In this case study assignment we’ll look at two very different, yet equally interesting small businesses. Again, we will watch an episode of Start-up USA.
The first business is Detroit Maid (which uses a clever play-on -words). The founder, Danielle is a college-educated entrepreneur who started a very low-tech business. By contrast, Tom founded Maine Coast — a labor and materials intensive wholesale lobster business.
For this assignment, I’d like you to support each of your answers with a research citation. The reason: It is good get both your perspective and the perspectives of an expert. Sometimes a source will help you shape a new opinion; and sometimes reinforce an existing opinion. Either is fine.
Question #1. Danielle used an incubator to launch her business. What small business incubator resources are available in the Orlando area? If Valencia College offered an incubator for student entrepreneurs, would you use it? If yes, what services / issues specifically would you seek help with?
Question #2. Danielle states her biggest challenge is finding and keeping new employees. How would you advise her to recruit, hire and retain employees? Consider not only what we’ve learned about leadership and management, but also alternative ways of gaining access to talent.
Question #3. Earlier in the course we had a discussion, where an entrepreneur stated creating a business plan was as waste or time. Tom, founder of Maine Coast, attributes having a business plan as key to his success in building a $40 Million business. Please research and find a local organization (for profit or non-profit) that will assist Orlando area entrepreneurs draft a business plan. Would you use this service? Why or why not? (note: your assessment is not based on your “yes” or “no” answer, rather your ability to identify potential resources).
Question #4: Tom attributed some of the bank’s willingness to give him a loan to his prior industry experience. What other factors do you think the bankers looked at when making their lending decision? (Hint: by researching the issue of what lenders / investors look for when lending / investing…you should be able to see a few that applies to Tom’s situation).
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