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OBJECTIVES Combining business school education, professional/personal development training, self education along with life experiences directed me toward beginning a career as an entrepreneur. Many years have been spent taking classes and exploring various business opportunities. I started my college career as a business major. During that time, I also studied various art mediums to explore creative talents. In my junior year, I decided to combine those strengths and interests into my career path. Now that graduation is closer it is time to formulate and began executing a plan for the next 5 to 10 years of my life.
Short Term Goals I have five main short-term goals, which include goals before graduation, educational career and professional goals. Before graduation, I aim to increase my grade point average to a 3. 0 minimum. Improving my resume and working knowledge through VCU’s small business mentorship program. And starting a part time personal home inventory service business while in school will enable me to apply previous knowledge, and use the many resources and services that are available. Start up cost for this venture is moderate compared to other businesses. My plan is to invest the minimum, $3000 during start up.
Also I have employed the services of a professional coach to assist with personal and professional development. After graduation, (May 2008), my career goal is to expand my home inventory business, “Professional Home Inventory Services” from part time to full time operation. I plan on continuing education at Virginia Commonwealth University or the University of Maryland. Here, the goal is to earn a certificate in International Management. With a personal interest in the African culture (African Art and History), I plan to begin my travels to Africa through a Study Abroad Program.
I intend on completing the certificate program in 2011. My personal interest in Africa will be a lifelong study. This certification and additional coursework will help my career by opening up the passageway to a new business venture, security and most of all spiritual growth in knowing more of my African heritage. I have and investment goal to save 15% of my annual income in addition to current savings, for a second business, which will be a combination of Importing African Art for resale online and business consulting. Long Term Goals My long-term goals include the continuation of my career, personal and investment objectives.
I plan to be operating the consulting firm, “Robinson Business to Business Consulting” by 2013. I anticipate opening my import business,” Africa All Around “by 2015. I have estimated that it will take a minimum of 25,000 to 35,000 to start; therefore the money I have saved in addition to profits gained from the inventory service business will be used to help finance this venture. I want to continue to save a percentage of my income for future investments. Situation Analysis –SWOT In order to understand what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that I might encounter, I performed a SWOT analysis.
As for my strengths, I am a highly creative and friendly person, I possess strong analytical skills, and I enjoy working alone and with small groups. I also have strong interpersonal skills. Patience and attention to detail are definitely virtues in the home inventory business. My main weakness is communicating in large groups. Improvement is needed in the areas of personal and professional development, writing and communication skills. At times, multitasking can be a challenge. I could be more effective with improvements in focusing, and time management. And I lack advanced training in computer software programs such as Microsoft Office.
Also, a fair understanding and working observation of product values and knowledge of market values are needed for the inventory industry. That additional understanding will come with experience. There are several opportunities in front of me at this time. The first is the great need for small businesses for future economic growth, locally and internationally. There is a tremendous need for small business to keep up with technological advances and environmental changes. Small business can innovate and create new jobs at a faster rate than their larger competitors.
Unfortunately, living in times of high crime, recurrent natural disasters and, bad weather conditions all in the mist of being extremely busy due to work and family demands is where I find opportunities to provide a service that is in demand . Owning a small business can be very challenging but with planning and organizing, allotted time will allow for personal interest endeavors such as travel and art. Finally, the threats I have include average competition, which is expected with a low cost high profit margin start up venture. Through research, I have found two companies in the Richmond Virginia area.
There are companies on the internet that market home inventory software and not the bells and whistles of technology nor the personalized service aspect of the business like I will offer. But, the homeowner himself can accomplish this task if they choose to invest the time and effort. Another consideration is the rate of expansion, which is lower on average, than other businesses but once again, this business has high profit margins, on average than other businesses. Personal Marketing Strategy Target Market When targeting my market I will directly seek middle to upper class homeowners, current homebuyers and sellers (movers) in the market.
Estate owners or their deceased relatives’ estates are good targets for asset documentation and estate sale planning and management. Demographically, services will be offered in Richmond VA. and surrounding counties and Northern VA. Marketing Mix –The 4 P’s There are many factors to consider in why I (my company) should be hired. In order to improve my chances for consideration I must present myself as a product, promote myself, set my price and finally determine my place. Product: Since I am the product I am a marketable asset. I have several important skills that will make me a successful business owner.
I have excellent customer service skills. I posses a since of business practices, and product knowledge. As mentioned in my SWOT analysis, I have patience and strong attention for detail. Change in external environmental conditions; weather, crime and consumer behavior leads to new marketing opportunities that may call for internal environmental changes. Staying current with the industry connective components over the industry span such as; insurance company practices, homeowner’s insurance policies, new real-estate developments, market value, safety and security, will be critical at all stages.
Being able to deliver this information will add value to my product while marketing and adapting to changes. Promotion: Now that there is a product, it needs to be successfully promoted. There are several possible ways to do this. The first is networking; developing business contacts with insurance companies, real estate agents, close friends and relatives. Social functions, and community events are other ways offering information about myself and my work. Being affiliated with non profit organizations that assist with business ventures will be a romoting factor. I will treat every opportunity as if I was on an interview I will position myself as a serious career professional and not just a college student. Always taking advantage of every opportunity that may arise. Price: The earning of an inventory specialist varies depending on the size of the home. For example, a 1200sq. ft. home could cost $300 to $350 for about a 4 hour job. Following graduation, I expect to be earning between $35,000 and 45,000 a year. These numbers are based on demographics, the experience that I will have, and salary based on he industry. I will be willing to negotiate and discount services, providing that multiple services are purchased or if a business contract is landed thru a referral. Place: There are two cities in which I would want to live, Northern Va or Maryland. When considering where I want to live, several factors came into play. First, I weighed the average salary, cost of living, cultural activities. Demand and competition in this industry was also evaluated. Either of these areas could offer great opportunities for this field.
I could pursue the same class of target customers. An informal network with current contacts of friends and family homeowners and organizations would be a channel for promoting and advertising. Also low cost mailings online advertising would be appropriate distribution method. Conclusion: The purpose of this personal marketing plan was to identify and evaluate my short and long term goals, determine my strengths and weaknesses, examine opportunities and threats that I face to create a action plan to determine my marketability as a entrepreneur.
I will be able to target specific markets in which I want to work through specific methods of research geared to segmented markets. I will be able to choose and determine specific locations, salaries, organizational cultures which I believe I will be the most functional in. My conversation with professionals currently in the field have given me a better perspective and have caused me to think more about both the pros and cons of being a entrepreneur in the inventory management field. With the completion of this project I feel more prepared and focused towards what I need to accomplish in order to reach my ultimate goal in life.
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