How to Succeed in Business...

There have been, and always will be, many, many analyses of what makes each different person good at building a business. The trouble is, those doing the analysis try and look for pointers that could be replicated by others looking to achieve similar success.

The trouble is, it isn’t that easy. To even think that you can isolate the common denominators of commercial domination is an illusion and to try and capture the traits of the successful and seek to apply them widely is an elusive pursuit.

Each time somebody makes a big success of some enterprise or other, the business writers are out making notes about personality type, business model and USPs to try and define what has led to that success, so that other hopefuls can copy and paste those magic factors into their own plans.

Recently, we have been shown extracts from an email from the desk of Elon Musk giving a few workplace rules:
  • slim the supply chain ( ie don’t have too many contractors and sub-contractors meaning that few links in the chain are actually doing any work);
  • practise common sense (this seems to be, er, common sense!)
  • communicate clearly (if it needs a glossary, it’s way too complicated)
  • kill meetings (they’re a waste of time, so feel free to walk out).
But before you put that all into practice (and create a Tesla-type business that can lose millions a month), you’d better heed the latest analysis of Amazon’s approach to meetings (which are considered important events in that culture):
  • Powerpoint is banned
  • Meetings start with 30 mins of silence
  • This enables a six-page memo, which has been carefully planned out, to be read by all attendees before considered discussion ensues.

So, unfortunately, it looks like you will have to work things out without relying on a template of tried and tested techniques – because there are no general rules!

Or, as the Times put it “try to find something that people want to buy and offer it to them. Set a price for it to be sold at that is higher than all the costs that go into making it, all the costs that go into marketing it and all the taxes due.”

Believe me, if you could bottle the essential oils of entrepreneurship, you’d sell out (!) and everyone would make a success of every venture they tried. If only!

Image by Samson Creative on Unsplash

Published on May 14, 2018 by Neil Thomas