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The Business DNA

The Business DNA

Just like human beings have specific DNAs unique to them, every business should have a DNA which manifests in ways that are unique to it. Sometimes we find it difficult to describe the DNA. You’ll find people saying things like, ‘I don’t know what it is, there is just something about….’ If the experience is a good one, they’ll say it with a smile. The DNA of a business is nottangible but manifests itself in everything they do or represent                                         .  Business-DNA_3.13

Entrepreneurs tend to think of business as a means to making money without paying attention to the DNA of the business. They think in numbers, transactions, bottom lines etc. It makes sense that they do; however, the business DNA is what ensures that the numbers come in, transactions increase and bottom lines improve over time. Creating the business DNA does not come cheap but it is worth all the time and money it takes.

What are the components of this DNA? First is the vision of the business. Businesses ought to start out with a vision which would help to shape the future they want to see. It would be a compass of sorts that helps to keep businesses on track as they attempt to survive very competitive and hostile business environments.

The CPPL Vision states ‘To be recognized as the best Customer-Centred, Value Creation Consulting firm in Africa by 2020. Being the best means providing quality consultancy services in the most cost efficient way. It also means enabling our clients grow shareholders’ value consistently’. CPPL is stating clearly what it wants to be in the future. It has gone a step further to describe its terms of reference, so that nobody judges their performance by alternative parameters. It is not ambiguous.

Another component of the business DNA would be the mission of the business. Every business is created to offer a product or service to a certain audience. In making this offer, the business is meeting a specific need to a specific audience. The mission statement is usually a statement that addresses what the business wants to accomplish in the lives of its customers.  The CPPL Mission Statement is ‘To operate Customer Passion Point as a dynamic African brand while focusing on excellent client relationships in every country and culture we operate in. We want to facilitate the development of leading African brands while creating exceptional value for all stakeholders’

It is common to find businesses inter changing the mission and vision statements. But they are different. The vision is a desired destination for the business while the mission is the desired destination for the customers in relating or dealing with the business. They are clearly different. Creating leading African brands is the goal for CPPL customers.

Yet another component of a business DNA is its values. Just like our personal values determine our choices no matter the circumstances, pressures or provocations, the values of a business determine how and with whom they do business.

There was a time in Nigeria when bankers were rumored to do all kinds of things just to get the customers in, keep their jobs, meet targets or get promotions. Entrepreneurs have to decide the values by which they will run their businesses. The value lines are very faint these days, entrepreneurs will have to draw them otherwise their business DNAs will not be strong enough to deliver good value over time.

What type of values are we talking about? Different organizations have different values by which they operate. CPPL values are

  • Integrity and honesty
  • Passion for our clients, their customers and our partners
  • Openness and respectfulness
  • Innovation and excellent implementation
  • Accountability to our clients, shareholders, partners and employees
  • Commitment to quality of service and lasting relationships

The important thing about these values is that customers and stakeholders recognize them when dealing with the businesses. They actually endear them to them. They make them comfortable while doing business with them. They make them come back to do more business.

For the entrepreneur or business owner, the vision, mission and values on which the business is created becomes that foundation on which it is built. The business is run based on the

  • Knowledge of what it will become in the future
  • Knowledge of what it wants to do for its customers
  • Knowledge of the values that drive it to deliver these results.

Without these, the DNA of the business is not well defined, it does not really exist. Under pressure, which is bound to come, it will lose perspective and eventually fizzle out.

The intangibility of the business DNA makes it a little intricate to create. It usually comes to those who actually think beyond money making to creating something special that requires special people to create and uphold. It requires time and intense thinking. It requires imagination. It requires thinking outside the box. It requires being able to put words to that dream. Unlike the customer who may not know how to describe what they experience, the business owner must articulate those thoughts to words, so everyone in the business can align themselves to it.

That is what makes the business DNA unique. It translates into every facet of the business-the people they hire, the quality of services they offer, the environment within the business, the courses they support, their physical structure as well as their operations. It is imperative for every business that wishes to survive to create one that it can live by.

Because there is a lot of literature on vision, mission and values, some companies tend to put up plaques at their entrances that state them. However, customer experience does not in any way align with what is written on the plaques. That means the business is not authentic.  Lack of authenticity to the communicated DNA is as good as not having one. Once a plaque is put up stating the vision, mission, and values of the business, it is suicidal for customers to come in and experience the contrary. Businesses must live up to their claims.

The DNA of the business is what entitles it to space in the business world. Lots of businesses fail because they did not take the time to create one. They lack essence and depth that comes from the DNA. They are simply means to an end rather that living entities. There is a huge difference between the two. Something the entrepreneur must think about as he or she steps into the world of business.

Chinwe Kalu

Value Creation Consultant

+234 803 201 2458

chinwe.kalu@cppl.com.ng

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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