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By Jon Slaybaugh Why is it important that you understand and use the principles that will soon be revealed? While small businesses account for the majority of all jobs and job creation in the USA, the sad statistic is, that over 50 percent of new businesses fail within the first 4 years. You do not want to be a part of this statistic! I developed these principles over a 35plus year career in the industrial controls market. My whole career was with small businesses and included the acquisition and integration of four small entrepreneurial businesses, plus joint ventures, equity investments, license agreements and marketing agreements with entrepreneurs. These principles were first put into practice while I was president of Namco Controls, a Mentor, Ohio company. The ideas underlying these principles were not all my original thoughts. In truth, there is not much someone else has not thought of before. Many of the ideas came from associates, business acquaintances, good customers and various authors, trainers and speakers. These principles were instrumental in our ability to sustain some 35 percent annual growth rate over a 15 year period! Here is what one attendee at the live workshop had to say about the program: “The knowledge learned here reinforces the need to make changes … to improve results.” So here are the principles of what to do.

1. U s e   y o u r inspiration and imagination to create your business’ vision. Vision is the framework, which guides the choices you make, that determine the nature and direction of your company or organization. It’s where you are going and what you want to be. An organization needs a vision of the future just like the farmer plowing his field must focus on the end point to plow a straight furrow. If he’s looking at his feet or the present, without an end point in focus, a very crooked furrow develops. 2. You need focused market niche(s). Define your business around a group of customers with a common problem. 3. You must get close to the customers. This is your key to finding unsolved problems. If you are not spending time with your customers, you can not be close to them. 4. Forget “me too” solutions. Your product or service needs to be unique. Being just like your competitors is not much of a future. When multiple competitors are “just alike” the customer soon learns to drive price as the differentiator. You need an edge over competition that is sustainable over time. 5. Do everything rapidly and repeatedly. It’s your key to staying ahead of any competitor. Recognizing unfulfilled needs and responding much faster than the competitors can be your competitive advantage. Do it repeatedly to sustain the advantage. Think about these principles and whether or not your business has been following any of them. Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly. Proverbs 13:16. ~ Next time we will focus on how to apply these principles and what it could mean for your business.

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Middlefield Post November 6th, 2013


Middlefield Post November 6th, 2013