After much seeking and screening of entrepreneurial opportunities, the critical decision to seize one particular opportunity culminates in the establishment of an enterprise.
Presumably, all the market research has been done and the desired customer segment has been targeted. Likewise, the final location has been chosen and the new product has been designed and developed. These have all been part of the rigorous steps taken in preparing for entrepreneurship. Now is the time to set up the enterprise, plan its future, and mobilize the needed resources.
A Very Clear Purpose
The entrepreneur must be very clear about the purpose in establishing the enterprise. Whether it is for generating profits or feeding the family, making a difference in the industry or actualizing the self, the purpose must be compelling enough to motivate the entrepreneur.
The personal purpose of the entrepreneur is his or her personal mission. However, it may also well be the enterprise mission statement. As time passes, the enterprise begins to have its own life and may have a purpose separate from( the personal mission of the entrepreneur. The enterprise must state its mission statement clearly for:
- the sake of the customers being wooed;
- the investors who need to know what they are getting into;
- the financiers evaluating the enterprise; and
- the government functionaries who must regulate the activities of industries and businesses.
A Very Compelling Vision
The entrepreneur must establish an enterprise on the basis of a very exciting business concept leading to a grand vision. If the business is just like any other business in the marketplace, customers will not take notice. The entrepreneur must offer something new, something appealing, something different that says, “Take notice, I’m arriving with a bang!” In other words, the entrepreneur must present a winning business concept that manifests tremendous future possibilities.
Case Example: The Jollibee Business Concept
When Jollibee decided to challenge the giant McDonald’s in the market, it brought the Filipino taste to hamburgers. For that matter, it introduced a lot of Filipino dishes not traditionally sold in hamburger joints. Jollibee observed in their market research that Filipino consumers smelled their burgers before eating them. The logic is obvious: the nose can smell a thousand aromas while the tongue can only distinguish four tastes (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter). Jollibee knew that good taste is a function of good smell. Their tag line, “Langhap sarap” that roughly translates to “You can savor its good taste from its great aroma,” says it all. Jollibee also came up with a child-friendly name and an endearing mascot to accompany the name. Strategically, Jollibee decided to locate two or three outlets to “surround” McDonalds. The rest is history.
Jollibee came up with a differentiated business concept that won the hearts, minds, and wallets of Filipino consumers. Although a latecomer in the industry compared to McDonald’s and Tropical Hut, it definitely bested them all. However, even a good business concept is not good enough in the long run. The entrepreneur must be able to see five to ten years down the road where the business might go. The entrepreneur must have a compelling vision of the enterprise to “put fire in the belly” while pursuing “that impossible dream.” Well, it should not really be impossible. That is just an exaggeration to approximate that “big, bold, and audacious” goal that would obsess the entrepreneur “like a maddened zealot.” For Jollibee, its initial vision might have been to outnumber and outgun McDonald’s. Then, it might have been to totally blanket the country. Next, it envisioned a global presence. The dream just kept getting bigger and bolder. But that is what a compelling vision is all about.
Not by Any Other Name
Next, the entrepreneur must choose a very fitting name for the enterprise. A good name identifies the company very well. It communicates what the company is all about and what its products are all about. The entrepreneur must think long and hard about the name because he or she has to live with it for a very long time. Thus, the company name must project its very desired image.