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  • Once I am up and going, what could happen that could essentially kill the business instantly?

  • How likely is this possibility?

  • How do I anticipate that existing and potential competitors will react to my business?

  • Do any competitors have the ability, by responding to my perceived threat, to deliver an immediate knockout blow to my business?

  • Why won’t existing competitors respond to my market entry?

In some circumstances, you may decide that you have a great idea and that you can execute it well but may feel that as soon as you start, the response from existing competitors will almost certainly destroy your venture. If so, it’s probably better to go back to the drawing board.


One of the defining characteristics of a go-it-alone business is that its founder has developed quick low-cost ways of expanding the product line. This ability, to cheaply and easily test and launch a new product or service, generally reflects on-the-job experience. But it’s still possible, before launching your business, to have some notions of how you may be able to expand your offerings—or not.

You are far more likely to succeed if your business—or the core skills you will be exploiting—will have the flexibility to go in multiple directions. But if you know that you’re launching a one-trick pony, stop and think very hard. As a go-it-alone entrepreneur, you have far less room for error.

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GO IT ALONE! Copyright 2004 by Bruce Judson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.