The Entrepreneur’s Point of View
What or who is an entrepreneur? Dictionary.com defines it as – “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”
So a person who organizes or manages a enterprise with considerable risk for themselves or for their assets, that’s a special type of person who is willing to step out of their comfort zone and put forth their resources to start a business without the certainty that they will make a profit before running out of money themselves and have to close up shop.
They are typically driven people, they know what they want and they have a pretty solid idea of how to get there. Thus they see a niche for a business that they want to fill by creating the enterprise or by buying a franchise to fill that gap.
Some people are entrepreneurs because they love to start something new, to be the first to start something. Others see a need and want to be the one to fill that need. Most of all though, they do create a business because they want to take advantage of our free enterprise system; to invest their money into an idea and make it come to life. There are not too many places where a drive to fill a demand and pulling together the resources to do it can become an opportunity to better oneself and their community.
But the key item to remember about an entrepreneur is that they take risks. They make mistakes, they may not execute plans as completely or as fully as they want but they do give it 100% and sometimes all it takes is a little coaching from someone who has been in that same situation, who can see the dangers, and has the expertise to provide the insight to avoid the pitfalls and to succeed. That is where experience like Holt Marketing and Management’s Gary Holt comes into play. He has over 25 years experience in helping other businesses navigate the business road of pitfalls and traps and to succeed even in the most difficult of economic times. Gary has started five businesses of his own and assisted in growing 200 others. He has developed the tools to reduce risk and succeed.
Gary would have what is called a creative trait, the ability to learn quickly what works and what people are looking for and create something new and inspired, next we talk about this skill.
We’ve covered what the definition of an entrepreneur is but what do you get when you add the descriptor creative to the mix. Well a creative entrepreneur is not only someone who takes a risk and starts a business because they see a need, these people are likely to be the ones to step out and take that difficult risk for the opportunity that doesn’t quite have a clear cut answer waiting for someone to step in and start a business with.
The creative entrepreneur sees that opportunity, starts a business, and then works on how to make the business work better because the basic operations are not going to get them to their desired goal of making a profit and have the business keep operating.
The founder of Holt Marketing and Management Services has just such an attitude. After returning from the service and Vietnam, he joined J.L. Hudson’s (now Macy’s) as a sales clerk in their luggage department. See that the department was not achieving well and had no clear layout or theme- Gary took it upon himself to come in early and develop a theme and layout for the department that worked. In a matter of months the sales in the luggage department doubled and he found himself one of the youngest management trainees the company ever had.
Years later in the 1970’s, while working at Chrysler, Gary felt compelled to take his entrepreneurial spirit back on the road and he joined up with S&H, a store that would later become Tractor Supply. The owner then had been in business for 20 years without growing profits in the last 5 years. Gary saw his opportunity to take on a new challenge and succeed but he also saw an opportunity to be creative because the one thing S&H didn’t have that he knew it needed were systems; systems to run marketing, sales, finances, etc. Essentially systems to make the company sustain growth, so he developed the systems, put them into place and worked out the bugs. Within a couple of years the business was making $30 million dollars and was on its way to being sold to the company that would later become Tractor Supply.
It’s that extra drive to create where others would walk away or not see the need and fail that makes being a creative entrepreneur so special and an important asset to have available to every business. That is why Gary Holt founded Holt Marketing & Management Services. It was his way of bringing creative entrepreneurism to every business owner and allowing him to share his uncanny ability to recognize, develop, and help implement business systems to benefit client businesses.
Ask our clients, ask Gary Holt, find out today how having the assets of a creative entrepreneur will help drive your business further. How it will help your business succeed in these hard times, how it will make you a more inspired business owner or manager; perhaps moving you into the realm of one of the most creative of the creative entrepreneurs.
The Most Creative of the Creative Entrepreneur
From simply starting a business to knowing that there are obstacles in your businesses path to overcome, the entrepreneur is a unique breed. It’s the most inventive or insightful of these creative people that start the most creative and innovative businesses that we have seen.
Examples of people who were beyond just creative entrepreneurs are Fed EX’s Frederic Smith. He knew in 1965 while in undergraduate school that packages that followed the traditional airlines flight routes would never lead to rapid overnight business success. It took him some time but he started a company that used different air routes and successfully learned how to develop a company that now delivers the globe. He became so successful that his company hit $1 billion in revenue within 10 years of startup simply by doing what they did best – delivering packages. A feat not easily attained by many companies at the time.
Another key was that he had his company mapped out in detail not only in his head but on paper. He had the minutest details planned for and achieved it – not too much like his competitor who founded his company almost a century prior to Federal Express. Of course we’re talking about UPS and James Casey, he started out knowing that he had a niche he could fill in Seattle Washington- package delivery. With a solid idea of what his service model was and because of Jim Casey´s strict policies of customer courtesy, reliability, round-the-clock service, and low rates UPS succeed in those early days and grew over the century to come. As stated on the UPS website these principles, which guide UPS even today, are summarized by Jim´s slogan: best service and lowest rates and using brilliant planning that allows them to outperform nearly every competitor in existences. They didn’t come up with the idea of no left turns for any reason at all- that allows their delivery drivers to wait less at stop lights for traffic to clear and make turns- innovation at work that other companies haven’t thought about.
It’s the creative dreamer who knows down to the minutest detail that you should keep your eyes on. Once they figure out a way to launch their business they will do so and those that are the most innovative and organized with systems in place to guide the business through its phases will be the most successful. Next we discuss that creative spark that drives innovation in the entrepreneurial brain and process.
Capturing the Creative Spark
Many people have the idea, the dream of what the ideal business should be like. Maybe they already have the business operating, maybe it’s a dream ready to come to life but they lack spark to differentiate themselves from the rest of the crowd. They just do not have the unique idea or new approach to make the business move to that next level.
What is the answer? You can still capture the creative spark but you do it through studying your competition or a business with attributes you want to apply to your own. Sam Walton didn’t just become the master of discount retailing overnight – it started in stages. He learned in the 1960’s by studying other large retailers like K-Mart how he wanted his stores organized and to focus on being the lowest priced supplier in the market and he put that to work. That lasted almost a decade before efficiencies declined and profits and performance were not at the levels he was driving for.
What he learned from there that to have better prices you have to buy in larger quantities. Thus he started focusing on central planning and distribution systems and the opening of his first distribution center to supply his stores. That gave him economy of scale but again it came from studying other businesses and getting input from others.
You have the same resources available to you- you can study similar businesses or business where you would want to capture some of their business model into your own processes. You also have the ability to pull in knowledgeable resources from companies like Holt Marketing. Where our 25+ years of business management guidance can be used to help you brainstorm new ideas, make improvements, and generate new systems to make your business grow to that next level.
But with the creativity sparked don’t forget to plan thoroughly and grandly enough to allow your enterprise to thrive.
Is the Market Size Right
So far you have created a business that’s Innovative and creative with a service or product concept that should drive your sales over the fence for a home run but have you looked at the size of the market you are launching into? One of the biggest obstacles you and your business can encounter is whether the market you are launching into is of sufficient size to allow you to grow your business to something sizeable and sustainable.
Part of your research in developing your business model should have been to look at how large of a market your model would draw. If your brand and business model is too narrow your scope or range of prospective clients would be very narrow and while these numbers may still look enticing, you have to look at your longer term growth and you may quickly find that that the hot launch your market numbers initially showed you is the majority of the market you will pull in.
That may not be enough people to sustain your business model or it may be enough to keep the business going but always keeping it restrained and unable to fill your financial goals.
You must plan your market size and potential by demographics and niches. You may be only able to reach a certain size market to start out which can be acceptable, the question is what actions will be needed, and time frame, to expand upon that original market size. Growth has to be planned for and it should be planned for from the very beginning of the business development process.
Having some growth already incorporated into your plans shows investors that you are ready to succeed, that if you need more capacity you have a plan to pull that into effect and most of all that you have thought about growth which can have almost as destructive of an impact on your operations and organization than failure by making you move into new areas or take on more staff or new equipment without a well thought out plan of action. It is a sad thing to see a business grow itself into a lack of profitability and failure- so ensure you have sensible growth built into your business plans and know what to do when success happens. Have a resource available, like Holt Marketing & Management Services, who can guide you and give you proven insight into what moves you should make and what ones should wait.
The moves you make and don’t make help differentiate you and your business, driving away the competition and drawing in the majority of customers.
We live in a world of intense competition. Every kind of product or service has more competition than ever. At the same time that financing and money is limited, differentiation is critical to success.
Differentiation is in the details of design, speed, colors, operations, customer service, marketing- everything the customer experience is important to persuade people to your organization and yourself.
Differentiation is not rocket science but it does require personal skills that are sensitive to detail and creativity. The key principle of success for the customer in differentiation is that the features of it must be valuable to the customer.
Value could be speed, or ease of use, convenient, intelligent, special skills, pricing, or financing terms, capacity, look of, feel of, and so forth. The more differentiated important features are the more value is perceived by the customer. The customer is the sole authority of what constitutes differentiation that matters. The customer through feedback, especially a purchase gives this ultimate evidence.
Differentiation along with customization is the most important elements of all success in the next 3-5 years. Without measuring meaningful differences, no amount of expensive advertising, social media, or salesmanship has the power to increase sales.
Marketing thru Differentiation
Organizations fail because they lack an entrepreneurial process, which is differentiation. Differentiation is the behavior of spelling out what makes your company, product, or service stand out over that of a competitor. Organizations may spend lots of time and money on marketing, and yet despite this investment there is a screaming need to get more customers, more revenue. That is because they weakly differentiate themselves from their competition.
With winter approaching many people need furnace work done but why go to a Brand X heating and cooling when the next person listed in the yellow pages offers exactly the same exact product, service, and maybe even value. There is no differentiation to drive their brand from each other (color of the service vehicle does not really count). Marketing success today is about problem solving or filling a need with differentiation. Without a problem or need differentiation marketing doesn’t work.
You choose McDonald’s one day for lunch over Burger King over Taco Bell because you wanted a hamburger delivered at a value price or in a combo meal that you perceived created more value to you than the others could provide. McDonald’s differentiated itself to you for quality and/or perceived value. Needs and differentiation are important to customer niches. So today for customers, nothing is more important as client fulfillment- this is what they pay for and reward businesses with via their wallet.
They don’t care about your marketing, your finances, or your management. They care very much about if you can consistently provide them with a quality service or product that meets their needs, solves problems, quality, reliability, and at a fair price. The place to start is with your client fulfillment system. The client fulfillment system starts with your differentiation to provide your services and products.
Learn aboutmore about differentiation in our blog:
Not sure where you should start or what aspects of your business you need to focus on to drive brand differentiation? Contact someone with 25+ years of experience of showing customers what they have that is special and worth advertising and differentiating. Holt Marketing & Management Services can assist you where you need it the most!
Lastly, let us simply discuss areas and ways to help get that entrepreneurial process and creative spark going. You can learn more by reading our blog:
So, What’s next for you?
- Are you ready to learn more?
- Are you an entrepreneur?
- What’s your idea?
- Have you thought about how to market the idea?
- What’s your risk?
- What will make your idea different from the others?
We’d like to help you get started with a free checklist that will show you the steps you need to implement to achieve accelerated business growth and expand your market…just click on the button below.
Tap into Holt Marketing & Management Services’ decades of expertise! Contact Us with questions or to take that next step in releasing that creative entrepreneur in you!
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