1. What factors contributed to Andrew Keller starting the biodiesel business? Were you surprised at the reasons he gave for starting the business? Do you think the decision to start the business was wise? Why or why not? There were a number of factors that contributed to Andrew Keller starting the biodiesel business. Keller had always been concerned with the environment. He was interested in coming up with a greener alternative to home heating and fueling. This was a business venture that not many had taken on so Keller felt that it was a good opportunity.
There were also some very personal reasons that Keller started this business. Through a phone call one day, Andrew and his wife found out that they would be taking in three children. Keller knew he needed to do something in order to support them and this is why he took on this venture. Yes, some of his reasons he gave for starting the biodiesel business. I figured that his only reason for starting this business was to impact the Earth in a positive way. It was surprising to read the more personal reasons.
I do feel that the decision to start the business was wise. Starting up this business caused him to take a huge risk but sometimes in life you have to do that. If you have a good idea, you need to just go with it because it can turn out to be really successful. 2. Discuss how Andrew Keller is a social entrepreneur. What do you think were his strengths in running the company? What do you see as his main weaknesses? Discuss an action that Andrew undertook that was both good for sustainability and the business.
Discuss an action that Andrew undertook that may have been good sustainability but not good for the business. Andrew Keller was not as fortunate financially compared to other entrepreneurs. To many people, the time of the year when Keller started the business may not look very smart but it actually was. Keller’s goal was to test the market and try to get early customers. He learned greatly from this experience. This is known as the soft market entry approach. It gave him the chance to make improvements before the season for home heating began in the Northeast.
Due to the fact that most people already have the fueling and heating company that they have made business with for years, it is hard to start up one. Keller was very smart when dealing with customers. In order for him to be successful, Keller needed to educate customers on his product and how it will benefit them. A major strength that helped Andrew with running his company is the relations he had with people. When opening a business, it is almost necessary to you to have connections and Keller definitely did.
Another one of Keller’s strength was that he is great marketer. He was really good in finding ways to reach out to his customers. His main weakness has to be that he was more focused on how he was benefitting the environment and the social aspects of it rather than the profit he was making. He neglected the financial side of the business. An action Keller took that was both good for the sustainability and the business was when he started the Congreenience store. It promoted the sustainability for the company, educated more people, and brought much more business.
Keller was always focused on doing the right thing for environment which was good for the sustainability but not always good for the business. He wasn’t very much focused on making profit. 3. Do you think that Andrew Keller is well suited to be a successful entrepreneur, why or why not? I do think that Andrew Keller has the potential to be a successful entrepreneur, but he does lack some qualities that are necessary for an entrepreneur to have. He definitely has the knowledge and skill but doesn’t really have the mindset that entrepreneurs should have.
One of the main reasons Keller started this business is because he was concerned with the environment but in reality, it is not only about that. Keller should have been more concerned with the profit side. A successful entrepreneur is usually very much focused on becoming successful and making a lot of money and I think that Keller wasn’t really focused on that as much as he should have been. I do not think he is well suited enough to be a successful entrepreneur.
He does have certain qualities that are good to have but he needs to be more aggressive with the business and not just the sustainability of the company. 4. What similarities do you think a sustainable business start up shares with a “normal business” start up? What differences do you think there are? Discuss an example of a business challenge that both Simply Green and a conventional fuel dealer share? Discuss an example of a business challenge that was unique to Simply Green and would not have impacted a conventional fuel dealer from the chapter.
A sustainable business and a normal business have many financial similarities. They both start out needing capital. Also, they need to come up with a marketing strategy to plan how they are going to educate customers on their product. A business plan is also necessary in order to be successful and make profit. Differences include the fact that a sustainable business focuses on the sustainability of the environment and the company and a normal business does not do that. Unlike a normal business, a sustainable business looks for employees who care about the environment.
A challenge that both Simply Green and a conventional fuel dealer share is the licensing and regulatory process of entering the fuel industry. Every fueling and heating company has to be regulated. A challenge that was unique to Simply Green and would not have impacted a conventional fuel dealer from the chapter is that Simply Green was entering a market that is very competitive and most people stay loyal to their fuel dealers for very long. Since Simply Green is a sustainable company, it is much harder for them to attract customers.
Simply Green had to put it more effort when selling their product to customers. 5. Discuss the charitable actions that Simply Green took in regards to customer accounts from failed fuel businesses in a triple bottom line context. Was this a smart business move? Why or why not? Simply Green was known for serving the community and this is a way they built their customer base. Several fueling companies went out of business and Simply Green took it into their hands to service the customers of these companies who are now out of business. They helped people in need.
This was definitely a smart move because all those companies’ customers were now Simply Green customers. For their charitable actions, they received an award as well. This made them more popular and brought them more business. 6. Explain how Andrew Keller used low cost public relations to educate potential customers and promote Simply Green. Simply Green used different types of marketing strategies and public relations to educate potential customers. Their main focus was to do this without spending too much money. They did this by going almost any place to talk to people and promote their product.
Andrew Keller said, “We didn’t care if it was a first graders’ classroom that we were going to, we would go in and talk. ” 7. Describe how you might use personal contacts to start a business venture. What would that involve? How would you start? What type of people would be most useful to draw on for information and resources when starting a sustainable business? When starting a business, it is always important to have connections. I would use personal contacts to start a business venture because you may know someone who knows someone and that is how you form connections.
When starting a business, you need as much help and information you can get so you need to take advantage of people who you think may be able to provide that information. I would start by listing names of people who I think may have useful information for me. People who have already opened a business and been successful with it would be the most useful. Also, it is important to be willing to talk to anyone. As Andrew describes it, “it was important not to be afraid to ask people that might know somebody or that might have an in with somebody that might have information we were looking for. ”
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