Matt Grant is an ambitious businessman who has found himself at a critical life crossroad as he faces possible discharge from his corporate career while conceptualizing an innovative business endeavor. Trekking through a handful of failed corporate projects with the company he currently works for, he must decide whether he wants to play it safe and remain a corporate employee or take an opportunistic leap of faith in the business realm. Matt is not alone in his experiences. His wife journeys with him through his trials, and also experiences career setbacks as a result of Matt’s past failures. Matt actively lays the foundation for his venture and puts a great deal of work in to his aspiring business concept. The Grants must make an abrupt, considerable life decision together which will affect their marriage, their financial situation, and their livelihood. MATT GRANT CASE STUDY
Matt Grant is a driven individual in the business world with the forward thinking skills any potential entrepreneur should possess. Despite Matt’s enthusiasm in the corporate environment, he and his career are not invulnerable to shifting winds in the economy. Throughout the course of five years, Matt journeys turbulently across the country with his equally intelligent wife, Margy, on account of unsuccessful business quests with the Teradyne corporation. The journey, entailing of traveling from coast to coast, results in failure for Matt and unneeded excessive work for Margy and her law career, as she is obligated to take two separate bar exams. Ultimately, the Grants come full circle and disembark back to their original launch pad. Fortunately, his stressful voyage is not all for nothing. While on the West coast, Matt identifies an innovative athletic magazine business, RacePlace, which lacks East coast presence. Despite substantial past setbacks, Matt is left in the position of deliberating as to whether the risk of starting his own business venture, Racer’s Resource, is worth the possibility of financial implosion and/or marriage quandary.
1. Should Matt Grant pursue this opportunity? Why or why not? What are some of the critical challenges that he may encounter if he does push forward with his plan?
Matt should pursue this opportunity. Many great entrepreneurs, such as Chris Gardner, have experienced several impediments during their business endeavors. Some of the best business moguls have spent years through taxing hard work and set backs before harvesting positive yields. There is no way to ensure that Matt will be successful in his undertaking, however, the career he has right now does not seem to be very promising either. Teradyne is laying people off due to a slouching economy. Matt has the option to take an attractive severance package which would allow him time and funds to get his aspiring athletic magazine business, Racer’s Resource, off the ground. Unfortunately, Matt only MATT GRANT CASE STUDY
has sixteen weeks of severance pay and he projects that positive cash flow will take place during the fourth year of the Racer’s Resource enterprise. This leaves a great deal of financial responsibility on Margy for an extended period of time, who has already experienced career interference due to Matt’s business decisions. Additionally, Matt was not much interested in racing until he moved to the West coast. This could signify that the demographic on the East coast may not be as receptive to Racer’s Resource as the demographic on the West Coast was to RacePlace.
2. Does Matt have the background and skills required to make the Racer’s Resource a success?
Equipped with an MBA Business Degree, extensive past corporate experience, and high drive, Matt has all the components of a successful entrepreneur. He is very resourceful and has put in a great deal of leg work in order to set the foundation for Racer’s Resource. The process begins with Matt proactively researching his fellow local runners to determine whether Racer’s Resource would be well received within the local community. Matt then branches out and begins networking with potential business colleagues. His efforts include narrowing down estimates for magazine distribution, preparing a to-the-point brochure describing the business concept, which also provides rates and print schedules, and articulating a business plan containing hard projections.
3. Starting a new venture is almost always a risky undertaking. In addition to the financial and opportunity costs, entrepreneurship can also affect—for better or for worse—personal relationships and career trajectories. Discuss this dynamic in the context of this case.
Aforementioned, Margy suffers through career obstacles at different points as a result of her MATT GRANT CASE STUDY
husband’s business decisions. She experiences delays in launching her career as she scraps progress twice, moving to he West coast, then packing up and moving back to the East coast, having taken bar exams in two states. Furthermore, she may now be the primary bread winner in her marriage for years at a time while Matt nurtures Racer’s Resource in to a lucrative business. Not only does this put financial strain on Margy, it may lead to strife between her and Matt. At best, Margy endures, Racer’s Resource takes off and they eventually lead prosperous lives together. At worst, two scenarios take place, one being that Racer’s Resource fizzles and the couple must, once again, reassess and start over; and one being that Racer’s Resource fizzles, resulting in divorce for the Grants. Relying so much on Margy financially, divorce would leave Matt financially vulnerable.
4. What else could Matt have done to research this opportunity?
Matt vigorously researches the potential success of Racer’s Resource, but is he missing key information? Additional channels of beneficial research include demographic research and internet technology research. Matt knows very well how receptive southern California and New England are to Racer’s Resource, however, he plans to eventually expand Racer’s Resource in to a national company. It would be beneficial for Matt to determine whether racing is a hobby embraced throughout America, and not just in select locations. For example, a skiing magazine would not be well received in Florida. Also, Matt is underestimating the power of the internet. Although in Matt’s time, the internet is considered to be in its “toddler years,” it would be beneficial for Matt to research the increasing rate of internet users. Matt has created a website for Racer’s Resource, but his focus is more on a tangible printed material. He should start preparing for the continuous increase of internet users and plan for a future internet version of the magazine as well.
MATT GRANT CASE STUDY
5. Examine the growth plan and upside potential of this venture. As an investor, would you take advantage of the Racer’s Resource offering?
Matt’s Executive Summary, Competitive Positioning, and Publishing Economics are very appealing. He commences his Executive Summary by giving valid, hard numbers and percentages that represent the growth of the running hobby trend and also reiterates how innovative the concept is. His competitive positioning chart gives a well-formed visual of where Racer’s Resource sits with the competition. Finally, Publishing Economics represents exactly what every investor wants to know; how much is needed to invest, how much profit can be made, and the amount of time in which the profit can be made. Any investor should give Racer’s Resource consideration, and any smart investor should take part in this inventive business venture.
Bygrave, W.D. & Zacharakis, A. (2014). Entrepreneurship, 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN: 978-1-118-58289-3