May 19th, 2006
Risks. They are inevitable. It is better to be prepared to deal with them from the start. The wise approach is to reduce them.
1. Know what it takes to succeed. (be prepared to rely only on your own ability to achieve financial security; you will never get any opportunity in life unless you have first created value for someone else)
2. Try to be different.
3. Investigate your market.
4. Get the best resources.
5. Develop and maintain a positive attitude. (loving what you’re doing; learning new things; gaining extra energy)
6. Be daring, but don’t be reckless.
7. Heed your own advice.
In ‘Your Own Business’, Wal Reynolds, Warwick Savage and Alan Williams summarize the rules for success in small business as:
• Create and build the business on a real market opportunity (find a niche).
• Identify or create some distinctive competence and convert this into a sustainable competitive advantage.
• Realize that competitive advantage is temporary; the firm will either be extinct or different in five years’ time; therefore planning ahead and the search for new opportunities must go on continually; and change must be welcomed.
• Create and improve the firm’s image.
• Strive to be the best rather than the biggest.
• Remember that success comes from finding and/or creating opportunities.
• Build on strengths and concentrate effort and resources.
• Recognise the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.
• Seek and use expert advice.
• Recognise the various types of risk.
• Avoid being over-dependent on others.
• Get rid of unprofitable and/or unsaleable products and services.
• Manage the firm’s resources efficiently and effectively.
• Realise that every business/management decision and action will affect the firm’s survival-ability.
• Use time efficiently and effectively.
• Keep good records.
• Regard cash flow as the life-blood of the business.
• Hire the right people, use them and involve them in the business, reward them wisely and get rid of all ‘dead wood’.
• Continually update product knowledge and technical skills.
• Regularly review the suitability of the firm’s location.
• Learn from errors made and do not repeat them.
• Watch for signs of mental stress and, if these are found, decide on the cause and deal with it.
• Be decisive and assertive — decide on the best course of action and follow it.
• Believe in yourself and your business.
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