This is the age of human sophistication as evident in every facet of our lives and in business. Indeed, business models have drastically changed and also advanced. Doing business today is war, and in every war, the more sophisticated your weaponry; the more you are sure of victory at the war-front.
There are five main areas that you’d need the sophistication to match the challenges that today’s business place demands if we must survive and thrive. I represented them as 5Ms, namely: your mind, machine, minute, money, and men.
Let’s quickly explore them:
The first place to sophisticate is in your mind. Business is principally a mind game. And the battle won in the mind is as good as won in reality. In life, it’s first mental warfare before any other.
You can’t achieve much more on the outside than what you have achieved and become on the inside. Those who can’t outwit their opponent mentally would hardly do so physically or by any other means.
What do you do then? Enlighten your mind continuously with current happenings in your field. In other words, develop the ability to constantly acquire new and better forms of knowledge that you can use to your advantage at the war front. Your business can never go any higher than you think.
How strong is your business mind to meeting the ever-increasing business challenges that we see daily in the marketplace? For people to mind your business, you must learn how to use your mind in your business.
Engage the services of experts, whenever and wherever necessary. No one knows it all, or can do it alone in these days where specialisation is celebrated. And depending on the nature of your business you could also collaborate or form an alliance with great minds that you can leverage to be ahead of the game.
By machines, I am talking about the technological tools that you employ for war. It is a known fact that a fighter is not better than his tools; the level of his skills notwithstanding. Technology has become the major enabling force for business in the future, which has already begun.
Some time ago, I was watching a clip of World War I and II, and laughed. I saw the type of weapons the then world powers used compared to what is on the ground now.
Things are very different, and there has been tremendous technological advancement in every form. The same is true in business. Before now, a little or nothing is known about the Internet, not to talk of smartphones, AI, VR, AR, 3D Printing, Robotics, Blockchain, Nanotech, IoT, and the likes.
Today, the Internet especially is a strong tool to taking your business beyond borders and to your uttermost imagination, if you master how to use it. In other words, the Internet is the greatest tool for doing business in today’s world. As a matter of fact, you can’t succeed in business in this digital age without it. With it, scaling, marketing, and positioning your products or services have been simplified. Today’s business is driving on a no-limit fast lane. There is no limit except the ones we impose on our businesses.
The business war is serious; if you are not one step ahead of others technologically, you might soon be a step behind everyone else, and then suffer for it. Here’s my advice: always live in the future and innovate! Know when to use a particular tool and when to retool.
Innovation always requires a readiness to do something new, and even deploy a fresh strategy. Any new strategy could be a risk but it is a risk that is worth the gain. Anything new could be a distraction from the normal routine, and hence requires the commitment of some resources.
Always note that innovation should be measured by what they contribute to the market, I mean in the warzone. Engage that which would improve your outcome, no matter what it takes for you to have it.
In our bid to retool for this war, it is not going to be easy. It has not been easy for those who have won in the past, nor is it going to be easy for you and me.
One thing is very certain; victory is sure! And when we update our weaponry we aren’t just going to win but you will win big to the envy of the competition.
…To be continued
Tony Ajah is a Business Growth Strategist, and the author of BUSINESS SENSE, and ON BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR. He maintains a personal blog, www.tonyajah.com where he shares proven business ideas and principles for SMEs.