The Future Of Business is Entrepreneuship

Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder of Chobani Yogurt (photo courtesy of inc.com)

I recently read the story of Chobani, the  famous brand of Greek-style yogurt.

The company founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish emigrant, arrived in the US to study English and ended up building a company that has become the category leader with $600 million in revenue.

What an inspiring story!

What’s really fascinating is the courage,  passion, marketing instincts and simple strategic approach the owner used to succeed in a highly competitive segment.

A true entrepreneur.

Since I deal exclusively with new entrepreneurs and family-owned businesses, I was privileged to get an inside look at how their business is run, and what it takes to compete against the big corporations. Based on my personal observations and the latest economic trends I believe the business model of tomorrow is based on entrepreneurship.

Here  are my top five reasons why:

Determination To Succeed

It’s not easy to start and grow a business. Many of us studied and worked hard to build a successful career in the corporate world. The steady income, a fairly predictable work schedule, good benefits-those are strong reasons that hold people back from starting on their own.

Successful entrepreneurs have the courage to make drastic changes to their careers without looking back. They are risk takers and doers who usually start from the bottom. Their determination and desire to succeed leads to bold and quick decisions, and the ability to make changes when needed.

Efficient Decision-Making Process

The ability to make quick decisions is a natural advantage that entrepreneurs have over the big corporations.

The competitive landscape changes fast. New trends are emerging overnight, and consumer loyalty is shrinking. Decisions such as launching a new product, kill an unprofitable category, refocus their market approach or entering a new market have to be made and implemented quickly in order to keep up with the competition.

While big corporations struggle to find their path to respond to demanding shareholders, entrepreneurs are the ones generating new ideas and building their brands faster. And this is a key competitive advantage in tomorrow’s fast-paced business environment.

True Customer-Focused Approach

The pressure public companies face to meet the profit expectations lead to sometimes irrational decisions: rapid expansion into non-core categories and markets, poor product quality control, and implementation of automated services that eliminates any form of human interaction.

Most entrepreneurs know that maintaining a personal connection with the consumer is what’s keeping their business running. And a better quality product combined with the more personal nature of the service makes for a very strong differentiation strategy.

“Small” is Back

This has nothing to do with the famous advertising campaign for Volkswagen Beetle. It has to do with globalization, the economic reality that is affecting what and where we shop.

There are strong signs that consumers are very willing to support the independent, small local business. Shoppers prefer the better quality product, personalized options and more human way of doing businesses versus dealing with faceless, profit-driven corporations run by Wall Street.

Local manufacturing will also make a comeback, as more consumers prefer to support local economies and buy products made locally.

Changes in Labour Market

Youth unemployment is at an all-time high. In some parts of the world one in two young adults can’t find work. Gone are the days of good paying “employee-for-life” type jobs.

In the developed economies the biggest cost of doing business is labour. In order to remain competitive big companies are offering new hires lower wages and less benefits.

Many young professionals realize that they will have to make it on their own in order to earn a decent living. That’s how entrepreneurship is born.

Although most family-owned businesses struggle to compete with big box stores and multinationals, consumers are on their side. With the proper emphasis of their competitive advantages they will succeed.

What do you think the future of business will look like? I am very interested in your thoughts and predictions in the Comments section below.

Additional ( interesting) reading:

How Turkish ‘Dairy Boy’ Hamdi Ulukaya Started $600 Million Chobani

How Fage Lost the Greek-Yogurt War

Independent We Stand-A Movement of Independently-Owned Businesses