Friday, March 25, 2016

Week 11 Reading Reflection

1) What was the biggest surprise for you in the reading? In other words, what did you read that stood out the most as different from your expectations? 
Nothing surprised me while reading the article.

2) Identify at least one part of the reading that was confusing to you.
There were many confusing word usages in this article. I felt like I was reading business jargons that I didn’t understand. I’m guessing it’s just the way the author chose to write the article. After all, he is a Harvard professor.

3) If you were able to ask two questions to the author, what would you ask? Why?
I would ask the author “how important is innovation to the success of a business?” I would ask this because I think the Harvard professor will know the answer to this question, and I am curious because I want to know how crucial innovation is to a typical business. Another question I would ask is “how difficult is it to create an innovation strategy?” In the article he describes the innovation strategy to be really beneficial to the company, but it seems difficult to match the innovation strategy to the business strategy. I want to know his take on this.

4) Was there anything you think the author was wrong about? Where do you disagree with what she or he said? How?
No, there wasn’t anything I think the author was wrong about.

Amazon Whisperer

My current revenue driver for Tailored is sales from my services of having customers’ clothes made according to their measurements. This is the only revenue driver for Tailored at the moment. A product venture that would complement my services is to offer customers high-tech sewing machines. These sewing machines would target people that like to sew and are into fashion as well. I plan to make sewing more appealing to the younger generation who is not really interested in learning how to sew like older generations, and instead of trying to fix unraveled thread buy new clothes. I think this product will enhance my services because if there is a problem with the garment or the customer want to alter it, he/she can repair the garment using the sewing machine. The customer switching cost would not increase. In fact, I am going to strive to make my sewing machine much cheaper than competing computerized sewing machines. I would hope this increases customer loyalty, and causes more traffic in store and online. 

I went to Amazon to see if it had a similar product to the one I want to produce, and I found this.

This is a computerized sewing machine from the Brother brand and is one of their Project Runway editions. Brother sewing machines are known for having a high quality, and that’s why I chose this brand as a comparison to the products I am going to produce. It has 100 built-in stitches which justifies its high price. The machine got a 5-star rating from 77% of customer reviews which means most customers were satisfied with the product. I should also mention that there were 841 customer reviews. The disadvantages of the sewing machine according to customers is the machine not being able to sew through thick layers and getting jammed when attempting to do so. Also, many complained about other problems with the machine and constantly having to service it. One person even mentioned that the machine broke after the first use. As for the advantages, many people commented on the affordable price for the many functions. Others talked about the great features like the easy use of the bobbin compared to other sewing machines. I would make the machine with better technology to ensure customers don’t run into problems like with this model but still keep the price of the machine reasonable. I would also try to fix the problem of not being able to sew thick layers of clothing. I think this product would make a great addition to my company because it’s a great product that has a decent demand. I really believe that selling a sewing machine of great quality at a reasonable price can be profitable.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

My Unfair Advantage

This is a list of Tailored’s (my clothing company) resources and their VRIN analysis:

1) $2,000 of loan money
VRIN analysis: This resource isn’t really rare, inimitable, and non-substitutable, but it is valuable because it can help getting my company started. I can then multiply the money through profits.

2) My connects of successful business people, including an entrepreneur
VRIN analysis: It isn’t a valuable or inimitable resource. Other people don’t know all the people in my network, and this makes this resource rare. I think this resource is non-substitutable because you can’t replace the people that I know. They are important and have important information. 

3) My encouraging personality to get my employees to feel like an important contribution to the company and foster productivity
VRIN analysis: My personality is fairly rare. After all, everyone is created unique, and there is probably no one else like me. It’s also valuable because getting employees to complete tasks can be profitable in the long run. My personality is inimitable it can’t be easily copied by others, and it’s also non-substitutable.

4) My experience in retail, and having a job where I learned the structure of running a clothing store
VRIN analysis: This resource isn’t really rare because many other people have experience in retail. It’s also not valuable or inimitable. It’s non-substitutable because experience working in a clothing store isn’t something that is easy to duplicate.

5) A clan culture where employees feel comfortable and engage in teamwork
VRIN analysis: This is valuable because once again a productive environment can be profitable, especially with teamwork. A clan culture isn’t rare because many organizations already have clan cultures. It’s not inimitable because it’s easy for other organizations to copy the clan culture. It’s non-substitutable since there really isn’t another culture that offers the comfort that the clan culture offers.

6) Knowledge of finance that can help me when running my business, especially when it comes to making sure the company is profitable
VRIN analysis: It isn’t a rare resource. It is valuable because of the rewards it can provide to the company. It is not inimitable because anyone can get a Finance degree, and also not non-substitutable because Accounting majors can do what Finance majors do.

7) Basic knowledge of foreign languages that can benefit me when conducting business with people who don’t speak English
VRIN analysis: This isn’t a rare resource because many people know foreign languages. I’m not sure how valuable this resource can be. It can be easily imitated by others and therefore it is not inimitable. It’s non-substitutable because the benefits of being to communicate with others of a different language can’t easily be replaced.

8) Capability of working hard to make sure the company stays afloat
VRIN analysis: Hard work pays off, so I would say it’s a valuable resource. It’s not rare because many people are hard working. It can be imitated as well and can substituted by computers and robots.

9) People in my corner that can encourage me during hard times and give me advise on business decisions
VRIN analysis: This is a fairly valuable resource because good advice can save my company from coming to a dead end. It’s not rare because I’m sure many people have professional advisors that they can talk to. This can be copied by other companies and substituted by computer software.

10) My passion to see others happy and satisfied which can help when dealing with customer service
VRIN analysis: This is a valuable resource because it can convert into customers coming back to the company for repurchasing products. It is not rare because I’m sure many others like to see people happy and because of that it is not inimitable. I’m certain this can be substituted by something like a high-quality product that can satisfy the customer the same way.

It looks like my personality is my top resource because it’s the only one that satisfies all the characteristics of the VRIN analysis. It’s the most important resource because I truly believe that who we truly are makes up our human capital. My personality is something that is special to me and not easily duplicated, and it can also make my company profitable because it’s providing benefits to my coworkers and customers.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Week 10 Reading Reflection

1) What was the biggest surprise for you in the reading? In other words, what did you read that stood out the most as different from your expectations? 
Nothing really surprised me in the reading, but I did learn more about accounting and finance from the chapter. Many of the financial terms that I learned before in accounting class I forgot about, and this chapter reminded me of them. It also showed me budgeting formulas.

2) Identify at least one part of the reading that was confusing to you.
Like I mentioned before, I am familiar with the finance aspect of the chapter because I am a Finance major. Because of this, there was nothing that really confused me about the chapter.

3) If you were able to ask two questions to the author, what would you ask? Why?
I would ask the author, “How much finance knowledge does an entrepreneur need to know?” I would ask this because I want to know how advanced in finance an entrepreneur has to be for success. I would also ask him, “How much marketing does an entrepreneur need to know to be successful?” I would ask this because I forgot to ask this question when we were reading the marketing chapter.

4) Was there anything you think the author was wrong about? Where do you disagree with what she or he said? How?
No, I don’t disagree with anything the author has written about.