It’s a question that many entrepreneurs have asked themselves, and as much as you might assume that the answer is no, the reality is somewhat more complicated than that. Not everyone is starting with their enterprise on the same footing, and that already massively skews the scale.
Okay, so that’s when you start, but what about once you’ve already gotten started? Are there routes that you can take to get ahead? If so, what’s to stop others from taking the same routes?
Success is something that you likely define through financial gain, but finances are also inherently linked to how you go about making the most of these potential shortcuts.
So, what about those who start in a better position? Well, those who come from wealthier families, or who already have close connections in the business world are already coming in at a huge advantage. The money and connections that they have before even getting started mean that they get an advantage right out of the gate.
Of course, there’s always a chance that this person might not have the same level of know-how or has as strong a business plan as someone else, but with more money, they can hire people and utilize technologies that might not be available to their opposition who started with much less.
It’s not just money that these people might have easier access to, either. Through either their financial standing or existing business connections, these people might have a much easier time networking—having access to people in the right places and being of greater interest to these people due to their standing.
Once again, these aren’t qualities that guarantee a successful business, but they do offer a head start that at least makes that first part of the enterprise much less difficult for them.
These early days of business can often be some of the most difficult, due to the low amount of money that you have coming in against the high number of outgoings that you’re having to pay, so this advantage is a large one.
In your pursuit of success in business, you might wonder if there are any strategies to secure a business loan despite a less-than-ideal credit score, as discussed in the related article.
Once you’re at the point where your business is established, is it even relevant to talk about shortcuts anymore? What are you trying to take a shortcut toward?
Well, it could be that despite being a more established name, you’re still struggling to come out above your competitors, especially if those competitors have been in the industry for a much longer amount of time than you, or if they have more money to work with—such as established mega-corporations like Amazon.
Utilizing your standing as a smaller and more customer-friendly business can help you to sculpt out your audience and appeal—using your differences to your advantage—but it might be that you’re also hoping for certain business technologies to take you where you want to go.
At a time when technology is as prevalent as it is in the modern world, it makes sense that this would be where your attention goes, but whether this works as a shortcut is a difficult question to answer.
On the one hand, keeping up with the technological curve of businesses in your field can prevent you from falling behind, allowing you to function at the same levels of quality and efficiency.
This is especially true if you have apps or webpages that are integral to your functioning and see heavy amounts of traffic, as a suitably competent open-source API gateway can keep these things functioning exactly as they should, ensuring a strong customer experience that reflects positively on your brand.
Another example is 3D printers in manufacturing, which can help your business meet the demands of your audience by cutting down on the development costs for both prototypes and mass production.
However, while you might be able to easily identify technologies that would be able to improve your position, this search might illuminate a familiar problem—the money involved.
If you’re feeling as though you’re struggling to compete with your business rivals due to the disparity in wealth, technologies that can help you bridge the gap might make sense, but they could also be out of reach due to the money required for their acquisition and maintenance.
This might mean that you begin to examine certain other options that can get you there regardless, like a business loan, or making room in your budget.
The latter is tricky, as while it can work in theory, you have to be careful not to be too hasty with removing things that you very much need. After all, these tools and technologies might not be able to provide you with anything beneficial if you don’t have the staff to operate them correctly.
The Cost of Shortcuts
Getting to a point where you naturally can afford to have the right technology implemented to improve your app or website, then it doesn’t sound like much of a shortcut. This brings the discussion around why shortcuts might not always be worth the time spent figuring out how to achieve them.
To go back to the 3D printer example; in theory, this sounds like an easy way to increase efficiency and productivity, but without the proper framework in place (staff, resources, etc.) you might not find this to be anything more than a very expensive tool, and one that could set you back even further if you’ve taken out something like a loan that comes back to bite you.
Shortcuts are costly by nature. While those who start with enormous amounts of wealth and connections might not seem to adhere to this rule, even they miss out on the relevant business experience that others might gain by working to get to that position, which is something that could impact their business later.
However, it’s important to make a distinction, as business technologies aren’t shortcuts themselves, they’re tools that you can wield to further yourself effectively, and treating them that way can help you to get the most out of them through assigning the proper staff to maximize their potential.