The date of establishment and the age of a business are different subjects! – Part 1

It has always been important for a business not to get old. The business that got old leaves the stage to younger and dynamic competitors on the long run. In business environments as Kosovo, it is not easy to define which business has got old since the wealth acquired during “good old days” sets an invisible curtain for seeing the fact. It stands as a kind of make-up, the stagnant (unproductive) capital buried into the business or the unrelated business income of the owner.

In fact, being hit by the pandemics and the continuing economic crisis has imposed fast changes in the social and economic life and this process brings up staying young (or even becoming younger) for businesses. It is required the virtues of juvenescence like the perspective of excitement, agility and being free from of prejudice.

In this regard, it is worth to mention that there is no direct link between the time has passed from the establishment of a business and its age. It simply means that a business that was established 150 years ago can very well be defined as young. If that is the case, how can we seize that a business is young? Or in reverse it is old. This is hidden in the business management factors of any company, and it is given below under sub-titles.

The age of the business is directly linked to the age of the owner but not to the physical age. It is more related to the age of her/his entrepreneurship spirit since the most important aspect of the owner for any business is the spirit of entrepreneurship. There are no opportunities in the old routines anymore. The owner is required to take opportunities out of the market, competition, technology, etc. The owner should have kept fit enough to stay opportunist for any opportunity to be seen. It is mandatory for an owner to follow up changes in the world, market, customers and competition. The main obstacle for the owner in this regard is the “learned helplessness” by the long past time. The common examples of this situation can be found in the sentences of the owner like: “We already tried/know it before. No need to do it!”. Youth is the freedom of making mistakes as long as you take lessons from the past failures. It keeps the business alive and young.

Managers and the human resources
It is the wealth of a business, the managers and the staff that has been brought out from the establishment of the company. But it is required to co-improve the business and this human resources simultaneously. The needs of the business at the beginning and after 20 years may be totally different. This difference may arise either from the size of the business or from the change in the environmental factors or both. There is the need of change in the skills of the managers and the management system for any businesses resilience. It is the typical indicator of getting old for a business, after getting grown for some time, if it is still the most important factor for any manager to be “reliable”. It is clear that for some business failures the root cause is directly linked to the human resources that has got old.

Products and services
The world is spinning faster ever, and this speed makes sudden and unpredictable changes in the necessities and expectations of the customers. By its nature the life cycle of any product/service has been shortened. In order to keep up with the competition in the market, it is mandatory to improve/change products/services in relation to the changes in the customer and market expectations.  Fast selling and profitable glorious products/service of the past (even though they used to be the main drivers of the business and may have enabled all the wealth of the business and the owner) may have become ordinary. How can we realize this? If any business is complaining about the fierce competition and not making profit of the past but still continuing on investment while the market share is reducing, we may very well mention on getting old for the business.

We will continue to explore the factors those get a business old and retaining to stay young (to get younger).

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