By Sanaullah Abdullah, an EO Karachi member and director of Siddiqsons Industries
As an entrepreneur I focus most of my attention towards two main aspects of business: 1) Planning for a different business tomorrow and 2) Creating customer and products. Both aspects are looked at from an outside perspective to give impetus to “out-of-the-box thinking”. The first aspect, planning for a different business tomorrow, is looking at the “big picture,” whereas creating customers and products is looking inward to take the business to its full potential.
Planning for a different business tomorrow
Constant reassessment of current business model is the key for entrepreneurs as the market forces bring change to one’s industry. Bargaining power of suppliers, customers, entry barriers, technology and competition don’t stay constant. It is only a matter of time when traditional business models become obsolete. Forming a competitive edge or “differentiation” is a transition rather than one time startup strategy. Its like “rabbit chasing,” you need to keep doing different things to get hold of the objective.
As an entrepreneur, two main questions should be answered all the time: what is our business today and what it will become?
This also means periodically assessing the opportunity cost or value addition potential of all available resources, assets and entrepreneur’s and top management time . It’s pertinent to mention, observers cannot be isolated from the observation or the object being observed. An entrepreneur needs to isolate himself/herself physically, mentally and emotionally from the business and view the business as an outsider while judging the business potential and prospects. Entrepreneurs become emotionally attached with their current lines so it’s important to see the other side of the coin, as well. Not only prospects need to be identified and assessed, but also demerits of continuing a product line, customers and the business as a whole.
Creating customers and products
Second most important aspect of an entrepreneur’s job is to create customers. Opportunities exist outside the usual sphere of day to day work. Be it meeting with existing and prospective customers and suppliers and assessing their needs or attending trade shows, conferences or joining trade associations to connect with your peers, seldom opportunity will travel to you.