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Conclusion

We have defined entrepreneurship, explained its specific components, and put the components into a process that is easily understood and easily applicable to various business ideas. Clearly, opportunity recognition and shaping is at the heart of the process—and there is a vast difference between a great idea and a viable opportunity. Eighty-five percent of all successful entrepreneurs spend at least three to five years in their industry learning the language and niches before setting out in that industry to start a business.[4] This is an incredibly powerful principle that is especially compelling in the franchise relationship. If the franchisor can transfer its experience and bundle it with the entrepreneurial talents of franchisees, then the opportunity is leveraged and scaled.

As discussed, the three most important elements of this opportunity recognition process are market demand, market structure and size, and margin analysis. Without substantially understanding these elements as they pertain to your opportunity, determining whether it is a viable one or just a pipe dream would be a wild guess at best. But once these elements are identified, studied, and analyzed, you can proceed to the second major component of the entrepreneurial process: resource marshaling. Remember the mantra of the entrepreneur, especially during startup phase: Minimize and control rather than maximize and own. Even with superior opportunity recognition and sophisticated resource marshaling, people with relevant experience drive the entire entrepreneurial process. Central to the issue of people is the consideration of the characteristics or vital organs of the entrepreneurial team. Are they opportunity-obsessed and able to deal with ambiguity, and do they have clear leadership skills? These are important questions with consequential answers. Ultimately, leadership in the entrepreneurial environment is the process of constantly evaluating and shaping the opportunity—and subsequently balancing the human, financial, and physical resource requirements that are needed for the venture to begin, launch, grow, and succeed.


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