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Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality
Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality

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4.1 Key success factors

The skill in developing an enterprise is ensuring the resources and capabilities match the key success factors in any given area. Grant (2010) suggests the key success factors are addressed through asking about customers and the competition.

Questions to ask about customers

  • Who are they?
  • What do they want?

Questions to ask about competition

  • Who are the competition?
  • What are the main dimensions of competition?
  • What drives it and what is the intensity?

These questions ask you to consider how you position yourself in relation to customers and competitors to ensure survival. Or, in other words, how your internal organisation is aligned with the external environment, as the two should be considered together. In this session more time has been allocated to thinking through your internal environment. Partly this is because it is vital for anyone starting a new venture, but also because you will have to be able to find and recognise your own appropriate sources of information about the external environment.

Activity 6 Your key success factors

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Based on the work you have done so far, try to map out your key success factors. You should build on your ideas around what customers want as part of an analysis of demand and assess how organisations survive and prosper in the area of the market you intend to operate through external scans of the market and competition. Having developed these you should try to map them onto your resources and capabilities.

Note that some enterprises will find this easier than others. If you are creating a completely new market (discussed in Session 4), i.e. providing something that customers might not yet know they want, it might be harder to discern the precise nature of competition. However, think in terms of what alternatives there are now and consider that there might be a complete vacuum or absence of competition. Or perhaps it is a venture which is not looking to compete.

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