Entrepreneurship and Students

Introduction

According to the case synopsis, Steven has shown his entrepreneurial capability at the rising stage of his academic career through an initiative of starting a part- time home forwarding job. With a vision of moving for the achievement of twine goals (academic qualification and organizational success), Steven is now sustaining a controversial experience of a fall in academic CGPA and a growing business position. This capability is not general, as it cannot be found out in all. Like Steven, an entrepreneur basically characterizes some common virtues regarding environmental adaptability, broad vision and flexibility, creation of management options, team working, persistency, networking, risk- bearing mentality and decision- making capability etc.

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At present, although Steven’s business is limited as an import/ export forwarder by serving customers by answering their inquiries on different foreign business issues, there is a potential of expanding his business activities in future. Therefore, if I would occupy entrepreneurial quality as Steven, I must draw an entrepreneurial plan for the future. For this, it is very much necessary to consider some integral factors. At first, I should have a thrust for faster growth for which I must set feasible and measurable goals. Goal oriented performance tracking and measurement is the next step followed by work prioritization. Selection of perfect marketing techniques is also important in order to catch multi- function environmental opportunities. Finally, like- Steven, knowledge- orientation is mostly crucial for dealing and controlling all those tasks as relevant knowledge helps an enthusiastic personnel to recognize and solve intensity of any problem. Therefore, by considering Steven’s entrepreneurial criteria and the pattern of his business orientation, a complete future planning will entail both the development of a business model and formulation of a business plan.

Business model

The proposed business model consists of 10 core elements. Such as-

  • Service provider: A service provider is an entity who delivers desired service to the customers. Here, an entrepreneur as Steven will be the first element of a business model (Griffin, 2011).
  • Value proposition or service: It is the apparent value provided by the service. It acts as the solution or object to solve customers’ problems or needs. Here, value means the total benefits that the customers are receiving from the given service. Here, value proposition will involve serving of necessary information regarding various export/ import associated issues to the interested traders. Customers’ attention could also be created through the marketing value proposition for the service as “more for less”. It implies that the venture will deliver more benefits at less cost (Kotler and Armstrong, 2006). Some of the terms about which such value will be delivered are-
  • Shipment pricing: – Manufacturers generally quote prices of the goods. However, freight forwarders also play a major role when there is a question of complete price quotation regarding cartage and dock fees, duty and packing fees and freight costs etc. (Werremeyer, 2011).
  • Delivery: – Information about proper timing, costs, means of transportation and other terms and conditions of delivered items is highly valuable for an importer. Appropriate delivery schedule also reduces unnecessary harassment (Foreign Trade Online, 2011).
  • FOB: – Free on Board is a terminology of transportation where the overall prices involve delivery at seller’s cost to a particular point. This information is important for estimating freight charges compensation and particular point where the title of the goods is handed over from exporter to importer (Greg Smith Equipment Sales, 2011). FOB incorporates different titles and control of goods upon which payment also differs, as-
FOB Origin FOB Destination
Freight Prepaid Freight Prepaid
Freight Collect Freight Collect
Freight Add and Prepaid Freight Add and Prepaid
Freight Collect and Allowed
  • Target market: It incorporates a group of people to whom the service or offer is being delivered. Broadly identifying, for Steven’s business, target market consists of those people who are engaged with export/ import business. More specifically, the actual market segment involves that portion of customers who will inquire different information regarding various export/ import related factors (Griffin, 2011).
  • Distribution channel: Distribution channel is called supply chain network. It is the network or path through which the offer or service is distributed from the supplier to the final customers. Such type of connection can be direct or indirect. In direct networking, service provider is directly linked with customer. Nevertheless, in indirect networking, service provider cannot directly communicate with customer unless taking the help from other marketing intermediaries. For this business, there will be a direct distribution since he will directly deliver information to the customers by answering their inquiries through the computer correspondence (Kotler and Armstrong, 2006).
  • Relationship with customers: Customer relationship is one the most obvious elements in today’s competitive environment. It refers to the process of gaining their faith and offering the service. At this level, brand awareness acts as the most influential factor. Such pattern of awareness entails brand recognition and recall, which motivate customers for devoting their loyalty and trust towards the selected venture. Steven also needs to carefully practice this tactic by providing his customers reliable and updated information. For developing brand awareness, he would undertake several initiatives regarding online advertising and favourable word- of- mouth influence. These two actions will be adequate for him to alert customers about his service as well as motivate him to take that for a long- run (Hisrich and Peters, 2005).
  •  Arrangement of value and resources: This factor requires Steven to use his business affairs, expertise, and other assets for delivering promised value to the customers. Such arrangement will perform major role in his home business because the estimated and real costs along with the potential revenue streams are generally dependent on it (Griffin, 2011).
  • Core business competency: Core competency is the set of skills, knowledge, capabilities proficiency that characterizes the business in terms of deriving the highest level of customer value. The case synopsis depicts that such competency lies in Steven’s internal capability as an initiator and manager. His tendency for working hard, understanding the business environment within a short period of time, thrust to gather knowledge for operational expertise would act as the core competency for his home forwarding business.
  • Network associates: Generally, network associates are partners who assist the business by performing some of the integral tasks regarding establishing relationship with customers or delivering them information on behalf of the venture. This partners or third- parties may be information suppliers, advertising firms, retailers or wholesalers and media cooperatives (Kotler and Armstrong, 2006). In accordance with the case synopsis, although there is no direct mention of such kind of business associates, it can be assumed that Steven would have taken minimum coordination of external associates. For example, at first, he took some technical training from his friend, Alex Lee. In such way, Lee performed one of the tasks of an associate and contributed in Steven’s business as a skill developer. Next, as Steven’s major task is to deliver export/ import related information, it is not possible for him for generating such information by his own. He must collect that from various sources involving customs, dealers, freight forwarders or simply the internet. All these parties are potential sources of information and act as informational associates for his business as commercializing the benefits of his service is highly dependent on them. Additionally, if in future, Steven would conduct advertisement or other promotional programs, then the selected media will become another affiliate for him.
  • Cost configurations: There are two common forms of costs for any kind of business whether it is a service or a manufacturing firm. Those are known as fixed costs or overheads and variable costs. Fixed costs are the long- term huge amount of investments, which are infrequent in nature. That means, an entrepreneur generally incurs them at the time of starting the business or at later with an expectation to get long- run benefits from that. On the other hand, variable costs are frequent expenditures that must be spent for the regular operation of a business. As Steven has a home- based export/ import forwarding business via computer corresponding, most of his fixed and variable costs are associated with technological devices (Griffin, 2011). Fixed costs of his business are shown as below-
  • Computer: – Computer is the most essential part of this business. It is the primary fixed cost for Steven since he needs it not only using as a major communication device with clients, but also having a web presence, keeping of records and organizing a better time schedule. So, having at least two or more laptop or desktop computers are the most obvious components of this model
  • All- in- one: – This device is essential for Steven since it integrates the functions of a scanner, fax, printer, and copier. Therefore, he must invest to have this multipurpose machine for conducting a number of tasks within the limited home space accompanied by an additional advantage of saving money.
  • Telephone and voice mail: – Steven would have to purchase a quality phone entailing with various features regarding holding and transfer capabilities and caller- ID. At the same time, professional voice mail system will be necessary to regularly communicating with clients.
  • Internet connection: – It is another significant form of fixed cost required to incur by the entrepreneur. In order to have such connection, Steven would need to install a DSL, satellite, dial- up line or cable modem. Along with those fixed costs, he has to spend some amounts regularly to bear with different variable costs. Among those, internet subscription fee is the most notable variable cost for him. Installation of an internet device is not adequate for having full benefit, rather than, it is necessary to pay regular subscription fees on monthly or some other basis. However, other variables expenditures involve machinery maintenance cost, telephone bill, printing charge etc. (Kotler and Armstrong, 2006).
  • Generation of revenues: The technique through which a company earns income is called revenue streams. Steven’s income is generated from the selling of information to the inquisitive clients. Although, at the very beginning of the journey, his income was low, within the passage of shorter period of time, that income tends to increase which indicates that his business has a full potential to yield a positive revenue flow in future (Griffin, 2011).

Business plan

Business plan is another integral factor to design a feasible venture for future success. However, formation of such plan as Steven’s business will also disclose the decision about whether to include Alex in the business team or remaining him as a competitor (Bplans, 2011). The stages are-

  • Introductory page for Business Introduction:

At first, it is necessary to select a suitable name for the selected venture. If an entrepreneur has an intention of introducing a home business firm as Steven, the proposed name for such kind of venture would be “Quick Info”. Other contents of the introductory page are-

  • Address: 22, ABC Road, London, UK.
  • Type of the business : Sole proprietorship.
  • Telephone number: (02) 000- 234.
  • Fax number: (02) 000- 789
  • E- mail address: [email protected]
  • Web site address: www.quickinfo.com.
  • Budget status: Initial investment of RM 15000 provided by the entrepreneur.
  • Short view of the business: Quick Info would be an information based organization which is similar to Steven’s one. This venture will generally serve export/ import related information to the clients against specific fees. Primary investment is estimated as RM 15000 for sourcing various fixed and variable costs for the first 3 years while the needed extra amount will be managed from its self- generated revenues to run it over the following years,

This proposed business plan is going to describe the entire planning stages of home forwarding business, which will be introduced as a small scale business with limited capital. The industry analysis segment will explain the major trends in the industry with a SOWT analysis. Marketing and financial plan will explain major marketing strategies and monetary considerations for 3 years. Finally, plan modification will identify the reasons for which Steven should involve his friend with his business.

Industry analysis

This form of business falls under the broader export/ import industry. There are some macro- economic factors of this industry regarding economy, culture, technology, legal concerns, industry demand, and completion. For an export/ import market, economic consideration does not limited within any national boundary. Rather than, it is feasible to consider the disposable income and spending behaviour of both the importer and exporter. Technological advancement needs to be carefully tracked. In today’s competitive business environment, technology becomes a crucial element for developing competitive advantage. For supplying and communicating information within this industry, sophisticated technological tools, especially, internet is being widely used that has smoothened trade relationship between buyers and sellers.

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There is a greater impact of legal rules and regulations in foreign trade. Foreign and local government legislations and litigations can highly affect the profitability and feasibility of the associated businesses. Another significant aspect is measuring demand for the services of the selected venture. As it is the world of information and the industry is getting to be more dependent on such information, customers are getting more interested for enjoying that service. Apart from this, the export/ import sector incorporates a large number of buyers and sellers among whom many have real interest and demand for utilizing trade- oriented informational service. Competition is the part and parcel of any industry. It is possible to identify competitive intensity of this industry by gathering experience, studying trade journals and reports, analyzing advertisements, searching websites or even yellow pages. Further industrial analysis can be conducted by SWOT analysis, as-

SWOT analysis of Quick Info. 
Figure 1: SWOT analysis of Quick Info. Source: Self-generated.
  • Strengths: – This industry entails a large number of customers who are conducting multiple transactions per day. Since there are a large number of exportable and importable items, it can afford such gigantic volume of transactions.
  • Weaknesses: – The industry is overcrowded. Completion of a transaction is highly bureaucratic and complex also.
  • Opportunities: – This industry is attractive enough because of fragmentation. Number of clients is also increasing continuously.
  • Threats: – It is a subject of high risk accompanied by various local and overseas government rules, laws, and regulations.

Description of venture

Quick Info will be a sole proprietorship business that runs with the mission as “Reliable source of information”. The core objective of forming this type of home business is to provide the export/ import dealers an opportunity through which they can easily access reliable trade related information. It will have two types of clients regarding individual clients and business organizations. Initially, it will be featured by limited capital and limited space with a future plan to reach this part- time business at an expanded position. It will provide the basic service of answering queries regarding shipment pricing, delivery, and insurance, FOB, FCA, FAS, CFR, CPT, CIF, DAF, DES, DEQ, DDP and DDU etc. As Steven, the service will be delivered via computer corresponding regarding laptop or desktop computer, a multipurpose machine for providing scanning, printing, copying, and faxing functions, telephone and voice mail, minimum two phone lines and internet connection through a modem or DSL connection.

Operational plan

Although at the very beginning, the entire business process will be accomplished by only the initiator, after 1 year; there will be a vertical and horizontal expansion of the business in terms of the involvement of 4 new employees. This first year is very important for assessing the performance along with potential customer response towards the business. Thereafter, the overall operation will be divided into 3 specialized departments as information sourcing, information delivering and marketing with administration. Thus, the operational plan can be explained under 2 interrelated stairs, as-

  • First, information about shipment pricing, delivery, FOB, or insurance will be obtained from surfing internet, inquiring markets, personal communication with merchandisers, freight forwarders, shippers, docks and customs houses etc. Both physical visit and virtual integration via web site, e- mail, fax or telephone with those parties would be elementary.
  • After comes the delivery of right information phase according to the requirements and questions of the clients. In order to perform that function, various computer corresponding will be used regarding PC with internet browser, fax machine, e- mail and telephone, all- in- one machine, voice mail and quality phone etc. For performing this task, clients will be required to pay different charges based on the type and volume of information.

Organizational plan

According to the operational plan, after a year, Quick Info’s organizational chart will be as follows –

Organizational chart of Quick Info.
Figure 2: Organizational chart of Quick Info. Source: Self-generated.

Here, the entrepreneur is considered as Managing Director who will also give service in delivery department. Additionally, for helping him and performing various activities of other 2 departments, 4 qualified and efficient employees will be hired. Thus, the HR planning of the venture is given as below-

Department of information sourcing 2
Department of information delivery 2
Marketing and administration 1
Total 5

Marketing plan

Marketing manager of the business will be especially responsible to run the marketing plan by ensuring reliable, customized, and timely information to the clients. Such plan entails the following features-

  • Market situation: – Since the export/ import sector is highly fragmented, it is offering huge opportunity to the multiple forms of interrelated businesses.
  • Service situation: – It will mainly serve customized export/ import associated information regarding cost, price, freight and insurance etc.
  • Competitive situation: – Although it is a relatively new form of business, market competition is not low. Along with full- time players, it also entails many part- time players regarding Steven and Alex, which has increased competitive intensity.
  • Distribution situation: – The venture will follow direct distribution. No third party will lie between the organization and clients. Customers will ask questions directly and will be directly answered accordingly. The service will be delivered via computer corresponding.
  • Macro- environment situation: – Most of the macro- environment variables regarding economy, technology, and demand will be supportive for such entity.
  • Position in BCG Matrix: – Quick Info would have the potential to achieve “star” position with high market growth and share in the BCG matrix, as-
BCG Matrix.
Figure 3: BCG Matrix. Source: Self-generated.
  • Marketing objectives: – It involves achieving a total yearly income of RM 60000 from the second half of 1st year throughout the development of 10%- 20% of per year’s customer awareness program.
  • Marketing strategy: – Core marketing strategies are-
    • Target market: Information seeker associated with export/ import business.
    • Positioning: “Timely, customized, and reliable information”
    • Price: Vary with information nature and volume
    • Distribution: Virtual distribution line
    • Service promotion: Use of online ads and viral marketing
    • Market research: Per year research plan
  • Marketing costs: – 10% of total budget has been estimated to incur such costs

Financial plan

The start-up capital is estimated as RM 15000 which will supplied by the entrepreneur sourced from personal savings and loan from relatives. Budget distribution is shown below-

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Computer RM 5000
All- in- one RM 1000
Telephone and other machineries RM 1000
Bank Account RM 5000
Cash in hand RM 3000
Total RM 15000

Basic source of revenue will be earned from service fees while operational costs will be incurred as maintenance charges of machineries, telephone and intent bills, sourcing and marketing expenditures. Expected revenue from the 2nd half of 1st year to 3rd year is RM 3000- 5000. Projected BEP is RM 2000, as-

BEP point.
Figure 4: BEP point. Source: Self-generated.

Plan modification

The plan should integrate the scope to make necessary corrections. For example, running of this pattern of business in student life pressurized Steven a lot for which his CGPA fall drastically. Therefore, it is viable to invite Alex to be a part of the team for two reasons-

  • Possible to get expertise assistance which will ultimately improve overall business performance
  • Possible to lessen strong competitive threats

There are several issues upon which Steven would need suggestions from a business consultant. That are-

Recognizing opportunities and generating ideas

There are some inherent traits through which an individual can find out better opportunities than other people (Barringer and Ireland, 2010). Those traits are prior experience, social networks, cognitive factors, and creativity. In case of Steven, all those factors would assist him for finding out a better way to get further success. As he had started a part- time business in the export/ import field during the student life, after a certain period of time, certainly he will have adequate experience about this industry. By gradually working within this industrial arena, he will be able to serve any niche segment or strongly serve the present segments. Such experience is also fruitful in developing a strong social network. Steven’s thrust of working hard and cordial intention of understanding his business will act as cognitive factors of opportunity recognition.

These behaviours will also intensify his “sixth sense” through which he would be able to recognize further business scopes naturally in his forthcoming life. Since Steven is very much competent in building social networks, by utilizing this capability, he would have a link with diversified people who would also act source of new ideas. Finally, creativity will act as a prime catalyst of Steven’s entrepreneurial development because this drive will force him greatly to sustain over the critical path of business success from a pessimistic to optimistic root. There are three approaches of opportunity identification involving observing trends, problem solving, and finding gaps in the marketplace. All those ways should be practiced by him in order to discover multiple business opportunities. Trend observation will involve social and economic forces, political and regulatory changes, and technological sophistication. Economic factors will influence him to operate an information- oriented business through he would serve customers through the answering of various export/ import related issues regarding price quotes, insurance, FOB and delivery etc. in more sophisticated ways.

One of the most potential changes of today’s social environment is that modern people are getting more dependent on virtual services, like- telephone, or internet. As a result, Steven’s orientation of home forwarding service with full virtual and digital image will bring better opportunity to fit with this changed society. Technological advancement will enable him to recognize the greatest opportunity for initiating such form of business as his idea is closely linked with computer corresponding regarding internet and others. Problem solution and finding gaps approach will also be effective since Steven tries to solve the inquiry related problem of customers by offering them a new opportunity of receiving accurate and ongoing shipment, delivery and FOB based information quickly.

However, by combining all of those economic trends and personal entrepreneurial traits, Steven will consequently identify business and service opportunity gap. As the case synopsis does not mention any specific technique through which Steven initially generated his home business idea, it can be suggested that for further development of his business, he will go for some scientific techniques regarding brainstorming and library and internet research. Brainstorming will enable him to generate so many ideas as well as solutions to the selected problems by engaging a group of people. Library research will require generating ideas through the search of industry- specific magazines, reports and trade journals etc. On the other hand, internet will help to identify the targeted searches (Barringer and Ireland, 2010).

Feasibility analysis

For any kind of business, feasibility analysis is very essential since it determines viability of the business. It is also true for Steven as it would help him to verify both the financial and non- financial worth of his business. Feasibility analysis is generally conducted at the early thought of conducting a business before the period of investing resources against it. If Steven would feel that his proposed business idea accompanied by time and other necessary resources are positively matched with service, market, organizational and monetary feasibility, then he will take further step for the formulation of a business plan. However, if there is not a proper match with one or more criteria, then he should immediately reformulate the entire idea (Barringer and Ireland, 2010). Keeping those considerations into mind, feasibility analysis of Steven’s home based foreign trade forwarding business will take the following forms-

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Service feasibility analysis

The objective of this form of feasibility assessment is to determine the overall demand for the selected service. It has two major components as service desirability and service demand. Desirability measurement requires answering of several aspects below-

Sensibility, reasonability and customer excitement

For export/ import business, right information about shipment price, terms and conditions of delivery, insurance policy, FAS, FOB, C and F and CIF generally play major role to the trading bodies. Thus, they would easily access that information from a forwarder like- Steven at relatively cheaper charges. This function will also be valuable because his services tend to reduce the hassle of collecting information from factory to final destination on behalf of the customers. Additionally, throughout the servicing of answering customers’ inquisitions about cartage and dock, duty and packing charges, invoice fees of consular and other hidden costs, he will be able to measure customer enthusiasm (Foreign Trade Online, 2011).

Good timing of service introduction

In this way, Steven would find the best feasibility of his business. As more and more people are getting busier day- by- day, they will need to pass some of their workload to others. More specifically, in such a hasty environment, Steven will understand whether he had taken the right decision for introducing this business or not (Werremeyer, 2011).

Problem solving approach

By conducting this approach, Steven will realize that whether his business idea occupies the potential for receiving the advantage from marketplace gap (Barringer and Ireland, 2010).

The next step is to prepare a short description of the business (within one page) which will be served to the people in order to know their feedback about the business concept. This process is called concept test, which will assist Steven to understand the viability of his idea along with potential suggestions for further improvement (Werremeyer, 2011). It will be conducted by two stages for assessing service demand, such as-

  • Buying intention survey: – It is a popular tool for assuming customer enthusiasm in a particular product or service category. Here, a survey will be conducted with a summarized description of the service from which customer interest towards that service can be assumed. Steven should conduct at least some specialized online sites for conducting this type of survey. In this regard, he will design a questionnaire or a series of checklists to know public interest for using his service, payment intention, service continuity, and desired distribution location etc. (Barringer and Ireland, 2010).
  • Library and internet search: – Steven should also analyze the demand of his service by conducting library and internet research. Potential librarians sometimes help an entrepreneur by suggesting resources eligible to find out related industry- oriented trade journals and reports. Since information is the heart of Steven’s business, he will need to follow the rule as “keep informed”. For this, he should continuously study trade publications, international trade newspapers and magazines and monetary reports etc. Knowledge about various informational sources regarding international surveys, exports, and freight guiding principle will be helpful for understanding current market demand. At the same time, he will need to study about market share details, local government promotional incentives and existing rules and regulations. Because of his careful study and clear knowledge about market trends, he will be able to achieve customer faith and trust for the further enhancement of his business network (Foreign Trade Online, 2011).

Industry/target market feasibility analysis

This kind of assessment will also be important for Steven for specifically identifying and characterizing the selected industry (export/ import) and the target people (information seeker). It will follow two basic patterns, as-

  • Attractiveness of industry: – An industry seems to be attractive if it is at the early maturity stage, fragmented, continuously growing, and makes customer sense of essence, yields high profit margin and simple (Hisrich and Peters, 2005). Among these, some of the features are matched with export/ import industry. First, the export/ import industry is passing an early maturity stage. Although it is one of the oldest forms of international business, it remains developing still now for which a large number buyers and sellers are getting attached with it annually. Second, this industry is not concentrated with a single task. Rather than, it is fragmented within multiple activities regarding freight forwarding, custom brokerage and warehousing etc. It also offers further opportunity to an entrepreneur to switch or expand his/ her business criteria from one segment to another. For example, Steven would either switch from this information delivery service to custom brokerage or simply expand his present activities to a full- time freight forwarder or an importer in future. Finally, it is a high profit sector entailing lower fixed costs and higher commissions. The basic reason of such profitability is the quantity of trading items since as high as the merchandise costs, as high as the personal income. Thus, in this sector, Steven will have the opportunity for developing more clients, even convincing the giant companies for becoming clients through his service reputation. Therefore, it can be summed up that export/ import business will be really attractive from him than many other business options (Foreign Trade Online, 2011).
  • Attractiveness of target market: – Currently Steven’s target market consists of clients who are engaged in export/ import business and inclined to know about shipment pricing, delivery and FOB etc. This segment seems to be more lucrative in future since it is growing rapidly with a large number of individual and corporate customers (Barringer and Ireland, 2010).

Organizational feasibility analysis

  • It will involve assessing the organization’s managerial proficiency, resources and competence (Hisrich and Peters, 2005). However, the overall organizational feasibility will be analyzed under two categories, such as-
  • Managerial expertise: – Since Steven will have solo responsibility to support and operate the business, his proficiency in idea generation and target market understanding will be the most important point here. At the beginning of his journey, he worked hard for understanding his task. In addition, he received some technical training from his friend to sharpen such skill. In fact, he missed some of his lecture classes for the same purpose. All of these facts should be reviewed by him for assessing managerial feasibility (Kotler and Armstrong, 2006).
  • Resource sufficiency: – At the initial stage, Steven had sufficient financial resources to genesis the venture and after one year he gained further sufficiency as he earned about RM 3000- RM 5000 monthly. This amount was adequate to cover associated costs and fees. 10 years after, he would harmonize this trend, which must be considered in determining resource sufficiency (Barringer and Ireland, 2010).

Financial feasibility analysis

  • This type of assessment will involve analyzing total start- up capital, monetary performance of parallel businesses and overall monetary profitability of the selected business. Steven would determine total amount of cash for starting his business from which he was able to earn RM 500 monthly for the first half year although it was much lower amount than other part- time jobs. For assessing further financial feasibility, either he should study annual reports of other similar firms or simply conduct observational research. Finally, for analyzing overall financial performance, he should estimate several integral factors apart from real performance. Among a number of factors, some are most common regarding forecasting of feasible profit and loss; ensure continuous growth for the first 5- 7 years and individually generating funds for supporting the business

Other recommendations

Apart from analyzing further opportunity and feasibility of the business, Steven will need to concentrate on some other aspects for having a long- term existence in this competitive world. It is very much necessary to develop a business model and thereafter going for a business plan, which will help him as structured guidelines through which he would notice the needs and requirements of each part of his business. For example, he should especially focus on developing a sound budget for 3 to 5 years, pro- forma income statement, cash flow, and balance sheet under the financial plan. Since his present activities are not highly concentrated with marketing, he should consider it to practice in future. This task will assist him enough in discovering lacks in operations and servicing, measuring customer behaviour and tracking competitive practices with technological orientation etc. Along with the practice of various brand awareness programs, Steven should conduct periodic marketing research. At the same time, particular amount should be fixed for incurring per year marketing expenditures. Additionally, he must restructure the HR planning for the business. It means, rather than taking excessive workloads on own self; he should invite some young and energetic personnel for becoming a member of the team on the basic of specialization and knowledge. He should also prepare an organizational chart through which every personnel would easily find out their responsibilities. Finally, he should not confine himself only within this area of business. Rather than, he should capture the opportunity of the fragmented export/ import market for diversification and advancement.

Reference List

Barringer, B. R. & Ireland, R. D. (2010) Recognizing Opportunities and Generating Ideas. Web.

Bplans (2011) Import Export Business Plan. Web.

Foreign Trade Online (2011) How To Start And Operate Your Own Profitable Import/Export Business At Home. Web.

Greg Smith Equipment Sales (2011) Fob Definition – Shipping Terms of Sale. Web.

Griffin, D. (2011) What Are the Main Components of a Business Model. Web.

Hisrich, R. D. & Peters, M. P. (2005) Entrepreneurship. 5th ed. New Delhi: Tata McGraw- Hill Publishing Company Limited.

Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G. (2006) Principles of Marketing. 11th ed. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited.

Werremeyer, K. (2011) Some Import/Export Considerations. Web.

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