To be Uploaded
In today’s business world I find that all big corporations want to hire MBAs from fancy business schools. These young executives command a high salary and come armed with a whole lot of modern techniques, analytical skills, elaborate business models and slick presentations. They are good at communication and at convincing their audience. They do complicated calculations on their computers with Excel sheets, prepare top-class presentations on PowerPoint, and project future sales, earnings, business growth and profit. Their facts and figures predict major success for the company via the use of a range of software programs that analyze and present data in a variety of positive ways.
Only a part of the whole picture
I am not against these young executives of the corporate world nor am I saying that this data crunching is not useful. But this is only a part of the whole picture. Business is done on the streets, in the outside world – not in conference rooms or on hi-tech computers and excel sheets. If their figures are to work they have to get their hands dirty. They have to go into the field and see the reality of the market, of the customers, of the investors, of the distribution channels. All these are factors that influence business.
Many of the factors that impact business are learnt the hard way, from experience. Look at me, I don’t have fancy degrees but I have succeeded because I have learnt business on the ground. I have taken risks which could have gone wrong. Some of my efforts did not succeed, some did. But every time I failed, I learnt something new and I moved forward. I learnt from my experience. And I calculated for the next time keeping my past experiences in mind.
In business 2 + 2 can be 6, 9, 13 or a big zero
Doing calculations on excel or something similar is easy – it is an academic activity. Here 2 + 2 will always be 4. But in the business world 2 + 2 can be 6 or 9 or 13 or 20 or it can be a big zero. It all depends on market conditions which are unpredictable. The government may fall, there may be floods or a riot or the stock market can crash because there is fallout in some other country.
All these factors affect how your business will perform. Excel sheets do not factor in these events but your experience, your instincts will give you a better and more accurate picture of future reality.
Experience vs. “beauty of your calculations”
It is not only market conditions that can influence your business. Your relationship with your customers, with your funding partners, with your investors and advisors, with the government will all have some effect on business performance. If the relationship is good, your business will do well. Similarly how satisfied and motivated your employees are will also have an effect on business. Your calculations may show that sales will be high, but if your sales force is demotivated or if there is a bad report about your company in the press or if there is a sudden political unrest, then your sales will suffer and your calculations will get thrown out of the window.
So before you start putting all your faith in the “beauty of your calculations”, build up your experience or talk to people with experience, keep all your stakeholders – internal and external – happy, network positively and believe me, you will be up and running.