Business overview, entrepreneur’s background and characteristics
Local House business was started by James Brown and his friends in Dubai in 2004. James Brown had good catering skills since he had specialized in preparing foreign foods. He started as a sole proprietor, and his main reason that allowed him to venture into this business was his good cooking skills that he wanted to exploit. His friends and relatives always enjoyed a foreign meal prepared by him and had previously encouraged him to try running a restaurant that would have specialized in foreign foods.
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James used his good social relations to build a positive image of the restaurant in order to attract customers. His friends and relatives also helped him place adverts in the media which increased the popularity of the restaurant. He began by cooking and selling Mendi, a common foreign food, enjoyed by both the Dubai residents and the tourists. James later introduced more foreign foods as his customers wanted to try something new, every time they visited the restaurant.
He started with a capital of 80,000 Dirhams raised from his savings and donations from friends. James used the capital to pay rent and buy the necessary kitchen utensils.
He decided to hire one person who was to help him serve the food while he was cooking. The remaining amount was used to obtain the supplies for cooking Mendi. His friends later joined him and contributed more capital to the business development, which enabled them to expand the restaurant. They also opened more branches in other towns that most tourists visited.
James had developed good relations with his suppliers which allowed him to get supplies on credit with long grace periods. He also treated his employees with professionalism and further encouraged his partners to treat the new workers who were stationed at their branches with professional ethics.
This contributed to good relationships between the stakeholders and the workers as they were ready to work for more hours and give good services to the clients. This is one of the reasons the business had a wide market share and thus attracted customer loyalty.
The business also received funding from financial institutions due to its good reputation and great performance. The loans advanced to the business were of low interest rates and allowable long payback periods. This boosted the business further as the funds were used to incorporate more foreign foods in their menu and increase the workers’ wages.
James had gone through the four stages outlined and explained below before his friends joined him.
Identify and evaluate the opportunity
James Brown is innovative and goal-oriented since he realizes most of the opportunities that come on his way and is able to focus on them. His major aim in life is to exploit his catering skills and make a fortune out of it. Whenever his friends and relatives visited him, he cooked foreign foods for them.
As results of this, they encouraged him to start this business and offered to assist him to accomplish his goals. After realizing that most of the local residents and tourists enjoyed Mendi, he decided to cook and sell it to them. This was a great opportunity that most people could not see.
A good example is provided by James’ friends who joined him later when they saw the opportunity which they had not realized before. He also understood that most of his customers wanted to try something new whenever they came to his restaurant. He did not ignore this as he saw a new opportunity in that which he made great use of it by incorporating more foreign foods in his menu, and this satisfied his customers more.
Develop a business plan
James used the skills he got from his college training to develop his business plan. In his business plan, he considered opening a local house business as his major aim. He chose an appropriate name for his business and recorded the amount of capital that was available and provided a plan on how the money was to be spent.
He also mentioned that his major customers were the tourists and the local residents who enjoyed foreign foods. The challenges expected were also mentioned in the business plan. James did not forget to consider how he could handle such challenges. The major suppliers to his business were also outlined in his business plan. In general, he had a detailed business plan and his success can be attributed to it and his ability and willingness to implement it.
Determine the resources required
In his business plan, James identified all the requirements for the business and provided the means to achieve them. As he clearly outlined that was to be done, he was able to obtain most of his requirements for the business. James knew that most residents and tourists enjoyed foreign foods, but only few of them spent their time on preparing these foods as they preferred to get ready meals. This fully satisfied the market requirement.
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He also established good relationships with his suppliers. Thus, the necessary supplies for his business were available without much struggle. He realized the need for human resources in his business, which is the reason he treated his workers with professionalism. He also considered the strategic location of the business as a backbone to the success of his business. That is why he chose Dubai as a place to start his business.
Manage the resulting enterprise
His success in business can be attributed to the good management skills which James and his friends had. Customers always came back for more because they received the best services at his restaurant. He was also a good human resource manager; his workers never complained and were even ready to work beyond the normal working hours.
This can be attributed to his good human resource management skills. They never lacked supplies at the restaurant, and the creditors never complained. This depicts the good financial management skills possessed by James and his friends.
James clearly saw his goals; he knew what he wanted in life and the best way to get it. He had been trained as a cook in a prominent college. He had good catering skills with which he impressed his visitors. Due to his talent and skills, he was encouraged to risk and venture into this business.
Entrepreneurially managed firms verses traditionally managed firms
Most entrepreneurially managed businesses have a strategic orientation in many aspects. One of the aspects we can consider is the strategic positioning of the business for the customers, suppliers and access to means of transport. In traditionally managed businesses, this is not the case as most of these factors are not taken into consideration there. Entrepreneurially managed businesses tend to stick to one activity and make the best returns out of it.
On the other hand, traditional business managers can try everything just to get quick money, and it is the reason they end up suffering a failure in most of their endeavours. Entrepreneurs have better resource managing skills than traditional business men have, thus entrepreneurs make good use of the limited resources.
In entrepreneurial businesses, management tasks are divided among different people according to their specialties, while in traditionally managed businesses, all the management tasks are usually handled by one person; in most cases, this is the owner. Due to most of these advantages, the entrepreneurially managed businesses have an upper hand as far as growth is concerned as compared to traditionally managed business.
Analysis of the selected entrepreneur according to the selected factors
James Brown’s main aim was exploiting his catering skills by occupying the available market niche in Dubai. He wanted to be unique as far as restaurant business was concerned. He did not focus too much on money as he wanted to make his customers come back for more, and in the process, he managed to earn good profits.
James is a risk taker as he at first decided to begin the business alone as a sole proprietor. He is a real entrepreneur as one of the major characteristics one must possess as an entrepreneur is the ability to run risks. If the business failed, he could have lost a lot, but at the same time, there is a reward for taking risks, which is the profit one obtains. Within a short period, James was able to gain huge profits just because he took up the risk alone.
Problems and challenges faced
James was afraid that he could run out of budget just after he had started the business, which was almost what happened. He was saved by soft loans from friends and relatives. Banking institutions also offered him loans at a low interest rate, which he was able to pay back. Sourcing qualified employees was also a major challenge to James. However, he made good use of interviews which was the way he chose the best employees.
The restaurant business he ventured into has many customers all the time because both the tourists and the local residents enjoy the foreign foods and there are always hungry people. Thus this business’ niche is very active at all times.
James always had customers, and he thus tried to offer timely services all the time. He made use of his employees who were ready to work beyond the normal working hours. James created working shifts for his employees. This ensured the restaurant was open 24/7, and customers never missed what they wanted at any time of the day.
Lessons that James learnt from the business
James learnt that good service should come before profit gained, and he realized that aiming at huge profits, while giving customers poor services, could lead to failure of any business. James obtained great human resource managerial skills due to his business activities. He realized that in order to make his employees do their best, he should have provided them with the best working conditions. He gave them good pay and treated them with professionalism.
After his friends joined his business, James has considered opening branches in foreign countries where people could enjoy such meals. One of the countries considered is Germany, and the preparations are well underway for opening a new branch there. In the process, they have found out that international suppliers provided the best quality of the materials needed for a lower cost; that is why they are considering starting obtaining all they need from foreign suppliers.
Advertising their business on the internet also attracted most foreigners to the business.Tourists talk to their families and friends on their experiences they gained while touring Dubai. They never forget to mention the sweet food they enjoyed in Dubai, and in the process, they indirectly market the restaurant.
Analysis of the products and services
The business majorly practiced catering and hospitality. They specialized in cooking and serving foreign foods as they were enjoyed by most of their customers. They offered the best services, and this kept the customers coming back for more. The services were relatively affordable, and people had no complains because they received the best services.
Customers requested for a wider variety of foreign foods in menu, and James took advantage of this. He incorporated more foreign foods in his menu, and this was a sure way of expanding his business and increasing his profits. Mendi was the first foreign food prepared by James Brown due to the fact that most of the residents and tourists enjoyed it. It was also a good way of gaining customers before trying to cook other foreign foods.
Analysis of commitment
James Brown and his friends were determined to make the best out of their business. They spent most of their time planning and achieving their goals that accelerated the growth of their business. They were committed to providing the customers with the best services to ensure that they never left them for their competitors. This is evident from the process of choosing employees working for the company.
The interviews conducted show that the company gets workers who are qualified, determined and committed to their work. The fact that the workers were ready to work beyond normal working hours without complains represents how committed they were. The suppliers were also committed to the company stated by James Brown as they provided the requested items in time and at good prices.
Market research and target identification
James Brown analysed his surroundings well before venturing into the business. He made sure he addressed a demand of his customers. Most tourists and local residents seemed to enjoy foreign foods and as per his research, the available hotels prepared only local foods, and those that prepared foreign foods had some challenges. They were not strategically positioned for the business and offered poor services most of the time.
They prepared food poorly, and the customers never enjoyed them, James Brown took advantage of this and developed his local house business activity. He majorly targeted at tourists and local residents who preferred foreign foods. His aim was to provide the best service to this group of people as no restaurant fully addressed this demand. This made the business rise fast as far as profits and the customers were concerned.
Developing distribution strategies
The business tried to avail their products in most tourist destinations within Dubai by opening more branches within the region. The foods were prepared in the branches and served at the same places. Transporting food was initially considered but due to the extra expenses it brought about, it was never tried.
Instead, they opted to prepare and serve food at the branches. James and his friends even tried to negotiate for terms to start branches at the airports, but this appeared to be impossible. They were, however, given a chance to prepare food elsewhere and then sell at the airports. This was challenging at first as most customers wanted hot food, which made James Brown and his partners use modern ways of keeping their foods hot for long hours.
Finding your customer
James had good friends who enjoyed eating a foreign food at his place whenever they visited him. They were his first customers and they helped him in marketing the business as they always came to the restaurant with more friends. The business also tried to reach their customers via advertisements placed in media and at the internet sites. The proper advertising contributed to the incensement of the customers’ day by day.
Sales people were also employed. They went around Dubai talking to people about the foods available at the restaurant and its branches, the good services offered and the affordable prices charged. The idea of selling food at the airport was also a good way of finding the customers. Tourists always wanted to know where they could get such meals once outside the airport, and they were given directions by the workers at the airport.
Finding financial aid
The starting capital was raised by James from his own savings. Friends and family members also gave him donations that allowed him to run the business.
The partners who joined him later also brought in more capital that was used to expand the business. At first, it was an uphill task to obtain loans from banks; however, after they saw the performance of the business, they offered loans at low interest rates as they were not even suspecting any chances of defaulting. James Brown also got soft loans from some of his customers who always wanted the best for the business.
Collection of money
Most of the time, customers paid for the services in cash. However, some left checks that matured after short periods. Some paid using credit cards, but this was not a problem as James provided his restaurants with all the equipments needed and he even trained his workers on how to handle such cases. It was the financial policy of the business to deposit money collected after every two days. This prevented embezzlement at the branches.
Plans of operation
A customer comes to the business premises, and they are offered a place to sit. They are then served with an appetizer of their choice. They are given the menu and choose the food they want. They are then served with the food within few minutes. Customers eat their fill, and they also may order some drinks of their choice.
The foods are well prepared with qualified catering staff. High hygiene standards are maintained during the food preparation and service. The customers are served with exactly what they order and in a timely manner.
Problems that need to be addressed
Competition is a major problem to the success of the business. Most business people in Dubai after seeing how well James’ business had been doing decided to open such businesses. The best way that James Brown used to deal with this problem was to focus on his business giving the customers the best services.
Management is also an issue since after opening more branches, James Brown had to deal with an increased workforce. This was solved by employing qualified managers at the branches to manage the operations. Sourcing funds had been also a challenge at first, but after sometime many financial institutions were willing to lend money to the business at affordable interest rates.