An entrepreneur starts a new venture not only to succeed but ultimately to have the venture grow. Before an entrepreneur begins a strategy of growth and building wealth for the venture, several key fundamental puzzle pieces must be in place. This paper will explore five of these fundamentals and describe the importance of each one. It will go on to compare and contrast three growth strategies available to a business.
When an entrepreneur brings a product or service to market, it may fill a need and bring customers to the business but the product or service may still need some work. While no product or service may ever reach a perfect state, working toward that goal is one thing an entrepreneur must do before beginning a growth strategy. This ensures the entrepreneur puts the best product or service possible in place on which to base growth.
Working toward putting the best possible product or service into the marketplace may not involve changes to the product or service itself. “The key is to listen to customers and figure out what improvements they would like to see in existing products or services” (Baron & Shane, 2008). Customer feedback offers the entrepreneur the opportunity to make improvements to the products and services the organization offers. Feedback may identify what purchases they make and the value those purchases offers them. Feedback may also help to identify ways to encourage the customers to purchase more from the organization. Based on feedback, the organization could make changes to the product or service that makes it more valuable to its customers.
Feedback based on purchases is not the only feedback an entrepreneur needs to pay attention to when looking to grow. The organization may have customers “out there who have deliberately stopped buying your product or service, too. It’s important to understand what motivated their decisions” (Kearns, 2012). Obtaining feedback from these customers may offer insight into the root of the problem. Overcoming poor service may only involve training key staff members or a change in the focus of the services offered. If the problem lies with the product itself, the customer feedback may give insight into how or why the product is no longer an effective option in the marketplace. Profitability and future growth lies within the customer experience. Listening to what they have to say both positively and negatively offers the entrepreneur insight into making improvements that position the organization for growth.
Another fundamental puzzle piece an entrepreneur must put in place to base growth on is new product development. The ever-changing needs of customers should become the driving force behind the development of new products and services for the organization. New products or services addresses the issue of servicing customers changing needs. “Introducing a new product, especially one related to the venture’s existing products is one...