Entrepreneurial Characteristics

There are three characteristics of an entrepreneur, which, in combination, increase his/her probability of success: key personal attributes, technical proficiency and managerial competencies (Hellriegel et al, 2002). Within his key personal attributes, “entrepreneurs are made, not born; they have a strong need for achievement; desire for independence; self-confidence and self-sacrifice (Hellriegel et al, 2002). ” Although some entrepreneurs develop key attributes early in life, Mr Moorad admits to consciously developing these characteristics over the years.

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McClelland has conducted research in the entrepreneurial field and concluded that the need for achievement is strong in entrepreneurs, they strive to achieve goals and measure success in terms of what they have achieved (Hellriegel et al, 2002). Mr Moorad has a strong need for achievement and desire for independence- if not, he would have been content to simply take over his father’s thriving trading store in Darnell. Mr Moorad needed self-confidence to take the risk of starting up a business with little capital and a young family to support.

He feels the key determinant to a business’s success is hard work, and sacrificing your short-term desires for long-term prosperity. Hellriegel (2001) feels that entrepreneurs often bring strong technical skills and related experience to their business. Mr Moorad contradicts this view, as he did not previously work with fabrics. His financial acumen has ensured “Minty’s” staying afloat through South Africa’s unstable economic transition.

Three managerial competencies need to be drawn on and developed to succeed in managing a entrepreneurial company- the strategic action, planning and administration, and communication competencies (Hellriegel et al, 2002). Opportunity and luck can play a role, but sound decision-making is more important. Some strategic practises has used to sustain his company are delivering products and services that are perceived as the highest quality, generating new customers, maintaining financial control of the firm, and focusing marketing expenditures on a high-quality sales force that can expand “Minty’s” customer base.

Planning and administration is also important for entrepreneurial companies. Mr Moorad focuses his plans on a three-year horizon, believing his business to be too small to warrant longer plans. Initially he did most of the crucial work, but he has had to hire consultants part-time in order to grow. Ensuring his plans are being administered through staffing activities is one of his biggest challenges running “Minty’s”. According to Hellriegel (2002), “being able to communicate effectively is essential to gaining the cooperation and support needed to turn a vision into reality.

” Mr Moorad confesses that his wife is essential in passing on messages to staff and customers because of her friendly nature. He is more reserved and finds it more difficult translating his plans to others without coming across as authoritarian or demanding. From the above, one can conclude that Mr Moorad possess many of the skills which Hellriegel believes are essential to being a successful entrepreneur. Feelings on Entrepreneurship According to Hellriegel (2002), most successful entrepreneurs take calculated risks, based on their own experience and research.

They are motivated by money and a chance to make a difference in a particular industry. Mr Moorad feels that the greatest advantage of being an entrepreneur is the sense of authority that comes along with it. He would not be able to handle someone else making key decisions about something he is so committed to and enjoys the financial control. Thinking back, Mr Moorad is nostalgic about the first days of “Minty’s,” and the pride he had in being involved in a start-up of his own creation, as well as watching it grow.

On the other hand, some of the disadvantages include the personal sacrifices he has had to make, taking time away from his family and recreational activities in order for the business to prosper. He sometimes feels the burden of responsibility is too great as he is never able to leave the job at work, and there is little margin for error as his livelihood and standard of living is constantly at stake. The two main types of information that were used in drawing up this paper were the firm’s financial statements and interviews with people within the business.

The former were provided by Mr Moorad without hesitation, and proved extremely useful in analysing the firm’s performance. There are, however, limitations to the statements: Firstly, they are prepared by accountants who conform to rules that may not adequately represent the economic reality of the business. Intangible assets such as the business name, reputation and Mr Moorad’s special managerial know-how are not regarded. The business’s results should also be analysed in terms of its generated cash flows, which are better than the statements suggest.

A series of interviews with the entrepreneur formed the basis of this paper. Because it was an oral narrative, many of the historical events discussed may not be completely reliable. Some of Mr Moorad’s hesitant, like pausing for long periods before answering questions, and frequent use of “ermmm” may confirm this. As far as possible, interviews with his wife were used to verify information regarded as vital to the case. “Minty’s” main problems are that it has large amount of accounts payable outstanding that needs to be paid off, and an even larger stock of inventory that needs to be sold, as soon as possible.

This is to ensure the company’s long-term solvency. To do so, constantly greater cash inflows must be generated. A target market represents an identifiable group of potential customers. Each group has its own profile, comprising of demographics such as sex, age, income, marital status, education, family size and occupation; and behavioural characteristics like shopping patterns, wants, values, and frequency of purchase (Meier, 2001). Expanding “Minty’s” product line can help the firm grow faster and be an effective marketing strategy to create additional sales.

For a business today to survive, it needs to generate several ways of income. A successful revenue stream like the one “Minty’s” has from its sale of fabrics and accessories is enough to support the firm, but depending on it as “Minty’s” sole source of income is incredibly risky. For the above reasons, Mr Moorad would like to diversify into the sale of ready-made garments from the East. These off-the-peg ladies tops will be popularly priced but uphold “Minty’s” tradition of quality.