A small business owner takes her life savings and invests them in her new business venture. Her recruitment business was aimed at a market segment that suddenly dried up because of government legislation. She redirected her business to another market segment and after five years is running a successful business.
A person running a small venture on the side is doing well in a fitness niche but the bulk supply of product closes down. The business person can’t find another supplier with the same prices and so is unable to find a viable cost structure. He’s been trying for two years to figure out a new business model.
What does it take to develop a new product or service and then form and run a business venture to manufacture, market, sell and distribute these products?
The glossy small business magazines make it look easy. The weekly business magazines trying to lift sales promote cover lines such as “pouring the profit” and “make real money now”. It makes owning and running a business look so easy. All you need to do is set up a cash register and start pulling the lever.
These fairy stories catch the reader who is looking for the quick and easy way to riches. But when they buy the magazine and read the stories all they find is hyped up candy floss.
If you want to find out what it really takes, rather speak to real business people who have started and run businesses or read the autobiographies of small business owners who have bled their way to success.
Some of these business people will say it takes passion, open-mindedness, a constant flow of ideas, determination, taking calculated risks, high self-confidence, ability to quickly spot opportunities and being optimistic.
Then others: flexibility, patience, tolerance for uncertainty, ability to make things happen, strong leadership, high self-motivation, strong sense of ethics and integrity and competitive spirit.
Deeper, darker traits: willingness to fail, shrewdness, tenacity, stubbornness, unashamed self-promotion and exploiting competitors’ weaknesses.
Whatever special qualities are needed for the entrepreneur one area stands out: an understanding of risk, calculating risk and taking risks only when the rewards have been clearly identified and quantified.
For an idea transformed into a product or service to succeed spend time on establishing the precise market opportunity; then identify every single execution risk. This is the quality needed for success.