Here are a few sutras of Commerce & business.. Read on. These are some business views, which are useful for every entrapranuer.
Are you going to milk the cow or sell the cow?
If you had a cow, you should ask yourself a question. The first question is, would you like to keep the cow and earn out of the milk it produces over a period of time. The alternate question is, would you want to sell the cow and collect a good sum of money in a single instance.
If you would like to milk the cow, then the way you relate with the cow is entirely different. You feed it well, love it, make it a part of the family. Give a lovely name to it, relate with it. The cow gives you milk, and in our country, even the dung is an antispectic & that apart there is holiness associated with cow. It is a good feeling. In this instant, the cow would generate income for the family for a long period of time.
The other view could be to feed the cow with an intention to make it healthy and clean. Once the cow attains a particular size and age, it would be sold to another family or an entity which buys cows. In this instance you would be able to realise a good sum of money towards the sale.
Either of the method is fine, but you would need to identify which is your intention. If the intention is not clear, there is a confusion. If you have made the cow a member of the family, then you would have emotions associated with it. You will find it very difficult to sell it. The vice-versa is also true.
Similarly once you create a business enterprise, take a call. Are you building a business to get dividends every year, similar to getting milk from a cow. Or, is your business built up for sale or an exit route, similar to that of selling a cow.
The call needs to be taken by the promoters, you would need to take the direction sooner the better. If you associate too much love and emotion to the business, exit route can be difficult. Similarly if you are only creating a business with an exit model, living with it could be a burden. Make a choice, getting stuck up between either of the choices, can be difficult for you and for the business.
Is your business son ready?
There are global corporations which are family run business houses. Not that every corporate is a non-family enterprise. Many of the fortune 500 companies are family business too.
India is a nation of entraprenuers, and the more the merrier. Many establishments do not survive a generation. Those enterprises, which has a heir who loves the business strive, and such where the heir has not got heart in the business perish.
It is the duty of a parent not only to bring up the child, but also to make the business ‘child ready’. The family enterprise has to either get professionalised and should have an owner based management, or the other alternative is to continue the family entity through the legal succession. The latter is mostly true, though the desire would be drive it as a professionally run commerce house.
The time spent in the child’s education, growth, hobbies is most important in a parents mindshare. At the same time, to keep the business ‘child ready’ is also important. The parent could have a certain management style, but the son might not concur with the same. The parent could have certain business practices, but the daughter could be porne to disagreements in such an engagement.
Views could be similar or opposite, spending patterns could be diametrically opposite, working styles could differ, so on and so forth. The parent might have built a customer relationship through a religious festival, while the child might want to build a customer relationship through a social club. If 2 people in a business think exactly the same, then one is redundant. Is the parent open to different ideas too.
So when a parent builds a family business, he has to question himself “Is my business son ready?”. “Is my establishement daughter ready?”.
Readiness could be in terms of infrastructure, minor aspects like interiors, organisation culture, business policies, practices, competition analysis, customer engagements and the list go on till the cows reach home. Yet, the parent needs to think of a succession planning – a view of ‘let us see later’ seems to be a failure.
Be good is good, do good is better
There was a service organisation with 2 partners. One of them was a wonderful human being, a chaste person, noble soul, able mind and exceptional character. He was an epitome of ‘Be good’.
The other partner was also a good human being, He was an an example of ‘be good’, but was a pale comparision to the goodness of his first partner. Yet, he was always happier, more sought after, more of a contributor. The only difference was this partner apart from ‘be good’ was also ‘do good’.
Is your business in the space of ‘be good’ or is your business in the space of ‘do good’ from the customer perspective. For instance, a business is extremely introverted and concentrated on its character, its culture, its integrity and was a ‘be good business’. In the other stretch of the spectrum a similar business was also having a clean state, but did more good. It did relate with customers better, understood their needs, empathised with the employees, did their part of the CSR, and the list of ‘do good’ cannot end.
It is important to attain the status of a ‘be good’ business. Yet it is more sustainable model and a happy model to attain the status of a ‘do good’ model.
Be good is good, but do good is better.
So lets take a call if we would like to milk the cow or sell the cow. In the same breath lets do good than just be good. Lets build a business which is ‘son ready’ and survives generations to come.
Guru Prasad Makam