The aim of the report is to analyze a business case study. Mr. Zhou is the owner of Heng Leong Nursery. As evident from the case study, Mr. Zhou did not have any tertiary education in business or marketing but his special abilities along with his passion and love for flower business he was able to grow his business and became a successful entrepreneur. The case study showed how effectively Mr. Zhou adopted strategies and turned the threats of the markets into his opportunities. It was his farsightedness and business skills that had helped him to expand his business venture and become a successful businessman.
The report will analyze the motivating factors that lead Mr. Zhou to reach at the point where he is now. In addition to this, the opportunities and the threats relative to the demand of the market in Singapore will be evaluated. The business model and its relevance will be evaluated. Based on the analysis, particular thoughts and comments will be made.
Conditions that motivated the business venture
As stated by Schaper et al. (2014), economic growth of a country creates new opportunities for the development of entrepreneurial activity. Thus, there remains an opportunity for an individual to opt for an entrepreneurial activity rather than choosing a career as an employee. There are certain traits and demographic variable that differentiates an entrepreneurial from a non-entrepreneurial individual. Carland et al. (2015) also pointed that the entrepreneurial venture also depends upon the socio demographic condition of the place from where the individual belongs to. The decision to become an entrepreneur is both a conscious as well as a voluntary act and thus, it is reasonable at times to determine the factors that lead an individual to become the entrepreneur.
If the case study is considered in this respect, it can be said that Mr. Zhou only had half a hectare land in Malaysia. If the economic condition of Malaysia is considered, it has been found that from 1960s to 1990s the OECD growth had an average of about 8% that was double that the average growth rate of 3.3% (Kunz and Dow 2015). This economic growth had even surpassed the economic growth rate of USA. He had enough knowledge about plants from his grandmother and developed his entrepreneurial skill about the particular industry by meeting important and eminent people. Although he had no experience in this field, he planned his major selling ideas appropriately in those areas where there were no nurseries. Thus, the risk of competitive market was reduced.
The Shapero’s entrepreneurial event determines the factors that interacts the social and the cultural factors of a country that actually lead to the creation of influencing an individual’s perception. Perceived durability is the product of an individual’s intension and the desirability of becoming an entrepreneur that affect the personal attitudes, values and feelings of the person (Jones 2014). The perceived feasibility is the perception of the person towards the available resources and the propensity to act is the personal disposition to act on the decision made by the person.
In this respect, it can be easily said that Mr. Zhou did not has any formal education but had the insight about the particular business. There were no big or small nurseries near the vicinity of the firm where Mr. Zhou owned the nursery. In addition to this, he had the basic opportunities of the market because there were no such competitors in the flower industry in the region where Mr. Zhou had his operations. Primarily, it can be said that he only had intensions for expanding the business rather than making huge profit. It has been understood that in order to expand the business, creating a positive reputation in the market is necessary and thus, he focused on building the reputation of his business. Thus, it can be easily inferred that Mr. Zhou knew his business well and this was the sole reason that ultimately lead him success in his business.
Opportunities relative to market demands
As stated by Abor (2017), in order to develop a business, understanding the opportunities of the market is the most vital part. One needs to quantify the potential demand of the service or the product and find out reasons to meet the need of the consumers of the particular market. If the early stage of the business is considered, Mr. Zhou focused on the catering its business only to the customers in areas near Johor Bahru. Later, he provided services to the developers and home owners as well. Primarily, Mr. Zhou used to supply his products to the local people but later on gaining better market opportunities, he started exporting his product to the market of Singapore. Moreover, the exchange rate was favorable and he took the advantage of the same and created a win-win situation in the industry. With his approach towards providing affordable ranges of product, he gained the trust of the consumers that helped him to make market domination (Bjerke and Gaddefors 2017). In addition to this, Mr. Zhou also started to sell his products in the nurseries and with this approach he was able to expand his business throughout. The supply of the flowers even increased during the festive seasons such as the Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and the Christmas. Therefore, the opportunities of the Singapore and the Malaysia market have helped him to carry out his business venture successfully.
Description of the business model, its relevance, strengths and weaknesses
The plan that is designed for a successful business operation, identifying the sources of revenue and the intended customer base along with details of financing the business is called the business model. If the business model for the nursery of Mr. Zhou is taken into consideration, it has to be said that there was no rigid business model (Schaper et al. 2014). Mr. Zhou started his nursery because he was fond of flowers and plants and utilized his small piece of land to grow more plants and sell them to support his family. If the relevance of the business model is considered, it can be said that Mr. Zhou took the best opportunity of the market and started the business that could fetch him good return (Blackburn et al. 2013)
Strength of the business model:
Mr. Zhou took the opportunities of the market and became the sole distributor of nursery plants in the Kulai district. Later, when the demand increased, he thought of expanding his business and transits his retail business into the wholesale business. He took the major opportunities of the market that had helped him to expand his business (Henrekson and Sanandaji 2014). When he found that the currency rate of Singapore is high, he took the advantage and started exporting to Singapore. Therefore, it can be said if not initially but the business model focused on expansion.
Weakness of the business model:
If the weakness is considered, it has to be said that there was no future business plan from the end of Mr. Zhou. Again, it was also evident that he had no future development plan as well but it was only based on the opportunity that he got from time to time, he started expanding his business (Williams and Martinez 2014). Another important point can be highlighted here that Mr. Zhou never had the intension of monopolizing in the market but his motto was to provide product in an affordable prize. It can be mentioned that there were no particular work force for the business and that Mr. Zhou was the only person behind the entire business.
Thoughts and comments:
This part of the report highlights the understanding of business entrepreneurship and how tactfully Mr. Zhou has improved his business ventures throughout his lifetime.
Any business organization before starting a business venture should consider the factors of viability as well as feasibility of the products or the service concerned, in order to assess and evaluate the extent to which the conduction of the business will help it achieve profit at year end (Baker 2014). In the case study discussed above, the owner Mr. Zhou has been conducting his business of nursery in a highly discreet way. However, while determining the viability of his business, it should be remembered that the business is expected to enjoy long-sustenance in future. Considering the consumer-friendly strategies Mr. Zhou introduces, such as competitive price strategy, his organization is expected to benefit largely from the retention of existent consumers. Besides, since his organization acts as a supplier to its competitive organizations, the annual revenue the organization is expected to enjoy is likely to increase over the years, even in the face of cut-throat competition (Ahmad et al. 2014). As far as the viability of the organization is concerned, it should be mentioned that keeping into consideration, the wide network connections the organization enjoys the company is less likely to suffer any form of potential threat from the arch rivals of the industry. However, Mr. Zhou has to promote the organization via social media tools if it intends to sustain its popularity and attract new consumers. Since Mr. Zhou himself is not tech-savvy, he has to adopt a more organized approach while promoting the name of his organization. (Schaper 2016) It is worthwhile to mention here that innovative promotional strategies also play an important role in determining the fate of a company, and the price strategy can not alone help a company survive.
Although Mr. Zhou has achieved a huge success in his business of Heng Leong Nursery, it should be noted here that in order to ensure its sustenance the organization has to adopt a more organized approach. First of all, the natural disasters, especially the flood occurring in the region, are a source of potential challenge for the nursery. Since there are multiple ways in which the foods can affect the plants, hence Zhou should expand further. Apart from the expansion policy, the company had to appoint risk analysts entrusted with the duty of identifying the potential business risks, and eliminating the same beforehand (Barber et al. 2016). The company should hire at least one flood risk manager for solving this problem, as the flood can be a serious threatening factor in any horticulture-based industry. The risk could have been controlled by the organization. Since the organization in itself is located in a very interior part of the region, the consumer could fail to gain sufficient consumer exposure (Mariotti and Glackin 2014). Hence, the organization had to capture consumer attention by the expansion policy as mentioned earlier, as well as the promotional policy. Mr. Zhou could consider the option of hiring a marketing manager, responsible for promoting the products of the organization in the local as well as the foreign market via traditional media tools and digital media. The promotional strategy could help the organization enhance its goodwill and brand value.
The Growth Potential, Gaps and Sustainability of the Business:
The organization is expected to witness an unprecedented growth over the coming years. As far as the growth of the organization is concerned, two factors are responsible for the same- great rapport with the consumers and the wide network in business. Over the years Mr. Zhou has ensured that the consumers are being valued and thus he has provided them the products at most competitive prices, and has even ensured the fastest delivery of their products (Blackburn et al. 2013). However, the only gap that has been identified here is that Mr. Zhou has been conducting the business purely based on his professional experience. However, in the face of cut-throat competition, he has to introduce innovative strategies for further survival and hence the appointment of a marketing manager or a risk analyst is a mandate. With his limited knowledge, Mr. Zhou might enjoy the ownership but should rest the responsibility of managing the business on a qualified man, with better professional skills and expertise (Kumar et al. 2013). This would help the business get the most of the innovative strategies that would help in the long-term sustenance of the business.
A detailed discussion has been carried on the business case study started by Mr. Zhou. The relevance, strength and weakness of the business model have been carried on. It has been understood that Mr. Zhou took the opportunity of the market and expanded his business step by step. His passion for his business has leaded him to the current position where his business is right now. This clearly showed that he knew his business well and his cost effective ideas helped him to expand his business. If the weakness of his business plan is considered, it has to be said that there was no such planning made by Mr. Zhou. If he had made a business plan and took financial help as well, then there remained an opportunity that the business could become more prosperous.
In addition to this, the thoughts and comments on the business model have also been shared in the report. It has been understood that in order to be a successful entrepreneur, one needs to understand the business well and has to involve in the continuous process of building up the business. At the same time, for an entrepreneur, getting proper market opportunity is also important. Mr. Zhou had the insight and the knowledge of the market and the business that made him a successful entrepreneur. The case study has helped to improve my understanding about entrepreneurship and business ventures.
Abor, J. Y. 2017. Harvesting the Business Venture Investment. In Entrepreneurial Finance for MSMEs (pp. 371-390). Springer International Publishing.
Ahmad, S.Z., Jabeen, F. and Khan, M., 2014. Entrepreneurs choice in business venture: Motivations for choosing home-stay accommodation businesses in Peninsular Malaysia. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 36, pp.31-40.
Baker, M.J., 2014. Marketing strategy and management. Palgrave Macmillan.
Barber, J., Metcalfe, S., and Porteous, M. (Eds.). 2016. Barriers to growth in small firms. Routledge.
Bjerke, B. and Gaddefors, J., 2017. 2. Starting a business venture rationally or naturally–exploiting an opportunity in space or developing a place. Research Handbook on Entrepreneurial Opportunities: Reopening the Debate, p.68.
Blackburn, R.A., Hart, M. and Wainwright, T., 2013. Small business performance: business, strategy and owner-manager characteristics. Journal of small business and enterprise development, 20(1), pp.8-27.
Carland Jr, J.W., Carland, J.A.C. and Carland III, J.W.T., 2015. Self-actualization: The zenith of entrepreneurship. Journal of Small Business Strategy, 6(1), pp.53-66.
Henrekson, M. and Sanandaji, T., 2014. Small business activity does not measure entrepreneurship. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(5), pp.1760-1765.
Jones, H., 2014. Analyzing the Management Factor in New Small Business Venture Capital Risk Analysis-A New Approach.
Kumar, V., Bhaskaran, V., Mirchandani, R. and Shah, M., 2013. Practice prize winner—creating a measurable social media marketing strategy: increasing the value and ROI of intangibles and tangibles for hokey pokey. Marketing Science, 32(2), pp.194-212.
Kunz, D.A. and Dow III, B.L., 2015. Organizing and financing a new business venture. Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, 21(1), p.24.
Mariotti, S. and Glackin, C., 2014. Entrepreneurship and small business management. Pearson Higher Ed.
Schaper, M. ed., 2016. Making ecopreneurs: developing sustainable entrepreneurship. CRC Press.
Schaper, M.T., Volery, T., Weber, P.C. and Gibson, B., 2014. Entrepreneurship and small business.
Schaper, M.T., Volery, T., Weber, P.C. and Gibson, B., 2014. Entrepreneurship and small business.
Williams, C.C. and Martinez, A., 2014. Do small business start-ups test-trade in the informal economy? Evidence from a UK survey. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 22(1), pp.1-16.