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MPU2223/3223/

OUMM2103
ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Norashidah Hashim
Assoc Prof Abd Aziz Yusof
Ooi Yeng Keat
Armanurah Mohamad
Abd Razak Amir
Dr Oh Teik Hai
Abd Kadir Othman
Loo Sze Wei

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


Project Directors: Prof Dato’ Dr Mansor Fadzil
Prof Dr Wardah Mohamad
Open University Malaysia

Module Writers: Norashidah Hashim


Assoc Prof Abd Aziz Yusof
Ooi Yeng Keat
Armanurah Mohamad
Abd Razak Amir
Universiti Utara Malaysia

Dr Oh Teik Hai
Abd Kadir Othman
Loo Sze Wei
Open University Malaysia

Moderator: Assoc Prof Dr Nawawi Mat Jan


Universiti Teknologi MARA

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First Edition, August 2014 (rs)


Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM), August 2014, MPU2223/3223/OUMM2103
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any means
without the written permission of the President, Open University Malaysia (OUM).

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


Table of Contents
Course Guide xi-xvi

Topic 1 Introduction to Entrepreneurship 1


1.1 The Evolution of Entrepreneurship 2
1.2 Concepts of Entrepreneurship 3
1.2.1 Entrepreneurship 3
1.2.2 Who are Entrepreneurs? 5
1.3 The Importance of Entrepreneurship 7
1.4 The Myth of Entrepreneurship 8
1.5 Development of Entrepreneurship in Malaysia 10
Summary 11
Key Terms 11

Topic 2 Identifying Entrepreneurial Characteristics 12


2.1 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs 13
2.2 Self-assessment for Entrepreneurs 16
2.3 The Differences Amongst Businessmen, Managers and
Entrepreneurs 17
2.3.1 The Differences between a Businessman and an
Entrepreneur 17
2.3.2 The Differences between a Conventional Manager
and an Entrepreneur 18
Summary 19
Key Terms 20

Topic 3 Developing Entrepreneurial Creativity and Innovation 21


3.1 What is Creativity? 22
3.2 The Process of Creativity 23
3.3 Barriers to Creativity 25
3.4 How to Generate Creative Ideas 26
3.5 Characteristics of Creative Individuals 28
3.6 What is Innovation? 30
3.6.1 Types of Innovation 30
3.6.2 Sources of Innovation 31
3.6.3 Barriers to Innovation 33

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iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS

3.7 The Importance of Creativity and Innovation for


Entrepreneurs 34
3.8 Strategies to Encourage Creativity and Innovation 35
Summary 36
Key Terms 37

Topic 4 Ventures Environment Assessment 38


4.1 The Components of Ventures Environment 39
4.2 Macro Environment 41
4.2.1 Political and Legislation 42
4.2.2 Economy 44
4.2.3 Socio-cultural 45
4.2.4 Technology 46
4.3 Micro Environment 47
4.4 An OrganisationÊs Internal Environment 50
4.5 Identification of Business Opportunity 51
4.5.1 Recognition of an Opportunity: Phase of a Process
Perspective on Entrepreneurship 51
4.5.2 E-commerce as a New Opportunity 54
4.6 Evaluation of a Business Opportunity 54
4.6.1 The Magnitude of the Opportunity 56
4.6.2 Sources of Opportunities: The Origins of New
Ventures 57
4.6.3 Opportunities and New Firms 58
Summary 59
Key Terms 60

Topic 5 Business Plan 61


5.1 What is a Business Plan? 62
5.2 Importance of Business Plans 63
5.3 Who Needs Business Plans? 65
5.4 Essential Elements of Good Business Plans 67
5.5 Guidelines in Preparing Business Plans 70
5.6 Pitfalls to Avoid in Planning 71
Summary 72
Key Terms 72

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TABLE OF CONTENTS  v

Topic 6 Starting a New Entrepreneurial Venture 73


6.1 Types of Business 74
6.2 Start-up 74
6.2.1 Definition of Start-up 74
6.2.2 Phases in Start-up 75
6.2.3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Start-up 76
6.3 Buying an Existing Business 77
6.3.1 Definition of Buying an Existing Business 77
6.3.2 Steps and Processes in Buying an Existing Business 78
6.3.3 Advantages of Buying an Existing Business 82
6.3.4 Disadvantages of Buying an Existing Business 83
6.4 Franchising 84
6.4.1 Definition of Franchising 84
6.4.2 Advantages of Franchising 85
6.4.3 Disadvantages of Franchising 86
6.5 Legal Structures for New Business 88
6.5.1 Sole Proprietorship 88
6.5.2 Partnership 90
6.5.3 Corporation 92
6.6 Sources of Capital for Business Activities 94
Summary 96
Key Terms 97

Topic 7 Entrepreneurial Networking 98


7.1 What is Networking? 98
7.2 Advantages of Having Good Networking 99
7.3 What is Strategic Networking? 99
7.4 Types of Networking 100
7.5 The Importance of Networking 101
7.6 How to Establish Strategic Networking for
Entrepreneurs 103
7.7 Entrepreneurs and Networking 104
7.8 Strategic Networking Consolidation 104
7.9 Techniques for Developing Confidence Among
Entrepreneurs 106
7.10 Barriers in Building Strategic Networks 108
Summary 112
Key Terms 113

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Topic 8 Evaluation of Entrepreneurial Opportunities 114


8.1 Pitfalls in Selecting New Ventures 115
8.2 Critical Factors for New Venture Development 117
8.3 Why New Ventures Fail 119
8.4 The Evaluation Process 120
Summary 123
Key Terms 124

Topic 9 Entrepreneur and Personal Financial Planning 125


9.1 Need for Personal Financial Planning 126
9.1.1 Steps in Financial Planning 126
9.1.2 Benefits of Financial Planning 127
9.1.3 Life Stages and Financial Goals 128
9.2 The Power of Money 129
9.2.1 How to Set Your Goals 129
9.2.2 An Important Goal ă Saving for Emergencies 131
9.2.3 Assets and Liabilities: What You Own and Owe 132
9.2.4 Knowing Your Net Worth 134
9.2.5 Deriving Your Net Worth 135
9.3 The Basics of Budgeting 136
9.3.1 Budgeting and Spending Plan 136
9.3.2 Tracking Your Cash Flow 138
9.4 Living Within Your Means 140
9.4.1 Knowing Your Needs and Wants 141
9.4.2 Spending Wisely 141
9.4.3 Delaying Gratification 142
9.5 Early Sign of Financial Trouble 142
9.6 Getting Out of Financial Trouble 144
9.6.1 Your Creditworthiness 144
9.6.2 What Can Happen 145
Summary 146
Key Terms 146

Topic 10 Achieving an Entrepreneur's Personal Financial Dreams 147


10.1 Entrepreneur Wealth Building 148
10.1.1 The Saving Habit 148
10.1.2 Increasing Net Worth via Saving and Investments 149
10.1.3 Types of Investment 152
10.2 Planning for Uncertainties 155
10.2.1 The Need of Getting Insured 156
10.2.2 Types of Insurance 157
10.2.3 Takaful 161

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TABLE OF CONTENTS  vii

10.3 Managing Debt: Borrowing Basics 164


10.3.1 Loans and Credit 164
10.3.2 Types of Loan 165
10.3.3 Types of Cards, Credit Trap and Tips on Using 171
Credit Card
10.3.4 Repayment and Default 174
Summary 176
Key Terms 177

Answers 178
References 196

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viii  TABLE OF CONTENTS

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


COURSE GUIDE

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)
COURSE GUIDE  xi

COURSE GUIDE DESCRIPTION


You must read this Course Guide carefully from the beginning to the end. It tells
you briefly what the course is about and how you can work your way through
the course material. It also suggests the amount of time you are likely to spend in
order to complete the course successfully. Please keep on referring to the Course
Guide as you go through the course material. It will help you to clarify important
study components or points that you might miss or overlook.

INTRODUCTION
MPU2223/3223/OUMM2103 Entrepreneurship is one of the courses offered by
OUM Business School at Open University Malaysia (OUM). This course is worth
three credit hours and should be covered over 8 to 15 weeks.

COURSE AUDIENCE
This is a compulsory course for all students of OUM.

As an open and distance learner, you should be able to learn independently and
optimise the learning modes and environment available to you. Before you begin
this course, please ensure that you have the right course materials, understand
the course requirements, as well as know how the course is conducted.

STUDY SCHEDULE
It is a standard OUM practice that learners accumulate 40 study hours for every
credit hour. As such, for a three-credit hour course, you are expected to spend
120 study hours. Table 1 gives an estimation of how the 120 study hours could be
accumulated.

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xii  COURSE GUIDE

Table 1: Estimation of Time Accumulation of Study Hours

Study
Study Activities
Hours
Briefly go through the course content and participate in initial discussion 3
Study the module 60
Attend three to five tutorial sessions 10
Online participation 12
Revision 15
Assignment(s), Test(s) and Examination(s) 20
TOTAL STUDY HOURS 120

COURSE OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
1. Explain the historical background, concepts and theories of
entrepreneurship;
2. Develop a vision to become an entrepreneur and appreciate the
entrepreneurial value and culture in your profession;
3. Acquire creativity and innovative development skills in entrepreneurship;
and
4. Identify entrepreneurial opportunity and transform it into a basic business
plan.

COURSE SYNOPSIS
This course is divided into 10 topics. The synopsis for each topic is presented
below:

Topic 1 introduces and defines entrepreneurship and discusses the evolution of


entrepreneurship from the earliest period until today. It describes the importance
of entrepreneurship to individuals, society and country. This topic also explains
ten entrepreneurial myths as well as the scenario of entrepreneurship
development in Malaysia.

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COURSE GUIDE  xiii

Topic 2 focuses on 16 of the most often cited entrepreneurial characteristics. The


entrepreneur self-assessment test is a means of getting insights into the
individual entrepreneurial potential. This topic describes not only the differences
between a small business owner and an entrepreneur but also the differences
between a conventional manager and an entrepreneur.

Topic 3 is devoted to creativity and innovation. Entrepreneurs need to know the


definition of creativity and innovation and their advantages and relationship in
entrepreneurship. This topic explains the barriers towards creativity and
innovation, as well as the strategy to encourage creativity and innovations among
entrepreneurs in todayÊs business. Students will be exposed to opportunities and
challenges in producing creative and innovative ideas, products and services that
meet the challenges of todayÊs competitive business environment.

Topic 4 focuses on the environmental assessment in pursuing business


opportunities and identifying threats that exist in the environment. It also
explains elements in the internal and external environment of business ventures
that influence entrepreneurial decisions and activities.

Topic 5 outlines the techniques of preparing a business plan which will help
students to evaluate a business plan objectively, critically and practically.
Students will be taught how to produce a blueprint for a realistic business plan.
They will also be exposed to several methods and techniques of presenting an
effective business plan.

Topic 6 describes the various types of ventures that an entrepreneur can


undertake. Here, students will be introduced to three common types of ventures.
It will also explain the various phases of start-up steps to be taken when an
entrepreneur wants to buy an existing business venture. We will also discuss
some of the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of ventures, the
legal structures for new ventures and various sources of capital for an
entrepreneur starting a new venture.

Topic 7 discusses the importance of networking for entrepreneurs. Networking is


one of the business approaches that contributes to entrepreneursÊ success. If
entrepreneurs have very good networking with both external and internal
customers, it will be easier for them to gain business opportunities and overcome
some of the problems related to their business. This is because good networking
relationships will enable them to gain support and cooperation from the
networking circle. Therefore, every entrepreneur should develop networking
skills to achieve their business goals and objectives.

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xiv  COURSE GUIDE

Topic 8 discusses the evaluation of entrepreneurial opportunities. This topic also


explains six common pitfalls in selecting new ventures. Students will be exposed
to the critical factors involved in new venture assessment and the underlying
factors of venture success. An effective evaluation process for new ventures will
also be looked at in this topic.

Topic 9 discusses the need for personal financial planning and looking at the
steps and benefits of financial planning as well. It will also explain the power of
money in terms of building financial success and the basic budgeting and
spending plan for an entrepreneur. The topic will also discuss the early signs of
financial trouble that could be faced by an entrepreneur and explain the
approaches on how an entrepreneur could get out of the financial trouble.

Topic 10 explains entrepreneur wealth building by having a good saving habit as


this practice will ultimately increase the entrepreneurÊs net worth in the long
term. The topic will also discuss an entrepreneurÊs need to plan for future
uncertainties by taking into consideration the several types of insurance or
takaful coverage. Students will be exposed to the various types of loans and
credit cards available. They will learn how to manage their loans efficiently and
avoid falling into a credit trap and become a credit defaulter.

TEXT ARRANGEMENT GUIDE


Before you go through this module, it is important that you note the text
arrangement. Understanding the text arrangement will help you to organise your
study of this course in a more objective and effective way. Generally, the text
arrangement for each topic is as follows:

Learning Outcomes: This section refers to what you should achieve after you
have completely covered a topic. As you go through each topic, you should
frequently refer to these learning outcomes. By doing this, you can continuously
gauge your understanding of the topic.

Self-Check: This component of the module is inserted at strategic locations


throughout the module. It may be inserted after one sub-section or a few sub-
sections. It usually comes in the form of a question. When you come across this
component, try to reflect on what you have already learnt thus far. By attempting
to answer the question, you should be able to gauge how well you have
understood the sub-section(s). Most of the time, the answers to the questions can
be found directly from the module itself.

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COURSE GUIDE  xv

Activity: Like Self-Check, the Activity component is also placed at various


locations or junctures throughout the module. This component may require you to
solve questions, explore short case studies, or conduct an observation or research.
It may even require you to evaluate a given scenario. When you come across an
Activity, you should try to reflect on what you have gathered from the module and
apply it to real situations. You should, at the same time, engage yourself in higher
order thinking where you might be required to analyse, synthesise and evaluate
instead of only having to recall and define.

Summary: You will find this component at the end of each topic. This component
helps you to recap the whole topic. By going through the summary, you should
be able to gauge your knowledge retention level. Should you find points in the
summary that you do not fully understand, it would be a good idea for you to
revisit the details in the module.

Key Terms: This component can be found at the end of each topic. You should go
through this component to remind yourself of important terms or jargon used
throughout the module. Should you find terms here that you are not able to
explain, you should look for the terms in the module.

References: The References section is where a list of relevant and useful


textbooks, journals, articles, electronic contents or sources can be found. The list
can appear in a few locations such as in the Course Guide (at the References
section), at the end of every topic or at the back of the module. You are
encouraged to read or refer to the suggested sources to obtain the additional
information needed and to enhance your overall understanding of the course.

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE
No pre-requisite is required for this course.

ASSESSMENT METHOD
Please refer to myVLE.

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xvi  COURSE GUIDE

REFERENCES
Abd. Aziz Yusof. (2000). Usahawan dan keusahawanan: Satu penilaian. Prentice
Hall Sprint Print.

Histrich, R. D., & Peters, M. P. (1998). Entrepreneurship: Starting, developing and


managing a new enterprise (4th ed.). Illinois: Irwin.

Kuratko, D. F., & Hodgetts, R. M. (2003). Entrepreneurship: Contemporary


approach (6th ed.). South-Western Educational Publishing.

Marc, J. D. (2007). Entrepreneurship: Strategies and resources. Illinois: Marsh


Publications.

Mohd Salleh Hj Din, Hoe C. H., Norashidah H., Rosli M., Habshah B., Ooi Y. K.,
Armanurah M., Shuhymee A., Norita D., & Lily Julienty A. B. (2004). Asas
keusahawanan. Kuala Lumpur: Thomson.

Zimmerer, T. W., & Scarborough, N. M., (2007). Essential of entrepreneurship


and small business management (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River:
Prentice Hall.

TAN SRI DR ABDULLAH SANUSI (TSDAS)


DIGITAL LIBRARY
The TSDAS Digital Library has a wide range of print and online resources for the
use of its learners. This comprehensive digital library, which is accessible
through the OUM portal, provides access to more than 30 online databases
comprising e-journals, e-theses, e-books and more. Examples of databases
available are EBSCOhost, ProQuest, SpringerLink, Books24x7, InfoSci Books,
Emerald Management Plus and Ebrary Electronic Books. As an OUM learner,
you are encouraged to make full use of the resources available through this
library.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


Topic  Introduction to
Entrepreneurship
1
LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Explain the evolution and concepts of entrepreneurship;
2. Discuss the importance of entrepreneurship;
3. Identify the ten myths of entrepreneurship; and
4. Discuss entrepreneurship development in Malaysia.

 INTRODUCTION
Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship!

The economists of the eighteenth-century introduced entrepreneurship as a topic


for discussion and analysis and it continued to attract the interest of economists
in the nineteenth-century. In the twentieth-century, the word entrepreneurship
became synonymous with free enterprise. It was generally recognised that
entrepreneurs act as agents of change, provide creative, innovative ideas
for business enterprises and help businesses grow and become profitable.
Entrepreneurship is the symbol of business tenacity and achievement.
Entrepreneurship is important to individuals, society and the country and is
Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)
2  TOPIC 1 INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP

recognised throughout the world as a catalyst for economic growth. This


topic discusses the evolution and concepts of entrepreneurship, the importance
of entrepreneurship, the myths of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship
development in Malaysia.

1.1 THE EVOLUTION OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP


The word entrepreneur is derived from the French entreprendre, meaning „to
undertake‰. The evolution and development of the theory of entrepreneurship
can be summarised as shown in Table 1.1.

The concepts of the entrepreneur and entrepreneurship are elaborated further in


the following discussion.

Table 1.1: The Evolution and Development of the Theory of Entrepreneurship


Period Theory and Concept
The Earliest An early example of the definition of an entrepreneur as a go-
Period between is Marco Polo, who attempted to establish trade routes to the
Far East. As a go-between, Marco Polo would sign a contract with a
financier (capitalist) to sell his goods. The capitalist was a passive risk
bearer. The merchant-adventurer took the active role in trading, bearing
all the physical and emotional risks. Once the merchant adventurer
had successfully sold the goods, the profits would be divided
between the capitalist and the merchant-adventurer.
The Middle During this period, the term entrepreneur was used to describe both
Ages an actor and a person who was in charge of and managed large
production projects. This person merely managed the projects using
the resources provided by the government. In this case, he did not
assume any risks. The entrepreneur in this age was the person who
was in charge of great architectural works, such as public buildings
and cathedrals.
The 17th In this century, there was a connection between risk and
Century entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur was a person who entered into a
contractual arrangement with the government to perform a service or
to supply stipulated products. The contract price was fixed.
Therefore, any profits or losses were the entrepreneurÊs. During this
century, Richard Cantillon, an economist, developed one of the early
theories of the entrepreneur. He is regarded as the founder of the
term ``entrepreneurÊÊ. He viewed the entrepreneur as a risk taker.
The entrepreneurs in the 17th century as observed by Richard
were merchants, farmers, craftsmen and other sole proprietors. They
bought at a certain price and sold at an uncertain price, therefore
operating at a risk.

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TOPIC 1 INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP  3

18th Century In the 18th century, the entrepreneur was differentiated from the
capital provider. This happened because of the industrialisation that
occurred throughout the world. Many of the inventions developed
during this time were reactions to the changing world. For example,
the case with the inventions of Eli Whitney and Thomas Edison. Both
Eli Whitney and Thomas Edison were developing new technologies
and were unable to finance their inventions. Eli Whitney and Thomas
Edison were capital users (entrepreneurs), not providers (venture
capitalists).
19th and 20th In the late 19th and 20th centuries, entrepreneurs were not
Centuries frequently distinguished from managers. In the middle of the
20th century, the notion of an entrepreneur as an innovator
was established. The function of the entrepreneur is to reform or
revolutionise the pattern of production by exploiting an invention or,
more generally, an untried technological possibility for producing a
new commodity or producing an old one in a new way.
21st Century Entrepreneurs in the twenty-first century are considered the heroes
of free enterprise. Many of them have used innovation and creativity
to build multimillion-dollar enterprises from fledgling businesses.
Entrepreneurs have created new products and services and have
assumed the risks associated with these ventures. Today, many
people regard entrepreneurship as „pioneership‰ on the frontiers of
business (Kuratko & Hodgetts, 2004).

1.2 CONCEPTS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

ACTIVITY 1.1

According to Peter Drucker, entrepreneurship is a discipline which can


be learned. What do you think of this statement? Discuss with your
coursemates.

1.2.1 Entrepreneurship
According to Histrich and Peter (1998), entrepreneurship is the dynamic process
of creating incremental wealth. The wealth is created by individuals who assume
major risks in terms of equity, time, and career commitment or provide value for
some product or service. It is the process of creating something new with value
by devoting the necessary time and effort, assuming the accompanying financial,
psychological and social risks and receiving the resulting rewards of monetary,

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4  TOPIC 1 INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP

personal satisfaction and independence. This definition focuses on four basic


aspects, as shown in Figure 1.1.

Figure 1.1: The four basic aspects of entrepreneurship according to Histrich


and Peter (1998)

Entrepreneurship as defined by Kuratko and Hodgetts (2004) is a process of


innovation and new venture creation through four major dimensions:
(a) Individuals
(b) Organisational
(c) Environmental
(d) Process

Those dimensions are aided by collaborative networks in government, education,


and institution.

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TOPIC 1 INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP  5

In recognising the importance of entrepreneurship in the twenty-first century,


Kuratko and Hodgetts (2004) have developed an integrated definition of
entrepreneurship as follows:

SELF-CHECK 1.1
1. What is entrepreneurship?

2. What are the four basic aspects of entrepreneurship?

1.2.2 Who are Entrepreneurs?


Entrepreneurs are the pioneers of todayÊs business success. Their sense of
opportunity, their drive to innovate, and their capacity for accomplishment have
become the standard by which free enterprise is now measured.

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6  TOPIC 1 INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Today, an entrepreneur is an innovator or developer who recognises and seizes


opportunities; converts those opportunities into workable or marketable ideas;
adds value through time, effort, money, or skills; assumes the risks of the
competitive marketplace to implement these ideas; and realises the rewards from
the efforts.

The meaning and definition of an entrepreneur varies with discipline. For


example, an economist sees entrepreneurs as those who bring resources,
labour, materials, and other assets into unusual combinations that make their
value greater than before and also those who introduce changes, innovations,
and a new order to generate profit. A psychologist defines entrepreneurs
at the behavioural term of achievement. To a psychologist, entrepreneurs are
individuals who are driven to seek challenges and accomplishments.

Although each of these definitions views entrepreneurs from a slightly different


perspective, they all contain similar notions, such as:
(a) Newness
(b) Wealth
(c) Organising
(d) Creating
(e) Risk taking

Entrepreneurs are catalysts for economic change who use purposeful searching,
careful planning and sound judgement when carrying out the entrepreneurial
process.

ACTIVITY 1.2
You are an entrepreneur who is about to open a franchise restaurant.
What should you do before you start your business? Present your
ideas in class.

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TOPIC 1 INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP  7

1.3 THE IMPORTANCE OF


ENTREPRENEURSHIP

ACTIVITY 1.3

What do you think is the importance of entrepreneurship to


individuals, society and the country? Discuss in class.

Entrepreneurship is important in todayÊs world. It is a catalyst for economic


change and growth. The role of entrepreneurship in economic development
involves more than just increasing per capita output and income. It involves
initiating and constituting change in the structure of business and society. This
change is accompanied by growth and increased output. One theory of economic
growth depicts innovation as the key for economic growth in developing
new products or services for the market. Innovative activities also stimulate
investment interest in the new ventures being created. Thus, entrepreneurship
through its process of innovation creates new investment of new ventures, which
result in economic development. As more ventures are being created, new jobs
will be produced, thus reducing the unemployment rate.

Entrepreneurship, through its creativity and innovation process produces new


products and services to fulfil human needs. It provides specific products or
services needed by customers. In producing goods and services, they will find
better ways to utilise resources, and reduce waste. For that, society will get better
goods and services at a cheaper price.

Entrepreneurship helps to improve the lives of millions of people through the


new products and services they bring to the market. Moreover, entrepreneurs
are also extremely generous in donating substantial portions of their wealth to
eminently worthy causes. Therefore, entrepreneurs are individuals who create
wealth, as well as promote wealth distribution.

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8  TOPIC 1 INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP

1.4 THE MYTHS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP


There are many myths about entrepreneurship. These myths arise because of
the lack of research on entrepreneurship. Kuratko and Hodgetts (2004) have
discussed ten myths of entrepreneurship as follows:

Table 1.2: The Ten Myths of Entrepreneurship

Myths Facts
Myth 1 Although entrepreneurs tend to be action oriented, they are also
Entrepreneurs thinkers. They are actually often very methodical people who plan
are doers, not their moves carefully. They also have other alternatives set if
thinkers their plan fails. This shows that entrepreneurs are both thinkers
and doers.
Myth 2 Some entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs say that the
Entrepreneurs characteristics of entrepreneurs cannot be taught or learned.
are born, not Entrepreneurial characteristics are innate traits and one must
made be born with it to become entrepreneurs. However, research
has proven that entrepreneurship can be taught and studied.
Entrepreneurship has models, processes and case studies that
allow it to be learned.
Myth 3 Although many inventors are also entrepreneurs, numerous
Entrepreneurs successful entrepreneurs are not inventors. For example, Ray
are always Kroc did not invent the fast-food franchise but his innovative
inventors ideas made McDonaldÊs the largest fast-food enterprise in the
world. Successful entrepreneurs use creative and innovative
ideas in their ventures and these characteristics can be learned.
Myth 4 This belief arises because some business owners started their
Entrepreneurs successful enterprise only after dropping out of school or
are academic and quitting a job. Historically, educational and social organisations
social misfits did not recognise entrepreneurs. Today, the entrepreneur is
no longer considered a misfit. They are now viewed as
professionals.
Myth 5 Many books and articles have presented checklists of
Entrepreneurs characteristics of the successful entrepreneur. These lists were
must fit the neither validated nor complete; they were based on case studies
„Profile‰ and on research findings among achievement-oriented people.
Today, we realise that a standard entrepreneurial profile is hard
to compile. Many successful entrepreneurs today did not have
all the profile of the successful entrepreneur when they started
their venture.

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TOPIC 1 INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP  9

Myth 6 It is true that venture needs capital to survive; it is also true that
All entrepreneurs a large number of business failures occur because of a lack of
need is money adequate financing. To entrepreneurs, money is a resource but
not an end in itself.
Myth 7 To be at „the right place at the right time‰ is always an
All entrepreneurs advantage. However, „luck happens when preparation meets
opportunity‰. What are important and needed for the
need is luck
entrepreneur to seize an opportunity are planning, preparation,
determination, desire, knowledge and innovativeness.
Myth 8 „Too much planning and evaluation lead to constant problems‰.
Ignorance is bliss This statement is not true in todayÊs competitive markets. The
for entrepreneurs key factors to be successful entrepreneurs are detailed planning
and preparation. Entrepreneurs identify a ventureÊs strength and
weaknesses, set up clear timetables with contingencies for
handling problems, and minimise these problems through
careful strategy formulation.
Myth 9 It is true that many entrepreneurs suffer a number of failures
Entrepreneurs before they are successful. In fact, failures can teach many
seek success but lessons to entrepreneurs and often lead to future successes.
experience high Entrepreneurs always learn from their failures and also the
failure rates failures of others, which act as a form of guidance and direction
for their future
Myth 10 The concept of risk is a major element in the entrepreneurial
Entrepreneurs are process. However, the publicÊs perception is that most
extreme risk- entrepreneurs are high risk-takers. In fact, entrepreneurs always
takers (gamblers) search for information and do planning before taking any action.
This means that entrepreneurs are usually working on moderate
and calculated risks.

These myths can provide a view of todayÊs current thinking on entrepreneurship.


It also provides a framework and foundation for researching the contemporary
theories and processes of entrepreneurship.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


10  TOPIC 1 INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP

1.5 DEVELOPMENT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP


IN MALAYSIA

ACTIVITY 1.4

Name some policies enacted by the Malaysian government to


promote local entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship has existed in Malaysia (Malaya) since the interaction of


Malacca with foreign traders. However, when the British colonised the Malay
Peninsular, they changed the structure of the society and practised the „divide
and rule‰ system in which the Malays were engaged in administration and
agriculture, the Chinese in mining and business, and the Indians in rubber
plantations. As a result of this system, the Chinese society was far ahead in
business compared to the Malays and Indians.

After independence, the Malaysian Government realised the importance of


entrepreneurship to individuals, society and the country, and how it contributes
to the nationÊs prosperity. Since then, the government has been focusing on the
field of entrepreneurship until today. The New Economic Policy (1971ă1990), the
National Development Policy (1990ă2000) and Vision 2020, all encourage and
support entrepreneurship development in Malaysia.

The government encourages entrepreneurship development and gives


recognition to entrepreneurs because they can contribute to the development
of the country. In 1995, the government incorporated the Ministry of
Entrepreneurship Development as a specific body to manage and promote the
growth of entrepreneurship in Malaysia. Today, this ministry is named the
Ministry of Entrepreneurship Development and Co-operation.

ACTIVITY 1.5

How far does the Malaysian government recognise and also


restructure entrepreneurship development in the country? Do
research on this topic and share your findings. You may use the
Internet, newspapers and books as resources for your research.

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TOPIC 1 INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP  11

EXERCISE 1.1

1. What are the ten myths of entrepreneurship?


2. Discuss the importance of entrepreneurship.
3. Give the scenarios of entrepreneurship development in Malaysia.

 The study of entrepreneurship has relevance today, not only because it helps
entrepreneurs to better fulfil their personal needs but also because of the
contribution it gives to the individual, society, country and to the world.

 This topic examines the evolution and concepts of entrepreneurship and


discusses the importance of entrepreneurship.

 In addition, the ten major myths of entrepreneurship are presented to


provide a better understanding of the assumptions surrounding this newly
developing field of study.

 It also provides a framework and foundation for researching contemporary


theories and processes of entrepreneurship.

 The discussion on the entrepreneurship development in Malaysia is


presented to give a brief history and scenarios of entrepreneurship in
Malaysia. The government should continuously promote the growth of this
area in the future.

 Furthermore, to foster entrepreneurship development, entrepreneurship


education is a vital element to further educate society in the area of
entrepreneurship.

Divide and rule Myths


Entrepreneur New venture
Entrepreneurship Risk

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Topic  Identifying
Entrepreneurial
2 Characteristics
LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Identify 16 characteristics of successful entrepreneurs;
2. Evaluate your entrepreneurial inclination potential using the
entrepreneur self-assessment test; and
3. Describe at least three differences between businessmen, managers
and entrepreneurs.

 INTRODUCTION

This topic describes the most common characteristics associated with successful
entrepreneurs, entrepreneur self-assessment and the differences between the
entrepreneur, the small businessman and the managers.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 2 IDENTIFYING ENTREPRENEURAL CHARACTERISTICS  13

2.1 CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL


ENTREPRENEURS
The following discussion provides a brief summary of characteristics most
commonly associated with successful entrepreneurs. Even though new
characteristics are continually being added to the list, it does provide important
insights into the entrepreneurial perspective.

Figure 2.1: Characteristics of successful entrepreneurs

(a) Initiative and Responsibility


Most researchers agree that effective entrepreneurs actively seek and take
the initiative. They willingly put themselves in situations where they are
personally responsible for the success or failure of the operation.
Entrepreneurs feel a personal responsibility for the outcome of ventures in
which they are associated. They like to take the initiative in solving
problems where no leadership exists.

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14  TOPIC 2 IDENTIFYING ENTREPRENEURAL CHARACTERISTICS

(b) High Degree of Commitment


Launching a venture successfully requires total commitment from
entrepreneurs. This commitment helps entrepreneurs to overcome business-
threatening mistakes and obstacles. EntrepreneursÊ commitment to their
ideas and ventures determine how successful those ventures ultimately
become.

(c) Opportunity Orientation


Entrepreneurs focus and start on opportunities rather than on resources,
structure or strategy. They begin with opportunities and let their
understanding of them guide other important issues. Entrepreneurs have a
well-defined sense of searching for opportunities. In searching for new
business opportunities, entrepreneurs observe the same events other people
do but they see something different. Entrepreneurs are not only capable of
searching for opportunities but are also capable of seizing the extraordinary
ones.

(d) Moderate Risk-taker


Entrepreneurs are not wild risk-takers; they are calculated risk takers.
When entrepreneurs participate in any venture, they do so in a very
calculated, carefully thought out manner. They often avoid taking
unnecessary risks.

(e) Confident and Optimistic


Entrepreneurs typically have an abundance of confidence in their ability to
succeed. They tend to be optimistic about their chances for success, and
usually their optimism is based on reality. The high level of confidence and
optimism explains why some of the most successful entrepreneurs have
failed in business, often more than once, before finally succeeding.

(f) Creative and Innovative


Creativity and innovativeness are important for entrepreneurs to gain
a competitive advantage in their ventures. Through their creative and
innovative minds and imagination, entrepreneurs can produce unique
goods and services for customers. Creativity is not inherited, it can be
learned.

(g) Seeking Feedback


Entrepreneurs like to know how they are doing and are constantly looking
for reinforcement. They actively seek and use feedback to improve
themselves and their venture performance. From feedback, entrepreneurs
can learn from their mistakes.

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TOPIC 2 IDENTIFYING ENTREPRENEURAL CHARACTERISTICS  15

(h) Drive to Achieve


Achievement seems to be the primary motivating force behind
entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are self-starters who internally have a strong
desire to compete, excel, pursue and attain challenging goals. One of the
common misconceptions about entrepreneurs is that they are driven wholly
by the desire to make money. To entrepreneurs, money is simply a symbol
of achievement, not the driving motive.

(i) Ability to Set Vision


Entrepreneurs know what they want to achieve. They have a vision or
concept of what their firm can be. Not all entrepreneurs have
predetermined visions for their firm. In many cases, this vision develops
over time as the entrepreneur begins to realise what the firm is and what it
can become.

(j) Skilled at Organising


Building a venture from the very beginning is not easy. So, entrepreneurs
know how to put the right people together to accomplish a task.
Entrepreneurs are able to organise their resources in an effective way so as
to transform their visions into reality.

(k) Internal Locus of Control


Entrepreneurs believe that the success or failure of their venture depends
on themselves. Their accomplishments and setbacks are within their own
control and influence, and they can affect the outcome of their actions.

(l) Tolerance of Failure


Entrepreneurs do not become disappointed, discouraged, or depressed by
failure. They use failure as a learning experience. In difficult times, they still
look for opportunities. Most entrepreneurs believe they learn more from
their early failures than from their early successes.

(m) High Level of Energy


Entrepreneurs are more energetic than the average person. Entrepreneurs
need to have a high level of energy so as to cope with the extraordinary
workload and the stressful demands they face. That energy may be a critical
factor, given the incredible effort required to start-up a company.

(n) Team Building


Most successful entrepreneurs have highly qualified and well-motivated
teams that help handle the ventureÊs growth and development.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


16  TOPIC 2 IDENTIFYING ENTREPRENEURAL CHARACTERISTICS

(o) Independent
Entrepreneurs are independent people. They like to accomplish tasks in
their own way. This does not mean entrepreneurs must make all the
decisions. They want to have authority to make important decisions.

(p) Flexibility
Entrepreneurs are not rigid in their ventures. They are flexible and have the
ability to adapt to the changing demands of their customers and businesses.
In this rapidly changing world economy, rigidity often leads to failure.

EXERCISE 2.1

What are the common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs?

2.2 SELF-ASSESSMENT FOR ENTREPRENEURS


There are many instruments that can be used to assess and measure the potential
inclination towards entrepreneurship in individuals. Among them are instruments
proposed by Robinson, Stimpson, Huefner and Hunt (1991). Today, there are
many online interactive tests and quizzes on entrepreneurial inclination potential
to test your level of entrepreneurial potential.

The purpose of the entrepreneur self-assessment test is to get insights on the


entrepreneurial inclination potential in individuals. It is not to find out whether
individuals can become entrepreneurs or not. Anyone has the potential to
become an entrepreneur, regardless of age, race, gender, colour and national
origin. Entrepreneurship is not a genetic trait; it is a learned skill. Each individual
has a chance to be an entrepreneur. So, from this entrepreneur self-assessment
test, you can see your standing and do something to improve your level of
inclination towards entrepreneurship if you are interested in becoming a
successful entrepreneur.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 2 IDENTIFYING ENTREPRENEURAL CHARACTERISTICS  17

ACTIVITY 2.1

What is the purpose of the entrepreneur self-assessment test? You


can try one of the online tests by accessing http://bizmove.com/
other/quiz.htm. Compare your score with your friends.

2.3 THE DIFFERENCES AMONGST


BUSINESSMEN, MANAGERS AND
ENTREPRENEURS
In this subtopic, we are going to look at the differences between businessmen,
managers and entrepreneurs adapted from Zimmerer (1998).

2.3.1 The Differences between a Businessman and


an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs are not synonymous with businessmen, especially the small
businessman. This is due to the fact that not all businessmen are entrepreneurs.
However, all entrepreneurs are businessmen. Businessmen do have the
characteristics of most entrepreneurs but those characteristics are at a lower stage
compared to entrepreneurs. Several characteristics can be used to differentiate
the small businessman and the entrepreneur. Table 2.1 exhibits the differences
between a small businessman and an entrepreneur.

Table 2.1: The Differences between a Businessman and an Entrepreneur

Small Businessman Entrepreneur


Ć Engages in business activities for Ć Starts the venture, assumes leadership
the purpose of profit to support his and expands the venture to fulfil
living and his family. personal goals and attain self
accomplishment.
Ć Low risk-taker. Ć Moderate risk-taker.

Ć Follows others and invests only in Ć Takes calculated risks.


tested and proven markets.

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18  TOPIC 2 IDENTIFYING ENTREPRENEURAL CHARACTERISTICS

2.3.2 The Differences between a Conventional


Manager and an Entrepreneur
There are some differences between managers and entrepreneurs. Table 2.2
shows the differences between managers, especially a conventional manager and
an entrepreneur.

Table 2.2: The Differences between a Conventional Manager and an Entrepreneur

Conventional Manager Entrepreneur


Ć Very conscious of rules and taboos. Ć Views rules only as guidelines.

Ć Sensitive to the future and willing Ć Concept of the future based on


to postpone rewards. personal goals. Low threshold for
frustration.
Ć Has a powerful need for Ć Ambivalent towards control,
acceptance. success, and responsibility. Can be
manipulative and exploitative of
others.
Ć Able to identify problems in any Ć Impatient with discussions and
course of action. Makes detailed theories. Prone to action and seems
plans. impulsive.
 Make detailed plans.

Source: Zimmerer, T. W., & Searborough, N. M., (1998). Essential of entrepreneurship and
small business management (2nd ed.). Prentice Hall.

SELF-CHECK 2.1

Summarise the differences amongst businessmen, managers and


entrepreneurs. Discuss your list with your friends.

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TOPIC 2 IDENTIFYING ENTREPRENEURAL CHARACTERISTICS  19

 This topic attempts to provide entrepreneurial characteristics that are most


often cited. Although new characteristics are continually being added, the list
of characteristics given can give important insights on most of the common
characteristics exhibited by successful entrepreneurs.

 There are sixteen characteristics worth identifying in this topic:


ă Seeking feedback
ă Internal locus of control
ă Flexibility
ă High level of energy
ă Team building
ă Ability to set vision
ă Tolerance for failure
ă Drive to achieve
ă Skilled at organising
ă Creative and innovative
ă Independents
ă Confidence and optimistic
ă Moderate risk-taker
ă Opportunity orientation
ă High degree of commitment
ă Initiative and responsibility

 The topic also presents the entrepreneur self-assessment test to see the
entrepreneurial inclination potential in individuals.

 It also discusses the differences among entrepreneurs, small businessmen and


conventional managers.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


20  TOPIC 2 IDENTIFYING ENTREPRENEURAL CHARACTERISTICS

Creative Innovative
Entrepreneurs self-assessment Optimistic

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


Topic  Developing
Entrepreneurial
3 Creativity and
Innovation
LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Define the concepts of creativity and innovation;
2. Explain four main phases in the creative process;
3. Explain five creativity techniques;
4. Describe four basic types of innovation; and
5. Discuss the barriers to creativity and innovation.

 INTRODUCTION
TodayÊs competitive business environment requires an entrepreneur to think of
ways to produce new products, services or processes for new purposes to the
customers. This, in turn, could enable the organisation to survive and attract the
attention of customers to the organisationÊs new inventions as well as generate
revenues. Hence, creativity and innovation are vital elements for all levels of
businesses in order for them to grow and expand. Besides, it is also essential both
for survival and for building competitive advantage (Kirby, 2003).

Continuously seeking new paradigms of solving a business problem is the


precondition for successful entrepreneurs. As a creative person, the entrepreneur
must be able to think creatively to find solutions to existing problems. One
should, however, remember that, efficiency and effectiveness no longer
guarantee the survival of business nowadays. Creativity and innovation are
constantly pushing business forward.

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22  TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

As a result, the ability to create or invent something new is the answer for
business to remain in the market.

The first section discusses what creativity is, the process of creativity, barriers to
creativity, how to generate creativity and characteristics of creative entrepreneurs.

3.1 WHAT IS CREATIVITY?


There are a few definitions for creativity. According to Schermerhorn, Hunt
and Osborn (2003), creativity involves the development of unique and novel
responses to problems and opportunities. Creativity is imperative for responding
to the complex challenges in a dynamic business environment which is often full
of non-routine problems. Thus, creativity is:

„The ability to produce work that is novel (i.e. original and unexpected), high
in quality and appropriate (i.e. useful, meets task constraints).‰
(Sternberg, Kaufman and Pretz, 2002)

SELF-CHECK 3.1
Give the definition for creativity based on your understanding.

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TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION  23

3.2 THE PROCESS OF CREATIVITY


An entrepreneur needs to think of ideas to implement new strategies. Generally,
ideas evolve from the creative process in which an imaginative individual will
imagine, inculcate and develop an idea into a form that can be implemented and
in return, benefit both the entrepreneur and the organisation.

According to Kuratko and Hodgetts (2004), there are four main phases or steps in
the creative process, as shown in Figure 3.1.

Figure 3.1: The creative thinking process


Source: Kuratko and Hodgetts (2004)

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24  TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

The elaboration of the phases is shown in Figure 3.2.

Figure 3.2: Four phases in the creative process

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TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION  25

EXERCISE 3.1

Briefly explain what creativity is and the main phases involved in the
process of creative thinking.

3.3 BARRIERS TO CREATIVITY


We should bear in mind that not all novel ideas generated during the creative
thinking process are acceptable. Creativity does not ensure that there will be no
barriers, no frustrations and no failures. There are four barriers to creativity, as
shown in Figure 3.3.

Figure 3.3: Barriers to creativity

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26  TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

3.4 HOW TO GENERATE CREATIVE IDEAS


Different people have different ways of thinking. There are several techniques to
improve creativity. Five techniques that can be used to foster creativity are:
Ć Brainstorming;
Ć Forced Analogy;
Ć DO IT;
Ć Mind Mapping; and
Ć Nominal Group.

(a) Brainstorming
Brainstorming is the most common and powerful technique used to hatch
ideas. During a brainstorming session, all members of the group suggest
ideas that are then discussed. The ideal number of group members
involved in a brainstorming session is four to seven. There are four rules of
brainstorming (Williams, 2000), namely:

(i) The more ideas, the better;

(ii) All ideas are acceptable, no matter how wild or crazy they might be;

(ii) Use other group membersÊ ideas to come up with even more ideas;
and

(iv) Criticism or evaluation of ideas is not allowed.

(b) Forced Analogy


This is a very useful and fun-filled technique of generating ideas. An idea is
compared to a problem and something else that has little or nothing in
common to get a new insight. There are several ways that you can ``forceÊÊ a
relationship between almost everything and gain new solutions, such as
you and a pen, music and computers, products and markets. Forcing
relationships can help to develop new insights as well as new alternatives.
To develop a relationship is to have a selection of objects or a card with
pictures or images that help to generate ideas. Choose an object or card
randomly and see what kind of relationship can be forced.
(Adapted from members.optus.net.com/au/~charles57/Creative/Techniques/
forced_analogy.htm or www.si.hhs.nl/~runda/Creativity.pdf)

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TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION  27

(c) DO IT

At the first stage of the DO IT technique, we must analyse the problem


to ensure that the correct question is being asked. Studying and
understanding the problem is crucial in order to identify the main cause of
the problem. If the problem appears to be very large, break it into smaller
parts and summarise the problem as concisely as possible.

Secondly, once we have successfully identified a problem, generate as


many ideas as possible to get possible solutions to overcome it. Every
attempt to generate an idea is essential, regardless of whether the ideas are
good or bad.

Thirdly, we need to examine and analyse in detail before choosing the best
ideas to solve a problem, and all the solutions should come from the second
stage.

Finally, once the best solution is identified, it is time to implement it. This
stage involves the development of a reliable product from the ideal,
marketing and business strategies and it normally incurs time, cost, and
energy.

(d) Mind Mapping


This technique allows one to use pictures and/or word phrases to organise
and develop thoughts in a non-linear fashion. It helps people to „see‰ a
problem and its solution.

Many people use mind mapping during:


(i) Brainstorming;
(ii) Taking notes; and
(iii) Refreshing their memory.

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28  TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

Mind mapping can also be used to generate new products, solve a problem,
plan strategy, or develop a process. The key to its effective use to generate
ideas and solve problems is to not necessarily think logically. If one idea
triggers another, do not try to analyse it; just mark it down on the mind
map. Similar to brainstorming, the crazier the association, the better. That is
how truly innovative solutions come about.

(e) Nominal Group


The use of nominal groups is to generate ideas and evaluate solutions face-
to-face in non-threatening group circumstances; members do so by writing
down silently as many ideas as possible. After that, group members engage
in recording the ideas given and then discuss the ideas to obtain
clarification and evaluation. Finally, each member will vote privately on the
priority of ideas.

EXERCISE 3.2
List and briefly explain the techniques for generating creative ideas.

3.5 CHARACTERISTICS OF CREATIVE


INDIVIDUALS
Entrepreneurs are somehow creative individuals. However, not all creative
individuals can be entrepreneurs. Figure 3.4 shows the eight characteristics of
creative individuals.

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TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION  29

Figure 3.4: Characteristics of creative individuals

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30  TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

3.6 WHAT IS INNOVATION?


Once entrepreneurs have undergone a creative process and found the best
solution, the next step will be application and eventually innovation. Creativity is
a pre-condition to innovation. Today, innovation is widely believed to be the key
to sustainable success for many organisations. Companies that are able to
compete and win are those that develop new products or new systems of
producing products and continue doing so over time.

Why is innovation imperative? What is innovation? In this section, we will


discuss what innovation is, its types, sources and barriers.

According to Kinicki and Williams (2003), innovation is „finding ways to deliver


new or better goods or services‰. It means that every organisation, regardless of
profit or non-profit, will not allow itself to become complacent, especially when
rivals are coming up with creative ideas. Innovation is also deemed as the
creation of something new in the marketplace that alters the supply-demand
equation (Chell, 2001). An entrepreneur creates a new demand in the market by
recombining the factors of production to create something new. Therefore,
innovation is the key to survival for entrepreneurs in todayÊs intense business
environment. ``Innovate or dieÊÊ should become every entrepreneurÊs principle of
daily life.

ACTIVITY 3.1
What do you understand by the term innovation? In your opinion,
how does this term apply to entrepreneurs and why is it important?
Discuss in your class.

3.6.1 Types of Innovation


Everyone in an enterprise must be innovative so as to enable the enterprise to
change fast enough to cater to the customersÊ needs and demands. Essentially,
there are four basic types of innovation (Kuratko and Hodgetts, 2004) as shown
in Figure 3.5.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION  31

Figure 3.5: Types of innovation and examples

3.6.2 Sources of Innovation


An entrepreneur needs powerful ideas before he or she can inspire a new
product, service or process. The following are four sources of innovation for
entrepreneurs (Drucker, 1985; Kuratko and Hodgetts, 2004).

(a) Unexpected Events


Entrepreneurs frequently notice that they get ideas from something that is
out of their expectations. Unexpected events offer immense opportunities
for entrepreneurs to apply their expertise to a new application or formula.
Besides that, unexpected success or failure is also a major source of
innovation when things go unnoticed or unplanned.

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32  TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

(b) New-Knowledge Concept


In todayÊs marketplace, we can find out new products or services easily.
Indeed, most of these products or services are knowledge-based
innovations that need a long time to research and to be developed by
experts. New knowledge can be obtained through reading, attending
seminars or conferences or discussions among the professionals.

(c) Changes of Demographics


Changes of demographic characteristics in age, educational levels, income
and types of employment have been a main source of innovation for
entrepreneurs. The transformation of demographic characteristics has
created huge opportunities for entrepreneurs to explore. For example, as
the standard of living and income increase, the demands for luxury goods
and health care products also accelerate.

(d) Process Needs


Process needs exist within the process of business, an industry or a service.
It perfects a process which already exists, replaces a link that is weak,
redesigns an existing process and so on. All these provide opportunities for
entrepreneurs to produce products, services or processes that suit the
customersÊ demands and needs. For example, in the process of creating a
healthy society, people will want to do more exercise. Thus, entrepreneurs
could provide more health facilities or centres for those who desire them.

SELF-CHECK 3.2

1. What are the sources of innovation? Give examples based on your


surrounding observation.
2. Based on the types of innovation, give appropriate examples and
explain. Compare it with your friendsÊ examples.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION  33

3.6.3 Barriers to Innovation


Even though entrepreneurs have a pool of ideas to innovate, there are some
glitches that can hinder one from becoming innovative. Barriers to innovation
always come from within an organisation, especially from its staff. The barriers
to innovation are as follows:

(a) Organisation Does Not Encourage Innovation


Some organisations are comfortable with the current status quo and refuse
to change. For them, any change means a threat that could affect the
organisational culture and procedures, and more importantly their current
position. Thus, to avoid such things from happening, the management will
try to avoid or refuse to recognise the need for innovation within the
organisation. Moreover, interdepartmental borders prevent communication
of innovative ideas among its staff.

(b) Insufficient Resources


Some organisations are keen to change and innovate but are let down by
insufficient resources like human resources, funds and facilities that are
vital in implementing an innovation.

(c) Traditional Management Behaviour


ManagementÊs desire to be in control prevents its staff from being creative.
This happens especially when the management is controlled by senior staff
members that maintain traditional ways of thinking and resist changing.
Sometimes, a creative staff member is hindered by the managementÊs
excessive rules, constraints and bureaucracy.

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34  TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

In addition to all those, barriers to innovation could be derived from personal or


individual behaviour as shown in Figure 3.6.

Figure 3.6: Personal or individual behaviour

3.7 THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATIVITY AND


INNOVATION FOR ENTREPRENEURS
In the dynamic world of global competition, entrepreneurs must embrace
creativity and innovation as part of their crucial ingredient for success.
Entrepreneurs must be able to create new products or services and be willing to
adopt cutting-edge technology if they are to compete successfully. Thus, it is
essential for entrepreneurs to recognise and reward themselves and their staff
who are creative and innovative. There are three reasons why creativity and
innovation is important. They are explained as follows:

(a) To Ensure an OrganisationÊs Survival


Creativity and innovation is essential to long term organisation survival.
The future of a business depends on the ability of the organisation to create
new products or services. In doing so, it can increase the organisationÊs
capability to compete with its rivals. It also makes the entire organisation
respond speedily and collectively to the environmental change. An
organisation can no longer wait for demands from customers; rather, it
must engage in continuing supply of something novel to satisfy customersÊ
wants.

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TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION  35

(b) To Explore New Markets


With the presence of new products or services, entrepreneurs have the
advantage of exploring untapped markets. A creative and innovative
entrepreneur will always think of conquering a new market by introducing
new products or services. For example, when Phillips introduced the first
DVD (Digital Video Disc) player in the market in 1995, it successfully
penetrated the worldwide market.

(c) To Exploit Natural Resources


There are plenty of natural resources on Earth. Thus, entrepreneurs should
ensure that they can get these benefits by exploiting the wealth of resources
without causing harm to the environment. Indeed, creativity and
innovation create resources. There is no such thing as a ÂresourceÊ until man
(entrepreneur) finds a use for something in nature and thus endows it with
economic value (Drucker, 1985). Therefore, an entrepreneur is a person who
is responsible for creating the ÂvalueÊ for every natural resource to benefit
human beings.

3.8 STRATEGIES TO ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY


AND INNOVATION
There are four strategies that can be used to encourage creativity and innovation
in an organisation. These strategies are summarised in Figure 3.7.

Figure 3.7: Four strategies to encourage creativity and innovation in the organisation

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


36  TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

(a) Recognise your Own Abilities


It is important to know your abilities so that you can tackle the problems or
opportunities which arise creatively and innovatively. Be aware of your
own limitations that might block you from possible solutions.

(b) Change your Perception


Try to look at problems or opportunities from various perspectives.
Examine the problems and opportunities by breaking them into small
pieces, then find the real or best solutions for them.

(c) Change the Organisational Culture


Organisations must encourage their staff to be creative and innovative.
Reward the members of staff who really excel in creating novelties.

(d) Dare to Fail


Treat every failure or mistake as a motivator that drives you to go further in
finding the best solution.

ACTIVITY 3.2

1. What are the strategies that you can use to encourage creativity and
innovation in an organisation?
2. To take some creativity tests, please browse the following websites:
 http://www.creax.com/csa/frame.asp?session=zero
 http://enchantedmind.com/html/creativity/iq_tests/
creativity_test.html

 The definition of the concept of creativity is „the ability to produce work that
is novel (original and unexpected), high in quality and appropriate (useful,
meets task constraints)‰.

 The definition of the concept of innovation is „finding ways to deliver new or


better goods or services‰.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 3 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION  37

 The four main phases in the creative phase are:


ă Knowledge accumulation
ă Incubation
ă Ideas
ă Evaluation and implementation

 The five creativity techniques are:


ă Brainstorming
ă Forced analogy
ă DO IT
ă Mind mapping
ă Nominal group

 The four basic types of innovation are:


ă Invention
ă Extension
ă Duplication
ă Synthesis

 The barriers to creativity are:


ă Personal belief
ă Fear of criticism
ă Over-management
ă Stress

 The barriers to innovation are:


ă Organisations which do not encourage innovation
ă Insufficient resources
ă Traditional management behaviour

Brainstorming Forced analogy


Creativity Innovation
Creative process Mind-mapping
DO IT Nominal group

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


Topic  Ventures
Environment
4 Assessment
LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Identify two components of ventures environment;
2. Describe four elements of macro and micro environment and six
elements of micro environment;
3. Explain three elements of organisationÊs internal environment;
4. Explain a business opportunity; and
5. Evaluate a business opportunity.

 INTRODUCTION
Business venture environments are usually discussed in relation to marketing
and economics management, to name a few. In this topic, we will discuss the
importance of environment in providing opportunities and threats to new
ventures creation. There are many ways to assess an environment of new
business ventures.

First, we will analyse the component of environment where the ventures operate.
Then, we will discuss the steps in identifying a business opportunity and how to
evaluate and grab this opportunity to start up new business ventures.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT  39

4.1 THE COMPONENTS OF VENTURES


ENVIRONMENT
Entrepreneurs need to evaluate the environment not only prior to the start-up of
their business but also during the growth stage of ventures. An environment is
the situation where business ventures operate. Ventures environments can be
divided into two parts, which are:

(a) Macro view of the external environment

(b) Micro view of the external and internal environment

Each of these consists of many components that need to be assessed.


Figure 4.1 illustrates the components of ventures environment.

Figure 4.1: The components of ventures environment

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


40  TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

(a) External Environment


The external environment consists of the following elements i.e macro
environment and micro environment. Macro environment can influence
business decision-making in the long term and comprises uncontrollable
elements. It consists of four elements:
(i) Politics and legislation;
(ii) Economy;
(iii) Socio-cultural; and
(iv) Technology.

Meanwhile according to Kuratko and Hodgetts (2004) the micro environment


of business venture is also part of venture external environment, but can
directly influence the entrepreneursÊ decisions and activities. It is also known
as the industrial environment or task environment. The micro environment
consists of six elements:
(i) Customers;
(ii) Competitors;
(iii) Suppliers;
(iv) Financial institutions;
(v) Non-government organisations; and
(vi) Government agencies.

The micro environment or the industrial environment is also known as a


competitive environment in PorterÊs 5 Forces Model which includes threat
of new entrant, substitute product, and bargaining power of suppliers and
buyers. Financial institutions are considered as general environment, while
non-government organisations and government agencies are categorised
under politics and legislation.

(b) Internal Environment


The internal environment can also directly influence decision-making of
entrepreneurs. However, they can control these elements. The internal
organisation environment consists of the following elements:
(i) Organisation structure;
(ii) Culture; and
(iii) Resources.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT  41

ACTIVITY 4.1

What do you think will happen if entrepreneurs start-up their


business without analysing the environment in which the venture
operates? Compare and discuss your answers with your friends
and tutor.

EXERCISE 4.1

List all segments and components of business environments.

4.2 MACRO ENVIRONMENT


Earlier, we mentioned that the macro environment consists of elements which are
political and legislative, economy, technology and socio-cultural. In this section,
we will describe these elements and their influence towards entrepreneurs.
Figure 4.2 shows the environmental variables.

Figure 4.2: Environmental variables


Source: Modified from Kuratko, D. F., & Hodgetts, R. M. (2004) Entrepreneurship:
A contemporary approach (6th ed.)
Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)
42  TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

4.2.1 Political and Legislation


The political and legislative segment of a macro environment is the arena in
which different interest groups compete for attention and resources. This is the
environment where entrepreneurs exercise their political power. To a large
extent, entrepreneurs have to take the given political and legislative elements of
the new ventures. They have to obey and adhere to the policy, legislation and
regulations where the business operates.

ACTIVITY 4.2

What do you think is the role of political and legislation segments


in a venture environment? Discuss in class.

Figure 4.3 shows the political and legislative segment of macro environment.

Figure 4.3: The political and legislative segment of macro environment

There are many political and legislative differences between one country and
another. The global issues entrepreneurs should be aware of are trade barriers,
tariffs and political risks, as well as bilateral and multilateral relationships. All
these issues are interrelated.

(a) Trade Barriers and Tariffs


Trade barriers and tariffs are imposed on goods and services that are traded
internationally. They hinder the free flow of resources from other countries
as a protection for the home countryÊs industries. Examples include trade
barriers that are imposed on the automobile industry in Malaysia.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT  43

(b) Political Risks


This refers to the potential for instability, corruption and violence in a
country or region where businesses take place. In regions where political
risks are high, it is difficult and costly for entrepreneurs to buy, protect and
dispose of resources. Other risks include political and physical violence,
extortion and corruption which involve bribes and other forms of unethical
payments. These will add to the cost of new ventures.

(c) Trade Agreement


There is a trend of increasing trade agreement between countries, for
example, the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) that Malaysian
entrepreneurs should consider when making decisions regarding trading
internationally. The goal of this agreement is to increase economic
productivity within the geographical region covered.

The national issues entrepreneurs must be aware of are taxation, regulation


and government spending. All these issues are interrelated.

(d) Taxation
This is the major political factor that entrepreneurs face at the national level.
The impact of taxation on business operations are as follows:
(i) Reduces the cash available for business ventures to invest.
(ii) Some taxes are favourable to only certain businesses and
disadvantageous to others.

(e) Regulation
An example of regulation is the regulation on the use of drugs. However,
sometimes the effect of regulations on businesses is negative. They
sometimes add to the cost on businesses in terms of paperwork, testing,
monitoring and compliancy.

Therefore, entrepreneurs should evaluate the political environment thoroughly


in order to identify whether threats or opportunities exist. Generally, political
stability of a country where the business operates provides opportunities for
entrepreneurs to start up new ventures or expand their business.

ACTIVITY 4.3

What is the role of AFTA? Discuss in myVLE.

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44  TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

4.2.2 Economy
The economic environment plays a vital role in the success or failure of any new
venture. A macro economic environment encompasses the total of all goods and
services produced, distributed, sold and consumed. Entrepreneurs need to
analyse this environment at the global, national and local levels where their
business operates. Each business is related to one another at these three levels of
the macro economics environment. However, one should know which level has a
greater impact on entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs should scan, monitor, forecast
and assess the macroeconomic conditions that affect the new venture. They
should be able to see the changes that happen in the economy and be able to
determine the variables that are relevant for analysis.

Figure 4.4 lists out some important questions to be answered by entrepreneurs


regarding the economics environment of new ventures in order to provide an
overall picture of the business climate:

Figure 4.4: Questions to consider regarding new ventures

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT  45

4.2.3 Socio-cultural
The socio-cultural environment consists of two highly related aspects:
(a) Demographics; and
(b) Cultural trends.

There are business opportunities that exist in a societyÊs popular culture, for
example, business opportunities for consumer and durable goods, retailing and
services, leisure and entertainment and housing and construction.

(a) Demographic Changes


They occur due to changes in the population, ethnic groups, and population
structure according to age, gender, geographical location and population
distribution of income. These elements are the contributing factors to
consumersÊ demand, purchasing power and industrial capacity.
Entrepreneurs should also closely examine these elements which contribute
to the creation of markets. However, the demographic trend and changes
are beyond an entrepreneurÊs control. Entrepreneurs need to assess
demographic changes in order to identify business opportunities. For
example, the increasing number of children in a society can create
opportunity for business related activities that service the needs and wants
of this particular group, for example childrenÊs education, food and clothes.

(b) Social Trends


They relate to the modes and manner in which people live their lives.
Lifestyle reflects the peopleÊs tastes and preferences. Entrepreneurs need to
scan and monitor lifestyle changes in order to identify business
opportunities. The variables that need attention are household formation,
work modes and labour force participation rates, education levels, patterns
of consumption and patterns of leisure. Entrepreneurs can use available
information from public and private sources of data to scan and monitor
these changes. Entrepreneurs also need to forecast and assess the meaning
of changes for a new venture by looking after their own self-interest. Thus,
they can predict how people behave.

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46  TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

SELF-CHECK 4.1

Why is socio-cultural environment vital to the entrepreneur?

4.2.4 Technology
The branch of knowledge that deals with industrial arts, applied science,
engineering, process, invention or method can be defined as technology.
Technological analysis requires scanning and monitoring from the time of basic
research through product development and commercialisation. Technological
change takes two forms:
 Pure invention; and
 Process innovation.

(a) Pure Invention


Pure invention refers to the creation of something new that is different from
existing technology or products. For this reason, invention usually has
economic value and has no competitors at initial stages and is often a
monopoly by the individual who has the legal right on that invention. But
there are disadvantages with inventions because there is no market at the
early stage. New inventions can create new markets and opportunities for
business, for example, the invention of semiconductors that created
business opportunities in computers.

(b) Process Innovation


Process innovation refers to the small changes in design, product
formulation and manufacturing, materials and distribution. This will be
discussed in further detail in the section on opportunity identification.

Scanning and monitoring changes in technology is not an easy task because


information is not easily available. Even the scientist who is involved in
basic research does not know when the commercialisation stage is reached.
However, it is a great advantage and opportunity if entrepreneurs know
this information.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT  47

4.3 MICRO ENVIRONMENT


As mentioned earlier, the microenvironment for a new venture also refers to the
industrial environment. This environment has influence on entrepreneurial
activities and it is difficult for entrepreneurs to influence the elements in the
industry. Entrepreneurs need to plan and implement certain strategies in order to
gain a competitive advantage in the industry. Major influences in the industry
are:
 Customers;
 Competitors;
 Suppliers;
 Financial institutions;
 Government agencies; and
 Non-government organisations.

(a) Customers
Customers are the main target group in business. They consume goods and
services produced by the industry. Customers can be housewives, workers,
students or groups of people. The consumer is „king‰ in the market system.
Some products are consumed by industrial buyers such as dealers, agents,
wholesalers and retailers. This group of people influences the decision of
entrepreneurs.

(b) Competitors
Entrepreneurs in new venture businesses must really analyse their
competitors in the industry. The competitors are the businesses that fulfil
the same customer needs or have the potential to serve those customers.
They can be identified by asking the customers (of existing business) or
potential customers (of new business) where they can buy the product or
services. Entrepreneurs can identify them through business directories.

A resource-based competitive analysis grid can be used as a tool to analyse


and rank the competitors in the industry. Entrepreneurs can also identify
the strengths and weaknesses of competitors using this tool and help them
to position new ventures. Table 4.1 exhibits the resources-based competitive
analysis.

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48  TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

Table 4.1: Resources-based Competitive Analysis


Instructions: On a scale of 1 to 7, evaluate the competitorÊs resource base. A value of 1
indicates that the firm has absolutely no advantage in the resource area; value of 4
indicates that the firm possesses about the same resource capabilities as the other
industry participants; a value of 7 indicates that the firm possesses an absolute advantage
in the resource category.

Resource type and


attribute Own firm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Financial resources
Rare
Valuable
Imperfectly imitable
Non-substitutable
Physical resources
Rare
Valuable
Imperfectly imitable
Non-substitutable

Human resources
Rare
Valuable
Imperfectly imitable
Non-substitutable

Technical resources
Rare
Valuable
Imperfectly imitable
Non-substitutable

Reputation resources
Rare
Valuable
Imperfectly imitable
Non-substitutable

Organisational resources
Rare
Valuable
Imperfectly imitable
Non-substitutable

Total scores
Grand Mean
+/ă From mean

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TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT  49

(c) Suppliers
Suppliers are the second group of people who have great influence on
entrepreneurial activities. They can increase the prices they charge for the
products and services they sell. They can also decrease the quality of those
products and services that are in the market.

(d) Financial Institutions


Financial institutions are one of the sources for external funding to initiate a
new business venture or for expanding an existing business. Loans from
financial institutions are not only hard to get for new venture entrepreneurs
because of their lack of track record, but also because of the cost in terms
of interest payment, which burdens the new business. Thus, financial
institutions have a direct influence on entrepreneurs.

(e) Government Agencies


Government influences the entrepreneurial activities through policy
implementation. Some examples include the New Economic Policy,
Privatisation Policy and the Malaysian Agriculture Policy which have been
implemented in our country. Some policies have direct impact on
entrepreneurial activities. These government policies and regulations have
certain objectives and purposes. Government also provides some support
for entrepreneurs. This has been discussed in earlier topics of this module.

(f) Non-Government Organisations


Non-government organisations such as consumer societies, political
organisations, religious groups, business society, environmental groups
and others are among interest groups that can influence entrepreneurs.
These groups can influence entrepreneurs through campaigns against
products or services and by disseminating the information regarding
certain products. Later these actions can influence customers and pressure
the government to take action on certain issues.

EXERCISE 4.2

Why do entrepreneurs need to analyse each component of macro and


micro environments?

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50  TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

4.4 AN ORGANISATION’S INTERNAL


ENVIRONMENT
An organisationÊs internal environment consists of:
 Resources;
 Structure; and
 Culture.

These elements influence the entrepreneurÊs decisions and activities.


Entrepreneurs need to assess the strengths and weaknesses in their business
before making any decision or formulating any strategies.

(a) Resources
Among the internal resources in an organisation are the entrepreneur
himself, finances, human resources, tangible and intangible assets,
technology and reputation. Entrepreneurial personality characteristics,
skills, energy, ideas, knowledge and experiences are part of entrepreneur
resources. All these resources are processed together in the business
venture to produce goods and services.

(b) Structure
Organisational structure must be suitable for a new venture to adapt to
changes in the environment.

(c) Culture
Positive culture and values should be inculcated into the business
organisation for the benefit of all human resources.

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TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT  51

4.5 IDENTIFICATION OF BUSINESS


OPPORTUNITY
Opportunities can exist on paper or as ideas. Opportunities can turn a bad
situation or loss into a good situation or profit. According to Myzuka (2000),
opportunity is defined as a business concept that, if turned into a tangible
product or service offered by a business enterprise, will result in financial profit.
Opportunities are usually related to entrepreneursÊ work experience, hobbies and
social environment.

They are also defined as positive external trends or changes that provide unique
and distinct possibilities for innovating and creating value. Opportunity is also
defined as the potential to create something new that involves changes in
knowledge, technology, economy, political, social and demographic conditions.

Most good business opportunities do not suddenly appear but result


from an entrepreneur being alert in identifying potential opportunities. Most
entrepreneurs do not have formal mechanisms for identifying business
opportunities. However, consumers, business associates, members of the
distribution system and technical people are the best source of ideas for a new
venture.

ACTIVITY 4.4

In your opinion, what is a business opportunity?

4.5.1 Recognition of an Opportunity: Phase of a


Process Perspective on Entrepreneurship
Recognition of an opportunity is one of the major phases in the process
perspective on entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurial process begins when one
or more persons recognise an opportunity. The opportunities themselves are
generated by economic, technological and social factors. The convergence of
these factors offers an opportunity for an interesting new venture (refer to
Figure 4.5).

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52  TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

Social Changes Economic Changes


(E.g. rapid increase in (E.g. rising disposable
number of working incomes, especially for
women) two-career families)

Opportunity

Development of Ready Availability of


New Markets and Established, Non-
Distribution proprietary
Channels Technology

Figure 4.5: Opportunities emerge out of a confluence of factors


Source: Baron & Shane. (2004). Entrepreneurship: A process perspective.
Thomson South Western

According to Mukesh Chatter in Baron & Shane (2004), changing economic,


technological, and social conditions generate opportunities; but nothing happens
with respect to these opportunities until one or more energetic, highly motivated
persons recognise them.

Entrepreneurs should be able to identify, pursue and capture the value of


business opportunities. Successful entrepreneurs are those who can capture an
opportunity. Some entrepreneurs seize opportunities through exploration and
others from fortunate circumstances. Entrepreneurs who pursue an opportunity
should have added value to attract customers, distributors and retailers. Peter
Drucker, a well-known management author has identified seven potential
sources of opportunity in the external context as shown in Table 4.2.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT  53

Table 4.2: Sources of Opportunity

Sources of
No. Situations
opportunity
1. The unexpected Opportunities can be found when situations and events are
unanticipated. An event might be an unexpected success/
good news or unexpected failure/bad news that can be an
opportunity for entrepreneurs to pursue.

2. The Incongruous situations happen when there are inconsistencies


incongruous in the way they appear. For example, there are opportunities
to capture when conventional wisdom about the way things
should be no longer holds true. In these types of situations,
entrepreneurs who are willing to think beyond the traditional
approach may find a potential possibility.

3. The process Entrepreneurial opportunities could also surface throughout


need the process of discovery such as the process of research and
development done by the researchers and technicians of a
product or service. Even before a breakthrough, there will be
numerous opportunities which could be seized by entrepreneurs
during the process.

4. Industry and Changes in technology, social value and customersÊ tastes


market can change the structure of an industry and market. These
structures situations, however, will give entrepreneurs opportunities to
innovate their product or services.
5. Demographics Changes in demographics will influence industries and
markets upon their target market and market segmentation.
These can be entrepreneurial opportunities in anticipating and
meeting needs of the population.

6. Change in Perception is oneÊs view of reality. Changes in perception get


perception to the heart of peopleÊs psychographic profiles of what their
values are, what they believe in, and what they care about.
Changes in these attitude and values create potential market
opportunities to alert entrepreneurs.

7. New knowledge New knowledge can be a source of opportunities for


entrepreneurs. Examples of new knowledge are new
technologies and new discoveries that can be sources of
information for entrepreneurial innovation. Entrepreneurs
who come out with new products and processes that can
compete with other products can manipulate this kind of
knowledge.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


54  TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

4.5.2 E-commerce as a New Opportunity


The evolution of electronic commerce has created many new opportunities and
new businesses. However, building and marketing a business via e-commerce
can be costly. E-commerce offers entrepreneurs opportunities by turning ideas
into exciting new markets. Entrepreneurs can use a website catalogue containing
online information about their company to promote and sell their products/
services online. Technologies that use electronic commerce offer information that
assists customers in making decisions.

Information in e-commerce is available 24 hours a day, with data updated every


half-hour (depending on the company). It enables the enterprise to take
customers through a web experience from the beginning of the customer activity
cycle to the end. It also personalises offerings to suit the unique needs of
individuals and enables interactivity between customers and the enterprise itself.
Most importantly, e-commerce can lower transaction costs.

ACTIVITY 4.5

What are the advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce to the


entrepreneur in creating a new opportunity?

4.6 EVALUATION OF A BUSINESS


OPPORTUNITY
Whether the opportunity is identified with input from consumers, business
associates, channel members, or technical people, each opportunity must be
carefully screened and evaluated. Evaluation is the most critical element in the
entrepreneurship process.

Table 4.3 shows the evaluation process which involves looking at the creation
and length of the opportunity, its real and perceived value, its risks and returns,
its suitability with the personal goals of the entrepreneur and its differential
advantage in its competitive environment.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT  55

Opportunity must fit the personal skills and goals of the entrepreneur.
Opportunity assessment plans should be short, focused on the opportunity, not
the entire venture, and provide a basis to make the decision of whether to act on
the opportunity. A good business plan must be developed in order to exploit the
opportunity. The resources for the opportunity must also be determined. Finally,
the entrepreneur must employ the resources through implementation of the
business plan.

Table 4.3 shows aspects of the entrepreneurial process.

Table 4.3: Aspects of the Entrepreneurial Process

Identify and
Develop the Business Resources Manage the
Evaluate the
Plan Required Enterprise
Opportunities
 Creation and  Title page  Existing  Management
length of the  Table of contents resources of style
opportunities entrepreneur  Key variable for
 Executive summary
 Real and  Resource success
1. Description of
perceived value gaps and  Identification of
business
of the available problems and
opportunities 2. Description of supplies potential
industry
 Risk and return  Access to problems
of opportunity 3. Marketing plan needed  Implementation
 Opportunity 4. Financial plan resources of control
versus personal 5. Production plan systems
skills and goals 6. Organisation
 Competitive plan
situation 7. Operational plan
8. Summary
 Appendices
(Exhibits)

Source: Histrich, R. D., & Peters, M. P. (2000). Entrepreneurship: International edition.


McGraw Hill

ACTIVITY 4.6

How do you think an entrepreneur evaluates a business opportunity?

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56  TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

EXERCISE 4.3

Explain the seven potential sources of opportunity in the external context.

4.6.1 The Magnitude of the Opportunity


The magnitude of an opportunity depends on the following factors:

(a) The value that the entrepreneurs want to create.

(b) The size of the opportunities that will attract the investors.

(c) Economic factors that require efficient use of assets.

(d) Business necessary to attract key team members to make the business
successful.

However, growth-oriented entrepreneurs do not only consider the magnitude of


the opportunity but also the expected growth rate. A growth rate that is too fast
over an extended period is a negative aspect of an opportunity because it
requires extensive and continuous financing. On the other hand, a growth rate
that is too low will not permit entrepreneurs to create desired value and will not
attract stakeholders.

Good opportunities come in three situations:

(a) The original opportunities must lead to other opportunities.

(b) Good opportunities can force an organisation to develop a skill that can be
leveraged for the pursuit of many new ideas.

(c) The implementation of opportunities should be worked out in teams or


partnership.

Entrepreneurs should also consider the competitive environment such as any


new company that has survived in the broad industry and is trying to compete
and make money.

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TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT  57

4.6.2 Sources of Opportunities: The Origins of New


Ventures
As mentioned before, opportunity is a situation in which changes in technology,
(especially) economic, political, social, or demographic conditions generate the
potential to create something new. Table 4.4 shows examples of all five different
forms of opportunities for technological change.

Table 4.4: Examples of Different Forms of Entrepreneurial Opportunities


that Result from Technological Change

Example of a
Forms of Technological business idea in
No. Reasoning
opportunities change response to the
opportunity
1. New product Internal Automobile The internal
or service combustion combustion engine is
engine used to power
automobiles.
2. New way of Internet Online book The internet allows
organising sales people to sell products
without retail outlets.
3. New market Refrigerator Refrigerated The refrigerated ship
ship allows ranchers in one
country to sell their
meat in another
country.
4. New method Computer Computer-aided The computer allows
of production design designers to make
products without
building physical
prototypes.
5. New raw Oil Producing Oil is refined into
material gasoline gasoline to power
vehicles.

Source: Baron, R. A., & Shane, S. A. (2004). Entrepreneurship: A process perspective.


Thomson South Western

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58  TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

4.6.3 Opportunities and New Firms


Established companies will do a better job at exploiting opportunity than a new
company. When companies are in business for a while, they develop several
advantages over new companies as shown in Table 4.5.

Table 4.5: Advantages of Established Companies over New Companies

No. Advantages Reasoning

1. Learning Curve New companies have not yet moved up the learning curve
and are still bad at manufacturing and marketing products.
However, as companies produce more of something, they
get better at doing it.

2. Reputation Research has shown that people are much more likely to
buy products from suppliers that they know and trust.

3. Cash Flow If a business is successful, they will have a positive cash


flow that is useful for developing new products and
services. They also can use the cash to invest in producing
new products and services that meet the needs of
customers.

4. Economies of Economies of scale benefit established companies over new


Scale companies because the established companies are already
producing products and services. They face lower costs
than the new company because it produces more units of
the product or service.

5. Complimentary Complimentary assets are used along with the


Assets entrepreneurÊs new product to produce or distribute
product. New companies often find it difficult to compete
with established companies because they lack
complimentary assets.

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TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT  59

Table 4.6 summarises the types of opportunities for new and established ventures.

Table 4.6: Types of Opportunities for New and Established Ventures

Established Firm New Firm

 Relies heavily on reputation.  Employs a competence destroying


 Has a strong learning curve. innovation.
 Takes a lot of capital.  Does not satisfy the needs of
existing firms mainstream
 Demands economies of scale. customers.
 Requires complementary assets in  Is based on a discrete innovation.
marketing and distribution.
 Lies in human capital.
 Relies on an incremental product
improvement.

Source: Baron, R. A., & Shane, S. A. (2004). Entrepreneurship: A process perspective.


Thomson South Western.

SELF-CHECK 4.2

Explain the advantages of established companies over new companies


in creating an opportunity.

 The components of ventures environment can divided into:


ă The external environment
ă The internal environment

 The macro environment involves the following elements:


ă Political and legislation
ă Economy
ă Socio-cultural
ă Technology

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60  TOPIC 4 VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

 The micro environment is highly influenced by:


ă Customers
ă Competitors
ă Suppliers
ă Financial institutions
ă Government agencies and
ă Non-government organisations

 An organisationÊs internal environment consists of:


ă Resources
ă Structure
ă Culture

 A business opportunity is a business concept that, if turned into a tangible


product or service offered by a business enterprise, will result in financial
profit.

 A business opportunity should be carefully considered and evaluated before


it is acted upon. This could spell the difference between profit and loss.

Business opportunity Resources based


Competitive analysis Social-cultural
External environment Trade barriers and tariff
Industrial environment Ventures environment
Internal environment

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Topic  Business Plan
5
LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Explain what a business plan is;
2. Explain the importance of business plans;
3. Identify the parties who need business plans;
4. Explain eight essential elements of a good business plan;
5. Discuss six guidelines for preparing a business plan; and
6. Describe five factors that contribute to the failure of business plans.

 INTRODUCTION
Business environments today are dynamic, complex and subject to continual
change. In order to gain and retain sustainable competitive advantage, achieve
stated objectives and a range of efficiencies, an entrepreneur must have a good
business plan. Business planning is one of the management tools used to achieve
business objectives.

Therefore, a company should prepare a convincing business plan to attract


investors. Investors are more prepared to invest in a business when they believe
that the business planning is realistic and profitable based on their forecast of
the business viability. When a business plan is prepared based on correct
information, investors will have confidence in the market, product or service of
the company. The accuracy of a business plan will reflect the managementÊs
ability, experience and history in running the business.

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62  TOPIC 5 BUSINESS PLAN

5.1 WHAT IS A BUSINESS PLAN?


A business plan is a written document, which describes in detail the overall plans
of a business in which an entrepreneur aims to get involved. Even if the
entrepreneur has been in business for a number of years, committing plan to
paper allows the entrepreneur to re-examine his business as well as to consider
new business opportunities. Therefore, a business plan is the blueprint of a
company, presented in a standard business format that is logical and realistic. A
business plan must communicate ideas and goals clearly. To accomplish this, a
plan should include three things as shown in Figure 5.1:

Figure 5.1: Three main things that an entrepreneur should include in a business plan

According to Patricia Utton (2001), a business plan is a detailed programme or


roadmap outlining every conceivable aspect of an entrepreneurÊs proposed
business venture. It is a comprehensive, self-explanatory plan of what the
entrepreneur intends to do; how the entrepreneur intends to do it, when the
entrepreneur intends to do it; where the entrepreneur intends to do it and why
he believes his idea is viable and profitable. It is, in essence, a structured
guideline to achieve the entrepreneurÊs goals, in operating the business.

Besides that, a business plan is an ideal tool to check facts and to


comprehensively examine the practicality of an idea before putting it into action.
It gives the entrepreneur opportunities for realistic expectations and action when
taking the business into operation. On the other hand, it also helps the
entrepreneur to identify areas of strength and weakness, and the details for the
entrepreneur to look over, the opportunity to be gained and the threat to be
faced. All these aspects will determine how they can best achieve their business
goals.

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TOPIC 5 BUSINESS PLAN  63

Generally, an entrepreneur needs to prepare a workable business plan for the


following purposes:

(a) It forces entrepreneurs to arrange their thoughts in a logical and


structured order.

(b) It helps them to create business frameworks by defining the activities,


responsibilities and objectives to be achieved.

(c) It encourages entrepreneurs to stimulate reality and anticipate pitfalls


before they actually occur.

(d) It helps entrepreneurs to develop strategies to meet those objectives.

(e) It serves as a working action plan or guideline in operating their business.

(f) It enables them to identify constraints that they may face when running the
business.

5.2 IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS PLANNING


A business plan is very important to an entrepreneur for various reasons
(refer Figure 5.2).

Figure 5.2: The importance of a business plan

(a) Increase Opportunities for Success


Comprehensive business planning can identify the level of performance
that is supposed to be achieved in business. A business plan will determine
the changes that need to be taken to ensure its success. Such changes
that need to be taken into consideration are organisational structure,

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64  TOPIC 5 BUSINESS PLAN

introduction of new technology, new manufacturing techniques and


new programmes for subordinates to increase their commitment and
productivity. Entrepreneurs need to update their knowledge and skills, to
increase their opportunity for success.

(b) Develop Mission and Vision


A business plan can set a clear mission and vision for a business. It enables
the entrepreneur to make the right decisions and take appropriate actions
in the future. The mission and vision will act as a lighthouse to enable
the entrepreneurs to know exactly where they are moving towards. The
entrepreneurs should communicate mission and vision to the entire
stakeholder to gain confidence from them.

(c) Identify the Main Competitor(s)


Business planning will enable entrepreneurs to determine who their main
competitors are, their strengths and weaknesses and determine the right
strategy to face them. All these can be done by competitive analysis to
identify the competitorsÊ product line or service as well as their market
segment. The entrepreneur should be sure to identify all key competitors
for each of the products or services and try to estimate how long it will take
before new competitors enter the market place.

(d) Identify the Right Way of Managing the Business


A business plan gives room for the entrepreneurs and their employees to
develop effective strategy to run the business. They can define who, when
and how to tender their knowledge, skills and abilities in implementing the
business. The entrepreneurs should also ensure that their products and
services are in line with the customersÊ taste, government policies and other
changes in the business environment.

(e) Increase the StakeholdersÊ Confidence


Every stakeholder who has an interest in a business will be eager to know
the companyÊs strengths like finances, resources and company viability.
This information is necessary for the stakeholder to determine his return on
investment. For example, before a financial institution agrees to provide the
loan needed by the entrepreneur either to start or to expand his business,
they would want to know the prospects of the business, and the ability to
repay the loan. On the other hand, suppliers also want to know the strength
of the entrepreneursÊ financial position before they prepare to give credit
for their materials. Also, government agencies would want to know the
background and the nature of the business before they allow the company
to operate.

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TOPIC 5 BUSINESS PLAN  65

(f) Identify Barriers to Business


When implementing a business, an entrepreneur will definitely face many
barriers. These barriers will cause failure or slow down the entrepreneurÊs
progress if it is not properly managed. Therefore, the entrepreneur should
identify the barriers he may face before implementing the business and take
the necessary action to face it. The entrepreneur knows how far those
barriers will affect him and his business.

(g) As a Performance Tool


A business plan is an operating tool which, if properly prepared, will help
the entrepreneur to work effectively towards its success. The business plan
will allow the entrepreneur to set a realistic target to be achieved as a
performance yardstick. Therefore, the business plan will provide the basics
for evaluating and controlling the companyÊs performance in the future, in
terms of profit, cost and quality. It is also used to achieve performance
targets, to analyse customersÊ behaviour trends, competitorsÊ strengths, and
internal and external economic performances.

EXERCISE 5.1
Why are business plans important for entrepreneurs?

5.3 WHO NEEDS THE BUSINESS PLAN?


A business plan is very important to various parties. Among those who need
business plans are:

(a) The Management Team


A business plan will enable the management team to consider the time,
effort and support needed to achieve the companyÊs goal. It will provide
them with opportunities to analyse critical situations that will hinder
business progress. Besides, it will enable them to forecast changes that
might happen in the future. The management team must also analyse the
reason for the success and the failure of the company as well as threats and
opportunities that would be faced in the future. Therefore, the team must
build and examine the strategies and priorities that should be clearly
described and communicated to ensure company growth. The management
team is responsible for setting a reasonable benchmark as a comparison
for the companyÊs success. Besides that, a business plan will enable the
management team to identify difficulties and constraints faced by the
employees in achieving the target.

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66  TOPIC 5 BUSINESS PLAN

(b) The Shareholders


Business planning is also important to shareholders. They must know how
the business is to be conducted since their approval is necessary if changes
in target and strategy are to be made. So, they need to know about any new
decisions made before executing them. A business plan is an essential
document for shareholders because it plays a vital role in critically
reviewing the draft plan. The entrepreneur should inform them about the
future market of the products or services, business operations, financial
projections and future plans, such as expanding the business to
international markets. The business plan is also important for new ventures
or new businesses in order to secure potential new shareholders.

(c) Bankers or Creditors


Before approving a loan application, bankers will need to study the
entrepreneurÊs business plan. This plan will give them an indication of the
returns they may expect from their loan and also enable them to gauge the
viability of the venture and its profitability within a reasonable time frame.
The business plan will also give bankers an idea of the companyÊs strategies
and priorities. These must be clearly described in the plan and consistent
with the overall departmental strategy policy, functional objectives and
reporting requirement. From the business plan, bankers will also be able to
ascertain government grants and tax incentives available to the
entrepreneur.

(d) Customers
Customers will also be interested in the business plan for information
regarding the company which will influence their decision to use its
products or services. Issues of interest include the quality and safety of the
companyÊs product. To gain customersÊ confidence, the business plan
should also include the price of the product, durability, features and
additional support or after sales services. Customers will have more
confidence if the product uses new technologies, is authorised by parties
such as SIRIM and JAKIM, and is in line with their culture.

(e) Suppliers
Suppliers need a business plan when considering approval for business
procurement on credit terms. Suppliers want to see the ability of a business
to pay back the credit on time. Thus, a good business plan is able to give a
clear picture on the capability of the business.

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TOPIC 5 BUSINESS PLAN  67

(f) The Employees


Most potential employees want information about business developments
and performance before they decide to join an organisation. They can get
this information from the business plan.

5.4 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A GOOD


BUSINESS PLAN
Every successful business plan should include something about each of the
following areas since these are what make up the essential elements of a good
business plan (refer to Figure 5.3).

Figure 5.3: The eight essential elements of a good business plan

(a) Executive Summary


The executive summary is the most important section of a business plan.
This is the first section that needs to be looked at and it should tell readers
where the company is and where it wants to go. Among the elements
included in the executive summary are the mission statement, the date
when the business started, the name of the founders and the roles they
play, the number of employees, location of the business and their branches
or subsidiaries (if any), description of plans or facilities, products
manufactured, bankersÊ names, the progress of the company and its
growth, financial status and a summary of the managementÊs future plans.

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68  TOPIC 5 BUSINESS PLAN

(b) Market Analysis


The market analysis section illustrates the entrepreneurÊs knowledge about
a particular industry which the business is in. It should also present a
general overview and conclusion of any marketing research data that has
been collected. However, specific details of marketing research studies
should be moved to the appendix section of the business plan. This
section should include an industry description and outlook, target
market information, market test result, lead times and an evaluation of
competition.

(c) Marketing and Sales Strategies


Marketing is the process of creating and attracting customers to the
business. The entrepreneur should realise that customers are the lifeblood
of a business. A business plan should include a sales forecast based on
market analysis. In this section, the most important thing to do is to define
the marketing strategy. Marketing strategy should be a part of an ongoing
self-evaluation process and unique to the company. An overall marketing
strategy would include strategies for market penetration, business growth,
channels of distribution and communication. Overall sales strategy should
include sales force strategies and sales activities. It is also important to
include the marketing budget in this section.

(d) Services or Product Line


This section describes the uniqueness of the companyÊs services or products
and the benefits to potential and current customers. The entrepreneur
should focus on the areas where a distinct advantage exists by identifying
the problem for which the service or product provides a solution.

(e) Organisation and Management


This section includes companyÊs organisational structure, details about
the ownership of the company, a profile of management teams and the
qualifications of members of the board of directors, the remuneration plan
and the administrative budget.

(f) Funding Request


This section focuses on the amount of funding needed to start or expand the
business. If necessary, it can include different funding scenarios such as
with and without funding and its implication to the business. Therefore,
this section consists of project implementation cost, which includes capital
expenditure, operational expenditure, sources of finance or funding. It also

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TOPIC 5 BUSINESS PLAN  69

includes funding requirements, future funding requirements over the next


five years, how they will utilise the funds received and any long term
financial strategies that would have an impact on the companyÊs financial
progress.

(g) Financials
Financials should be developed after analysing the market and setting clear
objectives. In this section, the entrepreneur shows clearly the financial
projections such as cash flow pro forma, profit and loss pro forma, balance
sheets projections, etc.

(h) Appendix
The appendix section should be provided to readers on an as-needed basis.
In other words, it should not be included with the main body of business
plan. The business plan is a communication tool. As such, it will be seen by
many people. The appendix includes a credit history, resume of key
managers, product pictures, letters of reference, details of market studies,
relevant magazine articles, licenses, permits, legal documents, copies of
leases, building permits, contracts and list of business consultants,
including attorneys and accountants.

ACTIVITY 5.1

You are an entrepreneur who is running a bakery selling traditional


cakes in Ampang Plaza. What are the details you will include under
the Marketing and Sales Strategy in your business plan? Discuss in a
group and write the details.

EXERCISE 5.2

What are the important elements in a good business plan?

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70  TOPIC 5 BUSINESS PLAN

5.5 GUIDELINES IN PREPARING BUSINESS


PLANS
Figure 5.4 shows the six guidelines to be followed in order to produce an
effective business plan.

Figure 5.4: The guidelines in preparing a business plan

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TOPIC 5 BUSINESS PLAN  71

5.6 PITFALLS TO AVOID IN PLANNING


According to Kuratko (2004), there are a number of pitfalls that should be avoided
by entrepreneurs in the formulation of a business plan. Some of these are common
errors that are usually committed by entrepreneurs and are easily noticed. Table 5.1
shows five pitfalls and strategic steps to be taken to avoid them.

Table 5.1: Pitfalls in Planning

No Pitfalls Facts How to Avoid


1. No realistic  Some of the business plans do not Good business plan should
goals contain attainable and clear goals that include a clear schedule with
entrepreneurs are trying to achieve. specific steps of action to be
 Lack of time frame. accomplished within specific
 No priorities. time frame.
 No action steps in the business plan.
2. Failure to Sometimes, entrepreneurs are so immersed To avoid this pitfall, list
anticipate in their ideas that they are unable to see the down possible obstacles that
obstacles possible problems that may arise. There are may arise and steps or
no indicators to recognise the problems, no contingency plans if the
admission of possible mistakes or problems occur.
weaknesses in the plan and contingency
plans do not exist.
3. No Many entrepreneurs appear to lack Entrepreneurs should follow
commitment commitment to their business. up important appointments
or dedication Entrepreneurs should not give the and be willing to
impression that they donÊt take matters demonstrate financial
seriously in doing business. The obvious commitment to their
indicators for lack of commitment are: business.
 Excessive procrastination.
 Missed appointments.
 No desire to invest personal money.
 Desire to make a quick profit.
4. Lack of Many investors look for the entrepreneurs They should give evidence of
business or with actual experience and not merely with personal experience and
technical ideas, and who have true knowledge in the background for this venture.
experience proposed business. Thus, entrepreneurs If they lack specific
should demonstrate their knowledge and knowledge or skills, they
background experience in their business should get assistance from
areas. those with qualifications.
5. No market Many entrepreneurs do not identify The best way to avoid this
niche potential customers for their products. pitfall is to establish a
Many new potential products never reach specifically targeted market
the hand of the customer because of the segment and demonstrate
lack of a market niche or no market was why and how specific
ever established for that product. product or service will meet
that target group.

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72  TOPIC 5 BUSINESS PLAN

Entrepreneurs should avoid the pitfalls discussed in order to better the chances
of their business plan to succeed. These critical areas must be handled carefully
before developing their business plan. This will help the entrepreneur to
establish a solid foundation on which to develop an effective business plan.

EXERCISE 5.3

Describe the factors which contribute to the failure of business plans.

 Business planning is a management system. It integrates the management


functions of planning, organising, implementing and controlling.

 The business planning process provides management with basic tools and
information that describe the management and resource environment, and
contribute to establishing the accountability framework needed to manage in
a dynamic environment. So, the execution of business planning is very
important to ensure the survival and expansion of the business.

Business plan Product line


Executive summary Pitfalls
Management function Shareholders
Market analysis Stakeholders

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Topic  Starting a New
Entrepreneurial
6 Venture
LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. State the three forms of business;
2. Explain the three phases in the start-up;
3. Explain the seven steps and processes in the buying of existing
business ventures;
4. Examine the franchise structure, its advantages and disadvantages;
5. Discuss the legal structures for new ventures; and
6. Identify six sources of capital for entrepreneurs.

 INTRODUCTION
Do you know who an entrepreneur is? According to Dictionary.com an
entrepreneur is a person who organises any enterprise especially a business,
usually with considerable initiative and risk. So are you interested in becoming
an entrepreneur? Do you know how to set up a new business?

In this topic, we will examine types of businesses classified into three forms
which are start-up, buying an existing business and franchising. Besides that, we
will look into legal structures for new businesses and sources of capital for
business activities.

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74  TOPIC 6 STARTING A NEW ENTREPRENEURIAL VENTURE

6.1 TYPES OF BUSINESS


There are several ways to start a new business. The most frequently practised
ventures are classified into three forms as shown in Figure 6.1.

Figure 6.1: Three forms of starting a new business

We will discuss the three forms of starting a new business further in the next sub-
topic.

6.2 START-UP
In starting up a business, it is important that you know about:

(a) The definition of start-up;

(b) The phases in start-up; and

(c) The advantages and disadvantages of start-up.

Let us discuss this further.

6.2.1 Definition of Start-up


What is a start-up?

A start-up company is a company recently formed. It is a process where the


entrepreneur creates a completely new business starting from scratch.

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TOPIC 6 STARTING A NEW ENTREPRENEURIAL VENTURE  75

Below are a few features of a start-up company:

(a) Many entrepreneurs start up their business by themselves.

(b) Usually, entrepreneurs will use funds from their savings or by borrowing
from others.

(c) An entrepreneur who wants to start up his business usually needs to have
lots of experience, knowledge, skills and interest in the field involved.

(d) Start-up business usually involves the invention of new products or


services.

6.2.2 Phases in Start-up


Any new business goes through three phases in start-up. They are pre start-up
phase, start-up phase and post start-up phase. Now, let us look at Figure 6.2 to
see the three phases in start-up.

Figure 6.2: Phases in start-up

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76  TOPIC 6 STARTING A NEW ENTREPRENEURIAL VENTURE

6.2.3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Start-up


There are a few advantages and disadvantages of start-up. Table 6.1 indicates six
advantages and five disadvantages of start-up.

Table 6.1: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Start-up

Advantages Disadvantages

(a) The freedom of making oneÊs own (a) It requires a lot of time, money and
decisions like answering all questions additional effort to search for a
such as when, how and what type of strategic location, obtain license,
products or services. purchase machines, find new
suppliers, hire and train new worker
(b) The opportunity of using oneÊs
to perform advertising activities.
ideas and developing own image
by identifying with the customerÊs (b) In the initial stage of the business,
emotion. an entrepreneur will obtain minimal
profits or losses because of the
(c) The freedom to select the ideal
large expenditure on numerous items
location, plant, equipment, products
related to start-up.
or services, employees, suppliers
and bankers. These opportunities can (c) There is no history of business
determine the success of a business. records in which an entrepreneur can
forecast sales, expenditures and
(d) The ability to avoid any undesirable
profits.
precedents, policies, procedures and
legal commitments of existing firms. (d) There are no ready customers. An
entrepreneur needs a lot of effort to
(e) Will not affect the reputation of the
attract new customers and sales
business because it is a new business.
expand very slowly and it will take a
(f) Ability to make changes to business. long time before the business brings
in profits.
(e) The difficulty of obtaining loans
from financial institutions because
these institutions have less confidence
in the new businesses compared with
established businesses.

ACTIVITY 6.1

You are planning to sell seafood-based crisps. Can you think of a way
to start your venture? List and compare your answer with those of your
coursemates.

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TOPIC 6 STARTING A NEW ENTREPRENEURIAL VENTURE  77

EXERCISE 6.1

1. Define a start-up.
2. List the three phases in a start-up.
3. What are the critical factors that are important for new-venture
assessment?

6.3 BUYING AN EXISTING BUSINESS


In buying an existing business, it is important for you to know:

(a) The definition of buying an existing business;

(b) The steps and processes in buying an existing business;

(c) The advantages of buying an existing business; and

(d) The disadvantages of buying an existing business.

6.3.1 Definition of Buying an Existing Business

Buying an existing business is buying or acquiring either the shares of an


existing company or all of the assets of an existing company or business.

If you are thinking about running your own business, buying a company that is
already established may be a lot less hassle than starting from scratch. According
to some business experts, buying an existing business is the safest and most
effective way for entrepreneurs to go into business. However, you will need to
put time and effort into finding the business that is right for you. By buying an
existing company, it allows the company to expand and provide the opportunity
to enter new markets.

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78  TOPIC 6 STARTING A NEW ENTREPRENEURIAL VENTURE

6.3.2 Steps and Processes in Buying an Existing


Business
In buying an existing business, there are a few steps and processes that need to
be considered. They are as follows:

(a) Personal Priority


Ideally an entrepreneur needs to consider personal factors, lifestyles and
aspirations. Before you start looking, think about what you can bring to the
business and what you would like to get back in return.

(i) Your expectations in terms of earnings ă What level of profit do you


need to aim for to accommodate your needs?

(ii) Your commitment ă Are you prepared to put in the hard work and
investment in the business to succeed?

(iii) Your strengths ă What kind of business opportunities will give you
the chance to put your background, experience and skills to good use?

(iv) The type of business ă Sole proprietorship, partnership, etc. that you
are interested in buying.

(v) The business sector you are interested in ă Learn as much as you
can about your chosen industry so that you can compare different
businesses.

(b) Business Opportunities


You can find potential opportunities by reading classified advertisements,
discussing opportunities with business brokers and checking industry
sources. Resist the temptation to buy the first business that looks good; step
back, and look at it objectively.

Make an appointment with business sellers or brokers for initial


introduction to the opportunities. They should provide you with a brief
financial report, history, price and reason for sale. This will allow you to
know more about the business and how long it has been for sale.

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TOPIC 6 STARTING A NEW ENTREPRENEURIAL VENTURE  79

(c) Reviewing Potential Target


The potential target must be examined closely to determine how well it
has been managed and maintained. For service businesses, talk with the
employees and even customers. Prepare a checklist of information needed,
which should include the following:

(i) Complete financial accounting of operations, including all income tax


returns and state sales tax forms for at least the past three years.

(ii) List all assets to be transferred to the new owner, including an


itemised breakdown of all inventories as of the last accounting period.

(d) Arrangement for Financing


Without proper financing, no business acquisition can move forward
successfully. There are usually several funding options. They must be
carefully scrutinised to determine the best fit for your needs. Lenders
generally require:

(i) Details of the business/sales particulars

(ii) Accounts for the last three years

(iii) Financial projections (if no accounts are available)

(iv) Details of your personal assets and liabilities

(e) Conduct Due Diligence


Due diligence is like detective work. It is the process of gathering
information by conducting investigations, searches and inquiries and is
vital to any share or asset purchased. The result of due diligence may help
you decide:

(i) Whether you proceed with an acquisition

(ii) Whether to buy shares or assets

(iii) How much to pay and how to allocate the purchase price

(iv) What matters need to be covered in the purchase agreement for your
protection

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80  TOPIC 6 STARTING A NEW ENTREPRENEURIAL VENTURE

The process should guide your decision-making by providing valuable


insights into the new business and give you a good estimate of the value
at which a transaction should be undertaken and the warranties and
indemnities that should be obtained from the vendors as part of the deal.

(f) The Formal Agreement


The preparation of the formal agreement gives the parties the opportunity to
carry out the basic agreement and tie down a number of smaller matters,
which may not have been thought of by the parties in their initial negotiations.
The three basic components of the formal agreement are as follows:

(i) The Basic Elements


The first part of the agreement will usually cover the basic elements of
the agreement:

 The parties

 The assets or shares being purchased

 The purchase price

 Adjustments to the purchase price, how, when the purchase price


and adjustments will be paid

 How tax will be handled

(ii) Representations and Warranties


They are given primarily by sellers on those matters, which are
important to your purchase of the business. You first have to consider
what facts and issues are important to your decision to purchase the
business and the amount you are willing to pay. Then, in addition to
conducting your due diligence on those matters, you will look for a
representation or warranty from the seller which proves that the
facts as represented to you are true. This is intended to protect you,
should there be other facts or information that you do not know
about, or if the seller has misled you on some important matter.

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(iii) Closing Matters


This portion of the agreement will generally set out the closing date,
and what must be exchanged at the time of the closing. It will also set
out any special conditions of closing which must be met before the
sale can be finalised. The typical conditions of closing are:

 All representations and warranties given prior to closing continue


to remain true and accurate as of the date of closing.

 You will receive the purchase assets or shares free and clear of all
encumbrances, except those to which you have agreed.

 Any special licenses or consent have been received.

 All government clearance certificates or approvals have been


received.

 All other documents that form part of the transaction have been
signed and received.

 You have tendered the payment as promised in the agreement.

(g) Ready for Business


At this point, you are the proud owner of a new business. If you have
conducted yourself with due diligence and have a good purchase
agreement in place, you are well on your way to success. Nevertheless, you
may still need ongoing consultation with the prior owners. So, it is always
wise to keep a good working relationship with them. You may also require
the ongoing assistance of your team of advisors because even though the
transaction is complete, the work has just begun.

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6.3.3 Advantages of Buying an Existing Business


The advantages of buying an existing business is shown in Figure 6.3.

Figure 6.3: The advantages of buying an existing business

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6.3.4 Disadvantages of Buying an Existing Business


The disadvantages of buying an existing business is shown in Figure 6.4.

Figure 6.4: The disadvantages of buying an existing business

ACTIVITY 6.2

Ali is planning to run a „nasi kandar‰ stall in Bangsar. Dewi, who is


AliÊs friend, asks Ali to buy her existing stall. What are the benefits if he
buys DewiÊs stall as compared to setting up a new stall? Discuss.

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EXERCISE 6.2

1. List five advantages and five disadvantages of a start-up.


2. Define what is meant by buying an existing business.
3. List five advantages and disadvantages of buying an existing
business.

6.4 FRANCHISING
When we talk about franchising, it is important to know:

(a) The definition of franchising;

(b) The advantages of franchising; and

(c) The disadvantages of franchising.

Let us discuss this further.

6.4.1 Definition of Franchising

A franchise is any arrangement in which the owner of a trademark, trade


name, or copyright has licensed others to use it and sell its goods or services.

A franchisee (a purchaser of a franchise) is generally legally independent but


economically dependent on the integrated business system of the franchisor
(the seller of the franchise). A franchisee can operate as an independent
businessperson but still realise the advantages of regional or national
organisations. Some examples of these franchises are McDonaldÊs, Kentucky
Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut restaurants.

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Figure 6.5: Examples of well-known franchises

6.4.2 Advantages of Franchising


Well, do you have any idea what are the advantages of franchising? Figure 6.6
shows us a few advantages of franchising.

Figure 6.6: The advantages of franchising

Now let us look at the advantages in detail.

(a) Training and Guidance


The greatest advantage of buying a franchise, as compared to starting a
new business or buying an existing business, is that the franchisor will
provide both training and guidance to the franchisee.

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(b) Brand Name Appeal


An entrepreneur who buys a well-known national franchise, especially a
large and famous one, has a good chance to succeed. The franchisorÊs name
is the drawing card for the establishment. People are often aware of the
product or services offered by a national franchise and prefer it to those
offered by lesser-known outlets.

(c) Proven Track Record


The franchisor has already proven that the operation can be successful. As
an organisation, they have been around for at least five to ten years and
must have 50 or more units. Thus, it should not be difficult to see how
thriving the operations have been. If all of the units are still in operation
and the owners report they are performing well financially, we can be
certain the franchisor has proven that the layout and location of the store,
the pricing policy, the quality of the goods or services and the overall
management are successful.

(d) Financial Assistance


A franchise is a good investment because the franchisor may be able to
help the new owner to secure the financial assistance needed to run the
operation. In fact, some franchisors have personally helped the franchisee
get started by lending money and not requiring any repayment until the
operation is running successfully. In short, buying a franchise is often an
ideal way to ensure assistance from the financial community.

6.4.3 Disadvantages of Franchising


The following are disadvantages of franchising:

(a) Franchise Fees


No one gets something for nothing. The more successful the franchisor, the
greater the franchise fees would be. A franchise of a national chain would
charge a fee from RM5,000 to RM100,000. Smaller franchisors or those who
have not had great success charge less. The prospective franchisee must
also pay for building the unit and stocking it, although the franchisor may
provide assistance in securing a bank loan, additional fee is usually tied to

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gross sales. A franchisee will have to pay a continual royalty based on sales,
usually between 5 to 12 percent. Most franchisors require buyers to have
25 to 50 percent of the initial costs in cash. The rest can be borrowed
from the organisation itself. The cost of franchising involves the following
expenditure:

(i) Franchising fee

(ii) Insurance

(iii) Opening product inventory

(iv) Remodelling and leasehold improvements

(v) Utilities charges, payroll, debt services

(vi) Bookkeeping and accounting fees, legal and professional fees

(vii) State and local licenses

(viii) Permits and certificates

(b) Franchisor Control


In a large corporation, the company controls the employeeÊs activities. The
same situation exists in a small business. If an entrepreneur has a personal
business, he or she exerts control on his or her own activities. To a franchise
operator, the control is between these extremes. The franchisor generally
exercises control over the operation in order to achieve a certain degree of
uniformity. If entrepreneurs do not follow the franchisorÊs directions, they
may not have their franchise licenses renewed when the contract expires.

(c) Unfulfilled Promises


In certain cases, among lesser known franchisors, the franchisees may not
receive all that they were promised. Many franchisees find themselves
with trade names that have no drawing power. Also, many franchisees
find the promised assistance from the franchisor not forthcoming. Quite
often, instead of being able to purchase supplies more cheaply through
the franchisor, many operators find themselves paying higher prices for
supplies. If the franchisees complain, they risk having their agreement with
the franchisor terminated, revoked or not renewed.

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ACTIVITY 6.3

Is operating a franchise business more expensive compared to other


types of ventures? What is your opinion on this? Discuss during your
next tutorial session.

6.5 LEGAL STRUCTURES FOR NEW BUSINESS


Before deciding how to organise an operation, prospective entrepreneurs need
to identify the legal structures that will best suit the demands of the business.
The obligation for this is derived from changing tax laws, liability situations, the
availability of capital and the complexity of business formation. Three primary
legal forms of organisation are sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation.

Because each form has specific advantages and disadvantages, it is impossible to


recommend one form over the other. The entrepreneurÊs specific situations,
concerns and desires will dictate his choice.

6.5.1 Sole Proprietorship


A business is owned and operated by one person. The enterprise has no existence
apart from its owner. This entrepreneur has the rights over all its profits and
bears all of the liabilities for the debts and obligations of the business. The
entrepreneurs also have unlimited liabilities, which means his or her business
and personal assets stand behind the operation. If the company cannot meet its
financial obligations, the owner may be forced to sell the family car, house and
whatever assets that would satisfy the creditors.

To become a sole proprietor, a person merely needs to obtain whatever local and
state licenses necessary to begin the operations. If the proprietor should choose a
fictitious or an assumed name, he or she also must file a „certificate of assumed
business name‰ with the state. Due to its ease of formation, the sole
proprietorship is the most widely used legal form of organisation. Table 6.2
indicates the advantages and disadvantages of sole proprietorship.

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Table 6.2: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Sole Proprietorship

Advantages Disadvantages

(a) Ease of Formation (a) Unlimited Liability


Less formality and fewer restrictions The entrepreneur proprietorship
are associated with establishing a is personally responsible for all
sole proprietorship than with any business debts. This liability extends
other legal form. The proprietorship to all of the proprietorÊs assets.
needs little or no governmental
(b) Lack of Continuity
approval, and it usually is less
The enterprise may be crippled or
expensive than a partnership or
terminated if the owner becomes ill
corporations.
or dies.
(b) Sole Ownership Profits
(c) Less Available Capital
The proprietorship is not required to
Ordinarily, proprietorships have
share profits with anyone.
less available capital than other
(c) Decision-making and Control Vested types of business organisations, such
in One Owner as partnerships and corporations.
No co-owners or partners must be
(d) Relatively Difficult to Obtain Long-
consulted in the running of the
term Financing
operation.
Because the enterprise rests
(d) Flexibility exclusively on one person, it often
Management is able to respond has difficulty raising long-term
quickly to business needs in the form capital.
of day-to-day management decision.
(e) Relatively Limited Viewpoint and
(e) Relative Freedom from Governmental Experience
Control The operation depends on one
Except for requiring the necessary person and this entrepreneurÊs
licenses, very little governmental ability, training, and expertise will
interference occurs in the operation. limit its direction and scope.
(f) Freedom from Corporate Business
Taxes
Proprietorship is taxed as entrepreneur
taxpayers and not as business.

EXERCISE 6.3

1. Define briefly the three legal forms of organisation.

2. List five advantages and disadvantages of sole proprietorships.

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6.5.2 Partnership
A partnership is an association of two or more persons acting as co-owners of a
business for profit. Here, each partner contributes money, labour or skills and
each share in the profits as well as losses of the business. Though not specifically
required in the uniform Partnership Act, written articles of partnership are
usually executed and are always recommended. This is because unless otherwise
agreed to in writing, the court assumes equal partnership; that is, equal sharing
of profits, losses, assets management and other aspects of the business. A
partnership agreement clearly outlines the financial and managerial
contributions of the partners and carefully delineates the roles in the partnership
relationship.

The following are examples of the type of information customarily written into
agreement:
 Name, purpose, domicile
 Duration of agreement
 Character of partners (general or limited, active or silent)
 Contribution by partners (at inception, at later date)
 Division of profits and losses
 Draws or salaries
 Right of continuity partner(s)
 Death of a partner (dissolution and wind-up)
 Release of debts
 Business expenses (method of handling)
 Separate debts
 Authority (entrepreneur partnerÊs authority on business conduct)
 Books, records and method of accounting
 Sale of partnership interest
 Arbitration
 Settlement of disputes
 Additions, alterations or modifications of partnership
 Required and prohibited acts
 Absence and disability
 Employee management

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In addition to the written articles, entrepreneurs must consider a number of


different types of partnership arrangements. Depending on the needs of the
enterprise, one or more of these may be used. It is important to remember that in a
typical partnership arrangement at least one partner must be a general partner
who is responsible for the debts of the enterprise and who has unlimited liabilities.

Table 6.3 shows the advantages and disadvantages of partnership.

Table 6.3: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Partnership

Advantages Disadvantages

(a) Ease of Formation (a) Unlimited Liability of at Least One


Legal formalities and expenses are few Partner
compared with those of complex Although some partners can have
enterprise or corporation. limited liability, at least one must be a
general partner who assumes unlimited
(b) Direct Rewards liability.
Partners are motivated to put forth their
best effort by direct sharing of profits. (b) Lack of Continuity
If any partner dies, judged to be insane
(c) Growth and Performance Facilitated or simply withdraws from the business,
In a partnership, it often is possible to
the partnership arrangement ceases.
obtain more capital and better range of
However, operations of the business
skills than in a sole proprietorship.
can continue based on the rights of
(d) Flexibility survivorship and the possible creation
A partnership often is able to respond of a new partnership by the remaining
quickly to business needs in the form of members or by the addition of new
day-to-day decisions. members.
(e) Relative Freedom from Governmental (c) Relatively Difficult to Obtain Large
Control and Regulation Sums of Capital
Very little governmental interference Most partnerships have some problems
occurs in the operation of a partnership. raising a great deal of capital, especially
when long-term financing is involved.
(f) Possible Tax Advantage Usually the collective wealth of the
Most partnerships pay taxes as partners dictates the amount of total
entrepreneurs, thus escaping the higher capital the partnership can raise,
rate assessed against corporations. especially when first starting out.
(d) Bound by the Acts of Just One Partner
A general partner can commit the
enterprise to contracts and obligations
that may prove disastrous to the
enterprise in general and to other
partners in particular.
(e) Difficulty of Disposing of Partnership
Interest
The buying out of a partner may be
difficult unless specifically arranged for
in written agreement.

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EXERCISE 6.4

State five advantages and disadvantages of partnerships.

6.5.3 Corporation

From this definition, it is clear that a corporation is a separate legal entity apart
from the entrepreneurs that own it.

In Malaysia, a business organisation is created based on the 1965 Company Act.


This Act is the law that governs all companies in Malaysia. This Act was
authorised on 15 April 1966 and revised several times in 1969, 1971, 1985, 1986
and 1987 (latest revision). This Act was based on the company law authorised in
Australia and the United Kingdom.

(a) Characteristics of a Company or Corporation


The following are characteristics of corporations:

(i) Rights and Responsibilities


A corporation has responsibility over ownership of capital and can
take legal action against others or vice versa. However, a corporation
cannot take action against the entrepreneur. The implementer agent,
the driving force behind the corporation, will take action where
necessary.

(ii) Life Span


The life span of a corporation is not dependent on its members. The
corporation will continue even if its members have died or withdrawn
from the corporation. However, the corporation can be terminated if
all its members are not interested in continuing their business.

(iii) Liabilities
The liabilities of members of a corporation are only limited to the
amount of shares they subscribed. Therefore, members are not liable
even if the corporation were to incur bankruptcy. Corporations differ
from sole proprietorship and partnership in which there is no
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separation in terms of business assets and personal assets. Hence,


where debt liability is involved, creditors may claim the personal
assets of the sole proprietor or partners of the firm.

(iv) Members
A corporation must have at least two members that are permanent
residents of Malaysia. The two members involved must act as
directors and the cornerstone of the corporation. In a corporation, its
members will elect the board of directors, which will be responsible
for operating the corporation as well as following specified rules and
regulations as stipulated by the 1965 Corporation Act.

(b) Advantages and Disadvantages of Corporation


The advantages and disadvantages of corporations are shown in Table 6.4.

Table 6.4: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Corporation

Advantages Disadvantages
(a) Limited Liability (a) Activities Restriction
The stockholderÊs liability is limited Corporate activities are limited by the
to the entrepreneurÊs investment. charter and by various laws.
This is the most amount of money the
person can lose. (b) Lack of Representation
The majority stockholders in the
(b) Transfer of Ownership corporation outvote the minority
Ownership can be transferred stockholders.
through the sale of stock to interested
buyers. (c) Regulation
Extensive governmental regulations
(c) Unlimited Life and reports required by the state and
The Company has a life separate and federal agencies often result in a great
distinct from that of its owners and deal of paperwork and red tape.
can continue for an indefinite period.
(d) Organising Expenses
(d) Relative Ease of Securing Capital in A large amount of expenses is
Large Amounts involved in forming a corporation.
Capital can be acquired through the
issuance of bonds and shares of stock (e) Double Taxation
and through short-term loans made Income taxes are levied both on
against the assets of the business or corporate profits and on entrepreneur
personal guarantees of the major salaries and dividends.
stockholders.
(e) Increased Ability and Expertise
The corporation is able to draw on the
expertise and skills of a number of
entrepreneurs, ranging from major
stockholders to the professional
managers who are brought on board.

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EXERCISE 6.5

Name five advantages and disadvantages of a corporation.

6.6 SOURCES OF CAPITAL FOR BUSINESS


ACTIVITIES
There are a variety of sources of capital for entrepreneurs that can be used to
start, expand and develop their businesses. The length of time you require will
depend on which of the many different sources of financing that best suits you
and your business. Figure 6.7 shows the sources of capital to finance your
businesses.

Figure 6.7: Sources of capital for entrepreneurial activities

(a) Personal Funds


Your personal savings is your first source of money. They may be funds
that you have saved from certain periods of time either in a savings
account, current account, money in a safe at home or cash that is readily
available when you need it. Very often, personal savings are quickly
exhausted when an entrepreneur starts a business.

(b) Family and Friends


When you exhaust your personal funds, the next place to seek money is
from family and friends. They may be friends or colleagues who are in a
position to lend you money. Although it may seem like a good idea at the
time, you can almost guarantee that they will demand their money back
when you can least afford it. Therefore, it is important to get the terms of
the loan written down clearly and precisely in order to avoid any confusion
later.

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(c) Retirement Accounts


You have saved these funds for retirement. Therefore, you can use this
money to fund the development of your business. However, the technology
development business is fraught with risks. If you fail in your business, you
may have to live more frugally in retirement.

(d) Banks and Other Financial Institutions


These institutions loan money to people who have assets that can serve as
collateral for the loan. Table 6.5 show us three types of financing: long term,
medium term and short term.

Table 6.5: Three types of Financial Institutions Financing

Types of Financial
Institutions Description
Financing
(a) Long Term This type of finance will be borrowed from external sources
over a long period, usually between five and 25 years. A
commercial mortgage or long-term loan agreement from one of
the main banks is an example of long-term financing. The
money can be used for acquiring fixed assets such as plant and
equipment.
(b) Medium Term Any borrowing over 2 to 7 years period can be described as
medium-term financing. The finance is commonly based on an
agreement between yourself and the organisation that will be
providing it. It will cover hire purchase, leasing and loan
agreements.
(c) Short Term The most typical and frequently used type of short-term finance
is bank overdraft facilities. Although the arrangement fees can
be high, you have the advantage of only paying interest on the
amount actually overdrawn. With a bank loan, on the other
hand, you have the use of a set amount of money and you will
have to pay interest whether you use the full amount or not.

(e) Government Loans


Contrary to public belief, the government is taking positive steps to
assist businesses and industry as a whole. Millions of ringgit is set aside for
the sole purpose of providing various grants and government subsidised
loans in a bid to encourage investment and development. Government
programmes are available and can reduce the effective interest rate of bank
loans and make debts available to business that would otherwise not have
access to this source of funding. In general, the government is looking to
assist projects, which benefit areas of declining industry with a high level of

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unemployment as well as promoting growth and improvement in rural


areas.

(f) Stock Markets


These funds are obtained by offering stock in your business to the public.
Public stock offering must comply with federal regulations. Typically, the
services of an investment banker are used. In exchange for capital
investment, most offers typically include a percentage of ownership. This in
turn would give your investor a limited amount of control within the
business and share of any profits equal to the value of the percentage of
ownership. This would probably be in the form of dividends.

EXERCISE 6.6

Give five sources of capital that an entrepreneur can use in starting up


a business or buying an existing business for new business ventures.

 There are three forms of starting a new business i.e. a start-up, buying an
existing business and franchising

 Each form has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.

 Three primary legal forms for new business are sole proprietorship,
partnership and corporation.

 This topic also discussed six sources of capital for entrepreneurial activities:
ă Personal funds
ă Family and friends
ă Retirement account
ă Bank/financial institution
ă Government loan
ă Stock market

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Corporation Partnership
Due diligence Sole proprietorship
Franchisee Start-up company
Franchising

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Topic  Entrepreneurial
7 Networking

LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Describe three advantages of having good networking;
2. Explain two types of networking;
3. Discuss six important reasons for networking;
4. Explain seven techniques in establishing and building confidence in
networking; and
5. Identify five barriers in network building.

 INTRODUCTION
Networking is a business tool that plays a very significant role for the
entrepreneurÊs success. If entrepreneurs have very good networking with both
external and internal customers, it will be easier for them to take advantage of
business opportunities and settle some of the problems related to their business.
Good networking relationships will enable them to gain support and cooperation
from networking circles. Therefore, every entrepreneur should develop
networking skills, as it will act as a catalyst to achieve business goals and
objectives.

7.1 WHAT IS NETWORKING?


Networking is both an outcome of a past relationship strategy and a resource
for future strategy. Relationship rights and obligations are the results of the
resources, which the company initially brought to the network, the experience
it gained and the investment it has made in its relationships. This means
that in addition to the analysis of the companyÊs relationship portfolio and

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understanding of networking, this also involves a listing of those additional


resources that have been built through interaction. These could be analysed using
a conventional view of the bases of power which the company may possess.

7.2 ADVANTAGES OF HAVING GOOD


NETWORKING
The advantages gained by an entrepreneur from having good networking are as
follows:

(a) Accessibility
Networking is very important for the entrepreneur to gain either tangible
or intangible resources directly or indirectly. Among the tangible resources
are financial support, transfer of technology and accessibility in gaining
information to produce the right product at the right cost and the right time
as demanded by the market. Intangible resources are the moral support,
guidance and confidence provided by various groups to entrepreneurs in
operating their business.

(b) Reputation
Reputation refers to the ability of entrepreneurs to exercise leadership or to
influence the decision making of other network members, based on the
expertise that they have. A good reputation enables the entrepreneur to
attract members in networking circles to give priority to the products or
services they produce.

(c) Expectations
These can both facilitate and restrict the freedom of the companyÊs actions.
For example, network members could have the expectation that a particular
company will effectively set prices for a number of other companies. On the
other hand, a company may be expected not to take advantage of product
shortages by raising prices or to conform to conventional competition or to
set higher ethical standards than others.

7.3 WHAT IS STRATEGIC NETWORKING?


Being a strategic entrepreneur is to envision the future and take the necessary
steps to create that future. Strategic networking, then, is gaining clarity on an
entrepreneurÊs goals and objectives to be achieved in running the business by
utilising their interaction with others and determining the best action that should
be taken. While it is tempting to jump into action, it is essential for entrepreneurs
to understand where they are now and where they want to go. Successful
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networking is the result of proper planning and careful construction and


execution. Entrepreneurs need to find ways and means to create good
networking and gain maximum benefit from it. Networking should be one of the
core marketing tactics of most independent professionals and small business
owners. Entrepreneurs may use client-centred networking to lessen their reliance
on cost and time in getting and distributing information. Over time, this business
building strategy will reward the entrepreneur with a steady stream of new
clients, besides maintaining the existing ones.

EXERCISE 7.1

Outline the advantages that an entrepreneur would gain from good


networking.

7.4 TYPES OF NETWORKING


The two types of networking are as follows:

(a) Formal Networking


Formal networking is the existing relationship between various people
who have a symbiotic relationship with the entrepreneur. Those who
have networking correlation are better prepared to take the initiative for
creating business opportunities and solving the problems they face in the
networking chain. Every member in the networking circle is ready to share
his experience and strength for mutual advantage.

(b) Informal Networking


Informal networking is established through relationships with childhood
friends, members of oneÊs family and people sharing common interests or
hobbies. It enables an entrepreneur to discuss his business informally,
without making appointments.

Informal networking provides opportunities for the entrepreneur to gain


new information or exchange of information. Services provided by informal
networking members are usually free of charge or with minimal charges.
Usually informal networking will enable the entrepreneur to get opinion,
advice, moral and financial support. Such support will help entrepreneurs
to be more confident and increase their ability for effective decision making
and minimises business risks. Members in informal networking circles
include friends, mentors and professionals. Figure 7.1 illustrates the
members in an informal networking circle.

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Figure 7.1: Informal networking circle

7.5 THE IMPORTANCE OF NETWORKING


Now let us look at the importance of networking. Figure 7.2 shows the
importance of networking.

Figure 7.2: The importance of networking

(a) Build Confidence


In business, entrepreneurs may face uncertainties, for example, investment,
losses, competitors and products which cannot penetrate into the market.
Good networking can reduce these uncertainties. An entrepreneur may
obtain reliable information on investment opportunities, market share and
product preferences. Networking also helps the entrepreneur to face
changes in business environments, such as:

(i) Changes in competitorsÊ strategies

(ii) Demographic changes

(iii) Changes in customer satisfaction

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(b) Reduce Bureaucracy


Rigid bureaucracy delays the process of business activities. Networking
helps to reduce red tape in decision-making by:
(i) Speeding up the application process.
(ii) Saving time, finance and other resources.
(iii) Preventing entrepreneurs from repeating mistakes.
(iv) Eliminating irresponsibility („passing the buck‰).

(c) Increase Information


Networking will build an entrepreneurÊs reputation as everybody in the
networking circle will know what the entrepreneur is doing. At the same
time, information like who is who in the networking circles will enable the
entrepreneur to get the information necessary for successful progress of his
business.

(d) Develop Trust


Trust is one of the most important factors when establishing networking.
With trust, a member in the networking circle will be prepared to give
priority to the entrepreneurÊs products or services. Trust also motivates
people to promote the entrepreneurs products or services by word of
mouth.

(e) Create an Interdependent Situation


SomeoneÊs success might come from anotherÊs contribution. Maybe your
success too comes from someone elseÊs contribution. People, thus, rely on
others. So whatever we do must benefit others. Everybody must react with
a symbiotic spirit. So, the concept of give-and-take is a must for developing
good networking relationships.

(f) Source of Creativity


Networking is also a source of creativity for an entrepreneur operating a
business. Various groups in networking circles will help to develop new
ideas to create new products or services, and new ways of producing and
marketing. In addition, members in the networking circle will provide new
business opportunity. All these ideas may come from friends, workers,
customers and distributors. Support and various contributions from
various members of the networking circle will enable entrepreneurs to:
(i) Improve product quality
(ii) Improve distribution

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(iii) Improve techniques of production


(iv) Improve the technique for better after sales services
(v) Suggest new ways of promoting the product

7.6 HOW TO ESTABLISH STRATEGIC


NETWORKING FOR ENTREPRENEURS
There are three ways for entrepreneurs to establish strategic networking as
shown in Figure 7.3:

Figure 7.3: Three ways to establish strategic networking

EXERCISE 7.2

Describe three ways to establish strategic networking for entrepreneurs.

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7.7 ENTREPRENEURS AND NETWORKING


To be a successful entrepreneur, one must have the strength to work together
with others. Here are some strategies for developing effective networking.
(a) Ready to listen;
(b) Ready to compromise;
(c) Skills in giving confidence; and
(d) Very much at peace.

When we are ready to listen to other people, we will get some ideas that could
help us change. We need to compromise with others and show our confidence.
Every entrepreneur who wishes to engage good networking strategies must
possess these qualities. Any failure to build good networking will:
(a) Increase cost;
(b) Waste time;
(c) Waste the resources of the company;
(d) Damage the entrepreneurÊs reputation;
(e) Damage the companyÊs reputation; and
(f) Create dilemmas.

7.8 STRATEGIC NETWORKING


CONSOLIDATION
These strategies are techniques in developing relationships between
entrepreneurs and other people to build good networking. Good relationships
with other people could help us to make positive changes. These strategies also
help entrepreneurs to overcome changes. The strategies are as follows:

(a) Strategy for Networking Consolidation


This strategy is a technique for developing relationships between
entrepreneurs and other people who have business experience and those
who will be involved in the business in the future. In addition, the
entrepreneur must also make the effort to keep other people in mind even
though they may not have any business dealings now. There are many
ways to develop strategic networking consolidation. These include:
 Paying visits;
 Participating in formal functions;

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 Networking through third persons;


 Giving souvenirs;
 Sending cards e.g. Congratulatory cards, condolence cards,
invitation cards;
 Writing letters and e-mails as well as replying them;
 Giving out business cards;
 Sending facsimiles; and
 Talking on the phone.

(b) Strategy for Developing Self-confidence


Entrepreneurs must show their capacity, personality and skills when
responsibility is given to them. They should also show their responsibility
and make sure the person who gave the responsibility will be satisfied and
ready to give more responsibility in future. When we make changes, we
must be responsible and do our best, so that our ideas will not fail. Some
important matters for attention include the following:
Ć Ability to do something which others cannot do.
Ć Ability to solve problems which others cannot solve.
Ć Ability to generate ideas constructively when needed.
Ć Ability to show that we can compete with others.
Ć Ability to make interpretations.
Ć Ability to show we are a place of reference for others.
Ć Always be right in decision-making.
Ć Make someone comfortable or happy when communicating with us.
Ć Expression, which does not suggest dominating leadership.
Ć Ability to control tone of voice when talking.
Ć Not taking advantage of others.
Ć Always ready to talk frankly.
Ć Ready to accept opinions other than oneÊs own.
Ć Ready to accept and appreciate other people and their abilities.
Ć Accept othersÊ advice and give advice to others.
Ć Be able to control ourselves.
Ć Flexible.
Ć Give and take when conflicts start.
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Such strategies will help an entrepreneur overcome many personal shortcomings


and enable him to conduct his business as smoothly as possible with the people
he is involved with.

ACTIVITY 7.1
You have planned a Thanksgiving party in your house. You have
invited your friends and relatives to the party. Explain how you will
develop good networking with them in the party.

7.9 TECHNIQUES FOR DEVELOPING


CONFIDENCE AMONG ENTREPRENEURS
As an entrepreneur, you must have the trust of many people. People will have
confidence in an entrepreneur who shows that he can successfully do the work
given. These are some strategies that could help you to be confident.

(a) Communicate Effectively and with Full Confidence


An inability to deliver a message or opinion effectively will affect the
confidence people have in you. To communicate well, be prepared with
accurate information and data. Also, keep in mind that your audience may
have a perspective quite different from your own. Face changes confidently
and be prepared to talk about any problems and ideas for solutions that
you have.

(b) Prove Your Abilities to Others


You must remember that people develop confidence in you when they
know that you are capable of doing the work assigned to you. As an
entrepreneur, you must prove that you are capable of managing changes
and guiding others to cope with the changes.

(c) Show Concern for Other People


Show that you are ready to help others. When you are ready to help a
person who needs help, you will make them remember you. You can also
guide the people who find it difficult to adapt to the changes.

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(d) Always be Fair


If you are not fair in your actions, you will destroy the network that you
have built. So, to avoid problems you must be fair when mentoring, as well
as giving help, benefits and attention. You must adapt to changes in a team.

(e) Always be Ready to Admit Your Own Mistakes


Every human being will make mistakes. So when you make mistakes, you
must be ready to admit your mistakes. Such humility will show others that
you are sincere. You must always be ready to ask whatever you do not
understand. Avoid asking questions which purposely test other people.
When you share an idea with others, you help yourself to cope with
changes. This is because you will have many new ideas and thus, you
should be able to make good decisions.

(f) Show Teamwork Spirit


We must always consider ourselves a team member and make sure others
feel they belong to the same team. Avoid being a loner or dissipating
others. We must be friendly with all team members to know how they feel
about the organisation so that we are able to work together to solve
problems and make any new changes.

(g) Be Confident of Others


When we show our confidence in others, they will also tend to be confident
in us. One of the ways we could prove our faith in others is to be ready to
share information. When we show confidence, people accept our ideas
more readily and their co-operation is more easily gained.

ACTIVITY 7.2
You have just been appointed as the team leader in your organisation.
How would you react if your team members do not agree with your
opinions?

SELF-CHECK 7.1
Describe some strategies that you could use to bolster your confidence.

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7.10 BARRIERS IN BUILDING STRATEGIC


NETWORKS
There are five main barriers, which must be avoided by entrepreneurs keen on
building effective strategic networking. If we fail to implement an effective
network strategy, we will also fail to adapt to changes. First, entrepreneurs must
take the initiative to identify their own weaknesses. The five barriers are shown
in Figure 7.4.

Figure 7.4: Five barriers in building strategic networks

(a) Emotional
Barriers may arise from emotional flaws apparent in the characteristics,
personality and ego of an entrepreneur. These barriers will create a social
space which will separate the entrepreneur from others. A social space
could cause entrepreneurs to fail to adapt to changes. Emotional barriers
are caused by the following elements or flaws in the personality of an
entrepreneur:
(i) Overly aggressive;
(ii) Fearful;
(iii) Speech which reveals a negative tendency to assume the authority
of a principal leader;
(iv) Carelessness in actions;
(v) Thinking and acting in ways that suggest one is better than others;
(vi) Arrogance;

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(vii) Hypocrisy;
(viii) Being a perfectionist but taking perfection to extremes;
(ix) Indecorous assumption of leadership;
(x) Never punctual;
(xi) Unwilling to admit oneÊs mistakes; and
(xii) Unwilling to recognise other peopleÊs talents and abilities.

(b) Physical
Physical barriers might arise from an entrepreneurÊs personal lack of
confidence in himself or from his inattention to other important matters
with respect to manners and attire. An entrepreneur who has little regard
for his own personal deportment could easily fail to inspire confidence
among his fellow colleagues. People often feel that an individual whose
manners, appearance or attire are wanting will likewise be incapable of
running an organisation well. They will thus have a greater tendency to
resist any changes that such an entrepreneur may seek to introduce. The
following are pitfalls in physical deportment which will raise unnecessary
barriers to strategic networking:
(i) Improper attire;
(ii) Physical appearance suggesting poor health or exhaustion;
(iii) Poor or total lack of self-management;
(iv) Nervous behaviour;
(v) Manners or speech that betray a lack of confidence;
(vi) Habitually avoiding eye contact when speaking to others;
(vii) An unfriendly countenance;
(viii) Overly expressive body language when attempting to communicate
with others; and
(ix) Speaking in an unnecessarily high tone or pitch.

(c) Psychological
Factors and characteristics affecting the psychological make-up of an
entrepreneur will influence his ability to build strategic networks.
Psychological barriers affect an entrepreneurÊs interactions with other
people. If, for instance, he is one who is prone to feelings of loneliness or
inferiority, he will face difficulties building an effective network. An
entrepreneur who is psychologically well-balanced has a better chance of
inspiring support and confidence. He will also be in a position of strength

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when attempting to bring about needed changes in an organisation. One


who lacks this balance will instead create a bad impression and face an
uphill battle mustering support.

Psychological barriers include behavioural characteristics indicative of:


(i) Nervousness;
(ii) Indecision;
(iii) Emotional problems resulting in strong feelings such as hatred or
anger towards others;
(iv) Loneliness;
(v) Frustration;
(vi) Failure to achieve goals;
(vii) Shyness;
(viii) Strong need for approval and acceptance;
(ix) Desire to be pre-eminent;
(x) Obsessive passion; and
(xi) Inability to discuss problems.

(d) Behavioural
The way we behave will determine whether we are closed or distant from
others. Good behaviour will help us generate good changes. Bad behaviour
characteristics include:
(i) Slandering other people;
(ii) Carelessness in making decisions;
(iii) Always wanting to be first;
(iv) Always wanting to be the leader;
(v) Teasing other people;
(vi) Making other people appear foolish;
(vii) Pretending to know everything;
(viii) Thinking and acting as if other people were incapable of making
mistakes;
(ix) Reluctance to accept other peopleÊs opinion; and
(x) Not appreciative of other peopleÊs contributions.

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(e) Negative Expressions


Expressions could help build, or spoil a strategic network. The way we
express ourselves, is important. When we are careless about the way we
express ourselves, we might easily offend others. Garnering their support in
a network will then be difficult. Expressions to avoid include the following:

(i) Expressions Indicating Dominance

(ii) Expressions Indicating Ridicule or Mockery

(iii) Expressions Indicating an Inferiority Complex

(iv) Expressions Indicating an Egoistic Nature

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An entrepreneur must therefore do his best to avoid the five barriers to building
a strategic network. By confidently applying the knowledge that he possesses,
the entrepreneur should be able to set up an effective network for successful
business. Such a network would be mutually advantageous to both the
entrepreneur and others within the network. The entrepreneur who is keen on
achieving his full potential through a good network will understand that he
cannot strive to dominate others. Instead, it is important to seek cooperation from
all concerned. Also, in any situation where changes need to be implemented, the
opinions of other members must be considered. Treating fellow workers or
associates with consideration and respect yields better results than attempting to
control, intimidate or offend them into submission.

SELF-CHECK 7.2

What kinds of expressions should you avoid in order to maintain


good networking?

 Networking is both an outcome of past relationship strategy and resource for


future strategy.

 The advantages of networking include accessibility, reputation, and


expectations.

 There are two types of networking (a) Formal networking and (b) Informal
networking. Formal networking is the existing relationship between various
people who have a symbiotic relationship with the entrepreneur. Informal
networking is established through relationships with childhood friends,
members of oneÊs family and people sharing common interests or hobbies.

 Networking is important because it builds confidence, reduces bureaucracy,


increases information, develops trust, creates an interdependent situation,
and generates creativity.

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 To establish and build confidence in networking, you can apply the following
seven techniques:
ă communicate effectively and with full confidence;
ă prove your abilities to others;
ă show concern for other people;
ă always be fair;
ă always be ready to admit your own mistakes;
ă show team spirit; and
ă be confident of others.

 Barriers to network building include physical, emotional, psychological,


behavioural, and expressive barriers.

Formal networking Strategic networking


Informal networking Barriers to network building

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Topic  Evaluation of
Entrepreneurial
8 Opportunities
LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Review six common pitfalls in the selection of new-venture ideas;
2. Explain eight critical factors involved in new-venture assessment;
3. Describe three major factors that underlie venture success;
4. Analyse four evaluation process methods; and
5. Outline the specific activities involved in a comprehensive feasibility
evaluation.

 INTRODUCTION
The number of new ventures have been increasing in the past few years. There
are several reasons for entrepreneurs starting up new ventures. As ideas develop
into new ventures, the real challenge is for these companies to survive and grow.

What will make you a successful entrepreneur? Have you ever thought of the
necessary aspects that you should be familiar with? In order to face the real
challenges in the world of entrepreneurship, you need to have a very deep
knowledge and understanding of the common pitfalls in selecting a new venture.
This topic will help you to identify critical factors for new venture development
and underlying factors of venture success. We will also discuss an effective
evaluation process for new ventures.

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8.1 PITFALLS IN SELECTING NEW VENTURES


The stage of transition from an idea to a potential venture can be the most critical
for understanding new venture development. Below are six common pitfalls that
an entrepreneur may encounter in the process of selecting a new venture
(see Figure 8.1).

Figure 8.1: Six pitfalls in selecting new ventures

Okay, now let us look at a brief description of each pitfall.

(a) Lack of Objective Evaluation


Many entrepreneurs lack objectivity and do not realise the importance of
the careful examination they should do for their work. All ideas should be
studied and investigated to avoid this pitfall.

(b) No Real Insight into the Market

(i) The importance of developing a marketing approach as the basis for a


new venture is often ignored. According to Levitt (1960), „they show
managerial short sightedness‰.

(ii) They fail to take into account the life cycle of a new product/service.

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(iii) Entrepreneurs must realise that timing is crucial. Projecting the life
cycle of new products is important as well as introducing the products
at the right moment.

(c) Inadequate Understanding of Technical Requirements

(i) Before initiating a new venture, entrepreneurs should conduct a


thorough study of the project.

(ii) Technical problems often arise, taking up a lot of the entrepreneursÊ


time, thus resulting in costly issues.

(d) Poor Financial Understanding

(i) Costs are often ignored by entrepreneurs. They might also not
conduct proper planning.

(ii) Underestimation of development costs by huge margins is not


unusual.

(e) Lack of Venture Uniqueness

(i) Concepts with special designs and characteristics will attract


customers to a venture. Entrepreneurs would not be able to attract
customers if there is no uniqueness in their ventures.

(ii) Product differentiation is the best way to create awareness among


customers of differences between rivalsÊ products and their own.

(f) Ignorance of Legal Issues

(i) Major problems can arise if legal issues are overlooked.

(ii) Examples of legal requirements are creating a safe working


environment, ensuring quality control of products and services and
having copyrights and patents to protect oneÊs products and creations.

ACTIVITY 8.1

Name two world-renowned firms that have failed in their „new‰


business ventures. What could have been their problems? Share this
information with your tutor and friends during a tutorial session.

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EXERCISE 8.1

Describe six pitballs in selecting new ventures.

8.2 CRITICAL FACTORS FOR NEW VENTURE


DEVELOPMENT
Another thing we must consider in new venture development is the critical factors.
Vesper (1990) stated that an entrepreneur should use a checklist of new venture
ideas which covers eight areas as shown in Figure 8.2.

Figure 8.2: Eight areas to be considered in new venture development

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Table 8.1 shows a checklist of new venture ideas that an entrepreneur should
consider in the assessment of a new venture.

Table 8.1: A Checklist of New Venture Ideas

No. Area Assessment Question


(a) Basic Feasibility of the  Can the product or service work?
Venture  Is it legal?
(b) Competitive Advantages of  What specific competitive advantage will the
the Venture product or service offer?
 How are the competitors likely to respond?
(c) Buyer Decision in the  Who are the customers likely to be?
Venture  How much will each customer buy and how
many customers are there?
(d) Marketing of the Goods  How much will be spent on advertising?
and Services  What share of the market will the company
capture?
 Who will perform the selling function?
(e) Production of the Goods  Will the company make or buy what it sells?
and Services  Are sources of supplies available at
reasonable prices?
(f) Staffing Decision in the  How will competencies in each area of the
Venture business be ensured?
 Who does the hiring?
(g) Control of the Venture  What records will be needed? When?
 Will any special controls be required?
(h) Financing the Venture  How much will be needed for development?
 How much is the working capital?
 Who will provide the financing? At what
cost?

ACTIVITY 8.2

What are the critical factors that need to be considered for the
development of a new venture?

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8.3 WHY NEW VENTURES FAIL


Many newly established businesses vanish within a year or two. Only a small
percentage are successful. According to Bruno et al (1987) and Karakaya and
Kobu (1994), there are three major causes that contribute to the failure of new
ventures as you can see in Figure 8.3.

Figure 8.3: Three major factors that contribute to the failure of new ventures

Meanwhile, Table 8.2 below describes the causes of failure.

Table 8.2: Causes of Failure

No Causes of Failure Factors


(a) Product/market  Poor timing
problems  Product design problems
 Inappropriate distribution strategy
 Unclear business definition
 Over-reliance on one customer
(b) Financial difficulties  Initial undercapitalisation
 Assuming debt too early
 Venture capital relationship problems
(c) Managerial  Concept of a team approach (e.g. hiring and promotions
problems based on nepotism rather than qualifications; poor
relationships with parent companies and venture
capitalists; founders who focus on their weaknesses
rather than their strengths; incompetent support
professionals).
 Human resource problems (e.g. kickbacks and
subsequent firings; deceit on the part of the venture
capitalist; verbal agreements not honoured; protracted
lawsuits).

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8.4 THE EVALUATION PROCESS


A critical task of starting a business enterprise is conducting solid analysis and
evaluation of the feasibility of the product/service idea. Entrepreneurs might
later discover that a proposal contains many fatal flaws if the initial analysis was
not properly conducted.

Figure 8.4 illustrates the evaluation process provided by Kuratko and Hodgetts
(2004).

Figure 8.4: Evaluation process

The evaluation process comprises the following steps.

(a) Asking the Right Questions


Many important evaluation-related questions should be asked. Examples of
questions that entrepreneurs should ask themselves are as follows:

(i) Is it a new product/service idea? Is it proprietary? Can it be patented


or copyrighted?

(ii) Has a prototype been tested by independent testers who try to blow
the system or rip the product to shreds? What are the weak points?
Will it stand up?

(iii) Has it been taken to a trade show? If so, what reactions did it receive?
Were there any sales made?

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(iv) Is the product or service easily understood by customers, bankers,


venture capitalists, accountants, lawyers and insurance agents?

(v) What is the overall market? What are the market segments? Can
the product penetrate these segments? Can any special niche be
exploited?

(vi) Has market research been conducted? Who are the competitors?

(vii) What distribution and sales methods will be used?

(viii) How will the product be made? How much will it cost?

(ix) Will the business concept be developed and licensed to others or


developed and sold away?

(b) Profile Analysis


A single strategic variable seldom shapes the ultimate success or failure
of a new business venture. In most instances, a combination of variables
influences the outcome. It is important to identify and investigate these
variables before new ideas are put into practice. The results of such a profile
analysis enable the entrepreneur to judge the businessÊ potential.

(c) Feasibility Criteria Approach


This approach was developed as a criteria selection list from which
entrepreneurs can gain insight into the viability of their venture. According
to Kuratko and Hodgetts (2004), the feasibility criteria approach asks the
following questions:

(i) Is it proprietary?

(ii) Are the initial production costs realistic?

(iii) Are the initial marketing costs realistic?

(iv) Does the product have potential for very high margins?

(v) Is the time required to get to market and to reach the break-even
point realistic?

(vi) Is the potential market large?

(vii) Is there any initial customer?

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122  TOPIC 8 EVALUATION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL OPPORTUNITIES

(viii) Is the cost of development and calender time realistic?

(ix) Is it a growing industry?

(x) Can the product and the need for it be understood by the financial
community?

(d) Comprehensive Feasibility Approach


It refers to a more comprehensive and systematic feasibility analysis that
incorporates external factors.

There are two major factors involved in a comprehensive feasilibility study


of a new venture (see Table 8.3).

Table 8.3: Two Major Factors Involved in a Comprehensive Feasibility Study


of a New Venture

Technical Feasibility Marketability


It means identifying the technical It means how saleable the product or
requirements for producing a product or service is in the market and what is the
service that will satisfy the expectations demand like. Three major areas in this
of potential customers. type of analysis are:
The important criteria for the  Investigating the full market potential
requirement are as follows: and identifying customers for the
 Functional design of the product and goods or services.
attractiveness in appearance.  Analysing the extent to which the
 Flexibility, for example, permitting enterprise might exploit this potential
ready modification of the external market.
features of the product to meet  Using the market analysis to
customer demands or technological determine the opportunities and risks
and competitive changes. associated with the venture.
 Durability of the materials from
which the product is made.
 Reliability, for example, ensuring
performance as expected under
normal operating conditions.

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TOPIC 8 EVALUATION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL OPPORTUNITIES  123

To address these areas, a variety of informational sources must be found and


used. For a market feasibility analysis, general sources would include the
following:

(a) Trends in the general economy (various economic indicators etc.);

(b) Market information (customers, customer demand patterns);

(c) Pricing information (range of prices for similar, complementary and


substitute products; base prices and discount structures); and

(d) Competitive information (major competitors and their competitive


strength).

EXERCISE 8.2

State the main reasons why new ventures fail.

Ć New venture selection may foresee a few pitfalls such as insufficient objective
evaluation of the venture, lack of market potential knowledge, little
understanding of the technical requirements, insufficient financial
understanding, lack of unique ideas and being unaware of legal issues.

 Major factors that may cause the failure of new ventures are insufficient
market knowledge, faulty product, ineffective sales and marketing strategy,
lack of awareness of competitive pressure, timing problems and insufficient
capital.

Ć By asking the right questions, making a profile analysis and carrying out a
feasibility criteria study, the feasibility of an entrepreneurÊs product or
service can be assessed.

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Critical factors Product differentiation


Customer availability Profile analysis
Legal requirements Technical feasibility
Marketability Uniqueness
Product availability

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Topic  Entrepreneur
and Personal
9 Financial
Planning
LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Explain the meaning of financial planning;
2. Point out the importance of setting personal financial goals in
financial planning;
3. Calculate individual net worth with reference to personal balance
sheet;
4. Prepare budget for personal financial planning purposes and a
cash flow statement to track cash flow;
5. Identify signs that an individual is in financial trouble; and
6. Describe what can be done to avoid getting into financial trouble.

 INTRODUCTION
A well-thought out plan is half the success. The same principle applies to an
entrepreneurÊs personal financial planning. It is either you do it or you just
ignore it. If you apply principles of financial planning in a proper manner, you
will definitely be better off financially. This topic will introduce some basic
knowledge about personal financial planning and serve as the foundation for
learning the other important aspects related to personal financial planning. Let us
do it together.

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126  TOPIC 9 ENTREPRENEUR AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING

9.1 NEED FOR PERSONAL FINANCIAL


PLANNING
Why do you think we need financial planning? Well, financial planning has an
effect on our future, dreams and goals. It will determine what we want to do in
our life, such as getting married, buying a car or a house, having children and
planning for their education.

You need to do proper financial planning to achieve your life dreams and goals.
It involves how you do your budgeting, saving and spending money from time
to time.

According to the Financial Planning Association, financial planning is the


long-term process of wisely managing your finances so you can achieve your
goals and dreams, while at the same time negotiating financial barriers that
inevitably arise in every stage of life.

Remember, financial planning is a process, not a product.

9.1.1 Steps in Financial Planning


Do you know what are the steps in creating sound financial planning? Figure 9.1
shows us the five steps in financial planning.

Figure 9.1: Five steps in financial planning

We will discuss more about these steps in the following topic of this module.

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TOPIC 9 ENTREPRENEUR AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING  127

SELF-CHECK 9.1

1. What do you understand about personal financial planning?


2. What do you think about the relationship between personal
financial goals and life stages of an individual?
3. Why must you assess your current financial situatio before
setting your financial goals?

9.1.2 Benefits of Financial Planning


Most of us think that financial planning is a hassle and it stops us from enjoying
life. If you consistently live on a budget, surely you would have to give up fun
activities, right? Think about it, if you save your money, you can always budget
your financial condition so that you have some money to spend with your
friends for entertainment.

You may want help getting started. If you set up good financial planning habits,
you can always ensure you have enough for more fun in the future!

If you have the time and knowledge, and your financial situation is not too
complicated you may be able to do a lot of it on your own. With your very own
financial plan, you will:

(a) Have more control of your financial affairs and be able to avoid excessive
spending, unmanageable debts, bankruptcy or dependence on others;

(b) Have better personal relationships with people around you, such as your
family, friends and colleagues, because you are happy with your life and
you are not going around borrowing money to make ends meet or
expecting handouts from others;

(c) Have a sense of freedom from financial worries because you have planned
for the future, anticipated your expenses and achieved your personal goals
in life; and

(d) Be more effective in obtaining, using and protecting your financial


resources throughout your lifetime, not only for yourself but also for the
people you love.

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In other words, when you have a good personal financial plan, you will be more
informed about your future needs and the resources that you have. You will also
have peace of mind knowing that you are in control.

9.1.3 Life Stages and Financial Goals


In your adult life, you will go through various stages, from starting a career to
retiring, from being single to getting married, having children and sometimes
being single again. At various phases in your life, you have different priorities,
responsibilities and financial goals.

Each stage of your life presents different investment opportunities and


challenges. Discipline and perseverance play an important role in maintaining a
reliable financial strategy. As your life changes, so do your needs and goals.
Sound financial planning will prepare you to meet the challeges and changes
successfully.

When you are in your 20s, you will be looking at money and spending it
differently from when you get into your 50s. For example, when you are single,
you probably want to have enough money to make a downpayment for your car
or go on a holiday with your friends. After you get married, you may want to
buy a house. Later, when you have children, you would want to plan for their
education and maybe even start a retirement fund.

As your needs change, your financial priorities will adjust to meet your varied
needs at different points of your life. Therefore, what you do with your money as
you go through your adult life depends on your financial goals. In the following
topic, we will be going into detail on how you can achieve your financial goals.
Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to point out here that to achieve your financial
goals, you need to save your money!

SELF-CHECK 9.2

1. Define the term financial planning.

2. Describe three benefits of financial planning.

3. Do you think personal financial goals will change according to


life stages of an individual?

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9.2 THE POWER OF MONEY


Do you still remember what you learnt in the previous sub-topic? Well we have
discussed the needs for personal financial planning. Money plays a vital role in
our lives as it helps us achieve many things. Have you heard of this quotation?

Money is power, freedom, a cushion, the root of all evil, the sum of blessings.
– Carl Sandburg

It is important for all of us to understand the power of money in terms of


building our financial success. Gaining personal knowledge is important because
financial knowledge empowers us to make good decisions with our money. In
this sub-topic, we will discuss how to set your goals, what important goals are ă
saving for emergencies and assets and liabilities: what you own and owe. Besides
that, we will look into your net worth and learn how to derive your net worth.

9.2.1 How to Set Your Goals


Do you know, that setting your goals puts you in charge of your money and life?
Your goals can be short or long term, small or large, but they must be achievable.

When setting your financial goals, you need to sort out what your priorities are.
Without knowing your priorities, it will be difficult to set satisfying financial
goals. You will find it easier to set financial goals that you can achieve when you
understand your priorities.

How do you set your goals? Just having these goals in your thoughts are not
enough, however. You are very likely to forget the goals that you have set or you
may even have unconsciously changed them in your mind. It is best to write
down your financial goals. Writing down financial goals will increase your
chances of achieving them.

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When writing down your financial goals, be as specific as possible. What is the
point of writing: „My goal is to have lots of money in the bank‰. What do you
mean by „lots of money‰? Is it RM50,000 or RM500,000 or RM5,000,000? Be
specific and write your goals in terms that can be measured. Break down your
goals into those that are short term, medium term and long term.

For instance:

(a) Short-term Goals (Less than 1 Year)


 To save RM5,000 in six months.
 To pay the deposit for a new car.

(b) Medium-term Goal (1-3 Years)


 To pay the deposit of RM 20,000 for my first house.

(c) Long-term Goal (More than 3 Years)


 To save RM100,000 within five years for my retirement account.

You may adopt Table 9.1 to help you in writing down your financial goals:

Table 9.1: Financial Goals

My Financial Goals
Short term Medium term Long term

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TOPIC 9 ENTREPRENEUR AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING  131

9.2.2 An Important Goal – Saving for Emergencies


What would happen if you suddenly could not afford to pay for your education?
Would you sacrifice your goal of attaining a degree or would you have a back-up
emergency plan?

In life, there are many uncertainties that you might face. From a minor
breakdown of your car to the more serious death of the sole breadwinner in your
family. Unexpected events are well, unexpected.

In most of these situations, money would be needed. It is extremely important


that you are always prepared with the right tools and knowledge for situations
that require you to think on your feet and deal with problems you might not be
used to otherwise. An emergency fund is one such tool you can use.

When you list your financial goals, include saving for an emergency fund. As a
rule of thumb, have an equivalent of at least six monthsÊ worth of your basic
living expenses in your emergency fund. Ideally, you should put aside about
12 monthsÊ worth.

Example: If you need about RM1,500 a month to pay for your living expenses,
including fixed payments such as housing loan or rent and insurance premium,
as well as electricity and water bills, you should have at least RM9,000 in your
emergency fund (i.e. RM1,500  6 months). If possible, keep aside RM18,000 in
the fund (RM1,500  12 months).

It might be hard at first when you start working to have that kind of money kept
aside but make sure you build it over time; every little amount will help build
your emergency fund. Remember to make a conscious effort to save.

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9.2.3 Assets and Liabilities: What You Own and Owe


In financial planning, you need to assess where you are now in financial terms,
i.e. what you own and what you owe, how much money you have and after
making the various payments, how much money there is left.

When doing this, two types of personal financial statements come in handy:

(a) Your personal balance sheet; and

(b) Your cash flow statement (discussed in the section on „The Basics of
Budgeting ‰ of this topic).

These statements will help you to:

(a) Provide information about your current financial position and a summary
of your income and expenditure;

(b) Measure your progress in meeting your short-term, medium-term and long-
term financial goals;

(c) Maintain information about your financial activities, such as investments


and spending patterns; and

(d) Provide data you can use when preparing tax forms or applying for a bank
loan.

Do you know what is a personal balance sheet? Let us look at the definition:

A personal balance sheet is your financial scorecard, which you can use to
regularly assess your financial standing. It can be a reference point in making
money-related decisions.

Your personal balance sheet reports on what you own and what you owe:

(a) What you own (assets) ă Include items such as cash, savings, real estate,
unit trusts or shares in companies.

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TOPIC 9 ENTREPRENEUR AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING  133

(b) What you owe (liabilities) ă Include all types of loans, whether to your
bank, family or friends, as well as credit card debt and payments that are
due, such as house rental and utility bills.

An example of a personal balance sheet is provided in Table 9.2, which you can
use as the basis to prepare one for yourself. This personal balance sheet has a
positive net worth because the value of the total assets is more than the total
liabilities.

Table 9.2: Personal Balance Sheet

Asset Liability
Item
RM RM

Bank Accounts
Savings accounts 5,237
Current accounts 3,532
Fixed deposit accounts 25,835
Cash on hand 1,235

Properties
Apartment 250,000
House ă
Land ă
Jewellery 7,695
Car 60,000

Investments
Employee Provident Fund 55,267
Unit trust 15,982
Shares ă

Bank Loans
Credit cards ă
Study loan ă
Borrowing from friends & family ă
Hire purchase of furniture & electrical goods ă

Total 424,783 254,292

Net Worth 170,491

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9.2.4 Knowing Your Net Worth


Your net worth is your total assets minus your total liabilities. You will have a
positive net worth if you own more than what you owe. When this happens,
congratulations! This means that you are in a healthy financial position.

However, having a high net worth does not guarantee that you will never face
financial difficulties. You can have a high net worth and still be in for a rough
time. So how is it possible for someone with a positive net worth to get into
financial problems? Financial difficulties can occur when your assets are not
liquid! When assets are not liquid (easily converted into cash) there could be
potential problems looming ahead. Let us see how this is possible.

Say you have a house as your asset (where you live in), but you do not have cash
in your wallet or bank account and you have already defaulted on your credit
card payments. The most pressing thing now is, you need money for your daily
expenses. Out of a job with no possible way of making one ringgit, you decide to
sell your house for money to support your expenses. Here is the problem. You
cannot sell your house immediately to get money because the house, being a
non-liquid asset, is not easily sold and finding a buyer may take several months.
It is also where you and maybe your family live. You really cannot sell your
home unless you have somewhere else to go.

It is easy to conclude that being financially healthy means having a balanced


portfolio of assets so that you will not be short of cash at any time. That way, you
can ensure that financial freedom will be in your grasp.

When you owe more than you own, you have a negative net worth. In this
situation, you are unable to pay off your debts when they are due because you
do not have enough money or assets that can be easily converted into cash. You
are actually in financial trouble and may be made a bankrupt.

Your net worth gives an idea of your financial position on a given date. Do not
consider your non cash items as cash as it may not be easily disposed.

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9.2.5 Deriving Your Net Worth


How do we derive at your net worth? Figure 9.2 shows us five steps in deriving
your net worth.

Figure 9.2: Five steps in deriving your net worth

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There are several ways you can increase your net worth. These include
increasing your savings, reducing your spending and debts and selling some of
your non-income generating assets/belongings.

ACTIVITY 9.2

How do you calculate your own individual net worth? List the steps.

EXERCISE 9.1

Describe the five steps in deriving your net worth.

9.3 THE BASICS OF BUDGETING


A budget is one of your best tools for reaching your goals ă whatever your age or
stage in life. It is a plan of what money you expect to receive and how you expect
to spend it.

9.3.1 Budgeting and Spending Plan


In financial planning, it is important to prepare a budget. True, living according
to a budget requires a lot of discipline but it helps you to:

(a) Live within your monthly income;

(b) Keep aside money or savings;

(c) Reach your financial goals;

(d) Prepare for financial emergencies; and

(e) Develop good financial management habits, with regular check-ups of your
cash flow and net worth.

Prepare your budget at the beginning of the month or on the day when you
receive your monthly salary.

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TOPIC 9 ENTREPRENEUR AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING  137

When you prepare your personal budget:

(a) Refer to your financial goals. Compare your budget to your financial goals
to see whether or not you are achieving them. For example, if you have
targeted on putting a downpayment to buy a car in one year, make sure
you do monthly checks to ensure you are keeping money away towards
your goal.

(b) Estimate your income for the budget period. This covers your salary,
commissions, allowances and other sources of money.

(c) Put aside at least 10% of your income for your savings (20% to 30% of your
income as savings will be better because you are creating a bigger pool of
money for your future retirement).

(d) Put aside some money for your emergency fund.

(e) Estimate fixed expenses for the budget period. These are expenses that
must be paid or spent, and include house rental, loan installment payments,
credit card payments and insurance premiums.

(f) Also estimate variable expenses for the period. These cover items such as
petrol, groceries, electricity and water bills.

(g) Aside from that, estimate your discretionary expenses, i.e. for items that
you can choose whether to spend or not spend. They include gifts, hobbies,
entertain- ment and holidays.

To prepare a successful budget, remember:

(a) Be patient and disciplined. A good budget takes time and effort to prepare.
Do not give up because you feel that there is too much to do!

(b) Be realistic. If you have a moderate income, do not expect to save a lot of
money in a short period of time.

(c) Be flexible. There will be unexpected expenses and changes in the prices of
groceries and other items. Revise your budget when needed.

(d) Set aside an amount of money to enjoy yourself. You are young and will
want to have a night out with friends or to watch a movie.

Remember: A budget will work only if you follow it!

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9.3.2 Tracking Your Cash Flow


Preparing your personal budget is not the end of the process. You need to
monitor your actual spending every day, especially know where your money is
going. Another term used for this is managing cash flow ă the actual inflow and
outflow of cash during a given period of time.

Figure 9.3: Actual inflow and outflow of cash

Your most important inflow is probably your income from employment. You
may, however, have other sources of income, such as a business income and
interest earned on savings and investments. Outflows would be living expenses,
loans and other financial commitments.

If you have a cash surplus, that is fantastic! Put the money away in your savings.
However, if you have a cash deficit, take another look at your spending. Try
postponing any purchases or payments for the time being. Try not to use your
emergency fund unless it is absolutely necessary. If you have to use your credit
card, use it as your last resort as using your credit card will only add towards
expenses for the coming months.

In preparing next monthÊs budget, base it on the balance brought forward from
the previous month.

Make sure you review and revise both your budget and spending plan regularly.
If you need to decrease your spending, look at expenses you can do without or
cut down. A good idea is to take a look at expenses involving food and
entertainment. You may even have to revise your financial goals, if some of these
are not realistic in relation to your monthly income.

 Your balance sheet outlines your financial net worth.

 Your budget tells you how much is your planned income, saving and
spending to achieve your financial goals.

 Your cash flow statement tells you what you received and spent in terms
of cash over a period of time.

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Table 9.3 is an example of a statement that combines a personal budget and cash
flow statement. In this example, the person has spent more than his budget due
to unforeseen circumstances, i.e. a car breakdown and extra travelling using the
car, resulting in additional spending on petrol, toll and parking expenses as well
as food.

Table 9.3: Monthly Personal Budget with Personal Cash Flow

Monthly Personal Budget with Personal


Cash Flow in One Statement
Monthly Income Budget Actual Cash Flow

Job #1 (net of EPF, SOCSO and PAYE RM3,450 RM3,450


tax)
Job #2 RM0 RM0
Other sources RM0 RM0

Total monthly income RM3,450 RM3,450

Less monthly fixed savings (10% of RM345 RM345


monthly income)

Less savings for emergency funds RM100 RM100

Monthly income net of savings RM3,005 RM3,005

Less monthly fixed expenses

Rental of room RM300 RM300


Car payment RM650 RM650
Car insurance RM0 RM0

Total monthly fixed expenses RM950 RM950

Less monthly variable expenses

Food RM550 RM650


House utilities RM0 RM0
Handphone bill RM85 RM97
Bus and taxi fare RM50 RM30
Gas and oil RM200 RM270
Parking and toll RM150 RM198
Car Repairs RM250 RM598

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140  TOPIC 9 ENTREPRENEUR AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING

Total monthly variable expenses

Less monthly discretionary expenses RM1,285 RM1,843

Medical expenses RM70 RM0


Clothing RM150 RM0
Entertainment RM100 RM186
Household items RM100 RM392
Personal items RM150 RM163
Gifts RM100 RM0
Other expenses RM100 RM0

Total monthly discretionary expenses RM770 RM741

Excess (Deficit) Income RM0 (RM529)

Excess of income over expenses + Fixed savings + Emergency funds = Extra


savings.

(If the amount is negative, you have spent more than your monthly income)

ACTIVITY 9.1
1. What are your personal financial goals and how are you going to
achieve them? Prepare a budget for the same purpose.
2. Prepare and analyse your own cash flow statement.

EXERCISE 9.2

State the considerations to prepare a successful budget.

9.4 LIVING WITHIN MEANS


I am sure you have heard the above phrase, „living within your means.‰ Are you
successfully living within your means? Simply put, if you are living within your
means, you can pay for the things you need without getting trapped in more debt
than you can handle.

In this section, you will find out whether you are living within your means by
looking into a few tips such as knowing your needs and wants, spending wisely
and delaying gratification.

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TOPIC 9 ENTREPRENEUR AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING  141

9.4.1 Knowing Your Needs and Wants


When you live within your means, you are spending money based on the money
you actually have. At the same time, you are putting aside money as savings to
meet your financial goals.

It is so easy to overspend. Products are constantly marketed on electronic media


such as television, radio, Internet online shopping and billboards as well as in
magazines and newspapers. It ultimately depends on you to be strong-willed to
resist all these forms of temptation. You can do so by understanding what
influences your spending and what your needs and wants are.

What is a „need‰? A need is something you must have, that you cannot do
without. An example of a need is food. You need to eat to live. Otherwise, you
would not survive for long.

Now what is a „want‰? A want is something you would like to have, which is
not absolutely necessary. Jewellery is a want because you do not really have to
wear it for survival.

In todayÊs world, for example, a mobile phone with basic features is a „must
have‰ for communicating with other people. However, one that has Bluetooth, a
music player, camera and video, and GPS is a „nice to have‰ mobile phone.

Knowing the difference between a need and a want, will make a significant
impact on your spending behaviour and ultimately, your financial future. The
decisions that you make regarding what you need or want will affect your
budget and your monthly spending.

9.4.2 Spending Wisely


When you want to buy something, ask yourself ă Is it something that I need? Can
I afford the money to buy it? Your personal budget and cash flow will help you
answer this question. Check if you have previously allocated to spend on this
item or have already overspent your cash for that month.

If it is a want, consider not buying it or spending less for something similar so


that you can put more into your savings. When you do this, you are spending
wisely and living within your means.

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Making sensible purchasing choices and spending wisely will prevent you from
creating financial difficulties for yourself and others. Handle your personal
finances in a responsible manner. It is easy if you just learn to say „no‰ to
purchases you cannot afford.

9.4.3 Delaying Gratification


Do you remember your childhood days when you wanted an ice cream and your
mother said that you could have it later, after you finished your homework? Do
you remember asking your father if he could buy you a new bicycle and he said
that you could have it later, if you did well in your exams? In both situations,
your parents were teaching you to delay gratification.

Throughout your adult life, there will always be someone who will try to
influence you into spending your money. If it is not your friend asking you to go
out to dinner, it will be the sales promoter at the hyper-market asking you to buy
their product.

Take the time to think whether it is necessary to spend the money and if it is
something you can afford within your budget. Remember when you say „no‰ to
spending money now (by delaying gratification), you are one step closer towards
achieving your financial dreams.

In life, there are always alternatives to choose from. Look into different
substitutes for your needs and wants. Change your perceptions, if necessary.
Instead of buying a car, using the public transport might be a good alternative to
moving around the city. You will save money and furthermore contribute
positively to the environment.

9.5 EARLY SIGN OF FINANCIAL TROUBLE


Unfortunately, there are people who do not realise that they are in financial
trouble. They carry on as they are, living in denial and making their situation
worse by the day.

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TOPIC 9 ENTREPRENEUR AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING  143

Table 9.4 shows us some tell-tale signs to indicate that you are in financial trouble
and you must be aware of them.

Table 9.4: Signs to Indicate that You are in Financial Trouble

Sign Explanation
(a) Credit Cards (i) Paying only the minimum balance each month.
(ii) Increasing the outstanding balance every month.
(iii) Going over your credit limit.
(iv) Taking frequent cash advances.
(v) Missing payments, paying late, or paying some bills this
month and others next month.
(vi) Having your credit card revoked by the bank.
(b) Loans (i) Using the overdraft or automatic loan features on your
current account frequently.
(ii) Receiving second or third payment notices from banks
or creditors for non-payment of debts.
(iii) Being denied credit because of a negative credit bureau
report.
(iv) Borrowing money from family or friends to pay your
debts.
(c) Savings (i) Using up your savings at an alarming rate.
(ii) Having little or no savings to handle unexpected
expenses or emergencies.
(d) Expenses (i) Depending on part-time jobs, overtime, commissions or
bonuses to pay for your living expenses.
(ii) Living from paycheck to paycheck.
(e) Ignorance (i) Not talking to your spouse or family members about
money problems or arguing when you talk about
money to them.
(ii) Not knowing how much money you owe until the bills
arrive.

If you start experiencing any of the above, get advice immediately. Do not wait
until the problem gets bigger. The earlier you seek assistance, the easier it is to
get out of the situation.

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What Can You Do?


You can contact your bank and work out an adjusted repayment plan to suit your
cash flow. You can contact the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency
(Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit or AKPK) for financial counseling
and advice.

If you do not act immediately when you see the signs of being in financial
trouble, it will only get worse...

9.6 GETTING OUT OF FINANCIAL TROUBLE


If you follow the advice, tips and guidance given to you in this topic, you should
not get into financial trouble. You will instead be managing your money wisely
and on the road to becoming financially stress-free.

It is just not worth it in the long run to give in to your whims and fancies,
spending as and when you like, without thinking about the future. If you do not
plan your finances, it is very possible for you to spend more than you earn,
putting you eventually into serious debt, which leads to financial trouble.

Being financially distressed will affect your reputation, but that is not all ă you
will also be emotionally troubled, looking for money to pay off your debts and
eventually strain your relationships with family and friends. All these will affect
your physical health, mental and emotional stability. You will end up in a never-
ending spiral of problems - all because you failed to plan.

9.6.1 Your Creditworthiness


The Credit Bureau of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) maintains credit information
on borrowers in its Central Credit Reference Information System and financial
institutions are able to check on your status.

If you are in serious debt, you will be seen as a bad credit risk to any banker you
may approach for a loan. Financial institutions have various criteria to assess the
credit-worthiness of potential borrowers. These include the borrowersÊ character,
attitude towards their loan obligations as well as their capacity to pay their loans.

When you have a poor credit record, it will be difficult for you to obtain loans
from licensed financial institutions.

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TOPIC 9 ENTREPRENEUR AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING  145

9.6.2 What Can Happen?


When you default on your loan, the financial institution will take legal
proceedings against you. It will first obtain a judgement. If the loan is a car loan,
the financial institution will act to repossess and sell the car. If it is a housing loan
secured by property, the financial institution will foreclose on your property and
sell it by public auction.

For unsecured loans, the financial institution has a number of options to execute
the judgement it has obtained to recover its debts. These include writ of seizure
and sale, garnishee proceedings, judgement debtor summons and filing a
bankruptcy order if the debt amount is RM30,000 and above.

If you are made a bankrupt, there are many things you are legally barred from
doing:

(a) Hold any public office without the approval of the Director-General (DG).

(b) Pursue any court action without the DGÊs permission.

(c) Leave the country without the courtÊs or DGÊs approval.

(d) Be a company director or carry out your own business or be involved in the
management of a company without the courtÊs or the DGÊs approval.

(e) Be involved in the management of a company or be an employee of a


company that is owned by your spouse or close relatives and their spouses.

(f) Be a committee member of any registered body.

ACTIVITY 9.2

Suggest some practical ways to get out of financial trouble.

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146  TOPIC 9 ENTREPRENEUR AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING

 Financial planning is important to provide you with peace of mind, security


for your future and a better quality of life.

 Financial planning is essential in achieving your lifeÊs dreams and goals.

 Provided that money can earn interest, money you have at the present time is
worth more than the same amount in the future.

 Setting financial goals are important to achieve security and financial


freedom.

 Your financial goals must reflect your values and beliefs.

 Write down your financial goals in specific terms, then categorise them into
short-term, medium-term and long-term goals.

 Saving for an emergency fund should be one of your financial goals.

 Your personal balance sheet shows your assets and liabilities and net worth
at a given point in time.

 Preparing a budget and tracking your cash flow is part of an ongoing process
that requires patience, discipline and flexibility.

 It is very important to live within your means.

Assets Net worth


Budgeting Personal balance sheet
Financial planning Personal cash flow statement
Liabilities

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Topic  Achieving
Entrepreneur's
10 Personal Financial
Dreams
LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Describe the meaning and various ways of saving;
2. Discuss your investment goals, and the relationship between risk and
return;
3. Explain various types of investments, insurance, takaful and loan;
4. Make an informed decision on buying an insurance policy;
5. Determine the risks of being a guarantor; and
6. Identify signs of financial difficulty.

 INTRODUCTION
Have you ever heard of this saying „what matters is how much you save, not
how much you earn‰. In other words, higher earning does not guarantee you are
financially better off than others who are earning lower than you, if you spend
more than what you have earned. It is always better to spend below your means
and make a habit to save. However, besides saving, one must learn and practise
investing ă saving may not make you rich, but investment does. Investment from
the personal financial perspective will never be complete if it is done without the
knowledge of sustaining it and a proper protection i.e. insurance. Finally, you
need to know when you are falling into financial difficulty. This serves as the
financial self-check that should not be overlooked in order to achieve true
personal financial success.

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10.1 ENTREPRENEUR WEALTH BUILDING


We have discussed in the previous topic that the way to become smart with your
money is to build your wealth by owning more than you owe. Here, we will go
further into discussing how you can build your wealth and at the same time plan
for future uncertainties.

10.1.1 The Saving Habit


Putting money aside for the future is hard to do. There is more to it than
spending less money although that part alone can be challenging. How much
money should you save, where will you put it or are you sure you made the right
decision? Here are a few tips on how to set realistic goals and get the most out of
your money.

According to www.businessdictionary.com, savings is the portion of disposable


income not spent on consumption of consumer goods but accumulated or
invested directly in capital equipment or in paying home mortgage, or directly
through purchase of securities.

You should make your savings automatic. A savings plan is an essential part of
your financial plan. Without a savings plan, you will not be able to achieve your
financial goals. We suggest that you save at least 10% of your salary every
month. It is even better if you can save 20% to 30% because this will translate into
more money for your future. Remember that the more you save now, the easier it
would be to achieve your financial goals.

There are several ways that this percentage of your monthly salary can be put
into your savings account in the bank. You can:

(a) Write out a cheque every month and deposit it into your savings account;

(b) Carry out the transfer on the ATM; or

(c) Transfer money from your current account to your savings account via
Internet banking every month.

It is good if you are doing any of the above. However, after a few months, you may
forget to do so or find some reason to use the money for something else instead of
putting it into your savings account. You would have broken the pattern and, once
broken, it is possible that you will not get back to your savings plan.

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So how do you make sure that you keep to your savings plan? Simple ă by
making it automatic!

Give an instruction to your bank to transfer at least 10% of your monthly salary
from your current account to your savings account every month. Have the
transfer done as soon as your salary is credited into your current account. What
you do not see or have, you would not miss. In the meantime, the amount of
money in your savings account will just grow and grow, bringing you closer to
your financial goals.

As and when you can afford it, such as after you have received a raise or
promotion, instruct your bank to increase the amount to be transferred to your
savings account.

When you have saved the total amount of money that you had planned, transfer
the whole sum into a fixed deposit or some other account that can earn more
returns.

However, continue to instruct your bank to make the monthly deduction. Never
stop it, as this would only break your habit. The money that you are
„automatically‰ saving can go towards another financial goal.

ACTIVITY 10.1

What is the meaning of savings? How is it different from investment?

10.1.2 Increasing Net Worth via Saving and


Investments
Building wealth is about increasing your net worth, which we covered in
Topic 9. Your assets minus your liabilities equals your net worth, which can be
positive (assets more than liabilities) or negative (liabilities more than assets).

In this topic, we will focus on increasing your assets through savings and
investments. We will look at your investment goals, investment risk and return
and diversify your investment.

(a) Your Investment Goals


Once you save your money on a regular basis, you will need to start
making important decisions about how to invest your money. Now, how
do you do this? Easy, you can invest money sensibly by first stating your
investment goals.
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However, how do you come up with investment goals that fit your needs?

Well, there are some crucial questions you should think about when
coming up with your investment goals. Let us take a look at some
questions below:

(i) What are your financial goals? Why do you need to save and invest
your money?

(ii) How much money do you need to save and how much to invest to
achieve your goals?

(iii) How long do you have to save or invest your money to achieve your
goals?

(iv) How much risk are you willing to take?

(v) How much return do you expect from your savings or investments?

(vi) What sort of sacrifices are you prepared to make to achieve these
goals, e.g. changing your lifestyle and spending habits?

Be realistic when you consider your answers to the above questions. Look
at your sources of income and see how much you can consistently save and
invest. Your financial and investment goals should be reasonable and
achievable.

Remember to make your financial and investment goals reasonable and


achievable.

(b) Investment Risk and Return


Keeping your money in a savings or fixed deposit account with a bank is
the safest form of investment. The return (i.e. the interest rate) is lower
compared to other forms of investment, but it is not risky. You can go to
sleep at night and not be worried about your money.

Of course, by keeping your money only in savings or fixed deposits, you


would not be able to build your wealth as fast as you would like to.
However, keep in mind that although other form of investments can give
you better returns, they also sometimes carry greater risks, i.e. there is a
greater chance of such investments losing their value.

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For example, if you invest your money in the stock market, you face a
greater risk of losing your money than if you were to keep it in a savings
account. Share prices move up and down, depending on many factors. You
may have bought the shares of a company at RM5 per share, but this price
can go up to RM7 or it can go down to RM2.

When you invest your money, you expect to earn a return on that money. A
return on an investment is usually stated as an annual percentage. If you
buy shares at RM10 a share and the price goes up to RM10.80 after one
year, then your rate of return is 8%.

The actual return on an investment would, however, be after you have


deducted related expenses. If you buy a house, for example, and then sell it,
you will only know your return after you have deducted items such as legal
fees, agentÊs commission, stamp duty and bank loan interests.

Remember: When choosing your investment, the higher the return, the
greater the risk.

(c) Diversify Your Investment


When you invest your money, do not put it all into one type of investment.
If something happens to that investment, you would lose all your money. It
is important to diversify.

It is smarter to put your money in different types of investment. In other


words, plan for a balanced portfolio of investments. Spreading your money
across a variety of investments is the key to spreading your risks. When
you do this, you are highly likely to benefit substantially from your
investments while eliminating chances of financial losses.

How you invest is partly determined by your investor profile, i.e. whether,
as an investor, you are aggressive, moderate or conservative. Many people
actually fall in-between these types.

If you are a moderate investor, you might invest a high portion of your
money in different asset class such as unit trust funds and the balance in
fixed income investments such as fixed deposits. The amount that you
assign to an asset class could be further divided among different segments
such as a bond or equity fund.

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If you are an aggressive investor, you might consider investing in more


volatile investments such as shares.

On the other hand, if you are a more conservative investor, you might
consider putting your money in less aggressive investments such as bonds
and fixed deposits.

No two investors are exactly alike! You are the only one who can decide
which options to choose and how much to spread your savings amongst
the types of investment products available.

SELF-CHECK 10.1

1. What are your investment goals? Give examples to elaborate.


2. Discuss the relationship between risk and return, using examples.

10.1.3 Types of Investment


Do you know that good investment planning can turn your goals into realities? It
involves more than just trying to pick the right investment. Now we will look at
Figure 10.1 to find out the types of investment available in the financial
marketplace.

Figure 10.1: Types of investments

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Let us look at the explanation of each type in detail.

(a) Cash and Fixed Interest Investments


Cash investments are the most common form of investment in Malaysia,
covering products such as bank savings accounts and fixed deposits.They
provide easy access to your money when you need it and there is no
chance you could lose any capital, so they are very secure.

However, while they do offer security, they usually provide very little
income and no capital growth. In actuality they can be quite risky in the
long run because inflation erodes the value of your investment. For most
investors, cash and fixed interest products are suitable for:

(i) Use as a transaction account;

(ii) Keeping cash on hand for short-term expenses and emergencies; and

(iii) Short-term savings where they cannot afford any risk to their capital.

(b) Shares
Shares (also known as equities or stocks) represent ownership in a
company. When you buy a share, you become a part-owner of the
company and become entitled to share in its future value and profits.

Shares in a company offer growth to investors in two key ways:

(i) As the overall value of the company increases, the value of the shares
also increases.

(ii) You can earn dividends when the company chooses to pay part of its
profits to shareholders as income payment.

Shares have the potential to generate very high returns. However,


they also have the potential to fall in value if the companyÊs
performance drops. Shares are generally suitable for investors who:

 Want to build a nest egg for medium-term and long-term


financial goals;

 Have a longer investment time-frame; and

 Are comfortable with some volatility in their investment value


over the short term, in exchange for higher returns in the long
term (in terms of dividend income and capital gain).

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(c) Unit Trust Funds


In a unit trust, money from hundreds of individual investors are pooled
together to buy a large number of different assets. Professional fund
managers decide what percentage of the fund should be invested in each
asset class, and also which countries, industries and companies have the
best prospects for good returns.

Each investor then receives „units‰ in the fund, with each unit representing
a mix of all the underlying assets such as shares, bonds and fixed deposits.
Unit trust funds are an ideal option for people who:

(i) Are new to investing;

(ii) Are happy to outsource the selection of investments to professional


managers;

(iii) Have a small initial amount to invest (with the option to make
regular additional contributions); and

(iv) Are seeking investment diversification to minimise risk.

(d) Property
Property is one asset class that most Malaysians are familiar with. Property
investment offers value to investors in two ways:

(i) Properties increase in capital value over time as house and land
prices rise.

(ii) You can earn rental income from tenants.

Like shares, property prices go up and down and have periods of


sustained high returns and sustained low returns; so property is
generally only suitable as a long-term investment. One of the most
important factors to consider when buying property is its location.
Property is generally suitable for investors who:

 Do not require „emergency‰ access to their money;

 Have a long-term investment time-frame; and

 Have the ability to meet mortgage repayments if interest rates rise


or if the property is not being tenanted.

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(e) Other Types of Investments


Other types of investments are:

(i) Bonds
When you buy a government or corporate bond, you are „lending‰
your money for a certain period of time at a predetermined interest
rate. In return, you receive a steady income stream through regular
interest payments.

(ii) Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)


This is similar to a unit trust except that the investments are in
property and real estate. The profits from such investments are
passed on to investors in the form of dividends.

ACTIVITY 10.2

What are your preferred types of investment? Why?

EXERCISE 10.1

State the main types of investment.

10.2 PLANNING FOR UNCERTAINTIES


Life has many ups and downs where accidents and disasters can and do happen
unexpectedly. When this happens we feel like life has control over us more than
we have control over it. This is especially so if we are not adequately prepared
for uncertainties. Whatever the uncertainty that comes, it usually brings about
feelings of fear, depression and worry. How do we cope with such uncertainty?

Well, in this section, we will discuss several tips on how to deal with
uncertainties, for instance the need to get insured, the types of insurance we
should take and what takaful is.

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10.2.1 The Need of Getting Insured


Before you take any insurance, you must understand what insurance is, the
purpose of insurance and how it works to protect you. Now let us go into details.

(a) What is Insurance?


When you make a financial commitment, such as purchasing a house by
borrowing money from the bank, you have locked part of your future
income. Should there be an unfortunate natural event (death or disability)
or an economic catastrophe (retrenchment), where your ability to meet
these commitments have been impaired, the possibility of losing your
hard-earned asset is real.

There is a financial instrument that you can purchase to protect you from
such an eventuality ă insurance. It is a means of giving you a financial
buffer or protection in case something happens to you, your family or your
belongings.

(b) Purpose of Insurance


In offering you such protection, insurance is providing you with peace of
mind. The money you put towards insurance will enable you to:

(i) Pay for damages to your personal belongings or to replace items that
had been stolen (provided such items are insurable);

(ii) Pay for medical bills when you or your family members are
hospitalised;

(iii) Take care of your monthly living expenses, debts and financial
commitments when you are not able to work due to a serious illness
or an accident;

(iv) Provide some financial support to your family in the event of your
disability, serious illness or death, particularly if you are the
breadwinner of the family.

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(c) How Does Insurance Work?


Upon payment of a relatively small fee (known as a premium), a licensed
insurance company will replace items lost or damaged due to an insured
peril, such as fire, accidents and theft. However, these incidences must
occur during the insurance period up to the limit of the sum insured.

The insurance company sells policies to thousands of people and the


premiums collected become part of a common fund. Not all who pay the
premiums will be affected by misfortune and when some do, they are not
affected at the same time. The common fund helps all those who contribute
to share the risks.

The insurance industry in Malaysia is regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia


(BNM). To help the public know more about insurance, BNM has
produced a series of booklets, which you can get from branches of
insurance companies. Alternatively, you can visit www.insuranceinfo.
com.my.

ACTIVITY 10.3

1. Why would you pay high premiums to get your family members
and yourself insured?
2. How much insurance coverage is considered adequate? Is it the
same for all individuals?

10.2.2 Types of Insurance


You can insure almost anything under the sun but certain things absolutely need
to be properly insured. This typically includes your life, your health and your
property. Figure 10.2 shows us two types of insurance.

Figure 10.2: Types of Insurance

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(a) Life Insurance


A life insurance policy insures you and your life against risks such as pre-
mature death, illness, disability and hospitalisation. It is important to have
one if there are people depending on you, whether they are young children
or aged parents. The coverage period is usually more than a year and you
have a choice of making premium payments monthly, quarterly, semi-
annually or annually throughout the coverage period.

Figure 10.3 illustrates the main life insurance products.

Figure 10.3: The main life insurance products

Now, we will go into detail for each main life insurance product.

(i) Whole Life


This offers lifelong protection but you must pay premiums
throughout your life. The claim amount (sum insured), including
bonuses, will be paid upon death, total and permanent disability or
critical illness. Due to the long-term nature of the policy, the premium
is higher than for term insurance and it provides cash value during
the term of policy.

(ii) Term Life


This offers protection for a limited period of time only. The money
will be paid only upon death, total and permanent disability or critical
illness during the term of the policy and according to the amount
agreed upon when buying the policy.

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(iii) Endowment
This combines protection and savings. This policy provides cash
benefits at the end of a specific period or upon death or total and
permanent disability during the same period. The coverage period is
determined by the buyer.

(iv) Investment-linked
This combines investment and protection. Under this policy, you get
to choose the type of investment fund you wish to place your
investment and the amount of life insurance coverage you wish to
have. The amount of premium is flexible.

(v) Medical and Health


This helps to cover the cost of medical treatment, particularly in
regard to hospitalisation and surgery.

(vi) Mortgage Reducing Term


This is usually a single premium policy with the coverage amount
matching the scheduled outstanding balance of the loan. In case you
default on the payments due to illness or disability or upon premature
death, the policy will settle the loan and the bank will release the
ownership of the house to you or your beneficiaries.

(b) General Insurance


General insurance protects you against losses due to theft or damages to
your personal belongings. It also covers you if you cause damage to a third
party, or if there is accidental death, injury or hospitalisation. The period
covered is usually one year and you have to pay a one-time premium
payment on an annual basis. Table 10.1 shows us the main general
insurance products.

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Table 10.1: The Main General Insurance Products

Product Explanation
It covers your motor vehicle against theft, accident or fire. If you buy
third party cover, you are insured against claims made against you
by a third party for injuries or death of other person (third party) as
well as loss or damage to the property of the third party that is
caused by your vehicle. If you buy comprehensive cover, you are
Motor getting the widest coverage, i.e. third party injury and death, third
party property loss or damage, and loss or damage to your own
vehicle due to an accident, fire or theft.

A basic fire policy covers the building only against fire, lightning or
explosion. A house ownerÊs policy extends coverage of the building
to loss or damage due to flood, burst pipes and other calamities as
well. With a house holderÊs policy, the contents of the house, such as
furniture, are covered against theft, flood and fire. This policy does
House not cover damage to the house itself.

This is good to buy when you travel overseas. It protects you against
travel-related accidents, flight delays or interruptions, baggage lost in
transit, medical and other expenses.

Travel

This covers items such as computers, handphones, notebooks and


cameras against loss or theft.

Personal
belongings

Before deciding on an insurance policy, make sure you check the perils and risks
that are covered by various policies offered by different insurance companies.

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10.2.3 Takaful
As in banking where you can choose between conventional and Islamic banking
products and services, the insurance industry in Malaysia also offers conventional
insurance as well as takaful.

Takaful is insurance protection based on Shariah principles. You contribute a


sum of money to a common takaful fund in the form of participative
contribution. You undertake a contract (aqad) to become one of the participants
by agreeing to mutually help each other, should any of the participants suffer a
specified loss.

Both insurance and takaful have similar basic principles. For example, in both
insurance and takaful, you suffer a financial loss when the insured event occurs.
While takaful offers products similar to conventional insurance, it has some
unique features:

(a) The surplus of the fund is shared between you and the takaful company
based on a pre-agreed ratio. The amount in the surplus fund is calculated
after deducting expenses such as claims, technical reserves, management
expenses and re-takaful.

(b) You are entitled to this surplus, if you had not made a claim during the
period of the takaful.

Figure 10.4 shows us two types of takaful.

Figure 10.4: Types of takaful

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(a) Family Takaful


Family takaful is a combination of protection and long-term savings and
usually covers a period of more than a year. It provides financial benefits if
you suffer a tragedy as well as gives you investment profits. Contribution
payments can be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. Now
look at Table 10.2 for the basic types of family takaful.

Table 10.2: Types of Family Takaful

Types of Family Takaful Explanation


Individual Family  With plans that include education, mortgage and
health, you and your beneficiary will receive
financial benefits arising from death or permanent
disability.
 There are also long-term savings and investment
profits are distributed upon claim, maturity or
early surrender.
Retirement Annuity  This is a plan that provides you with a regular
income upon retirement.
Investment-linked  Combining investment and protection, part of
your contribution is used to buy investment units
while the balance goes towards providing
coverage in the event of death or permanent
disability.
Medical and Health  This covers the costs of medical treatment,
including hospitalisation and surgery.

(b) General Takaful


This product protects you on a short-term basis, usually for a one-year
period, for any loss or damage to your property or personal belongings.
You pay a one-time contribution on an annual basis. Please refer to Table
10.3 for the main types of general takaful.

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Table 10.3: Types of General Takaful

Types of General Takaful Explanation


Home Takaful  A house owner takaful covers your home against
loss or damage caused by flood, fire and other
similar perils, while a house holder takaful covers
loss or damage to the contents of your house.
 You may participate in either one or both.
Motor Takaful  You are covered against loss or damage to your
vehicle due to fire, theft or an accident as well as
bodily injury or death of a third party and loss or
damage of a third partyÊs property.
 As with general motor insurance, the two types of
cover are third party and comprehensive.
Personal Accident  This provides you or your beneficiaries with
compensation in the event of death, disablement or
injuries arising from an accident.
 This plan is also available for a short duration,
such as when travelling abroad.

For more information on takaful, you may want to surf this website:
http://www.insuranceinfo.com.my.

SELF-CHECK 10.2

Describe each type of insurance and takaful. Which do you prefer and
why?

EXERCISE 10.2

Discuss the basic types of Family Takaful.

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10.3 MANAGING DEBT: BORROWING BASICS


You may be tempted to spend more money than you have because of the
availability of loans and credit cards offered by financial institutions. These
institutions offer you money and credit on loan so you can buy a house, a car,
pay your bills or go on a holiday. It is crucial to keep in mind that this money is
not free. You have to pay it back ă with interest!

Before borrowing money, make sure you can manage debts. Remember that you
want to own more than you owe. You want to build wealth. If you borrow
money, you should use it to make more money. Try not to pay for things that
will not create value for you. Also, never use short-term loans, such as credit
cards or overdrafts, to fund long-term assets for example house or building.

10.3.1 Loans and Credit


When you want to take a loan or use a credit card, ask yourself these questions:

(a) Is the product or service you want to buy important? Is it necessary?

(b) If it is important and you need to have it, can you afford to pay the
instalments?

(c) If it is a substantial purchase, such as a car or house, can you afford to put
down a larger down payment?

(d) If it is something you desire, can you control the feeling and delay your
decision to buy it since it is not that important?

(e) If you decide to take a loan or use your credit card to buy something, have
you worked out your cash flow to see if you are able to repay the money
you borrowed?

(f) Do you know the costs of borrowing and using your credit card? There are
interest rate costs as well as finance charges such as late payment fees.

(g) Do you understand the consequences of failing to repay money you


borrow? If you fail to do so, legal proceedings can be taken against you.
You can even be made a bankrupt.

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Unless you are able to increase your income, you need to give up something to
make your monthly loan payment. Are you prepared to make this trade-off? For
example, are you willing to give up spending on your weekly entertainment to
make payments for your loan and credit card debt?

No matter how careful you have worked out your monthly cash flow to pay your
loan payment or credit card debt, something unexpected or an emergency can
happen and you will need extra cash. Are you able to still meet your
commitments if such a thing happens?

Hence, it is important not to over-commit on loans and purchases using credit


card. As a general rule, your total monthly payments on all your loans and credit
card debt should not exceed one-third of your gross monthly salary.

Never, ever borrow money from a loan shark because you will:
(a) Get a loan on very strict terms and conditions.
(b) Have to pay a very high rate of interest with daily compounding effect.
(c) Open yourself and your family to harassment if you get behind on your
payments.
(d) Be pressured into borrowing more from the loan shark to repay one debt
after another.

10.3.2 Types of Loan


There is a wide range of loans and credit facilities available in the market. We
will discuss the more common ones in this topic. The common types of loan are
illustrated in Figure 10.5.

Figure 10.5: Types of loan

Now we will discuss in detail each type of loan.

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(a) Personal Loan


This is a loan offered for your personal use, not for a large purchase such as
a house or car but more for the purchase of a personal computer or money
to use towards your marriage. It is tempting to apply for this type of loan
because the application process is usually fast and easy. Moreover, most
banks do not require a guarantor or collateral. Conversely, some of the
interest rates can be very high.

As stated earlier in this topic, ask yourself some important questions before
you apply for such a loan. Be clear about the purpose of the application and
whether you can afford to make the repayments.

(b) Car Loan


Most people want to have their own car as soon as they start working. They
usually buy a car using a loan (also known as hire purchase or HP). If you
do so, you become the hirer of the car while the financial institution is the
owner. As the hirer, you pay instalments to the financial institution based
on their terms and conditions. You become the owner after completing all
your payments.

As with any loan you take, ask yourself the important questions before
deciding to borrow. Also work out your cash flow to see how much
monthly instalments you can afford to pay. When you apply for a car loan,
you can do so directly with the financial institution or through the car
dealer, who will then submit your application to the financial institution.

As a hirer you should:

(i) Read all the fine print in the written agreement;

(ii) Check and ensure that the purchase price and HP terms in the
agreement are as agreed;

(iii) Know your rights under the Hire Purchase Act;

(iv) Know your obligations as a hirer so that you do not do anything to


breach the agreement;

(v) Keep all documents, such as the agreement and receipts, in a safe
place; and

(vi) Make your payments to authorised persons only as identified by the


financial institution.

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However, before taking up a car loan, check on the effective interest rate as
it will work out to be much higher than the flat rate offered. Look at the
following example of a RM50,000 loan at 5% interest per annum with a five-
year tenure. The effective interest rate works out to be 9.15%.

Monthly instalment: RM1,042

Total interest payment: RM12,500

Total loan + interest: RM62,500

Approximate effective rate per annum: 9.15%

Do know the basics of hire purchase? Table 10.4 provides you some
details on hire purchase basics.

Table 10.4: Hire Purchase Basics

Terms Explanation
(a) Minimum Deposit This is about 10% of the cash value of the car but financial
institutions can request for a higher deposit.
(b) Interest Rate This is a fixed rate and the maximum allowed is 10%.
(c) Effective Interest This is the actual interest that you pay after taking into
Rate account annual compound interest on the loan over its
tenure.
(d) Late Payment You will be charged a penalty if you are late in paying
Charges your instalments. This interest is charged on a daily basis.
(e) Guarantor Financial institutions may require a guarantor who will be
responsible for the unpaid portion of a loan including
interest, if you default on your loan.
(f) Insurance You must purchase insurance coverage for your car.
Financial institutions require a car owner to undertake a
comprehensive insurance policy.
(g) Repossession If you default on your payments, financial institutions can
repossess your car as they are the legal owners.

When you do not make your car loan payments on schedule, the financial
institutions can repossess your car by engaging a registered reposessor.
Having your car taken away from you can be a traumatic and embarrassing
experience. Before taking any action, the repossessor must show you his

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identity and authority cards along with a repossession order issued by the
financial institution. He must then make a police report and bring the
repossessed car to a place indicated by the financial institution.

You will receive advance notice in writing, known as the Fourth Schedule,
before your car is repossessed. This notice expires in 21 days after which
you will receive a second notice 14 days after the Fourth Schedule is issued
ă this is a reminder to pay up or your car will be repossessed.

To avoid repossession, pay the outstanding arrears before the notice period
expires or return the car to the financial institution before the expiry date.
You will still need to pay any outstanding amount less the value of the car.

If your car has been repossessed, there is still a way to get it back. The
financial institution will issue you and your guarantors, if any, a Fifth
Schedule notice within 21 days of the repossession. You can have the car
returned to you if you pay all outstanding arrears or the due amount in full
and other expenses incurred by the financial institution. Alternatively, you
can introduce a buyer, e.g. a family member or friend, to buy the car at the
price given in the Fifth Schedule.

Within 21 days of the Fifth Schedule issue, if you or your guarantors do not
settle the outstanding amount, the financial institution will sell your car by
public auction or give you the option to buy the car at a price lower than
the estimated price stated in the Fifth Schedule.

(c) Housing Loan


The market for housing loans today is very competitive and financial
institutions now offers all kinds of loans to attract customers. Some loans
are even packaged with free gifts.

Do your research, get as much information as you can and compare items
such as interest rates before deciding on the loan suitable for you. As with
other loan products, you can choose between a conventional or Islamic
housing loan.

A housing loan is a large financial commitment, one that will stretch over
many years. Think very carefully about the various aspects of such a loan
before making your decision, some of which are as follows:

(i) Is the loan meant for buying a completed house or one under
construction? Are you buying land to build a house?

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(ii) What is the value of the house or land you want to buy? How much
can you afford to pay in monthly instalments, depending on your
monthly cash flow?

(iii) Do you have enough money to make the downpayments and the cash
flow to pay the loan instalments?

(iv) What are the incidental fees or costs that you have to pay? The more
common ones are legal fees, stamp duties, processing fees and
disbursement fees.

(v) Is the interest rate fixed or variable with the Base Lending Rate (BLR)?

(vi) How flexible can your loan payments be? There are several payment
schemes available.

(vii) Is there an early termination penalty if you repay your loan in full
before the tenure expires? Financial institutions may impose such a
penalty because of the attractive rates they may have packaged for the
loan.

Is it better to take a loan on a fixed or variable interest rate? With a fixed


rate loan, the interest is fixed and you therefore know the amount of
instalments you need to pay. With a variable rate loan, the rate changes
according to the BLR. If the BLR rises, your interest rate will increase and
your monthly repayments will be higher. On the other hand, if the BLR
decreases you will benefit from paying lower monthly repayments.

There are also variable interest rate loans with fixed monthly payments where
any changes to the interest rate will either increase or decrease the loan tenure.
There is more than one method of paying housing loan (Table 10.5). The
principal sum of a loan is reduced each time an instalment is paid.

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Table 10.5: Method of Payment for Housing Loan

Method of Payment Explanation


(a) Graduated Payment This allows you to pay lower instalment payments
at the beginning of the loan. The amount will,
however, gradually increase over time. This scheme
is useful if you had just started working and your
salary will increase over the years.
(b) Partial Prepayment of You can shorten the loan tenure by making partial
the Outstanding Loan prepayments with your surplus savings or annual
bonus. If done during the early years of the loan
tenure, you can reduce your interest charges. There
may, however, be restrictions on how much you can
pay.

As a borrower you should:

(i) Read and understand all the terms and conditions of the loan;

(ii) Stick to these terms and conditions;

(iii) Ask questions on all aspects of the loan to your satisfaction;

(iv) Make payments on time; and

(v) Check that you have accurate information on your loan account on a
regular basis.

As with any loan, if you fail to pay your instalments, the financial
institution will take legal action against you to recover the loan.

To enhance the borrower's credit standing and enable them to obtain


financing be it for car or housing loan financial institutions may require
guarantees from prospective borrowers. You may be requested by a family
member or friend to become a guarantor for his or her loan. Think carefully
before you agree to do so because being a guarantor for a loan means that if
the borrower cannot or will not pay the loan, you are legally bound to do so.

Should you agree to be a guarantor, make sure that:

(i) You read and understand the nature of the guarantee and the
implications on you;

(ii) You do not sign a blank or partially filled document;

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(iii) You do not become a guarantor to someone whose integrity you are
doubtful of; and

(iv) You are aware of your liabilities if variations are made to the terms
and conditions of the loan.

It is not easy to withdraw from being a guarantor. The decision is up to the


financial institution, which may agree subject to conditions such as full
repayment of the principal debt. Even if the borrower passes away, the
financial institution can seek recourse from the guarantor if there are no
other sources of repayment of the loan.

10.3.3 Types of Cards, Credit Trap and Tips on Using


Credit Card
In this subtopic, we will look at the types of card available to us, the credit trap of
paying the minimum and tips on using credit cards.

(a) Types of Card


Well, there are few cards available these days to make our lives easier so we
do not have to carry cash every time we shop or pay for any service
rendered. The types of cards can be seen in Figure 10.6.

Figure 10.6: Types of card

Below is detailed explanation of each type of card listed above.

(i) Credit Card


Credit cards allow you to buy items and pay for services electronically
without using cash. When you use a credit card, the credit card
acquirer will pay the merchant on your behalf and bill you later
through your issuing bank. This makes purchasing things a lot easier.

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Credit card can be a useful payment instrument if you know how to


use it properly and wisely. Some of its benefits are as follows:

 It is a convenient and efficient method of payment;

 You can use the statement to track your spending for budgeting
purposes;

 Some credit cards provide personal accident and travel insurance,


depending on the type of card issued;

 Credit card issuers have introduced attractive schemes, such as


zero-interest instalment scheme, flexi-pay scheme and 0% balance
transfer, to enable you to maximise on your purchases; and

 You can also earn loyalty points for usage of credit cards, a reward
that is unavailable when cash payments are made.

Normally, the credit card limit given is two or three times your
monthly salary. If you use your card up to this limit, you are
effectively spending at least two or three months of your salary in
advance.

(ii) Charge Card


Charge card is similar to a credit card. While credit card allows you to
make a minimum payment when you receive your monthly
statement, charge card does not. With a charge card, you must pay the
total amount due in full each month, failing which, late payment
charges will be imposed.

(iii) Debit Card


Debit card is similar to an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) card,
except that you do not have to withdraw cash from an ATM. You can
use the debit card at places where you pay for products or services.
The amount spent will be immediately deducted from your bank
account. Similiar to credit card, it is convenient to use debit card
because you do not have to carry cash with you.

(iv) Prepaid Card


Prepaid card can be used to make purchases but there is a spending
limit equivalent to the amount of money you place on the card. It is
like a prepaid phone card or a Touch & Go card where you have a
fixed amount of money you can spend. When the amount placed on

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the card gets low, you can reload up to the maximum amount as
determined by the card issuer. Debit and prepaid cards are better
options for people who are not financially disciplined.

(b) The Credit Trap of Paying the Minimum


It may be tempting to just pay the minimum monthly due on your credit
card statement. After all, it helps with your cash flow. Unfortunately there
are consequences of paying just the minimum each month ă you will incur
interest charges and it will take you longer to settle your outstanding
balance. The result? Huge debts in a short time frame. At present, most card
issuers impose a finance charge of 1.5% per month, which is charged on a
daily basis and compounded monthly.

Earlier in this module we have discussed the effect of compound interest


when you save your money. Compound interest also applies in this
situation, where interest is paid on the principal amount plus the
accumulated interest amount owing.

It is important to realise that the longer you take to settle your credit card
debts by making minimum payments, the more money you will owe. With
high interest rates, you will end up paying more money to the financial
institution as compared to the original amount you paid for the product or
service. Remember to always pay in full ă this will ensure you keep out of
financial trouble.

(c) Tips on Using Credit Cards


Here are few tips that you may adopt when using your credit card:

(i) Pay the amount due in full when you get your monthly statement to
avoid paying interest;

(ii) Do not use a credit card if you cannot make the monthly payments;

(iii) Limit the number of credit cards you have;

(iv) Do not use your credit card to get cash advances from an ATM.
Each time you use your credit card to withdraw money, you are
increasing your loan commitments in addition to paying upfront
withdrawal charges and daily interest;

(v) Pay before the due date to avoid late payment charges and penalty
rates;

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174  TOPIC 10 ACHIEVING ENTREPRENEUR'S PERSONAL FINANCIAL DREAMS

(vi) Be aware of the consequences of paying minimum amounts all the


time;

(vii) If you have a cash flow problem, pay the minimum amount for the
present but pay the full amount as soon as possible; and

(viii) Always check your credit card monthly statement to ensure proper
transactions and charges are recorded. The statement includes your
transactions, any fees and charges, the due date of payment and the
minimum payment. Call your bank if there is anything wrong with
your statements, or you have not received it.

10.3.4 Repayment and Default


A good paymaster is one who pays his or her monthly loan repayments on time
and in the amount required according to the terms and conditions of the loan
agreement. In this subtopic we will look into credit bureau and debt repayment
problem.

(a) Credit Bureau


The Credit Bureau of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has been in operation
since 1982. It collects credit information on borrowers, including private
individuals, businesses (sole proprietors and partnerships), companies and
government entities, and supplies the information back to lenders.

The Credit Bureau keeps information in the Central Credit Reference


Information System (CCRIS), which is a computerised system that
automatically processes credit data received from financial institutions and
synthesises these information into credit reports. These reports are made
available to financial institutions on request.

Each time you make a new application for a loan, the financial institution
will check your payment history with the Credit Bureau. They will use the
information to decide whether to give you a loan or not. Other than the
Credit Bureau, there are also privately-owned companies that provide their
clients, including financial institutions, with information on a borrowerÊs
repayment record and status of legal actions, if any.

Keep a copy of your CCRIS report to track your loans with financial
institutions and monitor your loan and credit card repayment pattern. You
can check whether you have a healthy repayment schedule and defaults or
late payments appearing in your report. If your CCRIS report indicates late
repayment or default, a financial institution has the option of denying any

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TOPIC 10 ACHIEVING ENTREPRENEUR'S PERSONAL FINANCIAL DREAMS  175

new loan applications because it indicates that you are not managing your
loans well or you have financial difficulties.

It pays to be a good paymaster because this will be reflected in your credit


report. In fact, effective 1 July 2008, you are rewarded for being prompt in
your credit card payments ă financial institutions will impose finance
charges on a tiered basis depending on your repayment behaviour.

If you wish to find more information on Credit Bureau, surf this website:
http://creditbureau.bnm.gov.my.

(b) Debt Repayment Problem


Defaulting on loan payments and failing to settle your credit card debt can
have terrible consequences. You will be sued by the financial institution. Your
car or property will be auctioned. Your family members will be affected
because they may have to help in paying your debts. Your guarantors, if any,
will also suffer because legal action can be taken against them. On top of that,
you may become a bankrupt if you fail to repay your loan.

You will suffer emotionally due to stress. You will be getting constant calls
and letters from lawyers and lenders to demand that you settle your debts.
In such situations, you can become unproductive and your work or health
may be affected.

Some signs to show that you are in financial difficulty are:

(i) You are not in control of your money i.e. your expenses are more than
your income;

(ii) You have more debts than you can manage to pay;

(iii) You are only able to pay the minimum 5% every month on your credit
card bills;

(iv) You do not have any savings to meet personal or family emergencies;

(v) You get calls from debt collectors regularly; and

(vi) You are being served with legal notice of demand.

If you are facing any of the above problems, seek help and advice on your
finances from a professional financial counselor as soon as possible.

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EXERCISE 10.3

Discuss the main types of loan.

SELF-CHECK 10.3
1. What are the risks of becoming a guarantor? How can you minimise
the risks of becoming a guarantor?

2. How do you determine whether an individual is facing financial


difficulty?

 In order to build wealth, start saving and invest now. You need to increase
your assets in order to increase your net worth. Diversify your investments in
order to spread your risks. The higher the return you get from an investment,
the greater the risk.

 The amount of life insurance to buy depends on how much money you need
to support your lifestyle and pay your expenses when you are critically ill or
disabled due to an illness or accident.

 An insurance consultant or broker has to be licensed by BNM and be a


member of the Malaysian Insurance and Takaful Brokers Association.

 A life insurance agent must be appointed by a licensed life insurance


company and registered with the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia
(LIAM).

 A general insurance agent must be appointed by a licensed general insurance


company and registered with Persatuan Insuran Am Malaysia (PIAM).

 When making a claim, ensure that you have all the documents needed by the
insurance company to speed up the process.

 When applying for a loan, ask yourself the purpose of the loan and whether
you can afford to make the instalments. Never ever resort to borrowing from
unlicensed money lenders. Be aware of the terms and conditions of the loans
you take.

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TOPIC 10 ACHIEVING ENTREPRENEUR'S PERSONAL FINANCIAL DREAMS  177

 Always ask for the effective interest rate on all your hire purchase and fixed
rate term loans. Your total monthly payments on all your loans and credit
card debt should not exceed one-third of your gross monthly salary.

 Do not fall into the trap of using credit and charge cards as if it is „free‰
money.

 Paying only the minimum monthly payment on your credit card statement
can result in a huge debt due to the compounding effect.

 Aim to be a good paymaster so that you will have a positive credit report.

Bonds Loan
Borrowing Property
Cash Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)
Credit Risk and return
Financial Scams Saving
Fixed interest investment Shares
Insurance Takaful
Insurance coverage Unit trust funds
Insurance premium Wealth
Investment

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178  ANSWERS

Answers
TOPIC 1: INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Exercise 1.1
1. The ten myths of entrepreneurship are:
(a) Entrepreneurs Are Doers, Not Thinkers
(b) Entrepreneurs Are Born, Not Made
(c) Entrepreneurs Are Always Inventors
(d) Entrepreneurs Are Academic and Social Misfits
(e) Entrepreneurs Must Fit the „Profile‰
(f) All Entrepreneurs Need Is Money
(g) All Entrepreneurs Need Is Luck
(h) Ignorance Is Bliss for Entrepreneurs
(i) Entrepreneurs Seek Success but Experience High Failure Rates
(j) Entrepreneurs Are Extreme Risk Takers (Gamblers)

2. Entrepreneurship is important because of the following reasons:


(a) It is a catalyst for economic change and growth.
(b) It increases per capita output and income.
(c) It involves initiating and constituting change in the structure of
business and society.
(d) It increases a countryÊs output and productivity.
(e) It encourages innovation and creativity.
(f) It develops new products or services for the market to fulfil human
needs. Society will get better goods and services at cheaper prices.
(g) It stimulates investment interest in the new ventures.
(h) Entrepreneurship, through its process of innovation, creates new
investment of new ventures.

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ANSWERS  179

(i) More ventures are created and new jobs are produced, thus reducing
the unemployment rate.
(j) It creates and promotes wealth distribution.

3. Entrepreneurship has existed in Malaysia (Malaya) since the interaction of


Malacca with foreign traders. However, when the British colonised the
Malay Peninsular, they changed the structure of the society and practised
the „divide and rule‰ system in which the Malays were engaged in
administration and agriculture, the Chinese in mining and business, and
the Indians in rubber plantations. As a result of this system, the Chinese
society was far ahead in business compared to the Malays and Indians.

After independence, the Malaysian Government realised the importance of


entrepreneurship to individuals, society and the country, and how it
contributes to the nationÊs prosperity. Since then, the government has been
focusing on the field of entrepreneurship until today. The New Economic
Policy (1971ă1990), the National Development Policy (1990ă2000) and
Vision 2020, all encourage and support entrepreneurship development in
Malaysia.

The government encourages entrepreneurship development and gives


recognition to entrepreneurs because they can contribute to the
development of the country. In 1995, the government incorporated the
Ministry of Entrepreneurship Development as a specific body to manage
and promote the growth of entrepreneurship in Malaysia. Today, this
ministry is named the Ministry of Entrepreneurship Development and Co-
operation.

TOPIC 2: IDENTIFYING ENTREPRENEURIAL


CHARACTERISTICS

Exercise 2.1
The common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs are:
(a) Initiative and responsibility
(b) High degree of commitment
(c) Opportunity orientation
(d) Moderate risk taker

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180  ANSWERS

(e) Confidence and optimistic


(f) Creative and innovative
(g) Seeking feedback
(h) Drive to achieve
(i) Vision
(j) Skill at organising
(k) Internal locus of control
(l) Tolerance for failure
(m) High level of energy
(n) Team building
(o) Independence
(p) Flexibility

TOPIC 3: DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVITY


AND INNOVATION

Exercise 3.1
Creativity involves the development of unique and novel responses to problems
and opportunities. There are four main phases or steps in the creative process:

(a) Phase 1: Background or Knowledge Accumulation


This involves some form of reading, discussion with others working in the
same field, attending professional seminars or workshops and so forth in
order to gather related information.

(b) Phase 2: The Incubation Process


Individuals are not involved with any business-related activities directly to
solve the problems. Instead, they will try to get rid of the problems and let
their subconscious minds work on it.

(c) Phase 3: The Idea Experience


During this phase, the long sought after solution or answer for an existing
problem is finally found. This phase is also referred to as the „Eureka
factor‰.

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ANSWERS  181

(d) Phase 4: Evaluation and Implementation


In the final phase, an entrepreneur will transform an idea into reality. This
is an extremely difficult phase because it requires courage, self-regulation,
high confidence and perseverance.

Exercise 3.2
The following are the techniques for generating creative ideas:

(a) Mind Mapping


This technique allows one to use pictures and/or word phrases to organise
and develop thoughts in a non-linear fashion. It helps people to „see‰ a
problem and its solution.

(b) Nominal Group


Nominal groups are used to generate ideas and evaluate solutions face-to-
face in non-threatening group circumstances, in which members do so by
writing down silently as many ideas as possible.

(c) Brainstorming
Brainstorming is the most common and powerful technique used to
hatch ideas. During a brainstorming session, all the members of a group
suggest ideas that are then discussed. The ideal number of group members
involved in brainstorming is between four and seven.

TOPIC 4: VENTURES ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

Exercise 4.1
Business environments can be divided into two parts, which are known as:
(a) The macro view of the external environment; and
(b) The micro view of the external environment and the internal environment.
Each of these consist of many components that need to be assessed.

The macro environment consists of the following elements:


Ć Politics and legislation;
Ć Economy;
Ć Socio-cultural; and
Ć Technology.

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182  ANSWERS

The micro environment consists of the following elements:


Ć Customers;
Ć Competitors;
Ć Suppliers;
Ć Financial institutions;
Ć Non-government organisations; and
Ć Government agencies.

The internal organisation environment consists of the following elements:


Ć Organisation structure;
Ć Culture; and
Ć Resources.

Exercise 4.2
Entrepreneurs need to analyse each component of macro and micro
environments because of the following reasons:

(a) The macro environment, also known as the external environment, is


important for entrepreneurs because they can identify opportunities and
threats after scanning and assessing it. This environment can influence
business decision making in the long term and comprises uncontrollable
elements.

(b) The micro environment of a business venture is also part of the ventureÊs
external environment but can directly influence entrepreneursÊ decisions
and activities. It is also known as industrial environment.

(c) The internal environment can also influence the decision making of
entrepreneurs directly. But they control these elements.

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ANSWERS  183

Exercise 4.3
The seven potential sources of opportunity are:

(a) The Unexpected


Opportunities can be found when situations and events are unanticipated.
The event might be unexpected success/good news or unexpected failure/
bad news that can be an opportunity for entrepreneurs to pursue.

(b) The Incongruous


Incongruous situations happen when there are inconsistencies in the
way they appear. For example, there are opportunities to capture when
conventional wisdom about the way things should be no longer holds true.
In these types of situations, entrepreneurs who are willing to think beyond
the traditional approach may find a potential possibility.

(c) The Process Need


Entrepreneurial opportunities could also surface throughout the process
of discovery such as the process of research and development done by
the researchers and technicians of a product or service. Even before a
breakthrough, there will be numerous opportunities which could be seized
by entrepreneurs during the process.

(d) Industry and Market Structures


Changes in technology, social value and customersÊ tastes can change the
structure of an industry and market. These situations, however, will give
entrepreneurs opportunities to innovate their product or services.

(e) Demographics
Changes in demographics will influence industries and markets upon
their target market and market segmentation. These can be entrepreneurial
opportunities in anticipating and meeting needs of the population.

(f) Change in Perception


Perception is oneÊs view of reality. Changes in perception get to the heart of
peopleÊs psychographic profiles of what their values are, what they believe
in, and what they care about. Changes in these attitude and values create
potential market opportunities to alert entrepreneurs.

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184  ANSWERS

(g) New Knowledge


New knowledge can be a source of opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Examples of new knowledge are new technologies and new discoveries that
can be sources of information for entrepreneurial innovation. Entrepreneurs
who come out with new products and processes that can compete with
other products can manipulate this kind of knowledge.

TOPIC 5: BUSINESS PLAN

Exercise 5.1
Business plans are important for entrepreneurs because of the following reasons:
(a) Increase opportunities for success.
(b) Develop mission and vision.
(c) Identify the main competitor(s).
(d) Identify the right way of managing the business.
(e) Increase the stakeholdersÊ confidence.
(f) Identify barriers to business.
(g) As a performance tool.

Exercise 5.2
The important elements in a good business plan are:
(a) Executive summary
(b) Market analysis
(c) Marketing and sales strategies
(d) Services or product line
(e) Organisation and management
(f) Funding request
(g) Financials
(h) Appendix

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ANSWERS  185

Exercise 5.3
The factors which contribute to the failure of business plans are:
(a) No realistic goals.
(b) Failure to anticipate obstacles.
(c) No commitment or dedication.
(d) Lack of business or technical experience.
(e) No market niche.

TOPIC 6: STARTING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL NEW


VENTURE

Exercise 6.1
1. A start-up company is a recently formed company. It is a process where an
entrepreneur creates a completely new business starting from scratch.

2. The three phases in a start-up are:


(a) Pre start-up.
(b) Start-up.
(c) Post start-up.

3. The critical factors that are important for new-venture assessment are as
follows:
(a) The uniqueness of the venture.
(b) The investment size at start-up.
(c) The expected increase in sales and profits as the venture cruises
through the start-up phase.
(d) The availability of products during the two phases.
(e) The availability of customers during the two phases.

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186  ANSWERS

Exercise 6.2
1. (a) The five advantages of a start-up are as follows:
(i) The freedom of making oneÊs own decisions.
(ii) The opportunity of using oneÊs ideas.
(iii) The freedom to select the ideal location, plant, equipment,
products or services, employees, suppliers and bankers.
(iv) Undesirable precedents, policies, procedures and legal
commitments of existing firms are not a problem for a start-up
venture.
(v) It will not affect the reputation of the business because it is a
new venture.

(b) The five disadvantages of a start-up are as follows:


(i) It requires a lot of time, money and additional effort.
(ii) At the initial stage of the business, entrepreneurs will make
minimal profits or losses.
(iii) There is no history of business records.
(iv) There are no ready customers.
(v) The difficulty of obtaining loans from financial institutions.

2. Buying an existing business means buying or acquiring either the shares of


an existing company or all of the assets of an existing company or business.

3. (a) The advantages of buying an existing business are as follows:


(i) Immediate operations
(ii) Easier financing
(iii) Quick cash flow
(iv) A market for the product or service will have already been
established.
(v) Existing customers
(vi) A business plan and marketing method should already be in
place.

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ANSWERS  187

(b) Disadvantages of buying an existing business are as follows:


(i) Costly
(ii) A neglected business needs a large investment.
(iii) Outstanding contracts
(iv) Inherent problems
(v) Personal conflicts
(vi) Obsolete goods

Exercise 6.3
1. The three legal forms of organisations are as follows:
(a) Sole proprietorship
(b) Partnership
(c) Corporation

2. (a) The advantages of sole proprietorships are as follows:


(i) Ease of formatio.
(ii) Sole ownership profits
(iii) Decision-making and control vested in one owner
(iv) Flexibility
(v) Relative freedom from governmental control

(b) The disadvantages of sole proprietorship are as follows:


(i) Unlimited liability
(ii) Lack of continuity
(iii) Less available capital
(iv) Relatively difficult to obtain long-term financing
(v) Relatively listed viewpoint and experience

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188  ANSWERS

Exercise 6.4
(a) The five advantages of partnerships are as follows:
(i) Ease of formation
(ii) Direct rewards
(iii) Growth and performance facilitated
(iv) Flexibility
(v) Relative freedom from governmental control and regulation

(b) Disadvantages of partnerships are as follows:


(i) Unlimited liability
(ii) Lack of continuity
(iii) Relatively difficult to obtain large sums of capital
(iv) Bound by the acts of just one partner
(v) Difficulty of disposing of partnership interest

Exercise 6.5
(a) The five advantages of a corporation are as follows:
(i) Limited liability
(ii) Transfer of ownership
(iii) Unlimited life
(iv) Relative ease of securing capital in large amounts
(v) Increased ability and expertise

(b) The five disadvantages of a corporation are as follows:


(i) Activities restricted
(ii) Lack of representation
(iii) Extensive governmental regulations and reports required
(iv) Organising expenses
(v) Double taxation

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ANSWERS  189

Exercise 6.6
Five sources of capital that an entrepreneur can use in starting up or buying an
existing business are as follows:
(a) Personal funds
(b) Family and friends
(c) Retirement account
(d) Banks and other financial institutions
(e) Government loans
(f) Stock markets
(Any five answers)

TOPIC 7: ENTREPRENEURIAL NETWORKING

Exercise 7.1
The advantages that an entrepreneur would gain from good networking are:

(a) Accessibility
Networking is very important for the entrepreneur to gain either tangible
or intangible resources directly or indirectly. Among the tangible resources
are financial support, transfer of technology and accessibility in gaining
information to produce the right product at the right cost and the right time
as demanded by the market. Intangible resources are the moral support,
guidance and confidence provided by various groups to entrepreneurs in
operating their business.

(b) Reputation
Reputation refers to the ability of entrepreneurs to exercise leadership or to
influence the decision making of other network members, based on the
expertise that they have. A good reputation enables entrepreneurs to attract
members in networking circles to give priority to the product or services
they produce.

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190  ANSWERS

(c) Expectations
These can both facilitate and restrict the freedom of the companyÊs actions.
For example, network members could have the expectation that a particular
company will effectively set prices for a number of other companies. On the
other hand, a company may be expected not to take advantage of product
shortages by raising prices or to conform to conventional competition or to
set higher ethical standards than others.

Exercise 7.2
The three ways to establish strategic networking for entrepreneurs are:

(a) Good Planning


To be successful in the entrepreneurial process and management, we must
have good planning. Every plan must begin with the questions:
(i) What your goals?
(ii) What are your strengths?
(iii) What are your weaknesses?
(iv) What do you want to achieve through networking?

(b) Ask Yourself


Every entrepreneur must know what to achieve in the networking exercise.
An entrepreneur should ask himself what he wants and how many
networking relationships he wants in one month. Then, he must identify
his customers, what kind of business gives profits and what are the
contributions he can make to others.

(c) Learning Networking Technique


As an entrepreneur, he must attend business association meetings and join
associations such as business, sports and computer associations. By doing
so, the entrepreneur will acquire the spirit to achieve his business plan.

Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)


ANSWERS  191

TOPIC 8: EVALUATION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL


OPPORTUNITIES

Exercise 8.1
The six pitfalls in selecting new ventures:

(a) Lack of Objective Evaluation


(b) No Real Insight into the Market
(c) Inadequate Understanding of Technical Requirements
(d) Poor Financial Understanding
(e) Lack of Venture Uniqueness
(f) Ignorance of Legal Issues

Exercise 8.2
The main reasons why new ventures fail:

(a) Product/Market Problems


(i) Poor timing
(ii) Product design problems
(iii) Inappropriate distribution strategy
(iv) Unclear business definition
(v) Over reliance on one customer

(b) Financial Difficulties


(i) Initial undercapitalisation
(ii) Assuming debt too early
(iii) Venture capital relationship problems

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192  ANSWERS

(c) Managerial Problems


(i) Concept of a team approach (e.g. hiring and promotions based on
nepotism rather than qualification; poor relationships with parent
companies and venture capitalist; founders who focus on their
weaknesses rather than their strengths; incompetent support
professionals).

(ii) Human resource problems (e.g. kickbacks and subsequent firings;


deceit on the part of the venture capitalist; verbal agreements not
honoured; protracted lawsuits).

TOPIC 9: ENTREPRENEUR AND PERSONAL


FINANCIAL PLANNING

Exercise 9.1
The five steps in deriving your net worth:

(a) Step 1 : List the things of value that you own


(b) Step 2 : Total up your assets
(c) Step 3 : List the things that you owe to others
(d) Step 4 : Total up your liabilities
(e) Step 5 : Assets minus Liabilities

Exercise 9.2
The considerations to prepare a successful budget:

(a) Be Patient and Disciplined


A good budget takes time and effort to prepare. Do not give up because
you feel that there is too much to do!

(b) Be Realistic
If you have a moderate income, do not expect to save a lot of money in a
short period of time.

(c) Be Flexible
There will be unexpected expenses and changes in the prices of groceries
and other items. Revise your budget when needed.
Copyright © Open University Malaysia (OUM)
ANSWERS  193

(d) Set Aside an Amount of Money to Enjoy Yourself


You are young and will want to have a night out with friends or to watch a
movie.

TOPIC 10: ACHIEVING ENTREPRENEUR’S PERSONAL


FINANCIAL DREAMS

Exercise 10.1
The main types of investment:

(a) Cash and Fixed Interest Investments


Cash investments are the most common form of investment in Malaysia,
covering products such as bank savings accounts and fixed deposits. They
provide easy access to your money when you need it, and there is no
chance you could lose any capital ă so they are very secure.

(b) Shares
Shares (also known as equities or stocks) represent ownership in a
company. When you buy a share, you become a part-owner in the company
and become entitled to share in its future value and profits.

(c) Unit Trust Funds


In a unit trust, money from hundreds of individual investors are pooled
together to buy a large number of different assets. Professional fund
managers decide what percentage of the fund should be invested in each
asset class, and also which countries, industries and companies have the
best prospects for good returns.

(d) Property
Property is one asset class that most Malaysians are familiar with. Property
investment offers value to investors in two ways:
(i) Properties increase in capital value over time as house and land prices
rise.
(ii) You can earn rental income from tenants.

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194  ANSWERS

(e) Bonds
When you buy a government or corporate bond, you are ÂlendingÊ your
money for a certain period of time at a predetermined interest rate. In
return, you receive a steady income stream through regular interest
payments.

(f) Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)


This is similar to a unit trust except that the investments are in property and
real estate. The profits from such investments are passed on to investors in
the form of dividends.

Exercise 10.2
The basic types of family takaful include:

(a) Individual Family


With plans that include education, mortgage and health, you and your
beneficiary will receive financial benefits arising from death or permanent
disability. There are also long-term savings and investment profits are
distributed upon claim, maturity or early surrender.

(b) Retirement Annuity


This is a plan that provides you with a regular income upon retirement.

(c) Investment-linked
Combining investment and protection, part of your contribution is used to
buy investment units while the balance goes towards providing coverage in
the event of death or permanent disability.

(d) Medical and Health


This covers the costs of medical treatment, including hospitalisation and
surgery.

Exercise 10.3
The main types of loan:

(a) Personal Loan


This is a loan offered for your personal use, not for a large purchase such as
a house or car, but more for the purchase of a personal computer or money
to use towards your marriage.

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ANSWERS  195

(b) Car Loan


You become the hirer of the car while the financial institution is the owner.
As the hirer, you pay installments to the financial institution based on their
terms and conditions. You become the owner after completing all your
payments.

(c) Housing Loan


The market for housing loans today is very competitive and financial
institutions now offers all kinds of loans to attract customers. Some loans
are even packaged with free gifts.

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196  REFERENCES

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