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The Library Café
Task 1, part A
The starting point of any business is an idea. An idea is the mainly the first milestone in starting a business. A business idea describes a concept centered on a product or service with the aim of generating financial gain. Even though it is the base of a successful business, an idea may not be a money maker if not well executed. In business, some characteristics determine the profitability of an idea. The components may include the relevance of the concept in fulfilling the customers’ needs and wants. The plan needs to be innovative enough by embracing operational and production methods that have not been used before by other similar businesses. The idea needs to be unique and has a clear focus to attract more clients who are willing to accept it. The plan should also show how money can be earned it.
With a clear understanding of a business idea, I am now convinced that the idea I have of opening a library café is viable and can meet the needs of the people as well as yield profits. The idea is to set up a place for students to grab a meal as well as comfortably study conveniently. In most cases, the students in the college have a lot of studying to do and may find it tasking to stop their studying to go to the nearest street to have a meal. The same way they may not have enough time to take breakfast before attending classes. Starting a library café shall go a long way in helping the students to multitask hence save time. They will be able to have a meal, snack or have a beverage while still studying or having group discussions. The business is at a tertiary level of operation as it helps offer services to the clients and therefore should have great customer service to win more clients. The café is to be located on the ground floor of the main college library. The location makes it an integral part of the library building and therefore convenient and accessible to all students at all times. To be able to have more clients as well as make more profit, the business will also operate an online store. That way we will not only serve the students but also the neighboring society through delivering to them. To be able to beat the competition, the business emphasizes on fresh food made on order and from local produce hence lower prices (Nykiel, 2005). The café shall have long opening hours than other outlets so that the customers can refuel at their convenience. The business has some competition and should be on toes to fit in the competition. The competitions are;
|Competitor||Why||Strategy to Tackle|
|Coffee shops||The coffee shops are well-known brand and have been on the market for long||Talk to people and market the business intensely.|
|Library||There is a private library that offers services that are modernized.||Establish a good relationship with the library attendants’ to improve the college library to match technology.|
Task 1, part B
For any business to be successful, it should have some goals and objectives to guide it. The library café business also has its main objectives. The first objective is to increase the client base of the library users. The library is opened to the public, but only a few members of the society own a library card. The café intends to implement a full service with time which will appeal to most people. It shall also expand to a variety of services to students and families. The second objective is to have very competent employees. Quality service and consistency motivate a customer to come again. The business intends to get qualified employees from the low-income neighborhoods who are loyal and committed. Another important objective is to cost management and profits. The business needs to professionally manage its costs of operating to avoid closing down due to losses. The profit projection for the café is more than $ 30,000 per year. That is expected to increase within two years. Lastly, the business aims at expanding to become a central gathering place to the community and opening branches in other colleges.
The business requires a lot of capital to start, and it also involves risks. To be able to raise the capital, we shall have a partnership ownership of the business. A partnership will help in sharing the capital, profits, losses and even the assets. Scholars have defined partnership as a form of business ownership where individuals share the profits as well as the liabilities that comes with the entity. Partnership offers an operating structure that is simple and also collaborative. The process of registering and running the business is not cumbersome and expensive as it would be in a corporation. The registration requires filling a partnership form, and the duties and responsibilities of running the business are shared therefore cutting cost on the number of employees. Steinggold, 1995 states that a partnership is flexible and it is easier to acquire capital. The decision making in the business is quick and has no bureaucracy since the partners are the managers. When sourcing for capital from banks, the partners take individual loans against their personal property which makes it easy (Nykiel, 2005). The banks find individual loans to be less risky and therefore prefer lending them than giving loans to corporations. Using the partnership to establish the library café will greatly enhance its success.
Task 3, part A
Having established what business to start and how to operate it, it is important to develop a good relationship with the book vendors. The other crucial aspect is holding an event to launch the business to make it known to the target market. Marketing plays a big role in growing a business. The launching event is a marketing strategy. Having opened the library café for a few weeks, the business will have a launch where all the people in the school vicinity will be invited. The invitation will be extended to the members of the society. The aim will be to market the business as well as attract more people to the school library. The invitation will be through social network platforms as it is a sure and affordable way of reaching more people. A few leaflets will be printed to invite the dignitaries in the society. The launch will integrate a business presentation together with inviting a celebrity to talk to the crowd. A request to the celebrity to attend was already made on the onset of the idea. The business presentation will be engaging giving a deeper understanding of the business to people. The questions asked will enable us to make the necessary changes and understand what is expected of us. The celebrity invited is an alumnus of the college, and that will largely impact more people to visit the library for it is associated with successful personalities. The assembly grounds of the college will play the host of the event on Saturday 6th January 2018. The event shall start at 2.00pm to give ample time to all presentations. The guests shall be served with snacks and beverages. There shall also be great discounts on the meals that day. The choice of the date is based on the fact that it shall be the beginning of a semester and the students will not be so much occupied hence most are expected to attend. During the afternoon, people have done their chores, and to be a weekend, it is leisure time. The assembly ground is the selected venue since even the new students and guests from outside can easily access it and it is the central ground from which all the other facilities of the institution can be accessed.
To be able to avoid problems and unexpected occurrences during the event, it is vital to develop a budget. It involves coming up with a financial estimate of expenditure of the day. The budget of the day is as follow:
|Invitation printing and sending||135|
|Furniture, serving items and décor||280|
|Public address and technology support equipment||110|
|Specific venue staff||200|
|Travel of the celebrity||20|
|Gratitude to the celebrity||100|
|Snacks /Beverage||Sub-total $|
|Fruit juice and cocktails||40|
Budget- $ 3,000
Actual- $ 1,075
Difference- $ 1,925
The budget is to cater for a hundred and fifty people with an estimation of 70% turnout or an additional 10% to the number planned. The items on the budget were derived from comparing different events planned by similar events. A launching event is mostly a tool for marketing, and the form of invitation chosen is cost effective and efficient hence cutting cost. The furniture and equipment are hired from the institution hence cost-effective. The event requires more staff that those the business has employed. Additional staff is sourced from within the college therefore affordable as compared to hiring external people.
Marketing is the backbone of every successful business. It includes the activities that are involved in producing, communicating and delivering a service or product that adds value to the customers and the society at large. Business is, therefore, expected to develop an effective marketing plan which will enable it to be ahead of others in the business. The components of a perfect marketing plan are the marketing objectives, market target, marketing strategy and the marketing mix. The library café will ensure to incorporate all the components to help its success meet its main goals and objectives.
The objectives focus on positioning the services of the library and the café to the people in the college vicinity as well as those in the neighboring city. The goal is to be as competitive as possible. Therefore, the objectives will focus on a specific metric which is to garner profit and increase the number of the library users. The goals need to be measurable against the specific metrics set. The business should be able to achieve the set goals in a way that is realistic to the resources available and the business plan. There should be a time limit upon which the goals are expected to be met. For the business, it expects to offer the quality product through qualified personnel at an affordable cost, hence offering value for their money. By 31st December 2018, the marketing team of the library café will be able to reach 2,000 prospective customers in every month from in and out of the institution. The sales are expected to be more than $ 30,000 per year by the end of 2018 (Ďado & Táborecká-Petrovičová, 2013).
Our targeted market includes people from all backgrounds and religions. The age of the target market is 18 years and above. That is because the population of the college students consists of 18-25years. The neighboring city has an older population of up to 50 years who meet over coffee for their discussions or functions. The café will provide the different type of food for vegetarians and even those who take meat (Ďado & Táborecká-Petrovičová, 2013).
Having set the marketing objectives, we need to come up with ways on how to achieve them. There are different ways to market products and services. Our business intends to use in-house promotions and discounts as they will attract more clients since they can save their money. For the information to reach the customers’ communication is vital. We shall use advertisement on the social media and also have good public relation will help market more. Having leaflets given to the clients and even displayed on the notice board will also help in marketing.
|Price||The price is on competitive pricing which is determined by the market prices of the products as well as competition.||The value and perception of a business mostly communicated to customers through the price. The pricing decision should, therefore, be one that meets the cost and also give a competitive advantage.|
|Product||The menu for our café will include beverages, soft drinks, snacks as well as different foods to cater for all peoples’ taste and preference.||A detailed menu will help the clients to understand our products hence embrace it since they feel we value their tastes.|
|Place||The business will have a store in the library building as well as an online store.||The store at the library building is convenient for the students can study while having a meal and hence saving time. The online store delivers to the people in the city around therefore widening the market and increasing sales.|
|Promotion||The main advertising platform will be through our website and other Social networks.||Most of the people in the age group of our target market use the internet as the main form of communication. That will help reach most people in a short span of time. It, therefore, convenient and effective.|
|Element of the supply chain||How is this going to be addressed in the business||Why is this the correct way to operate?|
|A supplier of beverage and cooking equipment.||Having the proper equipment and machinery in the café is very necessary as it will help have better and timely services to the clients. To get the best supply, we intend to research online on the brands that supply and get referrals from those that have used them. They can be sourced by linking with similar businesses that have operated for long to buy what they no longer use but is still in good shape.||Sourcing for the best equipment and machinery is important as it help have a smooth operation of the business without problems associated with machinery breakdown.|
|Utensils and food items supplier||A reliable supplier of the food supplies, utensils and packaging item ensures that the store is always stocked and therefore no problems in serving the customers. For the best supplies at competitive prices, we intend to advertise for supply tenders on our website. The best will be selected.||Having a reliable source of the items is necessary. It might be difficult for us to be able to source all the required foodstuff and utensils. Giving tenders will establish a wide range of supplies which will give a chance to get quality goods at an average cost.|
|Supplier of technical support||The café has PCs and internet connections. They require constant upgrading and maintenance. Those that offer the service to the college are a reliable source and will be offered the job.||The technical system of the college is quite vast, and the supplier has been doing the job for quite some time. The same supplier is the best to use as he/she is conversant with the Internet connections of the college and has their offices in the facility hence convenient.|
Ďado, J., & Táborecká-Petrovičová, J. (2013). Marketing strategies. Banska Bystrica: Matej Bel University.
Nykiel, R. A. (2005). Hospitality management strategies. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.