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Surviving the Early Years of Your First Small Business

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It can be very exciting to have a small business. It gives you a new freedom that most people do not have in their work. The challenge that most small businesses face is remaining solvent for a long period of time. Forbes records that 8 out of 10 small businesses fail within the first 18 months. Reasons cited included arrogance, no clear marketing strategy, and not listening to honest customer feedback.

Tips from Billionaire Entrepreneurs

If you want to be one of the small businesses that turns into a gigantic billion dollar organization, you have to look at the mindset of people like Warren Buffett, Sam Walton, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, and Bill Gates. They did something that turned little businesses into giant multinational corporations in just a couple of decades. What did they do differently than the entrepreneurial herd?

Warren Buffett recommends avoiding what other entrepreneurs are craving. Make a short list of things like debt, quick, easy, fun, or popular. These things will have high entry requirements and expenses to uphold because every entrepreneur wants to do them. Sam Walton pointed to the habit of just listening to and valuing all his employees. Walmart is known for calling employees associates. This is to honor them as important members of the team.

Steve Jobs felt it is essential that we do what we love. If we do not, we will not do great work. He recommended that people keep on looking if they have not found what they love to do yet. Sergey Brin said that his financial success was mostly due to not worrying as much as most people. He feels that his peers saw mountains where he just saw a little hill. Bill Gates thinks it is more important to learn from failure than to celebrate success.

The Clever Questions

When the deer appears in the headlights, many people settle for online title loans. If you ask the clever questions, it can help you avoid needing excessive financial help in an awkward time. The clever questions include:

  1. What am I unusually good at doing? – These are things that set you apart from your peers. They are your natural talents or learned skills that you do well at. This is what you should try to sell to become successful.
  1. Who strongly demands what I am good at doing? – This is your natural market. Many people try to push their talents on an audience that is not going to buy. They waste their life slaving away at a marginal job. To get an ideal situation, we need to identify who really is wanting what we are good at doing.
  1. What are my competitors afraid to do to help our natural market? – Your competitors are people who have similar talents or skills. If you are a teacher, it is other teachers. If you are a mechanic, it is other mechanics. If you are a bartender, it is other bartenders. Make a list of the things that your peers in the industry are avoiding out of irrational fear. Greedily try to pursue some of those things to get to your natural market and have low competition. A clever mechanic builds his own body shop from scratch, handles the taxes, and sells to rich men who have high maintenance jaguars. A foolish mechanic gets hired at a large body shop where he is just a number on a book. The first mechanic makes far more money because of his higher courage and independent work effort.

Try Using SWOT

When in doubt, do a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis can help you and your team move forward in areas that you are forgetting. It can show you how to be a more effective manager of your time and resources. SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

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