14.1 Types of Resources
Determining which resources a venture needs is essential to its success. Assets are types of property that benefit the person or company in possession of them. They can be tangible or intangible. Tangible resources can be seen, touched, and felt. They may include raw materials, land, facilities, buildings, machinery, computers, supplies, furniture, information technology, and vehicles.
Intangible resources cannot be seen, touched, or felt. They include intellectual property such as designs, formulas, art, written work, brands, and inventions that can be protected by patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
Entrepreneurs oftentimes have novel ideas about how to provide a service or how to create a better product. These ideas are important to safeguard so other competitors don’t copy those same characteristics of a product, process, machine, piece of writing, or any other of the works cited earlier. A way to protect them is to ensure that you have a patent, trademark, or copyright so others cannot benefit from your work. It is always beneficial to do a check before applying for one of the protections and make sure that the invention hasn’t been created before. Searching the USPTO website and hiring an attorney will ensure you are the first one to register your idea and help you through the lengthy and often expensive process of protecting a new idea.
Funding sources are essential to starting and scaling a business. These include an entrepreneur’s own savings, bank loans, venture capitalists, angel investors, crowdfunding, and friends and family. It is important to consider the pros and cons of your financing options in relation to your resource needs in order to plan for short- and long-term needs.
14.2 Using the PEST Framework to Assess Resource Needs
Business owners need to know what resources they need before launching. The PEST framework can help you become aware of outside forces that affect the procurement of resources you need to succeed. PEST looks at the political, economic, sociocultural, and technological factors that affect resource costs and availability. Different businesses require different resources, so going through a checklist of basic needs, finding the associated costs, splitting them into one-time costs and ongoing costs, and adding them up will ensure the entrepreneur is aware and ready to document for an investor or bank the resources needed.
14.3 Managing Resources over the Venture Life Cycle
The life cycle of the business requires resource allocation and planning at each stage. These stages include the startup phase, growth phase, maturity phase, and decline/rebirth phase. There are instances where a business has failed because the owner failed to re-assess shifting resource needs caused by changes in the marketplace and the overall environment. Research is an ongoing process, and keeping an eye on the external environment allows a business to be able to shift on time.
Resource dependence theory (RDT) is a model that explores creating networks with other companies through mergers, vertical integration, and joint ventures. RDT can help counteract the effects of competing with each other by optimizing collaboration.
Human resources include the labor that produces a product or service, and provides administrative support and customer service. Having good employees adds value to the enterprise because they help generate sales and profit. Education in marketing, management, and leadership are important topics to engage in as a business owner as well as having personal support from mentors.