Strategy for being an entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur is more than a job or a career. It is a lifestyle and certain principles may influence your career strategy for being an entrepreneur. You must be flexible and imaginative, be able to plan, give decisions, and implement to achieve your goals. You should be realistic as well as future-oriented. You should be willing to work under conditions of conflict, change, and ambiguity. This will require you to analyze yourself in relation to the environment in which you will have to work.
Your career objectives should be stated in terms of priorities, and the intended outcomes should be related to measurable and meaningful goals. These objectives should be challenging, and should motivate you to learn and grow in your career. You learn best when doing things which interest you, and when you are committed to specific goals. All of these objectives and goals will only be realized through systematic planning and monitoring.
Planning Purpose and Corporate Purpose
It is the planning function that defines the basic mission, goals, and objectives of the company. It is also planning that specifies the strategy to achieve these.
1. Purpose or Mission. Every kind of organized group or operation must have a purpose or a mission. Without a clear definition of purpose or mission, it is difficult for an organization to have clear and meaningful objectives. It is necessary, therefore, for an organization to define who its customers are. It must find a niche or position for itself in the market.
2. Goals and Objectives. Goals are the end results desired by the organization. They are expressed in general terms and may cover a long period, such as from five to ten years. On the other hand, objectives are results targeted for accomplishment over a short period, usually one to three years; they are specific and quantifiable.
3. Strategies. This refers to the determination of the basic long-term goals and objectives of an enterprise, the adoption of courses of action, and allocation of resources necessary to carry out these goals. The elements of strategy are: (a) competitive advantage — an edge factor better than or equal to the competition so the enterprise can survive and grow, (b) market — where there are customers or clients large enough to satisfy all competitive companies or even monopoly, and (c) gap or opportunity for the enterprise to provide goods or services to an identified clientele.
Setting Goals and Objectives
Goals are results or outputs to be achieved by the organization. They comprise purposes and mission statements. Goals are not the only endpoint of planning but the end toward the other management functions such as organizing and controlling are aimed. Also, goals are organizational functions like marketing, technical engineering, marketing, and personnel administration, etc.
Characteristics of Goals
1. Establishing Priorities. The priorities of goals means that at a given point in time, the accomplishment of one goal is more important than the others. For example, a university president might say that teaching is more important than research, while others may say financing is important than teaching because without funds and appropriate tuition, the school may not survive. If no priority of goals is established, conflicts may arise and result in wastage.
2. Time-Horizon of Goals. This means that the goals of an organization have different durations of action, that there are short-run, intermediate, and long-range goals. Short-run goals extend to less than a year. Intermediate goals cover one to five years. Long-range goals may even reach 2000 A.D.
3. Structure of Goals. This means breaking down the organization into different units. For example, the production, sales, and finance department of a company require different goals for each unit, while in a university, the academic and non-academic sectors have different goals, although these are related to each other.
4. Clarity of Goals. Goals should be stated in explicit terms. They should be clear to everyone involved in accomplishing them. Preferably goals should be measurable and quantitative to facilitate monitoring and evaluation.
5. Agreement. Even if the goals are clear, but if there is no agreement about their priority, the organization will have problems. The people involved, from top to bottom, must agree that given goals are important and have certain priority over the others.
6. Matching of Goals to Capability. It is essential, too, that the institution has the resources and skills to accomplish its goals. Goals, therefore, should not be either stated in fantastic terms or understated.
Multiple Goals and Objectives
Multiple goals and objectives are common among organizations; seldom do they have only one goal. Some common objectives are profits, market share, new product development, new financing schemes, new personnel recruitment, or community and public relations improvement. It is necessary, therefore, to have some criteria for priorities.
It is likewise important to put a time-horizon to goals and objectives. An indication of short, intermediate or long-term duration will help the organization to properly mobilize its resources and activities to achieve its goals.
Measurement of Goals
It is not enough to determine only what should be measured in each area of an organization, but also how it should be measured. These are some measurement techniques:
1. Profitably measures—include ratios of profits to sales, total sales, and capital or network.
2. Marketing measures — related to products, markets, distribution, and customer service objectives.
3. Productivity measures — basically, ratios of output to input.
4. Physical and financial measures — indicate the firm's ability to get resources adequate for goal accomplishment.