There is an array of things that are assessed in starting a successful business. When viewing the success of Dale Northrup who decided to open the Percy Inn in Portland, Maine, after being a critic and editor for hotels and cruise ships all over the world, it becomes very apparent that a great deal of work goes into starting a successful business. A business owner must first determine the reasons in which they want to start a business. The owner must determine what entrepreneurial characteristics they possess that will promote the success of their business. Next, a niche and market must be determined. This paper will give details of how Dale Northrup, owner and manager of Percy Inn decided to open a successful business using his entrepreneurial skills and background in the travel and lodging market to create wealth, a sense of pride, and an attractive venture to investors.
When Dale decided to open the Percy Inn, he had to consider several reasons to take the risk as an entrepreneur. Like many entrepreneurs, Dale probably thought the top advantages to starting Percy Inn was the flexibility, freedom, and better income along with pride of ownership, retention of control, and the retention of ownership. Dale Northrup traveled all over the world and wrote 23,000 hotel reviews for travel agent hotel guides in 70 countries (Percy, About the Inn), so he is truly an expert on the travel and lodge industry. Being given the opportunity to use his expertise in the industry and own the famous Percy Inn located in Portland, Maine, Dale has a huge sense of pride for his ownership and management. Dale also has other lodging options that include his cottage on the Southern Maine coast as well as chic condominiums overlooking Biscayne Bay in South Florida (Percy, Home of the Percy Inn).
Dale is able to provide various levels of comfort to various markets of people in multiple locations with the use of his niche for travel and lodging and history of Portland. As Dale continues to manage these amazing inns in great locations, he assumes all the risk and is allowed to be very innovative in how he accommodates his traveling guests and tenants, which allows him the privilege to be independent and flexible as he faces many challenges. He also is able to retain control and profits to increase his financial success. Dale can have the satisfaction of owning a business that he is very proud of and keep the profits to himself minus his taxes and expenses, which is a great advantage of being an entrepreneur.
Even with Dale’s expertise in travel and lodging and his success in his business at Percy Inn, he possesses several other entrepreneurial characteristics that are imperative to being an excellent business owner. According to the author Marce in Chapter 7 about Small Business and Entrepreneurship, a few characteristics of entrepreneurs include vision, self-reliance, energy, confidence, tolerance of uncertainty, and tolerance of failure ( Marce, pg 102). The characteristics that Dale Northrup seem to possess especially are vision, confidence, and self-reliance. Dale had several years of personal and professional experience in lodging, but it was his vision that enabled him to create an urban inn after he renovated a house from the year 1830 that was built in Maine, ten years after it became a state(Northrup).
He was very confident in his expertise in travel and lodge and history of Portland in order to create an inn that would appeal to many people all while he pursued a great business venture that he was passionate about. He also took his business a step further by opening more inns in other locations besides the main inn in Portland, which shows that he is very confident that his vision will be to the satisfaction of many people all over the world. His ability to manage inns and maintain a vision that is selective and targets a certain type of market shows that he is very reliable. Dale is responsible for permits, staffing his inns, maintain his investor relations, and any liabilities that impact him personally and financially in dealing with the business operations.
A good time for some families is a trip to Disney World, a cruise, weekend getaway, a tour of France , or even a trip to a local beach. No matter what a person or family enjoys there is something out there for them to take part in. Dale Northrup has an inn which is probably very appealing to a market that is fond of New England history and wants to enjoy the luxury of a home away from home whether it is for a day trip or extended stay. A market niche tends to be attractive to a certain segment of people and not have as many competitors. Dale definitely has a niche in the market because he has a great deal of experience and is also providing an inn that is different from many other because of the historical New England influence.
The niche works in Dale’s favor and does not limit him because he caters to other markets and taste by having other inns that are more appropriate to their locations and other people’s interest ( Marce, pg 106). If Dale is able to have three inns in different locations that are all very successful and able to use his expertise in the desires of people in lodging, he should not have any problems with being successful and able to target various markets even if he gains more competitors or ever feels that he wants to change his niche or target market. Changing his niche and vision to cater to more people could actually be of great benefit to him in the future, but probably is not necessary since he has something unique in its class already.
Percy Inn is very impressive to investors and probably had an extensive business plan. Business plans usually cover everything from the vision of a business to the marketing to the financial analysis of the business. If Dale presented the business plan to me, as an investor I would be most interested in the potential customers, profitability, operating procedures, and financial data. If I would take the risk of investing in a business that I was not familiar with I would definitely be interested in the market of people that services would be provided to because that would be an indicator of how profitable the business would be.
I would also need a clear understanding of operating procedures such as how would the inn be ran and operated in terms of personnel and tending to guests as well as how inns at other locations owned by Dale would be operated when he is not able to be on site. Last, but certainly not least, the financial data is very important. The financial data is important because it will reveal how much money is necessary to invest to start the business as well as how much is needed to maintain and operate the business over the tenure of the business. It is imperative that an investor is aware of what market the business they invest in will target and what financial future the business has to return the money invested and become profitable.
Since Dale is the owner and manager of the inns, he is a sole proprietor of the business. Being a sole proprietor gives Dale the advantage of ease of formation, retaining profits and control, and pride of ownership. Because Dale is a sole proprietor he does not have to file as many forms or pay the fees associated with partnerships and corporations. Dale is in full control of the business and therefore he manages everything and assumes all liability. Dale is able to benefit from all the profits of the business since he manages everything and assumes all risk and liability. If Dale ever considered switching to a partnership or corporation he would be able to limit some of his risk and duties, which could increase or decrease the income.
If Dale was not the sole owner, he could limit his liabilities because if the company goes bankrupt, the stockholders would have personal asset protection. There would be permeance, allowing Dale’s business consider to thrive even if he withdraws or dies because the corporation could continue if stockholders want the business to continue. Switching to a corporation could also help ale to make more money since corporations and partnerships are usually larger than sole proprietorships because there are larger teams of people which allow more diversity amongst ideas to expand because they can use specialized management by hiring qualified people to help grow the company. (Marce,pg 89)
In conclusion, Dale Northrup is a sole proprietor with a distinctive entrepreneurial profile. He has taken a risk to start a business with a vision of his own to target various people from all over to visit his inns in different locations. He is being recognized for his great inn and the service provided and is able to enjoy freedom, flexibility, and the retention of profits. I would recommend that Dale looks for ways to increase his market share since he has a unique business. If his market share increases, it could lead to more income and opportunities.
Second, if the business continues to thrive and Dale wants to expand, he may want to at least expand to a partnership with someone who shares his similar vision to share responsibility with and continue the business in the case that he can no longer own and manage the business. Last, it would be in the best interest of Dale to maintain very accurate financial information to watch for trends and perform analysis comparable to other companies to look for ways to improve his business and win against competitors.
Kelly, Marce, and James McGowen. “Small Business and Entrepreneurship.” _BUSN
5_. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2013. Pages 89-112 Print.
Northrup, Dale. “Home of the Percy Inn.” _Home of the Percy Inn_. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2013.
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