Patio Rooms of America

Babson Professor William Bygrave, Case Director

Dan D'Heilly, Case Writer

Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

© Babson College, 1999.

Abstract

Six months after becoming the Boston area dealer for the manufacturer of BetterLiving Patio Rooms, the founder, John Esler, is anxious to expand his territorial rights. Convinced that his product is highly marketable and that he has the management aptitude to rapidly grow the business beyond the Boston area, John is frustrated by the manufacturer's rejection of his request to enlarge his territory. Patio rooms are highly desired home additions, particularly in areas that are "bug infested" such as the Northeast. Demand for this product is increasing as aging baby-boomers spend more time at home and have the income to support home improvement projects. However, the manufacturer of these pre-constructed patio rooms has a hard earned reputation for producing quality products and is reluctant to jeopardize this reputation by expanding too quickly with dealers who are still new to the industry.

Location of the company: Northboro, Massachusetts

Years spanned by the case: 1997 through 1998

Industry segments: Construction

Stage of the company: Start-up

Age of the entrepreneurs: Mid 30's

Key Words: Entrepreneurship, construction, dealer, marketing, baby-boomers

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Teaching Notes

A case teaching package, written by Bill Bygrave, is available for this case. The teaching package includes strategies for case presentation, key concepts, solutions to the assignment questions in the case, and suggestions for the most effective ways to work this case into a course.