The Entrepreneurial Process

Learn about the three levels of business strategy and how to take advantage of opportunities at each level.
4.8 (19 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a
course's star rating by considering a number of different factors
such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the
likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,114 students enrolled
Take This Course
  • Lectures 36
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
Wishlisted Wishlist

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

About This Course

Published 10/2015 English

Course Description

This course will introduce you to the three levels of business strategy and show you how to take advantage of opportunities at each level.

You will Create an Overall Strategy For Your Business

We'll teach you a framework called The Cascade model that is broken up into these three levels of business strategy and made up of a series of simple business tools that you can use to grow your business. These levels are:

  • The Environment and it's driving forces. Driving Forces are those things that create and destroy opportunities in real time that you have no control over.
  • The Market which is where your competition, suppliers and customers live.
  • The Organisation and how you can become more efficient and effective.

This framework has been used to coach business leaders in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam for more than 30 years, some of the things you'll learn (and be able to apply) are:

  • Create a Sustainable Competitive Advantages Table that will help your organisation meet and exceed your industries critical success factors.
  • Decide whether your organisation should focus on price or difference, and whether you should promote your product or create a new version using The Lifecycle tool.
  • Learn how to offset your weaknesses with your strengths and your threats with opportunities using a SWOT Analysis.

After completing this course you will have the tools to move your business (or opportunity) to it's next level of growth, and out-compete your competition!

What are the requirements?

  • This course is most useful to those people that already have a business or are investigating a new commercial opportunity as there are activities to do at the end of each lecture group which will help you develop your overall strategy. That said, we provide the example of a restaurant using these tools throughout the course so that you can see how they can be used.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Identify the three different levels of business strategy and how to implement strategies at each level.
  • Use a PESTTG Analysis to identify the creation and destruction of opportunities in the Environment.
  • Use an Industry Value Chain to map out your market, determine the mark-ups in each link of the chain, and identify potential integration strategies your organisation can take advantage of.
  • Determine if a market is attractive or unattractive for your existing organisation to stay in or leave (or to enter the market if you are not already in it) using a Five Forces Analysis.
  • Figure out the adopter category and risk profile of your customers and how you can influence the rate of adoption by new customers of your organisations products using The Adoption Curve.
  • Find the gaps in your market using a Positioning Map and determine if those gaps are profitable.
  • Shorten the knowledge gap between your competitors and your organisation using a Learning Curve strategy.
  • Discover strategies that you can adopt to reduce the time your organisation spends on both product and process innovation.
  • Understand how your organisation is made up of different functions and how you need to make sure all of them are working together at the same speed by using the Organisational Value Chain.
  • Bring all of the strategies outlined in the course together to create your Corporate, Business and Functional Strategies.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is for entrepreneurs looking to capitalise on an opportunity in the market.
  • Intrapreneurs (people working within existing organisations) who want to help grow their organisation.
  • Business owners who want to understand their organisation, the market it operates in, and the environment which impacts upon it and be able to take advantage of the opportunities that this understanding provides.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction to the Course

The Entrepreneurial Process is opportunity driven. It is about doing, but it is also about remembering what it was like as a child to 'play' with ideas and have boundless energy to make things happen. 'Innovation' is about turning ideas into reality.

Ideas and Opportunities are the beginning of the entire entrepreneurial process. But in order to come up with ideas and turn them into opportunities you need to remove your blinkers. Blinkers are those things which race horses wear to restrict their vision and keep them focused on the race. If you're wearing blinkers (metaphorically) at the moment then you are only focusing on your organisation, you need to remove them in order to see you market or you will miss what your customers want, what you competition is doing and the driving forces that will impact upon your organisation.

Remove the blinkers to see the big picture.


The Cascade Model is a framework for investigating your idea or opportunity. It has three main sections - the Environment, the Market and the Organisation and is comprised of many different business tools.

The Environment looks at the external factors that impact on the market place. Think of these influences as the rules of the game that everyone has to contend with, such as the law, society's fashions, technological advancements and changes in the economy.

The Market looks at the influences that will impact on that part of the market place you will be (or are) in. This includes competition, market place dynamics, entering and leaving the marketing and alliances.

The Organisation looks inside the organisation at the people, the products and the processes. You have the most control over the organisational tools, but it is important to remember that if the rules of the market place change (in the Environment or the Market) it doesn't matter how good your team is if your can't adapt.

1 page

Throughout this course we'll be using Sara and Mike and their restaurant to explain how to use each of the tools that we talk about. Sara and Mike run a restaurant in a small coastal town.

3 questions

This quiz reinforces the learning done throughout the Introduction section of this course.

Section 2: The Environment

The PESTTG Analysis is comprised of Political, Economic, Societal, Technological, Mega Trend and Globalisation Driving Forces. They are dynamic and create and destroy opportunities constantly.

Political Driving Forces are focused on the rules and regulations in the market you are playing in. You need to be able to comply with all of these.

Economic Driving Forces are made up of the key economic indicators and how they affect your customer base. Indicators include, but are not limited to, Gross Domestic Product, interest rates, disposable income, discretionary income, unemployment and so on.

Societal Driving Forces are all about fads and fashions, what's hot and what's not, what's in and what's out. This isn't just about what people are wearing, it's also about what people are eating, reading, listening to on the radio, watching on TV, posting on social media, caring about and focusing on.

Technological Driving Forces are about things getting lighter, faster, stronger or a convergence of these. You either need to set the trend, or keep up with them.

Mega Trend Driving Forces are those things which, at large, society is going. These currently include (but are not limited to) living longer, having an improved quality of life, adopting healthy lifestyles and being more aware of security both personally and nationally.

Globalisation Driving Forces are all about speed, in particular the speed at which information and products can be disseminated around the world. How does your competition around the world affect you and what can you do about it?


The Driving Forces are connected and a change in one Driving Force will affect all the others. The slightest change in any one of the Driving Forces can literally kill your organisation or make it irrelevant, or alternatively, create a wonderful opportunity for those people who are alert and keeping an eye on the environment.

To keep an eye on the environment you need to develop you own 'radar' to determine the trends influencing your organisation or idea, to find out what's going on, who's doing what and when and so on.

The more attuned you are to your environment, the greater your level of success will be in any current and future ventures. you can develop your radar by keeping abreast of local, national and international media publications and broadcasts.

2 pages

This PDF shows how Sara and Mike use the PESTTG analysis to investigate the Driving Forces that impact upon their restaurant.


Industry Critical Success Factors are just that - factors critical to the success of an organisation. Industry Critical Success Factors change due to the Driving Forces outlined in the PESTTG Analysis lectures. An organisation must work towards matching or exceeding the Industry Critical Success Factors to be successful in the market place and to develop Sustainable Competitive Advantages.

The Sustainable Competitive Advantages Table straddles the border of the Environment and the Market. It draws information from both sections. It also draws some information from another border model, the SWOT analysis, in particular the Strengths component of a SWOT analysis.

1 page

This PDF shows how Sara and Mike create a Sustainable Competitive Advantages Table for their restaurant to see which Driving Forces they can match with their strengths and those they currently can't.

4 questions

This quiz reinforces the learning done throughout the Environment section of this course.

Section 3: The Market

All organisations have an Industry Value Chain. This is a diagram that represents all of the players in your industry, from the raw materials right through to the retail stores. The easiest way to remember the IVC is to think of the raw materials as a tree. At the other end of the chain is a wooden chair. All the other organisations in between are links in the chain. In this example, there would also be a timber mill, chair manufacturer and the wholesaler.

The Industry Value Chain is a way of drawing the market that an organisation competes in. You may be asking yourself, 'why would I bother drawing the market place?' The answer is simple - by drawing the market you can see how it works, and the more you can see, the better position you will be in to compete.

Once you have determined your position in the Industry Value Chain, you are then presented with several choices, or potential strategies: Vertical Integration, Horizontal Integration or Parallel Integration.


You are able to take advantage of each of the three integration strategies through either acquisition or partnership, each having it's own benefits and drawbacks.

The Industry Value Chain can help you identify potential distribution outlets as well as show you potential exit routes if you decide to sell your organisation in the future.

1 page

This PDF shows the Industry Value Chain for Sara and Mikes restaurant.


The Five Forces analysis investigates the power of your competitors, the power of your customers, the power of your suppliers, the power of substitutes and the threat of new entrants into your market. From the Five Forces analysis you can decide whether your market is attractive or unattractive, to stay or leave if you are already in the market, or to enter the market (if you aren't in it already).

2 pages

This PDF shows the various market forces that impact upon Sara and Mikes restaurant.


The Adoption Curve represents the way customers behave, their appetite for risk and why new organisations have a tough time gaining market share and thus market acceptance. It is divided into five segments based on a customer's willingness to take up a new product.

The Adoption Curve classifies people's behaviours in adopting a new innovation or product into five categories. The categories are Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards.


After learning about the different adopter categories you probably want to know how you can influence the rate of adoption by each category for your new product. there are five factors that will influence the adoption rate (why people buy) of your new product. They are:

    1. Relative Advantage

    2. Compatibility

    3. Complexity

    4. Trialability

    5. Observability.

1 page

This PDF shows where Sara and Mikes restaurant is along the adoption curve in Coastal Town.

4 questions

This quiz reinforces the learning done throughout the Market section of this course.


How you cross the Adoption Curve chasm entirely depends on the marketing strategy you use. There are two different strategies - a push strategy or a pull strategy. However, most companies use a combination of both. We liken these strategies to building a bridge. The challenge is who builds the bridge? A push strategy is where you build the bridge (And there, you pay for it) or the pull strategy, where we identify customers who are willing to pay for the building of the bridge.

1 page

This PDF shows how Sara and Mike adopted a push and pull strategy into order to focus their marketing.


All products have lifecycles, and this can have a direct bearing on your organisation's strategies in research and development, pricing, human resources and marketing. The Lifecycle can be divided into four stages:

    1. Introduction

    2. Growth

    3. Maturity

    4. Decline


The length of a lifecycle will vary from product to product. It can range from a few weeks to centuries. Just because a product is in the growth stage in your country does not mean that same product is in the growth stage in every other country (or market). It could be in the introduction stage, maturity or decline. Does this present you with an opportunity?

There are two fundamental ways to compete using the Lifecycle. The first is price. Many mature companies with mature product do this day in, day out. They have developed the systems (processes) which allow them to do this. They promote products again and again and again. The second way that you can compete is to highlight your product's different from other products in the market.

1 page

This PDF shows the part of the Life cycle that Sara and Mikes restaurant is at, and how they use that information to create a strategy.

2 questions

This quiz reinforces the learning done throughout the Market section of this course.


A Positioning Map is a graph displaying how products, brands or companies are viewed by consumers. On this map are two axes - quality and value. However, you may wish to change the aces to price and quality, or benefits and customer service, or any other variables that your customers hold in high regard. The 'real estate' literally shows the amount of unoccupied space on the chart after you have placed your competitors on the map. It is this unoccupied space that presents opportunities to you for positioning your product.


Positioning Maps show you where you could position your product. Too many companies start up and decide to take up the exact position as their competitor, when all they have to do is change their strategy a little to take advantage of a perceived gap in a market place.

The Positioning Map is a tool that maps changes over time. This is due to the changing wants and needs of your customers, and the movements that you and your competitors make to satisfy these continually evolving tastes.

1 page

This PDF shows where Sara and Mikes restaurant is positioned in the market compared to their competitors and what they are going to do with that information.


A SWOT Analysis is a study of an organisations, competitors or product's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is a boundary tool because the strengths and weaknesses are both internal (within the organisation), whereas the opportunities and the threats are both external (Within the market), and are also faced by your competitors.


When you compile your organisation's SWOT analysis, it is important that you realise the purpose of doing the analysis. It's all about matching up your strengths with your weaknesses and your opportunities with your threats. Through matching you are able to see what aspects of your organisation you still need to work on.

When conducting a SWOT analysis on your competitors, annual reports are a great source of information. The reports list an organisation's acquisitions and mergers, and may list their intellectual property and goals. By looking at how an organisation's goals and missions have changed over a year, you can see how they move and position themselves, take advantage of opportunities and react to threats.

3 pages

This PDF shows how Sara and Mike offset their weaknesses with their strengths and their threats with their opportunities.

2 questions

This quiz reinforces the learning done throughout the Market section of this course.

Section 4: The Organisation

A Learning Curve is a graph that shows the knowledge (wisdom) of an organisation compared to the knowledge of its competitors. if graphed periodically, the Learning Curve can also show the increases in knowledge over time by the players in the market. What the entrepreneur wants to do is reduce the time involved in gaining that knowledge.

When we say knowledge, we are not only referring to the intellectual property (IP) that an organisation may hold, but also to the processes that run the organisation, the experience of the employees and other experience - related activities.

1 page

This PDF shows the strategy that Sara and Mike create based on their Learning Curve analysis.


The Product and Process Innovation tool analyses how quickly your organisation can make the most out of innovation before that innovation reaches the end of its Life cycle. One the vertical axes is the rate (or pace) of innovation and on the horizontal axis is time.

On this chart you plot two lines. One is the rate of Product Innovation, which rates high on innovation when you start to develop a new product or service, but declines once the product is made.

The other line, the rate of Process Innovation, shows the speed of Product Innovation. The first prototype you make will be slow and cumbersome, but after you've made a few prototypes you'll become increasingly efficient. The point at which the two lines intersect is usually the point where the organisation starts making positive cash.

1 page

This PDF shows the product and process innovation strategies that Sara and Mike will adopt in their restaurant.


An Organisation Value Chain divides an organisation into three separate parts. First, there are the primary functions, which are made up of those activities essential to creating the product, marketing and promoting the product, delivering the product and providing after sales service. The supporting functions are activities that support the primary functions as well as each other, such as organisational infrastructure, human resources, information technology and procurement. The final part of the Organisation Value Chain is the resulting margin, which is the sale price of the product less the total cost of primary and support functions per unit.

2 pages

This PDF shows the various Primary and Secondary functions that run Sara and Mikes restaurant.


The Corporate, Business and Functional strategy examines the different supporting strategies for the organisation to survive and thrive in the market place. Where the Organisation Value Chain looks at the individual segments that make up the organisation, the CBF strategy combines the Corporate, Business and Functional strategies of an organisation. The CBF strategy brings together all of the strategies that you have decided upon while running your organisation or idea through the Cascade model.

1 page

This PDF shows how Sara and MIke use all of the different tools within the Cascade model to create a unified strategy at the Corporate, Business and Functional level.

5 questions

This quiz reinforces the learning done throughout the Organisation section of this course.

Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed

  • Loading
  • Loading
  • Loading

Instructor Biography

Dr Marcus Powe, Managing Director EIC Growth Pty Ltd

Marcus has been coaching business leaders nationally and internationally for 30 years as they move to the next position in today’s turbulent marketplace. He demonstrates proven creativity, innovation and enterprise development tools and techniques to improve wealth generation and competitive positioning. Marcus works with organisations, industry groups and governments in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

Marcus is currently the Entrepreneur in Residence at RMIT University where he works with staff, students and alumni to refine and develop their ideas and business opportunities.

In 2008, Australia’s Business/Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) recognised his contribution with the award for Australia’s Best Entrepreneurial Educator. In 2009, Marcus received further recognition from BHERT for sustained excellence in collaboration between universities and business.

As the inaugural Director of Business Innovation and Enterprise at the De Bono Institute in Melbourne, Marcus combined the powerful creativity tools of Edward de Bono with pragmatic innovation and enterprise strategies that he developed, implemented and measured in four countries.

Marcus is the co-author of five books. Many of the 1500 organisations that he was worked with in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia use these books as references for sustained growth.

Marcus have a Bachelor of Business (Monash University), a Master of Enterprise Innovation (Swinburne University of Technology) and a PhD (RMIT University) specialising in introducing and measuring innovation in large organisations.

Instructor Biography

I spent my 20's developing five business related text books used in universities and organisations throughout the world. These hand books were developed in conjunction with one of my lecturers from RMIT university, Dr Marcus Powe. The five hand books are as follows:

1. The Entrepreneurial Process

2. The Creation of Sustainable Value

3. Marketing for Growth

4. The Road Map

5. The Enterprising Playbook

The first four are required reading for several MBA courses throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Ready to start learning?
Take This Course