The reflection report provided below is based on an entrepreneurial audit of Poudre Beauty Boutique situated in Lithuania. After gaining clear insights into the business and processes of the company, the report aims to strategically analyse the strengths and shortcomings of the company presented in the form of a reflective report. The secondary aim of the report is to present an overall experience of the entrepreneurial audit and based on the same, present recommendations to the business such that the company might be able to sustain in the long run. Apart from this, the report also aims at effectively presenting solutions to the issues that the company is facing in the current business environment.
The process of gaining insights on the company was majorly narrative which calls for interaction with the entrepreneur and the manager of the company. As an interviewer, it was of prime importance that I should be able to frame questions that I need as answers for. This was one of the prime roles that was assigned to me by the group. In the group assignment, it is essential that there is strong communication among the team. This factor helped me get ready to perform my role in a better manner. Supported by my fellow researchers, I was critically able to frame the questions and get clear details on the functioning of the company. The group assignment was as exciting as challenging as there were some instances of deadlock which had a negative impact on the experience. In this segment of the assignment, the main aim is levied on the experience that was gained during the entrepreneurial audit.
As specified above, I was the key interviewer who makes it important for me to be able to interact with my audience. This could be possible with the engagement of effective communication skills. Communication is one of my biggest strengths helped me phase out through this part. In the group process, the activities among the members were divided according to their strengths. Apart from the interview process, I was also made responsible for the research of data that is required on the Poudre Beauty Boutique. It should be noted that to be an effective researcher, it is important that the person should have good expertise in knowledge gathering (Walczak et. al., 2016). To gather knowledge, I relied mainly on internet sources such as articles, websites, books and journal articles.
Communication is one of the essential elements that help in development of the group project. This is one of the areas where the members of the group faced troubles. Since every member was assigned a particular task and a role, it was of utmost importance that a proper flow of communication should be maintained. This was one of the areas where the group lacked. To communicate with each other and to share the progress of the assignment, group meeting was considered as one of the most effective ways of communication. Due to several contingencies and prime priorities, some of the members at some instances were not able to attend the meeting. This not only hampered the process of communication between the individuals, but it also resulted in a lack of satisfaction and trust among the members (Adler et. al., 2016). Due to this, there was a ridge between the members of the group, and thus the process was hampered. These issues were finally faced by critical thinking process. To cover up for the lack of communication, meeting minutes were recorded, and the same was then ailed to the members who were not able to attend the periodical meets. Apart from this, the communication between members was also carried out by telephonic conversations. As the leader of the group, it is important that I should maintain harmony among the members such that smooth flow can be maintained. To ensure the same, I took up the practice of weekly fun activities in which all the members would wither go out for dinner or amusement activity (Brandler & Roman, 2015). This not only helped us to build a bond with each other but also enhanced mutual loyalty and respect.
Thus from the above experience, it can be said that the process of information gathering was a bit cumbersome but helped me learn a lot about my communication and leadership skills. It has been learnt that as a leader I need to be more patient with my colleagues, and in the form of communication, I lack in ensuring a smooth inflow of information.
In the entrepreneurial audit, one of the key considerations is to get relevant information about a business which most of the entrepreneurs are reluctant to share. This makes it essential for the interviewer to build a sense of confidence among the audience. As the interviewer, this was one of the key concerns and one of the most challenging tasks that I had to adhere to. From the research, it was analysed that the Poudre Beauty Boutique is commenced and being managed by Loretta Motiejunaite since 2013. The company deals in the cosmetic industry and provide various services to the customers ranging from makeup, skin treatment, spa and massage services. Apart from this, the organisation also arranges appointments of customers with the field specialists. From the interview with the owner, it has been learnt that the majority of the clients of boutique hail from Eastern Europe.
The interview process is long and time-consuming which is one of the major disadvantages of this primary method of research (Wiens, 2017). Thus it was not possible to gain all the insights of the business in just one sitting. To obtain the information required, the interview was thus conducted on 2 dates, i.e. 1st and 18th March. Both sessions of the interview had different goals, and it was important that I should adhere to them as well. As the process might go long, I had to take one f my colleague as the minute taker who would record all the important details of the interview; the first interview was aimed at getting an understanding of the internal functionality of the company. In this meeting, the major points of discussion were the organisation structure, organisational process and the performance of the company. Apart from this, the secondary objective of the interview was to gain insights on the aims and objectives of the company and also get an understanding of the roadmap that the company is following to achieve its goals. At first, Laurette was quite hesitant in sharing the information, but after assuring that the information would not be made public, she became quite confident. The objective of the meeting was fulfilled as I was able to gain a detailed understanding of the problems that are being faced by the company. It was then time for second meeting which was more inclined towards presenting the solutions to the issues that are being faced by the company (Harvey, 2015). The issues that are currently being faced by the company are mainly strategic and related to the lack of workforce. One of the main shortcomings of the company is its inability to draw up a portfolio for the consumer. Due to this, the organisation is not able to address the needs of the consumer which is a major reason behind consumer dissatisfaction.
It has also been identified that the company does not follow a set of standards for their employees and the staff is also not-organised. Due to this, the working efficiency of the firm is declining at a rapid pace. This makes it important for the company to establish a defined set of standards for the employees. This will not only help the company in introducing clarity to work, but will also help in the smooth working of the company (Turner, 2015).The main aim of this interview process was to gain knowledge of the essential elements of the business and identify solutions to the issues that are currently being faced by the company. The interview helped me learn that just like the SMEs that are currently operating in the industry, Poudre Beauty Boutique is also being faced by the issue of the high level of competition in the market which puts sustainability of the boutique in danger. This makes it important for the entrepreneur to make sure appropriate strategies and solutions are implemented such that these issues do not hamper the growth and future sustainability of the company (Love & Roper, 2015).
Based on the interview and the issues that were identified in the same, it has been analysed that the major reason behind stalled growth of the company is unorganised job behaviour and duties of the staff. This makes it important for the owner of the company to line up straight and clear instructions for the job duties. It should also be noted that the current employees of the company do not have good communication skills. Communication is one of the major facilitators of customer satisfaction. With help of effective communication, the employees would be able to identify the problems of the customers and derive solutions for them. Thus it is essential that Laurette should provide proper training to the employees such that their communication skills can be enhanced. This should especially be applicable in the case of the receptionist of the company. Lack of proper communication, unclear roles and duties and unclear standards of quality service are the major issues currently faced by the firm. In my opinion, Poudre Beauty Boutique should implement some measures that can help the company to earn good profits and also sustain in the long run (North & Varvakis, 2016). These suggestions have been listed below as follows:
Customer engagement should be one of the prime objectives of the organisation. As the revenues of the company are directly dependent on the loyalty of customers, it is important for the boutique to pay special attention to the clients of the company. Apart from ensuring the existing customer loyalty, it is also required that the company must reach out to other clients as well. The majority of the customer’s hail for Eastern Europe which states that the company is addressing the needs of a particular set of consumers (Rostamkalaei & Freel, 2016). Thus it is required that the organisation should reach out on mass levels through various mediums such as online advertisements, social media etc. The company can reach out to consumers through properly training their employees as well.
It has been found through an interview that the organisation arranges clients are meeting with professionals in the industry. This is a source of secondary income for the company. This factor can be used as an opportunity to make sure that this becomes the primary source as well. The boutique could hire professionals and limit the inflow of money to accounts of the company. While implementing this strategy, it is important to keep in mind that the pricing of these services should be lower than the competition in the market (Mawson & Brown, 2107). This can be done by cutting the middle-men cost. Low prices and good quality of service will help the organisation to increase the foot traffic.
Digital renovation is taking place at a much higher pace. Before the company rules out of the competition, it is required that the organisation must increase its social media presence. Currently, the business is dependent on traditional methods of promotion. Thus it is necessary to ensure that the company makes efficient use of the technology available at their disposal (Torkkeli et. al., 2016).
From the personal reflection provided above it can be concluded that communication plays a vital role in the business as well as in groups. It has also been learnt that unique thinking is of critical importance in group projects. This can help in effectively solving the issues. In the case of Poudre beauty Boutique, I have concluded that the business has high growth aspects. Thought the profits of the company are currently being dragged down by various factors, it is important to make sure that the company implements strategies that have been suggested to turn the tables.
Adler, R. B., Rodman, G. R., & Du Pré, A. (2016). Understanding human communication (Vol. 10). Oxford University Press.
Brandler, S., & Roman, C. P. (2015). Group work: Skills and strategies for effective interventions. Routledge.
Harvey, L. (2015). Beyond member-checking: A dialogic approach to the research interview. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 38(1), 23-38.
Love, J. H., & Roper, S. (2015). SME innovation, exporting and growth: A review of existing evidence. International small business journal, 33(1), 28-48.
North, K., & Varvakis, G. (2016). Competitive strategies for small and medium enterprises. Increasing Crisis Resilience, Agility and Innovation in Turbulent Times. Cham: Springer.
Rostamkalaei, A., & Freel, M. (2016). The cost of growth: small firms and the pricing of bank loans. Small Business Economics, 46(2), 255-272.
Torkkeli, L., Kuivalainen, O., Saarenketo, S., & Puumalainen, K. (2016). Network competence in Finnish SMEs: implications for growth. Baltic Journal of Management, 11(2), 207-230.
Turner, P. (2019). The Role of Leaders: The Importance of Leadership. In Leadership in Healthcare (pp. 45-74). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Walczak, A., Butow, P. N., Bu, S., & Clayton, J. M. (2016).A systematic review of evidence for end-of-life communication interventions: who do they target, how are they structured and do they work?. Patient education and counseling, 99(1), 3-16.
Wiens, A. N. (2017). The interview: Research on its anatomy and structure. Routledge.
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