The one path you must avoid

It is tough starting up a business and growing it into a thriving small business.  Owners need to be prepared to make sacrifices along the way and, in many cases, cope with numerous setbacks as well as patchy salary payments.

It is said that small business owners should find the time to research and learn from others who have successfully established similar businesses.  This makes sense.  Find out everything you can about what might go wrong and how other successful entrepreneurs have solved the problems you expect to encounter.  Before the Internet, finding this information was quite tricky. 

Now, with access to the Internet, there should be no need for you to make the same mistakes that others have made.  All you need to do is find someone via Google who has successfully solved the problems you are likely to encounter.  If you then take the same actions as they did, you will solve the same problem for your business – but in a fraction of the time. 

There will be other problems, though, that are unique to you and your small business.  How you solve these problems will determine how successful your business will become.  This is because of the basic Laws we touched on last week.  Every action you take in trying to solve a problem (a cause) with have an effect, or an outcome.  You must find ways to create the outcome that serves you and your business the best. 

For each of these problems, there are likely to be several possible actions you could take.  Your choice of path from this point will depend on the quality of your decision and this, in turn, will depend on the information you have available to you at the time. 

It is essential you devote enough time to finding out as much information as possible to ensure you make the best possible decision.  Without the necessary information, you will pick the path of least resistance and make the most obvious decision.  You may find this turns out to be the right choice, however in many cases it will turn out to be sub-optimal for your business. 

All is not lost.  One decision probably won’t cause your business to fail but it could impact your immediate profitability or sales success.  The path of least resistance is rarely the best route to follow.  It’s the choice of the lowest common denominator, a decision that is acceptable to everyone who is impacted by it.  Rarely will these decisions enable you to drive your business forward. 

ACTION IDEAS

  1. Learn from what others have achieved so you don’t re-invent the wheel.  Gain from the experiences of others and side-step the setbacks they encountered.
  2. Don’t rush decisions unless they are absolutely time-critical.  Give yourself enough time to collect the information you need to make an informed choice.
  3. Question yourself about each decision you are about to make to confirm you are not taking the easy way out by following the path of least resistance.
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