James Ling

James Ling on How to Transition From a Dull Industry to a Sexy One the Fast Way

If you should conclude that you are in the wrong industry and need to switch, there are two basic ways to make the transition. One is to start from scratch and go the startup route.  The downside here is that it’s typically the long slow way to a payback on your investment. The odds are also against you as they are with most startups. The other way to achieve a transition is to buy your way in by acquiring an existing business which then serves as your beachhead in the new industry. You then focus on expanding the beachhead and moving inland. Think of the D-Day Landings as a good analogy for this growth strategy.

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What is the Best Business Growth Strategy?

There is no single one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best answer has a great deal to do with the entrepreneur’s temperament and personality.  Some entrepreneurs are more comfortable sequestered away from the public developing new products or coding software. Others, in contrast, are more people-oriented.

These latter ones prefer to spend their days interacting with people and negotiating. The deal-makers we follow here tend to fall into the latter category. However, don’t overlook the fact that even geek-driven companies begin to utilize acquisitions as part of their growth strategy once their management teams fill out and become more sophisticated.  While Mark Zuckerberg may not have been able to do any deals in the first few years of Facebook, he can certainly do them now because he has people with the necessary expertise on his team.

With that out of the way, let’s look at one example of The Tycoon Playbook growth strategy in action.

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Small Business Growth Strategies

For better or worse, the world has entered into a period of economic turbulence caused in part by hyper-competition on a global scale, volatile energy costs, financial uncertainty, and waves of new disruptive technologies. This will most likely be a prolonged period during which the status quo is upset by rapid changes in how business is conducted in many industries. The old business models and rules are being swept aside by new ones. Continue reading

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