Candace and Charles Nelson are the co-owners of Sprinkles, a cupcake-only bakery. Candace and Charles have proven that high-end ingredients in a very stylish setting, can challenge the low-carb food craze and get people to stand in lines that stretch out the door and around the block. Sprinkles got their big break when Oprah Winfrey had Candace bring 300 cupcakes that were featured on Breakfast with Oprah, which led to national recognition basically overnight. Sprinkle’s offers 24 custom flavored cupcakes that are decorated with a “minimalists” touch, a sleek buttercream frosting and little decoration to differ them from store look-alikes.
Candace and Charles Nelson showed many entrepreneurial characteristics in this case. They showed risk taking behaviors that resulted in a great opportunity for themselves. Many characteristics of a classical entrepreneur were apparent in the Sprinkles case with the Nelsons. Candace and Charles showed their self-confidence and belief in themselves and their business by quitting their lucrative careers in investment banking and switched to spending long hours in the kitchen. Their confidence to start a Cupcake business in L.A. during a time when the United States was still on their “South Beach Diet,” low carb craze, also showed their tolerance for ambiguity. Entrepreneurs are risk takers; they tolerate situations with high degrees of uncertainty. Nelson faced skepticism from the beginning, she was turned away from wedding shower guests who feared overloading on carbs, and even her landlord second guessed her cupcake-only business, by asking “But what else will you be selling?” High energy and passion is crucial for any small business to make its break and be successful. Nelson’s high energy level showed when she manned her ovens for six hours to come up with 300 cupcakes, before catching an overnight flight to Chicago for the Breakfast with Oprah show, which surely paid off.
With many stores scheduled to open Sprinkles is in its Breakthrough Stage. The Nelson’s must be able to cope with growth and take-off. The business model has proven to work well, growth is defiantly being experienced, which will bring on the complexity of managing the business operations. The Nelson’s look to face increased sales, higher product demand, many management planning challenges, managing costs, meeting capital needs, new market distribution channels and logistical challenges. The Nelson’s must be fully prepared for their future in order to remain successful as it grows.
In order to assess a new venture called “Sweet Bites,” and make it an attractive candidate for an angel investor or University based capital fund, I must come up with a business plan and an evolving concept, just as the Nelson’s have. Things I would need to include in the business plan are an executive summary, Industry analysis, a description of the company “Sweet Bites,” show my product with competitive uniqueness just as Sprinkles did. Sprinkle’s cupcakes are unique because they use a sleek buttercream frosting with little decoration and have custom flavors to stand out from competitors. Also, a market description with the size of my market, competitor strengths and weaknesses and my 5