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How Entrepreneurs Can Find Their Achilles Heel

June 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 168

Achilles was a character in Greek mythology made famous by his heel, which his mother had failed to protect when she dipped him in the River Styx. Paris discovered this secret weakness and exploited it by aiming his arrow precisely at that spot, killing him. How can you find your Achilles Heel before someone else does?

One of the most popular game shows ever to reach television was The Weakest Link, which aired in Britain from 2000 to 2012. Anne Robinson, the moderator, would fire a series of questions at the contestants, who for most of the game had to work as a team to accumulate as much money as possible. At the end of each round, the player who the team felt was the weakest among them was voted off.

The weakest link in any business is its Achilles Heel. It's that place where everything grinds to a halt if it breaks.

Here are four places in your business that you should check.

1. Products

Every product follows a buying cycle, and each is different from the other. At first, customers may be buy them quickly. Then there will be a levelling off period, and eventually the number of people who buy them will decline. That's why firms improve their products and introduce new ones. When was the last time you evaluated yours?

2. Services

Customer needs change all the time, and so must your services. This is due in part to the fact that clients learn how to do more for themselves, but also because technology helps them to do so. When was the last time you raised your game?

3. Suppliers

Although it's always easier to blame others for things that go wrong, suppliers really can let you down. They, like you, have to rely on others for their business. When they get less, the produce less, you can find that deliveries of materials to you are delayed.

In an ideal world, we'd all have multiple suppliers; but some commodities can only be provided one at a time. An internet connection is a good example. It may not even be possible to have two different telephone companies supporting separate lines into your work space. What options have you created?

4. Customers

Customers are the most unpredictable of the four. Just think of your own behavior as one. You're always looking for more value and for less cost. What can you do to guard against the likelihood that your customers will take their business elsewhere?

By the way, if you'd like more information, then you might like to get my free eBook on How to BE an Entrepreneur.

Or, if you want some help in finding your niche, then you might be interested in http://www.terrydeaninterview.com.

Source: EzineArticles
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