South-Western - Management  
The Fast Lane
Topic Entrepreneurship
Key Words Fast-track, entrepreneurship
InfoTrac Reference A130725096
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News Story

The most widely help assumption about what it takes to be an entrepreneurial success is that you need access to bountiful sources of investment capital. However, starting a business with little capital can also work if you find innovative ways to cut costs. Working at home, or renting or leasing equipment rather than buying are ways to keep costs down.

To grow quickly, you need a management team with the necessary skills and experience. Keeping the business simple and focused also helps. One CEO states, "Having a simple story and a focused customer segment were the two ingredients for fast growth for us. It can't be a complex business that's hard to explain. You need to be able to explain yourself in a sentence."

You must also have a technological competitive advantage. This allows a company to create new markets for its products and services, and allows it to grow without relying on taking sales away from established competitors.

Pick a niche and stick to it. Being in a rapidly expanding market can make up for a lot of mistakes.

You must have a passion for your business. Starting up a business is demanding, and the gratification is almost always delayed, so you'd better love what you're doing. One expert points out that you should, however, have more passion for growth than for control. That distinguishes the companies that have the capacity to fast-track from those that are willing to do it.

Questions
1.

The first sentence in this article is, "Entrepreneurs don't follow the rules - they break them." What do you think the author meant? Do you agree?

2.

Pick one of the suggestions discussed in the article, and explain why you think it is the most important one in order for a company to be on a fast-track.

Source "The Fast Lane," Entrepreneur, April, 2005. p. 64.
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