9 pitfalls to avoid in business which a Critical Friend can help with

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9 pitfalls to avoid in business that a Critical Friend can help with.

  1. The existence of too many would be’s. Something critical is missing. Possibly the interested people have a will to do something but lack a good idea; some key entrepreneurial competence or talent is missing – the person concerned is unlikely to make it as an entrepreneur; there is a lack of true commitment to the idea/opportunity/ venture.
  2. The single dimension paradox. The start up stage progresses well but there is a lack of ability or opportunity to grow the business beyond the initial stages. The idea might be viable in the short term; there may be inadequate funding; the entrepreneur may be unwilling to let go at a critical time; the initiative could simply run out of steam.
  3. The business is a so called half way house. In other words it is a franchise or a co-operative and critically dependent upon the continued support and engagement of others who may be outside of the business.
  4. The business is impoverished. Specifically it fails to achieve a winning strategic position. Funding is difficulty or mismanaged and the business is under capitalised. Insufficient attention is given to getting the quality right to delight the customers. The team is not developed in the appropriate way – such that key skills are missing. The business cannot cope when succession becomes an issue.
  5. The business is blinkered. There is too much self belief – perhaps driven by an orientation to production rather than customers – the we know best syndrome. The entrepreneur is unwilling to accept outside views and advice.
  6. The business is technology shy. There is a tension here – the business needs capital and technology, but it all costs money. The key questions are just when do you invest and how much do you spend?
  7. The business has become smothered. Specifically, it has become over bureaucratic because it has become bigger and more structure and has lost its creative spark.
  8. The business is now run by a crisis manager – a manager who relies too much on an ability to deal (or not deal) with setbacks and crises as they arise, often implying the wrong trade off between reaction and proactivity.
  9. The business has started making too many mistakes. Possibly it has become too ambitious. Maybe it has ignore warning signs such as a cash shortage. Maybe it is simply too greedy.



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