In a recent post, "Persistence and Experience Pay Off", I cited a research study at The Harvard Business School indicating that entrepreneurs with a history of success are much more likely to succeed in new ventures than first-timers or those who failed previously.
But what about succeeding...in this economy? The Harvard Business School provides some help here also, this time in the person of Bhaskar Chakravorti, a senior lecturer of business administration at the Harvard Business School. Mr. Chakravorti was recently interviewed by Martha Lagace for the Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge newsletter.
Mr. Chakravorti says that while the present economy removes opportunities and resources, it has also managed to add new and different opportunities. Here are his four key points:
1. There are three fundamental decisions facing any business: where to play, how to deliver, and how to win. Those are the three decisions during good times and bad times.
2. Entrepreneurs should systematically identify "downturn needs," which even now consumers are looking for. These woudl include necessities and affordable luxuries, substitutions for previous products and services, and products that deliver value for money.
3. To serve these needs, look for downtime resources that might be available at relatively low cost.
4. Think business model. Consider the unintended consequences of cost-cutting, and instead focus holistically on the interconnected parts of your entire business model.
You can read Ms. Lagace’s complete interview in her article, "Creative Entrepreneurship in a Downturn".
And as I indicated in my earlier article, if you want to get a first look at cutting-edge management thinking, you can subscribe to the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge newsletter as a weekly newsletter or through a nifty RSS feed.