Paper type: Essay Pages: 14 (3499 words)
This type of business structure that is E-business is more common in the developed countries than in third class countries; to sell products customers in the comfort of their homes is widespread in these countries, so Forejustin Passman the founder and general manager plans to make widespread this type of business even in a developing country, Botswana. 1. 0 THE entrepreneur 1. 1 The motivation for starting the business Pull factors are exploiting opportunity and a financial incentive whilst the push factor that led him to open the business was threat of unemployment.
The pull factors He was pulled into this business because he wanted to exploit an opportunity to sell gadgets such as tablets i. e. Apple’s Ipads, Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes &Nobles’ the nook. Consequently he decided to open Group Little, a predominantly virtual company, having little physical presence and high internet presence. After a market research he realised that most gadget stores in Botswana undermine internet trading and he decided to exploit this opportunity.
Citing most gadget stores are set up according to a strategy and are purposely designed to make customer experience as pleasant as possible but their websites normally do not have a similar strategy applied to them, as the sites are normally a glorified business card that does not engage visitors and in some cases even harm the business image. Mr Passman was also pulled to gain financial incentive he paid meticulous attention to primary research in order to weigh the benefits, the cost and opportunities of his approach. The push factors The threat of unemployment is the only push factor that influenced Forejustin to start his business.
At age 18 he performed poorly in his A-level results which caused him to fail to pursue a business degree at university, other than compromising and pursuing other degree programmes that he lacked interest in he decided to re-sit some examinations. Whilst in wait for examination results he did not want to be considered to be part of the unemployed so he started his company Group Little. 1. 2 Forejustin Passman’s character traits Proactive- he is one of the few people who do not believe in luck, he seeks after opportunities other than wait for them to present themselves to him.
He is also quick and decisive, when faced with the dilemma of whether to go into just conventional retailing he decided and to have the virtual retailing, where he has limited physical presence and a fully-fledged internet presence. His logic behind such a decision being that the internet is a necessary portal for success in the 21st century business and beyond. He is regarded by some a restless while he considers himself easily bored because as he says he is easily diverted to the most recent market opportunity.
He is especially known as a man who acts and then learns from the outcomes of his action, and thus far his upbeat approach has worked positively to advance the company. Visionary- Mr Passman has and had a clear vision for Group Little; for it to become a household name in virtual companies of Africa and to be an expert in Africa’s virtual market space. He wants Group Little to be benchmarked by any international company exploring to invest in the virtual market place of Africa. Now this visionary flair has positioned him to be always at the right place at the right time and being able snatch opportunities within his vision. 1. MR Passman’s personality type Mr Forejustin Passman is certainly spontaneous. Spontaneous because most of the things he does, he does instinctively. This matches positively with his proactive character trait mentioned previously in section 1. 2. He is a creative, lively and open-minded person. His humorous nature disposes a contagious zest for life. Forejustin’s enthusiasm and sparkling energy inspires the team to work harder, his strengths therefore are creative problem solutions, discovering new ways and opportunities, the conceptualization of new ideas on one hand, but not so much his concrete implementation on the other.
To compensate for this weakness he has staff of capable colleagues that takes over his concepts and runs with them. Spontaneous is the best classification of Mr Passman, other than classifying him as an introvert or extrovert which is a widely used approach of personality type definition, which in some cases is limiting to define peculiar individuals as Mr Forejustin Passman. 1. 4 Decision making and leadership style Decision making style Forejustin Passman’s decision making style is conceptual.
He has high tolerance for ambiguity in that even when he was not sure how Batswana will respond to an e-business he still went on decided to do what he planned. He has a broad outlook in business, with the resident of truth being not enough Batswana are connected to internet currently, he deemed it fit to go ahead because most industries around the world are adopting e-business and even though Botswana is still lagging behind the time is eminent for her as well to join in. His conceptual decision making style is also evident in that he has found a creative way to solve the local problem of segregated demand and supply.
Where people in difficult to reach areas have a high quantity demand of some products from businesses yet they cannot reach those businesses to be supplied with what they demand, so he decided the customers will shop in the comfort of their own far away home and he will deliver the products to them. 1. 5 Leadership style Laissez-faire style, he is a leader who has consciously made a decision to pass focus of power to the outsourced employees. He considered since the workforce is already talented and qualified to do the job they must be able to positively exercise judgement to respond to issues.
Mr Passman simply sets out the targets and deadlines afterwards he charges the taskforce to do the work that is at hand, he is not very interested in how they do the job he just wants the work to be done in due time. Some have criticised his type of leadership saying he is risking the success of his business by delegating power the employees but according to him this type of environment breeds creativity, and that is what he wants from his team, creative ways to solve problems, which is a direct match to his decision making style he wants them to think like him. 1. 6 Mr Forejustin Passman’s role within the business
Forejustin oversees the review of Group Little’s corporate strategy, looks for market opportunities, acquires strategic assets and protects Group Little’s existing competencies. As this organisation is relatively small, Forejustin has adopted this multidisciplinary role. His acquisition of strategic assets is done in order to solidify their position in the market, he cites sometimes organic growth is too slow for the company’s vision therefore acquisition of some assets provides an impetus to desired growth. The staff The majority of his staff is outsourced, the employees are highly knowledgeable about internet business.
Being a cheerful entrepreneur he advocates for a cheerful workforce because he believes if employees are happy that drives up productivity which in turn brings healthier profit margins. 1. 7 Entrepreneurial networking Forejustin’s decision to effectively network sprung up in the beginning stages of his business, he wanted a trademark for Group Little and he just happened to remember months earlier he sent his broken computer to some young technicians; one of them named Kabelo had recently graduated from a creative arts university of Limkokwing where he studied graphic designing.
He had saved his contacts in case he needed computer help but his contact wound up birthing more than just computer solutions but also a trademark for his business. This was a highlight to Forejustin that networking especially informal networking is a tool for success, his response; * He strikes conversations with strangers, to get any bit of information he can, exchanges contacts with such an individual and then regularly contact that individual until they establish a network that can provide him relevant business information, advice and support services. Chats with movers and shakers of different industries in order to get some referrals and leads. Mr Passman’s formal networks In this the entrepreneur is lacking. He has not signed up to any formal network which means his chances for collaborative opportunities with others are diminished. It is highly unlikely for him to form new business relationships and lastly it is slow to solve problems because there is no access to a significant number of possible solution providers as emphasised by Kay (2010).
His professed inhibitors to formal networking are high membership fees of some formal arrangements. He also attributed inflexible structured timetable for some of these formal networks as a major impediment for him join as he prefers groups that are open where he can come on casual ‘drop in’ basis. But considerations are still being made to join the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) network an outlet that informs and organizes exhibitions for small enterprises. 1. 8 Innovation
There a certain drivers of innovation that prompted Forejustin Passman to pursue e-business and figure a, is quite very useful in illustrating that. Source: Sheth and Ram (1987) Figure a Because of technological advances, after the internet boom he realised he needed to adopt an approach in business which matches the changes in technology. The change in technology alters the business environment. This then means that threshold competencies and basic resources are redefined, he implication to Forejustin’s company is, whatever used to be basic necessities of successful trading is now redefined to fit the current robust and continually changing business environment. Group Little’s business environment is no longer just about having the right gadgets, it is also about close interaction with customers and widespread, effective marketing therefore Mr Passman had to approach service delivery differently. Competition for selling gadgets has intensified, with Incredible Connections, Hi-Fi, Game and other gadgets stores exerting pressure, Group Little had to distinguish itself by going online.
Understanding that service delivery is directly related to the customer’s psyche he found it fit to offer technological products in a technological platform such as the internet which sends a message to customers of technological proficiency. He also had to innovate since customer needs are frequently changing consequently he had to effectively address them. The weakness of his innovative approach Even though innovation is commendable and obtaining ideas from the international front is encouraged it is evident Forejustin Passman has failed to address the contextualization of this worldwide trend.
His payment outlets for instance should have been modified to fit the traditional payment outlets other than just adopting the internationally proclaimed payment system PayPal. 2. 0 The enterprise 2. 1 Business strategy According to Meyer (2010) strategy is the direction and scope of an organisation over the long-term. General enterprise strategy Emergent strategy is Group Little’s adopted strategy. Having considered the high turbulence in the industry he trades in Mr Passman decided to use this approach to guide his business. This strategy has been adopted since this industry is uncertainty and innovation based.
It allows frequent feedback on the business environment which in turn permits reallocation of resources to address any information that is received about any changes in the business’ external environment. Operations strategy Figure b Source:ibbusinessandmanagement. com(2012) Using Michael Porter’s generic model figure b above, Forejustin has opted differentiation operational strategy. In this strategy unique attributes that are valued by customers and which are perceived to be better than the gadgets of the competition are intensively adopted by Group Little.
This company has the following internal strengths to make this differentiation strategy successful; * Highly skilled and creative development team. * Strong sales team with the ability to successfully communicate the perceived strengths of the gadgets The risks linked with this strategy include imitation by competitors and changes in customer tastes. In addition, a range of firms pursuing focus strategies may be able to achieve even greater differentiation in their market segments. 2. 2 E-business
As Group Little is a typical example of an e-business it is quite instructive to use the SWOT model to analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunity and threats this organisation it has; Strengths Global reach to marketing. Since the web is an international platform Group Little’s marketing is not just limited to local media and advertising opportunities it spreads out to other regions. There is improved customer interaction. The customer and the enterprise meet in the comfort zone of the customer, therefore the customer can openly offer ideas, orders and even complaints all this will better Group Little’s service delivery.
Weaknesses Security; customers are always concerned with the integrity of their payments, most shy away from revealing confidential bank information in the web, which costs Group Little significantly. The other weakness is the customer has no idea of the quality and physical condition of the gadgets; it is very common for discrepancies to exist between what sites advertise and the actual product. Opportunities New technologies surfacing could open up internet accessibility in Botswana which will be advantageous to Forejustin’s company since the critics’ argument pivots around this matter.
Group Little also has prospects on cutting down local competition. As local competition has not adequately used the online trading space which can give Group Little an online competitive advantage if Forejustin Passman chooses to invest significantly to develop this area. Threats Fraud; given that there are some individuals that are out to deceive for financial gain are always Mr Passman’s concern, they may fake Group Little’s website and deceive the customers. Changes in law and regulation are always a threat.
Regulatory authorities to protect customers from fraud they may place laws and regulations that will stifle Group Little’s competitiveness. 2. 3 Organisational culture This has been defined as, a system of shared actions, values and beliefs that develop within an organisation and guides the behaviour. This is as cited by Uhl-Bien et al. (2010). Forejustin Passman has directed Group Little culture, one of the shared values is the ‘no Sunday policy. ’ In this Forejustin has reflected his Christian beliefs and his philosophy of people before profit into the corporation’s culture.
His belief in God prompts him to keep the Sabbath which to him is Sunday and his people before profits philosophy leads him to protect their wellbeing by giving them rest on Sunday. Any order placed on Sunday is attended on Monday by rejuvenated and more productive employees. This has its obvious disadvantages such as foregone sales but Mr Passman believes his policy is beneficial to all parties involved. When work is on between Monday to Saturday the team is relaxed and open, this as Forejustin says allows for conception of creative ideas.
Any facet that stifles creativity is minimized be it the tangible such as tables or chairs or the intangible aspect like a mental attitude that stigmatizes mistakes. This culture solves two important issues external adaptation, which deals with reaching goals; how to reach those goals and if members have developed this freedom to make mistakes they can effectively guide their day-to-day activities. It also solves the issue of internal integration, members can easily merge and share ideas when mistakes are not stigmatized and this leads to greater productivity. . 4 Critical success factors of his business Branding Forejustin’s Group Little has to create a brand that appeals to the African technologically adept. Now as asserted by Perry (2009) a brand is more than just a corporate symbol it is an intangible asset that provokes emotional responses from individuals which presents a sustainable competitive advantage. This entrepreneur must position his company’s brand to be able to leverage from being one of Botswana’s few companies that are committed to successful internet trading.
Little is known of Group Little but this is an incentive not a deterrent because the brand can be driven in any direction that Forejustin sees proper to execute his vision. Even though his company was registered with the Registrar of Companies and Intellectual Property in 2009, not long ago every product and or service he introduces must align to the strategy of the company; he has to monitor Group Little’s identity, as the perception portrayed to customers over these few years is the one that affords the company to leverage on the brand premium.
Realising that the company’s brand was its critical success factor efforts to protect his brand symbol from infringement were undertook; he decided to copyright the brand symbol. Distribution Comprehending their need for effective systems, Group Little has rationalized their distribution systems to enhance performance of their products. As an attempt to enhance the logistics execution and capabilities Mr Passman decided to form a synergy with Botswana Couriers.
This he decided to do in order to quicken delivery of the gadgets sold, in contrast to sending the orders via Botswana Post with their renowned incompetence he decided to solidify his distribution by having an exclusive agreement with Couriers. As Meyer (2010) asserts exclusive distributor agreements will constitute a major impediment to the distributors if the distributor wants to switch from the commitment. In this synergy Group Little is offered discounts because of the volume of gadgets it trades around the country and basic efficiency in the distribution of the products is greatly enhanced.
Technology It seems obvious yet still noteworthy that Group Little has technology as their trading platform has to remain on vigilant and aware of new technology developments. Most gadgets they sell use mobile applications, applications are pieces of software that are designed to fulfil a particular purpose, for Group Little that purpose simply is to make easy access to its website’s content and increase sales, therefore Group Little is in the process of having their own application.
The entrepreneur has looked at engaging a company named Bright labs which operates in Tlokweng for the development of Group Little’s very own mobile application this will enable those who have bought these gadgets to also download the application and then browse for more products from Mr Forejustin Passman’s Group Little. 2. 5 Conclusion Forejustin Passman’s Group Little’s performance has been average, but if he can put measures in place to direct its strategy the company will realise its potential to become a benchmark e-business in Botswana and even in Africa.
He simply needs to re-assess who he is and what Group Little is, a point of focus (the target market to approach, how he is going to approach that market). In addition he is required to solidify his networks as this is one business competence he has ignored and it will ultimately cost him and his business from growing from being a small medium enterprise to being the envisioned benchmark multinational. Contextualisation of Group Little’s business model also can provide an impetus its success as well, Mr Passman shall consider adopting traditional transaction means in order not to inhibit his business from reaching every possible customer.
Bibliography Books 1. Meyer, R, Wit, B, (2010), Strategy-process, content, context an international perspective, 4ed, Hampshire: Cengage learning EMEA 2. Perry, B, (2009), Enterprise operations, Oxford: Cima publishing 3. Uhl-Bien. M, Schermerhorn J. R. , Hunt . J G, Osborn R. N, (2010), Organisational behaviour, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons 4. Kay. F, (2010), Successful networks, London: Kogan Page 5. Yves, L, Goz, G. H, (1998), Alliance Advantage-The art of creating value through partners, Boston: Harvard business School Press. 6. Sugars. B, (2012), Super Size your sales, the entrepreneur, August, p. 2 7. Bessant J, Tidd J,(2011), innovation and entrepreneurship, 2ed, Sussex: John Wiley and sons 8. Moon. R, Gee. S, (2012), Creating business opportunity, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan 9. Mullins L. J, (2010), management & organisational behaviour, 9ed, Essex: Prentice Hall Websites 10. Multiply (2012): Spontaneous idealist [online] Available from: http://mirau. multiply. com/journal/item/116/My-Personality-Type-Spontaneous ,[ accessed 14 December 2012] Appendix Personal reflection Studying real entrepreneurs and real companies always equips I as the student beyond lecture content.
The study of this enterprise and Mr Forejustin Passman was a delight because I got to know interesting real aspects about business, I have learnt when in real business some academic theories will have to be set aside and suspended to deal with the challenges of real business. The more I researched I understood what differentiates successful entrepreneurs and unsuccessful entrepreneurs and that content I learnt were not part of the assignment requisite but I did learn This module lectures are also noteworthy, I figured this was a reiteration of Enterprise anagement I did in my second year, so lectures consisted of emphasis of year two material. Even though the material is more or less the same as of second year the assessment was interestingly structured, it was strategic rather than operational that seems like an obvious comment but this has really marked the difference in our approach. We were no longer just reporting facts, concepts and academic theories we had to apply and use our groomed understanding to critically analyse the business case.
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