From the article by reporter George Anders titled “What a Racket: ‘Overgrips Launch Ex-IBMer’s New Career’”, lots of lessons can be learnt regarding business startup. First of all, readers can be able to ascertain that for most businesses to become successful, entrepreneurs ought to venture into new unexploited markets and create new unique products. Design and production of the goods that are radically distinct from those offered in current markets will create curiosity among the potential buyers who will eventually make purchases; thus profitability of the products will increase. For instance, Ms. Parker, an International Business Machines (IBM) former employee resolved to manufacture the unique floral overgrips and started the tennis equipment company in her own dining room. In order to catch the fancy of the public, the woman, filled with naïve optimism, decided to start making grip tapes for tennis racquets.
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From her story (Ms. Parker), it can also be ascertained that the business at first always faces various challenges and difficulties which entrepreneurs ought to overcome if they want to make the business succeed and survive. For instance, Ms. Parker’s company HipGrips had to undergo the test of manufacturing slippery overgrips which could spoil the reputation of her new products. However, this problem was addressed and later on solved; thus, the firm started to manufacture the products which met the required standards. The production of standard and quality goods by Ms. Parker’s Company led to an increased demand and high sales. A great lesson to learn from Ms. Parker’s business is that for any new business to succeed, it is necessary for the owner to implement vigorous marketing strategies and address all the challenges that arise during the business startup. It also proves that communication is an important aspect in business, and without effective communication, many businesses are bound to collapse.
Another lesson that can be learnt from Ms. Parker’s business startup is the importantance of defending the brand against imitation which may spoil the company’s reputation and therefore, reduce its sales and profitability. That is why it is necessary to have a trademark that is unique and different from other brands and copyright it. This will prevent bigger companies from launching products having similar whimsical features. Owning a trademark and copyright is beneficial to the company, as it gives a competitive advantage in shipping, manufacturing and sales contacts in general. This benefit will ultimately increase sales and profitability as a whole (Anders, 2012).
The decision by Ms. Parker to license her overgrips to Wilson Sporting Goods was unnecessary in the business perspective. This is because her action implied that once the business control was gained by Wilson Sporting Goods, the woman would only enjoy a small fraction of the total profits despite the fact that she was behind the whole or original idea of designing and producing the overgrips. She would not be entitled to the maximum profits she initially got when she was a sole proprietor and thus would only have a small share of the total profits earned by the new company.
On the other hand, Ms. Parker’s idea to license her overgrips to another entity, in this case, Wilson Sporting Goods, was in her best interests because of her age, as in the future she would not be capable of meeting all the demands for HipGrips from various clients. Thus, licensing her products to another big organization would make the production prosper. It will ensure that even in old age, Ms. Parker will enjoy life, since Wilson Sporting Goods will pay her royalties for granting them the license to use the name and manufacture products.
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