The business sector/private sector is the most important sector in our life and it cuts across all sectors. Despite its importance, business education is not emphasized in the education systems of most African countries. Many parents keep their children away from business and money making until the children have completed school for fear of being spoilt. Extremely few parents would advise their children to take up a business career at the expense of academic career. Many of our university graduates are at home looking for employment instead of venturing into business This is so because business career is considered by our elite society as an area for academic failures. The following are my personal views on the importance of business and business education.
Can one live without being impacted by business?
It is impossible for one to insulate himself or herself from the impact of business. Business refers to buying and selling of goods and services at a profit or gain. It also covers the manufacture or processing of goods for sale. It covers the not-for –profit and government organizations. Governments of recent have started adopting many of the concepts practiced in the business world in order to achieve efficiency. Business has an impact on everyone irrespective of the career choice. You cannot avoid interacting on a daily basis with business men and women. Business knowledge is necessary if you have to get value for the money spent in acquiring goods and services.
Business knowledge enables us to see the bigger picture
With business knowledge, the farmers in the rural sector can for example start looking at animals on their farm like goats and cows in terms of quality of maximising realizable cash from the sale of the animals. With business education and knowledge, the farmers will start looking at the bigger picture of animals in terms of manure, milk, wool, meat and skin. They will improve the quality of animals with the aim of getting maximum return from them.
With business knowledge, the farmer also starts looking at crops like bananas not only in terms of food but also in terms of banana wine, banana juice, banana suckers, banana leaves and dry banana fiber. The farmers when armed with knowledge will package all the above for sale in order to get maximum return. With business knowledge the farmer will start practicing intercropping and mix farming in order to get maximum output from the piece of land. With animals and poultry on the farm, the farmer can now consider using the animals’ droppings as manure and for production of biogas for lighting and cooking.
People in employment
Armed with knowledge, people in employment can also consider starting businesses which do not conflict with the business of their employer.
Business Failures are attributed to lack of business knowledge
Many business failures especially in their first year of starting a business are attributed to lack of business knowledge by the business promoters. They lack the business oriented approach to life. They do not have the capacity to indentify business opportunities and to plan. Many of the business promoters tend to copy other people’s ideas instead of coming up with their own unique ideas. It is extremely difficult to succeed in business using somebody’s ideas and not yours. It impossible to succeed in business if you are not equipped with adequate knowledge of business.
Fear to venture into business
Many people cannot venture into business because they fear to start as they do not have adequate knowledge of business. The lack of knowledge makes many people believe that business sector is full of unscrupulous people who can do anything good or bad in order to make money. They keep away from business for fear to mix with unscrupulous people.
Enables understanding on how to grow income
Many people wonder how other people make money and become rich. Many would prefer to keep their savings in the bank other than investing it. They miss out on the time value of money and the impact of inflation. Business knowledge enables people to understand and appreciate the connection between income, expenditure and savings. The following famous income formula becomes clearer in the mind;
Income = expenditure + savings.
From the formula one can learn how to grow income. It is important to note that income can only grow if the income earner learns to live below the income. The expenditure has to be controlled in order to make savings to invest into profitable venture to produce more income.
Business knowledge enables proper planning
With business knowledge you will be in position to interpret income and expense statement, balance sheet, cashflow statement, business plans etc. The business knowledge makes it easy for one to come up with a working business plan and to engage the banks, professional advisors.
Businesses are important in our life as they supply us with goods and services. The lack of business knowledge is in a way the cause of poverty in Africa. Our farmers can only make money through business oriented type of farming. Our graduates from institutions of higher learning will stop looking at employment as the only option available to them .They can now venture into business.
Terry Mark is his quote recommends as follows;
“When you transfer knowledge to someone, you’re not giving them everything but rather a foundation to build upon and to make greater.”