The setting up of any entrepreneurship anywhere on the globe involves certain essential factors without which the entire enterprise would collapse virtually like a house of cards.(English, 2010) According to Timmons, any business entrepreneurial venture set up in any spatio-temporal plane is doomed to failure if it does not stand on the four essential pillars of opportunity, strong willed entrepreneur, well coordinated management team and lastly but never in the least the requisite resources. The Timmon’s Framework delineates these four essential features for the initiation of a successful business enterprise “to start the company and make it grow” (Bygrave and Zackarakis, 2011).
Since the beginning of economic communities there have been certain essential features of the entrepreneurial venture initiated anywhere in the world. Most of all any business venture has always been opportunity driven.(Kelvin, 2010) Once there is any opportunity there is sure to be some enterprising mind busy calculating and taking advantage to fulfill the lacuna. According to Timmons and Spinelli (2008) the “shape, size and depth of opportunity establishes the required shape, size and depth of resources and team” that ultimately translates into a successful business venture (Timmon & Spinelli, 2008).
Thus, not just the opportunity but also the availability of adequate resources and the actual potential of the team leader or the entrepreneur to take up the challenge of setting up the enterprise of the magnitude which is planned that drives and motivates the entire process of setting up the enterprise(Sexton, :(2000).)There are several examples rampant of businesses that had to close down despite there being the best laid business plans and project outlays. What ailed most of them was the lack of the successful live wire combination of opportunity, resources and motivated manpower? Therefore the most imperative point to be considered is the exact status of the human capital along with the available resources and most important of all the actual opportunity and which provided thepotential to expand into a profit making successful enterprise.(Coke, 2001)
Literature Review & Critical Analysis
Among the management scholars who have devoted themselves to the study of the setting up of businesses and the promotion of entrepreneurial spirit among the motivated young people who recognize the opportunities and are willing to garner the capital to venture into this businesses there are two stalwarts, Frank Hynemen Knight and Peter Drucker. Knight and Druckerhave given the biggest argument to the setting up of the enterprise by stating that uncertainty and risk are the prime factors that will always continue to riddle entrepreneurship at all times and especially at the very nascent stage or in the beginning when there are a multitude of unknown factors that are being considered or are even totally unknown. Knight identifies “risk, ambiguity and total uncertainty” (Frank H. Knight, 1999)as the main factors that will tend to hound any enterprise from the very stage of being set up to the end until and unless there is tremendous built in potential to take the challenge and withstand al challenging situations.
The factor extolled by Drucker to endanger the enterprise from the nascent stage is risk. The quantum of risk involved in the setting up of the enterprise and the ability of the entrepreneur to take that kind of risk in stride when planning and going ahead with the process of setting up of the enterprise. Peter Drucker describes the entrepreneur as “a kind of person willing to put his or her career and financial security on the line and take risks in the name of an idea, spending much time as well as capital on an uncertain venture” (Drucker, 2008). However, the ideas regarding the management scenario have changed over the years and the scare of risks and uncertainty was mitigated as the entrepreneur took these factors in their stride as passé or a part of the entrepreneurial process of setting up an enterprise.(Charantimath, 2005) There was rampant confusion for sometime as the conflicting ideologies of the business managers of the earlier times and those who were emerging with the newer , braver face of entrepreneurs who had the heart to take up all the challenges posed only on the maximization of profits on the “size of the opportunity” (Timmon & Spinelli, 2008) being presented.
There was a rampant bid to understand the concept of opportunity in the larger context of setting up of business ventures for the small time entrepreneurs burgeoning in a free enterprise society. The key word was opportunity. Where there was an opportunity there was the potential of a market and therefore the scope of setting up a venture or an enterprise(Eric S. Siegel, 'The Ernst & Young Business Plan Guide' , (1993), ). These opportunities, however, had to be analyzed in depth lest such opportunities turn out to be shallow promises that delivered too little too late. The aspects of opportunity that were to be looked out for by the avidly interested entrepreneur were the proportion of the market and the demand generation from that very market. The opportunity’s magnitude and potential could also be gauged from the “economic or emotional value” (Timmon & Spinelli, 2008). This depended largely on the size of the demand and supply as also on the future market structure and rate of growth. This would also entail the identification of the resources with especial focus on the availability of raw materials near at hand, the growing demand for a particular product and the ideal conditions for the setting up of a unit that would manufacture the products that would satisfy the opportunity needs specifically and for a long period of time. (Maitland, 2012)
The fact that opportunities appear with any barriers is a misnomer(Buame, (1996).). There are bound to be certain restrictive measures that will make the going tough for the entrepreneur for smoothly transacting his business over a period of time so that there is enough timeto rethink the entire process through. The process would have to be dovetailed from the endpoint of delivery of goods to the back end of procurement of raw materials, their storage and adequate processing. Thus in even the simplest set up there are bound to be snags when the opportunities have been misread. This has already been exemplified with the risk assessment theory proposed by Drucker (Drucker, 2008).
There may be several barriers like competitive bidding structure for the supply satisfaction of the demand generation opportunity being presented. Along with these operating singly or in combination could also be the factors of “demand drivers and growth potential” on the one hand and “high operating leverage and capital requirements that may influence the technical, manufacturing and distribution of resources” (Timmon & Spinelli, 2008).
The setting up of an entrepreneurial venture on the mere grasping of an opportunity thus is not the answer. The other two strong points of a good leader and management team at the helm of the enterprise along with the additional comfort zone of having adequate resources are very essential aspects of a win-win situation where the setting up of entrepreneurial process is concerned(Campbell, (1970).). This is where the succinct interpretation of Timmons Framework comes in handy when considering the quantum of weight age to be given to the three aspects of opportunity, manpower and resources as also the leverage to be extracted for the successful setting up of an entrepreneurial process once the three essential pillars are in place. There is ample proof to be evidenced in the management world of the truth of the argument that grasping the opportunity is the task of a entrepreneur with a heart and strong will but it does add to the level of will and push if the necessary resources are also easily available.(Kumar, 2012) Once the opportunity has been recognized for the true potential and magnitude have been assayed the same opportunity makes the enterprise all the more necessarily have a very good team on hand to take on the various processes and parts of the enterprise that are sure to come up once the plans are in place. Many a times the fact has been proven to be true that an overdose of anything can turn out to be fatal. According to the Timmons framework even “too much money chasing too few deals” (Timmon & Spinelli, 2008) is a losing proposition for the entrepreneurship process. They advocate most stringently the “discipline of leanness” (Timmon & Spinelli, 2008).
Throughout the argument of recognition of opportunity and the utilization of available resources in a stingy manner there is also the precautionary word on the kind of manpower and leadership that may prove a boon for the entrepreneurship process (Eric S. Siegel, 'The Ernst & Young Business Plan Guide' , (1993), ). A good leader may not essentially be an equally excellent team leader. The leader is essentially involved in the process of setting up the enterprise but has no virtues in the area of taking the rest of the team with him or her. This would probably be the death knell for any enterprise. The utmost importance of having well oiled machinery like the entrepreneurial team cannot be emphasized enough(Bar, (1999).)(B., Family firms and firm families: A comparison of Indian, Chinese, and Creole firms in Seychelles. In S.M. Greenfield, A. Strickon, & Aubey, R.T. (Eds.), Entrepreneurs in cultural context. , (1979).)The team must have a proven track record of achieving in the face of adversity and coming through with innovative ways of looking at and handling problems. The main virtues that such a dedicated team of workers should have are a strong sense of commitment, resolute determination and a dogged persistence. These virtues tempered with an adequate amount of tolerance of risk, adaptability and excellent communications would be totally successful in not only setting up but also taking the entire enterprise to reach unfathomable heights. Universal effort and directed towards a concentrated enterprise would bring forth the desired results every time in a formula that defies defeat and failure. (Hill, 2004)
Often such ideal combinations of temperaments are very hard to find. While essentially the entire team works together as a well-tuned musical instrument with several keys. This is the gist of the entrepreneurial process but on the essence of this corollary rests the success or failure of the entire enterprise.(Philips, 2011)Many a times the nascent entrepreneurial process dictates on its own the step by step requirements gradually unraveling before the visionary eye of the nascent entrepreneur. The team formed for the enterprise has the resilience to withstand all kinds of hardships and builds upon its inherent “values of dependability, honesty to strengthen the organization”(Drucker, 2008) and build a culture of creative enterprise that worked full time and innovatively. The leader is not so much the aloof, walled in the citadel kind of a leader but is more humane and down to earth. Thus it is the leader who is among the first ones to b able to palpate the issues and situations that may be arising within the work force almost immediately so that to be on the spot to sort them out expeditiously. (Abrams, 2010)
Taking the argument from the Timmons Framework it can be seen that the entrepreneurial process of setting up any enterprise in the world today involves essentially the three steps delineated by the Timmons Framework and working on from there. The underlying principle that seems to be extolled throughout the argument rests on an equitable “concept of fit and balance”(Timmon & Spinelli, 2008) wherein the equitable balance between opportunity, resources and the manpower team are so well fitted that there is no scope for any ambiguity or risk or even uncertainty because all those angles have already been collated and taken care of when the team was put together with its various strengths. (Evans, 2011)
The ongoing process of the entrepreneur is then to continually take up the process of reassessment, constant appraisal to understand the gaps that may emerge due to the changed magnitude that is the size, volume and placement of the opportunity.(Kuratko, 2013) The team manager adjusts accordingly and makes ample leeway for future expansions and emerging opportunities that may subsequently open up once the process has established its flow. The team is ever alert also to the resource gaps if any because once the enterprise is underway the pace may pick up much more from when it was in the beginning stages of being a nascent enterprise under planning. (Tozzi, 2007)
The teams builds in fit and balance it every action of its entrepreneurial process to ensure that every new aspect of the opportunity scenario is satisfied and similarly any dwindling of resources is well catered for so that the manpower – the team along with its powerfully motivated and strong willed leader takes on all the challenges that arise. In fact they are well attuned to any situations as they have already featured them into the fit and balance of the entrepreneurial process already.(Shelters, 2013)
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The only compensation he sought was the lifting of his due liabilities of loan and mortgages so that he could walk away free. He wanted to get out fast so as to be able to deal with the emergency that had arisen at his native place at the earliest.
The opportunity here was that this particular business was the only one in the city. There were about 45 schools totally dependent on this particular outlet for satisfaction of the seasonal demand for school uniforms throughout the year. Thus, whosoever had the retail outlet would have a total monopoly on the entire business of selling school uniforms in that area.
- Goals - The simple goal was the provision of good quality uniforms for students of 45 schools within the city and also the provision of expansion opportunities to nearby areas where there were no particular suppliers.
- Products – The products included uniforms comprising shirts, trousers and skirts in typical patterns and designs as approved by the various schools along with the accessories like socks, hats, ties and belts besides cardigans and blazers for the winter ensemble.
- Services – The best form of services that could be capitalized on would be if the manufacturer and retailer made it possible to retail the uniforms at the school premises themselves.
- Supplier information - As this particular unit had a monopoly on the schools it would also be the sole supplier at the very doorstep of the schools to further capitalize on the profits accrued.
- .Agreements – The various schools could all be asked to sign MoUs regarding the approved outlet of their particular uniforms according to the approved and sanctioned designs and prices. This would effectively clean out the competition and the unit would enjoy its single supplier status.
- Ownership structure – Sole Proprietary Ownership is the ownership structure of the business.
- Legal considerations – There are no legal considerations once the loans and mortgages are paid off as the land and buildings are freehold 2.Business Opportunities:
This business provides a niche opportunity for catching up the regular demand generation for supply of school uniforms to children of 45 schools that are a captive audience for the products. Since there are no other competitors barring a few manufacturers of uniforms there is ample opportunity for the business to grow and flourish with the correct management and strategy placement of manpower, resources and energies. There is also the potential of exploring avenues of expansion because there are a number of schools on the periphery of the main city which can also be asked to be included in the supply of uniforms at their very doorstep for the convenience of both the schools and the students. This could be a marketing strategy for furthering the business prospects and potential of the enterprise.
a.Potential customers – The potential customers are already earmarked here due to the gift of the previous owner. The previous owner of the enterprise had also offered his entire client list plus his goodwill. The name the enterprise had made for itself over the years regarding quality of the products and the prices at which they were delivered as well as the service they were used to having were al passed on to the new owners and they could capitalize on this ready market. There was nevertheless ample scope for raising the level of quality delivery and the range of products.
b.Geographical area–At the time of the acquisition of the business enterprise there had been a limited geographical area of merely the city with its 45 schools but there was a vast potential for expansion for on the periphery of the city were a number of residential schools which also be catered to with a little bit of marketing strategy and business acumen. There is also scope for further expansion in to the areas that are a little further but there are a few private and government schools that could be tapped. This is one enterprise that once set up continues to pay for itself and its expenses virtually in automatic mode. Thus whatever expansion is to be done should be envisaged at the earlier stages and from there on the business should be allowed to manage its growth through increased prices and quality inputs.
c.Business competitors – This business enterprise does not have any competitors virtually. Barring the few manufacturers that are doing small time piecemeal work.
3.Marketing Strategy:The business enterprise would definitely require putting in place a marketing strategy that would be beneficial all around because there would be quality management, pricing control and the students of all the schools would be able to access their uniforms from the single retail outlet available. This strategy would take into consideration certain parameters like those detailed below.
a.Costing– The costing of the products could only be revised if the services offered and the quality of the products is upgraded in any way. Immediately this would not be required but could be kept in the future plans of the organization so that the business is on an upswing all through the years whether it is in season on out.
b.Pricing– The pricing already in effect would have to be maintained till some innovative steps are taken to make the products more quality effective or the services more than what they are for example if the delivery of the uniforms is made at the very doorstep of the school itself
c.Sales projections – The new management could feature in special drives to upgrade and update accessories for a nominal price say twice a year so that all the students are sharply turned out and do not have to wear a shabby tie or faded belt to the school. Similar exercises could make the business enterprise a thriving one. The sales projections would depend on thedemand for the uniforms especially when there are new admissions or there is the start up of the new session or there is the change of season from summer to winter or otherwise when the major components of the uniform undergo a significant change.
d.Marketing Plan - They could also be involved in the business by asking them to make the uniforms exclusively for the retail outlet from which single window all sales could be managed. While there were several manufacturers of school uniforms in the area this was the only unit that had a retail outlet to facilitate the parents and wards from various school going incumbents. Thus, the marketing plan would include expansion of the business to schools on the periphery of the city as well in the areas around it. Besides the services could be upgraded to the distribution of the uniforms at the doorstep of the schools
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