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Entrepeneurs & their R & K Strategies

By this stage my hope is that you’ve read the Definition of a Nascent Entrepreneur and the Four Abiding Elements of Entrepreneurs. This should give you a new way of thinking about entrepreneurship in relation to your new ventures. But you also need to understand a bit about R & K Strategies.

Understanding the Entrepreneur’s Two Strategic Choices

Like all jargon R & K Strategies are a business shorthand that allows a lot of complex information to pass between two people who understand a bunch of underlying theory. In this case the important point to note is that you can use one of two major strategies. One strategy is about getting in and out fast while the other is about setting in for the long haul.

The strategic choice is going to affect your new venture… as will the environment… and luck… and your resource profile.

R Strategy is about Flexibility

The R Strategy is where very little is invested in infrastructure and it offers the entrepreneur great flexibility to adapt to the market and to get out quickly if the need arises.

An R Strategist will lease office and warehouse space and outsource all but their essential core business components. The R Strategist is like the tennis player on the balls of their feet serving and being served at by the ambiguous environment. That’s about as simple as it can be explained and enough for you to seek further explanation elsewhere.

K Strategy is about Stability

The K Strategy is where the entrepreneur digs in for the long haul and this can be very expensive if they need to get out fast.

The K Strategist is going to buy their office and warehouse space and hire full time employees. The K Strategist is there for the long haul like a rugby union player with clover-leaf ears and a blood stained forehead fixed on the goal of reaching the touchdown line.

Strategies are also Generalist or Specialist

At the same time a strategy is focused on either being a generalist or a specialist. The generalist is about serving all needs in a niche… for example a generalist may make web solutions for any client who walks in the door. They might develop an e-commerce site this month and then two branding sites next month and at the same time they’re developing a Content Management solution for a public sector department.

Whereas the specialist would be the go-to business for e-commerce or something particular that they nail better than anybody else.

Neither generalist nor specialist are by themselves better than each other but you might notice a trend that entrepreneurs enter the market with new ventures as R Strategy generalists and move through to becoming K Strategy specialists.

So the Question is What’s Your Strategy?

The question then becomes not whether you have this amazing new venture to embark on – but what strategy are you going to use to enter the market? Note that the market itself has three phases… the market that is newly created… the market that is established… and the market that is mature. Your strategy and approach may have to evolve over these three stages to keep your venture in business.

Or you might choose to enter with a specific strategy in any of those phases of a market and then extract yourself with a tidy profit.

The bottom line is that you can be either an R Strategist generalist or an R Strategist specialist… OR you can be a K Strategist generalist or a K Strategist specialist. These are four choices that are in front of you when you become an entrepreneur with a new venture.

The Entrepreneurship 101 Series

Other installments in this short series on the definition and challenges of entrepreneurship are below. There is a special thankyou to Dr Colin Jones from the University of Tasmania for providing the underlying theoretical component that makes up the bulk of this series.

  1. Definition of a Nascent Entrepreneur
  2. Four Abiding Elements of Entrepreneurs
  3. Entrepreneurs and their R & K Strategies
  4. Entrepreneurs & the Environment
  5. Entrepreneurs & Gaining Legitimacy
  6. Entrepreneurship & Types of Selection
  7. Entrepreneurs & Occurrences of Environment
  8. Pulling Entrepreneurship Theory Together
  9. Entrepreneurship & their R & K Strategies

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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