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22.4) ENTREPRENEURIAL ACCREDITATION: Each applicant goes through a detailed personal background check that includes an exploratory review of their core personality designed to identify personal strengths and weaknesses that help us gauge their expected placement and overall adaptability. In addition, each candidate’s product line (and services offered) undergoes a standardized assessment process, in which the entity’s investment potential (risk vs. reward) is vetted. This discovery process includes a full examination of what the business is in business to do, focusing intently on each entity’s current product line (and) services offered. Key to the analysis is the demonstrative scrutiny used to assess product quality, product differentiation, and market potential. concludes with an initial placement somewhere within three classifications:

  1. Mainstream Businesses that produce basic products (and services) that meet their consumers’ needs, and sell at price points that match the buyers’ willingness to pay, this business class operates with the objective to deliver reasonable quality in mass volume at low margins relative to a target price. Consequently, these enterprises’ view sustainability as an involuntary function of sales volume, and therefore approach marketing as a rudimentary line-item expenditure to be minimized when possible.

  2. Progressive Businesses that deliver high-quality products (and services) with upscale pricing and better retail margins than their competition. These are practical companies, driven by the belief that anything worth doing is worth doing well; viewing conventional products as merely the foundational starting point for something that they can produce better or more efficiently. While their marketing efforts will range everywhere from adequate to robust, they tend to slip into repetitive messaging that only focuses on how they are a step above the competition, which can inadvertently pigeonhole their outlook and lead to complacency. It is not uncommon for these operators to pessimistically view sustainability as synonymous with operational survivability (i.e., a zero-sum balancing act) of competing for margin-vs-volume decisions, where the only basic options are to sacrifice quality, reduce margins, and gut sales incentives)

  3. . Innovative Businesses that create entirely new, often unique, and highly specialized products (and services) designed to provide leading-edge solutions to marketplace needs and wants. Here are the businesses that drive their respective industry’s expansion, adaptation, and forward transformation. These visionaries capitalize on their well-honed experience, key-vantage-point insight, and hard-earned strategic-risk perspective, to identify emerging voids, production holes, and creative niche opportunities. Marketing is their lifeblood, squarely centered on the defining advantages that they have to offer, they craft messaging that frames the consumer’s needs/wants within a satisfaction-confident narrative built strategically on shared common interest. These are businesses that view sustainability as merely the fallback position from which you regroup to charge forward again. Companies that compete in this arena (by construct) require healthy operating margins and dynamic monthly sales metrics that track progress on a mile-marker, goal-completion basis.

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