Great Business Ideas: Audacity

Great Small Business Ideas to Start: Audacity

How do you instill a bold, adventurous approach in employees? The most successful businesses are often those that are prepared to go further and take careful, calculated risks. This spirit of audacity can be developed, with insightful leadership.

The idea

“As South Africans, we weren’t really frightened of emerging markets compared to the things that we were going through at home,” commented Graham Mackay, SABMiller’s chief executive . Difficult trading and environmental conditions instilled determination and resilience in managers at SABMiller, one of the world’s largest brewers. Having built SAB in their domestic market, they were keen to compete and succeed abroad following the end of apartheid.

They were ingenious, flexible, determined, and prepared not to follow convention. For example, SAB entered markets that (in the mid-1990s) were unfashionable, in Latin America, China, and Central Europe. Although these developing economies represent attractive growth markets now, the fact that SAB had a culture of taking on challenges meant that it could go there first and achieve considerable success.

SABMiller has a bold approach to business and has become a global giant in little over ten years.

In practice

  • Find the dangerous edge. This is the point where the greatest risks lie. Understanding where this point is will increase confidence and your ability to avoid disaster. This enables you to understand what you do not know.
  • Be supportive. This means building a supportive environment and being specific about what will happen in any situation. Start by accepting and explaining the risk, but finish by emphasizing strengths and visualizing success.
  • Build a confidence frame. Gradually build confidence in steady increments.
  • Develop ancillary skills. Being good at a wide range of relevant tasks will help build confidence, especially in complex situations, and promote success.
  • Recognize that moving into a “danger zone” has positive psychological benefits. These include heightened awareness and concentration.
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