Tag Archives: entrepreneur

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/

6 ways to find a co-founder

Co-founders are normally people involved in the initial launch of startup companies. Anyone can be a co-founder, but frequently co-founders are entrepreneurs, engineers, hackers, funders, web developers, web designers and others involved in the ground level of a new  venture.   The first step in finding your co-founder is to map yours needs.  Make sure you are perfectly clear on what skillsets/resources will be the most important for the success of the startup, and best fill a hole in your own resume and desired management team.

    1. Friends from University – It worked for the guys at Facebook and Google, so just get out and meet other students.
    2. Former co-workers – If you’ve worked together as employees, you might be able to work together as co-founders. You have the history and know each others skill sets.
    3. People you meet over coffee – We see hot beds of startups co-locating themselves in coffee shops, just talk to the guy next to you.
    4. Former co-founders in another venture – There’s no better person to launch with than someone that has started a company before.
    5. Accelerators – Related to some of the other co-working suggestions, simply applying to a startup accelerator can lead to finding a co-founder.
    6. At meet-ups – Tech Meetups are great places to find co-founders and they are easy to find and also go to.

What skills do you need to be a successful Entrepreneur?

When starting a business, we all come at from different directions, at different ages, different backgrounds. There are so many skills required to run your own startup. Successful Entrepreneur skills, are the ones you’ll need to run everything from serving customers to preparing your accounts. Below are listed 13  core skills required in running a startup business and how you might develop your core skill set further. The successful Entrepreneur skills are:

  1. Opportunity Recognition – The recognition of new markets and opportunities, such as a new customers’ need is core to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
  2. Ideation – Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas. Always write your ideas down in a book and come back to them when you can do something about it.
  3. Research & Analysis – This involves both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Understanding the customers, competitors and costs structure are important in making a startup work.
  4. Resources Identification – Working out the resource requirements then leads to determining what types of resources you will need to start-up and operate your startup.
  5. Risk Analysis – This process of defining and analysing the dangers to your startup business posed by potential natural and human-caused events.
  6. Tactical Planning – As a startup the horizon is low, so focus on this process of outlining business plans for the coming year. This differs from strategic planning as strategic planning encompasses longer-term goals that reflect the company’s direction and its purpose outlined in its mission statement.
  7. Operational Design – Operational design is the first level of strategy implementation and rests upon operational art. This cognitive approach uses your skill, knowledge, experience, creativity, and judgment to develop operations to organise and employ the resources available.
  8. Business Modelling – A business model is the map of how a startup generates revenue and makes a profit from its value proposition. From this a business plan and processes may be derived.
  9. Cash Flow – In the early days of a business maintaining a healthy cash level, liquidity ensure the business survives. Cash is king.
  10. Team Building – As a new business building a team is important, which requires various types of activities used to enhance social relations and define roles within team are developed and maintained.
  11. Branding – Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, it develops you icon and a connection with your suppliers, customers and financial stakeholders.
  12. Marketing – The communications of you value proposition should generate leads which can be turned into sales.
  13. Negotiating & Selling – Getting the right prices from your suppliers and selling at the right price is fundamental for a startup to grow. These skills go hand in hand together.

7 obstacles experienced by entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur we have lots of do, but sometimes we just do it wrong, we let obstacles get in our way. So what are the typical obstacles we entrepreneurs have to deal with:

  1. Perfectionism – For entrepreneurs, practice doesn’t make perfect; action does. You simply cannot wait until you are 100 percent ready before you take action. Think MVP.
  2. Procrastination –  Sometimes its easier to delay the decision, the action or even dealing with the problem, so each day “Eat the Frog” and take action of the real issues within your business.
  3. Fear – Entrepreneurs’ resolve is tested from the very first step of starting a business. In fact, one entrepreneur compared starting a business to jumping off a cliff and assembling your parachute on the way down.
  4. Worry – As an entrepreneur, worry comes with the territory. In fact, over a third of entrepreneurs told Gallup they worried a lot about yesterday. While worry is a quotidian experience, it is not productive. You have to make peace with the things that concern you, and not let them stop you from taking action and pursuing your dreams.
  5. Financing – Experienced entrepreneurs don’t have it easy when it comes to funding a new business, but they do have a few advantages over newcomers. They might have a pool of capital from a business they previously sold or a steady stream of revenue they can use to fund a new business’s cash flow.
  6. Team building – This is especially hard if you’ve never run or managed a team before, but even if you have management experience, picking the right team for a startup is stressful and difficult. It’s not enough to find candidates who fill certain roles — you also need to consider their cost to the business, their culture fit and how they’ll work as part of your overall team. Such considerations are exceptionally hard when you’re under the pressure of filling those positions as soon as possible.
  7. Decision-making – Believe it or not, this is probably the most stressful challenge on this list. New entrepreneurs are forced to make hundreds of decisions a day, from big, company-impacting decisions, to tiny, hour-affecting ones. Decision fatigue is a real phenomenon, and most new entrepreneurs will experience it if they aren’t prepared for the new level of stress.

5 Sources of funding to start a business

If you are looking to fund your startup and not sure where to start? Here is a quick guide to five potential sources of funding for your small business. I have tried to put them in order with the best way first:

    1. Bootstrapping: Many billionaire entrepreneurs find a way to grow without external financing so that financiers don’t control their destinies or grab a disproportionate slice of the business.
    2. Customers: Advance payments from customers can give you the cash you need, at a relatively low cost, to keep your business growing. Advances also demonstrate a level of commitment by the customer to your operation.
    3. Friends and family members:  If you’re lucky, friends and family members might be the most lenient investors of the bunch. They don’t tend to make you pledge your house, and they might even agree to sell their interest in your company back to you for a nominal return.
    4. Startup Loans: Start Up Loans is a government-funded scheme that fund your startup and mentors entrepreneurs. They have a series of delivery partners  who will help you develop a business plan.
    5. Bank loans:  Banks are like the supermarket of debt financing. They provide short-, mid- or long-term financing, and they finance all asset needs, including working capital, equipment and real estate. However, they typically are not the first place to look for funds for your startup.

When taking loans to fund your startup from friends and family, banks or another you must, have a written agreement covering every last detail regarding the loan. This includes the loan amount, the repayment period, the amount of each repayment instalment, the interest rate if any, consequences of non-repayment etc.  If in doubt get a lawyer to help you.