以上帝的方式創業(第二篇)──STARTING A BUSINESS GOD’S WAY (PART 2)

(編輯備註: 這是「以上帝的方式創業」二篇文章中的第二篇,使用聖經中的原則作為指導)

上週我們開始探討創業的聖經原則。在本期的週一嗎哪中,我們將檢視另外三個原則。我所建議的第四個原則是:「你能提供客戶什麼其他人無法提供的服務?」

一位朋友向我描述,他是如何看見自己為基督教組織,提供退休計劃方案的利基。他的公司專門為客戶開發不同的投資選擇,過濾掉不符合聖經價值觀的投資機會。他採用了許多公司需要的產品,並在其中加入大多數基督徒都會喜歡,且符合聖經的投資選項。

羅馬書 12 章 6 節教導說:按我們所得的恩賜,各有不同。或說預言,就當照著信心的程度說預言。」正如上帝給了你獨特的恩賜一樣,祂也為你的事業制定了獨特的計劃。請確定你的這些恩賜並使用它們為你的事業開創一個有利的市場。

當我還是一名銀行家時,我見過數百名創業家。當我問他們需要多少資金來開創他們的新事業時,很常聽見這麼回答「你會給我多少錢?」。這通常意味著他們要不是完全沒有計劃,就是根本沒有花需要的時間來全面制定商業計劃。

然而,一位叫肯特的創業家顯然不同。他確切地知道創建自己的製造事業需要多少成本、何時僱用員工、以及他想借多少錢。他的計劃讓我(做為他的貸款人)相信他可能會成功 – 而他真的做到了。

箴言 21 章 5 節教導說:殷勤籌劃的,足致豐裕;行事急躁的,都必缺乏。」這就帶出了第五個原則:如果你正在開創一項新事業,請制定一個計劃來回答以下問題:「你將如何為自己的想法提供資金、員工、並建立和維護他們?

根據我的經驗,對於許多雄心勃勃的創業家來說,耐心似乎不是一種美德。一旦他們有了啟動新事業的點子,他們經常會想從今天就開始,不會考慮到何時是最佳時機,也沒有安排所需的資金,讓他們可以看到盈利的實現。

有時上帝會提前給我們一個點子,讓我們可以放在心裡,並為未來的啟動做準備。但當我們試圖在這個過程走捷徑時,常會導致對事業資金的投放不足或資金放在不理想的位置。耶利米哀歌 3章25節肯定了耐心等待上帝的智慧,因為祂有完美的時機和充足的供應。「凡等候耶和華,心裏尋求他的,耶和華必施恩給他。」

開始新事業時,請遵循第六個原則,準備好回答這個問題:「何時與何地開始這項新事業?」小心不要在這個過程中走在上帝的前面,這會讓你為自己和創業的公司避免掉巨大的風險。

@2022版權所有,非常規商業網絡。經“UBN Integrity Moments”許可改編,這是一篇關於工作中信仰問題的評論。 UBN 是一個為國際小企業社區服務的信仰事工。

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多相關內容,請參考下面的經文(因篇幅有限,請查閱未列出的經文:箴言19:20、箴言20:18、箴言24:3-6):

箴言 11章14節
11:14 無智謀,民就敗落;謀士多,人便安居。
箴言15章22節
15:22 不先商議,所謀無效;謀士眾多,所謀乃成。
馬太福音 6章25-34節
6:25 「所以我告訴你們,不要為生命憂慮吃甚麼,喝甚麼;為身體憂慮穿甚麼。生命不勝於飲食嗎?身體不勝於衣裳嗎?
6:26 你們看那天上的飛鳥,也不種,也不收,也不積蓄在倉裏,你們的天父尚且養活牠。你們不比飛鳥貴重得多嗎?
6:27 你們哪一個能用思慮使壽數多加一刻呢(或譯:使身量多加一肘呢)?
6:28 何必為衣裳憂慮呢?你想野地裏的百合花怎麼長起來;它也不勞苦,也不紡線。
6:29 然而我告訴你們,就是所羅門極榮華的時候,他所穿戴的,還不如這花一朵呢!
6:30 你們這小信的人哪!野地裏的草今天還在,明天就丟在爐裏, 神還給它這樣的妝飾,何況你們呢!
6:31 所以,不要憂慮說,吃甚麼?喝甚麼?穿甚麼?
6:32 這都是外邦人所求的,你們需用的這一切東西,你們的天父是知道的。
6:33 你們要先求他的國和他的義,這些東西都要加給你們了。
6:34 所以,不要為明天憂慮,因為明天自有明天的憂慮;一天的難處一天當就夠了。」
路加福音 14章28-33節
14:28 你們哪一個要蓋一座樓,不先坐下算計花費,能蓋成不能呢?
14:29 恐怕安了地基,不能成功,看見的人都笑話他,說:
14:30 『這個人開了工,卻不能完工。』
14:31 或是一個王出去和別的王打仗,豈不先坐下酌量,能用一萬兵去敵那領二萬兵來攻打他的嗎?
14:32 若是不能,就趁敵人還遠的時候,派使者去求和息的條款。
14:33 這樣,你們無論甚麼人,若不撇下一切所有的,就不能作我的門徒。」

反省與問題討論

  1. 如果你要評估自己的事業或者是你一直在考慮的創業點子 – 你認為甚麼是自己能提供客戶而其他人無法提供的服務呢?
  2. 在一兩年內失敗的新事業比例高到令人吃驚。你認為這在多大程度上,可能是由於創業家未能充分地計劃資金、部署員工、籌劃發展和維護企業呢?
  3. 在你看來,仔細評估新企業的時機、認真考慮何時應該開始以及應該在哪裡成立,真的很重要嗎?未能做到這一點會有那些可能的陷阱?
  4. 你認為,如果更多有才華的創業家,在啟動他們的新企業之前停下來考慮並祈禱-上帝對他們計劃的心意和旨意,結果會有什麼不同?請解釋你的答案。


STARTING A BUSINESS GOD’S WAY (PART 2)

By Rick Boxx

(Editor’s Note: This is the second of two articles on how to start a business God’s way, using biblical principles as a guide.)

Last week we started to explore biblical principles for starting a business. In this edition of “Monday Manna,” we will look at three additional principles. The fourth principle I would suggest is, “What will you provide customers that no one else provides?”

A friend was describing for me how he viewed his niche in providing retirement plans for Christian organizations. His firm has specialized in developing investment options for their clients that screen out investment opportunities that are not in alignment with biblical values. He took a product that many companies need and added to it biblically responsible investing options many Christians would prefer.

Romans 12:6 teaches, “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly.” Just as God has given you unique gifts, He also has a unique plan for your business. Determine those gifts and use them to carve out a niche for your business.

When I was a banker, I met with hundreds of entrepreneurs. It was not uncommon when I asked how much they needed to fund their new business, to hear, “How much will you give me?” This usually meant they ether had no plan or had not taken the time necessary to fully formulate a business plan.

Kent, however, was different. He knew exactly how much it was going to cost to build his manufacturing business, when he was going to hire staff, and how much he wanted to borrow. His plan gave me, as his lender, confidence that he might succeed – and he did.

Proverbs 21:5 teaches, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.” This leads to principle #5: If you’re starting a new business, develop a plan that answers the question,“How will you fund, staff, build and maintain your idea?”

In my experience, patience does not seem to be a virtue for many aspiring entrepreneurs. Once they have an idea for launching a new business, they often want to start today, even though they have not considered the optimal timing or starting their enterprise and have not yet arranged for the necessary funding to see it through to profitability.

Sometimes God gives us an idea in advance so that we can save and prepare for the future launch. When we attempt to shortcut this process, it usually results in an underfunded business or settling for a less than desirable location. Lamentations 3:25 affirms the wisdom of patiently waiting on God, both for His perfect timing and His sufficient provision. It teaches, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.”

When starting a new business, follow principle #6 by being prepared to answer the question, When and where will this take place?”Be careful not to get ahead of God in the process. This will enable you to avoid considerable risk – for yourself and for your business startup.

Copyright 2022, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “UBN Integrity Moments”, a commentary on faith at work issues. UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. If you were to evaluate your own business – or the idea for a business startup you have been considering – how would you explain what you can (or will) provide customers that no one else provides?
  2. The percentage of new businesses that fail, usually within the first year or two, is startling? To what degree do you think this could be due to the entrepreneurs’ failure to plan adequately for funding, staffing, growing, and maintaining the enterprise?
  3. Is it really important, in your view, to give careful evaluation to the timing for a new enterprise, giving serious consideration to the when of its inception – as well as where it should come about? What are some of the possible pitfalls of failing to do this?
  4. What difference would it make, do you think, if more talented entrepreneurs, before launching their new enterprises, would stop to consider – and pray about – God’s interest, His will, in what they are planning to do? Explain your answer.

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
    Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, 19:20, 20:18, 24:3-6; Matthew 6:25-34; Luke 14:28-33


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