In his book Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, Michael Porter one of the leading voices in Business Strategy, came up with a framework that suggests how companies can sustain their competitive edge in business. This framework also referred to Porters Generic Strategies identified three strategies organizations can use if they are to build sustainable competitive advantage. These strategies are Cost Leadership, Differentiation and Focus.
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A young man once asked his Father, what must I do to be a successful entrepreneur? His Father looked at him and with a big smile on his face then beckoned on him to take a seat. As both men sat, his Father told him a parable.
In part one of this article, I identified five of the many reasons why start-up’s, and SME’s fail. In this concluding part, I will like to focus on what small businesses can do to survive their early years and build lasting and sustainable businesses.
I have themed the 2017 financial year, “The Year of Start-ups and the Small Business” and while it may sound like wishful thinking to many, I do believe that for those entrepreneurs who have been working on great business ideas, and have done all that is required to go to the market, 2017 is a great time to venture out.
Sadly, passion and ‘big talk” are not often enough to help small businesses survive the first twelve (12) to twenty four (24) months of their business life. The jury is still out as to what percentage of start-ups or small businesses fail within the first two years of commencement of business operations. While some researchers have put it at between 80%-90%, some others have put it at about 50%.