The three P’s in business

Businesses of every type succeed based on fundamentals without which failure is almost inevitable. It is vital that anyone thinking or already in business learns and understand the three P’s of business. These three P’s are: People, Process and Product.

People: Of the three P’s, ‘people’ is the most important. Without good people, good processes and good products can only do so much. Simply put, the right people are effective while the wrong people can destroy a business.

In addition, what is right for one business may not be for another. You cannot just look at someone’s CV or college transcripts and tell that he or she is the right person. Sure, you can judge qualifications, but effectiveness is something businesses will pick up on (or not) in person, when they interview a job candidate and see how they interact.

Process: How well does a business develop and deliver the processes that make it run? Assuming a business has hired the right people, the second element necessary for success is having processes that make sense and are not needlessly complicated.

Suppose you’re in the publishing business. Your product may be books, but the processes that go into turning outlines into drafts, manuscripts, proof copies have an enormous bearing on how efficient and effective creation of those books is. In most businesses, processes must adapt with the times or the business risks being left behind by competitors.

Product: In many cases, a company’s product is a tangible item: a tool, software package, article of clothing, or food product. However, sometimes the product is a service such as tax accounting, legal advice, or cleaning services.

A great product alone isn’t enough to make a business successful, but it is essential, because people simply won’t buy irrelevant or inadequate products (or services).

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With efficient, well-engineered processes for delivering those products or services, and a team of outstanding people to make sure work is done and that customers are taken care of, a great product can transform struggling business into a thriving business.  

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