“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we lived – it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that determines the significance of the life we lead.” Nelson Mandela
An adverse attitude towards entrepreneurship exists because a common perception is that those who start or own businesses are greedy and love money. There is an inaccurate perception that entrepreneurs seek to maximise profits for their benefit only. This article demonstrates the benefits that accrue to the various stakeholders from entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers and help solve problems for the benefit of many stakeholders. In business we recognize the following stakeholders: the entrepreneurs and their families, the employees, customers, investors, industry and commerce, the community, government and the national economy. Many people fail to pursue their dreams because they fear being labeled greedy and selfish.
Entrepreneurship delivers the following benefits to various stakeholders:
- Creates new technologies, products and services that increase customer choice and enrich society.
- Transcends societal inequities
- Enhances awareness and knowledge of new products and services through aggressive and informative marketing campaigns
- Creates niche markets to service the unmet needs of certain sections of society
- Through philanthropic ventures, supplements the public purse for society’s benefit
This week I intend to show the greater good that comes out of responsible entrepreneurship. I will be posting articles coming from my latest book Entrepreneurship on Trial which is available as hard or soft copy from http://www.lulu.com
Many people have business ideas but they struggle with how to structure their business model. They feel that it is complicated. In this article I share an easy way to build a business model as taught to me by my mentor Prof Don Mitchell. Please enjoy and reinvent your business.
Any entrepreneurial venture should have a business model on which it is based. This model may require being reviewed and re-engineered as the environment and the taste of customers change. Mitchell and Coles insightfully indicate that a business model can be crafted by answering the following seven questions:
1. “Who?” defines all the stakeholders served or affected by the entrepreneurial venture. Stakeholders include you, your family, customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and regulators.
2. “What?” describes the product or service offerings and their benefits and negative impact on each stakeholder. You want to maximise benefits to your clients from your product and minimise negative impact to the environment or affected parties.
3. “When?” captures the time of the offerings’ effects on stakeholders. This includes the opening hours etc. these may be extended by having a web presence for your product to be available continuously.
4. “Where?” identifies the location for the delivered benefits. What is the physical location. How accessible is it to your customers?
5. “Why?” gives the rationale for providing the stakeholder benefits delivered. Why provides the motivation and drive for you to be in the line of business and for your clients to want your services. If you have a strong enough why — you can face any challenge and win.
6. “How?” explains the method of service or product delivery and how to be compensated for it. Describes how you produce the service or product.
7. “How much?” states the price customers pay and incur.
By relooking at these seven questions one can easily reinvent the business model. A change on any of these dimensions results in innovation in the business model.