Category Archives: Enterprise Education

9 Stages of Enterprise Creation

The way we start businesses is changing and through academic research, additional knowledge, skills and tools, the process and issues around growing businesses have profoundly changed Entrepreneurship in the last twenty years.  This article develops a new 9 Stages of Enterprise Creation model which is based on today entrepreneurial mindset and the business community ecosystem which molds entrepreneurs and allows their ventures grow.

The first three stages of the Enterprise Creation stages which emerged are: Discovery, Modeling, and Startup which form the new venture formation stages. The next three Existence , Survival and Success develop the business into a sustainable business entity. The last three stages: Adaption, Independence and Exit provide the entrepreneurship pathways for the entrepreneur.  These final elements complete the entrepreneurship model by focusing on the success of the business, how the entrepreneur progresses beyond the business, their separation into different entities and the entrepreneurs eventual exit. The 9 Stages of Enterprise Creation are set out below:

Stage 1 – Discovery

This first stage of the 9 Stages of Enterprise Creation  is centred around the focal competency of Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation. These are the processes by which entrepreneurs identify and evaluate potential new business opportunities. An opportunity by definition is a favorable set of circumstances which creates a need for a new product, business, or service. Opportunity recognition is the process by which the entrepreneur comes up with a prospective idea for a new venture. Evaluating the opportunity takes research, exploration, and understanding of current needs, demands, and trends from consumers and others. The process of researching and surveying allows the product or service idea to develop, so that it can be modelled.

Stage 2 – Modeling

The second stage is about developing the business logic to create a business model. This is split into three parts and starts by setting out a Strategy, formulating a business model and setting the business processes to achieve the strategy . These form the key elements for the plan to start the business and, are an integral piece of submitting any proposal for an entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial business. The model should be underpinned by the resources available and those which may still need to be secured. Resource allocation and availability are extremely important to startups because sustainability and profit (not loss) depend on proper planning and understanding of the internal and external environments.

Stage 3 – Startup

The fourth stage is starting the enterprise. Once the resources detailed in the business plan are mobilised the entrepreneurial process can be effected and implementation can take place. In this stage the business may be trading or begin to research or develop a product. The aim of this stage is to have the processes in place so that the business can have a scalable, repeatable and profitable business focused on distinct customers within an identified market.

Stage 4 – Existence

At this stage the business has two core focuses; to gain enough customers to create a profitable business and, at the same time establishing production or product quality. The majority of businesses fail at this stage due, in part, to either one or both of these factors. At this stage the organisation is a simple one, the entrepreneur does everything and directly supervises subordinates, who should be of at least average competence. Systems and formal planning are minimal to nonexistent. The company’s strategy is simply to remain alive  which requires the focal competency of tolerance of uncertainty, risk and failure

Stage 5 – Survival

At this stage the business should be a viable entity in terms of cash flow and resources, it has enough customers and satisfies them sufficiently with its products or services to gain repeat sales. The organisation is still simple. The company may have a limited number of employees supervised by a junior manager or supervisor. Neither of them makes major decisions independently, but instead carries out the rather well-defined orders of the entrepreneur. Formal planning is, at best, cash forecasting. The major goal is still survival, and the entrepreneur is still synonymous with the business. The entrepreneur starts to implement ideas through leadership and management which provides opportunities to scale.

Stage 6 – Success

Entrepreneurs at this point of the 9 Stages of Enterprise Creation have a number of options: capitalise on the company’s accomplishments, expand or, keep the company stable and profitable. The entrepreneur has a number of ways to capitalise, from exit to taking a ‘founders dividend’ from the business. If the entrepreneur want to expand  then the core tasks are to make sure the basic organisation stays profitable so that it will not outrun its source of cash and, to develop managers to meet the needs of the growing organisation. Through the entrepreneurs leadership all managers within the business should now identify with the company’s future opportunities rather than its current condition demonstrating a success to its stakeholders.

Stage 7 – Adaptation

Businesses which reach this stage normally have a number of factors pushing them to adapt, these are normally grounded in changes either to the micro or macro environments. Businesses at this stage will normally be entering a phase of rapid change and will have to have secured the required finances to develop. At this point key management is in place with a set of operational systems. Operational and strategic planning are now a key focus. The organisation is decentralised and, at least in part, divisionalised. The key managers must be very competent to handle a growing and complex business environment. The systems, strained by growth, are becoming more refined and extensive. Both operational and strategic planning are being done and involve specific managers. The entrepreneur and the business have become reasonably separate, yet the company is still dominated by both the entrepreneur’s presence and stock control.

Stage 8 – Independence

A business at this stage should now has the advantages of size, financial resources, market share and managerial talent. Innovation and Intrapreneurship  are now key factors in keeping the business in market position. The organisation has the staff and financial resources to engage in detailed operational and strategic planning. The management is decentralised, adequately staffed, and experienced. Business systems are extensive and well developed. The entrepreneur and the business are quite separate, both financially and operationally.

Stage 9 – Exit

The last of the Enterprise Creation stages is focused on exiting the business and making their separation permanent. An exit strategy will give the entrepreneur a way to reduce or eliminate their stake in the business and, if the business is successful, make a substantial profit. This stage removes the entrepreneur from primary ownership and decision-making structure of the business. Common types of exit strategies include Initial Public Offerings (IPO), strategic acquisitions and management buyouts. The organisation at this stage is generally profitable, has a definable set of resources with a clear and realistic strategy to continue. The CEO and founder(s) are separate.

 

9 stages of Enterprise Creation
9 stages of Enterprise Creation

The full paper which develops the 9 Stages of Enterprise Creation:  Bozward, David and Rogers-Draycott, Matthew Charles (2017) Developing a Staged Competency Based Approach to Enterprise Creation. Proceedings of the International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development. ISSN 2411-5320, can be found at http://eprints.worc.ac.uk/5377/

The five types of student entrepreneur

After working with over 20,000 students in the last ten years, I have started to stereotype those coming through into five simple student entrepreneur categories. There is no real theory and a great amount of research here, but I just wanted to share my thoughts and observations on these student entrepreneurs.

Wanta-preneur

This group of people want to mega rich, famous and of course a owner of a super big business. They just want it all! Yet hard work, planning and dedication to entrepreneurship is not at the core of their motivations. They sometimes do start businesses, normally with co-founders who do all the work, while they talk about their business, the people they know and the mega plans they have.

Pros : Great talker who other may believe
Cons : Lacks hard work and dedication

Business-Anarchistic-preneur

Staying the same is not an option, so these people think of distributive technology, business models and taking all the biggest businesses, traditional methods and societies. They know that they will succeed as its only there ability to change the world that will save it.

Pros : Out of the box thinking
Cons : Others don’t take them seriously, just too radical

Social Entrepreneur

This group not only want to start a business but one that helps others. They have great amounts of passion, dedication and drive to see this business idea into a fully developed business. These people understand the need to develop others, work in teams and share the value of their business with as many people as possible.

Pros : A Team player
Cons : Takes too long as brings too many people with them

Geek-preneur

The richest people are Geeks, so why not start the the next Microsoft, Apple or Facebook. These people can make technology work for them and create small dynamic businesses which engage users throughout the world in their dream creation.

Pros : Easy to start boot strapped business
Cons : Lacks people skills to engage others

Just-do-It-preneur

This group just get on with it, never thinking for one moment they can’t. What they lack in skills, knowledge and network, they balance with the shear determination and brut force. They are the bull in the china shop style of entrepreneurship.

Pros : Self belief and determination to make it a success
Cons : Lacks style and skills which makes others believe

As with all people and businesses it about having the team, a set of skills and maybe every business should have a mix of these.

 

So which type of student entrepreneur are you?

The process of developing a business plan

When I look at the process of creating a new venture, I often see people forget some of the basic elements in the process of developing a business plan.

The first three steps are:

  1. Opportunity discovery,
  2. Business modelling
  3. Business planning

 

Opportunity Discovery

The best idea is the one which provides the best business opportunity. Therefore we are not looking for any idea but an idea which provides the best opportunity.

Therefore the process of ideation captures the current industry trends and the competitor in and around them. The technology innovation currently applied to this market and the outlook we see in terms of costs and market adoption trends.

The creative problem solving can not sit in isolation and needs to be surrounded by the context for it to be applied to create an outstanding  value proposition later on.

Business Modelling

For most people this is filling out the Business Model Canvas, a tools which provides a powerful view of the business model. But again this is completed in isolation within a full understanding the ecosystem, actors and their behaviours.

The process of modelling is about understanding the relationship between the key actors within the ecosystem, it doesn’t matter if its designing a new road bridge, a tv or a new products. This dynamic relationship is so important in understanding the processes and metrics to be put in place to plan the business.

Business Planning

The core aspects of Business Planning are risk analysis, scenario planning and financial planning. Once these are done the rest, include product design, marketing strategy and operations are secondary.

All investors want to know you can manage this risk and act accordingly.

The process of developing a business plan are about understanding the dynamic relationship and how to mitigate the risks they pose to your business. Its not an exercise in writing or filling out the right amount of words in the right sections.

 

The process of developing a business plan is simple yet so many people get it wrong. Just remember to understand the dynamic nature of business and that your business startup will be connected with these and therefore needs to adjust to maintain a successful course through the early years.

5 places to run your startup business, on the cheap

What places to run your startup business?

When starting out, you only seem to have costs and they keep coming in. The five set of fees are:

  1. Office space
  2. Utilities
  3. Incorporating and legal fees
  4. Accounting costs for the first year in business
  5. Payroll for employees

So one of the main costs is office space and if we can reduce that we can survive for longer and hopefully last until we start making more money than we spend.

  1. Run your startup business from home. This won’t work for every business, but if it will work for yours it can save you a pile of cash on utilities and rent.
  2. Coffee Shop’s are happy to have you and have good wifi. You also get to meet like minded people and can invite people for meetings in the coffee shop.
  3.  Look out for a business incubator which helps startups by providing them space, mentors and events. These are normally free for a set period.
  4. Spare desk in someone else’s office. A lot of businesses have space and if you can use one or two desks in return for some form of payment, even your manpower it will be cheaper and more flexible.
  5. Find a co-working space where you can rent space as-needed for much less than the cost of a traditional commercial office which is normally looking for 3-5 years.

Just remember when looking for office space its “Location, location, location.” , which drives home just how important location is when choosing a space for your startup business.

Entrepreneurship as a career choice – Millennial Entrepreneurs

The Millennials are making the career choice of being an entrepreneur.

Promoting entrepreneurship as a viable career option and supporting self-employment on an higher educational campus has both community and economic relevance. The role of higher educational campuses to nurture and develop the entrepreneurial and innovative talent is foundation to creating the next generation within our community. The trend is for millennial University students to be empowered to come out of university with an understanding of entrepreneurship, with a view that these skills and knowledge allow them to make informed life choices.

Millennial Entrepreneurs

Our Millennial Entrepreneurs understand how to start new businesses and take on the risk and rewards of being an founder.  Entrepreneurs are the dreamers who are fuelled by the desire to pioneer, lead, innovate and invent disruptive technologies and products. The tech savvy millennial wants to work the way then want, the hours they want make the opportunities they want.

In the 1980s we saw a massive increase in self employed and now their children are following the footsteps or the desire of their parents and opted for a career that was decided by their elders. However, the opening up of the world economy during the 1990’s and the great advances in tech field has had far reaching impact on the way business was done world over.

Millennial Entrepreneurs Motivation

These momentous changes are opening up new business creation tools and unexplored business models for the young and ambitious who were not satisfied being put in a single career for their entire life. Young people are drawn towards entrepreneurship because:

  1. The desire to be their own boss and have better control
  2. The motivation to take risks in the changed global environment where unexplored new opportunities were present
  3. The ambition to develop and execute a plan right from the ground level
  4. The aim to do well financially and take their growth trajectory to unprecedented level

New Venture Creation (NVC) Programmes are available to equip nascent entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to start a scalable business.  These university degrees have been developed by entrepreneurs to support Millennial Entrepreneurs on the entrepreneurial journey, and to develop the entrepreneur within  alongside an in-depth understanding of how to start and run a business.

Students will be in a class with like-minded Millennial Entrepreneurs developing a strong network of entrepreneurs. Throughout the  degree, the focus will progressively move from entrepreneurial mindset, creativity, venture feasibility and marketing, to business operations, stakeholder communications, sales and growth strategies.