Continued from the last discussion with Tony Ajah…
The advancement in human activities has also affected the level of doing business all over the world. Here are three remaining areas that we must fortify ourselves to benefit from the gains that today’s business terrain brings.
When I say minute, I mean time. Time is your most precious resource in the war field. Every war takes place at a centre stage called time. It’s the same time that winners emerge that there are dozens of losers. The difference lies in their usage of time. That is to say, your success or failure is dependent on how you utilise your time; you don’t have eternity to fight a particular war. A wise man once said, ‘Each day has its duty don’t postpone it till tomorrow’.
The Law of Forced Efficiency says that there is never enough time to do everything, but there is enough time to do the most important thing. In business war-front, there’s no time for pleasantries – it’s either business or nothing. Learn to say no to an activity that takes much time from you and contributes so little.
Those who are masters of time are often masters of events that turn out with time. The indispensable key to time management is concentration i.e. the ability to focus single-mindedly on one thing, the most important thing, and to stay with it until it is completed.
Next to it, there is time to let things happen, and a time to make things happen as the war tempers. And you need the wisdom to differentiate between the two. This would enable you to respond appropriately to the situations as they come.
Money is a powerful force in business war. Those who have it have an advantage over those who don’t have it. Nothing lubricates your efforts like money or limits your efforts like lack of it. It takes money to go to war and win. Anybody who says otherwise doesn’t know the power of money, or is not at war.
Whenever I hear some folks say it doesn’t take money to run a business, it’s obvious that they don’t have it. Money is power, if not the most powerful weapon of war. Imagine an American at war without money – their power and influence in the polity of nations would drastically wane. In business, money gives you control to a reasonable extent. When you have it, you have options and can do amazing things that would keep you ahead of others. And above all, you’d have a very respected and audible voice.
Someone says that the golden rule literarily means that he who has the gold rules! The big question now is, how do I get this money? And my simple answer is: skilfully solve more problems in the marketplace!
It takes more than a man to fight a war and win. As you see the big picture and what you’d do to reach there, you would need others to help make your mental picture a reality. No organisation can do better than the people it has. In other words, no general can do better than his men.
People make the profit. People do the work that would keep customers coming. People use the weapons. People and not just machines or any other tools do the starting and the finishing! Sadly too, people ruin the business! People, people, people! And people here mean your men.
As the fighting or competitive war continues, it is wisdom to know the strength of your men. The most important thing about your squad is that each person and the assignment given to him or her fits well.
Accept responsibility for placements that did not deliver a maximum result, and remove those who do not perform. You either find a player for a position, or find a position for a player, if not fire him! There is no sentiment and there shouldn’t be; when it comes to business. Remember, this is war!
Don’t just have men, have a team with uncompromised team spirit. And I repeat, it must be a team, where everybody knows his or her role in achieving the core objective. John Maxwell once quipped, ‘Team working for a worthwhile vision makes it possible for common people to attain uncommon result’. Convert every number to a member who sees himself as part of the squad and the whole system. It will amaze you what they can make happen by seeing that they fit in perfectly.
As I conclude this piece of writing, I want to remark that simplicity is the highest form of sophistication, and the basis of simplification is to eliminate the needless. Never-ending sophistication is the basic requirement for being in charge in business now and afterward.
Every challenge or opposition has got a soft-spot. Begin from where you have the greatest strength to fight. Paul J. Meyer observed that ‘Ninety percent of all those who fail are not actually defeated; they simply quit’. That’s revealing. ‘Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can’. Those were the words of Arthur Ashe, an ace tennis player. Go ahead and make it happen. It’s a new business day!
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.