Make your obstacles become your strengths

Make your obstacles become your strengths

When Wal-Mart started growing, they did not have much of a distribution system, especially when compared to their competitors. Out of necessity, the company made the decision to only add stores within a day’s drive of a distribution center. While the competitors were haphazardly adding stores across the nation, Wal-Mart was growing from a central point, saturating the market as they expanded outward. This strategy had many unexpected benefits, such as lower advertising costs due to market saturation. But the most important thing about how Wal-Mart had to grow was management’s recognition of the advantages. In The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday wrote, “Great individuals, like great companies, find a way to transform weakness into strength.” For Wal-Mart, their weakness was a poor distribution system. But instead of internally blaming each other for their situation, management found a way to grow and developed their way into a winning strategy.

How does your start-up grow?

How does your start-up grow?

The things that make a start-up so awesome in the beginning are the very things that cause so much trouble once the company achieves some level of success. A small, dedicated team of individuals becomes a large, unwieldy troupe of employees. Hierarchies are established, managers and executives are brought in from the outside, processes are standardized. And that core group of dedicated individuals looks around at what the company has become and realize that work is not fun anymore. So they leave, taking with them their innovative, entrepreneurial spirit that helped the company become what it is. Bureaucracy kills innovation. Instead of creating a bureaucratic system to manage a few wrong people, focus on getting and keeping the right people for your organization. The right people are competent and disciplined. They do not need, or want, a bureaucratic system to work in.

Startups beware: be careful in structuring your ownership

Unequally Yoked Partnership

All businesses start with either a single owner or a plurality of owners. If you are considering starting your own company, chances are you have considered bringing in a partner or two who can provide something to your business that you are unable to provide yourself. The success of this potential partnership depends greatly on properly structuring the ownership of the partnership. Things may work fine during good years, but economic stress will expose the weakness of your business structure. A warning against being unequally yoked Over the past few weeks, I have written about a couple of different verses found in the Book of Proverbs. In that same vein, this article discusses a command found in the Old Testament. It is found in Deuteronomy 22:10, “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.” The wisdom of the verse is simple. An ox and a donkey are ...

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Do you want to be a successful small business owner?

Buy a Small Business

The baby boomers are retiring, and there are a lot of them. Some of the baby boomers own very successful businesses. If you are considering becoming a small business owner, then you should consider buying an existing business from a retiring owner. The case of the retiring small business owner This year alone, I worked with three different small business owners who had made the financial decision to retire. Two of the business owners desired to transfer their ownership to the next generation. (See my related article, Family business and the second generation curse.) The third business owner does not have any family member either working in the business or interested enough in the business to take over operations. This particular business owner was born in 1944. A little old for a baby boomer, but close enough for this discussion. He started a very successful, highly profitable business many years ago ...

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About David

About David

David is an accountant and adviser for small business owners. He also coaches clients on leadership and success. David is an avid reader. He blogs regularly on the books that he is currently reading.

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