Are You a Loser, Like Most Gamblers?

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There are few things sadder than watching a gambler fritter away hard-earned money. Casinos are dominated with them.

They look lost, depressed and defeated in the hope that the next deal (or spin) turns their luck. The parallels between gamblers and small business owners are vast.

A gambler is seduced by the neon lights and ‘cha ching’ of the machines, while a small business owner is infatuated with their product or service – each hope it will lead to a big pay day, that they can claim to be a winner.

Like a gambler, the odds are heavily stacked against you achieving business success. The evidence is clear, yet dire – more than 60% of businesses fail within the first three years.

It begs two questions:

  • How do some gamblers make it a living? And;
  • What are the less than 40% of small businesses doing to succeed?
  • The answer is the same for both; planning.

In a business sense, you took a gamble on starting your enterprise and for the most part, it’s paid off. You’ve build a steady stream of customers and you’re generating funds; that’s the initial hit of pulling a full-house soon after sitting at the Blackjack table.

As it does though, luck starts to wane and successes become seldom. Your guesses and opinions on what your customers need is not backed up by testing or experimentation, it lacks planning.

A long time lucky gambler, as Kenny Rogers would say, knows when to fold and walk away. That’s because they’ve planned to calculate the risk and minimize the harm. That could be as simple as setting a monetary limit and sticking to it.

Planning takes many forms and if done correctly it will see you make the right call at the right time. If you’re well planned your decision-making processes will reap beneficial results.

Ultimately business is about winning (but don’t be smug when you do). To prepare, high end gamblers size up their opposition at the table before the game starts and continue it throughout. You must do the same with your competition. Can you really beat them? If not, how are you preparing to outsmart them and increase your share of the market?

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