Sawchyn Guitars: Can an Old Business Learn New Tricks?
(11 pages of text)
AWARD WINNING CASE - Laurier School of Business and Economics Best Case Award 2013. The owner of Sawchyn Guitars makes fine handmade acoustic guitars and mandolins. After 40 years of operating from a two-storey backyard garage, he contemplates a shift from a solely custom-order business to a storefront location. Although his custom-order business is still strong, the owner sees the opportunity to realize his dream of providing a full-service musical instrument haven for the local music community through a proper storefront. After opening a new retail location, public reception to the new store is overwhelmingly positive, but the success in new business lines restricts the capacity to build new instruments. Despite the enthusiastic response to the store, the business is experiencing unanticipated growing pains related to managing small-business growth.
This case is suitable for undergraduate students who are asked to address the quintessential entrepreneurial problem of taking on risk and uncertainty to capture a potential opportunity. The teaching objectives include introducing the circumstances and potential of an opportunity and the decision the entrepreneur faces, namely the need to change to accommodate an external opportunity.
The second part of the case focuses on the significant challenges of small-business management. The intention is for students to explore the difficulties small-business owners face in prioritizing their problem-solving and in managing limited financial, time and human resources while addressing unexpected short- and long-term challenges. The case aims to provide students with an opportunity to discuss dealing with complicated problems and to not only debate which issues are the most important but to propose how such issues can be resolved.
Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
Canada, Small, 2011
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