Entrepreneurship is the process of starting a new business and the person starting this business is known as an entrepreneur (Kirzner, 2015). Entrepreneurship breeds on innovation and it is pivotal for the growth and development of any economy. This is precisely why various governments provide subsidies and tax benefits to new businesses in order to promote and support their growth. Through this course, I learnt about various attributes of entrepreneurship. The entire curriculum has been effectively designed and has helped me gain a deeper insight about entrepreneurship in practice.
One of the most crucial aspects of starting a new business is arranging funds that are required for the business (Drucker, 2014). Through this course, I have learnt that it is important to gather the finances in the early stages of a business in order to be prepared for unforeseen situations that the business might encounter. Often, there are various sources of personal financing that are available to entrepreneurs but more often than not, entrepreneurs need to prepare themselves for raising debt or equity financing through professional lenders. This is largely important for the business to function effectively and to be able to accomplish organizational goals defined by the entrepreneur.
The most challenging aspect about this topic was the idea of attracting investors and being able to sell the idea to these investors. Such a process needs to have immense faith on the project as well as in depth knowledge about the same. It requires the ability to market the idea to the investors who have genuine faith in the business idea.
I would like to explore the process behind evaluating how much funding is essentially required for a new business and what are the costs that the entrepreneur needs to consider while finalizing the funding requirements of the business.
Unique Marketing Issues
Marketing the new business and ensuring that the business reaches the right customers is very crucial for the growth of the business. This is why marketing plays an important role in business management. Through this course, I have learnt that it is important for entrepreneurs to define their customer segments and mold their offerings to suit these customer needs. Target market refers to the set of customers whose needs the business aims to fulfill (Armstrong, Kotler, Harker & Brennan, 2015). I have learnt that the markets are first divided into various segments like geography, demography, age, income groups or even lifestyle. Once the segments have been finalized, selected customers from these segments are then targeted by the business.
I have also learnt the importance of marketing and setting the right positioning in the minds of consumers. Positioning is the image that the brand holds in the minds of its consumers (Schlegelmilch, 2016). Building the right positioning strategy is in my opinion, one of the challenging aspects of a new business. It requires innovation, creativity and new strategies with the changing consumer demographics.
I would like to explore the 4Ps theory that we have learnt further. I have tried to apply the theory and identify the 4 Ps of marketing for various leading organizations. However, I would like to take it a step further and also learn about 7Ps of marketing.
Challenges of growth
Every business would face a certain amount of challenges. However, it is important for a business to remain prepared for various challenges and possess the ability to deal with them as and when they arise. Through this course, I learnt the common reasons why firms pursue growth. These reasons include increased sales, higher salaries for employees, increasing globalization and even increased prestige or goodwill in the market.
In the duration of this course, I have also learnt that a business grows in various stages. As an entrepreneur, it is important to be able to deal with the problems associated with every stage. Every stage poses a unique challenge for the entrepreneur and it is of utmost importance that the entrepreneur is able to tackle the challenge as and when it arises.
One challenging aspect of the course was to identify the challenges of firm growth owing to moral hazards. I found difficulty in understanding that as an entrepreneur how I will be able to prepare myself for a moral hazard. This was one of the most difficult units of the course. However, I learnt various new things through this unit as well.
There are a lot of topics that I would like to explore further. I would like to understand the ways of forecasting the challenges that a business might face. I would also like to explore the strategies that firms adopt in order to be able to prepare themselves for the challenges that might arise.
Strategies for firm growth
Growth is very important for any new business. If a business is not growing and remains stagnant for a long period of time, then it starts declining. This is because of the increasing competition faced by new businesses. There are various strategies adopted by businesses for their growth including penetrating into new markets, introducing new products, diversifying, international expansions as well as mergers & acquisitions (Keller, 2017).
It is important for entrepreneurs to define the strategy that they would adopt for their business to grow. This depends on various factors including available resources, existing competition, growth opportunities and even targeted customer base. I have learnt that different organizations adopt different strategies as per their respective goals and available resources (Morschett, Schramm-Klein & Zentes, 2015).
What I found challenging in this unit is the idea of evaluating every strategy adopted by the firm. I found it difficult to understand that if any business is able to execute either of the strategies then what the factors are involved in identifying the best strategy out of many.
I would also like to explore how internal strategies and external strategies of any firm differ and what are the advantages associated with all of them. Through this course, I have also learnt that the selection of an appropriate growth strategy by the firm is highly crucial for the success of the strategy adopted.
Franchising is a marketing concept which is adopted by various organizations as a business expansion and growth strategy. I have learnt that franchising is an agreement between two parties where the franchiser licenses its business knowledge, model, brand name, logo and intellectual property associated by the business to the second party in exchange of a fixed fee. The franchiser gives the franchisee the right to sell products and services to consumers after finalizing various aspects of the franchise agreement.
Various organizations have adopted the franchising strategy in order to reach out to customers. This is specifically beneficial in international expansion of a business. Through this course, I have learnt various advantages and disadvantages of the franchise. The franchisee’s biggest advantage is that the business model is tried and tested (Lawrence, Pietrafesa & Kaufmann, 2017). The model has been a success and hence the intellectual knowledge required is relatively lesser. Similarly, the brand is already well known and hence marketing efforts are reduced to a significant extent with the franchise model. But on the other hand, there are a lot of restrictions faced as it is impossible for the franchisee to experiment new things which leads to a rigid business framework.
What I found challenging in this unit is exactly how do entrepreneurs define the terms of the agreement of a franchisee model of business. I found it difficult to understand the problems or risks associated with the franchisee model. What happens if the franchisee or the franchisor are unhappy with the collaboration and who ultimately holds the right to demolish the contract and on what grounds?
Entrepreneurship is pivotal for the growth and development of any economy. Entrepreneurship introduces new businesses in the economy, generates business and in the longer run improves lifestyle of people by introducing new products and services. Entrepreneurs try to identify a gap in the economy and consumer needs and work towards fulfilling that gap (Burns, 2016).
There are various important aspects associated with starting a new business that I learnt through this course. Overall the curriculum is effectively designed and the topics covered are helpful for future entrepreneurs. I have learnt many things like the concepts of market segmentation, targeting and positioning. I have also learnt the importance of growth (both internal and external) in an organization. At the same time, I have learnt about various strategies that businesses adopt for their growth and development. These have been highly helpful and I am sure these learning would help me in my future endeavors
Armstrong, G., Kotler, P., Harker, M. and Brennan, R., 2015. Marketing: an introduction. Pearson Education.
Burns, P., 2016. Entrepreneurship and small business. Palgrave Macmillan Limited.
Drucker, P., 2014. Innovation and entrepreneurship. Routledge.
Keller, K.L., 2017. Managing the growth tradeoff: Challenges and opportunities in luxury branding. In Advances in Luxury Brand Management (pp. 179-198). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Kirzner, I.M., 2015. Competition and entrepreneurship. University of Chicago press.
Lawrence, B., Pietrafesa, C. and Kaufmann, P.J., 2017. 6. Exploring the growth of multi-unit franchising. Handbook of Research on Franchising, p.94.
Morschett, D., Schramm-Klein, H. and Zentes, J., 2015. Strategic international management (pp. 978-3658078836). Springer.
Schlegelmilch, B.B., 2016. Segmenting Targeting and Positioning in Global Markets. In Global Marketing Strategy (pp. 63-82). Springer, Cham.