A business person comes up with a new product or service and then needs to manage execution risk to ensure the new venture’s success.
The business advertises its location, its products or services in an open way hoping to make as many people as possible aware of its existence.
But in increasingly life-threatening environments, the traditional way of running a business is being replaced by unconventional ways to stay below the radar or operate in the shadows.
Entrepreneurship in harsh, toxic and dangerous environments is a lot more demanding than the small business consultants glamorise it to be.
Small businesses today who are visible are under the spotlight for all sorts of criminals to see. Running certain businesses in the open can bring you head-on with extortionists, armed robbers and murderers.
Main street- and shopping centre-located business owners are robbed and gunned down. Rural butchers and farmers are killed for a variety of motives. Cunning con artists are trying to extort and blackmail high-standing firms.
These are just a few of the criminal acts against business owners and entrepreneurs that you occasionally see in the papers. You don’t see others because the widows and orphans are terrified to make a noise or just want to get on with their lives.
The glam business consultants don’t have answers for the small business owners who are being forced to flee exorbitant shopping malls and business park rentals. Small business owners are running away to out-of-the-way suburban locales where rentals are low and the high probabilities of being gunned down in broad daylight are reduced.
One business owner I know who fled a shopping mall now runs his business from a house in a suburb. In the shopping centre his monthly rental was four times what he now pays. How he is able to run his business far away from mall traffic has to do with under-the-radar marketing that is low-cost and effective.
A report sent to me from the UK while doing research shows that more than 2 million people in England work at or mainly from home. This is about 9% of the working population. Of course, the drivers are not only lower costs but also avoiding costly, time-wasting commuting, broadband availability and work-life balance.
On quite another level more companies have chosen the low profile route through private equity where operations and decisions are not under constant surveillance and attack. A report in Bloomberg covered billionaires in all parts of the world working under the radar for competitive and other reasons.
If you are feeling threatened, harassed, being fleeced by landlords or let down by low productivity, perhaps it’s time to rethink your business model. Safety first. New ideas and technology are helping entrepreneurs regain their privacy.