What is terrain in business?
The business terrain is the market where buyers and sellers of goods and services meet to carry out the buying and selling transactions. There is stiff competition among players as they strive to attract, serve, and retain customers.
The market is rapidly changing and becoming complex because of the impact of economic, competition, globalization, social, and government factors among others.
The market is increasingly becoming characterized by trade barriers and complex regulatory frameworks that make it expensive and challenging for players to operate.
It is therefore important for the players to appreciate the forces that shape the market when developing and implementing their business strategies.
The business plan, therefore, should be flexible enough to cope with changes in the market.
Are the rapid changes bad or good?
The changes in the business terrain or market are necessary for organizations to grow or move from their existing inadequate situation to a better future desired situation.
The changes are keeping business leaders awake in developing better ways of improving their products and services to meet the ever-changing needs of the customers.
It is also important to appreciate that changes may hurt people because of the stress they cause. Therefore, staff must have the capacity to manage change without causing so much stress on themselves.
What do you need to know to cope with changes in the business terrain?
Market players should remain focused on their core role of attracting, serving, and retaining customers. It is also important to appreciate the customers of today are well-informed and more demanding because of the information available to them.
The following are some ideas among others that players should consider when operating in an ever-changing market;
- Understanding the business terrain or market;
- Early adoption of technology;
- Appreciating changing social trends;
- The advent of the global village;
- Increased competition;
- Changes in laws and regulations and
- State of preparedness.
The above ideas are handled in more detail in the following paragraphs;
Understanding the business terrain or market
It is also important for players to appreciate their current business state and the risks they have to manage to move the business to the desired state. The knowledge will help players during the process of developing a strategy or game plan for competing in the market.
The success or failure of the players in the market will depend on their ability to appreciate the forces in the market and to develop an effective business plan that will give them a competitive advantage.
Early adoption of technology
Technology advances are the key driving force of change in the business terrain. Technology enables organizations to improve their capacity in the area of communication and business processes.
With technology, an organization can implement a well-organized information system and also keep abreast with business security challenges. Therefore, early adoption of technology will give management a competitive advantage.
Changing Social trends
Social trends are ideas originating from anywhere in the world that players in the market may consider important in making the world a better place to live in.
These ideas could be in the areas of lifestyles, attitudes, work-life balance, and consumer behavior among other things. These ideas are often easily adopted by some people hence impacting the habits of potential customers.
There is therefore a lot that is changing in the social trends that organizations have to consider when designing their business strategy. This is so because potential customers tend to follow and adopt some of the trending ideas in both local and foreign markets.
The advent of the global village
The world is becoming a global village because of the high level of advances in technology and interconnected networks that have enabled people and organizations in different parts of the world to keep in touch with each other.
As a result, foreign products and services are now readily available in our local market. The buying habits of the people and organizations in Uganda are also influenced by social trends anywhere in the world. This creates both import and export opportunities for a locally-based business.
As a result of the advent of the global village, there are quite many players in the market competing for a limited number of customers. This is further complicated by the market being more of a buyers’ market.
In this market, the buyers tend to have an upper hand in price negotiations because the supply of products and services far exceeds the demand.
Potential customers are increasingly becoming hard to please as they are considering other value addition ideas in addition to the price.
Change in laws and regulations
Business regulatory frameworks are being enhanced to encourage players to act more responsibly in the market.
For example, the consideration of new business projects has to comply with the environmental, social, and governance(ESG) criteria. Many countries have developed elaborate guidelines for attracting and helping foreign investors.
Complying with the laws and regulations in both the local and global market has both risk and cost implication that has to be taken into account when operating in the market.
The players in the market have therefore to be in a state of preparedness so that they can have the capacity to handle ever-changing conditions in business terrain. The business plans should also have some degree of flexibility to cope with the ever-changing business terrain.