Business, An Art of War: a business adaptation of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

The striking similarities between War and Business are exposed in this e-book by the business author, Airende Emiaghe. In this blog we will have a glimpse at the book through the first two chapters. If you find it interestin,g you may request for the whole book FREE by commenting or critiquing this first two chapters on the blog. This offer is for the first 50 persons.

CHAPTER ONE: PLANNING

Airende Emiaghe says:   Assuming business to be an art of war is vitally important for the success of any business concern.

Business is a matter of life and death, although very few people consider it to be so to their own undoing. It is a battle between servitude (paid employment) and freedom (entrepreneurship). Understanding and realizing it should be our topmost priority.

There are 5 factors to consider when making business decisions prior to setting up your business and whilst executing it;

(i) Moral Law   (ii) Heaven   (iii) Earth   (iv) The Commander   (iv) Method and Discipline

The Moral Law guides the morality of our choices and decisions in business.

Moral Law is the law of unity of purpose between the business man and his passion which becomes his business. Between indulging in business practices that weighs heavily on the pockets and on the conscience.

Heaven signifies economic conditions that are outside the control of the business owner.

Earth signifies economic conditions that the business has direct control of.

The Commander stands for the entrepreneur, his personality, and the character traits that he needs to work on to make the business successful ex. Perseverance, doggedness, innovation, service delivery, persuasiveness.

Method and Discipline translate to the “hows and whys” to manage the company’s resources and channel them in the most productive manner.

These five factors should be known by every entrepreneur. Anyone who knows and practices them will be successful. Any business man who doesn’t practice them will end up a figure in the statistics.

Before venturing into a new business or striking business alliances, or introducing to the market a new product cooked up in Research and Development or innovation thought up by the sales department, the above five factors must be

(i) Which of the two businesses should I engage in? Which will be more profitable     and/or satisfying.

(ii)        Which of these persons do I recruit to execute the business? Which of the products is more captivating and has a self-advertisement campaign? Which have the brilliance coupled with the ruthless streak? Which is more distinctive?

(iii)       Which of the businesses are favored by present economic variables?

(iv)       Which of the companies’ workforce show more discipline and expertise? (For business alliances.)

(v)        Which of the workforce is more productive? (Which of the products is more profitable that is cheaper to produce or can be sold more expensively or even both?)

(vi)       Which of the companies invest more in man-power development? (Which of the products need little input in terms of maintenance.)

(vii)      Which of the companies show commitment to staff welfare, reward and punishment? (Which of the products has now benefits to the users.)

By the above one can predict conveniently which business, company or product will do best.

Any CEO that will read and act upon the words in this book, or show signs of knowing and executing this knowledge, no matter how difficult, will succeed. The one that doesn’t but laughs it to scorn is bound to fail and shouldn’t be employed or if already in employment should be sacked.

However this book is not cast in stone in its infinitesimal knowledge but regards should be taken to make adjustment as obtained in your operating business environment when you eventually start the business.

The plans and guidelines contained herein can therefore be tweaked.

All business is based on deception. Be prepared to be conned and to con.

Understand that companies cook up their books in management accounting to two ends; (i) to reduce their profit so as not pay out huge dividends and taxes. And (ii) they do so to improve their business financials when the company is unprofitable.

Give out gifts, discounts, and little perks to customers to entice them. When you finally lock them in make them pay for all the freebies.

If your prospect is satisfied wherever he may be doing business now be prepared for the opportunity to jump in at the slightest dissatisfaction. If he’s too demanding and presently too burdensome for your small company, evade him!

If your competitors are easily moved to anger and of a hasty, thoughtless spirit, seek to irritate them and get them to make the first usually irrational attack. You should then capitalize on that.

If your prospect is taking too long a time making a decision to join your customers base, do not relent, keep perturbing him at every turn. If the decision maker is a body, you may need to separate them and approach them individually for effectiveness.

Offer services that the customer never thought he needed. Be the square peg in a square hole he never thought existed in his business life.

It, of course, would be useless if you plans are visible to everyone. They are cards you must hold to your chest.

A winning CEO makes, remakes, adjusts and discards a lot of plans and projections. A losing CEO makes, remakes, adjusts and discards few plans and projections. He who has not planned, has inadvertently planned to fail.

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CHAPTER TWO: FACING NEW CHALLENGES

In making a budget before venturing into a business, financial involvement should be appended to each GL head, no matter how little, and it should be known that these costs will always amount to something substantial. Have a financial overview and estimate of the business.

In business, if break-even is a long time in coming then the CEO and staff get demotivated. Do not undertake a business project that is very huge compared to your resources and takes a long time to break-even. It will be resources-consuming.

If your business takes a long time in breaking even it will stress your budgeted resources.

When you are demotivated and your resources have greatly depleted or is petering out, it is a delicate point because you have opened yourself, your business and your best hands to poaching and even complete takeover.

Although, it is not good to expect quick results, as what is good takes time, but business intelligence entails having a realistic time frame. Successful business are not synonymous with a long time frame.

No business has been known to have profited from taking a long time to break even.

It is only a CEO who has been an understudy to another CEO, and has seen and known business intricacies that will have the capacity to successfully steer his business ship.

A good CEO does not do supplementary budgeting nor seek additional funds after his previous financial outlay. He gets it right the first time.

Raise start-up capital from outside but know that the business sustenance should be derived from within the business. Let the business, through the customers, pay the bills.

Always drawing funds from your personal savings into the business impoverishes you and it is not healthy for the business’ prospects.

When two competing companies are close together, it may cause prices of their products to go down; customers benefit. The companies suffer. Staff suffer.

If the companies kill themselves off, staff are thrown into the labor market. Everyone suffers. The business owners, staff, people in the environs, the country’s GDP, people seeking for jobs.

When businesses in an area collapse, the people benefiting either directly or indirectly lose a significant part of their disposable income depending on their level of dependence on the business and the coverage of the now collapsed businesses. The people suffer in the long run when the company folds and subsisting business activities grind to a halt or, at best, slows down.

The government will need to spend more in taking care of these now incapacitated people through welfare schemes, higher crime cases, higher healthcare contributions etc.

A good CEO makes it compulsory and a point of duty that the customers pay the company’s bills and not the other way round. A financial input from the former is equivalent to twenty from your personal resources.

To get and keep customers and to outsmart the competition, your staff should be highly trained and motivated. They must have genuine passion for the job and this is sustained by rewarding successes.

So using marketing as a case study, when customers are acquired, note should be taken of staff who converted prospects to customers and there should be a benchmark for rewarding them. Acquired clients must be fully integrated into your business patterns and compelled to market for you.

This is called referral marketing.

In business let your primary objective be profit-making and this is achievable through excellent service delivery, innovation and value-added product offering.

A CEO holds the fate and livelihood of a lot of people in his hands. Both your staff and their families and their friends. It is a chain reaction which could even include other businesses that feed off your own.

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One thought on “Business, An Art of War: a business adaptation of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

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