Uwe (2007) says that if you want to understand people and their worlds, then you should talk to them. I interviewed the owner of Manchester Barbers, a middle-sized business measuring 4 m by 6 m. The business started 3 years ago, much smaller by then (3 m by 2 m). The business currently has 6 employees, four men, and two ladies. According to Stacey, the twenty-eight-year-old business owner, the business started with many disheartening challenges, and many were the days when she went without customers for days. She contemplated quitting a number of times, but because of the resource base she had invested in the business, she could not afford to take that backward step. After a few months, six months to be precise, Stacey started getting a chain of customers, mainly young people, both men, and women aged between 15-25 years, who were then accustomed to the premise.
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Some customers also constituted older men and boys, aged between 2 years to 14 years. After about eleven months, Stacey started realizing profits, which washed away her regrets. According to her, on an average day, she makes around $250 and gets about 20-30 customers a day. Stacey has been in business for about three years now, and she regrets that it took her too long to start the business. According to her, the main reasons for starting the business were to have job security and earn her own income, as she no longer wanted to depend on her parents. She also established the business because of the passion she has had in business, since her early years.
The business runs for an average of fifteen hours per day, opening at 7.00 am and closing at about 10.00 p.m. She has plans of opening at least three more barbershops in different locations. When asked the factors she considers in the choice of a location for business, she says that first the place should be densely populated and should largely constitute the young people much more than the old. Secondly, the place should be secure for her to work late hours, should be well lit, accessible, should be clean, and should have free air circulation.
Stacey enjoys her work, so much that she spends most of her time in her barbershop. She also feels content because she can be able to provide employment to a number of people. The business is quite busy and being a young person, she affirms that it bars her from engaging in destructive activities that the young people often indulge in. Stacey also says that she has job security and can comfortably cater for her bills, as opposed to when she did not have any income source. Brott (2009) affirms that job security is one of the topmost reasons of owning a business by any individual. Having their own business according to Stacey is also advantageous because she is her own boss, and can schedule her time as she pleases. She can also make decisions by herself and can choose either to consult or not. However, she also acknowledges the challenges that come with running her own business including the fact that she had to first learn the art of shaving, fatigue due to working long hours, dealing with and untrustworthiness of her employees. In addition, a negative attitude from some people because of her gender, seasonal power blackouts, low seasons, the challenge of retaining customers, and competition from other barbershops.
Analysis of Manchester Barbers
Debra (2010), acknowledges that analysis of a business should entail an examination of the entire business area and engage a thoughtful process of developing concepts. From the interview conducted, it is clear that the business is doing fairly well. It was noted that the business is strategically located next to a USIU University, and that explains why her customer base is largely characterized by young people. However, I asked myself why young women also constituted her customer base. Is it because they are students and want to explore their youthfulness with funny haircuts, I suppose, or is it because the business owner is a woman with who they can comfortably identify? It is understandable that there are not so many older people because it is unlikely that they would do a lot of haircuts, considering that they have a lot of financial responsibilities. Young people on the other hand always want to look good and attractive all the time.
A business owner is a young person, and she relates well to that kind of business. However, someone would ask why she decided to take on a haircut, considering her gender; and even more, why that location? The reasons could be varied. Nevertheless, I was able to gather that she grabbed the business opportunity based on the analysis of the customer base, and suitability of the location. One could comfortably conclude that the students at the university contributed greatly to her decision of establishing the business there, coupled with the fact that there are not many barbershops within the area.
The connection between the Owner’s Profile and Business Profile
From the interview, it came out clear that the business owner is an enthusiastic and hardworking young woman, who is quite creative and an entrepreneur. Looking at both profiles, one can contentedly connect the thriving business to the owner. Despite the challenges she experienced initially, she did not relinquish, and she is now enjoying the fruits of hard work, patience, and enthusiasm. It was not difficult to note that the owner enjoyed her business, and from her confession that she was planning to establish new businesses of the same kind, one could tell that she bore no regrets.
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According to Debra (2010), business analysis is an important task to ensure that business needs remain paramount. I was first taken aback as to why a woman would establish a business that is male dominated. Is it modernity? Could it be that women are becoming too enterprising? Could it be just mere curiosity, passion, or just another business opportunity? The business profile and the owner changed my way of looking at things. According to the study, the business pretty much has the potential of growing within the given location, which is evidenced by the much it has grown within the short time given. The business owner is certainly bound to go far with her business considering all prevailing factors.
Brott, R. (2009). Establishing a successful business: Fast track your opportunities. United States of America, U.S.A: ABC Book Publishing.
Debra, P. et al. (Eds.). (2010). Business analysis (2nd Edn).United Kingdom, UK: British Informatics Society Limited.
Uwe, F. (2007). The SAGE qualitative research kit. Wiltshire, WS: Cromwell Press Ltd.