Still looking for that brilliant idea that will guarantee your success in business? They are out there. And when someone unearths one and makes it successful they achieve tremendous wealth and fame. If this is your goal, by all means, keep looking.
But if you want greater flexibility to run your life, the ability to support your family, and less bureaucracy in your work environment read on.
After 10 years running a small management company I found that numerous businesses like mine were being bought up because running them the way they had always been run was no longer profitable. Frankly, I had never had a great passion for property management. I was keen about eating, having a roof over my head, and many other things. I had two choices: innovate or sell.
Another 10 years later I did sell. By that time I was handling $25 million worth of property from my laptop. Wherever I had Internet access, be it a hotel room or Coffee Bean, I could take care of business. In these days of personal hotspots, I could have run it from the beach. My company was highly profitable because I substantially streamlined an administration-intensive business and made it virtually paperless.
Dr. Samuel Johnson and Christopher Booker maintain there are only seven plots for literature and movies. To a large extent, that same can be said of businesses. Consider the following:
- An online store is only today’s version of the Montgomery Ward catalog.
- Blogging is just the latest means of pamphleteering and Twitter an even more up to date way.
- Facebook is an asynchronous party line where you, instead of the telephone company, choose who listens to your calls.
The Internet is called a revolution. In reality, it allowed old ideas to be modernized.
Flourishing as an entrepreneur does not take genius or a unique idea. You need only find a way to do or make something better than your competition. Real estate agents at Century 21 The Masters are tops in the country because they are trained to concentrate intensely on the needs of people buying and selling homes.
Most successful entrepreneurs take a proven business and change something about it to gain a competitive edge such as:
- Make a service more consumer-friendly. Mike Diamond plumbers show up at a specific time and are clean and well groomed. They get a premium over plumbers that only give a window during which they will show up and wear dirty clothes.
- Handle business more efficiently. I leveraged off-the-shelf technology to save time, office supplies, postage, and many other resources. As a result, I could focus on my clients.
- Offer greater choice. When you buy an iPhone you get a white charger and cable. But at Los Angeles Air Force Base there is a kiosk that has them in a rainbow of colors. At least two people are making money offering more choices than Apple does: the manufacturer and the vendor.
My success in property management came because I am very good at organization and efficiency not because I was brilliant at real estate. You can succeed by applying the skills at which you excel to a proven business. This is the surest path to entrepreneurial triumph.
Question – Where can you apply your expertise to improve the way a business is done?
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