Table of Contents
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- Part A
- History, Nature, Mission, and Target Markets of the Business
- Objectives of the Business for the Next Five Years
- Part B
- Measuring Entrepreneurial Orientation
- Comparing and Contrasting Entrepreneurial Orientation and Marketing Orientation
- Recommendation for Improvement in Entrepreneurial Orientation (12 Month Business Plan)
- Product/Services Development
- Market Development
- Strategy Objectives
- Implementation and Control
- Part C
- Ampush’s Use of Social Network
- The Use of Social Networking to Improve Performance
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There has been an upsurge of entrepreneurial spirit in recent years. It is evidenced by numerous business start-ups coming up on a daily basis. In addition, many government’s developmental strategies are being built around entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial education is being offered in institutions of learning, as many are eager to try to acquire knowledge on starting ventures. Entrepreneurship is not an easy venture. It is marked by hardships, which can only be overcome by resilient spirit (Kauffman 2015). Many successful entrepreneurs share their stories about start-ups and how their ideas failed in the market. Some have had difficulty putting together the capital necessary to start their ventures thus having to halt their dreams. Despite all this hardships, some ventures have managed to thrive growing into large businesses offering employment to many people. One such business is Ampush Media, Inc., better known as Ampush. This report utilises Ampush media, Inc. as a case study to analyse the general sense of small entrepreneurial firms in terms of their orientation and the use of social media in their activities.
History, Nature, Mission, and Target Markets of the Business
Ampush Media, Inc. is a social advertising company founded in 2009 by three entrepreneurs: Chris Amos, Jesse Pujji and Nick Shahmet (Huspeni 2013). They hold the positions of President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and Chief Operating Officer (COO), respectively. The company was started when the three co-founders resigned their jobs on Wall Street. The company started out with five employees. Today it boasts of more than 100 members of staff. The headquarters of the business are in San Francisco, California. The mission of the company is to find innovative ways to drive growth for its customers (Ampush 2015). The vision of the company is to offer the simplest way of reaching people through advertising on social media sites.
The company provides social media advertising solutions to its clients. As a result, clients are able to take full advantage of social media to reach potential markets and grow their revenues. This is where the theoretical framework of resource-based view (RBV) comes in, because the firm advances its competitive advantage through distinctiveness in the course of its operations. Accordingly, they work on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Notably, the target markets of Ampush are businesses, which want to use advertising to reach out to potential customers. Some of the customers of this company include MasterCard, Sojo Studios, and HotelTonight.
Objectives of the Business for the Next Five Years
In tandem with the theoretical framework of resource-based view (RBV) that focuses on the promotion of competitive advantage, Ampush Media, Inc. has put in place a number of objectives for the next five years that are meant to assist the company in its planning by providing guidance and direction. According to CrunchBase (2015), the objectives of the company are:
- To spread its scope of social media advertising by acquiring new advertising deals with other social media sites. The company has already established partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram;
- To develop unique advertising software that will give the company competitive advantage;
- To become the number one online brand building company;
- To achieve long-term profit growth.
Measuring Entrepreneurial Orientation
The management of Ampush could use the Likert-type scale to measure its EO (Arbaugh, Cox & Camp 2009). This scale is applied to the key dimensions and constructs of entrepreneurship in the range of 1-5 or 1-7. The results can then be used to make entrepreneurial decisions and take action. The key dimensions and constructs to be used by the management of Ampush are risk taking, pro-activeness, innovativeness, competitive aggressiveness and autonomy.
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To measure the company’s risk taking tendency, management should assess whether they usually take up risky projects to achieve objectives or not. In measuring the company’s pro-activeness, the management should assess it in terms of the company’s ability to deal with its competitors. It should determine whether it initiates actions to which its competitors respond or not. In this case, it is necessary to establish whether the company is the first one to introduce new products and techniques. Measuring innovativeness entails assessing the company’s inclination to research and development (Jalilian, Jamshidinavid & Ghanbary 2013). The company can determine how many new products it has introduced into the market within a given time frame. In order to determine competitive aggressiveness, the company should assess how it responds to decisions-making situations with the high degree of uncertainty. In order to have competitive aggressiveness, the company should be able to adapt bold and aggressive decisions in order to fully exploit opportunities (Kusumawardhani, McCarthy & Perera 2009). Measuring autonomy entails assessing the company’s ability to support teams working autonomously.
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Comparing and Contrasting Entrepreneurial Orientation and Marketing Orientation
Both entrepreneurial orientation and marketing orientation are meant to reflect a company’s priority in what it needs in order to achieve its goals (Wang 2008). The two orientations differ in their priorities. Market orientation focuses on the priorities set to create value for existing and potential customers. It also focuses on priorities needed to satisfy customers’ needs. On the other hand, entrepreneurial orientation shows the priorities set by company to identify and exploit new market opportunities (Wiklund & Shepherd 2005). Entrepreneurial and market orientation can be perceived to be mutually exclusive, because they both affect the operational competencies of companies.
Recommendation for Improvement in Entrepreneurial Orientation (12 Month Business Plan)
The 12 month business plan presents suggestions and recommendations for the improvements in entrepreneurial orientation for the following areas of business using a number of analytical frameworks.
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The Ansoff matrix could be used to make improvements to the entrepreneurial orientation with regards to product/service development. In this case, Ampush should strive to develop new products and services targeting of its current market to achieve growth. According to Gianos (2013), it is done by extending product availability within a time frame of nine months.
The Ansoffian theory could also be applied to improve market development in order to improve the company’s entrepreneurial orientation. Through the market development strategy, a company should strive to expand into new markets using its current strategies (Kipley, Lewis & Jeng 2012). This strategy will be the most successful one if the firm has a unique product to offer in the market. Market development should be done within the first six months of operations.
The company should adopt strategy objectives that allow it to thrive despite the hardships experienced in the market. This task can accomplished using the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Matrix. In this case, Ampush should develop products and services that are cash cow in nature. This way the company will always maintain a high market share despite the slow growth of its industry (Reeves, Moose & Venema 2014). This should be done within the first six months of operations.
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It is significant that the company makes targets that promote the growth of it business. For instance, the Ansoff framework of diversification encourages companies to target growth by introducing new products into the market. It is a very risky strategy, but its success will prove very valuable for the company. The company should strive to develop the targets it wants to achieve within the first five months of operations.
Planning is important for any company that wants to succeed. Effective planning is even more significant. This should be done within the first month of operation, as it acts as a way of guiding the company towards its goals. The company can apply all the tools of the Porter’s or Ansoff tools to effectively plan for its business.
Budgeting is a very critical step to take, especially for a young small business. Being a small business, the company’s budget is tight and thus it will have to spend its money carefully. The budget should be divided to cover the operational costs of the company such as rent of office space, equipment, supplies and minor additional costs. For instance, it could rationalise its budget as follows.
|Salaries and Wages||70,000|
|Repairs and Maintenance||15,000|
Implementation and Control
Implementation and control is very significant in guaranteeing the success of a marketing plan. Effective implementation will highlight appropriate action plans with listed activities showing who accomplishes them and how they are accomplished. This can be done using a Gantt chart. According to Wilson (2003), with the help of a Gantt chart the company can be able to use its time efficiently and thus increase its productivity.
Ampush’s Use of Social Network
The age of social media has made it easy for businesses to interact with existing and potential customers on a somewhat personal level (Tsimonis & Dimitriadis 2013). For a business like Ampush, social media is an important component of operations, because the company is a social advertising firm. It partners with social networks like Facebook, twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to provide feeding advertising to its clients so that they can reach people and grow their revenue. Besides meeting the needs of their clients through social media, the company uses the sites to reach out to potential customers. This is especially significant, as social sites contribute to achieving communication and relationship marketing objectives.
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According to Ampush (2015), the company uses Facebook to run marketing campaigns for mobile marketers through its software AMP. Through Ads API, Ampush has joined other companies to provide mobile advertising through Instagram. The company has been able to achieve effective communication and relationship marketing objectives through the following ways. By applying a personalised approach, the company has been able to reach out to its customers (Burton, Wu & Prybutok 2010). This is done using social media to send personalised messages to customers. It is, however, important to frame and time the messages in such a way that they do not become an annoyance to the customer. Secondly, it is important to keep track of changes on the social sites. Due to the advancement in technology, social sites keep on being enhanced. It is important up with these changes so as to continue using the sites effectively.
The Use of Social Networking to Improve Performance
The following is a report on entrepreneurial suggestions for the management of Ampush to use to improve its performance using social networking. This approach will also be essential for assisting the company improve its future entrepreneurial orientation. It is imperative to note that as a small business, the company faces budget constraints emanating from limited financial resources. The recommendations made are as follows.
- The company should use social media sites to market its services. For instance, through the Facebook page, the company can market its various services to customers. Only one person will be required to manage this strategy. As a result, the company will be able to increase its coverage while reducing its marketing costs.
- It is recommended that the company customises its advertising platform to ensure that it effectively captures the customer’s eye.
- It is recommended that the company uses an online social media platform for the recruitment of new employees. It will be cheaper to advertise jobs than using such recruitment methods as employment agencies.
- In line with the budget constraint, it is also recommended that the company uses social networking to increase brand awareness within the budget of the company.
Entrepreneurship has proven to be an economic building activity that has enabled many people to realise their dreams. For instance, the case study of Ampush indicates that it has been able to embrace and integrate social media throughout its business structure. It uses social media to advance not only its own business, but also the businesses of its customers, as it is a social ad-technology company. The company’s entrepreneurial orientation is aimed at improving its overall performance in certain areas of operations. By applying analytical models such as Porter’s five forces, BCG matrix and Ansoff matrix, the company has been able to make improvements to its performance. Therefore, social media can be used to improve the overall performance of an organisation.
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