“Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” – Mark 4:8
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness recently stated that “investment in the entrepreneurial spirit of Jamaicans will guarantee the country’s economic growth”.
The occasion was the official opening of ‘Empowerment Park’ established by Juici Patties at Clarendon Park in celebration of the company’s 35th anniversary this month. He went on to say: “We need more entrepreneurs. The countries that are going to grow rapidly in this era will be the countries that can create, innovate and add value. The critical element in that is the entrepreneur”.
There are many examples of entrepreneurs who have developed successful and sustainable businesses but what we want is more and more of them in every country of the world to stimulate national economic growth.
How do we build a sustainable business?
It is obviously not an easy task because we are faced with the statistic that only 10 percent of start-up businesses live beyond the first five years of operation. This statistic is a global average. Our challenge is to increase the chances of success of these start-up businesses. How do we do this? What can we learn from the structure of the human body which gives rise to the successful global average statistic pertaining to the human body which is that 95.4 percent of human beings survive the first five years of life. Can we map this onto the business structure?
The human body structure can be broken down into five systems namely: (1) Foundation – Skeletal and muscular; (2) Security – Skin/Hair/Nails and Immune/Lymphatic; (3) Life – Nervous, Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Endocrine; (4) Growth – Digestive and Urinary; and (5) Sustainability – Reproductive.
Using this structure and converting into business language we have the following systems: (1) Foundation – Corporate Governance; (2) Security – Investment Finance; (3) Life – Marketing; (4) Growth – Operations; and (5) Sustainability – Human Development.
Corporate Governance includes establishing a sound dialogue culture, introducing innovative “DNA of an elephant” products and services, being clear about the business model, articulating the mission clearly, establishing the organizational structure and performance monitoring systems.
Investment Finance focuses on selecting your sources of finance in support of the culture of starting small, doing it right, making a profit and then expanding.
Marketing begins with the understanding of your products and services and the preferred target markets and then combining these options in a marketing matrix. The mining of the marketing matrix coupled with optimal marketing strategies will then go a long way to generating sales from the customer base.
Operational efficiency turns sales into profits where profit is the measure of growth in the business.
Sustainability is about unlocking the human potential among your resource persons through mind-set, skill-set and cross cultural communication change and aiming for high quality standards, productivity and competitiveness.
In order to grow, a seed must be covered under the dirt and find its way to the light. Let us lay a sound foundation for our business, secure it with appropriate finance, give it life through a sound marketing strategy, grow it through high levels of operational efficiency, and sustain it by developing the human resources to the fullest.