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Expert Advice for Business Success

Posted September. 14, 2006 06:57,   


Jeong, 53, a retiree from a bank who was preparing to start a business, heard last October that there was a store for sale located at a corner good for opening a restaurant.

In his visit of the store, he bought it right away because he was told, “Some people already visited and expressed their interest.”

Believing what people say, “food business never goes bankrupt,” Jeong opened a pork grill restaurant in Bupyeong-gu, Incheon.

At the start, the restaurant was crowded with his old fellow workers, friends, and relatives who came to congratulate him on his new business. In one month, however, the pace of business started to slacken. When Jeong had to close down the store in four months, he already lost 50 million won.

Dain Communications representative Ahn Byeong-ik advised, “You should make your own business plan to reduce risk.”

Oh’s Success Story –

Lecture, advertising, inviting teachers, driving a shuttle, and promotion activities: this is a list of what Seonggyungwan Institute founder and director Oh Seung-ju, 32, has done since he founded his institute specializing Chinese language and letters in November of 2004.

In the beginning, only six students registered, and he had to do all kinds of chores to save money. He also worked as a lecturer for other private institutes to make money for his own institute.

Oh majored in Chinese and Education in college and, after completing the “Practical Business Starting Course” provided by Seoul City as the top of the class, worked as a lecturer for one year to learn how to operate a private institute. In the first year after he started his institute, however, he struggled with a small number of students and lack of funds.

As the institute gained a good reputation among students, the number of registered students increased to over 140. The monthly net proceeds now amount to 5 million won about twenty two months after he founded the institute with 150 million won.

Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business (KFSMB) team head, Yang Ok-seok, said, “Oh’s case shows what qualities one should have to succeed in starting a business.”

Crucial Factors in Success or Failure –

The KFSMB surveyed 197 consulting specialists for what decides success or failure in starting a business.

The surveyed counted “lack of preparation” (29.5 percent) as the biggest factor in failure. They advised that one should have at least six months to one year to prepare for founding an enterprise.

A common quality (DNA) among those who failed is relying on guesswork without making rational estimates.

The surveyed also recommended making a detailed business plan like a “war scenario” with failure cases as examples to avoid.

As for qualities for business success, they counted traditional virtues, “devotion and diligence” (39.4 percent), as the most important. Then follow “friendliness and smile” (20.8 percent), “willingness to learn” (18.1 percent), and “being careful and rational” (7.8 percent).