The Entrepreneurial Process (I)
The process of starting a new venture is embodied in the entrepreneurial process, which involves more than just problem solving in a typical management position. An entrepreneur must find, evaluate, and develop an opportunity by overcoming the forces that resist the creation of something new. The process has four distinct phases: (1) identification and evaluation of the opportunity, (2) development of the business plan, (3) determination of the required resources, and (4) management of the resulting enterprise. Although these phases proceed progressively, no one stage is dealt with in isolation or is totally completed before work on other phases occurs. For example, to successfully identify and evaluate an opportunity (phase 1), an entrepreneur must have in mind the type of business desired (phase 4).
Identify and Evaluate the Opportunity
Opportunity identification and evaluation is a very difficult task. Most good business opportunities do not suddenly appear, but rather result from an entrepreneur's alertness to possibilities, or in some case, the establishment of mechanisms that identify potential opportunities.
For example, one entrepreneur asks at every cocktail party whether anyone is using a product that does not adequately fulfill its intended purpose. This person is constantly looking for a need and an opportunity to create a better product. Another entrepreneur always monitors the play habits and toys of her nieces and nephews. This is her way of looking for any unique toy product niche for a new venture.
Although most entrepreneurs do not have formal mechanisms or identifying business opportunities, some sources are often fruitful: consumers and business associates, members of the distribution system, and technical people. Often, consumers are the best source of ideas for a new venture. How many times have you heard someone comment, "If only there was a product that wouldÃ¢ÂÂ¦" This comment can...