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Entrepreneurship is a complex process of designing a new service or product, organizing and running a new business project. It is not easy to become a successful entrepreneur. However, for some people, their talent has brought them great success. For others, this success can be achieved through consistent hard work and by making the right decisions at the right time. Also, there are businessmen who are successful because they demand consistently from their workers that, consequently, ensures that they get the expected results all the time leading to great results. The individuals discussed in this paper exhibit some of these skills and have made such great impact to the society through their successful entrepreneurial skills. In this paper, the two individuals to be examined are Jeff Bezos and Janine Allis. Both Jeff Bezos and Janine Allis’s entrepreneurship skills have made a significant contribution towards the success in their business ventures.
Successful Entrepreneur in Australia: Janine Allis
Allis is one of the most influential and successful women in Australia in the recent past. She was born in the year 1965 in Melbourne Australia. She is married to Jeff Allis, and together they have four children. She has written several inspirational books about her success story. She is also a part of the great Shark Tank, a reality show depicting successful entrepreneurs and helping young businesspersons who come to the show to sell their ideas (Fitzsimmons 2015). She is the founder of Boost Juice, a well-established brand of juice in the Australian region as well as around the world. Her first juice bar was located in Adelaide back in the year 2000. The restaurant thrived through her business wisdom, and it now includes the Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill Hatch and Cibo Espresso. According to the report provided by BRW rich list in Australia, her fortune is well above $65 million. Australia Business Forecast Report (2014) declares that Boost is doing very well overseas because it is opening a new store in every 1.5 weeks all around the world.
Based on her career as a business woman, it is clear that her acuity in enhancing her strategies consistently has led her to where she is now. Such level of consistency is what distinguishes successful entrepreneurs and average ones according to a critical review of entrepreneurs done by Guy (2012). The article has enumerated the number of accolades that Allis has received in an effort to show what makes her a successful more than others in the same industry. In the year 2004, Allis received the accolade of being the businesswoman of the year in Australia (Guy 2012). The award was given by Telstra Australian Business Company. The award-giving company explained that her tenacity and consistent strategizing made her deserve the award above all other contenders. She had exhibited strict business goal setting and ensured that she would meet the goals no matter what. It can, therefore, lead to the conclusion that being consistent in making the right strategies for the business at all times is essential to be a successful entrepreneur. The article written by Allis (2010) critically analyzed her business resilient and her strict nature with her senior team to deliver. She ensures that they have all the resources they need for on-time delivery, and, therefore, she does not take ‘no’ for an answer. Such a behavioral characteristic has made her stand out considering she is a woman leading a group of both genders. Additionally, this study identified her strong code of ethics in the workplace as another reason as to why she has become so successful. She ensures that there exists professionalism in the workplace and does not take lightly matters of workplace conflicts. The Telstra Business Awards gave her the impetus to work even harder and thrive further in the juice business (Black 2009).
Another notable accolade is the Excellence in Customer Service award in the year 2014. The year 2014 was the year when consumers had increasingly become more critical on quality and their rights as consumers. Communication and knowledge on business matters had increased to such a high level that companies were being brought down by simple social media posts as well as workers being fired. According to the study on social media influence by Rodriguez, Peterson and Krishnan (2012), Australia businesses had to become more responsive to their client’s social media feedback about the services or they would face a negative online backlash. Allis and her company are thrived in offering the best customer care services. Their services were focused and tailored to meet all the immediate needs of their clients. It was also very affective with over 90% cases resolved before reaching a member of the senior team. Allis stated that she was pleased to receive the award on behalf of her customer care service. She said that her values when it comes to customer service are that a client is not always right but deserves to be listened to and got the feeling that their voice is influential. She emphasized that castigating the team always siding with the client whenever a conflict between customers and customer care service team arise leads to little motivation in the team. To her, the secret to an efficient customer care team is to instill confidence in them to resolve cases and give them the space they need. Such wisdom is what helped her to get her company to where it is now, and entrepreneurs around the world should learn from it.
Another award worth mentioning is the award Allis received in the year 2015. The award was Victory of Women in Leadership Award. The award cemented her recognition as a woman in the traditionally male-dominated field of entrepreneurship. According to a study on women entrepreneurs by Neill, Metcalf and York (2015), this award sent a strong message to all women leaders in Australia. Indeed, several women had won the award before her but the fact that she won it after getting the award of being the most admired woman in the year 2013 shows the level of her consistency. It served the purpose of motivating female entrepreneurs in Australia to keep going and not to give up nor be complacent. She could have easily become complacent after the many awards she had won leading up to the year 2013, but she kept pushing herself even further. According to Neill, Metcalf and York (2015), this is one of the most important qualities of a successful entrepreneur – to constantly pushing oneself to further heights. Being complacent is the killer of dreams and results in ideas depreciating rather than evolving and leading to further innovation. Being recognized as a consistent leader on the business front for the second time in her career, showed that she was focused on achieving more. She had the hunger to succeed which is a common trait for all successful entrepreneurs around the world. These awards demonstrate her skills and acuity in entrepreneurship that has taken her to heights above other people in the juice industry, both women and men.
Successful Entrepreneur from Overseas: Jeff Bezos
Bezos is undoubtedly a very successful entrepreneur and revolutionist in the world. He founded the Amazon.com, Inc., which has become a leading online merchant in the world. He was born in 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the United States. He married Mackenzie Bezos in the year 1993, and together they have four children. His total net worth is $65.2 billion by the year 2016, July. He earned the ‘term father of e-commerce’ for introducing the e-commerce business field and pushed his idea into action and became very successful at it. Even now, Amazon still leads regarding innovation with such revolutionary ideas such as Black Friday. The company is undoubtedly a trendsetter in this field of business.
Bezos has a rich background of business knowledge having worked on Wall Street in the area of computer science. He has also worked for Bankers Trust as well as Fitel. So what pushed him to start Amazon? Bezos founded the company in the year 1994, after quitting his well-paying job at a hedge fund in New York City. The decision was born from the increasing reliance on the Internet for most of the regular activities the Americans were doing. He has been described in the study by Alpert and Marshall (2015) to be a very strict manager who is tough on all activities that take place in his company. He micromanages all activities from the contract details to tasks assigned to his junior team. The study mentioned this as an important aspect of a successful entrepreneur, especially for new entrepreneurs in the market. Such a personality helps in ensuring that the original idea that the entrepreneur had when starting the business prevails without deviation.
Just like Allis, Bezos has also been on the receiving end of some accolades for his successes. The very first award he got was in the year 1999 as being Time magazine’s Person of the Year. The award exemplified him as successful in what he was doing in the year. Indeed, Bezos had been involved in some sagacious decisions leading up to this award. He had engaged in the startup of a spaceflight company named Blue Origin. In the previous year, he had made a wise decision to be amongst the first investors of Google Inc. (Scally 2011). All these decisions including increasing the size of Amazon made him eligible for the award.
News and World Report recorded him as the best leader in America. The award served to put a spotlight on his leadership skills. Being named the winner of the award meant that he had done better than Google CEO and Apple, two of the most successful companies in that time, and even currently. A study by Brandt (2011) dug deeper to find out the leadership skills of Bezos as compared to other global business leaders. The study described Bezos as a focused leader who was more interested in the process of getting something done rather than the failure it may hold. When deciding to start the company, he queried the profitability of the Internet and was informed that it was unlimited, but the risk of failure is high. He decided to undertake the venture regardless of calculated risk. All entrepreneurs in the world are brave people willing to take business risks. Bezos stands out because he decided to take risks in a business venture that had not been in existence before. He would be the very first person to engage in this venture of activity meaning that there was no one to learn from. If he failed, he would learn from his mistakes. The study inferred that truly successful business leaders are more afraid of failing to capitalize on an opportunity rather than failing in that opportunity.
Further, Bezos was described to be a leader who not only micromanaged customer service but also spent a lot on it. A study on customer service by Solem and Pedersen (2016) defined the customer service at Amazon as very customer oriented. The article stated that all e-commerce business faces the challenge of convincing clients to use their services and be assured of the safety of the money. Therefore, when the clients have complaints regarding what they sold, and the customer care services are not responding to them, they will most likely never use the service again. Therefore, recognizing this fact, Bezos ensured customer service in the company was very efficient. The study described this act as identifying success factors for the business. It is what made Amazon very successful, because Bezos was able to identify things that would catapult the popularity of the company to the American people.
One controversial characteristic that Bezos has is his strictness towards employees. Those who failed to accomplish their duties received their dismissal letters from their jobs, and this made him the Worst Boss of the year 2014 according to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The ITUC stated that he was inhuman in his treatment of employees and only demanded quality. Various authors on this topic have disagreed. Those who support his actions (Alpert & Marshall 2015; Scally 2011; Brandt 2011) stated that in his line of work, poor quality work from employees would result in the instant destruction of consumer relations and would lead to the destruction of the company. Therefore, his strict demeanor towards his employees was a necessity for him to ensure that the firm offered the highest quality of work. Such authors have also challenged critics to explain why clients have never responded angrily to the boss’ antics. They explained that it is because they are satisfied with his work, and they feel that their needs are well secured by the manager. Therefore, they can always depend on the manager to deliver quality services and goods to them. In fact, potential investors should be satisfied with this factor as this has made Amazon reach new heights regarding e-commerce business field. Critics, on the other hand, find the manager too strict. They (Craig & Jia Lynn 2008) explain that workers at Amazon work under very high pressure and fear of being fired. Such working conditions are not very conducive for any employee to work. They have compared Bezos to Steve Jobs and stated that though he is strict, he does not fire employees as he wishes. They offer a recommendation to him that he should follow suit.
Assessment of the Two Entrepreneurs
After describing in detail each of the two successful entrepreneurs, it is important to mention that other than the obvious difference that one is female and the other is male, both exhibit different business acuity. Allis is a strong and very strict woman, and she demands the best from all her staff members. She is more focused on ensuring that her employees have all needed resources, and that they all respect each other while working. She does not take lightly matters of inter-worker conflicts. The same is evident in Bezos, but there is a difference. Bezos imposes strict benchmarks for all employees, and if a worker is unable to perform, they are immediately fired. It is different to Allis’s modus operandi. Bezos ensures that his employees deliver pre-set deliverables through intimidation and fear of being fired while Allis makes certain that it is done through reprimand and salary cuts. They both achieve the same results using different methods (Krom 2015).
Another difference between the two leaders is that they have different strategies when it comes to taking their business to the forefront of business. On the one hand, Bezos is more concerned in acquisitions and expanding the growth of the company through the purchase of competitors’ businesses. Allis, on the other hand, has taken her company to the top of the industry through brand addition. She has introduced various variants of the juice and added new brands altogether. They both see the key to success differently, a factor that is attributable to the difference in business choices and competition. For Amazon, starting a new company is not applicable but acquiring small businesses will ensure that the business acquires a larger market while the juice business allows brand expansion.
The current paper has examined the two individuals, Jeff Bezos and Janine Allis, and their entrepreneurship skills, which have made a significant contribution towards the success in their business ventures. There are some similarities and differences between the two discussed characters. Both have strict measures when it comes to employee output. They expect the best from all their employees regardless of the level of their position. They are also big spenders on factors that they deem necessary for the success of their businesses in the current times and future. Allis invests heavily in new ideas on Shark Tank. Also, she invested in the Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill Hatch and Cibo Espresso to ensure that the returns are enormous. Bezos invested in Google, and this has paid off seeing the partnership between the two companies. Clearly, both of them are risk takers, and it helped them to be successful among many people in their respective industries.