For small-business owners it is important to concentrate on personal strengths. Small business management, that is close to entrepreneurship, is about organizing economic activities and your personal economic background defines the success of these.
Production versus networking. The term productivity is not only about producing something, which is the most common and well-known aspect; the producer who is autonomously involved in the development of a product. But productivity is also about networking and involving others. Take for instance the giant auctions on Internet. Their productivity is about matching demand and supply. Ezinearticles.com is another example of the same category where the main productivity role is networking, getting people – demand and supply - together.
Support. A next example of productivity is the supporting role. For example the web-serving-business that provides a host for your site. It is nearly invisible, but very nasty if it is not up-and-running.
Sales. A last example of productivity is the sales-role. Consultants like me have always problems with that. If it is not your strength you should connect to another parties (matching) your expertise with a demand in the market.
All four productive elements are needed to boost any business. But your strength is normally only one out of them. You are either starting a business with a sales background, a high developed intermediation skills, a development focus or with a supportive vision. You cannot excel in all four areas. However you do need all of them to prosper.
The first thing to know is what element is the one of your strength. The next thing is to determine how to fill the other gaps. If you excel in sales expertise, your main problem is defining a product that is wanted in the market. As you are aware of the volatility of consumer preferences the product demand could change over the period of time. Therefore you need to be flexible. If you are a producer of any kind, sales could be a nightmare. Trying to do it yourself will not be the best strategy. Rather attempt to cooperate with someone who does have this experience. The networker (auctions, marketplaces, etc) needs volume. Internet is just one of the media that is offering just that. But still not everyone is a networker. If you are not in real life, your internet community will not prosper either.
If you are to start a business make sure you know where your strength is in personal productivity area. If your business is are already up-and-running but you can do with a boost, just check whether the productivity roles are balanced.
© 2005 Hans Bool / Astor White
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