assess the market, product and technical feasibilities

You graduated with a Bachelor of Business degree at UNE eight years ago and you are now enrolled in a MBA program at the same university. In the last eight years you have been working with Smith and Associates, an accounting firm in a big regional town close to where you live. You have worked your way through the ranks and are now a manager in the firm. You have been thinking about your career plans for the near future and have come up with two options. You can buy a share in the same or another accounting firm or set up a practice to provide bookkeeping and tax compliance services to small and medium businesses in your town and surrounding areas. You have observed that few accounting firms now provide these services, preferring instead the high-end services such as auditing, superannuation, financial planning and information & communications technology. You have chosen to assess the market, product and technical feasibilities of your idea.

  1. A description of the specific industry in which the business will operate, identifying current and future trends and justifying the opportunity that you intend to pursue. Present the key driving forces and key success factors for the industry. Driving forces refer to external factors with significant impact on performance in an industry and include but are not limited to: increasing household income, rising number of retired baby boomers with time and money to spend, a desire to see the world, ready access to information from the internet, high literacy levels among the population and so on.
  2. A description of the target market covering:
    1. A profile of each market segment (where there is more than one homogenous target market).
    2. For each market segment describe their needs and buying motives.
    3. The purchasers if they are not the same as the consumers (e.g. health services for children) and the bases of their purchase decisions (price, quality, service, personal contracts, convenience, or a combination of these)
    4. An estimate of the size of the current market and the sales potential for your business. The estimates should be supported by statistics and references.
    5. Factors that could affect sales such as seasonal demand, socio-economic trends and changing demand patterns, government policy, whether demand for the service is tied to demand for another and so on. Estimate the potential annual growth of your market share for at least three years.
    6. A description of the competition
    1. This should identify the major competitors (in your strategic group). Demonstrate these with a strategic group map.
    2. Each competitor should be rated on the key success factors identified in section 2. The ratings should be explained.
    3. Discuss how your services will be positioned against competitors, presenting and explaining  the various service lines and all components of the service offering to customers
    4. Present your operations plan which should cover the following:
    5. The proposed location – this must be justified, stating the advantages and disadvantages.
    6. How the premises will be acquired (purchased, built, or leased). An estimate of the cost must be presented and the chosen acquisition method justified.
    7. The service process; use a flow chart to illustrate and explain the various stages of service delivery.
    8. Client file management system and software associated with operations must be presented and explained
    9. A graphical illustration of the layout, with explanations as to how it relates to the service process and will enable efficient delivery.
    10. The facilities (plant and equipment) required for operations should be listed. For each item in the list, the method of acquisition must be explained and an estimate of costs provided. For leased items the estimated annual cost of the lease must be specified.
    11. The processes to be followed to maintain the facilities must be presented.
    12. If some of the services will be contracted out the independent contractors to be used are to be stated. The criteria for selection of contractors must be explained as well as the contracts or agreements with contractors and associated cost.
    13. The supplies to be used and their sources must be presented as well as the associated inventory management system.
    14. Strategies for managing any seasonal variations in demand for the services are to be presented.
    15. A discussion of all relevant regulatory and legal issues associated with the business, including state, federal, or local regulatory requirements and steps to be taken to ensure compliance. Licences, zoning permits, health permits and environmental approvals necessary to begin operations should be addressed as well as any pending regulatory changes that could affect the nature of the business and its timing.
    16. From the information presented, explain the market, product and technical feasibilities of the service idea and your ability to operate the business
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