The Business Environment

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We explained and discussed, hopefully in details, “Business” in our maiden edition. I, however, discovered that the big question on the lips of many is “I need a business idea” and this goes to inform me that there is hardly ever a shortage of manpower, but of ideas to run with. However, this article will not focus on spoon-feeding anyone by offering “business ideas”; I believe there already exist many sites that do that; but the question I throw back is, “if serving ideas on a plate actually works so easily, why aren’t the effects being felt by now?”

I will offer an answer to that question: because people who “offer business ideas in good faith, do so the wrong way”.

Therefore, this article will rather focus on how to understand the nitty-gritty of developing a business idea and how to shape one’s flow of thoughts to not just come up with a common-place business idea, but a unique one, shaped and well-suited per individual.

The first smart thing to note before moving forward is that over and above asking what kind of business to do, the better question to ask is “what problems persist around me?” This is because a business that will thrive has to have its foundation in solving an existing problem.

I should also add that the very issue that is causing the major problem for the Nigerian economy is the same that favours the business environment in Nigeria – population! And this makes Nigeria, as a market, ripe for many businesses. But unfortunately, while Nigerians are busy chasing small candies offered by the international market, foreign businesses keep penetrating and thriving in our own land.

To have an understanding of business ideas and how to come up with a solid one, it is essential to delve a little deeper into the topic, hence the importance of understanding types of businesses.

Types of Business

Business can broadly be categorized into two: Goods (tangible) and Services (non-tangible).

  1. Goods: this is the physical aspect of business, also referred to as tangible, in the sense that it can be seen, felt and easily assessed. It involves items exchanging hands. Tangible businesses tend to be more common because of the low complexity. The most common aspect of tangible business is trading though the most important is the production of those goods to be traded.
  2. Services: this involves the non-tangible aspect of business where what is being offered is not physical and hence difficult to quantify. For instance, when you walk into an organization that offers services, you do not leave there bearing items purchased, but rather services rendered, e.g. customer care, marketing, delivery services, telecommunications, etc.

Some businesses however will have to combine both the tangible and intangible aspects of business e.g. hotels and telecommunications companies.

For instance, a musician is offering a non-tangible thing (music) to the listeners while the cd containing his songs is physical; the marketing process that gets the song to listeners also is non-tangible (it can’t be held, seen or felt; but it can be perceived and its impact will resonate on the particular song).

A prospective businessperson must therefore first identify existing problems, as stated above, then know which aspect of business (tangible or non-tangible) he has interest in (with regards to solving that problem), before further narrowing it down to get a particular idea he can run with; not forgetting to factor in financial buoyancy, which will, for instance, determine if one is strong enough to go into production. And for those who already have an idea they want to work with, they too must understand the business environment so as to know how to plan the business successfully.

Goods will always be needed, and services are here to stay – never going extinct. As a matter of fact, the world is tending more towards service provision.

 

**Speaking of manpower though, I discovered Nigeria has a big problem: everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, especially when jobs don’t seem forthcoming. The problem that then arises is that no one wants to serve for long, immediately he gets an employment letter, he starts thinking of how to exit! This isn’t fair on the employer and is damaging to the employee.

© 2018 Temitope Adelakun
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the writer, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

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