Start Up

All posts tagged Start Up

Entrepreneurial Dilemmas

Published March 29, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

entrepreneur-dilemma

Not every individual is cut out for entrepreneurship. Although to many it sounds quite exciting, others may describe it as nerve-wrecking, challenging, time-consuming, unpredictable, and overpowering. Entrepreneurs will face dilemmas in many aspects of the business problem-solving process including: maintaining inventory and cash flow; hiring and firing employees; establishing exemplary customer service; and managing technology (Strauss, 2012).  For example, one challenge we recently faced in our organization was upgrading our creative design software to keep current in the competitive market. Based on the current funds available as a young startup, this presented an opportunity to develop a creative solution. Rather than make a costly investment, the strategy applied was to lease the software at a monthly rate from a new streaming technology the software company makes available through their IT services.

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Every decision an entrepreneur is required to make will give the founder an opportunity to assess multiple options, especially when making critical decisions. Because of this, Wasserman (2012) suggests creating a disaster plan. By putting in writing a plan of action for worse-case scenarios, like irresolvable business conflicts or the dissolution of an organization, helps entrepreneurs define who has the final decision in an impasse (Wasserman, 2012). For example, an organization whose two founding members discover are no longer an organizational fit and want to separate will have to find a way to do so amicably. Having created a disaster plan will serve to make the transition a smoother one with guidance set forth in clear terms.

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Also at some time, an entrepreneur will need to engage in sensitive discussions to resolve issues. It is a good idea to induct a policy of being open and honest about every challenge that is presented in the workplace. This gives employees access to the founder for assistance, helps increase the likelihood of discussing sensitive issues, and establishes precedence which in the long term helps reduce conflicts. Most people resist confronting a difficult issue and would rather avoid a discussion hoping it will somehow resolve itself. When necessary, a referee can help with professional disagreements to help prevent them from getting personal.  Finally, whenever a dilemma arises, it is a good idea to create a paper trail, either by memo, letter, or another communication outlet to keep a record of the conflict and how it was resolved for future reference. One thing is definite, an entrepreneur will face many dilemmas that will require some kind of strategy to resolve. The better prepared an entrepreneur is to handle them, the quicker the resolution (Wasserman, 2012).

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References:

Strauss, S. (2012). The small business bible (3rd ed.). Hoboken NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Wasserman, N. (2012). The founder’s dilemmas: Anticipating and avoiding the pitfalls that can sink a startup. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Creative Disruption

Published February 25, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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There are many things that can impact creativity in the entrepreneurial process within the workforce of an organization. Echeverria (2012) postulates that there is nothing more challenging for a leader than managing creativity effectively to assist with breakthroughs and the delivery process of new innovations. Idea agents require support and freedom in the creative process. Effective leaders support innovators by: (a) providing authentic leadership that inspires and motivates individuals to perform at optimum levels, (b) understanding and identifying the idiosyncrasies, strengths and weaknesses of creative personalities, (c) letting innovative individuals take flight, encouraging them to keep in alignment with the organization’s interests, and (d) creating a clear configuration of structure that liberates the creative spirit and nurtures a culture of empowerment (Echeverria, 2012).

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Simon (2010) contends that another component that can disrupt the creative process are the entrepreneurs who have concerns about technological innovations that may eliminate the need for certain skills; replace workers; and require training on new systems. For example, because of technological advances a small restaurant can attract new clients without a marketing budget through the internet; an iPad case manufacturer can generate over $1 million in profits in just a few months with only a handful of employees; or a voice over company can connect artists with opportunities without expensive hardware and software (Simon, 2010). These are new frontiers that can prohibit adaptation to change.

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Although new innovations may be disruptive and cause alarm for some entrepreneurs, the most successful ones recognize new challenges as opportunities for growth.  This is the mindset and focus of an effective entrepreneurially managed firm. A trailblazing entrepreneur uses opportunity: (a) as a stimulating agent to address challenges, (b) to find resourceful adaptations and solutions, and (c) to discover the best way to capitalize on it (Bygrave & Zacharakis, 2010). This entrepreneurial philosophy is in alignment with the kind of corporate entrepreneurship that encourages associates with innovative ideas like Apple’s Steve Wozniack and Disney’s Don Bluth to remain within an organization rather than branch out to create competition. Corporate entrepreneurship support is fundamental.  With the aid of incentives and rewards, trailblazers are encouraged to pursue innovative ideas as well as participate in the creative and decision making process. This strategy can be beneficial and a profitable experience for both the entrepreneurial innovator and the organization.

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References:

Bygrave, W., & Zacharakis, A. (2010). Entrepreneurship. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Echeverria, L. (2012). Idea agent: Leadership that liberates creativity. New York, NY: AMACOM Publishing.

Simon, P. (2010). The new small: How a new breed of small businesses is harnessing the power of emerging technologies. Henderson, NV: Motion Publishing.