Rethinking Business Success from the Bible’s Perspective.
The series will focus on how Entrepreneurs and Business leaders can employ Bible principles to grow their businesses. We shall examine two commandments in this week’s article.
COMMANDMENT # 1
THOU SHALL DEVELOP A WINNING PRODUCT OR SERVICE.
“Some people say give the customers what they want, but that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, ‘If I’d ask customers what they wanted, they would’ve told me a faster horse.’ People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
– Steve Jobs, Co-founder, Apple
The essence of business is to solve problems for people. Uber is solving transportation problems. Airbnb is solving accommodation problems. Samsung is solving electronic and technology problems. If you desire to succeed in business and stay long in the game, you must develop the skill of identifying and solving problems. Tencent Holdings, a $650 billion Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Alphabet, Alibaba, Facebook, Amazon.com, Apple, etc. are all solving tech problems for the world and they are getting huge returns for their hard work.
In fact, someone said that money is the reward for solving problems, and that could not be further from the truth. It does not matter what kind of business you may be involved in; if you are not solving problems for the customer, it will just be a matter of time for you to be thrown out of business.
Wealth is created by solving problems. Often, people try to cheat and steal their way to wealth but there is a simpler way. That way is to solve problems for people. Men have many problems. Women have their own, and children are not left out of their own problems too. Old people have needs and young people also do. Both boys and girls do have problems as well. If you focus on creating a need to help any of these groups of people, you will never lack money.
In as much as solving problems is key to creating wealth, it does not happen automatically. You may be talented, but you need to learn how to convert your problem-solving ability into skills that can earn you income. There are too many talented and gifted people who have not yet mastered the act of converting their problem-solving skills into business. There is a time to do things for free, and there comes a time when you must learn to convert all your ‘free craft’ into a business that people can pay for.
As an entrepreneur, your success depends on your ability to translate your problem-solving abilities into an enterprise. You can do this by either integrating it into an existing service or making it stand out as a separate product or service on its own.
GOD WANTS TO BLESS THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS.
Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands so that you surely rejoice. – Deut. 16:15
Believers are expected to do more business because God has promised to bless whatever we do. This is good news! We cannot do less in business. We should establish more businesses. We can create technology businesses. We must create businesses in real estate, manufacturing, electronics and more! Why? Because God has promised to bless whatever we do! We have no option but to do more!
I, wisdom dwell with prudence and find out knowledge of witty inventions.” – Proverbs 8:12 KJV
Intricately connected to developing a winning product or service comes the idea of witty inventions. We must appreciate the fact that God can indeed give us an idea for a product or service which could lead to our breakthrough in business.
Can you imagine the joy and influence of the creators of the iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Uber, etc.? How about products like smartphones, video games, electric cars and the like? And other game-changing products and services that we have in the world today?
WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR HAND?
“Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’ ” So the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.” – Exodus 4:1,2 NKJV
Peter had in his hand the anointing to heal the sick. He had no money to give to the crippled man as indicated in Acts 3:6. Steve Jobs had Apple in his hand. Jeff Bezos had Amazon.com in his hand.
The problem is that too many of us discount what we have in our hands. You should invest your own resources into a business before you invite others to do so. In business, it is important to start with what you have before asking for more from either God or man. Everyone has something to offer the world.
Business is all about solving problems for the customer and so you should not discount what you have once it can make life better for the customer. There is something God has put inside you as a gift or talent that can be translated into a product or service to bless the world. Get this right about your products or services.
In developing products or services for your business, there are two things you need to take notice of:
1. The product or service must be something of value that meets people’s needs.
If you have a product that can meet the needs of the customer, you will be in business for good. Business thrives on meeting customer needs. In fact, as an entrepreneur, you must be asking questions about how best your products are helping customers.
Whatever you are offering customers must seek to meet a specific need. Your product or service must address a specific need in the market.
2. Your products or services must improve human lives.
Sometimes, the quest for financial success makes some entrepreneurs go to the extreme to develop products that do not solve the problems they claim or end up destroying the lives of the users. Human lives matter! Your products and services should not destroy human lives. This is unfortunate! It is worth noting that, in cases where products do not meet the communicated needs of the consumer, some companies have taken bold steps to withdraw such from the market.
COMMANDMENT # 2
THOU SHALL BUILD A KNOWLEDGE-DRIVEN BUSINESS
“You are your greatest investment. The more you store in that mind of yours, the more you enrich your experience, the more people you meet, the more books you read, and the more places you visit, the greater is that investment in all that you are. Everything that you add to your peace of mind, and to your outlook upon life, is added capital that no one but yourself can dissipate.”
–George Matthew Adam
The impact of knowledge on business cannot be overemphasized. That is the reason why serious organizations invest a lot in research and development. This principle applies to any kind of business, be it trade and manufacturing, telecoms, education, real estate and construction, etc. Lack of adequate knowledge about certain details of your business can make you lose money and opportunities. Ignorance is tantamount to darkness. The most dangerous thing about darkness is that it prevents you from seeing opportunities. The most successful companies in the world are constantly looking for ideas to develop new products and services. Indeed, it is their research and intelligence that sets them apart from the crowd.
Sony, for instance, invests a lot in research and development. They do this to satisfy their teeming consumers worldwide. In fact, there is a stipulated mandatory financial quota that goes into research. Interestingly, this has kept them at the top of their game as an electronics company. Arguably, Sony is one of the most innovative companies in the world today. Below is a statement from the R&D Center at Sony Corporation:
“The R&D Center is a research and development organization at Sony’s headquarters, which plays an innovative role to create KANDO and social values through technology and expertise. It is driving cutting-edge research and development in various locations around the globe, including the laboratories in Japan, the United States, Europe and Asia. We are striving to create new technology, products, and services while at the same time, sustaining Sony Group’s diverse businesses in electronics, entertainment, and financial fields.”
LET THERE BE LIGHT!
And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good…”
– Genesis 1:3 KJV
There are five areas of enlightenment that every business needs:
1. Product and Service Innovation.
Can you imagine how Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, Samsung, Boeing, Japan Motors and other multinational firms can successfully churn out new products if they were not constantly researching? That’s the power of intelligence in business.
2. Leadership Excellence.
Entrepreneurs who desire to lead their organizations successfully through any season must learn about the rudiments of organizations. Leading an organization is not the same as leading a family or a church. Every entrepreneur needs light in organizational leadership.
3. Financial Management.
Lack of wisdom in proper financial management has been the bane of several organizations. There are companies that make a lot of money but lack the needed financial wisdom in managing these financial resources. It is vital that entrepreneurs must take financial management very seriously if they intend to chalk continuous success with their organizations.
4. Human Resource Management.
People matter in business, and how you treat them will go a long way to determine the extent to which you will succeed. The success of Amazon, CNN, Facebook, Twitter, Tesla and Microsoft is based on the teams they work with. Honestly, as an entrepreneur, you cannot treat your team anyhow and expect to make strides in business.
5. Marketing and Sales
In business, it is never enough to have the best product; you must tell everyone about it. Even if everyone knows you as the best, you must still re-echo the message. The essence of marketing is to let the world be aware of the existence of your product or service. The better your appreciation of the concept of marketing, the better your results. Irrespective of the field of business you may be in, a strong knowledge of sales and marketing can make a great difference.
Entrepreneurs are expected to teach a culture of marketing within the rank and file of the organization.
Authors: NELSON SEMANU & ELIZABETH BOANDOH-KORKOR (CA) are Bestselling Authors, Entrepreneurs and Christian Business Coaches. They can be contacted on +233 549 762 233.