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Business Opinion: Visioning the lifecycle of entrepreneurship

Some fail to run their start-ups up to corporate level because they skip a stage.

THE path to entrepreneurship is usually under-rated and not traced as a cycle by many of our practitioners.

That might be the reason why the debate on whether entrepreneurs are born or made is endless.

As experienced in various sectors of our enterprising, there are some developmental stages that ought to be followed by the entrepreneurs in a sequential manner.

Some fail to run their start-ups up to corporate level because they skip a stage.

That is self-destructive as can be testified by other entrepreneurs, who skipped the cycle to an extent of being forced to close.

However, through this discussion we will guide each other so as to realise that there is still a chance for structural formation through a well- monitored entrepreneurial lifecycle.

In this edition, we then refer to visioning that is anchored on traceable entrepreneurial cycle.

To start with, a business is developed from an idea that is generated by an individual or a group.

The idea is critical not only in initiating the cycle but also developing/mapping an entrepreneurial vision.

 That is a foundational stage as it solidify various dots towards a structured and synergic growth.

 Financial matters are critical at this stage as discussed in the previous edition and other various platforms.

Since the business propellers are oiled by money as capital and day to day expenses for the vision to be turned into a profitable corporate.

This then becomes a reminder for our idea generation to be financially constructed.

Besides the general revenues and costs, an idea generation should do an averaging simulation.

That is by mapping current/future fixed costs (FC), variable costs (VC) and average revenue (AR) against all the quantities/processes that will be produces along the entrepreneurial lifecycle.

Here the entrepreneur should be forecasting through a viable business idea that is supported by data.

As we progress with the lifecycle, we then go on to sell the idea through various invitations as a stakeholder engaged and led process.

In the initial it was an idea ownership by an individual or group of entrepreneurs. Now at this stage, we sell and find opportunities for the idea.

That is where the dream for success is assessed when partnerships are established, such as venture capitalisation, shareholding and customer building.

Meaning that the entrepreneur should strengthen both financial and non-financial matters for sustainability, whereby automated customer databases are constructed to lead in marketing processes like type of market to focus/segment, the promotional channels to use and human/technology to do various activities.

The entrepreneurial business positions itself at this stage so as to become an unforgettable brand. Also that is the time where brand ambassadors/advocates are identified for improved image, awareness, loyalty and association.

From a financial perspective, the entrepreneur will know/assess types of investments to do within the local and global economy.

Even the level/type of shareholding that the business should adopt going forward.

Up we move with the lifecycle until a stage where the entrepreneur consider not only growth strategies, but also generational matters such as retirement of the owner without closing the business.

Structuring for succession planning through talent management and company trusts should be put in place at this stage of the lifecycle.

Currently, there is a cavity as most entrepreneurs are just selling and doing business for today without considering generational factors.

Besides, there are some innovation-driven structuring that a modern entrepreneurial lifecycle should also put in place.

These include green operations and branding as environmental sustainable practices.

This is where the world has reached such that global modern customers and other stakeholders are no longer engaging into business with entrepreneur who are green shy.

There is need for a lifecycle that does not only promise but move with a practice of green business.

Lastly, every business is prone to dynamics in its internal and external environments which affects every level of the lifecycle.

Of course, it is a reminder to some entrepreneurs as they have passed through this path and adjusted well for continuity but others are still waiting for a surprise. 

Just to inform that the employees/teams we are having or yet to employ come and go, but needs continuous development through trainings as assets. 

Also considering the need for continued technological advanced, research and innovation, these are vital constructs of an entrepreneurial lifecycle that is immortal in this age of doing business.

Therefore, no entrepreneurial business should fast-track its lifecycle towards decline and extinction. We should remain at the apex forever. 

*Dr Farai Chigora is a businessman and academic. He is the head of management and entrepreneurship at the Africa University’s College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance. His doctoral research focused on business administration (destination marketing and branding major, Ukzn, SA). He is into agribusiness and consults for many companies in Zimbabwe and Africa. He writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted for feedback and business at fariechigora@gmail.com, www.fachip.co.zw, WhatsApp mobile: +263772886871

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