ENTREPRENEURSHIP / JUL. 26, 2013
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What Entrepreneurs can Learn from Starbucks

As one of the leading coffeehouses in the world, Starbucks is a global example of how a business should be run. Hiring over 100, 000 employees in more than 60 countries across the world, this coffee chain is popular for being innovative - whether it’s the interesting coffee blends or the marketing strategy. Every budding entrepreneur can learn a lesson or two from Starbucks because of their attitude towards their business model.

Embracing Risks

In 2011, the company went on to unveil their mobile payment processing app that allowed their customer to purchase drinks by scanning their smartphone. The innovation alone of this idea had a lot of potential, however when it was applied, there were months of wrong payments, broken terminals and other misfires of the app.

What did Starbucks do to combat the issues? Just become better. They know that they are a dominating giant in the coffeehouse industry, so why not take the risk and become even bigger. After 5-6 months of ironing out the glitches in the app, the company went on to generate an estimated 3 million payment via mobile scanning in just one week! If that isn’t a successful risk, then I don’t know what is.

 The Best or The First

One decision that Starbucks has made waves with is their determination to always be the first to introduce trends. Their 2012 integration with Square, a merchant service provider and mobile payments company, made them one of the first to adopt eWallet payments. The risk of offering services that go above and beyond the regular is that makes Starbucks stand out from the rest.

It is apparent that coffeehouse mogul is bent on being the first to offer innovative solutions to their customers, and according to Howard Schultz, CEO and Chairman of Starbucks Corporation, there is no stopping them: “Innovate around the core. Don’t embrace the status quo. Find new ways to see. Never expect a silver bullet. Get your hands dirty”.

Does It Always Work?

As a company that targets thousands across the globe, Starbucks is in the prime position to push for the next level in terms of mobile apps and payments. This is not lost on Schultz, as the firm takes another plunge with their recent integration with daily deal service Groupon. The results are yet to be determined, however looking at past ventures; it can only bring the company success.

What entrepreneurs need to remember is that they need to embrace risks and innovation in order to succeed. If their product/service does not offer an edge, then there is little point in pursuing it. Get your unique selling points and then take them to the next level by imaging the riskiest thing you can do - and then you may be able to come up with a truly innovative and successful idea!

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