ABCD is the English alphabets necessary for the study of the English language. It is fundamental without which the spoken and written English is not possible. In business sense, I have used the ABCD to represent the fundamentals which an entity cannot be classified as a business. The essence of this article is to look into those fundamentals before, during and post covid-19 era. ABCD numerically represents 1234.
I have drawn this ABCD 1234 analogy to demonstrate a conceptual framework of model that humanity will have to contend with in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This pandemic has changed the way business will be conducted. New theories of business will be developed and/or developed to guide the practical operations of businesses in the global scheme of business affairs.
While the developed countries remain ahead of new ways of doing business, the pandemic presents an opportunity for developing countries to also quickly modify its business practices so as to compete in the new global business phenomenon. The best development approach as always is to look inward before outward. More than before, the priority of production of goods and services (particularly food and healthcare) will be to serve the immediate market needs before the external market can be considered.
In the Addy’s conceptual framework below, I am applying an existing theory of business to the new ways of doing business to maximise return-on-investment by adequately servicing the needs of customers.
ADDY’S CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF ABCD BUSINESS NUGGETS: Before, During and Post Covid-19 Era
For longevity and profitability of business, it must go through the Addy Conceptual Framework where column A represents the ABCD stage which is interpreted in column B as the idea stage, planning stage, implementation stage and continuous improvement stage. Column C represents before, during and post Covid-19 era of doing business.
- The idea stage
At this stage, the business idea lingers in the mind of the dreamer. The true test of a business idea is when it is put into practice. The idea stage is the first stage of any business. At this stage it is called a dream because it is not tangible. The business idea comes in many forms including the need of the environment, inspired from a conversation, a course of study in school, a frequent request made by people, a talent and a family practice.
The idea stage doesn’t mean so much but without it there you can’t move to the second stage. The manifestation of the second stage is as a result of the first stage. It is better to be harnessing a dream for the future than not having one. Having a business dream gives life. It gives you hope to live. It also guides your steps and always put you on preparation for the actualisation of the dream.
- The planning stage
This is an important stage in the life of the prospective business. At this stage, the prospective business is put into from the dream to the first stage of reality. The ability to put a dream into writing is the first step to giving life the business dream.
In writing, you get to rethink into it and develop it. It must be sequential and logical. It is not appropriate to have the business planning in the mind of the dreamer. It is advisable to keep some secrets of trade from others who may steal your ideas but that do not mean that the whole business plan be kept in the head of the dreamer.
To a large extent, this stage determines the future of the business. This stage among other things includes a feasibility study and the registration of the business into a legal entity.
- Feasibility study – this means that the business is subject to research to ascertain its viability. Depending on the size of the anticipated business, you may hire a business consultant to undertake the feasibility but if it is a small business and the cost paying for a feasibility study will absorb the capital investment of the business, then one can consider doing its own feasibility study. The gut feeling works but a feasibility study helps to give clarity to the business plan. Depending on the nature of the intended business, feasibility study may consider financial feasibility, market feasibility and operational feasibility (location of the business, human and material resources, etc.).
- Registration – this involves the incorporation of the business as a legal entity. But before registration, the idea stage should have been crystallised. Basic information such as the business name, business address, nature of business, type of registration (sole proprietorship, partnership, etc.) The name of a business is very important to the extent that it must be easily mentioned.
- Post registration requirement is the opening of a bank account.
- The implementation stage
Having successfully completed stage 2, you move to the implementation stage which is the actualisation of the business which also means giving life to the business by bringing it to reality. Sometimes at the implementation stage, some things may differ from what was planned. Howbeit, whatever will be implemented should inure to the benefit of the business.
The implementation stage will involve space, human resources, material resources, taxation, operating capital, market and customer satisfaction.
- Space – this is the physical space within which the business operations will take place. This means that depending on the nature of business and the required space needed for smooth operation. Space must be conducive enough to ensure smooth movement of human and goods with cognisance to organisational health and safety.
- Human resources – this is the human requirement needs for the smooth operations of the business. Great Economists like Adam Smith propounded that human resource is the biggest capital requirement of any business. While some skills will be readily available, other may be required to be trained.
- Material resources – this are the raw materials needed for the operations of the business. Proximity to the source of raw materials is important. Also the cost of raw materials will determine the cost of the final product. Simply put, selling price minus cost of production is equal to profit. Therefore to be competitive, it means you have to produce quality product at a lower cost. Consistency of production is determined by the consistent availability of raw materials.
- Taxation – governments rely on taxes to develop the country through the provision of infrastructure needs. Failure to pay tax is tantamount to crime punishable by law for a fine and/or imprisonment.
- Operating capital – business overheads ought to be taken to care before the business start to make profit. Operating capital are necessary for daily operational activities of the business. This can be factored into the investment capital of the business.
- Market – these is necessary to determine the consumption of the business product. Sometimes there maybe a ready market and at other times the business would have to create its own market. Taking a market share of an already competitive market is an arduous task for many businesses. Careful market feasibility should be undertaken before the start of the business. Gut feeling will not always be enough.
- Customer satisfaction – business is good when its products or services meet customer satisfaction. It is exceptionally good when it exceeds customer expectation. In all your business efforts, strive to meet your customers satisfaction and you can be guaranteed of a returned business.