An Assessment of My Entrepreneurial Capabilities Essay

An Assessment of My Entrepreneurial Capabilities

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Starting a business is always hard. You really do not know what will happen despite a well-defined business plan. With a major in Business Management and four years of work experience as Computer Business Method Administrative Assistant, a legal intern in a law firm and sales person in a retail store, I decided to go into business. In March 2002, I formed Blue Hills Production Unlimited that engages in production of video documentaries, event organizing, desktop publishing, and digital imaging (photo retouching/restoration). In addition, I sub-contract other services like photo-video coverage, t-shirt printing, photo framing and wedding giveaways. I set up a small office, furnished and air-conditioned, at the heart of the city. I have a fax machine, a telephone, three computers, three printers (inkjet, photo and laser), and a Xerox machine. My younger brother Garry, who is a graduate of Fine Arts and a Graphic Designer, and cousin Louie, a video editor compose my staff. I have a database of photographers, camera operators, and artists. The office serves as a drop-in center and a place for closing deals.

Capital. I started the business with my own savings. I disregarded bank loans because I might not be able to meet the terms and conditions as well as produce the requirements. I turned to my parents and grand parents for further financial support. There was a lot negotiation and convincing to do. Most of the tables and chairs in the office came from the house, repaired and repainted. I decreased my personal expenses to save more money. I sold some of my belongings such as old clothes, shoes, bags, scrap iron, plastics and other recyclable products.

Marketing. To market my services I employ several basic strategies which include: a business card, letterheads, a business logo, catalogues and brochures, flyers and handbills, direct mail, newspaper and internet ads, posters and banners, and the yellow pages. To save on advertising costs, I make deals with non-competing businesses to co-advertise with me. Let us say, if a customer buys $30 worth of food products from McDonalds, he gets 10% discount every time he avails my services and vice-versa. I utilize my friends and relatives as sales agents giving them 10% commission for every closed transaction. Every summer, I conduct a company-sponsored seminar, with a fee, for those interested in photo-video editing. This is one tool where I can show the capabilities of my company and promote my services. Besides a colorful panaflex signboard, I created a distinct design for my window display with special lighting to attract customers. The window displays wedding portraits, retouched or restored photographs (before and after), wedding giveaways, and other eye-catching photos taken from several special occasions or events. I maintain a list of my regular customers and send them birthday or Christmas cards to show my appreciation for their continued patronage. During Christmas, I give away company calendars and hold raffles with small prizes like mugs, photo frames, t-shirts, or free photo enlargement. To have a competitive price, I study the price lists of my competitors. Then I compare and compute the average. I want to give my customers full satisfaction so that they would refer me to other potential customers.

Strengths. (1) One of my primary strengths is that I work with people who are experts in their own fields. With a major in Business Management, I have the necessary knowledge and skills to plan and run this business. (2) Not only do I have the right people; I have the right equipment to do the job. (3) I have my family for moral and financial support. (4) I have good relations with my customers, sub-contractors, suppliers and the media. (5) I have a good location of my office, which is at the center of a business district, easily accessible to the public. (6) I have good credit standing with my suppliers, no back accounts. (7) I have all the necessary documents and permits to manage the business. (8) I have hardworking and dedicated personnel.

Weaknesses. (1) I lack personnel. The absence of one affects the business and I always panic to find a replacement. (2) My office cannot accommodate more customers to receive inquiries or make transactions. (3) The occurrence of brownouts even for an hour is a lost opportunity. (4) There are times when the computers bug down. (5) There is neither fix salary nor added benefits like vacation and sick leave or bonuses. (6) Paying taxes always cuts your profit. (7) There are times when funds are unavailable for loans because family members could not raise such amount and would take a long time. (8) Because of no credit policy, some customers turn away. (9) The costs of toner and ink cartridges are quite expensive. (10) At times, I encounter delays when sub-contractors could not meet the deadline and have to resort to personal apology and free delivery.

Opportunities. (1) The government and some non-government organizations recently began implementing loan programs to benefit small entrepreneurs with low interest rates, less requirements, and long-term payment. In addition, they conduct free trainings and seminars. This is a chance for personal development, skills enhancement, and expansion. (2) There is a rise in computer surplus stores in the city, an opportunity to buy cheaper computer parts and units. (3) Mall owners hold trade shows once a month, an occasion to display my services recognize by the people.

Threats. (1) There are at least 10 competitors within the area. (2) The government is implementing strict collection of taxes that might force me to declare all my earnings. (3) There is a construction of a super mall going on. If completed there will be a rerouting of transportation in the area. There is a possibility; many people will no longer pass by my office. For my regular customers, going to my office might cause inconvenience.

Risks and Rewards. Setting up a business is always risky. However, there are also rewards for hard work. During the first six months, there was no cash flow. Customers came mostly to inquire. I have to triple my efforts since I have so many competitors in the area. I spent so much on promotions writing and conceptualizing my own advertising copy. I had more withdrawals than deposits in my savings account. I made deals with reluctant suppliers and sub-contractors who seemed not to trust me since I did not have a solid business name. I signed contracts which I did not fully comprehend the details and made promises to pay which I was not sure of. I took these actions without certainty to keep the business alive and going. Banks rejected me many times because they would only deal with established entrepreneurs with a steady income.

With determination and patience, customers began to arrive at least one or two a day with a closed deal. Slowly people noticed us. They used our fax, payphone, and Xerox services. After a year, the atmosphere was upbeat and I was full of hope. It was very rewarding to see the customers happy with our services. Money came in slowly but surely.

I still have a long way to go as compare to other entrepreneurs. I am learning to beat the odds. There is so much work to do, so much to achieve. What makes me unique, however, from my competitors is that I am diversified. Unlike them, my business is a one-stop shop for couples planning a wedding. Anything to do with photographs, people could find it here in Blue Hills because we offer packages that will make memories affordable and lasting. As long as people get married, celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, attend funerals and baptisms, or politicians campaigning and schools commemorating their foundation day, Blue Hills will continue to exist and preserve those precious moments.


Entrepreneur.Com. (2006) How to Start Your Own Business. Retrieve March 26, 2006 from


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