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A Case Study: Agriculture Best, LLC

Introduction How to get business entrepreneurs to do entrepreneurial marketing is often a challenge. Entrepreneurs often view market leadership as an objective, but forget internal entrepreneurship and leadership. The evolution of leadership is a challenge when the founder has been responsible for everything including product innovation. Often companies respond with increased efforts in sales when there is a lack of understanding the full influence of entrepreneurial marketing and leadership in the company; or the concepts are not continually applied. Situation Agricultures Best is an early stage agricultural soil additive (or amendment) company located in California. The company services the Berry, vegetables, and wine vineyard agriculture market segments with 14 products. Agricultures Best offers customized, organically-based treatment programs that build healthy soil ecology. Its "program" approach to building and maintaining soil health enables Agriculture s Best customers to substantially reduce their use of water and synthetic inputs, leading to lower operating costs and improved resource management. The company improves crop quality and yield in agricultural applications. It also improves horticultural plant quality, leading to superior plant / tree health and flower blooms. Agricultures Best unlocks the potential of soil to produce high-quality yields with reduced inputs. The company enables commercial growers to: o Improve crop quality and yield by increasing uniformity & shelf-life o Reduce water usage by improving soil structure o Suppress disease and control pests by maintaining microbial diversity in soil o Mitigate water quality issues by improving water infiltration / retention o Improve nutrient cycling & retention by holding nutrients in root zone o Produce strong, healthy plants by increasing resistance to stress / disease Agricultures Best helps commercial farm growers to transition to more sustainable growing practices. By promoting soil health and strong root growth, the company develops vigorous plants that are able to reach and maintain high levels of production throughout the growing season. Key Management The companys two principle owners are Terrence (founder, president/CEO) and Lauren (EVP). They manage a company of 20 employees in Californias farm belt. A personable individual, Terrence has spent the last thirty years in the production agriculture industry. Prior to founding Agricultures Best, Terrence spent six years at a Page 1 of 2

major Chemical Company where he evaluated emerging technologies and developed programs and products to manage the ecology of agricultural and horticultural soils. He holds a BA degree in Biology from Case Western Reserve University and an MS degree from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Lauren joined Agricultures Best in early 2009 to help Terrence manage and grow the business. Previously, Lauren spent five years at Citigroups Corporate & Investment Bank in the Private Equity Placements and Equity Sales divisions. She was also a Summer Associate at PayPal in the Consumer Marketing group. Lauren has a BA from Brown University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. Situation Terrence (Terry) and Lauren level of frustration with the company has been growing, because of a lack of sales during the non-slow growing seasons. Terry has been updating the company as to the increasing level of US and international competition, lack of grower loyalty to any vendor, and his lack of time to focus sole on sales. He also noted that as the grower market consolidates they are seeking simplicity in products. Terry felt that the emerging competition from Asian countries in a profitable berry market might spur local growers to by his products. Terry primary responsibility is sales, marketing, customer service, and product development. Lauren handles the companys finance and operations. Lauren was on her way back from an agriculture growers meeting early to have a critical partners meeting on what to do to change the companys approach to marketing & sales. She knew that with the increase in market competition among vendors that everything in the company had to change if it is to grow. She faced a tough problem with Terry who was use to selling to local growers in the field the companys products. She cringed at the prospect of having to continually write personal checks to cover the companys losses until the planting season when growers placed orders for soil amendment type products. Lauren was coming to the partners meeting with a list of demand changes for her continued financial support of the company. As she drove back to the company she wondered about how entrepreneurial were they? She asked questions about what type of leadership was right for growing the company and whether their current products were too innovative for the market? She knew their marketing strategy had to change, as well as their financial strategy to support their growth. Professor: Hiram Willis Case principles to consider are entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation, and marketing strategy.

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