Many successful business owners, when asked how they managed to work through the trials of entrepreneurship, will tell you that they were “just lucky”. Others will say that luck played no part whatsoever in the success of their business, but the consensus seems to be that the phenomenon exists, nonetheless.
The Fickle Nature of the Market
Luck, in the mind of an entrepreneur, revolves around the market; how well the market responds to a product or service can be pretty volatile. Though research and thoughtful planning is the key to ensuring that you’ve got a product that will perform well, sometimes you can do all the homework, positive that you have found a niche product that is irresistible to consumers, and for one reason or another, the bottom drops out. The best course of action during those times is to assess the damage, find out where you may have went wrong, and use that information to hopefully avoid disaster in the future.
What Does Luck Look Like for a Business?
When the government raises your property tax by 100 percent, and you have to shut down your office because you can’t possibly pay it—that’s just some bad luck. When an old friend from college, who is now an angel investor, calls you up on the same day offering a large sum to cover the new tax in exchange for a favor—that’s good luck. Being in business for a while teaches an entrepreneur that sometimes there are unavoidable twists of fate that bring your company to the next level, or to its knees, which is probably why most veteran businesspeople claim that they would not be where they are without some good luck at crucial times.
Making Your Own Luck Isn’t Luck
Rather than betting your future on the hope that fortune may shine on you and lay an opportunity in your lap, they say that it’s better to make your own luck—but then, that wouldn’t be luck at all. Supposedly, the intent behind this assertion is good because what they are really saying is to position yourself to increase your chances for success. Working hard every day to secure the future of your company is all-important. Many small businesses fail simply because they were not willing to put in the sometimes exhausting work that is required to achieve a prosperous venture. What does that work entail? Let’s take a look.
Networking to Position Yourself for Great Opportunities
Experienced entrepreneurs agree: Some of your most valuable assets are your working relationships. It is easy to forget the foundational truth that business is all about people—sellers and buyers; innovators and investors; artists and managers—so it is no wonder that the relationships we forge through networking is essential to the positive progress of any small business.
Keep Your Finger on the Pulse
A business cannot grow if it doesn’t stay open to new strategies and sometimes, a complete paradigm shift. Your market is constantly changing; the ability to pivot according to those changes is crucial because a business’ continued success is impossible if it doesn’t stay relevant.
As a business owner, you should be like a seismograph connected solidly to the bedrock of the greater market and hyper-sensitive to the most subtle changes in the sphere of business. Any company that can learn how to recognize what consumers want, minute-to-minute, and react to them productively… doesn’t even need luck.
Make your own luck by doing your homework! The following post offers a different way of looking at market research:
The Market Research Process: A Fresh Perspective