Sprinkles: Leading a Sweet Trend

Topics: Venture capital, Management, Private equity Pages: 5 (1661 words) Published: October 28, 2012
1) In this case, Candace and Charles Nelson displayed many characteristics associated with entrepreneurs such as, self-confidence, tolerance for ambiguity, high energy levels, and share a desire for independence. Candace and Charles displayed confidence by believing in them and in their cupcake business and made the decision to quit their lucrative careers to pursue the uncertainty of the cupcake only bakery. Their confidence could be tied in with their tolerance for ambiguity. Entrepreneurs are risk takers; they tolerate situations with high degree of uncertainty. This is the case for the Nelson’s. To bring the cupcake concept to L.A. during a time that the United States was deeply influenced by the “South Beach Diet” a diet that inspired low-carb eating was a major risk to take. Success in the beginning was uncertain yet they quit their jobs and made a go of it. Having a high energy level is critical in any small business. Hard work was something the Nelson’s were used to. They both were obviously college educated and I am sure it takes a great deal of hard work and energy to be an investment banker. The Nelson’s brought their high energy level to Sprinkles. This is observed through Candace’s actions to get 300 cupcakes ready and flying on a red eye flight to be on the Oprah Winfrey show. Her hard work here gave Sprinkles the publicity it needed to gain a steady customer base. The Nelson’s ignored the negatives surrounding them and pursued their dream. One could argue that they desired independence. This could be the reason that they left lucrative careers that paid them well to venture out and open a cupcake only bakery. Here they are the owners, bosses, employees. They work for themselves and their success or failure is their own. Other traits and characteristics that may be necessary to possess for an owner of a new Sprinkles franchise is; being action orientated, having an internal locus of control, and flexibility. To be successful, a new owner needs to be action orientated and make plans before problems happen. Crisis management can help a new owner stay ahead of problems and lead to a more successful franchise. Having an internal locus of control is important for a new owner. Having the belief that one is in control of their destiny and being self-directed will give a new owner motivation to work hard for a successful future. Flexibility is an important characteristic for a new owner. Willingness to admit problems and errors, and willing to change a course of action when plans aren’t working can be the deciding factor between success and failure. Being humble and adjusting plans to meet goals is important for a new owner.

2) Sprinkles are in the maturity stage in its life cycle. This stage can be characterized by a firm refining its strategy for future success and continued growth. This stage also see financial stability with continuing management challenges of remaining competitive in a changing environment. The Nelson’s face management challenges include possible global expansion. They encounter a type of succession problem similar for a family business. The problem here is transitioning from entrepreneurial leadership to professional strategic leadership. Entrepreneurial leadership brings the venture into being and sees it through the early stages of the life cycle. Professional strategic leadership manages and leads the venture into maturity as an ever-evolving enterprise. If the Nelson’s are incapable of meeting the firm’s strategic leadership needs the continued success of Sprinkles may depend on their business being sold, or management control being passed to professionals. With many other stores opening, the Nelson’s face another management challenge of keeping their firm organized and on the same plan and quality. As Sprinkles grows so those needs of proper management and leadership. The Nelson’s will not be able to tend to every...
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