A dear friend recently moved from Nashville to San Diego. Opportunities were imminent. The adventure launched when his wife negotiated a transfer to Southern California. Their fortunes were about to improve dramatically. This personal development resembled a business deal, where they saw opportunity and seized it. They strategized, they planned, then finally loaded their belongings in a cargo trailer towed by their car. Massive success was undoubtedly in front of them! They simply had to execute.
Like any start-up, successfully managing details is essential to reaching the goal. The cargo trailer contained furniture, clothes, technology, and assorted hard assets. It is easy to mistake those items as the value that is behind the trip’s purpose. The stuff has to get there. Further complicating the matter, it is easy to assess a quantitative value to these assets. Calculating their price is a straightforward exercise.
Nevertheless, while calculating the assets’ value is easy, precisely measuring the assets’ importance is far trickier. In a start-up venture, fancy offices and elaborate furnishings communicate value about the enterprise. But, it does not indicate the financial value of the enterprise. Entrepreneurial success largely depends on creating value to customers. That results from accurately understanding the marketplace’s needs, then cost effectively delivering them. The tangible assets fundamentally benefit the image of the business providing the service. But, what ultimately determines external business success? How are business goals ultimately met?
Business value fundamentally results from delivering a product or service to a paying customer. Then, the ability to repeat the process and acquire experience leads to growth. The office, vehicles, support software of the enterprise typically has minimal impact on the personal interaction that results in exchanging money and goods. The interaction through relationships, the ability to communicate why the transaction is in the customer’s best interest, and the reputation that the seller has for delivering on promises actually drive sales success.
None of those attributes fit into a box! Entrepreneurial success is predicated on the courage to make a claim and to fulfill it because the customer wants it! It is the intangible benefit that results in business success. Feel the fear and do it anyway is a standard operating procedure with start-ups. Recovering and improving at every stage creates experiences leading to longevity and achievement. Who cares what is in the box? Success depends on what is in the heart, mind and soul. Be sure to pack those on the entrepreneurial journey.
Back to the travelers’ journey, an error involving the navigation system made the trip longer than anticipated. Ingenuity and perseverance propelled them through that misfortune. The travelers survived and were smarter because of it. Technology is a tool. It is an important tool, but it is no match for intelligence and tenacity. Successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of the unconquerable human spirit over technological firepower. Make the tool serve the master. Intelligence, perseverance, and faith, is where business value resides. These assets travel with the person, not in the cargo trailer. Get the tools, set the strategy, assess the risk, start the journey. Then, relentlessly execute! Do not stop until successfully reaching the destination. These rules work for traveling across the country, also.
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond