How Entrepreneurs can use Three Lessons from The Art of War by Sun Tzu to Run a Successful Business.

22 Apr

The Art of War by Sun Tzu has been one of my best reads since I started reading at the age of 6. Though this book is based on warfare, it could still be applied to business. It has a cohesive, holistic philosophy of how to approach strategy that is very vital to the success of any entrepreneur. It will take me a lifetime just writing about the wisdom of Sun Tzu but today the focus is on three key points that are relevant to running a successful business as an entrepreneur.

“Know your enemy and yourself and in 100 battles you will never be in Peril”

“Knowledge is power”. As an entrepreneur operating a business, knowing your competition is very important and even more important is knowing yourself and your business. For how can you outperform your competition if you have no clue about your own business? In the business world, an easy way to fortify your business to render your competition useless is by conducting a simple SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis will give you a better understanding of your strengths, weaknesses and the threats posed by your competition.  A smart thing to do is visiting the physical space of your competition, understanding and using your competition’s  products and/or services. By making honest comparisons between your competition’s products/services and yours, you will be able to solidify your strengths, take actions to fortify your weaknesses and devise preemptive measures to counter any threats.

“A sovereign of high character and intelligence must be able to know the right man, should place the responsibility on him, and expect results.”

As an entrepreneur running a business, hiring is a very  important activity. At some point as your business expands you would need to hire people to work for you. Find smart and hardworking people with great talents. Most importantly, find people who believe passionately in your business. Find people trustworthy enough you can delegate tasks to. By hiring the right people, you will eventually get the right results.

“If instructions are not clear and commands not explicit, it is the commander’s fault.  But when they have been made clear and are not carried out, the fault lies with the officers in charge of the companies.” 

Communication is crucial for the smooth-running of a successful business. Entrepreneurs  have to be able to communicate not only externally but internally. Communication could involve;  passing of orders,  the discussion of new ideas, the examination of client needs, the determining of marketing strategies, the motivating of employees; interacting with vendors, clients, customers, press representatives, legal representatives etc.  Be it communicating to employees, partners, customers or suppliers, the bottom line is, communication should be clear, precise and concise. With the advent of modern day sophisticated technology, communication could either make or destroy a business. By embracing new technologies and learning how to utilize them well, it will lead you to running a very successful business.

We have looked at three points from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War today and their relevance today in running  a business. Knowing yourself, your business and your competition, hiring the right talent and having a good communication strategy will create a highway to success in business. I hope by using principles from this book, I have been able to shed some light on how you can better run your business as an entrepreneur. I will have more in my next blog posts. Stay tuned.


3 Responses to “How Entrepreneurs can use Three Lessons from The Art of War by Sun Tzu to Run a Successful Business.”

  1. David G. Jones April 23, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    The first fully researched and plain language articulated “Art of War” is by an Ottawa author, David G. Jones. It is titled, The School of Sun Tzu, and it is available here:

  2. bird house blueprints April 26, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Hello there! I simply would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for
    the great info you have got here on this post. I’ll be returning to your website for more soon.


  1. Interesting Quotes by Sun Tzu, 孫子). | Deo Volente - May 10, 2013

    […] How Entrepreneurs can use Three Lessons from The Art of War by Sun Tzu to Run a Successful Business. ( […]

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