I was in a meeting with a young entrepreneur, and he popped the following, question regarding a particular business we were discussing: Is this a good business?
It’s certainly a very interesting question. How do you define or classify a business as being ‘good’ or not? Many variables come to mind when trying to answer this question: Who is the business for? What are the goals of the owner? Does the business meet the desired lifestyle of the owner? What added value does the owner bring to the business? Is there competition? Is there growth potential? How much money can be made? Is it a seasonal product or service? Does it bring a solution to a problem? These are just a few of the countless questions that need to be addressed before being able to answer the original question.
We discussed in a prior issue that the best business is one where the owner has a passion for the products or services he offers. In this month’s letter, I want to address this question from a different perspective: the YOU factor.
If you look around your house, office or school, you’ll see a wide variety of products, such as computers, air conditioners, tables, watches, doors, windows, appliances of all types, notebooks, light bulbs and many more. There are individuals who make a fortune in each of these industries, and at the same time there are individuals who have failed in each of them. You can give the exact same product to two people to sell, and they will have totally different results, based on their skills, enthusiasm, ideas, work ethics, resources, marketing and sales strategies and personal belief systems, among other variables. This allows us to conclude that there is no such a thing as a good business or a bad business. There is instead such a thing as the YOU factor: what are you going to do in order to succeed.
Furthermore and to prove the point, an established company with great products hires two new salespeople. Both have the exact same product and are given very similar territories. One of them becomes “salesman of the year” and the other one quits after thirty days, blaming his lack of success on the price of the product, and because “the market is not interested in this type of product”.
So when evaluating a business opportunity or a job, don’t go around asking friends, relatives or even the so called “experts” about the business you’re considering. Instead, go to the mirror and ask the following question to the guy you are looking at: What are YOU going to do with it to make it a success?
Wishing you a great end of summer!