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The Shingle Theory

This week’s blog is from Joe Nehila, our favorite hero in a world of giants!  Joe’s one of those people who will make time to help a stranger, even when his plate is overloaded and there’s not a spare minute in the day. Read on as Joe offers a theory for entrepreneurs (no, not a conspiracy theory!) which may help them re-think their actions.  FYI – The Creative Coast’s blogspot is Savannah’s sounding board for local thinkers, innovators, wanderers and wonders. Guest bloggers share their thoughts, opinions and creative noodling from all over the map…

shingle

There is a prevailing sentiment amongst some of the most creative, industrious entrepreneurs and business managers I know. I call it: The Shingle Theory.

What Is The Shingle Theory?

The Shingle Theory (TST) relates to what it takes to operate a successful business. It bleeds into numerous facets of the management, and, at times, leadership process. TST underpins most of the operations and is a unifying, prevailing sentiment that informs the decision calculus. The theory goes a little something like this:

“When I hang my sign above my door (a shingle if you will) I will be successful.”

Why All the Success?

Because everyone needs what the shinglepreneur™ produces. Or sells. Or their completely unique, never-been-imagined-before-today service. So, naturally, word will spread like a wildfire in the West, unabated by naysayers and firefighters, and every person in town, or all 6 billion dollars up for grabs based in the market segment identified by a few Google searches, will roll right into their business account. In other words, they will succeed because it’s inevitable.

Why wouldn’t it? The shinglepreneur has hung their shingle!

Sound funny? My anecdotal analysis of the businesses in this region would result in at least 65% being classified as shinglepreneurs. That percentage skews northward when we focus in on the startup culture and small businesses.

The Greatest Danger of TST

A greater danger exists, the greatest danger really, and that is — despite no communication plan, marketing budget, public relation strategy, or any other product launch best practices implemented, you succeed. The shinglepreneur is encouraged by a modicum of success, or even, heck, large amounts of success, for a period of time.

Long-lasting success is rare. Why? Because your business is not built on a rock, it’s built on a shingle. The winds of change, competition, poor employment practices, bad bookkeeping, innovation, and macroeconomic drivers blow, causing shingles to fall, crack, break, or be blown away.

Am I a Shinglepreneur?

Here are a few great ways to self-diagnose.

  1.  Do I have a business plan? (Not the kind where your answer is work harder, or sell more, but a plan plan. What someone else would describe as a plan.)
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  2.  Do I have a communication plan?
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  3.  Do I have a marketing plan?
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  4.  Do I value human capital and think people will make a difference to my cause?
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  5.  Do I value business drivers that might ease or sell my WIDGET, such as a current website, and/or advertising or promotion of some nature.
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  6.  Do I believe once my website goes live I will be a billionaire?
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  7.  Millionaire?
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  8.  Have I ever considered that someone might have an objection to buying my WIDGET?
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  9.  Do I surround myself with people who provide honest feedback?
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  10.  Do I listen to sound advice offered by others?

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There you have it…my Shingle Theory.  I have lots of theories.  Will share more in the future.  In the meantime, be successful!

Joe

The Creative Coast was founded in 1997 by the Savannah Economic Development Authority, Chatham County and the City of Savannah to foster the creative, technology and enterpreneurial ecos-system.

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