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How The Most Creative People…Lack Creativity
Guest articles > How The Most Creative People…Lack Creativity
by: Dave Lavinsky
For over a decade now, I have been helping entrepreneurs launch and grow companies. During this time, I have seen and heard some of the most creative and innovative ideas.
Yet, these ideas invariably revolve around two areas: 1) product and service creation and 2) marketing.
With regards to creating products and services, entrepreneurs are always coming up with creative ways to build a better mousetrap. They come up with new features, new ways of arranging existing features, and completely new ideas that disrupt industries.
And with regards to marketing, entrepreneurs are constantly coming up cool new ideas. Like viral video marketing. Or unique customer retention programs. Or really creative print, television or radio advertisements.
But, while entrepreneurs are by their very nature extremely creative, and this creativity is clearly exhibited in the products/services and marketing plans they create, entrepreneurs lack creativity in key areas.
The two key areas in which entrepreneurs lack creativity are in 1) financing and 2) human resources.
With regards to financing, the lack of entrepreneurial creativity is really sad. That’s because the number one reason why companies fail, including the reason why most ideas never turn into products or companies in the first place, is due to a lack of financing.
Too many entrepreneurs create boring business plans and present them to banks and venture capitalists since these financing sources are easy to find. And because they are easy to find, these sources are bombarded with deals and fund relatively few of them.
Entrepreneurs must learn to take a creative financing approach like shoe manufacturer Kenneth Cole did many years ago. Cole started out with no money, but great ideas, and a business idea that would not have raised money from either venture capitalists or banks.
So, Cole got creative and convinced a struggling Italian shoe manufacturer, knowing that they needed clients, to manufacturer hundreds of thousands of dollars of shoes for future payment. Cole succeeded in financing his business this way and now owns a massive empire.
With regards to human resources, most entrepreneurs have the same old approach to hiring and training as their corporate counterparts. Where is the innovation here? Where is the ability to do less with more?
One example of achieving this comes from a large corporation, and not an entrepreneur - The Container Store. This Texas-based company has a unique HR strategy. That is, they have just one employee for every three that their competitors have. But, they pay their employees double the industry average and spend 160 hours training them.
The result is that their employees are better trained and happier, and thus provide superior service at a 33% overall lower cost than competitors.
Interestingly, when The Container Store opened in New York City, it had 100 times more applications than available positions. With numbers like that, they are able to hire the best employees.
In summary, entrepreneurs must extend their creativity beyond product and service creation and marketing to other disciplines like finance and HR. In doing so, they will be better able to launch and grow successful companies.
Dave Lavinsky is the President of Growthink, Inc., which offers entrepreneurs a team of business plan writers and private placement memorandum development services, and teaches entrepreneurs how to raise capital and grow their businesses.
Contributor: Dave Lavinsky
Published here on: 13-Sep-09