Trends in globalism, stakeholder knowledge and technology -- all part of the 21st century environment, have changed marketing from a more monolithic approach to the market to a model that has actually been in place for centuries yet has now found a way to move from the small business environment to the larger organizational model simply because its strengths are just what is needed to perform in a new environment. This concept, entrepreneurship, has its origins in the French verb entreprendre, meaning "to undertake" (Hultman, C., et al., 2011). In a sense, every organizational idea starts with a core idea and thus has some entrepreneurial tendencies. These ideas have a core relationship in that they require innovation and risk in order to come to fruition (economic gain). More than anything else, the idea of entrepreneurship is a mind-set, a mode of operating as opposed to a strict method; a style of thinking -- the difference between management and leadership, and the amount of tenacity necessary to successfully complete a project. From the Western model, entrepreneurship is about growth opportunities, motivation and a style of approaching the impossible to make it possible. In fact, the very nature of capitalism and modern growth and opportunities depend on culture, economic conditions, and essential, the idea of risk vs. reward (Foreman-Peck & Zhou, 2010).
In the 21st century global culture, hyperactive competitiveness, expectations, technology and buying power all contribute to marketing as entrepreneurship in moving through job creation and method integration that allows a forward momentum. This activity tens to result in new types of organizations, new products, new services, and a revitalization of older business units and ideas about business. Marketing as entrepreneurship does not exist simply as a business activity, but instead a multidimensional source of innovation and inspiration that transfers from business to psychology, engineering or re-engineering, organizational theory, the social sciences, and even into education. This is so rampant in the 21st century that some scholars now see marketing as entrepreneurship as the core basis of a successful economy but driving growth (Audretsch, 2007).
Having been in the Army, my training in leadership, customer service, time management, and organization has all been extremely valuable and appropriate for taking on an entrepreneurial venture. When I think of myself as an entrepreneur, right now I have three major ideas that, depending on the location and demographics, would be both intellectually and emotionally satisfying, while offering a high degree of personal growth and, hopefully, a way to proactively interact with people:
1. Beauty Supply Store -- The beauty of opening a beauty supply store is twofold: 1) the customer base is not just other cosmetologists, but also the general public who wants to purchase higher end products. Thus, instead of depending on a single draw as a location, there is a larger customer base. The U.S. Bureau of Labor estimated that there are at least 1.2 million cosmetology jobs, with a 20% growth expected throughout the decade. Each is a potential customer. Barriers to entry are relatively low; a decent traffic location, shelf space and the money to appropriate stock the shelves. Then, to market the business, one would need to network with the surrounding salons by potentially providing delivery and bulk discounts, find ways to offer their most needed materials, and build the operation around salon hours so that they can pick up products to and from work. The key will be research in the market to find the number of existing supply stores, their service area, and potential market share. One possibility is to relocate in areas in which there is strong consumer growth, but few suppliers (Smith, 2012).
2. Gentleman's Cigar Club - This type of business would clearly be dependent on the demographics of the area; with urban or wealthy areas more likely to succeed. Obviously, the business woul nee to be both a cigar lounge (kind of a tasting room) as well as a retail high-end smoke shop. Because of the current regulations about smoking, many people who smoke cigars would covet a place to partake. It might be best not to confine it to males only, for various politically correct reasons. In addition, if one could get a liquor license, and have high end Scotch, Whiskey, Wines, Congac's etc., then the combination would be more appealing and the profit margin greater. The challenge for this type of business would be becoming enough of a draw and expert in the business the true aficionados would frequent it. Hours would need to be seven days a week, and likely fairly late at night. Furnishings and atmosphere would be key, with the idea of a specialized club catering to certain tastes. Memberships could be sold, which would entitle members to discounts on drinks and product, seminars held that were educational in nature, and at least some type of food product, even if high end appetizers or aperitifs would enhance the atmosphere. Since this would be a destination spot, and primarily for gentlemen, using attractive women as servers might also enhance the atmosphere, as would a reading room, a sports venue, perhaps wi-fi, or other draws for wealthier business clientel. The cost to open would be fairly large, high end cigars and spirits could cost upwards of $100,000 for an ISO (How to Start a Cigar Lounge, 2012).
3. Dental Clinic -- This is the most specialized of the three ideas. However, with an aging population, and the Affordable Care Act, it is possible that one could find an appropriate niche market for the organization,. Of course, one would need to either be a licensed dentist, or hire one; alsong with certified staff (Dental Assistants, etc.). The market would bear the type of clinic, as well as the appropriate levels of charging -- from a children's clinic, or at least a section devoted to child's dental care, to a general office specializing in cleaning and minor problems, then referring out surgeries or other complex materials. One idea would be offering clients a pre-paid dental plan based on their insurance and family needs. For $100/month, for example, they would receive X cleanings, Y Xrays, etc., this would increase cash flow, but still maintain care. Because of the competitiveness in the market, though, one would need to do a great deal of demographic research as to the number of dental clinics in the area, their specialities, length of service, market niche, etc. Equipping a dental clinic would be expensive, as well, x-ray machines, speciality chairs, etc. could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the most likely dentist to join such a practice might be someone who just recently graduated, or who had limited experience at another clinic. One additional way to differentiate the business would be to look at niche markets and demographics: if 40% of the population is Latino, then hire Spanish speaking personnel and doctors; similarly, if opening a clinic in an area that is primarily older adults, find ways to provide preventative and gentle care in an appropriate environment (Wicks, 2012).
It is not just the idea of owning one's own business that is attractive about entrepreneuraliship. Instead, it is the idea of the combination of systems thinking and ethics that will drive new entrepreneurialism in all fields, not just business. The world has shrunk, if not literally then at least from a communications paradigm. Because of this, the new citizen has expectations of ethical and moral transparency, the availability of goods and services, and most of all, a more egalitarian society. Knowing what we now know about the interconnectedness of the environment, it makes sense if we have global economic cooperation that we move in the direction of thinking about global government as a way to solve global issues and decrease the divide between the developed and developing world. To do this, we must first ensure that the leaders of tomorrow are well versed and comfortable with both a multi-disciplinary approach to almost everything as well as working in the higher order of learning (analysis, synthesis and creativity) rather than just rote knowledge. To ensure this, we must be optimists, we must "face an increasing level of responsibility in finding new and better ways to introduce learning experiences" (Frazier & Madjidi, 2011). One way we might do this is to keep in mind that each learner, regardless of the environment (school, work, leisure, etc.)( we encounter might just be the "tipping point" or the "100th Monkey" that helps change the world.
Audretsch, D. (2007). The Entrepreneurial Society. New York: Oxford University Press.
Foreman-Peck, J., & Zhou, P. (2010, August). The Strength and Persistence of Entrepreneurial Cultures. Retrieved from Cardiff Business School: http://business.cardiff.ac.uk/research/academic-sections/economics/working-papers
Frazier, L., & Madjidi, F. (2011). ICT and Social Entrepreneurship. Research in Information Technology, 8(2), 3-10.
How to Start a Cigar Lounge. (2012). EHow.com. Retrieved from: