Are Romanian entrepreneurs ready for growing with vision?
2021-2022 has been a time of profound dynamic of local business, given also the transformations we’ve seen in people: interested in sustainability, in local products, in their overall immunity, as people and citizens of a country. We might say that “nations return home” and try to regain their resilience by feeding their inner power, local economy being a source of it. Inspired by this discovery we decided to dig deeper in understanding the current mindset of the Romanian entrepreneurs and find out what information about consumers they need so as to get directions for growth
At the end of August 2022 we conducted a qualitative survey among entrepreneurs meant to answer to this questions: what do you want to know about your consumers (current & potential)? The answer we got was utterly surprising “Nothing! We know everything about our consumers!” We realized then that the angle we were looking at this topic maybe wasn’t the correct one. Maybe we should have asked first what local businesses do and then what they need. It was clear that we were at the stage of “not knowing what we do not know!”
For that reason we ran a quantitative study on a community of 50 entrepreneurs, asking them how they feel about having a business, what is blocking them and how often they consult their public when thinking about solutions for business development.
What we found out is that indeed businesspeople in Romania live constantly with the burden of an unfriendly state, bureaucracy and lack of stability, yet they also have a pretty fragile connection with their public. And if the structure of the state and laws can not easily be fixed, there is nothing that can stand in their way of stepping outside their comfort zone of “knowing everything” and empathies more with what people want. That could save a lot of money and bring the desired growth.
Data also show the discrepancies at the level of consumer knowledge in general. If most of the business owners we interviewed consider that Romanian provenience is important to them, very few (28%) believe that’s also important for their customers. Only 38% consider they really know their clients. Data indicate a huge growth potential while aligning those two worlds: businesses and people they serve.
Data also show an important opportunity for optimization of resources. At the moment, lots of the marketing and communication budget is spent on execution, without major investment in information and strategy building, Rearranging the finances might end up saving money for growth, rather than shooting blindfolded.
Running this research was the first step in understanding current status and mindset of the Romanian entrepreneurs with the attempt to raise a signal on the blue ocean ahead of them which is the heart & brain of their clients. Getting to listen and understand them might be highly uncomfortable, but for sure inspiring on longer term.
Like one entrepreneur told us during the interviews
“being an entrepreneur also means to do the right thing and make money, instead of insisting you are always right.”