The company identified for the case study is Dandelion Chocolate, an entrepreneurial establishment founded by Todd Masonis and Greg D’Alesandre. The evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the company can be illustrated as follows.
Entrepreneurship of the business and owners:
The entrepreneurial spirit of the founders Todd Masonis and Greg D’Alesandre can be perceived profoundly in their career accomplishments with the latter leaving a job at Google to engage in procurement at Dandelion Chocolate. Todd also depicts entrepreneurial skills of competence and vision as well as risk-taking which can be observed in his educational qualification as a software engineer and reputation as the founder of a tech company called Plaxo. The risk-taking attributes of an entrepreneur could be observed in the case of Todd as he sold his company to Comcast supposedly for a sum of $150 million (Bae, et al., 2014). The learning attributes of the owners can be validated in their experiential references to marketing flaws committed by major organizations such as the Mast Brothers and the ability to continue the skills ranging from the old generations of artisan craft chocolate manufacturers. They have also been able to integrate marketing concepts based on the Silicon Valley mindset which also indicates the scalability of plans unlikely for the chocolate industry. The organization’s entrepreneurial characteristics can be observed in the gradual expansion of the firm from a small rented space in the Dogpatch neighborhood without any certification to a proposed 24,000-square-foot facility in the Mission (Bocken, et al., 2014).
Advice for expansion:
Expansion of Dandelion Chocolate in Leeds and Manchester can be advisable on the grounds of the capacities of the organization to obtain financial backing from investors. It would also be inviting for the investors and help the organization communicate with the consumers better. The establishment of Dandelion Chocolate could also be appealing based on its Valencia Street café design (Bowman, et al., 2016). The organization could leverage the facilities provided by tour guides with a personalized experience of the café would be a considerable impetus for the company’s presence in foreign locations. Specialized chocolate manufacturing can be accounted as a formidable marketing competence of Dandelion Chocolate that can prove to be beneficial in the UK market which is characterized by avid supporters of artisan craft manufactured chocolates.
Consideration for a business model:
The business model for Dandelion Chocolate can be presented on the grounds of market analysis which predicts the three distinct advantageous dimensions of opportunity, increasing the number of outlets and consumer demand. These factors are interrelated and therefore could be included as major emphasis for the fabrication of the business model for the organization (Cull & Motara, 2015). The opportunity of setting up specialty chocolate café in Leeds and Manchester could be associated with the changing lifestyle trends in the market as well as preferences for the introduction of new product lines and varying confectionary items. The increasing number of cafés for students has also resulted in viable opportunities for increasing the number of outlets of the organization in the long term. The consumer demand aspect is also particularly reflected as a notable influence in increasing the competitive advantage of the organization (DaSilva & Trkman, 2014).
Retail and high-tech clusters:
Retail and high-tech clusters are particularly helpful for organizations to accomplish association with the retail sector to distribute products as well as high-tech for obtaining improvement in the manufacturing competence. Therefore the impact of retail and high-tech clusters can be cognizably realized in the case of Dandelion Chocolate which can obtain a competitive advantage from these sources (Goffee & Scase, 2015). From a critical perspective, the clustering initiatives could be inhibited by the minimal emphasis of the ownership on the acquisition of revenues and entering into acquisition with the retail sector.
What does it mean to be entrepreneurial?
Entrepreneurship cannot be associated with the establishment of a company based on a new product or idea. The spirit of entrepreneurship is vested in the mindset of individuals to perceive and act on certain entities differently (Bae, et al., 2014). Entrepreneurial traits can be perceived profoundly in research studies and practical examples. First of all, entrepreneurs are associated with the foremost quality of farsightedness which could facilitate a formidable impression of the long-term prospects of organizational initiatives. The competence of entrepreneurs is perceived in multiple dimensions reflecting on their capabilities to identify opportunities in the most unlikely of places (Kacker, et al., 2016). Entrepreneurs must possess the quality of developing transferrable skills and how they can apply them to different situations such as in the roles of marketing, sales, accounting, and development. Examples from the case of the British entrepreneurs, Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, who are owners of Hotel Chocolat, which has expanded from the traditional presence in the market by a physical hotel Boucan in St Lucia towards the online domain. This could provide formidable implications for their entrepreneurial traits. Furthermore, the organization’s innovative direction towards the extraction of cacao beans and processing chocolate through solely owned farms is a formidable indicator of the long-term visions of the founders reflecting on entrepreneurial traits (Mazzucato, 2015).
Opportunity recognition is calculated as one of the profound characteristics of entrepreneurs needed to accomplish strategic advantage in business management. Identification of opportunities vested in the market environment is a profound trait that enables entrepreneurs to recognize the beneficial aspects. The definition of opportunity recognition models was preceded by their description as a multifaceted process involving the influence of distinct factors such as social forces, business environment, and individual attributes (Mills & Gay, 2015). The individual stages of preparation, incubation, insight, evaluation, and elaboration can be associated with the opportunity recognition process for entrepreneurs. The incubation stage is realized through the concern for a specific problem or while discussing a particular idea that leads to the proliferation of ideas and options basically in an unstructured fashion. The insight could be perceived from three distinct dimensions in the opportunity recognition process including the spontaneous, acquisition of ideas for resolving issues, and the moment when remedial suggestions are acquired through the social network of the entrepreneur. The different types of insights acquired during the insight phase could be experienced as variable moments of illumination. Evaluation is necessary for apprehending the viability of a concept to test whether it is feasible in a specific scenario (Nijmeijer, Fabbricotti & Huijsman, 2014). This phase is generally associated with the requirement of brutal honesty from the entrepreneur to present validity for the identified insights. The process of evaluation is generally associated with personal and individual levels of operations wherein the acquisition of market feedback from market research as well as knowledge experts could help improve the viability of the business concepts (O’Neil, 2014). Elaboration is the final stage of opportunity recognition and involves the actualization of the creative insights that are derived in response to the resolution of the identified problem. The example of the Rococo chocolate brand by Chantal Coady through explicit market research and identification of the opportunity to cater to the requirements of the younger market base indicates the prolific use of opportunity recognition.
The business model can be defined as a template for the organization to comprehensively include the sources of revenue, products, details of financial support, and the customer base of the organization. The use of a business model can be observed in the example of the Rococo chocolate brand established by Chantal Coady, who relies on leveraging the demand for high-end chocolate by opening a new store at King’s Road, Chelsea. The implications of the business model could be observed in the statement of precise business objectives such as the acquisition of a 25% share in the market in the third year of operations. Sources of financing are depicted in the model reflecting on share capital and loans acquired from the Loan Guarantee Scheme of the government (Shao & Jia, 2015). The product description could be observed as a major highlight of the business model reflecting on dimensions of high product awareness. Products including two prominent product lines such as sugar crystal and chocolate as well as other product lines such as jelly beans, sugared almonds, and cocktail glasses are included in the business model of Chantal’s confectionary. Market research outcomes for the business model include pre-emptive actions for leveraging the limited competition and high quality of products to acquire strategic advantage.
Personal Contact Networks:
The concepts of personal contact networks could be observed profoundly in the case of entrepreneurial marketing. Conventional marketing techniques and management approaches are reflective of a profound emphasis on Personal Contact Networks (PCN) which offer marketing competencies and networks for marketing. PCNs can be defined as the networks of organizations or individuals with which an entrepreneur is profoundly associated. The development of personal contact networks has become an imperative concern for entrepreneurship with the formidable increase in competitiveness of tools such as LinkedIn to accomplish the management of personal networks (Vicari, 2016). Small firms could implement their PCNs to obtain essential market information rather than executing comprehensive market research. The application of PCNs in the resolution of specific market research dimensions such as focus groups, product testing, and perception can be assumed as favorable implications for entrepreneurs. In the case of Dandelion Chocolate, personal contact networks could help acquire efficiency in market research in internationalization initiatives as well as develop competencies for intelligence building, dissemination, and response. The PCN of the company can be identified primarily in the suppliers and producers of beans which should be monitored precisely to obtain credible outcomes about entrepreneurial performance.
Competencies in the context of entrepreneurship refer to the essential traits of an individual as well as an organization. From an individual perspective, competencies would be primarily directed towards initiative-seeking abilities, persistence, information-seeking, opportunity recognition, and emphasis on the quality of work (Yen, Fu & Hwang, 2016). The comprehensive references to the entrepreneurial competencies in research studies reflect on the elements of commitment to profession and efficiency, specificity of planning, and consciousness for quality. The dedication of the entrepreneurs to the efficiency of professional outcomes and commitment to the work can be accounted as necessary precedents for the employees and long-term sustainability objectives. The competencies of entrepreneurship can be identified as major inputs for small firms which have the potential to address a larger market thereby expounding on the opportunities accessible in the market environment.
Franchising could be defined as a generic market entry mode that is preferred by organizations to acquire higher market share. Small firms could particularly implement the route of franchising to acquire market presence and higher attractiveness for investors. It is necessary to emphasize the artisan chocolate crafting industry which has quite come connoisseurs and can be a profound sector to acquire market expansion. Franchising ensures that the brand’s product identity and brand reputation are aptly safeguarded only with the limitations of a decrease in the revenue that can be earned by the organization through the physical establishment in the particular market (Shao & Jia, 2015). The specific directions drawn towards the provision of an agreement between the concerned parties in a franchising initiative wherein the franchisee is liable to use the brand image and products for operating outlets in an international market jurisdiction only for a particular remuneration known as the franchising fees. Small firms in the artisan craft chocolate manufacturing domain could obtain viable opportunities from the aspects of franchising to expand into international markets and acquire a formidable brand presence in the high-end chocolate market.
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