largely ignored. You can call it common sense. Though it readily abounds, it is not so common in acquisition and application among the professional and managerial class who rule the corporate world.
They have studied in the best schools locally and abroad, acquired the latest technology and skills, and apply the best management methods, but are still struggling with the challenges in the marketplace. It is as if the more degrees, diplomas, and certificates our professionals acquire, the less they make use of common sense in business.
Not so for traders at the Alaba International market in Lagos. What they lack in formal education they make up with a copious supply of business sense. Little wonder, virtually all the banks flock to wherever these traders cluster to set up branches.
No economic sector or concentration of businessmen/women or professionals who exchange value have been able to attract such corporate attention from the financial services sector in Nigeria. These traders thrive while many other sectors are complaining. Do not blame the banks for chasing the traders. They badly need the cash which these traders generate daily. That is why they gravitate towards the traders. No other group maintains such a gravitational pull on a sector as formidable as the banks.
A teenage boy who moves into this market to learn the trade begins from the fundamentals- book keeping, retailing, pricing, and delivery of goods. Within four years, he has polished his negotiation skills and with the dexterity he has acquired, he can sell coal to a tourist form Newcastle in the UK. He is well equipped to deal confidently with consumers who are becoming very articulate and demanding. The hard times has made them to be very price sensitive and value conscious in their purchases. Patriotic messages may not move them anymore to vote for your brands with the dwindling value of their money. Neither will promotional hypes do that anymore.
What business sense tells you is that consumers want more promotional information to guide them in their purchases. Two decades ago, a nursing mother in Nigeria would hardly glance at the nutrition facts on a tin of baby milk. Today, before she buys, she picks up tins of SMA and other brands of baby foods to determine the one that offers the best value for her money. Now you can understand why Nestle Nigeria Plc mounted a promotional campaign to teach consumers Nutrition Facts. That beverage and baby foods maker has caught the vision of business sense.
What about Guinness Nigeria Plc. Its premium brand Guinness stout says: Guinness brings out the action in you. But what the brewery has failed to do is to explain how the consumption of Guinness will galvanize consumers into action.
Take this from Oceanic International Bank. Its lighted billboards in Lagos metropolis sends the corporate message in two words: Experience peace. Good promo. But in these days of consolidation, banking distress and all, Oceanic Bank will definitely make more impact if it sends out detailed promotional messages on how a relationship with the bank guarantees peace. That is the latest trend in corporate communications, a shift from promotional hypes to information loaded promotions which communication experts call infomercials.
Business sense means that corporate bodies, the professional and managerial class must bend down from their ivory towers; go back to the fundamentals of doing business which we so often ignore, and get connected to the consumer. These fundamentals or common sense are readily available but hardly appreciated or used. Business sense teaches vision, mission, ethics, corporate care, charity, courage, humility and defining your business properly.
Business sense is not taught in the real sense in academic institutions and managerial courses. The approach in these places is more academic that real.. This sense is acquired more through real life experiences, insightful observation, and learning the hard way in the School of Wilderness Experience. That is the essence of this article series, to complement the teachings of these unique business schools, and prompt professionals to use common sense and what almighty God has deposited in them.
Dan Thomas, founder and president of Focus, a management consulting firm in Polo Alto, California, USA, wrote a book titled Business Sense. In the book, he shows how managers can use core management processes he calls Five Freedoms, to achieve success. As Dan s book moves through the offices of corporate America, see how Ken Blanchard, co-author of One Minute Manager, described the book: The biggest problem in business today is that common sense is seldom common practice. This book is all about using common sense in business. If you have any sense, you will read it and share it with others. No need commenting on the common sense remark of Ken. The message is clear.
For you to acquire and apply business sense in your business, you need to humble yourself, have a large heart, be of lowly spirit, keep an eye on business fundamentals, and above all be close to your creator. That put's you in the right frame of mind to recognize and apply common sense. If you are fixated on your academic achievements, total quality management, best practices and all, you will not apply common sense. No one is jettisoning these management methods. They are very necessary. But you need to lubricate their application with common sense. That is what brings lasting results.
You may be agonizing how to deal with that management, production, or marketing problem not knowing that the solution is one common sense application which you have not considered.
As I sign off today, take this classic example of a common sense solution to a big problem from the scriptures which most of you know more than me. The story of David vs Goliath. This giant had instilled morbid fear into the entire army of Israel. The solution for Goliath was readily available, yet no Israeli soldier or General saw it. Even if they did, they must have written it off as some managers in the corporate world are doing now as they confront the many Goliaths in the marketplace today.
The Israeli soldiers who lacked faith in God put all their trust in their spears and other armoury which paled into significance against Goliath's. It took the courage and common sense of a teenage boy, David who trusted almighty God. He dipped his hands into the brook there, picked five smooth stones for his sling and ran towards Goliath. You know the rest of the rest of the story. That was a simple solution for a big problem.
The common sense approach is even more real for today's marketplace. Dear professional, this is my call to you today: begin to apply wisdom in your business today. In subsequent articles, I will share my thoughts and the insights of other professionals like you on common sense in business. Apply them and it shall be well with you.
Eric Okeke, corporate storyreller, motivational speaker, business writer and copy writer. He is one of Nigeria's most experienced financial journalist. I recommend that you read this valuable book, "How To Tell A Great Story" that is dedicated to teaching people just like you about the famed R.P.I Principle. Go now to http://www.howtotellagreatstory.com
Solving the Problem Solving Problem
The meeting started like a hundred others before. There were five people sitting around the conference table, like they always did, trying to solve a problem that had popped up in the last few weeks.
Cross Cultural Solutions for International Business
Globalisation, the expansion of intercontinental trade, technological advances and the increase in the number of companies dealing on the international stage have brought about a dramatic change in the frequency, context and means by which people from different cultural backgrounds interact.Cross cultural solutions to international business demands are increasingly being viewed as a valid and necessary method in enhancing communication and interaction in and between companies, between companies and customers and between colleagues.
The Top Six Reasons to Buy Rather Than Build an Inventory Management Solution
Is building your own inventory management solution really your best bet?The issues that companies face when they decide to build a solution in house are numerous: Scarce development resources, project cost overruns, delivery delays, unexpected technical issues, long-term maintenance issues.For these reasons, you should consider purchasing hosted, flexible, "out-of-the-box" vendor managed inventory (VMI) and web-based inventory solutions that can be running in a matter of days -- rather than months -- all at a fixed monthly price - with no delays, low risk and a lower total cost of ownership.
Saying One Thing, Doing Another...
This week I was asked to speak at an internal conference for a bank. The subject was how to build a great customer experience.
Hiring for Success
Hiring someone new to work in your business is one of the most critical decisions a business owner makes, although it is not always given the justice it deserves. If a position is vacant, or additional staff are needed, recruitment decisions are often driven by the pressure to get someone in quickly, rather than waiting for the best person to fill the job.
Hows Your HUB?
Marketing gurus are always coming up with new lingo but oftentimes they are restating the old tried and true concepts in new terms. Marketing students from the 70's and 80's will be familiar with the acronym USP.
Safety Policy Sample Outline
Writing a safety manual is a tough job and most larger corporations outsource such jobs or they have someone on staff with the proper credentials in risk management. Imagine writing the safety manuals for NASA? I had the opportunity to be in the unique position of being able to imagine just such a thing when writing our company safety manuals.
Why Free Agent Thinking Is Good For Your Company
It's no secret! Day after day the news is riddled with companies who are moving operations to other countries or completely closing their doors. Those who remain must transform themselves to lean, mean, businesses with a constant eye on reducing costs.
One Bad Apple
One Bad Apple I know what you are thinking but no, I am not doing a tribute to Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. Although I will admit that their hit song from the 70's keeps rolling around in my mind as I type this.
Quick Tips On Bringing Out The Best In People
Want to bring out the best in people?Edward W. Smith, motivational speaker, author and TV show host, who specializes in quick tips on how to move your life ahead even faster, offers the following advice.
My friend Delia is the owner of a small private school. This spring her school is experiencing the crunch of reduced enrollment for next September and all staff have been asked to take a six percent salary decrease.
Time Management Tip: Stop Micro-Managing Employees
If I was a fly on the wall what would I hear your employees say? Would it something like this? "They won't allow me to make even the simplest decisions." "The red tape here makes it very difficult for me to do my job.
How To Conduct Effective Meetings
Before you call your next meeting, the FIRST step is to decide if it is really essential. To determine that, ask yourself the following:· Is this meeting essential? · Can we do without it? · Can we accomplish the task without a meeting? · Can it wait another week? · Can we get things done with few meetings?Then, if you have decided a meeting is the best way to accomplish your objective, the following tips can help you conduct more effective meetings:1.
6 Simple Steps to Dealing with Difficult Managers
The challenge of managing difficult managers can be rather daunting, especially when you inherit them! If they are your own born and bred, then hopefully they would have evolved into great managers!Experience shows that difficult managers are difficult because they are angry and frustrated about something or somebody (even themselves - especially where they are, or have become, a square peg in a round hole of a job), so the steps to take are these:-Always a first is to build great relationships with your people. This involves protected one-to-one time, where they feel valued.
How Businesses Can Stop Wallowing in Bad Debt and Prevent It in the Future
"Become the Squeaky Wheel", a new book just published, explains that getting customers involves more than advertising. Michelle Dunn presents examples of credit procedures and policies to help creditors or business owners collect bad debt and prevent it in the future.
No Time to Focus on the Big Picture? Try Focus Management
E-mail, voicemail, "got a minute?" interruptions, multiple projects and competing priorities. Whether it is in work or in life, we all understand the importance of "seeing the forest for the trees.
Why and How to Work with a Consultant
A good consultant provides specialist abilities and experience, innovative ideas, second opinions (reality checks), unbiased appraisals, and new approaches.A good consultant will leave you with tools, plans, and materials, and will transfer knowledge and resources to help you use them.
What is the Most Difficult Part of an Improvement Program?
Answer: Starting one.Most of us realize that there is probably a better way to perform certain functions or tasks, but improvement programs seem to take second seat to getting the product out the door.
Problem-Solving Success Tip: Measure the Right Things.
Measure the right things. It's not enough just to measure-you have to measure the right things.
People - You Cant Make Them What Theyre Not
Many business people and managers are spending too much time trying to change the underperforming people who work for them. They seem to believe that if they train people - tell them what to do or even threaten them with the sack - then the performance level will go up.
home | site map
All articles are copyright to their owners.
Note: this website lists articles, We do not Write Articles !