A Tempting 10: BeWares and BeWise about business development
14/05/2012 - "A Tempting 10: BeWares and BeWise about business development" by Donal Carroll
 
 

A Tempting 10: BeWares and BeWise about business development


In this economic climate the Holy Grail for policy makers is creating more jobs. But where do these come from? Commonly it is claimed from new start-ups and enterprises, hence the importance, qua Government, for more people to develop an ‘entrepreneurial mindset’. So what’s the evidence? Unfortunately quite sobering: though small businesses have always comprised more than 50 per cent of the developed economy, only a tiny minority, say 5 per cent, make a contribution to growth or jobs, or even make much money for their owners. (1) So with so much free advice to potential entrepreneurs, what should they believe? Here are 10 BeWares (Don’ts) and BeWise (Dos) about setting up a business 


BeWare (Don’t)



  • 1 Consider yourself an expert (regardless of customer need) or believe stuff like ‘You already know what you need to know’

  • 2 Believe the Eureka-shriekers: that effortlessly, out of nowhere one idea comes that on its own will be your future

  • 3 Cultivate a mindset that endless rejection (2) bequeaths success, or stick with ‘losing’ ideas, or trust your belief that you just have to try hard and long enough

  • 4 Build the ‘perfect product’ first then do the market testing

  • 5 Bathe in the created dependence of: gurus, whiffing of finished learning, or sacred cows (eg niche, traditional business planning) they’ve always been here therefore always will be


 BeWise (Do)



  • 1 Balance expertness with eliciting: customer –or market- engagement comes from better listening and questioning to enable you to act on what you don’t like to hear  

  • 2 Remember impromptu brilliance comes from trained diligence so the more you keep open –and thinking- the more likely stronger ideas and decisions will emerge

  • 3 Have the courage to stop: a losing idea is one which unchanged, has insufficient effect on your market; treat your own belief and desire as necessary not sufficient, and ask yourself what is the belief and desire of your immediate markets?

  • 4 Create ‘minimal viable products’ -‘rough-cut’ products made by building both product and market at the same rate –roughly 50/50 to get you market presence and early customer feedback (2); and see each stage as small experiments or rapid pilots in learning

  • 5 Build independence: to find your own way, ask early on what skills you lack and how you can acquire them; recognise that what got you here won’t get you there and how –more than likely- you’ll need to ditch some sacred cows 


Above all: stimulate demand from anywhere –it’s the greatest business-sorter, forcing growth by mixing the psychology of mememe with the sociology of themthemthem 


1 Amar Bhide The origin and evolution of new businesses 2000 but still relevant


2 The Lean Start by Eric Ries 2011

 
 
 
 

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