Ben Janson is the entrepreneur, who has established a small chain of fashion stores in London. This person has started his business when he was twenty-four years old. At that time, the only thing which he had was his faith in future success and the great desire to start his own business. It can be assumed that the dreams of this person have come true. Today, he is proud of having three great stores in London malls and a big number of devoted clients, who choose his stores because they know that Ben Janson sells stylish high-quality items for a reasonable price. Moreover, his stores are marked by the home atmosphere, which is different from that of others because of friendly shop-assistants, cozy interior, and tasty coffee with home-baked cookies. This creates a unique mix of care and style, which is quite rare nowadays. Through the investigation of the steps taken by the young entrepreneur, this paper makes an attempt to understand what activities have finally led to his success.
Childhood and Early Years of the Entrepreneur
Ben Janson was a second child in the family. He had doting parents, who loved and took care of him and his sister. His family was not wealthy, but they owned a grocery store, which gave them a substantially good profit. Since the early years, Ben worked together with his parents. Today, he states that family had a great impact on his entrepreneurship abilities. From the early years, he saw how his parents treated their customers. These were not just clients, but family friends. The father knew the preferences of all the clients and always tried to satisfy them.
The literature analysis states that the family has really a groundbreaking influence on the entrepreneur’s abilities because of the notion “familiness” (Shi 2014, p. 27).
This term presupposes three dimensions: business objectives, resources, and decision-making.
- Business objectives: these are the fundamental aspects, which create the ground for business initiating. Leo-Paul Dana and Veland Ramadani (2015) emphasize that familiness presupposes obtaining the long-term family income and stability together with family satisfaction (p. 13). Moreover, the family business objectives include trust, cohesion, involvement, and commitment.
- Resources: the researchers put an emphasis on particular resources within the realm of the term “familiness”, which include social capital, human capital, financial capital, and physical capital (Nordqvist and Zellweger 2010, p. 18).
- Decision-making: when the notion of “familiness” is applied to business, the process of decision-making changes greatly (Dagnino 2012, p. 347). In case of familiness, a businessman takes into account not only the effectiveness of the certain strategy and the possible profits, but also the effect which it might have on the customers. Familiness assumes close ties with the clients, and the entrepreneur constantly analyses the consequences of his approaches on his customers’ attitude and general perceptions of his business.
Ben Janson stated that his father always tried to be loyal with the customers. During the periods of economic recession, the family tried to preserve democratic pricesit as understood that purchasing abilities of their clients were reduced. Moreover, Ben’s family always put an emphasis on the quality of their products. Their motto was “Buy less, but of high quality”. Ben agreed with his father’s attitude towards business and retained it while developing his own business strategy.
One of the triggering events, which made Ben consider the possibility of starting his own business happened during the economic recession, which flooded the country during the 2008-2010 temporal period. Ben was helping his father in the shop when he noticed the young man, who entered the door. Ben asked him about the possibility of assistance, and the young man stated that he wanted bread, cheese, and chips. Later, it turned out that the man did not have enough money to pay for those products. Ben started talking to that guy and learned that he worked in a bank, but was fired due to the economic downturn. That situation made a great impression on Ben because he realized that the absence of job might turn the individual with higher education into a beggar. At that moment, he decided to start his own business. According to him, it was “the only chance to be employed forever, and being deprived of the fear of resignation”.
Today, Ben reminds that case with a smile and states that it was a useful experience, which has shown him his true place in life. In such a way, he understood his inner desires and started making first steps in order to make his wishes come true.
Description of the Business Start-Up
During the interview, Ben stated that starting a business was difficult because he had a rough idea of it. Paul Burns in his work “Entrepreneurship and Small Business” (2010) emphasized that the key factors influencing the start-up include the idea, personal attributes, knowledge of customers and competitors, marketing strategy, and resources (p. 143). At the beginning, Ben knew only his idea and had certain personal attributes. However, he managed to achieve success because he worked hard and made the accurate analysis of all the other factors.
Knowledge of Competitors
According to Ben Janson, finding data about the competitors was the significant part of his start-up process. Opening a fashion store was his dream, but he understood that in order to attract the customers in London, he had to take the differentiating strategy. At first, he decided to make the analysis of the strategies applied by his competitors. Researchers Meyer and Crane discussed the issue of competitors in their work and emphasized that “distinct positioning from the current competitors cannot be overstated” (p. 133). The competitors’ monitoring conducted by Mr. Janson was a right thing. It assisted him to understand what products were popular on the market, what was the demand, and what features were necessary to make his business different from others, but at the same time popular among the customers. He collected the data about the competitors in a legal and ethical way in order to have the general understanding about their market strategies and the approaches which they applied.
Knowledge of Customers
This knowledge was also extremely essentials because customers were the people, who could made him succeed or fail. The analysis of the customers’ market presupposed understanding the buyers’ power and their general preferences (Bums 2010, p. 147). Kaplan and Warren (2009) mention that the identification of the potential customers is the first step which has to be taken while starting a new business. They state that the entrepreneur has to pay attention to market identification, current and best customers, potential customers, and different outside factors (p. 69). At the beginning, Ben Janson considered that category of the buyers and chose the middle-class women. According to him, young girls and women is a beneficial market segment for the businesspersons dealing with fashion industry. These categories of customers remain loyal to the favorite brand and store always retaining the wish to purchase something.
It is the factor, which differentiates the business enterprise. The efficient marketing strategy is the passport to success. Ben Janson understood it pretty well. However, he decided to take encouragement from his family business and focus on the good price and high quality. In order to make his store different from others, he decided to take the family approach in his business and treat the customers with diligence and care. He states that he remembered all the purchases of his clients and understood their taste and preferences wordlessly.
Norris Kruger (2002) discusses the theme of a successful marketing strategy in his paper and emphasizes that it “is critical to the initial success and subsequent growth of new ventures” (p. 33).
Finding the resources in fashion business was one of the most essential things as without it, any strategy could simply fail. Mr. Jansen stated that it took him a considerate amount of time to find the qualified suppliers, who could provide him with the items needed for his shop. He also mentioned that in the past times and nowadays, he is the only person, who chooses the clothes for his stores. The threat of fakes and substitutes is the biggest challenge in his business. The high quality of the items is one of the most essential aspects, which affects the customer’s purchases. The quality of the resources has a great impact on the customers’ loyalty and devotion. Ben told that for him selling a fake was a disgrace. For that reason, his stores are overwhelmed not with the haute-couture items, but the products of democratic brands. Jason emphasized that from the very beginning, he negotiated with the managers of different brands, and today he obtains his items right from the factories.
Subsequent Management and Development of a New Venture
While discussing the issue of the subsequent business management, it has to be assumed that Ben Janson turned out to be the opportunistic entrepreneur. He explored different opportunities to make his stores more successful (Bums 2010, p. 34). Carlos Moore (2008) provided the definition for the term opportunistic entrepreneur stating that it is an individual who is able “to delegate authority as necessary for growth, employ various marketing strategies and types of sales efforts, obtain original capitalization from more than two sources, and plan for future growth” (p. 13). Moore was right as his definition shows that an opportunistic entrepreneur is an individual able to take a risk in order to satisfy the needs of his clients. It is a person, who is not afraid of adopting new innovative ways to attract the customers. Ben Janson is an examle of such kind of the entrepreneur. He managed to introduce the successful mix of family treatment and innovative ideas. He applied the sophisticated approach towards his business, which was tightly connected with fresh ideas and brave strategies. Such way of managing his business enabled him to open two other stores.
It should be stated that Ben Janson was not a careless risk taker. He conducted only wise and well-thought steps aimed at improving his business. He took advantage of the opportunity in order to put his stores on a new stage. Researcher Johnson (2000) states that opportunism is a defining feature of the real entrepreneur (p. 226). Janson constantly revised the trends and straws in the wind in order to understand the desires of the audience. It assisted him to survive on the London market. It should be admitted that thousands of young businessmen do not manage to succeed because they are unable to grab what the customer wants from them. The ability to understand the trends and forecast the demands of the client is truly significant and cannot be underestimated. Ben was a person who made the contribution to the London fashion business,because he knew how to become the winner.
It should be also stated that Ben Janson always tried to stick to the ethics. For him, his goals were essential, but he always considered the means of their achievement. Being ethical to others is his golden rule, and it helped him to make his name well-known as a London businessman. Ben Janson differs from others by his ability to keep the given promises even in cases when these promises concerned trifles.
In conclusion, it should be stated that the interview with Ben Jason turned out to be the useful experience, which has assisted to understand the effect of theoretical strategies and approaches in real business situation. Ben Jason is an entrepreneur, who managed to succeed with his fashion store and open two other stores in a three-year period. The analysis of his business strategies has shown that this individual took into account the laws and theories of entrepreneurship combining them with his original ideas. His success is the result of the sophisticated approach to business management. Since childhood, this person tried his hand in the sphere of entrepreneurship. When he became an adult, he mixed the obtained knowledge with the detailed analysis of the market and masterfully chosen the appropriate business strategy. He accurately investigated the potential customer segment, competitors, strived for the exclusive suppliers, and worked out the efficient business approach. Moreover, when he understood that his business was flourishing, Ben Janson did not stop to have a small rest. He created a line consisting of three shops. In business, he took the position of the opportunistic entrepreneur and always paid attention to the new trends and fresh ideas. Another constituent of his success is sticking to business ethics. Jenson always tried to be the businessman with a strong moral perception. His business is grounded on toil, entrepreneur feeling, and fairness. Currently, his chain includes three stores only, but his attitude to business and hard work will definitely result in extension and popularization.