Key Assignment Outline (Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, and Digital Media) (Only need the outline this week for the assignment below)
Your first task is to post your own Key Assignment Outline to the discussion area so that other students are able to review your plan. Attach your document to the main discussion post, and include any notes you feel are appropriate. The purpose of this assignment is to help improve the quality of the Key Assignment Draft you will complete next week.
Key Assignment Final Draft
Part 1 Tasks
· Discuss how Web 2.0 and social media have altered the way in which entrepreneurial and small businesses do the following:
· Engage their existing customers
· Attract new customers
· Listen to employee and customer feedback
· Respond to crises
· Provide current examples.
· Apply Kirton’s adaptation-innovation theory to discuss how a newer entrepreneurial venture might differ from a more mature, intrapreneurial venture in its approach to social media.
Part 2 Tasks
According to Byers, Kist, and Sutton’s article titled “Characteristics of the Entrepreneur: Social Creatures, Not Solo Heroes,” entrepreneurs are inherently social people (1997). This article explains why entrepreneurs are highly social by nature. In an article titled “Who’s Most Likely to go it Alone?,” Alessandra Bianchi offers a set of characteristics that predispose people toward entrepreneurship (1993). These characteristics, for example, come from life experiences such as being the child of an entrepreneur, being fired from multiple jobs, or being either an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.
With these readings in mind, complete the following in a paper of 4 pages:
· Profile the founder of a well-known company, and focus on that person’s social characteristics.
· Include references to the characteristics found in the Bianchi article, and align the characteristics with the founder’s personality.
Bianchi, A. (1993). Who’s most likely to go it alone? Inc. Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/magazine/19930501/3537.html
Byers, T., Kist, H., & Sutton, R. I. (1997, October 27). Characteristics of the entrepreneur: Social creatures, not solo heroes. The Handbook of Technology Management, Retrieved from http://www.stanford.edu/class/e140/e140a/content/Characteristics.html
For assistance with your assignment, please use your text, Web resources, and all course materials.
Recognize the behavior attributes of those who become entrepreneurs
Describe the dynamics of unleashing innovation and creativity
Identify characteristics of entrepreneurs who recognize and seize business opportunities and new ventures
1. Read the following articles and book chapters:
· Buttner, E., & Gryskiewicz, N. (1993). Entrepreneurs’ Problem-Solving Styles: An Empirical Study Using the Kirton Adaption/Innovation Theory. Journal of Small Business Management, 31(1), 22-31.
· Fell, D. (2010). Upstarts: how genY entrepreneurs are rocking the world of business and 8 ways you can profit from their success. (Ch. 2). McGraw Hill.
· Goodale, G. (2011, April 20). New social media and the 2012 election: Waaaaay beyond Facebook 2008. Christian Science Monitor. p. N.PAG.
· Ryan, D., & Jones, C. (2009). Understanding digital marketing. (Ch. 7). Kogan Page.
When planning a social media marketing campaign, you should define the target market. Knowledge of the target market should dictate what to do with the campaign. In defining prospects and target markets, ask how likely they are to be interested in what is being offered. Next, what should be achieved with the campaign?
The social media used should complement each other. If awareness is increased by means of video or blogging, more people should start linking to you. The main goals are further explained as follows (Maki, 2007):
· Brand awareness can be increased by having products shown or talked about through various channels.
· A company or personal reputation can be managed by monitoring what is being said online. Online forums and blogs are rich grounds for feedback.
· Search engine rankings can be improved by gaining more links through social networking.
· Relevant visitor traffic can be increased through social media sites that revolve around certain topics, thereby attracting the people with interests in those specific topics.
· Sales for a product or service can be improved by building relationships with customers. Customers may be more likely to bond and trust through social media they do not see as paid advertising.
Marketing Campaign Step 1: Define goals and objectives.
Although an overall goal might be reputation management, one would list several objectives as bench markers for the goal being achieved. Once objectives are defined, it is easier to select a social media type for the marketing objective.
Marketing Campaign Step 2: Define your target market.
The following questions will help with this determination (Maki, 2007):
· Who is likely to be most interested in my content?
· Whom do I want to communicate with, and why?
· What kind of audience does this social community have?
· What are people currently saying about my Web site or business?
· Which type of person is likely to purchase my product or service?
· What tools or online services does my target audience use?
· Which Web sites does my target audience frequent on the net?
· What do members of my target audience have in common with each other?
Considerations for a Social Media Marketing Campaign
Results will not be immediate. It takes time to forge ongoing relationships. Once formed, those relationships can continue to provide brand awareness, spread word of mouth, and bring new links. Another limitation is that many people still do not use social media. There are some products and services in which much of the target market will not yet engage in social media. Therefore, social media campaigns should never stand alone; they should run alongside traditional campaigns.
Before the Internet was so integrated into marketing, a television commercial was just a television commercial. All of the content needed to be delivered in a memorable format within 30 seconds. Today, many television commercials exist to drive consumers to the Internet for more product information. Current successful TV campaigns have asked consumers to go to the company Web site to vote for characters or enter contests. In essence, the commercial does not end after 30 seconds. A commercial that can get the viewer to take action and participate in any sort of product engagement is an example of brand spiraling. Essentially, you should use traditional and online media to support each other. Use the Web site to engage and inform the consumer.
Maki. (2007, November 23). Social media marketing campaigns: How to set goals and define your target market. Retrieved from the Dosh Dosh Web site: http://www.doshdosh.net/social-media/social-media-marketing-campaigns-setting-goals-defining-prospects/
International Strategic Planning, Communication Planning, and Evaluation
To create a strategic plan, leaders must determine what business issues really matter to the organization. The following are suggested questions for making this determination:
· What is our business, and where is it going?
· What are the major barriers to attainment of our business goals?
· What must be done to overcome these barriers?
· Who is the competition?
· What is the competitive challenge?
It is important to the success of the business to develop answers to these questions and communicate them to all employees. Managers must develop messages that help clarify the key business issues. Employee communication should be a planned, professional process, one directly related to business goals. Well-planned communication can improve quality and productivity among other business measures.
Management’s participation in communication planning and practice should be part of existing accountability systems, including the regular planning process and performance reviews.
Listening as a Communication Technique
One of the most important communication techniques is listening, not just hearing. There is a difference between hearing and actively listening. The four levels of listening are as follows:
2. listening to understand
3. listening to respond
4. listening to analyze
The first level of listening is hearing. Though people with healthy eardrums hear the sound of words, they do not pay attention to most of what they hear. In the second level of listening, we pay a little more attention because we are interested and want to understand. The third level of listening is where we pay closer attention to what we are hearing because we need to prepare an answer and respond to what we just heard. The fourth and the highest level of listening is where we need to completely understand what we heard and analyze the information.
To listen effectively, we need to focus on what we are hearing. Most people need to learn how to listen beyond the first two levels. We need to be prepared to listen not only for information we want to know but also for the information we did not expect to hear.
Evaluating the Communication Plan
The expected outcomes of a good corporate communication plan are as follows:
· a significant contribution to the success of the business
· informed employees who are supportive of management’s strategic plan
· less resistance from employees upon implementing changes
· improved employee satisfaction
· a reduction in grievances and employee turnover
Evaluation of the communication plan is a series of steps for gathering and analyzing information about a given organization. Those involved in evaluation need to understand the different tools that are available to effectively assess the current status in the organization and measure it against the set goals. Different data collection and analysis methods produce different results, so the evaluator needs to consider which methods would best explore the issues that need to be measured. For best results, both qualitative and quantitative methods can be used in evaluation. Qualitative data can be obtained in interviews with individuals and focus groups. Quantitative data can be obtained by administering a survey in the form of a questionnaire. In small organizations, it may be possible to interview and include every single member in a focus group or survey. In a large international organization with hundreds or thousands of employees, interviewing everyone may not be possible or practical. In that case, a sample is selected to best represent the population. It is critical in scientific research that proper statistical methodology be used to determine the best sample size.
Evaluation of the communication plan is a learning process that improves the working environment. Information obtained through the assessment process identifies the gaps between the current and ideal environment in the organization. The success of the evaluation depends on an active involvement and commitment from everyone involved.
There are a number of reasons that new ventures fail, but in general, the biggest causes are internal. As mentioned earlier, entrepreneurs are very driven, optimistic, and personable. What they often lack is general business acumen. They do not usually have the skill set necessary to run a new business, nor do they have the experience needed to effectively manage the finances of a new business. Failures are particularly high in the hospitality industry because it is fairly easy to enter the market. Studies show that the retail sector, which includes restaurants and the service sector, has the highest failure rates of any sector. The following are some key causes of failure in the hospitality industry (Enz, 2010):
· Insufficient capital: As was mentioned earlier, beyond the problems with securing any financing is securing sufficient financing. Without proper financing, even the best idea or the most effective manager will not stop the business from struggling to succeed. Owners can help mitigate these challenges by planning more carefully and by being more generous in the overall estimates of the costs.
· Market conditions: This might be the most fault-free of the causes of failure. If market conditions are bad, then none of it will matter, regardless of the kind of idea, the management style, or the proper capitalization. It becomes a timing issue. It is important to make sure that business owners research the best locations and evolving market trends.
· Management skills: This can appear in the form of poor planning, poor organization, or poor financial management. Effective training and support from ownership can help eliminate this cause of failure.
· Delivery problems: This comes as a result of an overreliance on a particular market segment. This can also happen because a company is too early or too late into the market. Diversification of the customer base is an effective way to help minimize this problem.
Innovation and the Entrepreneur
Innovation is the key driver to success. Without innovation, companies cannot evolve. As companies start to perfect processes and products, the competition will start to imitate the process or product, thereby eroding the competitive advantage created by the perfection of the process or product. It is this idea that drives entrepreneurs within established organizations. Just because a company is properly established does not mean that it does not need that entrepreneurial mentality.
The Internet and Doing Business on the Web
Today, companies survive by using the Web. The Internet has provided many more opportunities to create a wide customer base. It has also allowed the entrepreneur the opportunity to be more informed as he or she begins the process of starting a new company. Because these entrepreneurs have access to information and people that they did not have access to before, the chances of success are increasing. In fact, it might be said that hospitality organizations that do not use the Web to help move their businesses forward are actually going to fall farther and farther into oblivion.
Enz, C. (2010). Hospitality strategic management: Concepts and cases (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Half-hearted efforts will yield minimal, if any, results when it comes to earning a degree or transitioning into your desired profession. By enrolling in CTU, you have taken the important first step in creating the results that you desire. By developing a strategic Career Management Plan (CMP), you will create resources and materials that will enable you to take further steps toward your desired profession.
Your CMP will include the following:
· Career Central Assessment and self-discovery reflections
· Career goals and objectives
· Career research on occupations and organizations within your desired field
· Skills inventory
· Professional networking names and time lines
· Mock-interview recording
· Professional cover letter and resume
As you embark on this course, remember that you are responsible for managing your career and the steps that you take along the way. Now is the time to set yourself up for success.
Social Media Articles and Delivery
E-zines are like an online magazine, with all of the typical sections. For example, Fruittree, an online fresh-fruit company, may have a monthly e-zine with regular sections about seasonal harvesting, recipes, letters to the editor, and reader submissions.
E-zines can be an excellent choice for companies that want a magazine but that cannot afford the printing costs. At the same time, the Web can get overpopulated by e-zines. E-zines tend to lose credibility because anyone can have one, and many are poorly written. E-zines should follow design rules like everything else, with considerations of space, images, balance, color, and text. Basically, e-zines should be easy to read so that consumers do not feel frustrated.
In addition to RSS, there is also a lesser-known format called Atom. Both RSS (really simple syndication) and Atom (Atom syndication format) do the same things. RSS existed first, and Atom was invented afterwards in an attempt to be a better program. For some time, each had its own following as to which was better. Still, few people today consider Atom; RSS has become the norm.
What is the difference between a blog and forum?
At first, a forum and blog can sound like the same thing. Both are discussions that are posted online. The difference is the way that they are posted. A blog is started by the blog owner and is dominated by the main article that the blogger wrote. It is usually a substantial amount of content that is interesting to the readers. Not all blogs allow readers to comment, but many do. When there are comments, they are listed after the blog post, in the order received.
A main difference between a blog and forum is that a forum can be divided and read by topic. Discussion boards are examples of forums. There is a beginning post, which is meant to spur the rest of the discussion. It typically does not stand alone as a substantial amount of information, as an article might in a blog. In a forum, the readers and writers can choose segments that may open and close to reveal more about that subject.
What content should be included?
Referring to the original concept of social media optimization, people should want to share and spread the content. What content can one create that people would want to bookmark? What might they come back to or share with friends? Successful examples include top-ten lists, how-tos, humor, and celebrity appearances.
In the online fresh-fruit distributer example, the company may run a top-ten list of low-fat fruits or an article entitled “How to make delicious low-fat fruit desserts.” It may run a list of vegetables and knock-knock jokes for kids. If there is a current environmental issue, it may be useful to address how a particular Fruittree product is safe. A point to remember is that not everything has to be business related. Fun can be contagious. For instance, a video clip with a celebrity singing to a piece of fruit may have viral potential.
There are many opportunities for Web pages that link back to Fruittree. Fruittree may post a funny video or write an article that appears as a news report. To be optimized in the world of social media, content should be easy to share and spread. People should seek it out. For a marketer, that means knowing your audience and creating something that consumers will want to find, see, and possibly see again. Make it easy for people to like your company and spread the news. Offer options such as RSS feeds or e-mail. Use key words and descriptions because these will pull people in and keep you indexed on the Web. The more creative you can be with your social media, the more people will be creative back with you. People want to share and spread what they feel is unique. Social media offers consumers that opportunity to be unique and be heard while inadvertently spreading your brand message.
The successful entrepreneurial effort takes a wide variety of skills, attitudes, and attributes, including vision, perseverance, ability to plan and carry out those plans, salesmanship, learning what potential customers need, people knowledge, being in the right place at the right time, and sufficient financing. Of course, the most critical requirement is money. Domestic or local success often creates an interest in new ways to profit. It may prompt the entrepreneur to consider entry into the international marketplace. Success in this marketplace comes from application of the aforementioned characteristics to some very different situations. The entrepreneur must understand that customer needs and wants, as well as methods of servicing them, often vary between marketplaces. Careful, customized research creates the foundation for success in foreign markets.
Government and Entrepreneurship
Knowledge of the legal environment of business is as important as any other factor in business. For entrepreneurs, it is especially important to have a basic understanding of business laws and government regulation because they are the major functionary in their business. As such, they often interact directly with other individuals in an atmosphere that is filled with suspicion and distrust. Entrepreneurs must know the basic facts concerning contracts and financial instruments according to existing business law. This knowledge is essential not only to secure agreements but also to avoid crippling and sometimes devastating lawsuits.