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First of all, let us take a quick glimpse on the topic enterprise strategy and other related words. When defining the word, Strategy is a set of decisions and actions aimed at gaining aÂ sustainable competitive advantage. When people display enterprise, it means they are using the skills, knowledge and personal attributes which are needed to apply creative ideas and innovation to potential situations. Furthermore, Enterprise strategy emphases on an organization's tactic towards the natural environment and it role on the society, stakeholders, addressing the so-called soft issues encountered. Its focus is the accomplishment of an organization's goals. Enterprise strategy can best be termed as the obligation of the top management and the board for the organization's political, environmental and social performance.
Now, when defining an entrepreneur, we can say this is a person who acts in an enterprising way and who identifies or creates and acts on opportunity. An example is by starting a new business Venture. Entrepreneurship is a subject of enterprise and entrepreneurs, and it encompasses both practical, acknowledgement of skills and techniques used in being an entrepreneur. Lastly, we take a look at 'opportunity' and this can be defined as a gap in the market, where the potential exists to do something better and thereby to create value. Another definition can be that, it is the potential for change, improvement or advantage arising from our actions in the circumstances.
Wealth magazine publication has a well-known slogan "make your million. Its time". It was founded by Mr Adam Jones. In 1999, Adam Jones was a pimple-faced little 15-year-old just like many teenagers. What made him different from other school kids was that, he was business minded at a very tender age. He had a gleam in his eye and decided to make some extra money and it turned out that he was pretty good at making extra cash.
Adam's story continues; while he was at school, he started the easiest, most profitable business he ever thought of by that time. At that time, selling around the school premises was not allowed was an offence punishable by the headmaster. He did not give up; he started an undercover operation selling lollipops at his school. It was so secretive that neither of the teachers or headmaster knew about the business. All day long, he sold lollipops on the low-down. During class, in corridors, on the sports field or wherever he could go with a few suckers in his pocket, he went. Adam was good in mathematics and so he applied his knowledge to his business. He kept a meticulous record of how much money he made in a day and then re-invested every cent into growing my business. His idea was to grow his business into a store that would operate in front of his school gate and then make some small chain stores selling sweets and treats. There came a point in time where he was pushing so many suckers that he stopped bringing books to school. This was a risky move; the space for his books was occupied by the lollipops that he sold.
One day, sometime way back in 2007, this young and ambitious man decided to stick his neck out and make some waves in Botswana's publishing industry. He regards this as the biggest move he had ever made in his life. Wealth magazine is under the publishing company with the name Kgotla communications.
As we can see, Adam was and is still a big thinker who knew how to start small. According to him, his instincts told him that the safest way to succeed was to do something risky. What he kept in mind is that, if you don't dream big or risks much (but don't risk too much for less), you become stagnant. Adam then decided to throw out the old rule-book; he smashed the status quo with the biggest hammer that he could find. When everyone else zigged, he zagged. And he made up a whole new set of rules.
That's how WealthÂ Magazine was born. It was financed by the money from his personal savings that started from the lollipop business. It came into the world as a modern, straight-talking, no-apology, tough-love companion for entrepreneurs in this country. Wealth magazine has a very rich content. This monthly publication is an entrepreneur's guide to starting and growing a successful business here in Botswana. The brand enjoys a considerable following, especially among middle to high income buyers - and has, over time, established itself as Botswana's number one selling local magazine.
The market went wild for Wealth's fresh new take on business in Botswana. Word quickly spread about the little magazine that could help you do big things and sales took off.
And today, after five years in the industry, it's still known as the country's #1 selling local magazine.
The importance of entrepreneurship
As stated by Rob Moon and Simon Gee (2012), entrepreneurship encourages competition by increasing the number of enterprises. Whilst this increases growth in itself, it is a cumulative phenomenon because competition is more conductive to knowledge externalities - new ideas - than is local monopoly. And so, entrepreneurship encourages entrepreneurship. Secondly, it is a mechanism for 'knowledge spill overs' - transmission of knowledge from its point of origin to other individuals or organisation. Knowledge spill over is an important mechanism underlying endogenous growth, and start-ups - entrepreneurs - are seen as being particularly adept at appropriating knowledge from other sources. In other words, entrepreneurs spot and innovate.
Entrepreneurship as unlocking value: Making creative connections between needs/opportunities and capabilities/resources.
Customers, markets, wants and needs, possibilities and benefits
Money, people, Knowledge, technology
CREATING VALUESUPPLY SIDE DEMAND SIDE
Entrepreneurship can be the activity of identifying or creating market opportunities by bringing together resources in a venture and acting to exploit opportunities. This results in the creation of new value; financially as well as socially, creative, technological and environmental value.
Entrepreneurship increases value of innovation, technology and knowledge. It reduces the costs & timescales for transferring data & materials - increase competitive opportunities. Entrepreneurship is seen as vital for economic regeneration because it create innovations, demand, wealth, and employment. Entrepreneurs have to create opportunities, capture resources & grow business ventures.
Burns (2011) have proposed that entrepreneurs share the characteristics of owner managers. However, they have certain additional traits.
Opportunistic: Adam exploits change for profit. In other words, he seeks out opportunities in order to make money. When other ordinary people sees a problem, Adam looks at a different perspective, he sees an opportunity. He said that he has a major problem, and to my perspective, many entrepreneurs suffer from this kind of problem. In a weeks' time, he can spot a couple of opportunities and the problem he faces is that he cannot put his focus on one opportunity because he gets attracted to the new ones that he spots. Just like Duncan Bannatyne of UK, I believe Adam is a serial entrepreneur. Even though Mr Jones has sold about four businesses that were operating fully, he has never thought of selling Wealth magazine. The reason for not selling being that, he wants to deliver words of wisdom and courage to the entrepreneurs, leaders, managers and everyone whose intention is to run a successful business.
Innovative: Moon and Gee (2012) believes that innovation is the prime tool entrepreneurs use to create or exploit an opportunity. Adam is innovative because he is able to spot new ideas of doing things or opportunities. This will be further clarified under a heading 'Creativity and Innovation'.
Self-Confident: Adam, just like many entrepreneurs, needs self-confidence copiously to grow their business because they face uncertainty that is extreme. The reason why his business is a success he believes in the future of the business. However, as we know that too much of everything is not good, so does this apply to self-confidence? Definitely, too much confidence will blind an entrepreneur. He may see the success of the business and never come to think about the bumpy road and how to tackle hard situations.
Self-motivated and proactive: Adam does not just believe on luck and this make him proactive when he seeks opportunities. He works many hours in a day and his reason for doing that is simply because he loves working and working hard is his life. Working many hours enables him to spot and act on opportunities very quickly before someone does. Adam is highly self-motivated. He has the strong inner drive, the zeal, the enthusiasm, the passion to achieve his goals. Just like Burns (2011) said, it's not like entrepreneurs are not motivated by money, to them; money is just a badge of their success that allows them to measure their achievement.
Other character traits that can be seen from Adam are that, he has a clear vision of what he wants to achieve in life and he is a risk taker. Lastly, he is a great networtker.
The term Enterprise culture is a term that many writers have difficulty in defining with any common precision. In a layman's term, a business or organisation with enterprise culture is the one where people are creative and imaginative rather than being reluctant to take risks. Adam encourages his subordinates to always think outside the box so as to create the content that is interesting and unique to the customers.
The business is a guide, that delivers entrepreneurial ideas and insights that help managers to strengthen their leadership power, sales executives enhance their selling power etc. What has worked for them more than anything is commitment along with consistency. Their dedication is in providing as many people as they can with invaluable, relevant information that is not time bound and has led Wealth to enjoy this considerable following among business enthusiasts in Botswana and the title of 'Botswana's number one selling local magazine'.
Every month the business has to make sure to fill their pages with relevant reliable content. Wealth's biggest and most prized motto is 'respect the reader'. Every Issue is loaded with world class articles which are laser-guided to the modern business needs of Batswana.
The style of Management
Entrepreneurship is focused on identifying new opportunities, innovating and acting to exploit the market opportunities. When looking at management, it is concerned with the direction, control, resourcing and administration of the business organisation. Both are needed to achieve long term success of the business. This style of management imposed by Adam Jones is entrepreneurial. As we recognise entrepreneurs by the tasks that they do, in this case, Adam is the owner of the business and has found a new organisation. He has brought innovations to the market and continues to do so by providing something new in each publication. He has the ability to identify new market opportunities and is able to allocate scarce resources. He also provides leadership to his subordinates. Adam is aimed at creating change that adds value to the economy.
When looking at the entrepreneurial management, Adams' focus is on change and on opportunity. Under focus on change he is involved in managing change. He brought together people, money, ideas, and resources in order to build a new organisation. He employs about 20 people including the editors, writers and sales/distribution agents. Under focus on opportunity, he is always searching to do something differently and even better. His innovation creates new value and he is good at pursuing new opportunities rather than conserving the resources and this shows that he sees resources as means to an end but not an end in them.
The organisational structure that can be seen from his business is entrepreneurial. This type of structure is built around him as the entrepreneur and he has specialist knowledge of the product.
Refer to figure 1 (appendix)
The good side of this structure is that, the decision are made faster because he is one making decisions. The structure is more responsive to the market, that is to say, as soon as the element of the market alters, he is able to recognise it and act in a flash. Now, the bad side of the structure is that, the organisation is dependent on the capabilities of the entrepreneur and again, it cannot cope with diversification or growth. This is simply because when the business grows, one person will not be able to cope with the increased volume of decisions. This kind of structure does promote entrepreneurial outcomes as they are no career path for the employees.
An Intrapreneur is someone who acts like an entrepreneur within a larger organisation. We can say that they are action oriented and proactive. They are also risk takers and they are able to think outside the box. Adam is an entrepreneur and with all this qualities mentioned, he can be an intrapreneur in any big business. On the other hand, he cannot be an intrapreneur because Mr Jones doesn't like working for someone else. What he envies is to create small organisations that will become very big in the future.
Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Adam says his magazine has a niche market. Instead of being jack of all trades, he is a master of one. He has a special way of beating his competitors. For example, if his competitors sell a full-page colour advertisement for less than his traditional rate, he offers a substantial discount in order to woo the advertisers. He said that while this may not make as much money on the advertisement, over time this will build a loyal advertising pool. "As a magazine publisher, you have to go after the big advertisers, because for your business to be successful, it has to find solid revenue streams from advertising which is the largest percentage of the profit margin", said Mr. Jones. He takes the customers' feedback to heart. In this case, his customers are the readers and the advertisers. He doesn't undermine the kind of feedback he gets and he makes sure that he acts upon their requests and suggestions. In a nutshell, Adam and his team strives to create the contents that the readers want and not what the editors or writer thinks has to be written.
Creativity and Innovation
Adam Jones stated that networking is a skill that can make someone to become very close to the top leaders in the industry. He has his own strategy of networking. He said when an individual networks, he/she has to be conspicuous, he/she has to go out and connect with many people, build the relationships that are real and strong and also, the maintenance has to be active. One last thing to do when networking is to give as much as you get. He is one person that many people go to when they need something and assists them whole heartedly.
However, networking for magazines come in many different forms and sizes. Wealth magazine is targeted towards ambitious, like minded individuals with an unrelenting hunger for knowledge and drive for Business, whether that is Business ownership or Business Management. This includes current students, recent graduates, employers, and employees of different types. Basically, this means today's Business owners and tomorrows entrepreneurs. This makes networking very broad and dynamic. This includes, youth expos, seminars or trade shows that encourage entrepreneurship and economic diversification initiatives in Botswana. Wealth Magazine team is always eager to teach those less informed as well as learn from many others around us who are successful in their industries. Adam says they learn about their readers' needs, who and where their advertisers want to reach, and if they are fulfilling both of their needs in the ways in which we promised. Attending and being a part of certain key events such as gala dinners also help in meeting key, influential people.
In their line of Business advertisements depend largely on visibility of Wealth to their prospective Clients as well as their advertising budgets. You tend to find that during difficult financial times companies tend to hastily reduce their advertising budgets first. The team has to work twice as hard and fast during such times in order to survive.
Another Challenge we tend to face is Distribution. Wealth is still very much a small company in our earlier years we had distributors; unfortunately our current re-structuring has made our reach in outlets outside of Gaborone a bit smaller than we would like it to be. The business doesn't have distribution channels to readers in remote areas and this leads to information not reaching the whole literate nation. However with the help of Wealth Agents, the business is now distributing to places like Kasane and Jwaneng again. Distribution is Key in the Success of any Magazine.
As an entrepreneur, Adam Jones has faced many challenges. Before venturing into magazine publication business, he heard many critics on his new idea. Many of his friends thought it wasn't possible and he should invest in something else. To his surprise, his parents did not support the idea as they thought it was too risky and never thought of what it could bring to the nation. Some of the reasons he was told by many that Wealth magazine will never exist are as follows;
'who cares what you have to say?'
'There's no money in the magazine businesses'
'you're far too young to venture into that industry'
'It is too hard to start a project like this on your own'
'Nobody cares about entrepreneurship in Botswana'
When analyzing most the young want to - be entrepreneurs, when this kind of questions hit them, they let go of their dreams too early. Many of Batswana cannot stand this type of critics. In short, they do not have mental toughness. Adam Jones has mental toughness and is able to withstand the critics and that is why his business excels.
According to Adam Jones, modern marketing requires organizations to be committed to a market or customer orientation. All parts of their organization coordinate their activities to ensure that customer needs are met effectively, efficiently and profitably.
Wealth Magazine is still a small organization and they believe highly in viral marketing promotional techniques. "We often use existing communication networks such as word of mouth (W.O.M), public relations (PR), creating 'BUZZ' and a lot others to spread the word exponentially."
For Wealth, a mixed media approach has been very effective. They currently run radio advertisements on DUMA FM. Additionally, they still promote the magazine using traditional media such as print advertising and promoting a free service. Cold calling has also proven to be effective in not only creating brand awareness but turning leads to sales as well.
The employees at Wealth magazine are continuously and consistently involved in initiatives encouraging economic diversification and entrepreneurship in our country.
"This is the age of the virtual consumer. We are in a world dominated by digital and social media. In this next decade of social media dominance; to survive change, one has to anticipate it, and to be successful.......you must embrace it." Adam added.
Since their operation, their main focus has been their Facebook group 'Building Wealth in Botswana' as well as our blog http://wealthbotswana.tumblr.com/. The group so far has more than 8800 members and their target is to have ten thousand members by the end of year 2012. The group is a warm, safe place where young business minded Batswana can sharpen our killer entrepreneurial skills, Share ideas by starting discussions, Air their grievances, Do market research, Post job opportunities, Find strategic partners who will help us to meet our goals.Â
Thankfully, because of online marketing the company can inexpensively drive much targeted customers to the company website, Facebook group and blog.