It was one of those moments that you could not think about anything else except business. You had this burning desire to do something. If you did not do it today, somebody else would. You felt the urge. You ended up quitting college, and starting your own business. Or you had your business ideas for years, but you never thought about quitting until you hit the glass ceiling without seeing a future with the company you were devoted to for years. Or a few rounds of layoffs really helped to push you to make that move.
Whatever the case may be, now for good or bad, you were out there on your own. It did not take long for you to realize that having a brilliant idea was still thousands of miles away from establishing a good business. You read everything you could find about how to establish a business. You trusted your intuition, and you soon had a good product or service in place. For years, your business had a good run, and some days, you felt on the top of the world as if this boom would go on forever.
That was then, and now is this:The competitions zoom in on you as if they were just dropping from the sky. You feel the pressure. While your former classmates are hitting the glass ceiling, you hit the bottleneck. One moment, you felt overwhelmed, and the next moment, you did not know what to do. You lost sleep. When you do fall asleep, you feel suffocated. You are staring at a white line drawn on the board, which starts going up, then flattens out, and finally drops. Your product name is somehow attached to the tail of the line, echoing “dropping, dropping.” “I know the product life cycle patterns. My product is well at the rising stage. It hasn’t reached the peak yet, how come…Now I got it. It is about to be killed in the cradle.” You scream. You wake up, sweating. You are scared. You stay awake, searching. From The Art of War (Sun Zi Bing Fa) to SBA web site, you search for a solution to fight back and to save the baby you created, but you find yourself murmuring: like a human, who grows up like a baby, reaches to the peak, may stay on the plateau for a while if he or she is healthy and lucky, gradually deteriorates, and finally dies out. Hopefully, the last stage is not too slow a process. It is a natural cycle that nobody can avoid. But you have not reached the peak yet. You are about to be killed in the cradle...
What can we do to turn the natural course to our advantage? How can we use our limited time on earth to achieve more? How can our spirit continue to influence, maybe along an invisible line, when our bodies are long gone?
A voice says.
It all sounds good, but how, and it is so dark here. You think.
The voice talks about some consulting company that might help. You take the chance.
The light is turned on. Along the white line, a blue line is added in the coordinate with sales on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal axis, which after hitting a few bumpy roads, steadily goes up, parting from the white line. You are stunned.“The fundamental question every business has to answer is how to create the blue line.” The voice emerges once again. “How to sustain long term growth that can be translated into long term profitability? I understand we need to revamp our business to stay competitive, but that blue line is your imagination, right?” You comment. The voice goes silent. What have you learned from your customers all this time? Is your business model still sound? You try to look for the business plan you drafted years ago. For the next few weeks, you are working together to revisit the direction set for your business creation and development, value proposition to customers, growth opportunities in new segments and adjacent industries, and prioritization of initiatives around a unifying theme. Reset business strategy, brand introduction and reinforcement, and market and sales strategy and process that aim to take your business to the next level. “Implementing internet marketing and web strategy, developing e-commerce part of your business, extending to global markets…You need a deeper and broader level of integration of marketing into key functions and process of your business.” The voice continues. “By the way, you need an integrated IT.” “Is it a little too late?” You ask. “I do wish we could do it earlier, not simply react to it. But it's still better than never, with the innovation, the profitable innovation we ought to implement.” The voice adds, “There is a reason for a cause. There is a time for everything.” “How do we do that, exactly?...” Suddenly, a brilliant idea hits you the same way it hit years ago when you quit everything you were doing and started the business. You grab your briefcase and run out of the door. “Wait…” The voice stops you. Weeks before you go on a business trip, you find yourself sitting calmly in a room and being trained on business culture and etiquette. On the day you are leaving, you are reminded that “negotiation is win-win.” “Yes, the heart and soul for negotiation is to create a win-win situation.” You agree.
The whole is more than the sum of each individual. The business is not just about business; the business is psychology, art, and a way of winning in life. Now don't leave your briefcase behind.