Did you ever wonder what it takes to be a billionaire?
If you want to reach that coveted spot in the economic stratosphere,
you have to do many things right. And among those things is being
smart enough to make luck work for you more often than not.
Here are the 16 business decisions I think those students must learn to
make in the right way.
1. Play chess with rivals
Most companies face rivals. A great leader must know how to think
about competitors, how they might try to stop you from taking their
customers, and what you should do about it.
2. Learn by doing
It’s hard to know whether a new product will work.To be successful, you
have to decide how to use frugal experiments to boost your odds of
success before investing too much money.
3. Plan Scenarios
There is vast uncertainty about where many industries will be in five
years. When building a business in such an industry, how can you
identify the most likely scenarios and position your company to succeed
4. Shuffle your portfolio
If you’re CEO of a company with many
different products, some may be doing great, others are draining
resources. How should you decide which businesses to sell or exit and
which to invest in to raise capital and boost profit growth?
5. Build on strengths
The iPod, iPhone, and iPad all soared thanks to Apple’s strengths in
building content partnerships, hardware design, marketing, and supply
chain management. This highlights how important it is for you to be
able to apply the strengths that made your company a leader to gain
share in new markets.
6. Refresh skills
Blockbuster Video is no more — but Netflix is still around because it
gained new skills — such as producing great shows — to boost its
online streaming business. If you’re in charge, how can you enhance
your corporate skills to accelerate profit growth?
7. Buy or hold
Acquisitions are a good way to grow — but how can you keep from
being among the half of them that fail?
For that, you need skills to decide whether a potential acquisition
target will make your company more
8. Join the family
Even if you get the analytics of an acquisition right, its financial
benefits will evaporate unless you keep the right people.
To do that, you must decide how to integrate an acquired company to
achieve cost savings while boosting the productivity of its people.
9. Pick new markets
Someday you might saturate the customer group that got your
company off the ground. If so, you have to identify and evaluate new
markets from which to source revenue growth.
10. Cut fat, not bone
If you are running low on cash and want to raise more, you will have to
convince a capital provider that you have your business on a tight
leash. How can you meet cost reduction targets without sacrificing
people and know-how that contribute to your company’s growth?
11. Do the right things
If you have a team, you are not going
to be able to make all their decisions. How can you design a reward
system that boosts employee productivity and enhances customer
12. Beat startups
Technology, customer needs, and
rivals change fast these days. How can you boost revenue growth in
response to a startup that’s exploiting change and threatening
your core business?
13. Gain market share
If you run a startup, nothing is more important than winning new
customers. How should you position
your startup to gain market share?
14. Divide the pie
Another tough choice for a founder is
how to give away your equity pie in a way that makes everyone
better off. How should you split your startup’s equity with cofounders,
employees, and investors?
15. Hire your boss
If your startup gets outside capital,
you are hiring your boss. You want one who shares your vision and will
be there when times get tough. How can you pick the right investors
as your startup grows and how can
you persuade them to invest?
16. Bring it back to life
Your startup can be on a roll — and
suddenly hit the wall. If you don’t act,
it will die. How can you revive a startup whose
growth is slowing down? If you can get the right answers to these 16
choices, you could be a billionaire.