Using at least two references explain why an individual would choose to leave a good career to start a small business with no prior experience, no existing model to follow and without significant capital


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Andy Ross completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at prestigious schools which led him
to high profile positions in well-known firms, but after a few years his discontent grew.
Although the pay was good and the benefits among the best offered, Andy felt something was
missing. Newly married and in a nice home that put them at the edge of their financial
capabilities, Andy’s desire to own his own business was all consuming. It was difficult to
describe to his wife exactly why this was so important, yet it compelled him to search for a
business concept that he and his wife could start and operate together. Then, when invited to
a friend’s birthday party for their young child, it came to him; A themed birthday party
business. Here is how they planned to advertise their business:

We do it all…from set-up to clean-up! Andy’s Parties offers full-service, themed children’s
parties and enrichment classes. Our great theme parties include everything for a great party:

 Great Games and Activities
 Themed Craft Project
 Themed Party Favors
 Themed Paper Products
 Piñatas and Invitations Included With Most Theme Parties
 All food, drinks, and supplies
 Set-up, clean-up, and more – all led by our fun and energetic staff!

Andy’s Parties offers approximately 30 theme parties, the most popular of which include
Girlie Spa, Rockin’ Dance, Princess, Pirate/Treasure Hunt, Murder Mystery and Safari.
Andy’s Parties’ packages are all inclusive and we subcontract non-core services such as
bounce house rentals, professional entertainers (magicians, balloon-twisters, etc), and high-end
adult catering. Reasons to have an Andy’s Party:

 We do everything so you don’t have to!
 Our prices are very competitive with other party services and venues.
 We have a party at your home – that alleviates any concerns about the chaos and safety
hazards posed by larger venues with many strangers.
 We have great experience with kids’ party services and also larger event planning.
 We love our jobs and will ensure a fun party for your children and their friends!
 Andy and his wife launched their business in 2004 by leasing a small space in a local retail
center where they could offer daytime classes, host themed birthday parties for parents that
didn’t want them in their home, and as a base for operations. They hired high school students
to run the parties and provided them with extensive training. Over the past several years the
business has flourished with over 1,000 parties a year with average revenues of $400 per party.

QUESTIONS:

1. Using at least two references explain why an individual would choose to leave a good
career to start a small business with no prior experience, no existing model to follow
and without significant capital?

2. List at least three reasons why Andy’s Parties achieved success so quickly and has been
able to sustain it over the past 8 years when statistically most small businesses fail
within the first few years?

3. What do you think Andy and his wife’s plans might be for their business going
forward?

 Provide a synopsis (400-600 words) of your findings related to “Why aren’t we all working for
Learning Organisations?” by John Seddon and Brendan O’Donovan in Reserved Readings,
based on the book “The Fifth Discipline – The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization”
by Peter Senge.

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