What is the common denominator that characterizes all companies, both in the public and private sector, regardless of the market in which it operates? I would say that the search for profit or, more properly, the search for financial viability and value contribution. There is no need to be an expert to see that any company, regardless of its nature, requires that revenues exceeds its expenses in order to be able to provide their service, either if it sells a product representative of consumerism or is providing a service not looking for profitability as NGOs do.
I’m amazed when I see, just by taking a look to the newspaper on the morning, the ability to adapt to change and finding opportunities that people has. Although the economic crisis we live in today, I still see people able to look at an obstacle as an opportunity, and when they could give up against the difficulties they decide to react and come out stronger. As stated by the title of this paper, it’s good fishing in troubled waters…
It is a fact that we don’t live in the better moment of our economic history. Only in Spain over 200,000 companies have disappeared since 2008 and unemployment has exceeded the crazy figure of 6 million. But it is also true that the companies that overcome this crisis will be reinforced on the medium-long term as they will build a stronger financial and strategic base in order to enhance their activity.
It’s in these moments when entrepreneurship seeking alternatives appear, both at the corporate and entrepreneur level, bringing new solutions to consumers. In this article I’m going to focus on the second one, about the corporate entrepreneur I will write another time…
Large companies we know today also emerged at the time looking for the solution to a need or lack of the market and have been reinventing themselves as companies, as well as other companies will emerge at this time that in the future will be the reference in their sectors. And in all these entrepreneurs who succeed there is a comon characteristics that define them and underlie their success; they are led by entrepreneurs who understand what are the keys to success.
After reading many different interviews to entrepreneurs, journalists articles and study several “success stories”, these are four variables that I think most of entrepreneurs who have achieved their objectives share:
– Innovation: Having a differential product it’s a key afactor for it’s market development. Is not needed to be a revolutionary idea but it should bring some added value to the consumer that makes the offered product attractive. We are not referring stricly to the product itself, but the sales process or management, such as providing a new distribution channel to a consolidated product.
– Financial strength: They tend to be long-term projects that require financial muscle so usually you can finde more than one line of income. Companies realize that they need to control cash flow and know exactly how they will make money.
– Long-term projects: The companies that are working well are the ones launched by people who love what they do and believe in their product. Few are the entrepreneurs who build a a business in order to sell it in the short term to take a hit and end up succeeding.
– Market defined: It is a key factor to know the market which operates in, the direct and indirect competitors, and finding the right niche to develop. The ones who believe they have found the “holy grail” and say they have no competition end up failing.
There are numerous companies that have been developed in the past two years and are now succeeding. In the link you can see after this paragraph you will find 41 Spanish companies considered start-ups out of which 90% earn more than 100,000€ per year (in the case of companies with more than two years, all are expected to earn more than 500,000€ in 2012) and 54% achieved a turnover of over 5 million.
A clear example of this list is JobisJob, company that through its job search tool facilitates contact between the applicants and bidders of employment, much needed nowadays.
I know that obviously is not easy, it requires a lot of effort and courage to take the decision of being an entrepreneur. But the opportunities are out there and the ones who decide to take the risk and exploit them will be the ones who achieve their objectives, and consequently fulfill their dreams.
“Inspiration exists, but it must find you working”