Information is always seen as the lifeblood or one of the key intangible assets of any organization. It determines the effectiveness and efficacy of management. Quality information is needed by managers to harness internal resources to tap into opportunities and manage threats in the external environment regardless of the type of organization.
Information is a major raw material that must be combined with other resources to produce a want satisfying product.
Management Information system (MIS) can be defined as a system that gathers comprehensive data, organizes and summarizes it in a form valuable to functional managers with the information they need to do their work-Griffin(1990).
MIS is a computer-based information system that transforms internal and external sourced data into information needed by employees to enable them to make appropriate decisions for planning, decision making, communication, and human resource management and controlling. It helps managers to analyze the past, make decisions for the present and projection for the future.
The following are ways that management Information system can impact an organization’s performance:
Management information system changes the way that people communicate and relate with one another or their organization.
Computer-based information reduces and eliminates middle managers, thereby enabling top management to retain planning and controlling.
It gives room for access to useful information, flattens the organizational hierarchy and allows decentralization of decision making.
It helps to reduce the number of employees needed to perform business operations and the cost of production definitely.
MIS enhances the competitive position of a firm through the provision of timely, relevant, accurate, and comprehensive information.
It gives a firm the opportunity to enter into the global market through importation, exportation, joint ventures, etc.
MIS creates an opportunity for managers to monitor and measure individuals and groups performance, comparing the actual results with the performance standards.
In other words, Management Information System helps to make available accurate and timely information necessary to facilitate the decision-functions to be carried out in an effective way to the management.
While it is true that a large number of small businesses fail within the first few years of establishment, what is not true, even in any business environment, is the impression that more than 80% of them fail within the first 3 years. Certainly, there are some that survive for 4, others for 5 years and more.
Small businesses sometimes fail because of sheer negligence on the part of the owner/operator. While in some cases, it is simply as a result of some management pitfalls or environmental factors.
It is possible to avoid any failure in any small business if the owner/operator keeps these points listed below in mind:
Don’t make any attempt to build a small business meant to appeal to everyone. You must note that structuring a business to appeal to the widest possible range of customers is a good thing, but could end up creating a business that will be weak in several areas rather than strong. “As you like it, sell where you can for you are not for all markets.” -Shakespare.
Don’t start unless you are sure of the availability of the minimum cash requirements. Alternatively, you must have arranged a credit or done a proper projection of revenue and expenses concerning a reasonable period of time.
Do not fail to design a means of detecting bad credit risk early so that you can take steps to avoid credit problems ahead of time.
Don’t use pricing to scare your customers away or destabilise your business. No matter what situation your business may be facing, you must strike a balance between your firm’s need to make profit and your customers’ search for value.
Never postpone savings of the company’s earnings. Do it now; possibly set out a percentage of the earnings to be kept in the business and do it religiously.
Do not be “a- one- man- squad”. Seek advice from experienced people and professionals in your field.
In every business environment, opportunities for business abound. It is only required that for a business to thrive, someone has to be responsible by deciding on which areas of business to search for and use the opportunities.
For the purpose of guide to prospective small scale industry operators, there are various industries that offer more suitable opportunities to entrepreneurs. However, for the purpose of small scale industry operation, the industries can be compressed into 5 categories.
Services: No economy can function without the infrastructure that services provide in the form of transportation and communication, and without government services such as education and healthcare. Therefore, we should believe that services lie at the very hub of economic activity in any society.
A service has been defined as an activity or series of activities of more or less intangible nature that normally but not necessarily take place in interactions between customer and service employees and/or physical resources or goods and/or systems of service provider which are provided as solutions to customer problems.
Service as a business, enables the entrepreneur to provide specialised or technical services to customers (clients), individuals or firms. From all indications, service provision as a business usually provides a good starting point for entrepreneurs who may not have much money to cover initial outlay that other businesses demand.
Retailing: Irrespective of the level of complexity of relating in our business environment, a simple way of viewing it is that it involves buying from the wholesaler and selling directly to those who will either consume or use those goods-individuals or firms. The functions of the retainer involve making an important contribution to the completion of the productive process; achieved mainly through ensuring that the produced goods and services are brought into contact with the consumer, as well as providing him or her with the opportunities for satisfying his or her wants.
Wholesaling: The wholesaler is usually located at a point between the manufacturers and the consumer. They service retailers and are usually independent. For the entrepreneur to decide to go into wholesaling, there is a need to understand its nature.
a. Wholesalers sell manufactured goods to retailers who resell to consumers.
b. They also sell to industries who use such products to manufacture other products or render some services.
Manufacturing: Manufacturing involves sourcing for the relevant inputs, organising them appropriately, processing same for the purpose of producing outputs or finished goods. The entrepreneur must note that manufacturing as a small scale business, if operated with relevant strategies, is more enduring but costs more money as initial investment.
General construction: This involves initial construction, rehabilitation of houses, structures, industrial equipment and buildings. With skills and relevant strategies, this can always be a successful start-up. Money required for a take off would go into purchase of equipment and hire of employees. One interesting aspect of this kind of business is that a “mobilisation fee” is usually received from the client before work is embarked upon. The percentage of such payment made in advance will however depend on the agreement between the construction outfit and the customer.