In the chapter named “Entrepreneurship at Any Age” from the book “Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Global Insights from 24 Leaders”, Doris Drucker explains how entrepreneurship is not limited to young people, and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Then she moves on to describing a product she invented called “Visivox”, and how it has been developed from an idea to a final product.
This article explores the lessons learned from Mrs. Drucker’s experience, and outlines the key challenges and opportunities for improvement.
Successful entrepreneurs are those who are Looking forward, opportunists with optimistic outlook, energetic, patient, and preservative, willing to take risks, able to convert ideas into salable products, and aware of the right timing to bring their ideas to life.
An entrepreneur at any age can be successful as long as he/she possesses these qualities, and in reasonably good physical and mental health.
You can always start your own venture, just do it.
Visivox is an illustration of how opportunities can be made. The market initially was not completely defined. Over time, the product developed and new markets emerged. In order for opportunities to be made, interactive learning process from customers, business partners and employees is essential.
Testing the product is essential for a successful business idea. Samples from Visivox have been built and shown to potential buyers. The lean startup methodology can be a good methodology to test whether this is the right product that satisfies customers needs.
It is essential to acquire the right resources needed to convert the idea into a product that customers need. Mrs. Drucker, during the development of Visivox, was able to secure the relevant resources needed. These mainly include human resources, and materials. A make or buy decision had to be taken, where Mrs. Drucker decided to make the product instead of outsourcing. An entrepreneur needs to decide which of the value chain activities are to be made, and which ones to be outsourced.
Every entrepreneur faces the challenge of converting the startup into a sustainable and scalable business. The initial market for Visivox (professional speakers) was not big enough for the product, market research was done in order to expand the market for the product and grow the business. A successful business idea is the one that creates/meets customer demand leading to a profitable business.
Innovation is a key success factor for entrepreneurs. Innovation involves creating a market where new customers are served. Innovation should be an integral part of the business model, starting from the identification of customer needs, and the generation of ideas that satisfy those needs, to the listing of required activities, how they are linked, and by whom shall they be performed. Visivox started as an idea that is targeted to meet existing customer needs that no other product satisfies, and making the product available and affordable to those customers.
Challenges and Improvement Opportunities
Challenges include: entry of competitors to the same market to provide products that meet the same market needs of Visivox, emergence of substitutes, new technologies may cause existing products to be obsolete.
After meeting the needs of Visivox’s customers, it is recommended to increase the profitability of the product by addressing customer segments who are willing to pay more. This can be achieved by improving the performance of product, and adding more features to the product.
As long as the entrepreneur possesses the right formula for success, he/she can start his/her own venture regardless of his/her age. It is never too late.
Always seek opportunities for success. If you can not find them, create them.
It is essential to test the market and learn about customer needs.
Acquiring the right resources is critical to business success.
Innovation has to be embedded in the entire business activities.
Hattem AlHajery, CMA, CDIF.