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The terms 'entrepreneur' and 'entrepreneurship' are most commonly linked directly to small business management.

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Introduction

The terms 'entrepreneur' and 'entrepreneurship' are most commonly linked directly to small business management. The definitions of these terms have changed and extended since they were first introduced in the Middle Ages. The definition most applicable to today's entrepreneurs could be that of Hisrich (n.d, citied in Stokes 1998) 'Entrepreneurship is the process of creating something different with value by devoting the necessary time and effort, assuming the accompanying financial, psychic and social risks, and receiving the resultant rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction.' Today's entrepreneurs are equipped with a list of characteristics and skills, providing the building blocks for successful entrepreneurship. Stokes (1998) categorises these skills and characteristics into three headings: 1. Technical skills, encompassing product or service knowledge and an understanding of the marketplace. 2. Management competencies, encompassing the areas of marketing, finance and human relations. 3. Personal attributes, such as having an innovative and determined nature, being equipped with an external focus and being a team leader. The possession by the entrepreneur of these skills and characteristics can aid him when turning his vision into strategy. With small companies and new ventures at high risk of failure, adopting a strategic approach will improve its chances of survival. A successful strategy should provide the direction necessary to allocate the resources of the enterprise in a unique and viable way, taking into account internal strengths and weaknesses and also external opportunities and threats. ...read more.

Middle

The plan should be informative, relevant and logical, showing the company and its venture to be a good investment. More importantly the business plan should be specifically directed to the funding source. An entrepreneur should write a plan differently for presentation to a banker than to a private investor. This is the concerns of funding bodies vary, with the banker being more concerned with how good the security was, whilst the private investor is more concerned with the risks involved. (http://www.venturea.com/business.htm) In order to communicate the venture successfully to interested parties, the entrepreneur must ensure the business plan will captivate, interest and impress the lenders. Although a time-consuming process the entrepreneur must remember that their business plan is an essential selling tool and if they want investors money they must give good reasons for them to buy in. This said, the entrepreneur should not try to lie or fake any information in order to dress up the business plan. Outsiders want to know that the entrepreneur and his team have carefully thought out the plan. In order to achieve this the entrepreneur must put together a package containing all the 'hows' and 'needs' of the particular venture. The entrepreneur must be able to show outside investors that all the human and physical resources effectively interrelate with the marketing, operational, and financial strategies of the company. (http://www.venturea.com/business.htm) By doing this the entrepreneur and his team have a better chance of convincing outsiders that they possess all the skills and expertise needed to actively manage the company, and are well prepared to solve any problems arising, or to seize any fresh opportunities. ...read more.

Conclusion

Having the opportunity to critically analyse all sections of the company and its new venture allows the entrepreneurial team to spot in advance problems or opportunities, they can then respond accordingly. In order to do this effectively the entrepreneurial team need to track results, analyse the difference between plan and actual results. They must be capable and prepared to change those things which need changing and compare plan to reality. They must be prepared to fix anything, which went wrong and take advantage of what went right. The entrepreneurial team should evaluate the plan every month or quarter. The entrepreneur and their team managers should always view their plan as 'work-in-progress', keeping an open mind and clear focus on the venture. Undoubtedly, unexpected changes will occur along the way and in order to minimise risk and maximise opportunities, the entrepreneur and his team must be prepared to continually adjust. Although the preparation and presentation of a business plan is thought to be one of the best ways to define all the needs, requirements and expectations of a new venture, it is important that the entrepreneur does not adopt the approach that a fat and enticing plan will automatically make the business a success. Some of the most impressive business plans fail to become great businesses and some of the weakest plans can lead to extraordinary success. (Timmons J., 1999, ch.11). The conclusion being, that although the development and presentation of a business plan by the entrepreneur can swing the odds in their favour, unless the opportunity, resources and team mangers are present, the venture may not be an automatic success. ...read more.

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