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It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that any company has to align its performance with a specific entrepreneurial orientation. The rule is applicable for big as well as small business. In small-sized firms, however, the orientation aspect plays a pivotal role since it determines the company’s success from the perspectives of revenues, corporate growth, and liquidity of the assets. The following paper focuses on the description and evaluation of a small firm in terms of its entrepreneurial orientation and suggestions of the appropriate strategy.
The company under discussion is called Travado Delivers. The firm was founded in 2006. Travado Delivers operates in the industry of food retailing and supply. At the current moment, the firm serves approximately 2, 500 properties in the United States. The main purpose of the company’s services is optimization of retailing operations for small and medium businesses (Travado Delivers 2015). The firm considers optimization to be indispensable component of its performance; thus, it utilizes innovations for boosting its operations.
The key areas of the company’s performance is outsourcing and optimizing product sales online. As Travado Delivers is a customer-driven firm, it appreciates convenience and time of its customers. Next, the company designs flexible fixtures, displays, and planograms for retailing operations in order to visualise and contextualise suggested strategies for retailing operations. The service is the most innovative in the company, as it applies intelligent tools of calculating the probability and feasibility of chosen retailing strategies (Travado Delivers 2015). In consequence, Travado Delivers develops effective retailing plans for its customers, which is an essential component for a company of any size. Therefore, the firm strives for offering the most effective solutions to retail planning. The firm manages to lower the costs on the goods to be delivered, so that the services of the company become available for every single grocery store or small shop.
Travado Delivers suggests cost-effective solutions to any customer. The firm’s original mission is optimization of customer’s retailing operations based on the available budget. Hence, its vision statement is to operate with the most flexible and cost-effective means of retail procedures for gaining a maximum strategic advantage for the customers.
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Generally speaking, the firm builds and identifies the most apt retail solutions for its customers throughout simplification of supply chain management. The enterprise firmly believes that business operation does not have to be complicated for small and medium companies. The firm values its ability to provide the customers with affordable technological application and servicing. Such services as optimization, auto-replenishment, field merchandising, and retail accounting are delivered via appliance of up-to-date models and tools of optimization (Travado Delivers 2015). Eventually, it should be noted that Travado Delivers is a successful firm in the market, as it managed to win numerous contests and awards. The company is planning to increase its annual revenues by 3% within five years, as its current growth of rate is 1.5% for three years only. The factor is a distinct evidence of the company’s business success, but its entrepreneurial orientation can be a problem that may lead to a decline in the future. Therefore, it is pivotal to conduct the analysis of the firm’s business orientation and apply an effective framework for measuring the firm’s success.
Among a wide range of measures of entrepreneurial orientations, a metric of innovativeness is suggested for Travado Delivers. It is the most recent development in terms of entrepreneurial assessment as it depicts the capacity of the firm to optimize its business to a maximal extent. Innovativeness of small companies, however, is measured in comparison to revenues of the firm. Moreover, inefficient innovations imply a wrong orientation of the firm (Boehm 2008). The main criteria for measuring innovativeness are the application of the innovative techniques and tools for achievement current strategic objectives of the firm and the revenues growth. The two metrics do not presuppose any scale or break-even point as long as a correlation between innovative technologies and revenues is unique for every single company (Boehm 2008). One should not confuse effectiveness of the innovations with its costs. In fact, some technologies can be inappropriately used, which does not mean that their applicability is redundant.
Travado Delivers currently demonstrates a growth of revenues by 1.537% within 3 recent years. It is an average result for small business. However, it should be noted that the firm would have gained more results if the management utilized its innovations appropriately. Therefore, a SWOT analysis is needed to determine the optimal growth strategy, since it is now difficult to identify whether the company uses its innovative tools to its maximal extent. Despite the slow growth rate, it is possible to admit that Travado Delivers implements some innovative technologies in outdated operations. The increase in speed of operations will potentially boost revenues, as intelligent techniques for processing more orders and requests in a shorter period increase the sales. The firm needs to widen its innovative capabilities as current innovations are obviously insufficient for a proactive growth of revenues.
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It is also essential to analyse entrepreneurial orientation of the firm as a means for meeting certain strategic objectives. The main purpose of the analysis is to determine what actions are taken and what methodology is applied. It is usually a complex of practices, actions, and decision-making, which are focused at a particular set of objectives (Jones 2009). Moreover, achievement of the goals is expected to create a certain basis for a further strategic planning. In other words, the firm should perform on the basis of market dynamics; otherwise its entrepreneurial orientation will not address the current state of the business environment. Travado Delivers’ innovations are effective, but they do not render sufficient growth dynamics to the firm. Another challenge is that the company does not differ from the rest of its competitors (Jones 2009). Innovations of the company should demonstrate its strong aspects and fill potential gaps. Currently, Travado Delivers applies operational framework change without any respect to its strategic alignment.
Currently the marketing orientation of the firm is based on the customer-driven performance. Innovations boost operational performance of Travado Delivers, while customer communication remains to be unaddressed. Customers expect interactive and flexible delivery and excellent result, so that customers will be able to use Travado Delivers for the entire business life-cycle. Hence, entrepreneurial and market orientations are completely opposing dimensions, since the first one aims at meeting the internal requirements, while the second strategy is particularly oriented at satisfaction of customer needs.
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Currently, Travado Delivers’s business change strategy is not implemented to a sufficient extent. Thus, innovativeness of the company should be considered as partial because the firm has a better potential of meeting both internal objectives and external expectations.
As long as the business environment of the company is uncertain, the management of Travado Delivers is not able to foresee its success in the future (Landstrom & Lohrke 2010). Therefore, a wide range of business opportunities can be unnoticed. Thus, the company needs a considerable change in the current operations, as entrepreneurial orientation is vague and brings insufficient results. Reconsideration of its key strength and values is the primary task of the change. Innovations are aimed to change towards serving the functions of customer communication, interface, and flexibility. A lack of interaction is one of the factors that led the company to a business environment uncertainty. Travado Delivers is losing its business dynamics as it is striving for false strategic objectives. The contemporary market requires not only optimized solutions to retailing problems, but a flexible and integrating customer communication approach as a trend on a customisation keeps intensifying.
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Travado Delivers is recommended to apply best practices of changes management as the suggested amendments are essential for the future orientation of the firm. Its current entrepreneurial orientation and framework for innovative operations does not comply with the tendency in the market and the industry as a whole. Moreover, a proper timing should be considered. The change can be implemented within the next 12 month so that it is easier to audit all expenditures and rearrangements in assets of the firm (Recardo & Jones 2013). Needless to say, the assessment of response of personnel and customers in required as the managers should be able to trace a reaction on the proclaimed change strategy. In case observations suggest positive environment for the change, the final decision will be made based on the response. The change to market orientation is expected to be indispensable so that no possibility of getting back to the previous layout can be implied (Recardo & Jones 2013). Eventually, the company will need to conduct internal optimization and elimination of uncertainties regarding a new business strategy. Despite the fact that Travado Delivers does not face any challenges regarding growth of revenues today, such issues are tending to emerge in the later years of business maturation. Thus, the suggested plan should be implemented within a term of 12 month to avoid the fall of the business progress. A framework of change management should be applied as the firm needs to change its business orientation considerably.
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Regarding social media in the business performance of the company under evaluation, it should be admitted that Travado Delivers utilizes Twitter only. The firm posts some tweets, but their frequency is insufficient. As a result, the page of the company obtains low popularity in the social network. Thus, the the first disadvantage of the company in the social market arena is that it is hard to find the company’s blog related to retailing and small business. Secondly, effectiveness of Twitter’s account is extremely poor since it seems to be used just for following the overall trend on employing social media in business. The firm underestimates the opportunities of Twitter and other social networks in the contemporary world. Some activity can be observed in the company’s Twitter page, but it is not effective as the entire arrangement of the page does not promote the purposeful activities aimed at gaining competitive advantage or any strategic goals.
Social media networks are a good tool to link to a maximum of potential customers. Thus, the primary objective for utilizing social networks is to address a global context of the company’s strategic planning (Hartley 2010). The firm should emerge in the most relevant segments of social media. At the same time, filling gaps in the online marketing strategy is also a desired goal, since it will potentially attract new customers and widen the target market. Besides, Twitter of Travado Delivers is not optimized to the appropriate level of the business performance. The company loses the benefits of other social networks, as they are capable of rendering other strategic advantages. Even though CEO has LinkedIn, it is regarded as a related social media since it does not provide information about the company. Overall, Travado Delivers does not address a global context of its business via social media or the use of Internet media is inefficient.
Moreover, no connections to innovativeness of the company can be seen in the Twitter page. Internal operations are conducted without reporting or sharing of experience through Internet means. The firm does not report about its achievements so that it is not attractive for potential customers as they do not have information about the credibility of Travado Delivers. Innovative technologies should be used not only for simplification of retailing processes, but also for self-promotion. In fact, self-advertising is the trendiest determiner of a company’s success. If online marketing is ignored, the firm will not attract new customers. In the better case, it will secure its current customer segment (Hunter 2013). Absence of any social media and online promotion will result in the decrease in business dynamics, and Travado Delivers will start losing its revenues. Thus, the company has to improve its performance and strive towards more sophisticated business objectives.
Likewise, the firm fails to establish customer communication throughout social media. The company’s Twitter does not witness a substantial number of retweets and replies as the majority of the customers are not even signed up for the page of Travado Delivers. Therefore, it is possible to admit that the firm’s market orientation towards customer communication does not correlate with its current use of social media. The firm does not provide any marketing and business context on its Twitter page, so that an extremely low number of its current and potential customers read the company’s page. Social media profiles are expected to be updated on a regular basis in order to deliver to the subscribers the relevant and interesting content. Thus, regular use and updates of Twitter and creation of the other social networks is required for Travado Delivers.
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The firm has to make its content meaningful within all social networks. It should be not only the company’s news and reports, but some related and additional content. It can be contests and informal blogs for customers, updates on loyalty programs, and etc. (Funk 2011). The organisation is recommended to share its technological experience and best practices, arrange master classes and webinars so that current and potential customers will be involved in the business processes of the firm. As soon as content is placed and diversified, it is pivotal to leverage the scriber group. Regular customers should be invited for participation in loyalty programs or testing the recent innovative technologies that the firm has acquired (Funk 2011). As for a group of potential and irregular customers, the firm’s social media profiles are supposed to advertise, promote, and demonstrate the company’s strength and opportunities. Thus, various sales and market forecasts, reviews on certain technologies, and participation in important events can be appropriate content for motivating customer decision-making.
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Taking the aforementioned points into account, Travado Delivers needs to start reporting about its innovative operations and critically evaluate their current success. The experience should be shared, and the company has to give advice regarding the most frequent issues of retailing operations or supply chain management. It is possible to place F.A.Q. section at the firm’s website and all social media profiles. Some master classes can be posted in a form of guides and tutorials. Travado Delivers is also recommended to create a blog reporting about daily routines of the company so that strategic achievements as well as some “behind the scenes” events are available for public access. The firm is advised to post surveys, interviews with customers and experts, share related articles, videos, and presentations. In general, the main aim for Travado Delivers is to align its innovativeness and customer-driven marketing orientation through all possible social networks in order to increase its customer segment and obtain better competitive position.
Travado Delivers should transfer its customer-driven orientation into the dimension of the Internet and social media. Live chats, newsletters via emails, and online customer support will contribute to the improvement of customer communication (Hall & Rosenberg 2009). Specific announcements and offers can be also posted in all social media profiles and sent to all subscribers, since customers might like to stay up-to-date with the latest news of the company. On the contrary, newsletters, offers, and advertisements do not have to be excessively frequent and disturbing, as it may annoy the recipient and customers may be dissatisfied. The main purpose of customer communication online is based on the freedom of choice; otherwise the clients will avoid visiting the company’s online resources because it contains unnecessary and disturbing information (Hall & Rosenberg 2009). Social media do not have to advertise the firm explicitly but provide a meaningful content that will be sufficient to prefer the firm. To the largest extent, the firm should “excite” its customers via social media and the website. In other words, social media are recommended to deliver content, which is beyond the terms of business (Flynn 2012). The entire complex of data should be aligned with a certain concept, idea, or even the story of the firm’s success. The customers tend to watch the company developing since it is reflected on their personal benefits. Communication with the market is supposed to be customized so that Travado Delivers will be not confused with any similar firm. The company needs to develop its online brand so that sharing and reposting of its content will be able to become an Internet trend (Flynn 2012). That is why utilizing YouTube and Instagram is also desired. They can be used for posting video blogs, promos, commercials, webinars, tutorials and just catchy videos about the firm’s daily routines. Furthermore, a plug-in live radio and regular podcasts are an operative strategy for advancing in communication with customers.
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An example of successful company that has been utilizing social networking from the beginning of its performance in a small business is The Prospecting Expert. In fact, the following solutions boosted a corporate growth of organisation. The Prospecting Expert was striving for integration of innovative technologies with social media and Internet. Customers were kept informed about new blogs and podcasts via weekly newsletters, email, and posts in all social media profiles. The Prospecting Expert managed to design an information technology, which was sorting the preferences of the signed up customers. The outcome of such program was that the customers received only the information that was interesting for them. Today, The Prospecting Expert applies such high information technologies in order to intensify its business dynamics and widen its social presence. Since The Prospecting Expert is business-to-business service, its example is an inspiration for the case of Travado Delivers.
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