E-commerce industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in present scenario. The trading of products and services through internet and computers has made the life of people easier. Electronic commerce is totally based on technology which is includes online marketing, online retail sales, electronic fund transfer, inventory management and all these functions are based on World Wide Web (Bakker, Zheng and Knight, 2008). It comprised of advance technology where the market of e-commerce is based on sales perspective. E-commerce is that industry which has virtual presence or it does not have any physical presence and covers the large part of market. In simpler terms it can be termed as it is virtual storefronts which include online catalogs. In market of E-Business the buying and selling of products or service is on website and includes both type of Business to Business and Business to Customer buying and selling (Qin, 2010).
Focusing on the E-commerce industry of UK, it was found that at the end of year 2012 the country has achieved a good amount of growth in e-business. The buying and selling of goods and service through the virtual market is on the track of very high rate of growth (Kriechbaumer and Christodoulidou, 2014). Believing on this trend and to garb the opportunity in e-commerce market, a Business Development Plan is prepared. The business plan is related to opening of E-commerce for selling the products and services to offices, companies, business etc. It includes the various types of products and services such as furniture, office supplies and technology products and also services related to the repairing and refurbishment. There are various captivating ideas which initiate me to start my own business. But although from various alternatives I have preferred to start an e-business. My dream to become a successful entrepreneur can be accomplished through this business development only. Initially I have planned to start this business to primarily focus on London, UK. The city has huge opportunities in every field of industry whether it is Technology, E-commerce, Manufacturing, Retail, Automobile, Travel and tourism, Hospitality, Health care etc. But the increasing growth of E-commerce industry has intuited me to start a business where I can achieve fame, brand, profit and a dream to become a successful businessman.
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In present scenario the people are robustly buying the products or services directly through online websites. Buyer and seller both feel comfortable while dealing the e-business. Buyer can easily access the extensive range of products and services through the virtual store of the company and from anywhere. On the other side the seller has comfort of selling different types of products and services through one platform without any physical presence and resources required. Positive factors of operating business in E-commerce industry have attract every individual, business house, company etc. to order their product or service via internet facility. I have decided to open an e-business “Apparatus Store”. This virtual store will offer extensive range of products which are required in offices, companies and business. This e-business will be operate in London only and serve the needs of customers in very efficient manner. The name of the website will be www. apparatusstore.com
E-commerce industry is at its boom position and that’s the reason and offering various opportunities to start a new business which satisfy the needs and wants of the customers at utmost satisfaction level. Moreover taking a decision to operate a business of e-commerce in London is best opportunity to fulfill the dream of businessman. I have also examined that the sales in online market is increasing year by year along with the higher demand of public. Factors and positive aspects on the basis of which online market is based is also one of the major reasons for business development in online market. The factors on the basis of which I want to justify my business plan of E-commerce website is that it eliminates the physical presence of business outlet, minimize the cost of construction and physical resource, efficient customer service etc. Another reason is that it also offers flexible business hours; eliminate the geographical boundary, less man power and also minimization of costs in different areas of business.
Aim: The main aim of the Apparatus Store is to offer various categories of products which are required in companies, offices and business. The business will attract the customers by offering various products through their online store.
Objectives: Below some objectives are farmed on the basis of the aim of this business development plan:
The concept of this business plan development is to start a new online virtual store for selling of products and services which are required in companies and offices. Market of London is full of numbers of offices and corporate houses. The business will sell the products such as office equipments, technology products, and stationary items and also offer the service related refurbishment of office equipments. The main of this chapter is to reveal the opportunity of e-business in present scenario of e-commerce industry. One of the main components of the chapter Business Concept is mission and vision for the business plan and detail description about the products and services which are offered on the website of Apparatus Store.
In UK the internet industry is has worth of billions of pound and this industry is growing at very faster rate. The concept of online retailing in UK is continuing at very fast growth and also creating tough competition in market. Due to flexibility and ease of purchase decision, the customers are buying their products and services directly through online store (VanHoose, 2011). They want to save their time and cost and also requires the extensive range of varieties of products at one platform. This market has wide opportunity and it can be proved on the basis of some justifications which are related to the E-commerce industry of UK. Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) and Capgemini has exposed that in 2012 there was 11.5% increase in growth of e-commerce industry of UK and for the year 2013, the online retail market has urged 16% growth (Ezbob, 2013). In this year the total business was amounted to £87 billion and for the year 2014 it is forecasted that online market will increased with 17% market growth and around £107 billion will be spend. It will broke the threshold limit of £100 billion (Ecommerce trends in the UK: £91bn spent online in 2013, 2014). Emphasizing on this predicted information by the Capgemini and IMRG and increasing expenditure of customers in online retain business shows a great opportunity to start an e-business or online retail business in London, UK. It was the main reason which has attracted me to plan a business which has small presence in market and gives better opportunity to develop a business.
E-commerce industry has publicized a remarkable performance due to its unique feature of click and collect’s influence. Online shopping has now become the part of every individual’s lives and its increasing growth does not shows any declining stage in this study (VanHoose, 2011). This industry has given me a chance to grab the opportunity by starting an online business. There are very few virtual stores that are totally based on selling of official equipments and resources via online store. Another opportunity which this business provides is that in present scenario due to heavy workload and competitive environment, the corporate offices and business does not have enough time to physically go and buy the office equipments. They do not have enough time that can search and buy best quality of product at one place. Starting of a business to sell online products such as furniture, technology products, office equipments, stationary items and other services helps the companies to directly order the products from their offices.
As per the report of The Guardian in year 2010, they inferred that UK has biggest e-commerce market in world when it is measured in terms of amount spend per capita. This industry has achieved year-on-year growth rate in retail business and has touched £100 billion of net worth (UK's internet industry worth £100bn – report, 2010). The research report of Capgemini and Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) has projected that in year 2016, the industry will achieve significant growth that is 23%. Despite the country has encounter the downturn in its economy, the e-commerce industry of UK has grown at some steady rate as other industries have declined (Ecommerce trends in the UK: £91bn spent online in 2013, 2014). Accessing the internet for personal use, official use and for various other purposes has increased. Planning for developing a business of online retail store for selling of products required in corporate offices and companies will help to earn a good amount of profit from this e-business. Thus we have planned to operate a business in e-commerce industry by selling the products through online store. Our products will be selling to the customers when they directly order them through our website. Virtual store of our business will also offer the refurbishment services along with selling of products.
Mission of our business is to offer products and services which are required in offices and companies via online mode of business, so that customers can directly order them. Different types of products and services with an affordable price will be offered at one common platform.
Our vision is to expand the delivery products in more than 25 cities of UK, so as to acquire a good amount of market share in country.
Our business “Apparatus Store” will offer various kinds of products and services to our customers. The main target customers or mainly the products which will be offered by our organization are for offices, companies and business houses.
Methodology is related with the approaches and methods which are applied in conducting the research. Generally it is essential to include a consideration of the concepts and theories. The main objective behind including this section in the work is to offer an adequate structure and framework to the study so that errors and mistakes can be eliminated. It also helps in compiling relevant and accurate data so that valuable conclusions and results can be made easily. The following report emphasis on opening of E-commerce for selling the products and services to offices, companies, business etc. It includes the various types of products and services such as furniture, office supplies and technology products and also services related to the repairing and refurbishment. The concept of this business plan development is to start a new online virtual store for selling of products and services which are required in companies and offices.
Aim: The main aim of the Apparatus Store is to offer various categories of products which are required in companies, offices and business. The business will attract the customers by offering various products through their online store.
Objectives: Below some objectives are farmed on the basis of the aim of this business development plan:
The philosophy is related with determining a pattern through which the scholar can figure out its path on which he had to pursue. Researcher can adopt two types of philosophies interpretivism and positivism. Interpretivism states that reality is relative and multiple. As per this philosophy there can be more than one reality and more than a single structured method of grasping such real theories. While on the other side positivism there is a external, single and objective reality to any research questions despite of what the researchers belief. Under this researcher adopts a controlled and structural approach in performing the study. For this business plan study positivism philosophy is more suitable because a business plan cannot be implemented without doing the mathematical and logical calculation. The plan will also require application of statistical and mathematical techniques so that is the reason this philosophy will be appropriate for the plan.
It is a systematic design that can be described as the systematic plan to examine a scientific issue. At this stage researcher make efforts to collect satisfactory evidence about the problem. He can adopt various designs like descriptive, corelational, meta-analytic and experimental etc. Hence for this work experimental design will be suitable because it is related with launching a new business. That indicates that researcher is experimenting the marketing and business circumstance for the new service. Along with that it will also require going through different theories, principles and concepts that is related to the new idea. The design is also appropriate because it offers an sound evidence that the study which is being adopted will certainly bring changes. Cause & effect relationship can be established also under this plan with this type of design.
Two types of approaches are there which can be adopted. First one is inductive approach and the other one is deductive approach. For this study inductive approach will be more suitable because there is no need of pre-determined theory to collect the data and information. It is generally related with positivism philosophy and offer valuable result to the researcher through using the real life examples.
Data collection is the most sensitive portion of the work. It is important that all the information must be collected from valid and authentic sources. Here the data can be collected from two sources primary and secondary sources. Primary information will be collected from a sample of 50 customers who are interested in buying products like furniture, gadgets, equipments, stationary for offices, companies and business houses. Information will be collected through distributing a set of questionnaire and obtaining the responses from the participants. It will bring out the preferences and choices of the people regarding these kinds of products and services, while on the other side secondary information will be collected through books, journals, online articles, newspapers etc.
Sampling will be adopted with the objective of identifying the appropriate sample from which the relevant information can be collected. It makes the data collection work easier and flexible also decreasing the time incurred in the work. For this study method of random sampling will be adopted under which every individual will have equal chances of being selected. Data will be collected from a sample of 50 customers. Random sampling is more suitable because it is the best method to achieve unbiased results in the study. It includes selection of subjects from population through unpredictable manner. One of the major thing is that every sample has the equal chances of being selected. Since the subjects are randomized so it is one of the best method which can assure unbiased results. It is also much faster and often less expensive to use this kind of sampling. It also offers results and outcomes that are valid and also making it easy for the investigators to make conclusions about large populations.
The limitation of the study is that the researcher had a tight schedule to perform all the activities, to plan and evaluate data. Because of the time constraints only one method of collecting the primary information is being adopted. In case if more time was there he would have performed focus group with the Morrisons online shopping customers. Hence there will be more data for evaluation. Findings and recommendations will be made on the basis of survey taken for the sample. The sample has taken randomly as it is difficult to take the views from the entire population. The survey should be specific and must not be longer.
E-commerce industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in present business environment. Focusing on the E-commerce industry of UK, it was found that at the end of year 2012 the country has achieved a good amount of growth in e-business. The buying and selling of goods and service through the virtual market is on the track of very high rate of growth. There has been a shift of the buying behaviors of the customers in the recent time period. There are many reasons behind the development of internet shopping phenomenon. In present scenario the people are robustly buying the products or services directly through online websites. Buyer and seller both feel comfortable while dealing the e-business. Buyer can easily access the extensive range of products and services through the virtual store of the company and from anywhere. On the other side the seller has comfort of selling different types of products and services through one platform without any physical presence and resources required. Positive factors of operating business in E-commerce industry have attract every individual, business house, company etc. to order their product or service via internet facility. It is decided to open an e-business “Apparatus Store”. This virtual store will offer extensive range of products which are required in offices, companies and business. This e-business will be operate in London only and serve the needs of customers in very efficient manner. The name of the website will be www. apparatusstore.com.
People now like to prefer purchasing the products and services through online mode despite of going to a brick and mortar shop. It is a industry which has a virtual presence not the physical presence and it also covers the large part of the UK market. In this nation internet sector is of worth billions of pounds and is growing at a very rapid phase. Because of this rate of competition in the sector is rising very speedily and number of companies are also increasing. This type of market is surrounded with many business opportunities and is a major source of revenue for the economy. Media in Retail Group (IMRG) and Capgemini has exposed that in 2012 there was 11.5% increase in growth of e-commerce industry of UK and for the year 2013, the online retail market has urged 16% growth (Ezbob, 2013). In this year the total business was amounted to £87 billion and for the year 2014 it is forecasted that online market will increased with 17% market growth and around £107 billion will be spend. It will broke the threshold limit of £100 billion (Ecommerce trends in the UK: £91bn spent online in 2013, 2014). Relying on this estimated information provided by the above mentioned sources it can be said that this market has great opportunity for the new business in London.E-commerce industry has gained lot of popularity because of its unique characteristic of click and collect impact. It has now become the important component of lives of every of the individual and its increasing growth does not reflect any of the declining stages in this work. Despite the economic downturn these type of companies are growing at very healthier rate. While assessing to computers previously was very limited to those people who have enough money to have them at their home or due to work. In the recent years complete scenario of the society has changed as people of all age groups are driving towards the online shopping in regular manner. All the business houses are finding selling the products online very cheaper rather than selling them in the stores.
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Along with that there are very few number of virtual stores that are only based on the selling of office equipments through the online sources. Further the theory is that because of the complex business conditions and competitive working conditions, officials from the business houses do not have the time to go to stores and buy the items. So this new business will offer them complete flexibility to purchase the products sitting in any part of the world. Further the clients can find different range of products and services related to the official purposed under one single one roof. They do not have sufficient time to search the product and to buy the best quality of the items at one place. In this manner this business will offer the customers many valuable advantages.
Coming on to the service of the product it can be assured that all the products that will be supplied will be of higher quality. There should not be any compromise with the quality of the services that are rendered. Online trading requires submitting of the personal information from the customers it means for purchasing any item they have to provide the significant details. Hence the customers will be assured about the secrecy and privacy of their information. There should not be any kind of misuse or un-authentic use of data. All the products will be displayed on the official website of the new business. Customer can visit the website at anytime and can do the transactions 24 hours. The product will be available with the customers within 4 days from the date of order. Initially the service will be offered in the London but later on the plan is to increase the branches. Along with all that refurbishment services will also be offered to the consumers. Apparatus Store” will offer various kinds of products and services to our customers. The main target customers or mainly the products which will be offered by our company are for offices, companies and business houses. Main categories of the products which will be offered to the consumers are Furniture and Fixtures, Office and Business Supplies, Technology Products, Stationary Products and Refurbishment Services. New firm is not concentrating on any one kind of products they are offering range of items and people have lot of choices to make.
As per the reports, if measured in the terms of amount spend per capita, UK has the biggest market in the world. This type of business has gained large amount of growth rate in the retail sector and has crossed almost £100 billion of net worth. The research report of Capgemini and Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) has projected that in year 2016, the industry will achieve significant growth that is 23%. In this manner it can be said that despite of the economic downturn in the economy, the industry of e-commerce in UK has witnessed significant growth that is because other industries have declined. Accessing the internet for personal use and for other purposes has also increased. Starting this type of business in the existing market will definitely help the new firm to make great amount of profits.
The new virtual Apparatus Store will be set up in London. There will be requirement of highly qualified and talented IT specialists who can contribute jointly towards the business. An official website will be developed for the new firm and it will be designed with many innovative and advanced features, so that customers does not get any type of discomfort while doing the transactions. There will be a team of five individuals. All the people are highly experienced and knows how to perform their duties. All of them had a experience in the e-commerce industry. Apart from that costs and expenses will be incurred on the designing and maintenance of the websites.
There will be no confusion regarding assigning of the duties and responsibilities. Mission of the new business is to offer products and services which are required in offices and companies via online mode of business, so that customers can directly order them. Different types of products and services with an affordable price will be offered at one common platform. While on the other hand, vision is to expand the delivery products in more than 25 cities of UK, so as to acquire a good amount of market share in country.
Financial feasibility of the company is analyzed on the basis of considering entire details which include the requirement of funding, sources of finance, expenses related to working capital and initial expenses incurred during start-up age and personnel plan. Further the forecasted cash flow statement, income and expenditure and balance sheet of the Office Apparatus are also prepared and break even analysis chart is also prepared.
It includes the resources required for the business as without this it’s impossible to run the business of Apparatus Store. This section of the business plan details about the resources which are required for operating the business such as physical resources, financial resources, technical resources and human resources
Physical Resources: Physical resources are those resources which are required for operating the business of the organization. It includes the land, machineries, equipments, furniture, infrastructure and other essential fixed assets. The land for will be purchased for operating the business and this will be comprised with furnished and well infrastructure features. Physical resources of the business will include all the essential resources such as furniture, equipments, vehicle and other materials which are required while delivering the products to corporate customers and offices.
Technological Resources: These includes the technical equipments such as computers, laptops, printers, scanners and other technical resources which are required for managing the daily routine business work. On evaluating the technological resources, software will also be purchased for managing the e-commerce websites and also for maintaining daily routine transactions of business.
Human Resources: Human resources or the men power are the key factors which are one of the most significant parts of the business. It includes the owner of the business, 2 managers and 7 employees. E-business of the Apparatus Store will be managed all these key personnel. The duty of managers is that they will manage all the daily requirement of products and services, purchase order, management of business transactions and other key managerial activities of www.apparatusstore.com. Other human resources of the company will be website developer, IT personnel and delivery staff.
Financial Resources: Financial resources are also required for starting the business of the company. On evaluating the financial resources of the e-business, it us found that Apparatus Store will require the funding at initial level which is for fixed assets, marketing research, legal and registration charges, marketing and promotional activities and also for working capital. It is one of the key resources of the business which is at newly start-up age. Detail evaluation of the financial resources of the organization is evaluated in financial feasibility which includes in-depth financial analysis of the company.
For accomplishing the aim and objectives of starting a new business it is essential that a detail strategic analysis of the business is to be comprehended. This facilitates to deliberate the e-commerce industry of UK and to plan a business model for the organization which facilitates towards the track of success. Development of the business model for the apparatus store will give the chance to develop a competitive edge and to aware the customers about the products and services offered. This will create a value to the business and also to assess the strategies for apparatus store. It will lead this new business plan towards the circumference of success. This section of the business plan covers strategic analysis of the business idea that is online retail store which will sell the products and services required in offices, companies and corporate houses. Further it also includes the sources which lead towards the competitive advantage and the selection of those strategies which makes the business success. In last part an appropriate business model is develop for apparatus store.
Value chain analysis is the set of activities which evaluates the particular industry in order to deliver a valuable product or service to the customers of the market. It assists the business of apparatus store in its decision making and also to plan each and every activity of the new business (Dudovskiy, 2012). This value chain analysis of Michael Porter will help the business to deliver a valuable product or service in market.
Inbound Logistics: On analyzing the value inbound activities for the business of Apparatus Store; the organization has to effectively manage its raw materials as they are dealing in e-commerce industry. This new business has to effectively manage its inventory as the business will sell its products and services via online retail store. Business has to maintain better relation with its suppliers as in e-business customers can order the products or services at anytime. Company has to integrate with its suppliers regarding all its office products and business supplies. Through this they can stock the appropriate quantity of products in their warehouse to meet the online demand of the office products and services.
Operations: It is one of the key activities of the organizations which are specifically operating in electronic industry. All the operational activities of Apparatus Store is depend upon the edge of technology only as it is totally based on concept of e-business. For managing all the operational activities such as management of purchase order, to solve the query of corporate clients, offering of products and services on the website of the organization etc. will be managed by experts of information technology. To manage these operations, Apparatus Store will use high configured computers and laptops which are enabled with advanced operating systems and software. This business has planned to invest a good amount of money in primary activities as they are base of organization which leads towards the goal of success. Using of advanced operation tools will sustain the quality of excellence in managing the online retail shop that is www.apparatusstore.com.
Outbound Logistics: Outbound logistic examines about the handling of the order and delivery of products and services of apparatus store. Organization will operate in e-business market in which the quality and performance of the business is depend upon the delivery of product on time with specified features. Company has to focus on orders of customers and on the basis of which they have to deliver the product which are purchased by them through online website of company.
Marketing and Sales: Since the business of Apparatus Store is based on the e-retailing, the organization has to do some effective marketing and sales promotional activities (Anderson and Khedair, 2009). Organization will invest a huge amount in area of market research to comprehend the pros and cons of selling the products and services via online mode. The findings of the research evaluates that organization has to effectively do marketing for its business. For this different marketing strategies and promotional tools will be used. The products or services of the company will be marketed through online advertising, print media, television ads, distribution of brochures and pamphlets at the places where the offices and businesses are located. Every year the business will invest a good amount of expenditure in its marketing and promotional activities to attract huge number of customers and corporate clients.
Services: It will include the services offered by the business while delivery the product to clients and even after the delivery. At the time when the products or service order by the customer or business will intimate them about the date and time of delivery of product and free of cost maintenance and repair service for period of six months. Organization will pay more efforts on delivery quality service to its customers.
Firm Infrastructure: The entire place of the business of Apparatus Store will integrate with well furnished furniture and infrastructure which offers excellent office environment to personnel of organization.
Human Resource Management: Organization will hire qualified and young managers and employees for their business. It will increase the productivity and efficiency of our e-business. To retain the personnel for long term period every year the company will increment with 10 percent of salary hike and also the extra incentives and rewards.
Technology Development: It is one of the significant part of e-business as organization always have to use latest equipments and software for its online retail store. The concept of the entire business idea is based on internet technology only where the business is offering a virtual store for its customers.
Procurement: Firstly the funds for this new business will procure from the owner’s capital and remaining from bank. On the other side the part of supplier management will be managed through contract with different suppliers of furniture and fixtures, office and business supplies, technology products and stationary products. This will help the company to manage all its supplies of products and services demanded by the customers.
For achieving the success in business it is very essential that some strategies are to be planned which helps the Apparatus Store to accomplish success. Selection of prolific strategies not only helps to accomplish the success but also makes the distinct image of the organization in mind of customers. Organization has to use those strategies which can easily attract the customers towards their products and services (Ries, 2011). It helps the business to retain their customers for long term period and also satisfied them in efficient manner. Some strategies are selected for this new business which leads the Apparatus Store towards the path of success.
Marketing and promotional Strategy: One of the key strategies for the business of Apparatus Store is to effectively use its marketing and promotional strategies. Business will use different marketing tactics to aware the customers about the virtual presence of the company on internet. It includes promotional strategies such as advertising, print media publishing, online ads and distribution of brochures in different offices and companies (Jones and Penaluna, 2013). It will aware the customers of Apparatus Store about the products and services they offered. Organization will also use the social networking sites for the promotion of its business to aware the customers about their products and services which are available on the online retail store.
Competitive Strategy: Business will efficiently use the sources of competitive advantage for achieving the success in e-commerce industry. The unique feature of offering the free of cost service to the customers for the period of six months will help to attract and retain large number of customers. Offering of the services without any charges will also help to maintain better relations with the offices and companies. This strategy of the organization will make the customer satisfied even after purchasing the products.
Extensive range of products and services: To achieve the success in the business and to satisfy the needs and demands of the customers, Apparatus Store will offer extensive of products and services on its website. Customers have wide choice and options when the will buy the product as it includes products with different categories, colors, choice, features, price range etc. It offers the comfort and easiness to customers while shopping and achieving the customer satisfaction in business leads the accomplishment of success.
Supply management strategy: In e-commerce industry the businesses which are based on retail division has to manage their supply and delivery of products in very proficient manner (Collier, 2004). Apparatus Store has promises to its customers that within the period of 2-3 day they will deliver the product to their customers. This new business entrant will effectively use the supply management strategies such as inbound and outbound logistics to deliver the products to customers on time. The final delivery of the product will be delivering to the customers before the expectation time of customers. On the other side for managing the inventory in store, organization will purchase the products in advance and also use inventory methods for controlling and delivery of products to customers.
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For developing the appropriate business model for Apparatus Store, the concept of Osterwalder’s business model is used. The rationale behind using this business model canvas is to describe each and every business operations of the organization. It will effectively deliver the wide range of activities which of the organization such as its value proposition, key partners, customer segments, channels, key resources, key activities, cost structure and revenue streams of the business.
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