Sun Tzu and The Art of Small Business

Thank you Bryan Clayton of GreenPal Lawn Care for your article and infographic contribution.  For an interactive version of the graphic, please visit:
“All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.” Sun Tzu

Starting a business can feel like all-out war at times. Entrepreneurs are faced with challenges from every direction these days.  Just a few years ago, an aspiring business owner could focus on hard work and determination to be successful. However in today’s more intense business climate, more is required from business leaders and entrepreneurs, as they must continually think outside of the box to overcome today’s challenges in a tight new-economy.

Creative innovation, and strategic thinking are ways that many business have survived through these tough times.  Furthermore, business by definition are competitive, but how do you get a leg up and beat your competition.  Entrepreneurs must resist the temptation to go head to head against competitors by competing on price alone. They must focus on cunning ways to outsmart and out think their competition.

For many years large company CEOs have turned to Sun Tzu’s ancient book of military strategy The Art of War, and they have effectively applied his teachings and prophesies to steer their strategic thinking for market place dominance. These same philosophies leveraged by big businesses can be applied to small business and start-up entrepreneurs.

Sun Tzu says, “To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”  When Sun Tzu’s philosophies are applied to entrepreneurship, business leaders can focus on filling the needs in their marketplace, rather than engaging their competition in head to head conflict.

These core strategic values among others are illustrated in the following graphic. Apply them effectively, and win against your competition without fighting them.



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