Business and People: Why Relationships are Necessary for a Successful Business

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By: Site Engineer, Staff

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It is very important you have some knowledge about the people and institutions you will have to deal with. These people are your customers, suppliers, employees, wholesalers, retailers and the entire community in which you live. The institutions you may have to deal with as an entrepreneur includes research institutes, training and consultancy institutions, voluntary organizations such as Nongovernmental Organizations, World Bank and so on.

In this aspect, you will be exploring and trying to understand the kinds of values, attitudes, and orientations you may need to acquire in order to relate to these people and institutions. In other words, you will need to develop a public relations orientation that will help your business. Some of these values are honesty, dependability, and trustworthiness.

1. Customers

2. Suppliers

  • Honesty
  • Prompt notification of any problems
  • Clear specification of good to be supplied
  • On the spot inspection of goods or services supplied/render

3. Banks and Financial Institutions

  • Honesty
  • Dependability
  • Trustworthiness
  • Demonstration of good loan repayment behavior
  • Good understanding of the need for credit
  • Good utilization of credit
  • Good records
  • Willingness to accept regular visits by bank officials

4. Employees

  • Job Specification
  • Letter of appointment
  • Training in dealing with customers, suppliers, and banks
  • Conditions of service
  • Good examples

5. Government (Federal, State, and Local)

  • Awareness of government regulation and policies by reading journals and newspapers
  • Regular and prompt payment of tax
  • Participation in Trade Affairs
  • Membership in reputable Trade Associations (MAN, ICAN NABE etc)

A checklist of what makes a good customer for your own goods and services

  • People who buy regularly from us
  • People who buy at the right price
  • People who buy sufficient quantity from us
  • People who provide good feedback to us about our service in a constructive fashion whether good or bad
  • People who recommend us to others.
  • People who pay promptly
  • People who complain very little
  • People who are not situated too far away from us
  • People who are not erratic in their behavior
  • People who are honest
  • People who have a regular source of income
  • If they are the businesses we supply, that they are well managed and healthy
  • If they are new businesses that are growing that they themselves have good products
  • They are people who are friendly, approachable and whom we get along well with
  • They are people who understand any difficulties we may have and are willing to help

These factors are probably the things that those who supply to looking for. It is important; therefore that we project the right kind of image for our suppliers because they will probably be more helpful towards us.

A checklist of those things that guide us in taking a decision to buy something from one person as opposed to another

  • Reasonable price
  • Good quality
  • Regular supply
  • Friendly service
  • Honesty
  • Presentable appearance
  • Cleanliness and tidiness
  • Flexibility
  • Credit
  • People who have good advice
  • People who tell us clearly when they have problems
  • People who help us in an emergency
  • People who have a wider range of service to meet all our needs.

A Checklist on those crucial factors that bankers or credit officers consider

  • Whether the credit officers know anything about their past history or not.
  • Whether the idea is a good one and they can provide evidence that it will work.
  • That the money they ask for has been reasonably worked out in total amount and the credit officer can see this reasoning behind this.
  • That they can demonstrate to the credit officer when they will generate enough from their business to repay the loan.
  • That they will demonstrate to the credit officer when they will be able to pay their loans in what kind of installments and over what period.
  • What exactly are they going to use the money for (what will they purchase with it?).
  • Is the purchase necessary for them to pursue their business successfully?

A checklist of those factors which prevent a customer from buying from a new supplier of goods and services:

  • We do not know him
  • We do not know whether he is honest
  • We do not have experience of his product or services before
  • We do not know whether he can provide goods to the kind of quality that we want
  • We are unfamiliar with the prices he is charging
  • We have not heard of him and are ignorant of what he supplies
  • Looks untidy and dirty
  • Has not had much experience

Local Support Institutions and Agencies

Research Institutes

  • Nigerian Horticultural Research Institute Idi-lshin Lagos.
  • Nigerian Cereals Research Institute Moor Plantation, Ibadan.
  • Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan.
  • Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria Onigambari, Ibadan.
  • Leather Research Institute of Nigeria, Zaria.
  • Institute of Agricultural Research, ABU Zaria.
  • Nigeria Institute of Trypanosomiasis Research, Kaduna.
  • National Animal Production Research Institute Shika, Zaria.
  • Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria, Benin.
  • Nigerian Institute of Oil Palm Research Institute, Benin.
  • National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom Plateau State.
  • National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike Umuahia.
  • Kainji Lake Research Institute, New Busa.
  • International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.
  • Project Development Agency (PRODA), Enugu.
  • Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute, Yaba, Lagos.
  • Oceanography and Marine Research, Victoria Island, Lagos.
  • Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, Lagos.
  • National Institute for Medical Research Yaba, Lagos.
  • Nigerian Building and Road research Ikoyi, Lagos.
  • National Institute for Industrial Property, Lagos.
  • Nigerian Institute for Social And Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan.
  • African Regional Centre for Engineering Design and Manufacturing, Ibadan.

 

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