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7 Battlefield Tactics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs today face unprecedented amounts of competition. In the age of the Internet, their moves are scrutinized in an instant, and they are always potentially one bad move away from implosion. The hostility of the business environment is so immediate that having the effective offense and defense battle plans in place is crucial for the survival of any company. Although the majority of entrepreneurs will act reactively most of the time, having a few strategies in the back pocket is never a bad thing.

Here are seven moves from the battlefield, which may come in useful:

Tripwires. It’s the dead of night, but you know that no one will be able to sneak up on you. If they do, they will trigger a tripwire, and you will never be caught unaware…. Entrepreneurs need to keep their eyes on their market to understand when various competitors are starting to encroach on their territory. Alarm bells should go off when a customer works with someone else or an employee moves to a mysterious start-up.

Surprise attack. Some of the most effective moves are entirely unexpected – entire armies can be routed in their sleep by the smallest force of assassins. An army that is not expecting attack is lulled into a false sense of security…. For an entrepreneur, first mover advantage gives them precious weeks or months to monopolise their part of the market. Meticulous planning behind closed doors allows companies to move at lightening fast speed at the touch of a button.

Sniper. Silently they lie in wait, surveying the scene, assessing their targets and waiting for the right moment to strike. If they eliminate the head of the snake, the body will be useless, they simply have to take out the right person…. In the entrepreneurial context, you could equate this to working out the movers and shakers behind their success and then headhunting them to join you. Not only do you harm your competition, you are also adding to your organization.

Feigned retreat. If the enemy thinks that you are backing off, they will likely consolidate their forces and relax. At the same time, you are sneaking around their flanks and about to strike them when they expected it least…. For the entrepreneur, publicly backing away from a certain market can sometimes give you a chance to regroup and attack it from a different direction. Sometimes in order to take two steps forward you need to take a step back first.

Second wave. The battle is fiercely raging, but suddenly reinforcements appear to overwhelmingly turn the tide for one side. The defeated army capitulates with the numerical odds stacked against them as the victors dominate the battlefield…. Entrepreneurs can dominate a competitive market by doubling down on their efforts. If the “brains” behind each competitor are equal, it is often the resources at their disposal that win the day. If one team has a sales force twice the size of the other (and equally well trained), they will inevitably win more business.

Intelligence gathering. Before you attack your enemy, you have to know your enemy. The more you know about them, the more effective your strategies will be, and the fewer lives will be lost…. The entrepreneur who doesn’t understand every intricacy of his market is making decisions with a blindfold on. They can be certain that their competition won’t be making the same mistake.

Stealth tactics. Deception has long been a military tactic, and if your enemy can’t see you, they can’t defend themselves…. The intelligent entrepreneur doesn’t want to let his competition know what he is doing and where he is doing it. The longer he can go incognito, the stronger he can make his business and the more resistant he will be to attack when he does have to show his face.

I do not pretend to be a military expert but I have however been an entrepreneur for a good number of years and have used these tactics myself on multiple occasions.

If you fail to prepare, you should prepare to fail.

Written By: Anurag Harsh, a Founding Executive of Ziff Davis (NASDAQ: JCOM), the world’s largest tech, gaming & men’s lifestyle digital media house reaching 150+ Million readers. He graduated with an MBA & MS from Wharton & MIT, has performed two sold out solo concerts at New York’s 

 and is the co-author of the McGraw-Hill bestseller “M-Commerce Security”. Published on with permission from Anurag.