Entrepreneurship and dealing with competition

Posted: November 29th, 2013







Entrepreneurship and dealing with competition






  1. Entrepreneurial resources   

For a business to succeed it needs to have a number of diverse resources that are vital to the success of any business and they include social network resources, financial resources, human resource and government resource. One such company that I have had the opportunity to work with is Advertising Specialties Inc that is a company offering marketing services for top brands. Being a top marketing company, ASI has the necessary entrepreneurial resources strategically utilizing them to its advantage. This has resulted in the company gaining a competitive edge in the market. The company has a rich financial pool financing its activities hence enabling it to reach a wide market base. It has succeeded in creating a trusting relation with its bank hence easily gaining loans, as they do not forfeit payment. The company’s clients consists of respected brands and due to their ability to perform, the clients trust them enough to pay deposits prior to the marketing tasks. The company’s sales are also high ensuring that the revenue gained is capable of catering for the costs and leave a wide profit margin that can be reinvested.

In relation to human resource, the company is dedicated to having the best players in each field only hiring innovative professionals that are dedicated and talented marketers, people who are adaptive to changing market trends. At ASI, every employee is valued and this motivates the workers to give their best. The company emphasizes on the importance of teamwork and research to remain relevant and competitive by improving the employees’ knowledge and skills through constant training. ASI has a strong network base hence enabling it to capture new clients and markets increasing its sales yearly. This business network is what enables it to gain contracts from top brands since they are associated with success. With their connections, they are able to collaborate with training firms, a strategic move that benefits their company by education to employees on proper business practices and shed light on emerging consumer trends. ASI has accorded itself global recognition and a spotless reputation aiding in it network creation. ASI also benefits on government resource through creation of business networks with the relevant authorities hence acting as a business link between the clients it represents and the government. In this way this clients are able to get supply contracts to the government hence it acts as a network creator.

2. Forbearance and co-opetition

            Increasing competition in the market may sometimes force the existent company to react to the action of a competitor. However, the existing company may chose not to react, a scenario referred to as forbearance. On the other hand, firms may decide react, but in a manner not interfering with the other company’s action, this being co-opetition. The marketing business being a competitive field guarantees constant competition from a variety of upcoming and fellow competitors therefore Advertising Specialties Inc has faced situations of co-opetition on various occasions. However, acts of forbearance may not be preferred in marketing as the aim of the marketing company is to impact and influence a wide market base. Therefore, the company always has to stay ahead of competition especially when marketing for competing brands. Marketing requires strategic aggression that forbearance does not offer.

Marketers invent new ways of wooing clients hence ASI always has to be ready for an event where the competitor comes up with a different approach of gaining customers. An act of forbearance in marketing may occur where our company and another are marketing different brands of the same product. Such an occurrence happened where our company was marketing for coca cola and a competitor marketing the Diet Rite. Here, our company decided to practice forbearance by not aggressively pursuing the market that the Diet Rite was marketing in and instead focused on the market that was not receiving attention from the Diet Rite group by introduction of promotions and use of multi media marketing techniques. The company decided to situate the promotional activities with a certain target market in mind to reduce the cost and narrow the consumer target to create a greater impact in the market that we felt was the highest percentage consumers.

3. New strategies

            Blue ocean strategies are strategies that have been used in the past and I have heard of them especially since our company used them in the expansion of the company scope of business. This may include modification of an already existing product or mode of service or by introduction of an entirely different product or service. In my experience, entering an entirely new market posed a better opportunity for the growth of Advertising Specialties Inc as it was able to tap into new markets that were not crowded. The company integrated the overall low cost method and differentiation method to achieve a significant improvement in its sales. With the growth of use of IT in the business field the company secured financial resources and conducted researches on the best way the could incorporate technological in their activities to come up with the best marketing ways over the internet.

Since this happened in the period where companies were still skeptical about the internet, the company was able to get a jumpstart ahead of its competitors in the market. The company trusted in this strategy and with it being a company representing large brands it was able to incorporate low cost due to the size of the market base and differentiation by use of a different approach from the other companies at the time. It was also among the first to start putting up LED screen in the streets for advertisement purposes hence the company boasts of bold and strategic application of differentiation in its marketing skills.

4. Hardball’ Strategies

Hardball strategies are highly applicable especially in the marketing field. Advertising Specialties Inc tries to be discreet about its operations so as not to let the competition take advantage. For this to be successful they emphasize the importance of discretion of company secrets putting terms in the work contracts binding the workers top not let out any internal affairs of the company or share the company strategies with non-colleagues. ASI also often finds itself in a position where it has to identify the competitors’ strong points and weak points taking advantage where possible. Hence, the company tries to understand where a certain rival derives most of their profits and tries to use a strategy targeting that specific area while offering better offers to influence the market share that the rival controls.

The company has to engage in research and aggressive marketing to understand the competitor’s strategy and formulate counter-strategies that work more effectively. This succeeds at averting the market’s interests in the competitors’ offers convincing customers to choose their product over the other company’s similar product. This works at devastating the rival’s profit sanctuaries. As is often the practice in business circles, the end justifies the means and winning customers is the goal. As they are most of the time inevitable in business, hardball strategies should be applied with caution as they can have far-reaching legal effects, as is the case with Netflix and Blockbuster.

5. Business start up

I have carried out a business start up before. I started a mini-library movie business whereby I carried some feasibility studies to establish the ability of set up and expansion and the existence of a supply gap. Here, I would relate to the strategy formulation section especially as explained in page 302. I had to carry out a threat analysis on my business idea. I considered similar businesses that were already in existence and potential future competition.

I was also on the receiving end of hardball strategies where a competitor set up shop near my store whereby he offered a free DVD for every two bought, whereas I was offering a free DVD for every four hence diverting my customer command to his store hence I had to re-strategize to regain my customers. I largely agree with the information in the text. It is true that opportunity recognition, page 281, is only the beginning of the entrepreneurship process. It is also true that a viable entrepreneurship has to comprise of the four core qualities of being attractive hence my target was the youth, achievable where I compared my resources with the market and supply expectations. The other two are durability and inclination towards value creation where my customers would have the ability to watch the latest movies at a lower cost than available before.

I also agree that for business success various resources are necessary being the financial, human, social resources and government support. I however disagree with the hardball strategies mentioned on page on page 303. My take on the issue is that business should be carried out with the utmost levels of integrity and due diligence. My outlook is that, at the end of the day, the business is answerable to the community within which it exists. Carrying out unethical activities with a vision for profit may put a business in sour terms with the community, which may have detrimental effects to the business.

Questions regarding the chapter

            My pressing question in regards to chapter 8 is in relation to the hardball strategies. Does this strategy not go against the rules of business ethics? This type of approach to business operations could result in adverse effects causing the distrust and bad relations among businesses in the community. Other than the profit margin, the company should also care about creating a better business atmosphere enabling the companies to focus on customer satisfaction. Factors such as a good reputation, good relationships with the community do not seem to matter.

In regards to the blue ocean strategy, there is only so far that a product can be renovated. It is my opinion that, at one point, the product cannot be revamped and, therefore, at some point new products have to be introduced. I feel that the chapter does not shed light on the extent of the applicability of the blue ocean strategy especially for a mature product. Sometimes, invention is the only way for a business to remain competitive and relevant.

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