Stage 3: Managing Your Business

Launch your business and make it operational

Turn your plans and ideas into something tangible.

Start business operations and tell the world that you are open for business.

Business management: Issues to address

Before you set out to run a business, there are issues that you need to research and decide on. Going through these may take you some time but it can save you a lot of pain in the future. The business planning stage helps you decide if your business has any real chance at success.

Finances

Manage your money in such a manner that accomplishes the organization’s objectives. Financial management of your business is more than keeping an accurate set of books and balancing your business checking account. You must manage your finances so you don’t overspend as well as that you remain prepared for all expenses. Your financial management responsibilities affect all aspects of your business. A company that sells well but has poor financial management can fail.

The following are the four components of good financial management:

  • a plan for generating income by establishing a range of funding (diversifying your sources of income).
  • a powerfully built financial management system.
  • a suitable internal environment, that is, suitable employees and management.
  • a clear finance strategy ( the money you will need and where it will come from).

 

Financial management encompasses a lot of factors and you should consider the following;

 

Financial planning

Financial management helps to determine the financial requirements of the business current and future operations which helps you to plan for your finances, that is, budgeting.

 

Acquisition of funds

Financial management also involves the acquisition of required finance for operations of the business. Acquiring needed funds play a major part of the financial management, which involve possible source of finance at minimum cost.

 

Proper use of funds

Proper use and allocation of funds leads to improve the operational efficiency of the business. When you use your funds properly, you increase the money available to acquire new assets which therefore increases the value of the firm.

 

Financial decision

Financial management helps to make sound financial decisions four your business. Financial decision will affect the entire business operations because there is a direct relationship with various department functions such as marketing, production personnel, etc.

 

Improve profitability

Profitability of your business purely depends on the effectiveness and proper utilization of funds. Financial management helps to improve the profitability position of your business with the help of strong financial control devices such as budgetary control and analysis of your financial statements.

 

Promoting Savings

Savings are possible only when your business earns higher profitability and maximizes wealth. Effective financial management helps to promoting and mobilizing individual and corporate savings.

Human resources

Manage your staffing, employee compensation, communication, training, employee benefits, and job definition and design.You should provide leadership and advice for dealing with all issues related to the people in your business.

Managing your human resources is also a strategic and comprehensive approach to managing people and the workplace culture and environment. Effective management of your company’s human resources will enable employees to contribute effectively and productively to the overall company direction and the accomplishment of the organization’s goals and objectives.

Obviously you want your business to be known as the “employer of choice” by receiving recognition for the way your business treats employees. This makes people want to work for your company. Becoming an employer of choice means human resources balances recruiting the most qualified applicants, selecting the most suitable candidates and retaining the most talented employees.

Marketing

Apply, track and review your company’s marketing resources and activities. Marketing includes product research and development, advertising and other promotional activities, and product sales and service. There are so many benefits of managing your marketing and the include the following;

 

Marketing is a learning aid

Marketing research aids your company in learning about your customers, the marketplace, industry and products. Your business only succeeds if you manage to motivate your targeted customers to buy the products and services you develop and offer. To do so, you need to figure out your ideal customers, analyze their needs and motives, and get familiar with the benefits you offer that match well.

 

Marketing promotes your present offering

Without marketing, your target market will not know that you have the best product ever invented or the greatest service solution imaginable. The promotional component of marketing is key in getting the word out to target customers that you have something beneficial to offer them at a great value. You need to let your target market know that you exist and then promote your brand benefits in a competitive marketplace to encourage buying.

 

Interaction

Communication with your customers has become a key focus of marketing. Personal selling and social media are prominent promotional tools that your company should use to get a more direct audience with customers. These tools offer personalized routes to individual customers and allow for immediate response.

Sales

Coordinate your people & resources to reach the company’s sales goal. Managing your sales actually begins with making sure that your company is developing the right products, setting the right prices and distributing in the right places. When managing your sales you should include the following;

 

Select your targets

Your responsibility is to make sure that your audience is made up of decision makers who can approve large opportunities that will come to fruition in the near future. This will help you establish a filter that helps to define the most likely candidates with a potential of higher sales.

 

Clarify your priorities

Help your sales force prioritize what opportunities they pursue and how much time and effort they spend on each opportunity. You should keep key opportunities that are real and relevant to the current circumstances as a goal in your sales plan.

 

Monitor your marketplace

Find out what is going on in the marketplace based on the data you’re getting from the sales records.  Analyze the gathered data and use that information to produce products or offer services that best suit your market.

Administration

Organize and supervise the way that your company functions. The administration of your business includes the performance or management of business processes and decision making, as well as the efficient organization of people and other resources, to direct activities toward common goals and objectives. Make sure that your business meets its goals and is properly organized and managed.

Purchasing / Procurement

Forecast demand, evaluate inventory levels, and take orders from within the organization. You should ensure that all goods, supplies and inventory needed to operate the business are ordered and kept in stock. You are responsible for controlling the cost of the goods ordered, controlling inventory levels and building strong relationships with suppliers.

Value for your money

Ensure that what you buy has high value for the company because it is a key purchasing function depending on your strategic business goals. If you want to grow your business by offering low-cost goods, a matching purchasing management objective is to negotiate low supplier prices. If you want to increase profitability by charging premium prices for the highest quality, then you will have to ensure that your suppliers deliver the best products available.

 

Create long-term relationships

When you have long-term or exclusive relationships with suppliers, you often obtain lower prices, more reliable service and improved support. Your business strategy may be more effective if supported by such relationships. Purchasing objectives should include the pursuit of long-term relationships if they might be a strategic asset. If your strategy is to deny your competition access to a supplier, your purchasing management may have to negotiate an exclusive supply agreement.

 

Continuous evaluation

A strategy of continuous improvement and increased efficiency can only succeed if supported by your purchasing management objectives. Your suppliers have to undergo continuous evaluation, subject to standards similar to those for internal business processes. Set purchasing management objectives that include benchmarks for suppliers according to their product failure rates, on-time delivery percentages, and competitiveness. Continuous evaluation against such benchmarks lets you identify preferred suppliers and those with exceptional performance.

 

Information technology system integration

Your business can reduce costs if your suppliers can integrate their information technology system functions with yours. For example, instead of a supplier having to ask your staff whether your stock of the supplier’s products is running out, the supplier’s IT systems can access your warehouse records directly and automatically ship more products when stock runs low. Strategically plan for purchasing management to support this direction and consider such integration possibilities when selecting suppliers. Specific purchasing objectives might be to automate supply of products you need regularly; automate receiving, invoicing and payments; and integrate your system’s tracking of quality issues and customer support with that of key suppliers.

Operations

Implement business practices that create the highest level of efficiency possible within your organization. You should be concerned with the day to day activities that drive the firm’s growth such as evaluation of the available alternatives and then picking the best. Your objectives can be as follows;

  • Quality: It is the measure by which it is said that the product or service is meeting customer expectation.
  • Speed: It reflects the time between the customer request and product or service delivery.
  • Dependability: This is all about reflecting whether the business can deliver product or service that was promised to the customer.
  • Flexibility: Review how the operation process can adapt or change its operational procedures.
  • Cost: Operational costs are an important factor that affect the final price of the product or service and how it becomes affordable to the customer. This will finally affect the profitability of the business.

Information technology

Acquire and manage your I.T resources according to your priorities and goals. I.T refers to all the hardware and software that people use to send and receive information. Information technology will help to improve your business processes as well as achieve cost efficiency. Also, It will drive revenue growth and maintain a competitive advantage in your marketplace because of the following reasons;

You gain competitive advantage

The benefits you achieve from information technology such as cost saving, rapid product development and process improvements help your company to gain and maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. For example, when Apple announced a new smartphone with innovative touch-screen features, Samsung quickly followed suit with a similar kind of smartphone or they risked losing market share. Therefore, you business can use rapid prototyping, software simulations and other IT-based systems to bring a product to market cost effectively and quickly.

You reach the market faster

Information technology can speed up the time it takes new products to reach the market. Your company can draft the requirements for your new product faster by gathering market intelligence from your databases, customers and sales representatives.

You partner easily with your stakeholders 

Stakeholder integration is another important benefit of information technology. You will be able to integrate and communicate easily with your stakeholders such suppliers, customers and shareholders.  Public companies such as CBZ and Old Mutual use their investor relations websites to communicate with shareholders, research analysts and other market participants.

Customer services

Manage the company’s provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. Customer services refers to practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention, and driving sales growth.

  • Customer services provides more accurate customer data in relation to customer preferences and purchase history. This will help you to assess your business performance.
  • It promotes better customer support and, consequently, quicker problem resolution.
  • The more you know about your customers’ needs and wants the better able you are to provide the solution to their next problem.

Intellectual property

Administer the company’s intellectual property assets such as trademarks, copyrights, patents, industrial designs and geographical indicators.

  • A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. For example, the tick symbol is associated with Nike.
  • Copyright is the right to copy. This means that you and anyone you give authorization to are the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce your artistic or literary work such as advertisments.
  • A patent prevents others from using, making or selling your specific invention or innovation, that is, your new way of doing something or new technical solution to a problem.
  • An industrial design protects your three dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color. Think of the coca-cola bottles.
  • A geographical indication right enables a company like Schweppes to prevent the use of the term Mazoe by a third party whose product does not conform to the specific geographical origin which is Mazowe.

 

There are many advantages of securing your intellectual property rights. For example, protecting your IP can help you:

  • Enhance the market value of your business – IP can generate income for your business through licensing, sale or commercialization of protected products or services. This can in turn improve your market share or raise your profits.
  • Turn ideas into profit-making assets – Ideas on their own have little value. However, IP can help you to turn ideas into commercially successful products and services. Licensing your patents or copyright, for example, can lead to a steady stream of royalties and additional income that can boost your business’ value.
  • Differentiate your business’ products and services – Intellectual property is essential in creating an image or brand for your business. Think trade marks, logos or the design of your products. IP can help you differentiate your products and services in the market and promote them to your customers.
  • Access or raise finance for your business – You can monetise your IP assets through sale, licensing or using them as collateral for debt financing. As well as this, you can use your IP as advantage when applying for public or government funding, eg grants, subsidies or loans.

Legal compliance

Adhere to standards, regulations, and other legal requirements. Compliance is obeying all of the legal laws and regulations in regards to how you manage your business, staff, and treatment of your consumers. Legal compliance will have you achieve the following;

 

Reduced legal problems

Legal compliance decreases your risk of fines, penalties, work stoppages, lawsuits or a shutdown of your business. Failing to meet some compliance requirements, such as registering with Zimra, results in your company facing penalties.

 

Improved operations

Many business rules and regulations can help you more than harm you. For example, following safety and security laws helps prevent injuries, fires or building evacuations that hurt your profitability. Being affiliated with SAZ (Standards Association of Zimbabwe) ensures continous quality improvement within your organization.

 

Better public relations

When you meet your legal obligations, you can tout these on your website and in your marketing materials. For example, when you place job advertisements, include the fact that you are an equal opportunity employer. If you post your mission statement on your website, state that you do not discriminate based on race, sex, creed or sexual orientation.

 

Higher employee retention

Many compliance issues deal with protecting employees. The more employees feel they work in a fair, professional and safe environment, the more likely they will be to stay with you. Even if you don’t harass or discriminate against any employees, if you don’t take steps to ensure none of your employees does, you can lose valuable workers. Include policies and procedures in your employee handbook that mirror your legal compliance obligations.

Business systems

Acquire application software packages that support business processes and information flows. Most companies are looking toward technology, such as enterprise systems, for solutions that improve their workflows and customer service process.

 

 Store business data in a usable format

You improve customer experience by having data stored in a way that can be easily analyzed. Some examples of data that should be stored include customer order history, when and how they made those orders, and how long it took for those orders to be processed. A company’s ability to quickly retrieve this type of information in order to answer customers’ questions can go a long way toward improving customer satisfaction.

 

Reduce the cost of doing business

Enterprise systems ultimately reduce the cost of running a business, which means your company will have more of its budget free to increase customer service capabilities or invest in other assets that can improve the customer experience. One example is inventory control, as keeping too much or too little inventory can have a significant effect on your business’ financial performance.

 

Improve supply chain management

Enterprise systems can help to make the supply chain management process more efficient, through the use of data about where, when, and how customers order and suppliers deliver. This again emphasizes the importance of storing business data in a usable format. Ultimately, the ability to streamline the supply chain means that products are delivered to customers more reliably, and at a lower cost, than would otherwise be possible.

 

Forecasting

Business systems give your employers, and especially managers, the tools they need to create more accurate forecasts. Since the information within business systems is as accurate as possible, businesses can make realistic estimates and more effective forecasts.

 

Integrated Information

No more issues with data spread across separate databases; all information will be housed in a single location. This means you can integrate your business systems, for example, integrating your CRM software with your ERP system. As a result, you keep data consistent, accurate, and unique. You also get to know your customer, their orders, and your inventory, all in one place.

Finances

Finances

Manage your money in such a manner that accomplishes the organization’s objectives. Financial management of your business is more than keeping an accurate set of books and balancing your business checking account. You must manage your finances so you don’t overspend as well as that you remain prepared for all expenses. Your financial management responsibilities affect all aspects of your business. A company that sells well but has poor financial management can fail.

The following are the four components of good financial management:

  • a plan for generating income by establishing a range of funding (diversifying your sources of income).
  • a powerfully built financial management system.
  • a suitable internal environment, that is, suitable employees and management.
  • a clear finance strategy ( the money you will need and where it will come from).

 

Financial management encompasses a lot of factors and you should consider the following;

 

Financial planning

Financial management helps to determine the financial requirements of the business current and future operations which helps you to plan for your finances, that is, budgeting.

 

Acquisition of funds

Financial management also involves the acquisition of required finance for operations of the business. Acquiring needed funds play a major part of the financial management, which involve possible source of finance at minimum cost.

 

Proper use of funds

Proper use and allocation of funds leads to improve the operational efficiency of the business. When you use your funds properly, you increase the money available to acquire new assets which therefore increases the value of the firm.

 

Financial decision

Financial management helps to make sound financial decisions four your business. Financial decision will affect the entire business operations because there is a direct relationship with various department functions such as marketing, production personnel, etc.

 

Improve profitability

Profitability of your business purely depends on the effectiveness and proper utilization of funds. Financial management helps to improve the profitability position of your business with the help of strong financial control devices such as budgetary control and analysis of your financial statements.

 

Promoting Savings

Savings are possible only when your business earns higher profitability and maximizes wealth. Effective financial management helps to promoting and mobilizing individual and corporate savings.

Human resources

Human resources

Manage your staffing, employee compensation, communication, training, employee benefits, and job definition and design.You should provide leadership and advice for dealing with all issues related to the people in your business.

Managing your human resources is also a strategic and comprehensive approach to managing people and the workplace culture and environment. Effective management of your company’s human resources will enable employees to contribute effectively and productively to the overall company direction and the accomplishment of the organization’s goals and objectives.

Obviously you want your business to be known as the “employer of choice” by receiving recognition for the way your business treats employees. This makes people want to work for your company. Becoming an employer of choice means human resources balances recruiting the most qualified applicants, selecting the most suitable candidates and retaining the most talented employees.

Marketing

Marketing

Apply, track and review your company’s marketing resources and activities. Marketing includes product research and development, advertising and other promotional activities, and product sales and service. There are so many benefits of managing your marketing and the include the following;

 

Marketing is a learning aid

Marketing research aids your company in learning about your customers, the marketplace, industry and products. Your business only succeeds if you manage to motivate your targeted customers to buy the products and services you develop and offer. To do so, you need to figure out your ideal customers, analyze their needs and motives, and get familiar with the benefits you offer that match well.

 

Marketing promotes your present offering

Without marketing, your target market will not know that you have the best product ever invented or the greatest service solution imaginable. The promotional component of marketing is key in getting the word out to target customers that you have something beneficial to offer them at a great value. You need to let your target market know that you exist and then promote your brand benefits in a competitive marketplace to encourage buying.

 

Interaction

Communication with your customers has become a key focus of marketing. Personal selling and social media are prominent promotional tools that your company should use to get a more direct audience with customers. These tools offer personalized routes to individual customers and allow for immediate response.

Sales

Sales

Coordinate your people & resources to reach the company’s sales goal. Managing your sales actually begins with making sure that your company is developing the right products, setting the right prices and distributing in the right places. When managing your sales you should include the following;

 

Select your targets

Your responsibility is to make sure that your audience is made up of decision makers who can approve large opportunities that will come to fruition in the near future. This will help you establish a filter that helps to define the most likely candidates with a potential of higher sales.

 

Clarify your priorities

Help your sales force prioritize what opportunities they pursue and how much time and effort they spend on each opportunity. You should keep key opportunities that are real and relevant to the current circumstances as a goal in your sales plan.

 

Monitor your marketplace

Find out what is going on in the marketplace based on the data you’re getting from the sales records.  Analyze the gathered data and use that information to produce products or offer services that best suit your market.

Administration

Administration

Organize and supervise the way that your company functions. The administration of your business includes the performance or management of business processes and decision making, as well as the efficient organization of people and other resources, to direct activities toward common goals and objectives. Make sure that your business meets its goals and is properly organized and managed.

Purchasing / Procurement

Purchasing / Procurement

Forecast demand, evaluate inventory levels, and take orders from within the organization. You should ensure that all goods, supplies and inventory needed to operate the business are ordered and kept in stock. You are responsible for controlling the cost of the goods ordered, controlling inventory levels and building strong relationships with suppliers.

Value for your money
Ensure that what you buy has high value for the company because it is a key purchasing function depending on your strategic business goals. If you want to grow your business by offering low-cost goods, a matching purchasing management objective is to negotiate low supplier prices. If you want to increase profitability by charging premium prices for the highest quality, then you will have to ensure that your suppliers deliver the best products available.

Create long-term relationships
When you have long-term or exclusive relationships with suppliers, you often obtain lower prices, more reliable service and improved support. Your business strategy may be more effective if supported by such relationships. Purchasing objectives should include the pursuit of long-term relationships if they might be a strategic asset. If your strategy is to deny your competition access to a supplier, your purchasing management may have to negotiate an exclusive supply agreement.

Continuous evaluation
A strategy of continuous improvement and increased efficiency can only succeed if supported by your purchasing management objectives. Your suppliers have to undergo continuous evaluation, subject to standards similar to those for internal business processes. Set purchasing management objectives that include benchmarks for suppliers according to their product failure rates, on-time delivery percentages, and competitiveness. Continuous evaluation against such benchmarks lets you identify preferred suppliers and those with exceptional performance.

Information technology system integration
Your business can reduce costs if your suppliers can integrate their information technology system functions with yours. For example, instead of a supplier having to ask your staff whether your stock of the supplier’s products is running out, the supplier’s IT systems can access your warehouse records directly and automatically ship more products when stock runs low. Strategically plan for purchasing management to support this direction and consider such integration possibilities when selecting suppliers. Specific purchasing objectives might be to automate supply of products you need regularly; automate receiving, invoicing and payments; and integrate your system’s tracking of quality issues and customer support with that of key suppliers.

Operations

Operations

Implement business practices that create the highest level of efficiency possible within your organization. You should be concerned with the day to day activities that drive the firm’s growth such as evaluation of the available alternatives and then picking the best. Your objectives can be as follows;

  • Quality: It is the measure by which it is said that the product or service is meeting customer expectation.
  • Speed: It reflects the time between the customer request and product or service delivery.
  • Dependability: This is all about reflecting whether the business can deliver product or service that was promised to the customer.
  • Flexibility: Review how the operation process can adapt or change its operational procedures.
  • Cost: Operational costs are an important factor that affect the final price of the product or service and how it becomes affordable to the customer. This will finally affect the profitability of the business.

Information technology

Information technology

Acquire and manage your I.T resources according to your priorities and goals. I.T refers to all the hardware and software that people use to send and receive information. Information technology will help to improve your business processes as well as achieve cost efficiency. Also, It will drive revenue growth and maintain a competitive advantage in your marketplace because of the following reasons;

You gain competitive advantage

The benefits you achieve from information technology such as cost saving, rapid product development and process improvements help your company to gain and maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. For example, when Apple announced a new smartphone with innovative touch-screen features, Samsung quickly followed suit with a similar kind of smartphone or they risked losing market share. Therefore, you business can use rapid prototyping, software simulations and other IT-based systems to bring a product to market cost effectively and quickly.

You reach the market faster

Information technology can speed up the time it takes new products to reach the market. Your company can draft the requirements for your new product faster by gathering market intelligence from your databases, customers and sales representatives.

You partner easily with your stakeholders 

Stakeholder integration is another important benefit of information technology. You will be able to integrate and communicate easily with your stakeholders such suppliers, customers and shareholders.  Public companies such as CBZ and Old Mutual use their investor relations websites to communicate with shareholders, research analysts and other market participants.

Customer services

Customer services

Manage the company’s provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. Customer services refers to practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention, and driving sales growth.

  • Customer services provides more accurate customer data in relation to customer preferences and purchase history. This will help you to assess your business performance.
  • It promotes better customer support and, consequently, quicker problem resolution.
  • The more you know about your customers’ needs and wants the better able you are to provide the solution to their next problem.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property

Administer the company’s intellectual property assets such as trademarks, copyrights, patents, industrial designs and geographical indicators.

  • A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. For example, the tick symbol is associated with Nike.
  • Copyright is the right to copy. This means that you and anyone you give authorization to are the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce your artistic or literary work such as advertisments.
  • A patent prevents others from using, making or selling your specific invention or innovation, that is, your new way of doing something or new technical solution to a problem.
  • An industrial design protects your three dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color. Think of the coca-cola bottles.
  • A geographical indication right enables a company like Schweppes to prevent the use of the term Mazoe by a third party whose product does not conform to the specific geographical origin which is Mazowe.

 

There are many advantages of securing your intellectual property rights. For example, protecting your IP can help you:

  • Enhance the market value of your business – IP can generate income for your business through licensing, sale or commercialization of protected products or services. This can in turn improve your market share or raise your profits.
  • Turn ideas into profit-making assets – Ideas on their own have little value. However, IP can help you to turn ideas into commercially successful products and services. Licensing your patents or copyright, for example, can lead to a steady stream of royalties and additional income that can boost your business’ value.
  • Differentiate your business’ products and services – Intellectual property is essential in creating an image or brand for your business. Think trade marks, logos or the design of your products. IP can help you differentiate your products and services in the market and promote them to your customers.
  • Access or raise finance for your business – You can monetise your IP assets through sale, licensing or using them as collateral for debt financing. As well as this, you can use your IP as advantage when applying for public or government funding, eg grants, subsidies or loans.

Business systems

Business systems

Acquire application software packages that support business processes and information flows. Most companies are looking toward technology, such as enterprise systems, for solutions that improve their workflows and customer service process.

 

 Store business data in a usable format

You improve customer experience by having data stored in a way that can be easily analyzed. Some examples of data that should be stored include customer order history, when and how they made those orders, and how long it took for those orders to be processed. A company’s ability to quickly retrieve this type of information in order to answer customers’ questions can go a long way toward improving customer satisfaction.

 

Reduce the cost of doing business

Enterprise systems ultimately reduce the cost of running a business, which means your company will have more of its budget free to increase customer service capabilities or invest in other assets that can improve the customer experience. One example is inventory control, as keeping too much or too little inventory can have a significant effect on your business’ financial performance.

 

Improve supply chain management

Enterprise systems can help to make the supply chain management process more efficient, through the use of data about where, when, and how customers order and suppliers deliver. This again emphasizes the importance of storing business data in a usable format. Ultimately, the ability to streamline the supply chain means that products are delivered to customers more reliably, and at a lower cost, than would otherwise be possible.

 

Forecasting

Business systems give your employers, and especially managers, the tools they need to create more accurate forecasts. Since the information within business systems is as accurate as possible, businesses can make realistic estimates and more effective forecasts.

 

Integrated Information

No more issues with data spread across separate databases; all information will be housed in a single location. This means you can integrate your business systems, for example, integrating your CRM software with your ERP system. As a result, you keep data consistent, accurate, and unique. You also get to know your customer, their orders, and your inventory, all in one place.