By Lorne Ross, former President, National Association of Business Incubators
Every year thousands of businesses enter and exit the market place. Of these twenty two percent of small business operate in the goods producing industries while seventy eight percent operate in service industries. Those enterprises that exit the market place are proportionately distributed between service industries and the goods producing industries and are largely micro small or small in nature. The cause for exiting can be either by choice or failure. Those that exit by choice have often been successful small enterprises without an opportunity for sale or succession. Those that exit by failure have often chosen to fail. Few do this knowingly
Successful enterprises choose to be successful. The formula for success is relatively simple. Unlike Kentucky Fried Chicken’s secret recipe, the formula for success is well documented and readily available. The market place abounds with successful enterprises that can be emulated.
The Business Plan. Success starts with a critical self-evaluation. Does the entrepreneur have the right stuff? There can be no cheating when making this evaluation. A comprehensive study of the market place has to be under-taken. Is there an opportunity? Is the pie big enough to support another entrant or will the entrant shrink the slices? Goals and yard sticks must be set and the strategies to achieve these goals must be laid out. These questions should be answered in a business plan. Successful enterprises have one and use it as a living and dynamic tool.
Relationship Skills. Successful enterprises also have a high quotient of human capital and it is often a determining factor in the enterprise achieving superior performance in both grow and profitability. The market place is full of successful businesses led by successful managers or management teams. Their formulas for success are tried and true and can be easily duplicated. Building on someone else’s human capital is a wise choice. Micro enterprises can increase their human capital by building a team of advisors: the company’s lawyer, the accountant and – most importantly, a mentor. Mentors provide an insight and perspective that are often missed by a vested interest. As enterprises grow they can increase their own human capital by the hires they make. Hiring good people for filling talent gaps and changing needs – including leadership, are essential for growth and success.
Managing Time. Corporate leaders of successful enterprises manage time, they have a sense of urgency. The decision making process is minimal, timely and efficient. Little time is wasted between conception and implementation Opportunities are not lost due to delay and indecision. They make choices that lead to success, but they are never too busy to learn.
So keep it simple, know where you are going. Develop and maintain the relationships critical for the enterprise. And be prepared, never wasting time – but also never too busy to learn.
Source ABC Tech