The Facts of Business Life: What Every Successful Business Owner Knows that You Don t
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Doomed from the start. If you’re an entrepreneur or an entrepreneur-hopeful, it’s probably difficult to keep those four words from causing you to second guess your every move as you plan and run your business. They become especially hard to ignore when you consider the fact that less than 30 percent of businesses last more than 10 years, and most failures happen within the first few years of operation. The truth is, many things could go wrong: an ill-conceived business idea, poor planning, lack of capital, ineffective leadership, and more. In the high stakes world of running a business, those are the facts.
But, says Bill McBean, there are other important facts about business ownership. Facts that could help you avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that trip up so many others, and go on to achieve the success you’ve dreamed of. He calls them the Facts of Business Life.
“Of course, there are a variety of skills owners need to know in order to make a business work,” says McBean, author of the new book The Facts of Business Life: What Every Successful Business Owner Knows That You Don’t (Wiley, October 2012, ISBN: 978-1-1180949-6-9, $24.95, www.FactsOfBusinessLife.com). “But after many decades of running my own successful businesses, and learning how other successful owners have created success, I have come to the conclusion that these facts are the seven essential concepts needed to create a successful business life.”
McBean knows what he’s talking about. A successful business owner many times over and a trusted mentor to entrepreneurs, he shares in his book a career’s worth of wisdom that you can put to use right away. The Facts of Business Life provides a thorough explanation of each fact and why their sequential order is important. And, he is the first author to define the five levels through which every successful business evolves—its life cycle: Ownership and Opportunity, Creating Your Company’s DNA, From Survival to Success, Maintaining Success, and Moving On When It’s Time to Go.
Best of all, The Facts of Business Life makes it clear when each fact should be implemented and how they should be implemented on each level. (Make no mistake—while the facts will always remain the same, their application will change as your business grows and matures!) That’s where the book’s greatest value can be found: McBean makes it very clear how and why each level signals to an owner that it’s time to change up the way he or she leads, manages, markets, etc., and he provides actionable advice on how to best proceed.
“Now, don’t get me wrong,” McBean clarifies. “There are no guarantees for entrepreneurs—and to add to the challenge, each business is one of a kind, in terms of how it competes, its constraints, and how it operates. But what you can do is tilt the odds in your favor.”
If you’re ready to build a strong, lasting foundation for your business, here are McBean’s tried-and-true seven Facts of Business Life:
- Fact 1: If you don’t lead, no one will follow
- Fact 2: If you don’t control it, you don’t own it.
- Fact 3: Protecting your company’s assets should be your first priority.
- Fact 4: Planning is about preparing for the future, not predicting it.
- Fact 5: If you don’t market your business, you won’t have one.
- Fact 6: The marketplace is a war zone.
- Fact 7: You don’t just have to know the business you’re in; you have to know business.
“Ultimately, I don’t believe that any entrepreneur can succeed—or at least reach his or her full potential—without knowing, understanding, and applying these seven Facts of Business Life,” concludes McBean. “It’s equally important to understand how these facts are interrelated.
“For instance, being able to develop strategic plans or market your product will mean little if you don’t have a good grasp of business in general,” he concludes. “But I promise, if you commit yourself to understanding these facts while being prepared for their implementation to change as your business goes through its inevitable life cycle, you’ll be creating a best-odds scenario for success.”
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