Entrepreneurs are those who take risks to produce goods and services for customers, gambling that the customers will be there to pay prices high enough to yield a profit. These profits are essential for the entrepreneur to repeat the process of developing and producing even more products and services.
Customers are Expedient
Customers are lazy, greedy, ambitious, selfish, vain, ignorant and impatient. They seek safety, security, comfort, leisure, love, respect, and fulfillment, the fastest and easiest way possible. Businesses and business people only succeed if they satisfy these customers faster, better, and cheaper than their competition. Fully 80% of new businesses go broke, close up or shut down in the first two to four years. From 1900 to 2000 more that 70% of the “Fortune 500,” the largest and most successful companies in America, closed down, went bankrupt or were acquired by other companies.
The Companies of Tomorrow
Some of the biggest and most profitable companies in America today, such as Microsoft, Dell, Oracle, and Apple, did not exist 25 years ago. Each year, new companies emerge and older companies disappear. The process of “creative destruction” in the marketplace never ends. Customer’s wants and needs are changing continually, like the weather, from one day to the next, from one week, month or year to the next. They never remain the same for very long. Everywhere you look, in every business activity, promotion or advertisement, you see greedy, ambitious, clever people and companies striving to sell the very largest quantity of products and services at the highest possible prices to the greatest number of customers. And this is a good thing.
The Customer Benefits the Most
Because of competition and consumer choice, these lazy, greedy, and determined business people have no option but to continually improve their offerings to make them more attractive and desirable than those of their competitors. Meanwhile, those lazy, greedy, and impatient customers always have three choices. First, they can buy what is offered by a particular company; second, they can buy something else offered by another company; and third, they can restrain from buying anything at all. In a free market, all choices are voluntary. A person only enters into a voluntary exchange when he feels that he will be better off as a result of this exchange than if he had not entered into the exchange at all. This means that, in order to buy something, the person must value the benefits of the product or service more than he values the amount of money that it costs.
Competition Brings Out The Best
To succeed in a competitive market, many of the very best qualities of the individual are demanded. At a minimum, a successful entrepreneur requires courage, both to begin in the first place, and then to persist against the endless problems and disappointments. An entrepreneur requires honesty and integrity to win the support of customers, suppliers, employees and sources of capital and finance.
To be a successful financial entrepreneur, above all, requires an instinct for identifying what products or services he can produce and offer that extremely demanding customers will buy and pay for.
By Brian Tracy