When it comes to decision making in business, the most crucial decision – and harder to make – comes right at the start: which business to choose.
A small business might do well by seizing a small percentage of a large company's mass market – it could make a small fortune by finding a particular niche. However, that does not provide an answer to the specific initial question. The decision making process could have made simpler, though, if you have a specific area of expertise or skill that would be potentially attractive to customers.
In the film The Graduate there is a memorable scene where a friend of the father of Dustin Hoffman's character offers the young hero some advice on business with just one word: 'Plastics.' Similarly memorable, Lord Rayner offered some advice for young entrepreneurs in his early days as managing director of Marks & Spencer, recommending the specialty bread market.
High technology was once the best bet for start-ups but sure things do not exist. Going back to 1992, half of the top 20 of America's fastest growing companies in a Fortune magazine list came from the computer industry, ranging from A to X – literally: Artisoft, a company dealing with systems and networking, to Xilinx, manufacturers of reprogrammable chips. Just two years later, Artisoft made it into the top 100 of the list but only just, and Xilinx was out alike.
There are proven areas of success – for instance, importing the American experience. The Atlantic does not represent a commercial barrier, as has been shown by fast food outlets and restaurant chains such as McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, etc.
There are many examples of successful businesses in America that need not stay American. Do not let area or nation cloud your decision making process as if it is premium quality golf clubs, sporting good or children's play centers, a successful business can work almost anywhere.
When it's time to bring the decision making to its conclusion, make sure profitability is high up on your list of criteria.
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