In a free market society, entrepreneurship often takes on mythical status among the populace. To a significant degree, this is because many successful entrepreneurs display the famous ‘rags to riches” tale of a person who comes from nothing, comes up with a great idea, the idea is scoffed at by forces of conventional wisdom, the entrepreneur sticks by his guns and pushes ahead on his own to bring his idea to the public. The public falls in love with the idea and the product and the entrepreneur becomes a huge success proving conventional wisdom wrong.
While this is often true representation of successful entrepreneurship, simply being a trailblazer or coming up with a new or unique idea is often not enough to make the idea successful. In order for a business to be successful, it must be properly managed. In other words, an idea or a concept to be successful in the business world it must be properly executed with solid managerial acumen. If not, even the greatest idea will collapse under the weight of mismanagement.
One of the items that make entrepreneurship and management a difficult mix is the fact that entrepreneurship often requires a significant amount of innovation in the absence of a previously existing model of success. The reason for this is that entrepreneurship is often the realm of the trailblazers and the risk takers and there is very little prior knowledge in the area that exists outside what is a generalized understanding of entrepreneurship. Consider the following: If an individual decides to purchase a McDonald’s franchise, the ability to manage the franchise is based on decades of knowledge as to what is and what is not
The Relationship Between Management and Entrepreneurship Page 2 effective in terms of the proper operation of a McDonald’s restaurant. There have been a number of failures over the years in the world of running a McDonald’s restaurant and through the use of a trial and error method of management the proper established way of operating the business has been established. Of course, purchasing a pre-existing fast food chain restaurant is not the same entrepreneurial venture as starting one’s own fast food business from scratch. This becomes obvious when one looks at the early inception of the McDonald’s chain.
When Ray Kroc took the entrepreneurial steps to devise the proper management of McDonald’s, he based his managerial model on a very simple method: the restaurant would sell items that could be made quickly and easily. The staple of the McDonald’s diet became hamburgers because they were the easiest product to produce and sell. When Kroc came up with this business model, people considered him insane. It was simply too far a departure from what had previously existed in the restaurant world. After all, the popularity of a restaurant is based upon having a large menu.
Additionally, when Kroc opted to expand his “road side” business to include seats for people to come in and “hang out for a spell” conventional wisdom of the 1950’s dictated that McDonald’s was a business venture that was clearly doomed for failure. Needless to say, Kroc proved everyone wrong as his managerial expertise combined with his brilliant entrepreneurship proved to be a successful venture far beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. If there was a lesson to be learned here it would be that entrepreneurship must be combined with creativity.
That is, entrepreneurship must bring to the table something that The Relationship Between Management and Entrepreneurship Page 3 had not previously existed in the marketplace prior to the arrival of a new entrepreneurial model. This creativity is not a business variant of “art for art’s sake. ” That is, the entrepreneurial model that is employed combines creativity with a business vision. That is to say, there is a plan of action deigned to bring a progressive concept of pragmatism that harnesses the creativity into a model for success.
Another way of describing this model of pragmatism would be the notion of implementing a particular strategy. Again, the main hurdle to an entrepreneurial venture is that it often trail blazes into an area that may not have a history of effective strategy. As such, the effective strategy is employed on a touch and go basis with errors amended and corrected so as to continual go forward. This is similar to the McDonald’s model where Kroc shifted his target audience from roadside travelers to targeting families and children. Entrepreneurship is a fantastic thing, but only if it is successful.
When it is not successful, however, it has the potential to prove disastrous. As such, it is critical that those who opt to take part in an entrepreneurial model or venture that the individual follow solid and empirical strategies of success. Sometimes, such a course of action will require individuals to suffer the pains of a trial and error process in order to discover the right managerial approach. While this may seem like a daunting task, surely the example of the success of the McDonald’s corporation provides solid inspiration.