The 5 P’s of Business

By Sameer Ballim There are five primary aspects to the structure of a company which determine its longevity. Missing even one of these elements out of the thought process can have devastating consequences. Passion People tend to get emotional about their businesses, they almost assign them humanlike characteristics. It is similar to having a baby that you want the world to accept. This trait translates into all aspects of human psychology, if a particular subject is not one of your kid’s strong points you send them for tuition or extra classes to become better at it. Similarly the passion for your business should be helped by taking advice on how to unpack your passion more effectively. Changing the way you present your passion is key to business success, don’t become complacent with the way you currently do business, always look to make your business/product appealing at all times. Product The difference between a salesman and a conman is product. Product is the backbone of any organisation, everything else in the business uses product as the foundation for growing the business. Like all other divisions in a business keeping your product abreast of the times is probably the biggest challenge most businesses face. In my opinion every business should commit a percentage of their funds on an annual basis to gauging the effectiveness of their product. This can be done by conducting field research or competitor analysis studies. This changes the business method from being a reactive company to a proactive one, and it affords management the opportunity to put measures in place before it gets to crunch time. People The most valuable asset not stated on the balance sheet. In South Africa we are faced with a myriad Human Resource challenges, our labour laws are very focused in favour of the worker. Businesses see this as a barrier when employing someone or even in dealings with their current labour force. The way around this is simple in theory. However, from a practical standpoint there are a few creases that need to be ironed out. One of the key factors is the eradication of boundaries so that we change the scene from ‘us vs them’ to just ‘us’. If the company’s goals are set out and everyone is aware of the game plan it just makes the productivity of the company that much more. Promotion Promotion is basically getting your business or product to as many people as possible, it is based on the psychological theory of propinquity. (The propinquity effect is the tendency for people to form friendships or romantic relationships with those whom they encounter often, forming a bond between subject and friend.) Creating a brand has the same effect, which is why advertising and promotion is such an essential part of business. The more people see your product the more they become interested in what your product has to offer. The whole idea about promotion is to change the mind from ‘why’ to ‘why not’ for your target market. This can only be done when the product is on their mind, so that they look for it the next time they go out for shopping for whatever category your product is in. A bold strategy to start when promoting or advertising is to write down why someone won’t buy your product and then start eliminating all the variables, which leaves you with a product or service that changes from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’. Profit (If your conduct is determined solely by considerations of profit you will arouse great resentment) Confucius The profit of a business has been the barometer by which most businesses are gauged, but once the first four P’s are taken care of, the profit looks after itself. Too many times we just focus on the end result; however, we have to look at the fundamentals that determine the final outcomes of the business. The greatest achievement would be to create a great product, great place to work and ultimately a great profit. Always remember that big corporations started off with an idea, had it not been for a combination, the Apples and Virgins of the world might not have existed. Believe in your team and your product and you are bound to find someone else to believe in them as well. Sameer offers companies a fresh perspective on the way businesses are run along with a holistic look at the business to create a more employee and client-friendly work environment.