Advice for Small Business

Bob Nelson seeks to train small businesses around the world, bringing livelihood to the poor. His request, what are the top 10 pieces of advice you would give to a small business just getting started?

I offer this list. Appropriate to groups of any size in any market, it calls attention to the universal issues of competitiveness and value that must be present for success. There are no surprises here. However, you must be on top of every item in this list to have a chance.

  • Growth Market – Participate in a very large emerging market that is growing quickly.
  • Market Blocker – Solve the nasty problem that prevents this market from growing as fast as it can and should.
  • Compelling Value – Offer a unique value proposition so complete and compelling that customers demand immediate delivery of your product / solution.
  • Many Customers – Target segments where you can start with at least 10 customers and quickly grow to hundreds.
  • Core Competence – Do well what you do well, particularly what you do better than anyone else.
  • Sustainable Advantage – Follow a strategy that puts you in a stronger position relative to competitors with each passing year.
  • Accelerated Transactions - Make it easy for your customers to find and pay for your product / service.
  • Gross Profits – Make money on every transaction, and quickly cover your fixed expenses.
  • Sufficient Equity – Accumulate adequate equity capital to launch the business and fuel its growth.
  • Great People – Surround yourself with high quality people who complement your skills, and hold onto them.
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