Approaching Business Strategy Analysis Real Power How To Start A New Business Five Major Hints
Many people talk about business strategy but have a great failure to realise exactly what this is – is it surprising that a great deal of business people have a huge problem discussing this when they do not exactly know what this is!
Questions that should be asked may include the determination of the fact that is there even a strategy in existence or if so, is this the correct one? Additionally, how do we determine what a strategy is and how does one go about developing one?
It is important when developing strategy to look at some of the issues and why a chosen path can go wrong-if one keeps doing the same thing, one will get the same results.
Many complaints about strategy range from the fact that it is difficult to determine, it gets messy and unfinished, and many people involved either do not contribute or attempt to dominate proceedings and a general feeling of the future and the failure of any future chosen path.
Broadly speaking, some schools of thought hold with notion that there are three main reasons for a failure of strategy.
Managers often fail to realise what these differences are; business schools talk about corporate-centre strategy and business-unit strategy. Business-unit strategy is for controlled organisations that may be part of conglomerates or single-business units whereas the other is for conglomerates planning growth through the use of single business units.
Another is often no clarity of purpose; for example there is no point in using models that are simply intellectually attractive when the purpose of the task is to discover options and directions and gather proof to support decisions about the future.
The business – unit level requires methods that are relatively straightforward and the only real obstacles are intimidation by “professionals” and their jargon. Most means of analysis are in excess of 35 years old but there is a general lack of understanding of them amongst business people and most of them do not know how to use them.
So how do we correct this anomaly?
Initially, the ground rules need to be set so participants need to arrive with open,clear minds. Strategy may be likened to seeing everything around, from every angle available and even into the future and the following requirements must be met to be successful: Customers are paramount and form the basis of market uuderstanding, practicality must take priority over theory, the business needs of now and the future need to be thought about and the strategy needs to be measurable.
It is worth at this point to touch on the philosophy behind a strategy.
The best place to start is to take the old adage of begin with where you want to be and work backwards to where you are now.
If, on the other hand, one believes that strategy is an analytical process then start with where you are and work forwards. However there is a difficulty with this approach as straightforward arithmetical thinking stifles creativity.
Perhaps, in the real world, a combination of both methods is probably a necessity.
This is all, of course, driving towards growth of the business and that is largely down to marketing. So why are not all growing firms good marketers and why have not they developed a good strategy?
Very briefly, this begins with a failure to understand the difference between selling and marketing – marketing is about developing products or services that customers will want where selling is about simply getting people to but the product.
The rest, for the moment, I leave you to ponder on.
So what is real power, what is the nature of power? How do we access power? When do we feel powerless? Is there a difference between real power and conventional power? Dwelling in these questions has in and of itself affected my life. When I ask these questions, I am filled with insights into my own internal and external motivations. It is my intention to share these insights here and to leave you knowing that you already have all that it takes to be authentically powerful!
It seems part of our confusion about power is in the different meanings we have for power and how we view power.
So, “What is power”? The conventional view is typically expressed as control, authority, status or strength. Often, when using the word power, we have in mind the idea of controlling the actions of someone or something. We speak of will power or controlling our behavior or controlling our children etc.
In George Orwell’s 1984, the main character Winston (I named my oldest son after him) is considering the control based society in which he lives and comes to the realization, “they can make you do and say anything but they can’t make you believe it”. So perhaps power, viewed as control is an illusion.
Frequently we mean strength when we use the word power.
We refer to physically strong people as powerful. We might call a nation powerful based on its military strength. In other words, the ability to inflict harm by a person, group or nation. At its very core all this is, is intimidation, bullying and it generates fear. So perhaps power, as strength is an illusion.
Power as authority? Most of our society is set up as such. We all know that just because someone has authority, it does not give them power. How many figureheads have we seen in large companies? How many times have we “pulled rank” on our children “because I said so!” just to have it backfire on us later.
What we have learned and often teach our children is that by virtue of position, people in authority have power. For example; teachers, parents, and police officers. Power through authority, an illusion maybe? At its best, it is not consistently effective or sustainable. I would also say that this belief system leaves the vast majority of us feeling powerless!
Climbing the ladder of success? This is the one I believe to be the most addictive, the attempt to find a suitable place for ourselves within a hierarchy or ranking system. Could be in our neighborhood, could be in the PTA, could be at your place of business, or even within your family. Ranking or status can be based on wealth, prestige and physical attributes. Look at how we revere our athletes or education, a PHD behind your name, now there is power.
See if you recognize yourself just a little here “If I could just have some of these attributes like more education, more beauty or more money. I could have the power to control circumstances to my advantage; others will look up to me. I will feel happy and accepted.”
My definition of real power; Real power is about being able to transform results into a sustainable reality. It is also the capacity to translate your intention into reality. Webster’s definition which I also like…the ability to act or produce an effect.
Conventional power has us react to life in fear, seeking control, force or status, hiding behind all the things we are not, the notion or belief in conventional power is in and of itself what holds you back from experiencing real power.
We have all experienced real power before. Some of us daily, some of us have moments at a time and others of us even less often. Take a moment and remember your last experience of real power. What were the qualities or circumstances of that experience?
Real power is identifiable by its absence of fear. Imagine the power of someone who is no longer ruled by fear, someone who is, therefore, immune to manipulation and control by others, someone who has moved to a new level of awareness. Imagine the quiet confidence and power of someone who is no longer addicted to the approval and affirmation of others, someone who is in touch with his or her real self. Imagine that this person is whole and complete even without their job, or their family or their status. Now imagine that this person with this quiet confidence, this person who no longer needs approval is you, think about it, what would life be like? What could you do in your business? Now imagine what you could do in your life!
Alicia Fruin- Owner of Profit Consulting Co.
Specializing in business education, all of our programs combine solid business strategy coupled with our expertise of how people learn and grow.
1-What is the main mistake committed by many entrepreneurs when starting a new business?
Every new entrepreneur dream of launching a new product that is a total novelty, a boldness of thought and a fruit of his intelligence and creativity. He knows many stories of entrepreneurs who got rich with a new good idea. However, they forget that most of new companies die in their first year of life and the number of failures is much higher than the number of success. Do not start a new company to show your creativity. Save your money and avoid frustration.
2-How to choose the right type of business?
Recommendation # 1
Copy what other successful companies are doing until you know the market quite well. Summary:
-Do not innovate at the very beginning of the company.
-Never offer new products at the start.
-Advertise the same way your most successful competition.
-Sell successful products or start business similar to already successful business.
-Use the same advertising media as the most successful companies are using.
-If you try to sell a product that few companies are selling, your chances of success are very few.
-There are many successful stories of products that were real novelties but for every case of success, there are hundreds of failures. However, large corporations achieved most of those successful products after a long series of failures.
Why the above recommendation is correct?
1- Because brilliant ideas generally do not work in most business areas. Psychologists say that the best business administrators do not have creative minds nor generate brand new ideas. They choose among ideas suggested by others.
2- Only large corporations have the money and time resources to invest and test new products or companies and wait until a great many tries bring in the expected profit. Generally, those tests are performed by professionals with large experience and highly qualified and it is very unlikely that someone without experience in that market can find out an excellent product or a new market.
3- The newcomer does not have enough information on products that have already been launched tried and failed. And also on companies that have been started and shut their doors etc. They also do not know the market.
4- The pioneer has the cost of the test i.e. a series of failures up to the point to find out a product or a company. The followers do not have those costs.
When copying a company be very careful to gather all important facts.
3-How to start a business if I have very small financial resources to invest?
-Start part-time and keep your current job so that your livelihood and that of your family does not depend on immediat success. Your current job will provide financial support during the rough and tough initial time so that you can evaluate your new business. Business world is a tough world and is difficult to learn it overnight.
-Work in your own house
-Remember that most of your investment will be your time and your ideas to start small and gradually learn and fix the mistakes you are going to commit.
4- Which advice would you provide a friend that wants to start a retail shop?
Assume that one friend of yours wants to start a business (a retail shop) and asked for your advice I think that your suggestion would be: look around your or other cities to see shops that seem to be successful business and that also seem to be growing fast. The main rationale is that if a shop is successful for someone most likely will also be good for your friend. Instead, if your friend wants to start an odd business I think you would advise him that his chances are very small.
5- How to find the right product?
Follow your hobbies to start your business. Use your knowledge or your personal interest to make money. Many entrepreneurs started their companies manufacturing or selling products that were their end of week hobbies like photography equipments, fishing tackle, diving equipment, cars, paintings, plants etc..
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