04Dec2014

Scarce Resources for Sustainable Profitable Growth

Scarce Resources in general is a result of demand exceeding supply. It was quite enlightening to me, as I recently read a book on economics, that this condition is the source of any business activity. Scarcity breeds businesses and drives progress of our civilisation.
What about competing businesses? The ONLY differentiator between competing businesses is the efficiency of the usage of these scarce resources.
1.        Relevant products and services (including the raw materials)
2.        Leadership bandwidth
3.        Right employees
4.        Willing customers/clients
5.        Knowhow both tacit and explicit
6.        Time to implement an idea
7.        Investors for finance
8.        Partnering vendors
9.        Office and production facilities
10.    Cooperative society
I have further explained each of these scarce resources and identified the key question as well as a rhythm to ask this question.
1. Relevant products and services (including the raw materials)
The most important scarce resource for a business is the availability of appropriate and relevant products and services to meet or fulfil a need, both explicitly stated and implicitly prevalent.
Key Question: Value Innovation?
Rhythm: Once in 3Y
2. Leadership bandwidth
The leadership bandwidth is a very common scarce resource for a business, especially due to us human beings commonly not being able to generate time for the important but generally not urgent tasks.
Key Question: Focus Areas - Maximum 5?
Rhythm: Annual
3. Right employees
I'm sure getting the right employees on board is a humongous challenge for any business due to the gap between what the organisation can offer and what the employee expects and inversely what the organisation expects and the employee can offer.
Key Question: Passionate and Enthused?
Rhythm: Quarterly
4. Willing customers/clients
It is quite obvious that willing customers and clients who are ready to use the products and services is always a major scarce resource irrespective of the life-cycle of an organisation, be it a start-up or a fully matured organisation in its milking stage.
Key Question: Value Perception?
Rhythm: Monthly
5. Knowhow both tacit and explicit
Knowhow of products, services, processes and practices is one of the key scarce resources which many a times is not very explicit, especially because of the gap between knowing and doing - we quite regularly believe knowing without doing and thus base our decision or inaccurate knowledge.
Key Question: Repeat Failures?
Rhythm: Monthly
6. Time to implement an idea
Time necessary to implement any new idea or change of course is a very scarce resource, especially to stay ahead of the competition.
Key Question: Waiting Time?
Rhythm: Monthly
7. Investors for finance
As we all know if we pull up all the available finance in our society, finance should not really be a scarce resource at all. However finance becomes a perennial scarce resource, since finding those investors who are interested in the respective business and are prepared to lend at affordable interest rates is quite a challenge.
Key Question: ROI?
Rhythm: Monthly
8. Partnering vendors
One generally feels that buying something what we need either as direct materials, indirect raw materials or knowhow is not very difficult as long as we have the necessary finance. Feeling and reality being different, it is really quite a challenge to find abundance of vendors who are proactively interested in partnering for a long-term win-win relationship.
Key Question: Reliability and Dependability?
Rhythm: Monthly
9. Office and production facilities
Finding an appropriate and affordable space for office and production facility is equally a challenge and therefore is also a scarce resource for business.
Key Question: Utilisation?
Rhythm: Monthly
10. Cooperative society
Finally, when one wants to achieve sustainable profitable growth it is primordial that inclusive growth becomes the DNA of the business and this can only be achieved with the cooperative society that on the one hand can understand the risks associated with the business and can on the other hand equally appreciate the progress that can be achieved through the respective business.
Key Question: Media Noise?
Rhythm: Monthly
In conclusion I realised that our thinking and actions will become totally different the moment we perceive these 10 business requirements as scarce resources and closely monitor the efficiency of their usage, both objectively and subjectively, and gradually improve to achieve Sustainable Profitable Growth and contribute to the progress of our society.