Entrepreneurship and Its Impact on the Economy
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Colgate Kitchen Entree. Who has ever heard or purchased a Colgate frozen dinner? Yes, you heard it right, in 1982, Colgate toothpaste brand launched a line of frozen dinners, which not so surprisingly did not stay in the market. Colgates logic was to produce frozen dinners and then have their consumers brush their teeth with Colgate toothpaste. Sounds like it would be a sure fire right? “Once a company had an established successful reputation with a particular line of products, the company would not need to do such an outrageous extension to the brand such as Colgate attempted to do” (Davila). Consumers usually associate a certain product with the brand and that is what Colgate consumers did when being exposed to Colgates frozen dinner. “The drastic change only made consumers distance themselves from the new product as well as the old ones” (Davila). Colgate was lucky enough that their failed attempt to introduce dinner did not wipeout their whole consumer base. Colgate was already established and they saved face but what about entrepreneurs who have no base and come out with new products? Why are entrepreneurs important and what impact do entrepreneurs have on the economic growth?
Starting your own company is a huge risk that most entrepreneurs will take to produce and market their unique products, services and ideas for potential consumers, for the mere satisfaction of profit and success. No matter what type of new business you want to introduce to consumers, if you do not have a committed mindset, you are planning for a failure. “Indeed, only two-thirds of new small businesses survive at least two years, and just 44 percent survive at least four years, according to a study by the U.S. Small Business Association” (Dickler). What sets these failed businesses to the successful ones that are still producing to consumers? Being mentally prepared, besides having the skills and luck, is one of the key elements in starting a successful business (Dickler). An entrepreneur should know that their business will roll down a hill many times before they can see the sun on the other side. Bills will pile on, investors will pester to know each detail of your business, manufacturers will cause a ruckus, the hassle of interviewing prospective employees and chair members, and so on. During this period, an entrepreneur should keep in mind that “failure is not an option”. This should be easy to adhere to as they have already put in so much time and effort to start this business in the first place.
In 1992, my family moved to Sacramento from the Bay Area to open up an Indian restaurant. We left all of our relatives so that my parents could venture out and create a name for themselves. We had the restaurant for about 5-6 years before they decided they could not handle it anymore. My parents did not know anything about running a restaurant so it was very difficult for them to keep running it; we lost profit as we kept giving discounts to family and friends, not having a roadmap, were not able to advertise or market our products, and failure to know the right vendors for produce and such made a big difference in our budget. We had put forth tremendous amount of time and what we were getting back was not worth all the backaches and headaches. I believe if we had not given out discounts we would have been in a good position as Indian restaurants at that time, supply, was at a bare minimum in the city of Sacramento and the demand was high.
“A business plan, which is a written description of what you are going to do and how you are going to do it, is the entrepreneurs roadmap” (Dickler). Having a plan set in stone will help you stay on the map instead of veering off of the trail of success. Researching who your target consumers are going to be will give you the idea of how you are going to market your product or service so that the targeted group is interested in what you are selling. Keeping good dialogue with different customers can also give your eyes a different perspective and then use the critiques to better what you are selling. From research and surveys, you can make sure your production is on the right path to success. Every business needs direction to where they are heading so they reach their destination; the road might get bumpy, there might be some slippery slopes and turns, at times it might seem like there is not even a path, you may even get lost but with a good business