Revisiting chains for entrepreneurial success

To start with, there is a need to continuously assess opportunities that are arising within the sector/industry we are operating.

Some chains have to be broken in order to re-engineer entrepreneurial businesses for longevity. That can be the reason why most of our promising enterprises have become stagnant in their operations as they are sticking to the tradition.

Where businesses used to focus on sourcing financial capital only with the hope of making profits without any other impediments. As now proven by various challenges faced, in doing business, there is need for continuous operational scanning so as to improve for better. In this age, the capital for success in running entrepreneurial businesses has been extended further to other non-financial matters. 

That is why non-financial disclosure has become a topical area in the subject of business finance and accounting. Here, we now add-on social capital, information intelligence, networking and relationships management amongst other critical drivers for sustainability in our modern businesses. Sure, it is no longer business as usual but a call for revisiting the traditional chains in order to spearhead a comprehensively updated tooling for entrepreneurial vibrancy.

To start with, there is a need to continuously assess opportunities that are arising within the sector/industry we are operating. Remember that we are living in a VUCA environment that is associated with dynamics which are making our business ideas obsolete more rapidly than any time before.  As aforementioned, adjustments of business processes are now required to be done almost on a daily basis in order to cope with these continuous changes. In fact, there is a need for a real 360 degree assessment of the business and its environments for us to see the available opportunities.

 Most of our entrepreneurs only do an opportunity assessment at the inception stage and they then relax for a business auto-run. That is dangerous for survival. This is a strategic matter which needs one to regularly follow the whole process of starting/running a business, do a self- evaluation, retooling and repositioning. Remember opportunities come to those who are prepared. This is more of a business rejuvenation in order to avoid a decline. 

In this case, we are even forced to evaluate the promise(s) we have made then and the opportunities that are presently within our markets so as to adjust.  That has been the reason why most renowned successful businesses had to re-brand at some stage in their life cycle. For a facelift and sharing a new promise(s).  It also helps in finding an existing or newer fit in the global markets rather than waiting for surprises. At the end of assessing these opportunities, the entrepreneurial business should be able to understand the components within the value chain that are not only helping to position but enhancing a continued successful establishment. 

Some strategic benefits that are also likely to come after assessing these opportunities include knowing the current customers better than before and even anticipations of the potential customers. Most businesses are targeting the wrong customers in a way that they waste their scarce resources for something that could have been done better through market research (as pointed out in the last edition).  The same goes with knowing the specific wants and needs of these markets as an opportunity for tailor making and niche marketing. Which is more profitable than mass production/marketing.

As we continue in this analysis, it is imperative not to take competition as a simplified business literature/language that can just be magnified from its microscopic view in order to come up with a defensive plan. Competition goes beyond to influence and be influenced by an existing economic structure. That structure which came out of the numbers of buyers and sellers in the market. Also that which talks about the type of elasticity influencing the demand for products/services within that industry. As informed in some previous editions, there are few entrepreneurial businesses that were established from a totally unique business idea but out of novelty through product/service differentiation. To be competitive entails that one should be able to apply other non-pricing strategies that seem to become part of our new living through innovation. Besides branding, Artificial Intelligence has proven to be powerful in achieving such a market superlative.  Those entrepreneurial businesses that have followed the same drive have moved from a perfect competition to monopolistic as propounded in the school of business economics (you can do the same and more on this will be discussed in some future editions).

Lastly, an entrepreneurial business chain should also be anchored on human capacitation and development from time to time. Even in this advent of technologies human contribution is still vital in our entrepreneurial development and re-engineering. Mostly, in the service sector where feeling and expressions contribute most to a purchase decision and repeat buying. Continuous training for skills development and retention should be a priority in our strategy for successful entrepreneurship.  This improves processes, service delivery and maximum customer satisfaction. Whereas in some previous discussions we discovered that matters to do with employee development are usually regarded as expenses/liabilities by employers (think again!!!). This viewpoint should be revisited as employees are assets that continuously reposition a business for vibrancy. I leave you to re-engineer the chains that empower a going concern of our entrepreneurial businesses.

 *Dr Farai Chigora is a businessman and academic. He is the head of management and entrepreneurship at the Africa University’s College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance. His doctoral research focused on business administration (destination marketing and branding major, Ukzn, SA). He is into agribusiness and consults for many companies in Zimbabwe and Africa. He writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted for feedback and business at [email protected],, WhatsApp mobile: +263772886871.

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