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The all encompassing phrase above has been so boxed into a corner that we fail to understand that the meaning is all encompassing and covers every aspect of life and not family or procreation alone. Every business owner is a creator and invariably takes the position of a mini god where the business is concerned while the business is a seed that was sown with the concept of an idea. The role of the business owner from the idea stage to the actualization and growth of the business is never ending and therefore they must watch over that which they have created and make sure that they yield good fruit and multiply to the level where the business becomes an entity of its own and becomes interdependent been able to weather the storm and survive its owner. To achieve these, the owner must actually go through a number of stages all of which are important for the business to outlive the owner. These stages are; idea generation, planning, conceptualization or starting, nurturing, harvesting and succession. The brain is a commodity used to fertilize ideas. ~Elbert Hubbard. All mankind was born with a functioning brain therefore we can generate ideas that can be of use to our wellbeing in a positive way. There are good and bad ideas but in business the stage at which you bring into the open that exceptional thing that has be lurking in your subconscious and turning it into a money making business is the stage when you have actually created something. It is essential that as a potential entrepreneur the idea should be talked about with the people around you that can properly critic it and give their candid input. The ability to pick out the good suggestions and input from people you have spoken to and to constructively make use of it will also speak of how well the chosen idea or business can grow. The concept of idea generation is known as design ideation. Design ideation can be seen as a matter of generating, developing and communicating ideas, where ¶idea· is understood as a basic element of thought that can be either visual, concrete or abstract. As such it is an essential part of the design process, both in education and practice (Broadbent, in Fowles, 1979:15). In the generation of an idea which would become a money making business the following questions must be properly answered, 1. What problem will your idea be solving? Is the idea putting out a fire, solving a burning need or making the life of your prospective client/customer easier or better?
2. What value is the idea adding to the society, your clients, and employees? Can the value be quantified in terms of time, cost and speed and will it make the world a better place? 3. Who is your competition and at what level will you be competing? There is no great ideas without a competition, so know who they are, study them and learn from them. The answers to the three questions above will go a long way in validating your ideas and aid decision making. With the answers you can decide if you want to go ahead and the next step will be to make plans that are feasible and can be met. At the planning stage the creator draws a blue print or map of the business which give an estimated performance of the business he has created. The plan will show how the business will be able to achieve fruitfulness and how it will undergo the process of multiplication. The usefulness of a map is determined by how well it was constructed and understood by the reader. This is also true for the business plan in that if the plan is not properly drawn out the possibility for the readers to properly understand and make proper use of it becomes remote. Therefore the need to properly show the direction and timeline for meeting each goal must be properly stated. The planning stage for each business can be done in different stages that must cover the following areas; statement of goals and vision, the service or products, who are the target group and where is the market?, what financing is needed for starting and how will it be accessed?, making a manageable forecast of sales and expenses, who are your employees and how will they be reached, and outlining the strategies that would be used to achieve success. All this could be captured in the ¶idea· business plan that helps determine whether or not the business will be worthwhile and it can also be used to recruit people that can buy into the idea. In many cases the finished plan is not in itself the most valuable part (although it is evidence of the process). It is the process the business owner goes through that is of value. y y By writing down the business concept, it becomes a more concrete goal. By examining the market and identifying a target group, the potential customer becomes more real to the business owner, and therefore easier to target sales and marketing messages. y By forecasting sales and expenses, the business owner has a specific number of sales to aim for.
By deciding first their goals, then the strategies and tasks they will use to achieve their goals, the business owner is consciously making decisions that become planted in subconscious and conscious thoughts, helping them to stay on track.
The primary purpose of your business is to serve your life « in order to grow a business that will serve your life; you need to work ON your business, not simply IN it. Business plans are useful for focus and direction, if only as a tangible product of the discipline of the planning process. Those who take time to plan their business benefits by gaining a deep understanding and commitment to the business goals and direction, as well as having a plan on paper to act as a guide. I like the word of an advert which says ´go start somethingµ because the most essential part of the business is not the actual planning but the conceptualization of the plan to bring to life the idea that has been generated. It is at this stage that a lot of business owners falter for they forget to make use of that map that uniquely shows the territory for which the business will cover during the short and long term and to see if they are moving in the right direction or if they have taken the wrong turn. When conceptualizing a business, it all starts with a plan. And in any business plan, there are only about three important things to consider. These conceptual ideas can help you jumpstart the initial foundation of the business that, when implemented and successfully carried out will yield good business fruit later. Every entrepreneur must realize that decisions made will affect the life the people around them at all times. Therefore the effect of the business on the family should also be considered when planning and should be factored into the planning and conceptualization process. It is necessary to determine the degree to which the start of a business will affect the family and dependent and their standard of living. The future effect should also be considered and must play an important role in final decision making. Beyond the conceptualization of a business plan and getting the ball rolling, there are a lot of other aspects of the business that comes into play; employees and their salaries, the company·s account and bills to pay. It is the responsibility of the entrepreneur to monitor each stage of the business and nurture it like one would a child or a plant for it to grow confidently and become stable and strong to the level where it will not be shaken by whatever storm comes its way but can adapt and make good use of every situation. The ability for the entrepreneur to continue to keep the business organized and accurate enforces a foundation and strength that prevents the business from
collapsing after a few years. At this stage the entrepreneur needs to map out training and learning phases for him and the staff that will add to the overall success of the business. As people play a major role in the business this stage of nurturing will also include the staff, the entrepreneur should endeavor to know his employees; their strengths and weaknesses and personal life to a certain extent as this will also have an effect on job output of each employee. It must be understood that like life the business will have periods of drought and plans for irrigation and proper cultivation to facilitate growth have to be considered. The operation of the business is time consuming and requires dedication from all the staff as well as effective pruning. The pruning stage in any business is the practice of cutting away all unwanted, unnecessary, or undesirable part of the business after a period of achieved growth. Pruning can also be used to remove strategies that might have seemed feasible but at the end will contribute to the downturn of the business, to influence vertical or lateral growth for various reasons, and to increase fruitfulness and growth. It also determines branch structure and how they are attached to each other in the running of the business. After proper planning and pruning the time comes to harvest the result of hard work that has been put into the running of the business and to make good use of the market niche that has been carved out for the business. The result of dedication and hard work results in loyalty of staff and clients to the business which can eventually be built upon. At this stage one also needs to determine if there is a need to conquer new territories and if the plan needs to be reviewed. The level of success after each year gives the business more ground to operate and to spread its wings. However remember that it is from the harvest that the seed for the next planting stage is set aside, and the level of growth is determined by the plans made at this stage, known as the succession planning. Succession planning is a process where an organization ensures that employees are recruited and developed to fill each key role within the company. Through the succession planning process, the company recruits superior employees, develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities, and prepare them for advancement or promotion into ever more challenging roles. It also aids in retaining superior employees because they appreciate the time, attention, and development that you are investing in them. Identification of the long term goals of the business aids the effectiveness of the succession planning for every business. This also involves identification and understanding of the developmental needs of each employee and how well they can be motivated to give them an understanding of their career paths and as well as the roles they are been developed to fill.
Remember also that for the company to grow, it must continue to focus some of its resources on key employees that can be retained, and this is helped with the understanding of employment trends to know the roles you will have a difficult time filling externally. All businesses must be given the opportunity to outlive the owner of the idea and continue to grow long after he is gone or has retired from the business. The idea that a member of the family will take over the business must not play a major role in future planning as this might result in the death of the business. Therefore in as much as the owner wants his son or daughter to continue with the business the thought that this might not happen must also be factored into the succession plans of the business. This way the continuity of the business can be effectively assured and the continued achievement for the family certain. Finally, we should all remember that like the creator of mankind, the business owner has created the business and must also watch out for it and its growth and success. All plans for it to succeed must be implemented and reviewed regularly for an effective growth. Only with this will the business grow, bring forth good fruit and multiply. Multiplication invariably means expansion and the creation of new ideas to help the business grow, having new offices, branches, services, products or franchises. The rate of success as measured by the entrepreneur should cover the effect on the society, its people and the size of the business. Been fruitful and multiplying actually involves hard and strenuous work whether it as a service provider, manufacturing and production, or otherwise the work put into the business determines the level of fruitfulness and how well we multiply.