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Young Entrepreneur - Brent Banda
Author Barbara J. Phillips


This case presents a situation facing a young entrepreneur who must make a decision about the strategic direction of his company. It asks the students to analyze the business environment surrounding the company, and identify and evaluate alternative courses of action.


The case focuses on a young Saskatchewan entrepreneur, Brent Banda, who has been running his own consulting business for nine months - The Entrepreneur's Marketing Source Inc. (EMS). EMS offers marketing research and planning to its clients. The decision EMS faces is whether to allocate its resources to a) forming a strategic alliance with a local design firm that will expand EMS's consulting operations, or b) publishing a marketing workbook that will be targeted toward small business owners across North America.

The first option is attractive because the design firm could provide an ideal office location for EMS and become a steady source of larger clients by referring clients to EMS. This alternative also builds on the core strength of EMS. However, the design firm has a short history (i.e. less than one year) and questions exist about its stability and financial position. In addition, the strategic alliance may benefit the design firm more than EMS because many of EMS's smaller clients have design needs, which the design firm's larger clients may have in-house marketing departments or may seek marketing advice form EMS's larger competitors.

The second option, creating a marketing workbook, has been Brent's dream and is the reason he started his consulting business. Sales projections based on the number of small business owners in North America are extremely favourable. However, many similar books and seminars exist in the marketplace, and the typical small business owner is unlikely to use this type of resource.