The Idea of Mercantilism

Categories: HistoryMercantilism

An entrepreneur is defined as “someone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise…” (Kumar, 2017). According to Hur (2018), entrepreneurship is seen as the cornerstone of a capitalist economy. He states that historians have traced the first entrepreneurs back to almost 20,000 years ago in New Guinea where locals would trade hunting tools for other goods. This was expanded during the medieval period where large marketplaces were available for trading or purchasing foods, clothing, or services. Hur writes that in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries mercantilism, the idea that there is a finite amount of wealth in the world and that a country’s wealth was solely based on how much treasure and gold it could obtain, was on the rise.

Such that, when Columbus discovered the New World it led to an increase in entrepreneurship and ultimately stimulated economic growth. This is seen as the beginning of capitalism. He states that over time, the availability of energy production and labor allowed for larger scale productions.

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Today, entrepreneurs are seen as the force behind economies globally. Traditionally, entrepreneurs were associated with having physical businesses or selling goods however, with the rise of social media, one can open an online business. Many individuals have creative ideas however, may not have the capital or resources to open a business. This method would reduce the financial burden and allow one to reach clients globally.

Rajat Goyal is a third-year medical student who is the founder and social media director of MCATbros, a business where he used his experience and knowledge of the Medical College Admissions Test to offer customers customized study schedules.

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His competencies include obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and sitting for the Medical College Admissions Test. He initially started offering advice to students on free forums, as a hobby, for several months, where he gained more experience advising students and got a better understanding of their needs, before deciding that this was something, he could build a business for. MCATbros has been active for two years and has found that this may be his calling, and that instead of a career in medicine, and would like to continue with this work as a career. His target demographic is pre-medical students in college or even in high school. In order to connect with his target demographic, he utilizes and markets the experiences of his former students and shares their success stories on his social media pages. Surprisingly, this type of business is very common on social media amongst doctors and medical students. The way Mr. Goyal differentiates himself by offering “low cost” services. His customized schedules were $90 per schedule and included a fifteen-minute phone call. His services have recently increased to $200 for the same service however, surprisingly his volume of customers has not decreased. Most people stop using his services after they finish with the exam. To circumvent that he attempts to sustain his business using the success stories of his previous customers, in this way he is hoping to maintain this business for the long term.

In his opinion, customer service is the most demanding aspect of his job. He states that oftentimes, even non-paying customers will contact him on social media asking for advice on issues and it can be difficult to get to everyone’s questions. As far as his “paying” customers, he typically gets to know them in an in-depth manner which follows the stages of a helping relationship. His social media presence exudes a friendly, professional yet approachable energy which encourages potential customers to send him a private message with a problem they are experiencing. Rajat uses this to build rapport and trust with this client. If they choose to pay for his service, he asks that they first fill out a questionnaire where he can get to know the client and get an understanding of their problem and barriers they may face. During their fifteen-minute phone call he further gets to know them and formulates a schedule that they can fit into their daily routine. After that he is available for questions or concerns that come up in the future. When the client has successfully taken their exam, this is typically the closure of their working relationship and Mr. Goyal will frequently ask them to “live stream” on his social media page where they can answer questions that his current customers have. The interactions he has with his clients gives them the impression that he is an approachable, friendly person that is just trying to help students which is purposeful on his part. On the other side, he is a savvy, and sometimes cunning, business man who keeps close tabs on his competitors. He reveals that recently, a friend divulged to him a plan to create a business to edit personal statements for medical school admissions. Mr. Goyal knew that he had the means to build a website and recruit help fast and decided to use this idea for his own business stating, “it’s just the name of the game”.

Mr. Goyal has found a way to use an unconventional method of entrepreneurship to build a business without any financial investment. This is something virtually anyone can do with the use of social media. Since this type of entrepreneurship is saturating all social media platforms, it is important to differentiate oneself from competitors by using your unique personality and offering something that they do not. As someone who has been playing soccer since childhood and is currently coaching, this is something I am talented in and have interest in building a business in. Similarly, to Mr. Goyal, I would use social media as a play form to train clients remotely and build customized workouts. Although Mr. Goyal’s business lacks true longevity as of now, I believe that if one can continue to effectively market to their target demographic, build credibility, and offer a good service, an online business can be sustained. Mr. Goyal himself only utilizes his experiences to help guide his customers, he otherwise does not have any formal training in student advising or schedule building. I generally support this type of business however, I am concerned that social media users, who are typically young, can be scammed by someone posing as a profession or expert in a field.

References

  • Hur, J. (2018, December 4). History of Entrepreneurship. Retrieved from https://bebusinessed.com/history/history-of-entrepreneurship/
  • Kumar, B. (2017, June 5). What Exactly is an Entrepreneur And How Do You Become One Today? Retrieved from https://www.shopify.co.uk/blog/117049413-what-exactly-is-an-entrepreneur-and-how-do-you-become-one-today
  • Mercantilism. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/mercantilism
  • Neukrug, E. (2017). Theory, practice, and trends in human services: an introduction. Boston MA: Cengage Learning.
  • Peters, B. (2019, January 15). 8 Tips to Quickly Master Social Media For Businesses & Entrepreneurs. Retrieved from https://buffer.com/resources/social-media-for-businesses

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The Idea of Mercantilism. (2021, Aug 18). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-idea-of-mercantilism-essay

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