Successful entrepreneurship is an ever-evolving art form. The successful businessperson must immerse him or herself in the current best practices for a given enterprise. The great paradox is that today’s best practices may be tomorrow’s surpassed fads. Therefore entrepreneurs must continually arm themselves with ways to establish and maintain profitable business operations.
Often, the entrepreneur is faced with the dueling challenges of controlling costs and having a firm control on company operations, while at the same time allocating resources for exploiting future markets. Many entrepreneurs meet this challenge by having a strategy of niche marketing. Rather than have a broad marketing strategy covering vast customer needs, including geography and distribution, niche marketers look to identify small, yet potentially highly profitable sub-markets. These sub-markets may be a single division of a large company or companies located in a specific geographic area.
In an effort to leverage resources within the company, an entrepreneur may look to form partnerships with other business entities. Many savvy business owners recognize that instead of trying to have all the skill sets associated with technological expertise, and marketing expertise in-house, it might make more sense to combine a tech-savvy independent company with an independent marketing-savvy company. Ironically, many technology start-ups are recognizing that building a superb product is not a guarantee of business success or understanding in the marketplace. Also, less technically-astute start-ups acknowledge that it is a waste of time to try to acquire technical proficiency.
Many entrepreneurs are beginning to recognize that establishing a permanent yet flexible internal company culture is imperative to long-term success. Certainly, the ultimate company culture will reflect the goals, interpersonal skills, and moral beliefs of the founder/manager. However, the successful business owner understands that recruiting and retaining persons who may have different viewpoints can also lead to a robust and enduring team.
The main observation is that an ability to align with the right people may be the most reliable hedge an entrepreneur may have against the uncertainties of the future. Whether it is finding the right niche market, forming complementary partnerships and alliances, or developing an influential internal corporate culture, sensitivity to personal relationships may be the best hedge against future economic, political, or environmental changes.