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  • Camron Finlay

Networking Helps to Manage Risk and Overcome Business Challenges

Many challenges are quite common, occurring in all business types. One study found that

many SME’s fail due to a lack of inspirational leadership, ordinary management, and poor

planning. Within a business, a leader creates the vision and strategy, and managers create

goals and lead the team toward the vision objectives.

For decades, the dominant view of business strategy was based on Michael Porter’s ideas

about competitive advantage, that the key to long-term success was to dominate the value

chain by maximising bargaining power in transactions. A new model has since developed

based on ‘connection’, to be seen as purposeful rather than predatory.

So, whatever the chosen strategy, where are the principal Risks and Challenges?

1. Prepare for Different Stages in Business

Every stage has its own challenges and lessons. In the entrepreneurial/start-up stage,

the founder has high energy, drive, and enthusiasm. As it moves to maturity, usually

around five to eight years, the energy wanes and attention is directed to issues of

scaling a business, such as processes and detailed planning. Founders need to become

more of a CEO and steer rather than drive.

2. Get Staffing Right

Hiring and retaining staff is always a challenge, founders tend to quickly hire even if the

needed skills may be doubtful. Know what you need in a few (four to five) key attributes

expected of candidates, hire those with values and who will support the business

culture, stay in touch in their probation period to deter likely counter offers in this

competitive labour market.

3. Know there will be Highs and Lows

Prepare for both, consider appropriate scenarios, even “good, bad, getting-by” as a

start, and refine later for particular strategies or market situations. Focus on the

positives, leave the negatives at the door, your behaviour and tone affects everyone.

4. Find Support

Running a business is lonely, so seek help and good advice where possible. Realise

you’re not the first with a particular challenge, avoid making invalid assumptions and

getting stuck on just one course when a new approach may be what is needed.

One suggestion is to join a business networking group to seek out the input and

expertise of other people. Obtain not only practical advice and assistance, but also the

bonus from the business that is referred to you by the networking group.

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