page 3 Business environment
Channels of communication
African art has a dynamic and a cultural heritage and is one of the most important resources in the country. It generates economic as well as social benefits for the country. African art includes objects such as mask, textiles, basketry. Figure sculptures etc. However there are a number of problems that the African craft market faces because of a changing business environment. The challenges and opportunities that these markets face in a changing environment will be discussed. A corporate communication strategy to address some of the issues facing will also be developed which will identify the stakeholders and the appropriate channels of communicating the message.
The business environment
Businesses are affected by the environment and world around it. Businesses cannot exist in isolation therefore a business exists in an environment which is dynamic and this can have a major impact on business. A business environment can be divided into 2 components. The micro and the external environment.The environment which is close to business and affects its capacity to work are known as Micro or Operating Environment(Botha, 2012:10) It consists of Suppliers, Customers, Market Intermediaries, Competitors andthe Public is made up of the micro environment). The external environment is comprised of the macro environment and this refers to factors that creates opportunities or poses threats to the business. The African craft market made up of sculptures, metal work, bead work, mask, textiles and pottery. The market plays an important role in the economic sector as 40 000 people work in the craft sector and contributes to two billion a year to the economy.(Verveckken,2012). However there are many challenges that face them daily, whether it be a roadside wire artist, a women creating beautiful beaded jewellery or a potter who owns a well-designed studio, these craft producers do not have all the necessary skills to maintain a successful business in a changing business environment. African art is often made by individuals who reside in the rural areas where there are little resources and lack of skills. Their craft is sold to locals as well as tourist as it portrays true South African heritage and demonstrates the creativity, vibrancy and diversity of our nation. African Craft market operates on a small scale yet it contributes to quite a portion to the country’s economy as many of the products are exported internationally.
Challenges in the African Craft Market
There are many challenges in this industry which it makes it difficult for entrepreneurs to succeed in their business and seeking a worthwhile profit. One of the major challenges is low levels of literacy and numeracy which makes it difficult to understand what running a business entails. Some of the practical business skills such as pricing, costing, marketing, sourcing, supplies and financial assistance as well as how to manage their finances is not comprehended, (south African craft report, 1998)This will hinder entrepreneurs as they might not have a fixed cost price and can’t deduce their profit margin or how to save for their next batch of stock. There is also very little critical thinking skills this means that they do not understand the market in which they produce their goods and for whom they producing, thus they cannot improve their range of products in the marketplace or have sufficient knowledge about who are their target market and what exactly appeals to them. (south African craft report, 1998)Crafters also need a constant flow of...
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