D – I am an avid member of a group tasked to design a feasible start up business challenge within the budget of $250,000 for the first year. Our group agreed unanimously on 4 March 2013 that we launch a company called ‘Serve a Mate – SAM.’ The company specializes in selling fast food and beverages, and specifically targets to serve workers in the following industries; manufacturing, building and construction, transport & logistics, festival and events. After holding a debate during long hours of brainstorming, we agreed on the logistics of how the business would be operated. We settled to have in place six major positions in the company’s hierarchy and each one of us would assume full responsibility for ensuring their docket succeeded. This activity made me feel like we were board members of a larger corporation trying to take strategic decisions to help our business leap forward. During the group brainstorming sessions, we settled to have three mobile vans that would be purchased at a cost of $ 50,000 to serve the whole of the Victoria locality.
I – The group sessions had a great positive impact on all of us because we shared good chemistry and every member would suggest unique ideas. In the process, each one of us was able to acquire great ideas on how to overcome challenges of starting up a business during the initial stages of operation. Most importantly, we all learned about the need to create SMART objectives during the start of a business venture. That is to have objectives that are Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely objectives (RHONDA & KLEINER, 2003, P.54). Our mission being to deliver products to our clients efficiently using technology and to achieve personalized interaction with our clients through our mate-to-mate services, we set out our SMART objectives as follows: Establish a robust business within 12 weeks using a budget of $ 250,000 and capture loyal suppliers to supply goods for re-sale at wholesale prices. We agreed on installing four storage facilities across Melbourne and to use of technology, for instance phone applications for communication with our client. Our goal is for the company to expand and establish franchises outside Australia.
E – I have acquired priceless knowledge on techniques of successfully opening a challenging business start-up through the group brainstorming sessions with my fellow members. It is important to utilize start-up capital in the shrewdest manner to ensure sufficient working capital remains for use in running the day-to-day activities (CHAN, 2002, P. 71). This was one of our driving mottos as we sought to ensure the allocated budgetary amount of $250,000 according to priority needs, for instance the nature of our business requires us to have mobile vans to supply the food and beverage to our clients located all over Melbourne.
However, not all can be described as being perfect because the Team-to-Team Review helped to reveal weaknesses in our planned business start-up. For instance, we made a poor PowerPoint presentation that contained too much information on some of the pages, for example irrelevant images and pictures. Furthermore, one of our objectives of expanding the venture outside the country by opening franchises in countries like New Zealand, Indonesia, and Fiji can best be described as overly ambitious. This is because multi-nationals are established after years of success. In our case, our investment time horizon was only 12 months.
P - The exercise of establishing a challenging business has impacted all our group members positively. We have leant about the importance of teamwork and having constant communication between members on aspects related to establishing a successful venture. In addition, for a company to remain a going concern and profitable, it is important that it is founded based on objectives, vision and mission that are SMART. In our case, we became overly ambitious when we planned to expand our business outside Australia within a very short time. In real life, execution of such business moves hastily may lead to great losses and closure of the business. Lastly, I have learnt on the importance of having good communication and presentation skills. The fact that our presentation appeared too squeezed should be a learning lesson because in real life when an individual approaches sources of finance such as venture capitalists and banks for loan, one has to make a convincing and good presentation (GLADSTONE & GLADSTONE, 2002, P. 29). The skills that I have learnt during the exercise will go a long way in helping me to achieve my dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur in the future.
CHAN, J. F. (2002). Communication skills for managers. [New York], American Management Association.
GLADSTONE, D., & GLADSTONE, L. (2002). Venture capital handbook: an entrepreneur's guide to raising venture capital. Upper Saddle River, NJ, Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
ELLIS, R. (2009). Communication skills: stepladders to success for the professional. Bristol, UK, Intellect.
RHONDA M., & KLEINER E., (2003). The successful business plan: secrets & strategies. 4th
Ed.; Deluxe binder Ed. Palto Alto, Calif: Planning Shop.